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Brutal Dawn (IC, Closed)

Where nations come together and discuss matters of varying degrees of importance. [In-character]
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Kazomal
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Brutal Dawn (IC, Closed)

Postby Kazomal » Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:51 pm

The blue light from the computer screen cast soft shadows across the metal walls of the dark room, and gave a blue aura around the two figures standing over it. One was female, about 5’6’’ with black hair just below the shoulder, and a slim, athletic frame. The other one male, tall and broad-shouldered. Both of their faces are obfuscated in the dim light.

The female, Miranda Summerfield, scrolled through the dossiers on screen.

“Who do we have for the field commander?” the man asked.

Miranda stopped on Iasitas’ file.

“Dokeianos Ioannes Iasitas. From the nation of Tagmatium. Secret policeman. Intelligence experience, strong investigatory background. Dealt with the supernatural before. A bit heavy-handed in his methods, but he gets results.”

“You really think he’s the one?”

“He’s the only one who’s expressed interest. Besides, he’s commanded men before, and we can keep a firm hand on the team from here, if need be.”

“Alright. Who else do you have?” the man continued.

“Haanryk Waalturs, Allamunnic. Contractor with The Organization. Wizard.”

“A wizard’s skills could be of great assistance to the team, but are you sure he won’t be a problem?”

“I anticipate no troubles.”

“Alright, Miranda, I have full faith in your abilities.”

“Right,” Miranda responded dryly. “Next we have Robert Glenn from the Republic of Adiron. Rifleman turned intelligence officer.

“Sound about right.”

“I thought so. Intuitive, creative, displays minor physic ability. I think he’ll be an asset.”

“Agreed. Next?”

“Next we have a cyborg, the Metal Man.” Miranda replied. “Very interesting background on this one, but I’ll spare you the details and send you a report later. Suffice it to say, we’ll be keeping a very, very close eye on him, on this mission and beyond.”

The man nodded. “Alright. Who else?”

“After that we have a two man team, Danny Briggs and Jerico St. Croix, from the mercenary outfit Professional Security Solutions, aka Bray’s Bastards. It seems that Mr. St. Croix, a seasoned paranormal investigator, wants to put Mr. Briggs through his paces in the field. A nice light ‘root out the death cult’ op.”

The man chuckled a little. “Poor ‘bastards’ don’t know what they’re in for.”

Miranda rolled her eyes. “Lovely. Anyway, that just leaves us with Ms. Zoe Boutin.”

“Ah, right, the child. So who’s agreed to be her minder?”

“Come off it. Either she’ll perform well and be a boon to the team, or she’ll be a total train wreck. Either way, it’s no skin off our backs, so long as the rest of the team can dig up something useful,” Miranda replied.

“Alright. As I said, this is your op. I’m just here to report back to the Old Man. Due diligence, and all that.”

“Of course. Anyway, that about wraps it up. I have to meet with the team tomorrow morning, give them their briefing, and allow them to get to know each other a little before we send them out, so if we’re through here?”

“Yeah, we’re through,” the man responded. “We’ll keep tabs on your progress the best we can without risking detection, but we’ll be depending on your debrief at the end.”

“You’ll get it. Don’t you worry about a thing. I have it all under control.”

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sign up/OOC/The Organization main thread: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=127770
Last edited by Kazomal on Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:56 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Kazomal
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Postby Kazomal » Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:53 pm

Miranda Summerfield made her final preparations in the briefing room at Organization HQ. No one had yet arrived, but they weren’t due for another half hour, so stragglers should start coming in soon. This would be the one and only time she would meet her team face-to-face, before sending them out into the field. All team members had received a short mission description (viewtopic.php?f=4&t=127770&p=8214094#p8214094) with a brief background of the Republic of Oxana, and the situation as stands. Once whole team had arrived, she’d go over the info again, field any questions, and give the team members the details of their transportation.

Plugging her flash drive into the room’s computer, she checked her presentation one more time on the small screen on the podium, and waited for her team to filter in.
Last edited by Kazomal on Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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SF n F
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Postby SF n F » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:04 pm

The assignment notice was sent by fax. Even though the number was not listed, they had known to call

1-800-METL-MAN*

The details were sketchy. So, when he finished his meditation, the cyborg broke out his most versatile, if on rare occasion unreliable, suit, the Egg, and headed off to headquarters, with his main combat suit, the Hornet, prepped and in reserve.

--------------------------

OOC:

*IRL, it's a predatory lender.

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Hittanryan
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Postby Hittanryan » Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:25 am

The Artifacts and Irregularities Division of the Adiron Intelligence Service was the nation's newest government department. It was also, at this point, grasping at straws. In light of Operation Trinity, most of the budget was spent on affairs close to home. Its only teams in the field at present were in neighboring nations. The most unsettling claim that the Division had to investigate, after all, was that the Emperor was real and answering the prayers of fanatical Imperial subjects.

Unfortunately, such an approach is reactive rather than proactive. The Division needed answers, as much information on these unexplainable phenomenon as they could uncover, with a special emphasis on countermeasures. The AIS began an "outreach program," which started as more of an investigation into the existence of other groups. After limited success and the successful acquisition of several new Artifacts, the Division hit paydirt: a well-established, well-funded body known as "The Organization."

Access to information that The Organization may have on psychic abilities, the paranormal, and the supernatural was potentially a matter of national security. If Adiron didn't get a head start on such matters, the Imperium or Urdnotia would. However, The Organization wasn't about to fork over sensitive materials to the AIS just because it asked for them. It needed a measure of good faith, a sign of commitment, before it could trust the pragmatic Republic of Adiron with anything.

As he wandered through Organization HQ in search of the briefing room, Robert Glenn was decidedly out of his element. He wasn't an AIS spook by nature or profession, just a soldier. The only reason he was with the AIS was dumb, arguably bad, luck. When a Division intel officer told him he was being sent abroad as part of an investigation for some international men-in-black outfit, he literally asked for the real reason he was called into his office.

Rob could have turned down the assignment. His better judgment told him to, in fact. However, there had been a nagging feeling in the back of his mind ever since they finished the obligatory tests of his own abilities. He'd seen the things the AIS dragged in, the "Mind Computer," the psychic-proof metal, some of the confirmed psychics, and all the little magic trinkets. Worse, he'd seen what lengths some would go to in order to harness that kind of power. As things stood right now, he knew she would never be safe or live any kind of normal life. With so little to go on, not even the AIS might be able to fully combat the things thrown its way. Rob decided to take a chance that this would somehow help.

At the same time, Rob's training was ingrained enough that despite his misgivings, he managed to keep focused. The AIS had supplied him with all the hardware he was accustomed to, to be made available at Organization HQ according to their rules of engagement. From there, he would adapt, as he had always done. As he finally located the briefing room, he appeared calm enough to the casual observer, if a bit serious. He opened the door and took a seat at the conference table, with a nod and brief wave to the woman at the podium, presumably Summerfield.
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Kazomal
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Postby Kazomal » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:45 am

Miranda looked up as a 1-meter tall floating egg. . .floated it's way into the room.

"Metal Man, I presume. A pleasure to finally meet you. I'm Miranda Summerfield, your Mission Controller for this investigation. I must say, you have quite the fascinating background, Mr. Metals."

Hittanryan wrote:As he finally located the briefing room, he appeared calm enough to the casual observer, if a bit serious. He opened the door and took a seat at the conference table, with a nod and brief wave to the woman at the podium, presumably Summerfield.


Miranda recognized Robert Glenn from his file, and nodded back. "Mr. Glenn, welcome. I'm Miranda Summerfield, Mission Control, and this," Mirands gestured towards the floating pod, "is Metal Man, one of your new teammates. It seems that you're the first two to arrive, so we'll wait for the others before beginning, but I could field any questions you may have now?"
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Hittanryan
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Postby Hittanryan » Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:36 am

Kazomal wrote:
Hittanryan wrote:As he finally located the briefing room, he appeared calm enough to the casual observer, if a bit serious. He opened the door and took a seat at the conference table, with a nod and brief wave to the woman at the podium, presumably Summerfield.


Miranda recognized Robert Glenn from his file, and nodded back. "Mr. Glenn, welcome. I'm Miranda Summerfield, Mission Control, and this," Mirands gestured towards the floating pod, "is Metal Man, one of your new teammates. It seems that you're the first two to arrive, so we'll wait for the others before beginning, but I could field any questions you may have now?"

"Thank you, ma'am, but I think I'll save most of my questions until after the briefing. I'm not sure I know where to start," Rob replied, before seemingly reconsidering. "Actually, I have one at the moment," Rob said while staring at the cyborg. "If he's the Eggman, does that make me the Walrus?"
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The Fanboyists
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Postby The Fanboyists » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:59 am

The one hassle with working with the Organization was the train-ride in from Dunnmaar. It had this annoying tendency to be late, and it certainly had been this time. According to my watch, one of the few electronics that didn't hate me and the accompanying Murphyonic field,I was either going to be right on time for my meeting or slightly late; I'd hoped to arrive early. Ah, well. That's why you plan to get places early.

I strode through the corridors and off-handedly observed someone I hadn't seen around before. I passed Morgraine, back from his mission, and I briefly discussed said presence with him. Apparently a certain someone from Faedrulhulm had been speaking with Commander Milvian and with Wizard Varricer, but I wasn't to worry about it, apparently. I took his advice, for the time-being, and headed down the hallway to the meeting room, apparently now a few minutes late. My staff clomped on the ground as I walked at my usual pace, with it hitting the floor at the same rhythm as my right leg. I unbuttoned my great-coat as I warmed up, despite the cold weather outside. I hadn't gotten any details on the weather in our destination, but I figured I'd burn that bridge when I came to it.

I pushed open the door and walked into the room, looking around for the mission controller. Spotting her, I approached, and seeing who I assumed was the Metal Man from the last mission, I nodded in greeting to them before greeting the mission controller (Summerfield, I thought her name was).

"Hello, ma'am. Haanryk Waalturs, reporting in. Are you in charge of this mission here?" I asked, probably coming off a little gruffer than I had intended. I extended a hand in greeting and made a point of avoiding eye contact for anything more than an immeasurably brief instant. I also shifted my staff into my gloved left hand, reminding me of the new focus I was carrying. Sure, Allamunnic wizards frequently preferred to learn to use magic without the aid (or the minimal aid) of foci, but I figured with things like tossing lightning around that you can't take too few chances with it. The thick leather glove was embossed in runic symbols, and I had a ring with lightning designs on my left ring finger beneath. The revolver was still at my hip, of course, but the Skraeling cleaver-sword at my belt was a newer addition. I liked the added close-combat ability it gave me. It was some amount of comfort.

The upside for me trying to avoid being intimidating is that I'm not bigger than average; just over six feet and right around two-hundred pounds, nothing unusual, but big enough to hold my own close in and intimidate if I had the mind to. Introductions done, I pulled up a seat and reached for the glass jug full of ice-water that was generally kept in the middle of the Organization's meeting rooms.

"So what do we need to know that we don't already?" I asked, pulling a glass of the water up to my mouth, leaning back in the seat.
Last edited by The Fanboyists on Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Tagmatium » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:22 pm

“You can’t treat me like this.”

There was no panic in the man’s voice; it was said as a statement of fact, with an edge of smugness to it. Iasitas shook his head slightly and the other man paled slightly, but rallied again, the smugness coming back to him.

“What you’ve got against me will give me, what, five years, max?”

That was certainly true, the secret policeman had to concede. Grave robbing and mutilation of bodies were certainly very morally offensive, but they weren’t harming anyone living. He had left a trail of twisted bodies behind him. There had been the question of the attack against some of Iasitas’ underlings, but what could you describe an animated corpse as? A deadly weapon? Probably, but any lawyer would probably tear that to shreds as a sign of psychological damage or just plain lies by the police involved.

“You’ve got us there, I’m afraid,” said Iasitas, leaning back in his chair.

The man opposite him, looking dishevelled after spending several nights in a cell after being, started to smirk. The secret policeman ignored it. It didn’t look good to start getting irritated by a prisoner or a suspect, as it gave them the idea that they’d won somehow. Instead of acknowledging it, he looked around the integration room. It was nothing special – a small 4 metre by 4 metre room, bare concrete with a table bolted to the floor and a couple chairs.

“What am I going to be able to say? That you reanimated a body stitched together out of others and used that to resist arrest?”

The smirk was almost a fully fledged grin.

“I’m glad you see it that way copper,” said the man. “Now, since I’ve been held here for a while and I’ve been asking after my phone call.”

Iasitas didn’t bother answering him. “We did find a fair few suspect items around, bar the dead bodies, obviously.”

“I didn’t kill them,” the smirk had regressed a few stages and become unsteady. If he hadn’t killed them – and Iasitas was almost sure of that – why did he blurt that out?

“I never said you did,” Iasitas said, scrubbing at his beard thoughtfully. “Other than the dubious books – which tests showed were made out of human skin, incidentally – there were chemicals and items that you could basically get from any hardware store or art supplier.”

The man relaxed a bit and some of his old confidence returned. If the supplies were that easy to get hold of, how could what he had done been that illegal? This was brushing aside the grave robbing, misuse of bodies and a few other things that Iasitas wasn’t actually sure were crimes according to the laws of the Greater Holy Empire, but they bloody well should have been.

“So, copper, when are you going to get me my lawyer, so he can tear this shit to shreds?”

Something in that statement made Iasitas’ ears prick up. The man sounded like he was going through a routine of sorts. The secret policeman kept his face neutral.

“Sounds like you’ve been through this before.”

The smirk once again became a grin, a crafty one.

“Oh, yeah. And I’ve been through this before with some of you lot.”

Interesting, thought Iasitas. It didn’t make much of a difference to what he’d decided to do with the man, just highlighted the infighting between the various Tagmatine law enforcement organisations. The police were suspicious of the Internal Intelligence Inspectorate, who were jealous of the Imperial Constabulary, who were disdainful of the police. Around the circle went.

“Sadly, for you at least, I’m no copper or the Triple I. You’ve not dealt with my lot before,” Iasitas said, trying not to be triumphant. “My group has been charged by the Imperial Government to keep the paranormal threats from affecting the citizens of the Greater Holy Empire. I’m satisfied with what I’ve seen that you do, in fact, fall within that purview. We’ve been given the powers to deal with the supernatural as we see fit. Unfortunately for you…”

A knock at the door interrupted the secret policeman. The door to the integration room opened and the head of another operative poked around the door. “Iasitas, there’s a phone call for you. Someone saying they’re from the Organisation?”

He nodded at the head and it retreated. Iasitas nodded and pulled stood up from the chair. “Well, I would say I’d pick up where I left off next time I see you, but I won’t be seeing you again.”

Team leader… Iasitas mulled that idea over in his head as he walked from the taxi that had taken him from the airport towards the doors of the Organisation’s headquarters. He paused for a moment, lighting a cigar, a habit he’d picked up from his time in PIT, working with one of the experienced team leaders from there. The Tagmatine lingered for In all honesty, he’d been thinking about it ever since he’d got the phone call back in the Greater Holy Empire. He knew he was ready for it – his time in PIT and with Tagmatium’s nascent paranormal police force had given him a lot of experience in dealing with the supernormal. And 12 years as a secret policeman certainly gave him a lot of background experience. He’d taken time while on the flight over – in truth, many flights – to take a look through the team that had been assembled under him.

He liked the look of most of them and was decidedly sceptical of others. The two soldiers were good, even if one of them was a mercenary. The proud martial history and culture of the Greater Holy Empire, combined with almost in-born attitudes of most citizens of Tagmatium, meant that the secret policeman looked down on mercenaries. It didn’t occur to him that a mercenary might not think too highly of a secret policeman.

Two of the others… well, how good was it to send an eight-year-old girl into the field? Someone obviously thought they knew what they were doing and Iasitas would be more than ready to wash his hands of any fallout if she got what he suspected was coming to her. And this “metal man” would have to be seen to be believed, although the Tagmatine had been in contact with some strange things, this character sounded like one of the strangest yet. Horror and fantasy he was prepared for, but not sci-fi…

He finished as much of the cigar as he could be bothered and lifted his shoe and ground the cigar out against his heel while holding onto the wall. The butt was deposited into a nearby bin. The architecture was strange, but to a Tagmatine, everything that wasn’t in the Greater Holy Empire was barbarian. He passed through the doors, explained who he was to someone in the corridor and was given directions. Being late on the first mission never set a good example and he broke into a run whenever he felt that he wouldn’t be seen. That caused him to almost skid to a halt on a couple of occasions before Iasitas decided that just walking briskly would stand less of a chance of making him look like a moron.

Once he got to the meeting room, the Tagmatine stood outside, hand hovering over the doorknob. He felt apprehensive. Last time he’d been with one of these paranormal organisations, he’d been a grunt. Now… now he was a leader. With one hand he smoothed down his jacket, made sure his belt was sitting right, took a deep breath and turned the handle, letting himself into the room. Once in, he gave the slight bow customary of his nation, rather than any salute.

The calm composure broke slightly as he looked at the cyborg, mouth dropping open for a moment before he closed it again. Christ, man. You’ve faced ghosts, werewolves and necromancers. Don't let one of your own team put you off.

The Tagmatine did a good impression of a carp for a moment before dragging his gaze away from the cyborg and sweeping it across the rest of the room. One of the soldiers was already here as was the... wizard? Wizards didn't practice openly within the Greater Holy Empire. The Iconoclastic Orthodox Church was a very powerful organisation.

“I’m Dokeianos Iasitas. I believe this is the first time I’ve met any of you lot.”
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The Fanboyists
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Postby The Fanboyists » Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:15 pm

I glanced at the man in what looked to be a uniform for either a paramilitary group or some sort of police force. I assumed the latter, given most of the Special Teams' members backgrounds. He looked like he meant business, an experienced veteran of paranormal investigation, yet seemed somewhat put-off by some of his team members, including, for some reason (and to a lesser extent)...me. Odd.

I stood up and offered him my hand to shake. "Pleased to meet you, sir. Haanryk Waalturs, at your service," I said, a friendly expression on my face, my posture now relaxed. Introductions done, I sat back down and continued sipping water, trying not to exert myself at all. If previous missions were any indication, I'd be doing plenty of that later. Best to relax now.
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Hittanryan
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Postby Hittanryan » Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:11 pm

The Fanboyists wrote:"Hello, ma'am. Haanryk Waalturs, reporting in. Are you in charge of this mission here?"

The next guy in was only slightly less believable than the first. 'Isn't this supposed to be a covert op?' Rob thought to himself. 'This guy looks like a combination of Gandalf and a Soviet commissar. How are we supposed to stay undercover with agents looking like these? Well, I don't have my gear with me now either, so maybe I'm getting ahead of myself.'

Tagmatium wrote:“I’m Dokeianos Iasitas. I believe this is the first time I’ve met any of you lot.”

Thankfully, this guy seemed a bit more...conventional. "Rob Glenn, AIS. If I recall correctly, you're Iasitas, our Team Leader for this assignment," Rob stated, attempting to keep things professional.
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Postby The Fanboyists » Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:37 pm

I got the impression that the boss-man was a little weirded out by me, for some reason. Ah, well. He'd either learn to live with whatever it was, or he'd find it didn't matter, most likely. Most people didn't object to my methods too much. I'd managed to be more or less effective despite interesting tactics at times. I sat back down, pushing my coat onto the chair and sitting in a t-shirt and jeans. Nothing official or impressive, just everyday dress. It was how I rolled. I leaned back waiting for the meeting to start in earnest.
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Kazomal
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Postby Kazomal » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:40 pm

Miranda greeted and introduced herself to the new arrivals as they entered, and observed as the team sized each other up. "Good, they're interacting." she thought to herself. "Hopefully they'll have the kinks worked out by the time they encounter anything serious in the field." Her eyes were hard and sharp, though her manor and body relaxed, casual, observing the situation, making last-minute alterations to her presentation.

"Alright, we're still waiting on three more. For those of you here, I'd like to introduce Dokeianos Ioannes Iasitas, your Team Leader. Though I will remain in overall command, he will be giving orders in the field.

I will remain in touch from Organization HQ via secure satellite uplink. The Team Leader is to contact Mission Control with a mission update once every 24 hours, if feasible. The team can also contact Mission Control for support, advise, access to the resources and database of the Organization central HQ, et cetera.

As for what you need to know that you don't already, the answer is not much. You are to travel to the alleged structure Brantford said he found and either confirm or refute Brantford's suspicions about the re-emergence of the Oxanian Death Cult. Brantford himself will be a much better resource on the specifics of the Death Cult, he's something of a buff on the subject. Was there something specific that the mission description did not cover?"
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Hittanryan
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Postby Hittanryan » Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:28 pm

Kazomal wrote:Miranda greeted and introduced herself to the new arrivals as they entered, and observed as the team sized each other up. "Good, they're interacting." she thought to herself. "Hopefully they'll have the kinks worked out by the time they encounter anything serious in the field." Her eyes were hard and sharp, though her manor and body relaxed, casual, observing the situation, making last-minute alterations to her presentation.

"Alright, we're still waiting on three more. For those of you here, I'd like to introduce Dokeianos Ioannes Iasitas, your Team Leader. Though I will remain in overall command, he will be giving orders in the field.

I will remain in touch from Organization HQ via secure satellite uplink. The Team Leader is to contact Mission Control with a mission update once every 24 hours, if feasible. The team can also contact Mission Control for support, advise, access to the resources and database of the Organization central HQ, et cetera.

As for what you need to know that you don't already, the answer is not much. You are to travel to the alleged structure Brantford said he found and either confirm or refute Brantford's suspicions about the re-emergence of the Oxanian Death Cult. Brantford himself will be a much better resource on the specifics of the Death Cult, he's something of a buff on the subject. Was there something specific that the mission description did not cover?"

Rob piped up, voicing a concern he had with the initial tip: "How exactly is this Brantford character an expert on this subject? I thought the whole thing was something of an urban legend? Should we be on the lookout for connections between Brantford himself and the cult?"
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Kazomal
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Postby Kazomal » Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:09 pm

Hittanryan wrote:
Kazomal wrote:Miranda greeted and introduced herself to the new arrivals as they entered, and observed as the team sized each other up. "Good, they're interacting." she thought to herself. "Hopefully they'll have the kinks worked out by the time they encounter anything serious in the field." Her eyes were hard and sharp, though her manor and body relaxed, casual, observing the situation, making last-minute alterations to her presentation.

"Alright, we're still waiting on three more. For those of you here, I'd like to introduce Dokeianos Ioannes Iasitas, your Team Leader. Though I will remain in overall command, he will be giving orders in the field.

I will remain in touch from Organization HQ via secure satellite uplink. The Team Leader is to contact Mission Control with a mission update once every 24 hours, if feasible. The team can also contact Mission Control for support, advise, access to the resources and database of the Organization central HQ, et cetera.

As for what you need to know that you don't already, the answer is not much. You are to travel to the alleged structure Brantford said he found and either confirm or refute Brantford's suspicions about the re-emergence of the Oxanian Death Cult. Brantford himself will be a much better resource on the specifics of the Death Cult, he's something of a buff on the subject. Was there something specific that the mission description did not cover?"

Rob piped up, voicing a concern he had with the initial tip: "How exactly is this Brantford character an expert on this subject? I thought the whole thing was something of an urban legend? Should we be on the lookout for connections between Brantford himself and the cult?"


"Mr. Brantford is a journalist by trade, and an amateur historian, with a special interest in the Oxanian Death Cult. The Death Cult was a real organization which existed in Oxana. Evidence of their existence dates back to pre-colonial times, and, according to Brantford, they seem to have died out as recently as the turn of the century. As far as Brantford suspects, they are nothing more than a morbid religious sect with a tradition of human sacrifice, but we cannot rule out the possibility of necromancy. It's entirely possible that there is nothing to be found here, but Brantford's paying, and we feel that it's at least worth checking out."

Miranda paused for a moment.

"But you do raise a good point. We have no idea where Brantford is getting his information, or how he managed to dig up the location of this structure he wants us to explore for him. Such knowledge would most likely be of use to us, if you can determine Brantford's sources."
Last edited by Kazomal on Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:41 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby SF n F » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:25 pm

So THAT'S how you get those button thingees to pop up! AWESOME! :P :p :P


As the others sat chatting, the silver egg in the room with them sprouted arms, legs and a head. In about half a minute, it had assumed the shape--and changed to the proper colors--of an obese, elderly man, about six feet tall, bald, with kind, blue eyes. As it did, the man settled on his feet. Waaltrus would recognize this form as that of what the Metal Man had called his "Contact Suit."

"Forgive the theatrics," he said, "but, this being an undercover mission, I thought that it would be relevant for you all to know that this suit can shift its shape." He turned to Waaltrus. "Glad to see you again, by the way," he said, managing a slight smile.

Actually, he was concerned for his companion. The cyborg had been given the task of feeding a group of ghouls as they were relocated, and Waaltrus that of culling those who had shown too much aggression. There was something unsettling about the zeal with which Waaltrus had acted. The Metal Man was not young, and he had learned that one who is not necessarily bad can go bad--slowly, by degrees--if the badness within him is allowed to fester. Despite the way that his anti-esper nature would impede the wizard's powers, he felt that the man deserved to be watched over, and helped if he needed it. A little bit of zen can go a long way.

"It's good to see you," he said, "and, if it's not too much information, I'd like to complement you all on at least giving the appearance of consummate professionalism--and I have no doubt that it will show as more than mere appearance. I look forward to working with you."

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Postby Hittanryan » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:56 pm

SF n F wrote:As the others sat chatting, the silver egg in the room with them sprouted arms, legs and a head. In about half a minute, it had assumed the shape--and changed to the proper colors--of an obese, elderly man, about six feet tall, bald, with kind, blue eyes. As it did, the man settled on his feet. Waaltrus would recognize this form as that of what the Metal Man had called his "Contact Suit."

"Forgive the theatrics," he said, "but, this being an undercover mission, I thought that it would be relevant for you all to know that this suit can shift its shape." He turned to Waaltrus. "Glad to see you again, by the way," he said, managing a slight smile.

Actually, he was concerned for his companion. The cyborg had been given the task of feeding a group of ghouls as they were relocated, and Waaltrus that of culling those who had shown too much aggression. There was something unsettling about the zeal with which Waaltrus had acted. The Metal Man was not young, and he had learned that one who is not necessarily bad can go bad--slowly, by degrees--if the badness within him is allowed to fester. Despite the way that his anti-esper nature would impede the wizard's powers, he felt that the man deserved to be watched over, and helped if he needed it. A little bit of zen can go a long way.

"It's good to see you," he said, "and, if it's not too much information, I'd like to complement you all on at least giving the appearance of consummate professionalism--and I have no doubt that it will show as more than mere appearance. I look forward to working with you."

Reflecting on Miranda's reply, Rob didn't notice Metal Man's transformation at first. He caught something out of the corner of his eye about halfway through, which prompted a double take. Something exactly halfway between the appearance of an egg and a man, after all, is something you don't see every day. The cyborg then addressed the room, which still eagerly awaited the arrival of the rest of the team and for the briefing to start.

"Well Eggman, I was wondering how you were planning on not drawing attention. Glad you've got that sorted out. Something tells me you might have been able to hear me while cocooned, but in case you didn't, I'm Agent Glenn of the AIS. Pleased to meet you."
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Postby The Fanboyists » Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:11 pm

I nodded to Metal Man. "Good to be working with you again, as well," I said, giving him a friendly smile. I recognized the form he'd shifted into as the one he'd used when we'd first met him. Easier for most people to deal with, probably. I continued to watch the dynamics of the new team unfold, still sipping my water. I'd leaned the staff against the table, and I used my left hand to push my bangs out of my eyes.

I directed my next question to the mission controller. "Will we have access to any other local contacts once we arrive in Oxana? Getting information from other friendly sources might be useful to keeping the team relatively safe and functioning if, if you'll pardon my French, the shit hits the fan," I said. "I don't fancy going purely on information from a source we don't know a huge amount about. Any corroborations?"
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Postby Kazomal » Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:26 pm

"The historical existence of the Oxanian Death Cult is corroborated by scholarly sources, and Mr. Brantford's account of the murders is corroborated by news media accounts. As for friendly contacts, I'm sorry you say you'll be largely on your own in the field," Summerfield responded.
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Postby SF n F » Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:06 pm

Hittanryan wrote:"Well Eggman, I was wondering how you were planning on not drawing attention. Glad you've got that sorted out. Something tells me you might have been able to hear me while cocooned, but in case you didn't, I'm Agent Glenn of the AIS. Pleased to meet you."


Eggman? He must feel threatened. Perhaps if I ask him a question he's probably used to, it will help show that I'm not his enemy.

"I can hear you just fine," the Metal Man said. "You're Glenn--any relation to the former astronaut?"

Before Glenn could answer, Waaltrus chimed in.

The Fanboyists wrote:I nodded to Metal Man. "Good to be working with you again, as well," I said, giving him a friendly smile. I recognized the form he'd shifted into as the one he'd used when we'd first met him. Easier for most people to deal with, probably. I continued to watch the dynamics of the new team unfold, still sipping my water. I'd leaned the staff against the table, and I used my left hand to push my bangs out of my eyes.


The cyborg returned his smile.

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Postby Camicon » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:26 pm

The slight sounds of shoes of pavement echoed through the hallway, and barely made it inside of the briefing room in which everybody had so far assembled. If any one of them was particularly keen of ear, they would just be able to make out this sound, over the general noise of idle chatter and humming of fluorescent lights. The sound was oddly irregular, and far too light to be the tread of and adult. And indeed, it was not. The sound was made by an eight year-old girl by the name of Zoe Boutin, who despite her age, had been chosen to go on an assignment for the Organization. Zoe was in possession of a unique skill-set that somebody obviously believed would provide a boon to the team.

Zoe was dressed in the innocent manner of a young girl. She wore a bright yellow dress that hung down to her knees, and was gather at the bottom of her ribs by an equally bright, pink ribbon. The bangs of her hair were held in place of a matching pink headband, and on her back bounced a lime-green backpack, in which Zoe carried various items of import. Her arms swung half-haphazardly at her sides as she skipped down the hallway in her simple white shoes. In her left hand, she kept a firm grip on the arm of a grey elephant, dressed in a suit the colour of her bag. His name was Babar, and he was Zoe's ubiquitous companion of five years. Babar, through some unique connection to his owner that was not fully understood, was imbued with a variety of different abilities. For example, if someone was to spend any time with Zoe and Babar, they could not fail to notice that despite that fact that Zoe took Babar with her (literally) everywhere, he was still in pristine condition, as though he had been plucked fresh from a manufacturing line.

With a hop skip and a jump, Zoe landed just inside the door, and gave a cheery wave to everyone inside. A toothy grin broke across her face.

"Hello! My name is Zoe!" Fearlessly, the girl skipped on through the group of adults, and stopped right at the feet of the Metal Man. "You," She said, pointing up, "Aren't a person like me. Are you?" Zoe stood there, swaying back and forth from her heels to her toes.
Last edited by Camicon on Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Hittanryan » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:04 pm

SF n F wrote:
Hittanryan wrote:"Well Eggman, I was wondering how you were planning on not drawing attention. Glad you've got that sorted out. Something tells me you might have been able to hear me while cocooned, but in case you didn't, I'm Agent Glenn of the AIS. Pleased to meet you."


Eggman? He must feel threatened. Perhaps if I ask him a question he's probably used to, it will help show that I'm not his enemy.

"I can hear you just fine," the Metal Man said. "You're Glenn--any relation to the former astronaut?"

"Not that I'm aware of. I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name. So far, you've been the Eggman." Rob then motioned to the Wizard, "...and he is the Waaltrus." Rob hoped he didn't have to go as far as the "goo goo g'choob" from the Beatles' song, but it looked like yet another of his lousy puns may have sailed over his audience's heads.

Camicon wrote:With a hop skip and a jump, Zoe landed just inside the door, and gave a cheery wave to everyone inside. A toothy grin broke across her face.

"Hello! My name is Zoe!" Fearlessly, the girl skipped on through the group of adults, and stopped right at the feet of the Metal Man. "You," She said, pointing up, "Aren't a person like me. Are you?" Zoe stood there, swaying back and forth from her heels to her toes.

'Please tell me it's bring your daughter to work day, please tell me it's bring your daughter to work day...' Rob thought, uneasy. Unfortunately, he'd seen some of the Artifacts the AIS confiscated, and investigated a few Irregularities himself. They had a habit of not making sense. The little girl might be a team member for all he knew. Hell, based on some of the things he'd seen so far, for all he knew she might actually be 500 years old and screwing with them. 'Better to stay on the good side of a potentially superpowered kid, then...'

"Hi Zoey, my name's Rob. Do you know why we're here?"
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Postby The Fanboyists » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:41 pm

I quietly corrected Rob, after I sighed and executed one of my better 'face-palms.' "My last name is Waalturs. The 'r' comes after the 'u'." I cocked an eyebrow at him, apparently looking almost disdainful. "And really? You should be ashamed of yourself, putting out material like that," I added wrily and with a small smirk. "Couldn't you just let it be?" Sorry. I couldn't resist. The punnage was screaming my name. It was egging me on. You understand.

"Imagine all the people," I said, "that I wouldn't have killed by now if we just avoided all these puns," I said with mock-weariness.
Don't look at me like that. You'd have said it, too.

I leaned back in my chair, actually balancing it on its rear legs. I almost fell over when what at least appeared to be an eight-year-old girl walked into the room. I couldn't actually be sure she was that young, but she sure looked the part. All innocent cheer, bold in that way only children can be in the face of strangers, and small. Mostly small.

I didn't say anything, at first. I was trying to wrap my mind around the idea that this little ray of sunshine has just skipped in here like it was perfectly normal. After a moment of trying to regain my faculties, I managed to, admittedly with a disbelieving expression still stamped across my face, ask "Sorry, who are you?" I figured if she was here and not scared out of her mind, she was smarter than the average person her age was, and I managed to cast a glance at Rob, who was treating her pretty much as you might a normal child that age. If she was here to join the team, she was not a normal eight-year old. Best not to treat her like one.

And I had a leg up. I'd read the files. As my master would have said, 'knowledge is power, you bastards!' I knew this girl was one of our teammates, now that I stopped to think about the files. Zoe was her name, if I recalled. I extended my right hand without getting up, as that would have made a handshake difficult. "Pleased to meet you, Miss Zoe," I said, cheer in my voice replacing my earlier sarcasm. "I'm Haanryk Waalturs" I said, placing emphasis on my last name's pronounciation (like "Walters", just spelled differently) and looking pointedly at Rob and Metal Man as I did it. I'll teach them to butcher my name like that.

Ah, well, at least my question got answered. No other friendly contacts? Darn. Looked like we'd need to try and fix that, I supposed. It was always good to have other sources. So I followed up my question. "Do you know if there's any libraries or archives that we might be able to do more research at once we arrive? And more importantly, will we be able to do any such additional research when we get to Oxana?" I had my suspicions about the source, given their unprompted calling-in of the team. For all we knew, it could be a trap, or a play for attention, or a simple dead-end as likely as it might be a legitimate case. It wasn't the most likely possibility, but it was distinctly possible, and worth looking into to keep the team safer.
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Postby SF n F » Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:51 pm

Camicon wrote:"Hello! My name is Zoe!" Fearlessly, the girl skipped on through the group of adults, and stopped right at the feet of the Metal Man. "You," She said, pointing up, "Aren't a person like me. Are you?" Zoe stood there, swaying back and forth from her heels to her toes.


'"Hi, Zoe," the cyborg replied with a bright smile, turning to face the young lady as he did. "I don't know the name that I was born with, so everyone calls me The Metal Man, and it would surprise you how much we have in common." As he spoke, his body, including the dark pants, open-collar dress shirt and suspenders, flattened until he looked like a fat dwarf with a long tail. His ears even became pointed. "For example," he said, "we're the same height." And, for the time being, they were. "Friends?" he asked, putting his arms out.
Last edited by SF n F on Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Tagmatium » Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:29 pm

The Tagmatine returned the handshake of the wizard, suppressing the urge to wipe it on his trousers afterwards. Magic wasn’t his forte, although he’d come into contact with it occasionally, rarely from the same side.

“Good to meet you, Mr Waalturs.”

A wizard on their side would give them an edge against anything magical, rather than having to rely on the more mundane members of the team… although if the Tagmatine remembered the team roster for this investigation, he stood out as one of the few who didn’t have some sort of supernatural ability. He stole another guilty glance at the silver egg of the Metal Man. Some of them were much more obvious in their differences than others.

Robert Glenn, however, was a welcome change from the more… esoteric members.

“I am indeed the ‘boss man’, Mr Glenn,” Iasitas said to Rob, thankful that there was a distraction from the cyborg. “And, please, there’s no need for ‘sir’. ‘Iasitas’ will be enough.

Iasitas had sat after he had been introduced to the team formally by Miranda. He’d given everyone a nod and a polite smile before sitting down, a thoughtful look upon his face. The notebook had been pulled out of one of his pockets and was beginning to be filled by notes on what was being said. The fact that the mission control weren’t going to be on hand did disturb him slightly. It would have been better if they were at least nearby, ready to draw conclusions for themselves. This Brantford was apparently an expert, which was at least something.

The mention of ‘necromancy’ made Iasitas’ ears prick up, however. He wondered what had happened to his own necromancer… probably dead with a bullet in the back of the head now. The Greater Holy Empire had a tendency to deal brutally with those who threatened it by supernatural means, primarily because they were often hard to combat.

However, the suspicion that Brantford himself might be in league with the death cult, if they existed, was not good. By the sounds of it, the team could well be isolated and alone in hostile territory. Not ideal in the least.

The silver egg shifted, turning into old fat man – at least it was better for an undercover mission that its previous form. Iasitas noticed he’d managed to poke his biro through a couple of pages when it had changed form, even though he’d kept his face bland while it was happened. It didn’t do for a secret policeman to show anything other than professionalism. He noted the familiarity between the Metal Man and Waalturs, which was good. At least not everyone was unfamiliar with each other and there was at least something that could be built on.

Whilst the secret policeman was pondering how best to try to head off any friction between Rob and the Metal Man, the room’s door opened and another of the team enter.

Ah, yeah, thought Iasitas to himself. This could hardly be a proper investigation into the supernatural without a weird young girl..

Privately, he’d held onto the faint hope that Zoe was nothing more than some weird practical joke that had been slipped into his file, a prank on the new team leader. But, instead, here she was, in the flesh. Damn, how he disliked children.

Iasitas spared a quick glance around the rest of the team. Rob didn’t seem to be too happy, and neither did Waalturs. And how did you explain to a child that you were their boss? This was, he suspected, entirely out of his purview. He scrubbed at his beard for a moment before walking over to the little girl. Iasitas acted like any Tagmatine did when faced with the weird, the barbarian or the strange: act as if things were entirely normal in the hope that it’d just go away.

“Hello, Zoe,” he said, giving her a stiff bow. Shaking peoples’ hands didn’t come naturally to him like the barbaroi. “I’m your team leader in this mission.”

Politeness fulfilled, he sat back down. The wizard’s question was nice and pertinent, answering some of Iasitas’ own misgivings. Waalturs might well be a sarcastic bastard, but he made up for it with a keen mind.

“I’d like to second Mr Waalturs. Being given a chance to carry out some research before we throw ourselves into potential contact would be good.” He looked at his notepad whilst tapping his biro against his chin. “It would give us a chance to recognise what we’re looking for. How reliable are these ‘scholarly sources’?”

He ignored the Metal Man’s attempts to win over Zoe by shape shifting. Most kids would probably have run screaming.
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Kazomal
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Postby Kazomal » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:46 pm

Miranda watched each team member's reactions to Zoe closely. She had been worried about how the team would receive her, and how they would be able to work together in the field. It seemed that the Metal Man, and least, was beginning to form a rapport. Miranda was withholding her own judgements until Zoe proved herself one way or the other.

"Oxana has an extensive public library system, as well as public and private universities. In addition, the Oxanian Historical Society has chapters in most major cities, and they keep their libraries and databases open for public use, so there will be avenues of independent research once you arrive," Miranda responded. "The recorded history and evidence of the Death Cult is there to see, there have been several books written on the subject, including one by Brantford, and the peer-reviewed journal of the OHS has featured articles on the subject. Brantford, as a Junior Member of the OHS, has a log-in for the online version of the OHS Journal, which he has agreed to share with the team. Using Brantford's ID and Password, you can access the Journal from any computer."
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