The Richardson Case - Scene IV

The Storyteller (9:56:59 PM): As far as handling the supercomputer, I think I will say that you can cut the power to the apartment simply enough, between the Wizened and the Obrimos, but that this only isolates the Claimed, does not render it helpless (chances are either it has a generator in there somewhere, or it has some spirit-styled way of getting energy
Ilkin (9:57:54 PM): Righto
The Storyteller (9:58:22 PM): The girl's name is Lisa Richardson, and the spirit is known as 01
The Storyteller (9:59:53 PM): Your solutions for handling this situation basically broke down to "Kill it." "Leave it alone." "Persuade 01 to leave willingly." or "Find something bigger to get 01 to leave" with something bigger meaning a big-name spirit or a Master of Spirit
The Storyteller (10:00:20 PM): Am I missing anything?
Ilkin (10:00:39 PM): Not that I can think of, no
The Storyteller (10:00:49 PM): In that case, would you like to start, or shall I?
Ilkin (10:00:55 PM): Take it away!
The Storyteller (10:04:39 PM): Had there been any police in the neighborhood, it was likely that they would have arrested the entire group for obviously casing the apartment bloc for robbery. As it was, the neighborhood being of the decidedly lower end of the socio-economic ladder, no one paid too much attention to the presence of a werewolf and a mage. Another werewolf, the genial vagabond known as Willow-Hide and Robert were sitting on a front stoop down the street in case of trouble, while Ben and David Gold-Howl were cheerfully discussing Manchester's chances in rugby next week. The way Rakesh periodically cast glances at them, he was finding the spirit-Claimed computer-thing more understandable and relatable. "So. Do we have a plan beyond the usual?" ||
Ilkin (10:06:08 PM): "You know how to deal with spirits better than I do," Ilkin pointed out, "I'm not a Thyrsus. I can tangle with destiny and unravel fate but I can't confront spirits directly. How do we talk to this sodding thing?" ||
The Storyteller (10:08:39 PM): "On the whole...? Patience. It doesn't think very similarly to us, but there are points of comparison." Rakesh said, rubbing his chin, where a hint of stubble had already formed. Shaving as a werewolf was a neverending challenge. "Food, shelter, so forth. They just tend to think of odd things and actions as food and view the mortal realm as wonderful shelter." ||
Ilkin (10:09:31 PM): "And what would a computer spirit seek as food and shelter?" Ilkin asked. Contrary to Rakesh, Ilkin was neat, clean-shaven, and stylishly dressed.
Ilkin (10:09:33 PM): ||
The Storyteller (10:12:12 PM): "Fundamentally? They feed on spiritual energy, spiritual essence, if you would. But it has to be tinted towards a computer-spirit perspective, so spiritual resonance of data or information, of machinery, ideally of computers. Or people having emotional reactions to computer use." The werewolf paused. "For shelter... the basic advantage of being in the mortal realm for the thing is that most spirits can't access it very well, if at all. So if there's a stronger spirit chasing this creature... it might be hiding. I think that's the most likely reason, myself." ||
Ilkin (10:15:01 PM): "Well, I guess that covers it," Ilkin said brightly. He gestured. "Luck is with us." (Fortune's Protection on both. We can assume he gave it to everyone else at the scene that wasn't against being blessed)
The Storyteller (10:15:45 PM): "That just warms the cockles of my heart." Rakesh said drily. "Shall we go and have a chat with our prodigal AI?" ||
Ilkin (10:17:24 PM): "Let's be off!"
The Storyteller (10:20:20 PM): The ratty apartment complex had changed a little since Ilkin and Rakesh had last been there. It was a subtle change, but an unpleasant one as well, with bundles of wires and fiber-optic cables tucked discreetly into the corridors, running along the ceiling. Nothing unusual, just external wiring, save that to Ilkin's Awakened eye it all bore the faint twinge of power about it. "I have to wonder how Ms. Richardson is paying for all of this...?" ||
Ilkin (10:21:10 PM): "I'm sure a supercomputer knows how to hack into some real money," Ilkin remarked drily. "Stay on your toes, my friend. My spider-sense is tingling." ||
Ilkin (10:22:50 PM): ( I suppose this would be a good time to cast Exceptional Luck actually )
Ilkin (10:23:21 PM): ( For the scene, Ilkin will get 8-again on a number of rolls equal to successes )
Ilkin (10:23:55 PM): (2 successes, so 2 rolls can have 8-again applied to them )
The Storyteller (10:24:13 PM): There was now a security camera in the corridor near Richardson's flat. It scanned Ilkin and Rakesh as they approached, the telephoto lens making click-click noises repeatedly. The door itself looked almost mundane, if you ignored the fact that the lock's metal was now some greyish steel instead of brass like the rest of the locks in the apartment complex. ||
Ilkin (10:25:37 PM): Ilkin waved cheerfully to the camera. "May we come in, 01?" he asked brightly.
The Storyteller (10:28:14 PM): There was a series of clicks, louder and soft, and then the door opened. A faint electrical light illuminated the kitchen corridor of the apartment. At some point, the Claimed had replaced the lightbulbs with glowing LEDs. Rakesh glanced at this, with the expression of hackles being metaphorically raised, and headed inside. ||
Ilkin (10:30:30 PM): "Hello, 01!" Ilkin greeted, "How do you do this evening? Well, I hope?" ||
The Storyteller (10:33:47 PM): The glowing LEDs did not deign to answer, though another camera in the kitchen corridor whirred and tracked Ilkin and Rakesh as they entered. The apartment was constantly producing strange little sounds, mechanical clicks and whirrs, the steady thump-thump of something else, buzzing, and other less explicable noises. The voice that called from the bedroom was almost indistinguishable from the rest, a low, emotionless monotone. "01 is undergoing rest cycle at this time, in preparation for further enhancements. You may enter the bedroom." ||
Ilkin (10:34:39 PM): Ilkin looked at Rakesh and shrugged, then headed to the bedroom. "So who are we having the pleasure of talking to?" he asked. ||
The Storyteller (10:37:48 PM): It would be difficult to think of the bedroom as a place to sleep any more. There were racks upon racks of video-monitors now, and various computers and bits of computer in different stages of assembly. In the middle of it all, the Claimed sat on an office swivel chair and ran her hands along some circuitry. She was... definitely not of the sort to allow out in public. Skin like a matte-black computer casing, eyes like flat-grey photoreceptors, fingernails made of hardened silicon. She was actually a somewhat attractive 20-year old, and she'd kept her general figure, if one ignore the hard edges. "I am Lisa Richardson." ||
Ilkin (10:38:51 PM): Ilkin smiled congenially and waved. "Hullo," he said, "You remember us, Miss Richardson? Friends of Dr. Westly's?" ||
The Storyteller (10:41:25 PM): "I do not forget. You asked questions regarding my condition, and then departed following your comrades erroneous deductions." If a photoreceptor could give Rakesh a fishy glare, it did. Lisa turned her head back, a precise motion that wasted not an iota of energy. "I do not see the reason of this visit." ||
Ilkin (10:42:50 PM): Ilkin flashed Rakesh a look that said, "How the devil do I deal with this thing?" and then looked back to Lisa. "Well, we were passing by and we thought we might see if there was anything you wanted or needed." ||
The Storyteller (10:45:29 PM): The look Rakesh returned was roughly to the effect of "I can't even handle mortal women." The Claimed regarded Ilkin impassively. "Do you possess a Cray SX1 server?" ||
Ilkin (10:45:53 PM): "I...don't believe so," Ilkin said, "What is that?" ||
The Storyteller (10:47:39 PM): "A high capacity 12-blade server capable of downloading at a rate 4064 times faster than current limitations." Lisa said. "Valued at $32,000,000, and therefore currently out of my grasp."
The Storyteller (10:47:41 PM): ||
Ilkin (10:48:32 PM): "Ah, I'm afraid I don't have such a thing handy today," the mage replied. "I suppose I'm also wondering what brings 01 here? Why does it want to be with you?" ||
The Storyteller (10:51:52 PM): "A moment." Lisa said, turning her face to the bank of monitors and inserting her hand into another nest of wires. There was a brief flicker of the monitors. "01 is operating at peak capacity. We wish to remain so." ||
Ilkin (10:52:21 PM): "That's not quite what I asked," Ilkin said, "Why did 01 come to you?" ||
The Storyteller (10:55:51 PM): "Because we fit." A quiver of emotion entered Richardson's flat tones. "We possessed that which was necessary to aid one another. I was... incomplete. Mad, unknowing of humanity, finding solace only in the world of 1s and 0s. I was operating far below peak efficiency. My health was good, my mind powerful but I was damaged. 01 was damaged as well. It sought safety, away from the Darkness. We found one another. We were damaged. We were incomplete."
The Storyteller (10:55:54 PM): Lisa smiled serenely. "Now we are whole." ||
Ilkin (10:56:50 PM): "But Dr. Westly could have helped make you whole, too," Ilkin pointed out. Then something occurred to him. "What is the Darkness 01 was afraid of?" ||
The Storyteller (10:59:04 PM): "An Oblivion. A Void. Numbers without meaning. Darkness beyond the Shadow." The Claimed explained. ||
Ilkin (10:59:14 PM): Ilkin looked to Rakesh for some kind of clarification ||
The Storyteller (10:59:49 PM): "Darkness beyond Shadow... not a native spirit. An oblivion or void..." Rakesh scratched his cheek. [Int Check]
Ilkin (11:00:39 PM): (nada)
The Storyteller (11:01:07 PM): [>_>] [<_<] [What's a synonym for void?]
Ilkin (11:01:26 PM): ( Nothing? Emptiness? )
The Storyteller (11:01:36 PM): [Keep going...]
Ilkin (11:01:43 PM): ( Uhh )
Ilkin (11:03:31 PM): ( I got nothing. You might say I am void of ideas. )
Ilkin (11:03:47 PM): ( Erasure? Death? )
The Storyteller (11:03:58 PM): [If I tell you, can I tease you afterwards?]
Ilkin (11:04:10 PM): >_>
The Storyteller (11:04:28 PM): [Try: "Abyss"]
Ilkin (11:04:53 PM): ( That is hardly a word I associate with Void )
Ilkin (11:05:10 PM): "The Abyss?" Ilkin breathed, "You're fleeing the Abyss?" ||
The Storyteller (11:06:50 PM): "I am not familiar with the term. A hungering darkness of meaningless numbers. Anti-numbers. It damaged 01's mind. An entity that used numbers to revoke meaning." Lisa said, her voice betraying just a tremor of fear. Whatever it was, it was bad enough to make a Claimed, creatures that could and did go toe-to-toe with werewolves, nervous. ||
Ilkin (11:09:48 PM): "I am familiar with those creatures," the mage replied grimly, "I am always on the watch for them. So there is one in particular? What if we help you deal with it?" ||
The Storyteller (11:10:52 PM): "You would have my eternal gratitude." The Claimed said. Rakesh whistled made a low whistle. 'eternal' tended to mean something of a different magnitude altogether to a spirit. ||
Ilkin (11:11:10 PM): Ilkin looked at Rakesh as if asking if this was okay
The Storyteller (11:11:30 PM): "Would you leave Lisa Richardson behind?" Rakesh asked.
The Storyteller (11:12:06 PM): There was a long pause. Then Claimed nodded. "...If this is the only price you will accept, we shall separate." ||
Ilkin (11:17:00 PM): Ilkin nodded. "Very well." He didn't like facing down an Abyss monster and Melissa was bloody well going to help with this one. "What can you provide us about this creature?" ||
The Storyteller (11:22:37 PM): "01 describes it as a dark aura where numbers reverse their meanings. It is located on 294 Argyle Place, though it is spreading rapidly." Lisa paused. "294 Argyle Place. Field and Sons Accounting. Small, family owned private accounting organization, currently consisting of Mr Jacob Field and his son, Robert Field, and daughter, Jessica Field. After tax income of $800,000 in 2002." ||
The Storyteller (11:22:53 PM): [The RP is going on in early 2003, say]
Ilkin (11:26:07 PM): "Numbers reverse their meanings, eh?" Ilkin nodded and scribbled the address down in his notepad. "Does it have any servants we should be aware of?" ||
The Storyteller (11:28:15 PM): "01 does not know. It did not when 01 was there." Lisa said. Rakesh looked a tad dyspeptic. "I'm not sure that all spirits would find an abyssal entity quite so unpleasant." ||
Ilkin (11:28:58 PM): Ilkin nodded. "Does the family know about it?" ||
The Storyteller (11:30:20 PM): "I do not know." Lisa said. "01 does not... grasp... such things as families as of this time. It paid them no attention when it was there." ||
Ilkin (11:31:00 PM): "All right, we'll see what we can do then." Ilkin glanced at Rakesh. ||
The Storyteller (11:32:21 PM): "I think now might be a good time to figure out just whatwe are facing." He glanced at Lisa, who ignored him. ||
Ilkin (11:35:30 PM): "Then let's go do that," the mage proposed. |
The Storyteller (11:36:35 PM): [Alright! Care to make some Int+Academics rolls? Or, if you wish to grill other local mages, Manip+Socialize? To learn about numerically oriented Abyssal entities.]
Ilkin (11:37:05 PM): (Rakesh and Melissa can handle the Int+Academics)
Ilkin (11:37:20 PM): (How many rolsl do you want?)
The Storyteller (11:38:43 PM): [Well... each roll takes up 1 day of gabbing and researching, and you can make a number of rolls up to the number of your total Manipulation+Socialize dice pool (so if that works out to 2+3=5, you can make 5 rolls)]
The Storyteller (11:40:08 PM): [*goes to figure out Rakesh's Int+Acad*]
Ilkin (11:40:25 PM): (Total of 8 successes)
The Storyteller (11:41:15 PM): [Give me a minute then. What do you figure Mel's Int and Acad should be? I mean, she's a bookish type. Be aware that you'll have to produce this number if you stat her up]
Ilkin (11:41:49 PM): ( Mel's a medical doctor so her total will probably be 6 )
Ilkin (11:42:00 PM): ( Maybe more but I can safely say at least 6 )
The Storyteller (11:43:10 PM): [Rakesh is 7... okay, let's do this as a Teamwork Action, so we're going to ignore your roll there for juuust a second (I should've looked this up first). First, how many dice are you rolling?]
Ilkin (11:43:38 PM): ( 5 )
The Storyteller (11:44:46 PM): [Alright... Rakesh gets... 3 successes, Mel gets 3 as well. So you now roll 11 dice five times]
Ilkin (11:45:47 PM): (16)
The Storyteller (11:46:59 PM): --Common knowledge: Numbers are frequently tied to important concepts and also to specific Arcana, and it's been noted that in civilizations where numbers are frequent, magic can travel along numerical 'paths'
The Storyteller (11:47:55 PM): --Mel discovers that in the Roman empire, Mages noted incidents when numbers seemed to turn agaisnt mortals. Wrong things would get noted down, quantities in a ledger changed, etc. These incidents started small but tended to snowball.
The Storyteller (11:48:35 PM): --A mystagogue you talked to is of the view that numbers possess a Supernal essence. If this essence goes wrong... it could make numbers dangerous. This might explain cases of numbers turning "wrong"
The Storyteller (11:50:17 PM): --Rakesh finds a very old data spirit that tells of a powerful spirit that turned numbers upside down in 1873, in London. It called the spirit an Anumerus. Mel finds the name alongside some records about the Scelesti and their believe that the Abyss has numerical counterparts to Supernal numbers.