Notices


Prologue: Investigative Reporting, Scene III (Underwood, Erin)

   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Lamothe
"Careful, now, you'll ruin his eyes. When is your birthday, Sparky?"
Sparky turned around to look at Erin, then obligingly beeped, scuttling back up to Underwood’s shoulder and making a noise that was probably an answer to her question, if one spoke phone. The reporter translated.

“His birthday—”

beep!

“Sorry: his sentience day is June 18th. Don’t know when he was manufactured, but word is his model number isn’t set to come out until this spring – we think he’s a prototype. Raises more questions than it answers, but there you go.”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Lamothe
"Thank you. You're nice too."
Underwood grinned. “Thanks, kiddo.”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Lamothe
"He sounds like a nice man to meet."
“Sure is! He’s a Cambridge guy from way back, too, so he spends a lot of time over here – when he’s back in town, I’ll introduce you guys. But hey, you know the Jack pretty well, seemed like. Two of you get along, I guess?”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Lamothe
The look Underwood got from Erin said she wasn't going to ask it, but she had no idea whatsoever either.
“Come on, Ronald Colman? Prisoner of Zenda Ronald Colman? Jack Benny’s neighbor Ronald Colman? Nothing?” Underwood looked back and forth between them, then sighed, rubbing his forehead. “Sorry. I always do this – need better references, is what. More current. Colman’s a British actor, upper class; did film and radio back in my day. Heck of a voice.”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Lamothe
"That was all Mr. Othello's doing. I just got caught up in the joke. I don't know if there's a phrase for that."
“Riiiiiight.” Underwood nodded, smirking. “And I never conned a team of Staten Island loyalists out of their shirts in a back-alley craps game. How about neither of us talks about what we didn’t do, okay?”

No successes to watch!

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Whistler View Post
“Sorry: his sentience day is June 18th. Don’t know when he was manufactured, but word is his model number isn’t set to come out until this spring – we think he’s a prototype. Raises more questions than it answers, but there you go.”
"Hey, you're a Gemini! I am too," Erin informed the little phone. "My birthday is two days after your... sentience day. Fancy that, huh? Have you ever had a birthday party before?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Whistler View Post
“But hey, you know the Jack pretty well, seemed like. Two of you get along, I guess?”
Erin tilted her head to the side. "I... actually haven't known him that long. I just don't think he's that bad, is all. He's a friend."

"I think he could use more friends. What can I say, I am Spring, yes? It is my job to ruin everyone's fun by making them happy."

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Whistler View Post
“Riiiiiight.” Underwood nodded, smirking. “And I never conned a team of Staten Island loyalists out of their shirts in a back-alley craps game. How about neither of us talks about what we didn’t do, okay?”
"I'm trying not to!" Erin grumbled. "But someone keeps bringing it up!"

She turned a rather dismal look on her fiance, half adorably-annoyed, half horribly pouty. "Meeeaaaniiieeeeee...."

Dice Roll: 7d10s8e
d10 Results: 1, 5, 10, 6, 9, 3, 4, 10, 7 (Total Successes = 3)
watchin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Underwood
“Sure is! He’s a Cambridge guy from way back, too, so he spends a lot of time over here – when he’s back in town, I’ll introduce you guys. But hey, you know the Jack pretty well, seemed like. Two of you get along, I guess?”
"My angel has a trick to being friends with the strangest of people." Sergei gave Erin a long-suffering look. "Myself included, I suppose."

At the very least, Sergei was aware of the latent hypocrisy of worrying about Erin's scary friends when he himself was a former Russian Mafiya hitman.

"But you have not met the Professor yet." Sergei said. "Or Mary Mack."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin
"I'm trying not to! But someone keeps bringing it up! Meeeaaaniiieeeeee...."
"Guilty." Sergei said. "But it is such a fun story."

"And I think they did the right thing." The lanky Russian leaned in, placing a kiss atop Erin's forehead. His smile was absolutely radiant. "You do not get enough credit for the wonders that you do. So you will keep giving me furniture, and I will sing your praises to every passing stranger, that all may know what a wondrous angel I have caught."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Lamothe
"My birthday is two days after your... sentience day. Fancy that, huh? Have you ever had a birthday party before?"
The phone made a movement that was unmistakably shaking his head – or shaking his whole body on top of his legs, either way. The noises he was making clearly indicated his interest in the idea, though.

Underwood chuckled. “Little guy’s less than a year old! I figure I get together a little shindig when he turns one – he likes a party.”

To hammer this point home, Sparky had been alternating between a “!” and a party hat icon for the past several seconds.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Morozov
"My angel has a trick to being friends with the strangest of people. Myself included, I suppose."
“Hey, come to that, I figure you go on stakeout with someone, you count as acquaintance-level – and I’m a strange kinda guy, too. Comes with the territory.”

Underwood leaned back, checking the night-vision goggles briefly. “Come to think of it, if things don’t go south tonight, this might just be the most entertaining stakeout I’ve done. Even if they do go south, actually. Never got the chance to sock a vampire in the jaw before.”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Morozov
"But you have not met the Professor yet. Or Mary Mack."
“No, no I have not.” Underwood was curious. “Got a rundown?”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Morozov
"You do not get enough credit for the wonders that you do. So you will keep giving me furniture, and I will sing your praises to every passing stranger, that all may know what a wondrous angel I have caught."
“Wait, wait, wait. Furniture?” There was a story here, too.

One success to watch!

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Whistler View Post
Underwood chuckled. “Little guy’s less than a year old! I figure I get together a little shindig when he turns one – he likes a party.”
"Aww... your first party," Erin cooed over the phone. "Got any ideas of what you'd like to do? Presents you'd like?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Whistler View Post
“No, no I have not.” Underwood was curious. “Got a rundown?”
"Mary stays at my restaurant sometimes. She is a... troubled young lady, who had ill circumstances thrust upon her. Beyond that, I shall refrain from explaining, out of consideration. Perhaps you may find her there and talk to her, if you visit," Erin sighed.

"The professor I do not think you will ever meet."

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Whistler View Post
“Wait, wait, wait. Furniture?” There was a story here, too.
Erin stayed silent, leaning over to flop on Sergei's chest. She was heavily torn. She was proud of Sergei for showing initiative and standing up to her, and managing to stump her to boot. She was also very sourly eating her just desserts. So she stayed silent. If he wanted to bring up the furniture, he could tell the story.

Dice Roll: 9d10s8e
d10 Results: 3, 5, 3, 8, 5, 3, 9, 6, 1 (Total Successes = 2)
omen

Dice Roll: 11s10s8e
d Results:
verdant spring for storytelling
Dice Roll: 11s10s8e
d Results:


Dice Roll: 7d10s8e
d10 Results: 9, 10, 6, 3, 3, 10, 7, 10, 3, 4 (Total Successes = 4)
watching

Dice Roll: 11d10s8e
d10 Results: 6, 6, 6, 6, 1, 7, 3, 2, 7, 2, 9 (Total Successes = 1)
verdant spring for storytelling because I screwed up the code
Dice Roll: 11d10s8e
d10 Results: 9, 3, 2, 7, 1, 1, 5, 4, 2, 1, 1 (Total Successes = 1)
omen

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin
"Mary stays at my restaurant sometimes. She is a... troubled young lady, who had ill circumstances thrust upon her. Beyond that, I shall refrain from explaining, out of consideration. Perhaps you may find her there and talk to her, if you visit."
"She frightens me." Sergei said, his voice very quiet. Given that he was a veteran of the Battle of Grozny, a former made man in the Russian Mafiya, and hung around with a demon lord for a while, this spoke volumes.

Quote:
“Come to think of it, if things don’t go south tonight, this might just be the most entertaining stakeout I’ve done. Even if they do go south, actually. Never got the chance to sock a vampire in the jaw before.”
"I have never done this either. I do not actually recommend it." Sergei said. He considered the (admittedly very limited) sample of vampires he knew. "There is a one in two chance they will take your arm, rip it off, and beat you to death with it."

"Never close with a supernatural monster. Never." Sergei said firmly. He patted the rifle near him. "They are with few exceptions stronger, faster, and can take more punishment than a mortal -- or most of the Lost -- can. But fast as they are, bullets are faster. Especially the silver or white-phosphorus bullets."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Underwood
“Wait, wait, wait. Furniture?”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin
Erin stayed silent, leaning over to flop on Sergei's chest. She was heavily torn. She was proud of Sergei for showing initiative and standing up to her, and managing to stump her to boot. She was also very sourly eating her just desserts. So she stayed silent. If he wanted to bring up the furniture, he could tell the story.
"It is a little pet argument of ours." Sergei reached out to ruffle Erin's hair. Alas, there were no fuzzy antennae to play with. "I love her dearly, more than life itself, and know that she is the same. But my angel insists on giving me gifts to demonstrate her love. Very large and expensive gifts."

"I once caught her sneaking a jacuzzi into my house." Sergei said, forbearing to mention how he'd distracted Erin from further furniture later. "I must be ever vigilant, else I'll end up with Buckingham Palace one of these days -- that is not a suggestion." He said firmly, and then kissed Erin to distract her from any unfortunate ideas about palaces.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Lamothe
"Aww... your first party. Got any ideas of what you'd like to do? Presents you'd like?"
Sparky meditated on this question for a couple of seconds, a “…” icon going from one to three dots on his screen. Then:



Underwood nodded, and translated. “Says he could use a factory-standard charger – he’s a prototype, right, so it's not going to be out ‘til this spring. We’ve jerry-rigged a replacement, and he draws power just fine, but nothing beats the real deal.”



“Oh, and ringtones. He says…aww, he says now he’s making more friends who don’t speak phone, he wants to be more expressive.” Underwood smiled, patting Sparky on the top of his casing. “Yeah, little buddy. Getting more popular by the hour, aren’tcha.”

Another beep, quite happy. “He says thank you for asking, and otherwise surprise him, ‘cause he likes surprises. Little gambler, this guy.”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Morozov
"I have never done this either. I do not actually recommend it. There is a one in two chance they will take your arm, rip it off, and beat you to death with it."
Underwood gave a rueful look. “Reminds me of old times.”

He did not elaborate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Morozov
"Never close with a supernatural monster. Never. They are with few exceptions stronger, faster, and can take more punishment than a mortal -- or most of the Lost -- can. But fast as they are, bullets are faster. Especially the silver or white-phosphorus bullets."
A low whistle. Underwood looked impressed, if not exactly heartened, by this report. “Well, that lets me out. Shouldn’t be telling this to a guy carries a rifle, but I can’t shoot to save my maiden aunt. I was a civvie reporter back in the war – we didn’t pack heat – and ever since I got out…”

He leaned in, conspiratorially. “…Well, pardon my French, but Roscoe and company aren’t exactly a walk in the park to get along with. Nichevo, vse horosho.

This last sentence was spoken in fluent if Yiddish-accented Russian, and appeared to be directed at Sergei’s Dragunov SVD.



Underwood leaned back again, rolling his neck slightly as if to get the kinks out. “Our Summer boys do a good racket in hand-to-hand, though – and Lord knows I’ve seen more barroom dustups than I got any right. This old chassis isn’t a picnic to live in, but it’s got a couple tricks up its sleeve.”

He nodded once, confident. “Anyway. You throw me something says ‘ow’ when you kick it, I’ll do okay.”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Morozov
“I once caught her sneaking a jacuzzi into my house. I must be ever vigilant, else I'll end up with Buckingham Palace one of these days -- that is not a suggestion."
“Aww.” The reporter smiled. “You hold onto that one, mac. She’s a keeper.”

3 Successes to Watch!

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Whistler View Post
Another beep, quite happy. “He says thank you for asking, and otherwise surprise him, ‘cause he likes surprises. Little gambler, this guy.”
"Hee. Alright. I won't tell you what I'm thinking of, then," Erin informed the phone, stroking the phone gently with a single finger. She winked at Sparky. "And if you ever want to be gold plated, well, I can give special rates. It is your very first almost-birthday, after all."

Her smile faded away as she continued to stroke the phone, staring off distantly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Whistler View Post
He leaned in, conspiratorially. “…Well, pardon my French, but Roscoe and company aren’t exactly a walk in the park to get along with. Nichevo, vse horosho.
"Roscoe and company...?" Erin asked, not sure if she'd missed the reference because it was 70 years out of date, or missed it because she was genuinely ignorant.

She did reach over to pat the SVD. It was, in the end, Sergei's gun, but it'd stood by her side on occasion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoTiamat View Post
"I must be ever vigilant, else I'll end up with Buckingham Palace one of these days -- that is not a suggestion." He said firmly, and then kissed Erin to distract her from any unfortunate ideas about palaces.
"But you always have the best not-suggestions..." Erin mumbled in protest, letting herself be swept up into his kiss. It was, by modern standards, not terribly risque. But it was, by any standards, a very serious kiss. She pulled Sergei in against her, hearts and souls and all, until it finally ended. "There," she said, kissing him quickly again on the nose.

Of course, the cherry flower woman in the van looked very little like Erin herself. It had to be an experience, being with a shapeshifter.

Dice Roll: 7d10s8e
d10 Results: 8, 9, 2, 1, 10, 8, 5, 4 (Total Successes = 4)
watching

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Lamothe
"Hee. Alright. I won't tell you what I'm thinking of, then," Erin informed the phone, stroking the phone gently with a single finger. She winked at Sparky. "And if you ever want to be gold plated, well, I can give special rates. It is your very first almost-birthday, after all."
Sparky leaned into it, peeping contentedly. The reporter smiled. "We'll talk."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Lamothe
"Roscoe and company...?"
Come on, Roscoe? Rod; piece; convincer; equalizer? Chicago typewriter? A firearm." Underwood grinned ironically. "It's like people don't even speak English anymore."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Underwood
“Anyway. You throw me something says ‘ow’ when you kick it, I’ll do okay.”
"You have not seen Mary Mack or Mr. Morgan in a fight." Sergei said with melancholy pride. For a mortal, Sergei had seen more than most of the things that went bump in the night, and he had few illusions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Underwood
“Aww.” The reporter smiled. “You hold onto that one, mac. She’s a keeper.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin
"There," she said, kissing him quickly again on the nose"
"I rather like it like this, yes." Sergei agreed, slipping an arm around Erin's waist. He grinned over at Underwood, and winked. "I'm not planning to let go. I don't know how I got her in the very first place, but I know when I have gotten my hands on more than I deserve."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Underwood
"Come on, Roscoe? Rod; piece; convincer; equalizer? Chicago typewriter? A firearm." Underwood grinned ironically. "It's like people don't even speak English anymore."
"They did not have it in the polytechnical." Sergei said plaintively. He glanced at Erin, trying to figure out if it was just him that was having a problem with Underwood's language, or if Erin was similarly perplexed. But then he spotted something else. "...They're coming out."

And indeed they were. Othello was the first out, a prim-and-proper man with the ears of a cat and oddly-colored skin. He stepped out of the doors of St. Paul's Cathedral, looking about every which way, and then turned right around and opened the door again. It was into the Hedge, and he was gone.

That was the sign. The deal had gone well, and now it was time to pack in and depart.




 

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