Just Like Clockwork: Scene II/VI -- Rose, Ilkin, Erin, Caelan, Rakesh

Ilkin chuckled.

"They're filming a low-budget movie here," Ilkin explained, "That fellow was one of the security guards. You don't look like one of the staff. What brings you by this place?"

"You don't look like one of the staff. What brings you by this place?"

Rose smiled to herself. She was standing in a gaudy room with a gaudy cult robe staring at a mechanical brain but she didn't look like a member of staff. That didn't bode well for what she did look like. "So much for blending in." she muttered to her Geist.

Last time she had been asked what she was doing she lied stupidly to no avail and she didn't much think it really mattered to try it again. "You know, the usual. Cryptic messages in the newspaper and a passion for the arts or whatever these things are." she motioned her hand to the mechanical brain to imply it but it came off way more that she was trying to ignore the mechanical wonder and brush it aside.

Gege was shuffling his fingers which always, ALWAYS creeped her out. She never quite figured out how he did it and frankly, she hoped never to find out. He was curious, about the guy, about the movie, about the building, maybe he still wanted to know about that thread? Rose had no idea for sure what was peeking his interest since the two of them didn't share minds, there was only the feeling, a slight tinge of excitement and curiosity behind her minds eye.

Erin & the Dog

Originally Posted by Erin
"Do you think one of us should follow him?" she whispered after a moment's thought, her feelers waving towards the passageway that Aleksander had walked down.
The dog considered this suggestion briefly, then nodded. Which was really far more anthropomorphic than any four-footed canine had any right to be, but that was a relatively minor concern by this stage. The hulking German Shepherd nudged Erin with it's head, towards the room, while the dog itself turned to follow Aleksander down the hall.

The dog didn't get more than a step or two before it stopped, ears perking. Very slowly, the hound turned around, gazing down the other hallway. This was because there was a glow coming from it, an ephemeral sort of green-white glow, faint, but quite noticeable. And quite otherworldly.

The glow began to coalesce, and in a moment, Erin and the dog could make out just who -- or what -- was inside it.

Ilkin & Rose

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tick. Tock. Tock. Tick. Tick. Tock. Tock.

All the while, the mechanical brain kept ticking, the numerous gears shifting along in strange and unknowable patterns. It didn't seem to do anything else, just whirred along like the engine of some children's toy. Except...

The ticking now seemed doubled. Or not even that, precisely. It seemed echoed. Tick-tick. Tock-tock. One of the sets of sounds was coming from the machine-brain in the container. The other was echoing from somewhere outside the Curio Room.

You suddenly felt cold. The temperature in the room must have dropped twenty degrees.

Erin & the Dog

The glow died down, now. It was just a corona of pale light, extending a few inches past her flesh. She was very tall, past six feet easily, and rail-thin. Perhaps forty-five years of age, perhaps even a little younger. She was dressed in the clothing of another age, a plain dress of undyed cloth. An apron covered it, stained and spotted with unidentifiable fluids. Her face had an aquiline, noble aspect to it, but it was somehow utterly impassive. Not a flicker of emotion, nothing. Her eyes were made of metal and glass, the ends of microscopes with those tiny ground glass lenses, set in those flat circles of shining brass.

She ticked. Tick-tock, like a clock. It comes from her brain the top of her head was missing, the flesh at the edges of the open skull above her ears sealed with narrow bands of riveted brass, and there was clockwork brain an exact copy of the Schafer Movement on display in the open air, working in her head.

Where she stood, the Museum began to change. It began as a kind of pale wave of green-white light, but everything it touched became different. Subtly in some places, the wooden parquet changing texture, less so in others. A wall appeared behind her, stone and wood, with a window set high in the wall. Some of the doors disappeared, others changed. The examples of machinery from the Industrial revolution changed as well, becoming tables full of books, or strange assemblies of chemicals. A collection of prosthetic limbs. A human head in a jar of formaldehyde. Other, less readily identifiable things, all old, all worn with use or stained with chemicals.

The glowing woman gazed at where Erin and the dog were hidden, her movements precise as a metronome. A moment passed, and she turned her metallic gaze to the entrance of the Curio Room. With exactly measured steps, she strode forward, the Museum changing before her, into some bizarre basement from the past.

J. Ilkin Aylesworth - I
Defense 3, Armor 0/0, Health 0B/0L/0A/7H
C3/S2/R2, Gnosis 3

Erin Lamothe - E
Defense 2, Armor 0/0, Health 0B/0L/0A/7H
C3/S2/R2, Wyrd 3

"Rose" AKA Lily Ward - R
(Kiwi, can you email/IM me your character sheet again? I seem to have misplaced it.)

Friendly NPCs
Rakesh Morgan (Urhan Form) - Ra
Defense 4, Armor 0/0, Health 0B/0L/0A/8H
C3/S4/R4, Primal Urge 3

Less Friendly NPCs
"Glowing Lady" - G
Defense 6, Armor 4/4, Health 0B/0L/0A/9H

Bloody hell.

Ilkin felt the hairs on the back of his neck raise again and he backed up. Kertenkele scurried into some hiding place.

The Mage glanced sidelong at Rose. There was something about her that set off his Mage-sense, but it could be something she's unaware of. He figured he'd better not risk openly using magic until he was certain.

So he weaved one of his favorite spells around him. The strands of Fate wrapped around him and protected him like armor.

Then the Mage began slowly stepping back while he reached for his gun.

"Oh shit..." Rose moaned as the hairs on her arm stood up "Are you happy now?" she stared at the door pursing her lips. Closing her eyes she got a better view of Gege and noticed he wasn't interested in the door, instead he was still staring at the man backing up in front of them.

Frustration raised her voice to a normal level and not just a muttering. "Are you serious?" her left arm was starting to get itchy "oh, come on..." she opened her eyes and placed both her hands on her hips in a classical bitch pose. "You have your playmate coming and you don't even seem to CARE?" she paused for dramatic affect before continuing. "We came here for a ghost not so you could suddenly express your interest in men and come out of the closet!" she paused again waiting for some form of response from her undead companion and got nothing "UGH!" she stomped a foot slightly in frustration "If you don't get your act together I'm so going to make you watch Sister Act 2 when we get home... TWICE!" Gege hated movies, why watch something when you could be doing something, and boring movies only made him more twitchy. Still no change from her Gambling counterpart.

Rose did not deal well when doom loomed on the horizon, it tended to make her a bit irritable and the damnable ticking was NOT helping!

"Seriously..." scrunching up her face so that she was squinting angrily at the newcomer, she had no idea why he would be more interesting then the unknown horrible dead menace that was soon to come visit. If she was going to face an undead she wasnt about to do it in this constricting hidiouse outfit so with one fluid movement she gripped the bottom of the robe and wiggle pealed out of it tossing the thing somewhere behind her with flare. Rose combed her bangs out a bit and tightened her pony tail before tugging her sweater jacket into a less wrinkled order. "This sucks..."

Plus side to being a stripper, you were always really fast at changing cloths!

"Oh... we found the murderer, doggie," Erin said, her fingers curling backwards from where she sat hiding in the hallway. "I think... I think you should go get the police."

The brain... the brain was on, the ghost arrived, the brain is the on-switch. Erin scuttled into the room, short woman in a turtleneck and a brown coat, her brown hair cut boyishly close to her head. She hugged her lamp to her like a child hugged a toy, trying to look for all the world like she was below notice. To the man, she knew she could not - that he would see her yellow skin, mottled and vaguely shimmering; her solid white eyes, like a marble statues; the feathered feelers springing from her hair; her twisted fingers, like boneless, fleshy vines. To the woman, she was an unremarkable, boyish, brown-eyed woman... who was running into a room ahead of a mechanical ghost. Erin flinched. She hated attention, but this was important.

"I, I think it's been summoned to kill you, miss!" she said breathlessly, ducking low and letting the lamp slide from her fingers. The UV lamp rolled across the floor, the pale purple light illuminating the bloodstains in the center of the room. "It's already killed three others!"

Tick. Tock.

The world around her was shifting, but to Erin, she was standing back in the workshop, the wonders of a thousand ages whirring around her. She let her hands settle just above the clockwork brain. It was not so different, she supposed, from the Mistress' toys - fascinating, beautiful, and utterly deadly.

"Tell me how you work," she murmured, her feathery feelers tapping at the clockwork brain, the constant curling of her fingers betraying her anxiety. "Tell me who you are..."

PC Actions:
Ilkin draws his gun and activates Fortune's Protection.
Rose slips into something more comfortable.
Erin uses Instant Expertise on the brain.

The hound gazed at the glowing woman for all of a second, before utterly ignoring Erin's command in favor of a more direct approach. The German Shepherd dashed into the room after Erin, but even as the dog did so, it changed. This was not a pretty kind of change. Flesh ran like putty, bones popped silently, and very briefly one could see red muscle where the skin and fur hadn't changed fast enough to keep up.

What entered the Curio Room a few steps after Erin looked a little like a German Shepherd. It also bore a significant resemblance to a brown bear, in the sense that it was huge. It's shoulders came up almost to Erin's own shoulders, and it was a good six feet from head to tail. Thickly knotted muscle bulged beneath fur, and the shortened muzzle bore a set of teeth a shark would be envious of.

The hound-bear skidded to a halt between the three people and the door, a low-pitched growl emerging from it's throat. It vibrated in your bones, that sound.

The clockwork ghost, however, did not have bones. She entered the room, ticking gently, and stopped in the threshhold of the room. Silhoetted so in the doorframe, well illuminated for the moment one could see for just a moment how utterly wrong this being was. The ghost glowed with an unsettling, green-white light, even and constant, but this was perhaps the least unwholesome thing about her.

Her brass eyes took in the scene before her, the three humans and the beast, and there was no emotion in her face. It was like looking into the face of a corpse, like what was indeed left behind when you sawed off half the skull and replaced the brain with some clockwork thing of brass gears and gleaming clockwork.

The clockwork ghost reached into a pocket of her spotted apron, the movement made precisely, without a whit of wasted energy. She withdrew a length of metal, exactly 30 centimeters long, cold steel and half-rusted, likewise speckled with unmentionable stains. The glowing woman zig-zagged the steel baton in a complicated fashion before her.

They rose from the floor, clockwork pincers made of brass and wrought iron. Neat as a surgeon, they clamped about each ankle and each wrist, making not a sound as they did so. They hurt, for it wasn't gently that they immobilized you, but with a grip like a vise. Loops of wire lashed about your waists, and a band of cloth covered your mouths. Then all went taut, holding you where you stood. Mute, unable to move your hands or legs. Helpless.

The clockwork ghost observed this, then twitched the steel baton again. The wave of light at her feet surged forward, turning the Curio Room into some mid-19th-century basemen, part-clockmaker's workshop, part butcher's abattoir. Blood and other fluids stained the dirt floors, and racks of surgical instruments appeared along the walls alongside jars of formaldehyde. The crowning achievement manifested in the center of the room, a long object, halfway between a surgical table and a vivisectionist's slab, stained wood and a pillow for the head. It had restraints, long leather straps to keep someone still.

It was at this point that Caelan arrived. She saw little, but she saw enough. The museum turned into some nightmarish laboratory. A woman illuminated with green-white light, standing in the threshold of the Curio Room, or what had been the Curio Room only very recently. The woman's head was sawed in half, a clockwork brain replacing one of flesh and blood. This was the source of the ticking sound.

Caelan could hear Rakesh growling. It was not a sound that could be mistaken for anything else. A low, rumbling sound that shook you to the bone and reverberated in the back of your head. Rakesh was here, and he was threatening someone or something. It did not take many tries to guess whom the werewolf was threatening.

J. Ilkin Aylesworth - I - Manacled
Defense 3, Armor 3/3, Health 0B/0L/0A/7H
C3/S2/R2, Gnosis 3

Erin Lamothe - E - Manacled
Defense 2, Armor 0/0, Health 0B/0L/0A/7H
C3/S2/R2, Wyrd 3

"Rose" AKA Lily Ward - R - Manacled
Defense 2, Armor 0/0 Health 0B/0L/0A/7H
C3/S3/R2, Psyche 2

Caelan Brennan - C
Defense 4, Armor 1/0, 0B/0L/0A/7H
C2/S2/R2, Blood Potency 2

Friendly NPCs
Rakesh Morgan (Urshul Form) - Ra - Manacled
Defense 4, Armor 0/0, Health 0B/0L/0A/11H
C3/S4/R4, Primal Urge 3

Less Friendly NPCs
The Clockwork Ghost - G
Defense 6, Armor 4/4, Health 0B/0L/0A/9H

Illusion or reality...?
Dice Roll: 5d10s8e
d10 Results: 6, 7, 8, 8, 1 (Total Successes = 2)

Dice Roll: 7d10s8e
d10 Results: 3, 1, 9, 7, 6, 10, 2, 5 (Total Successes = 2)
Dice Roll: 5d10s8e
d10 Results: 4, 4, 2, 8, 5 (Total Successes = 1)
Dice Roll: 8d10s8e
d10 Results: 3, 5, 3, 5, 7, 9, 6, 7 (Total Successes = 1)

Ilkin flops around like a retard because he can't roll a damn check to save his life. TWO SUCCESSES, DICE. WAS THAT REALLY SO DAMN MUCH TO ASK?

These weren't chains. Erin had felt real chains, many times, and she knew how they would cut into your flesh. She jerked and twisted at the touch, feeling vaguely violated, biting back angry tears.

"The bonds aren't real," she tired to explain to the others, "It's something in your mind." But it was hard to sound convincing when you were trembling, and she doubted either of them were listening.


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