[December 2059] H2Ostage Situation (Solo: Grendel)   Posted by Mr. Johnson.Group: 0
 player, 23 posts
Mon 3 Feb 2020
at 05:05
Re: Prelude: Grendel
Grendel listened, he talked as well, but for the most part, he listened and learned and thought.

His train of thought generally ran along two lines, the existential, and the temporal.

The existential one wondered at the sixth world itself. Here they were, out in the mountains, hunting a wild beast as part of a coming of age ritual. It was about as ancient a practice as things could get, yet, were they hiding in a way? By mimicking ancient rituals were they not in some way advocating for a way of life long considered dead in most parts of the world?

In an age when data, guns, ware, and NuYen ruled the day where did his people fit in? Did they have a future of their own? out there in the real world? Or were they destined to go the way of the Neaderthal, stronger, tougher, but slowly edged out into the extinction.

The temporal one said it didn't matter. He had been born who he was, and he needed to make a living. So what if he would never be some drek hot programmer, or some corporate middle management. Sure some token Trolls would work their way into celebrity, or politics, but they had been stereotyped for a reason. People did not want to hear his thoughts on sustainable ecology, they wanted to see him punch people in the face, or get punched in the face in turn.

They wanted to experience his size and his strength vicariously, or failing that, they wanted to use it to keep themselves safe or to go after people they didn't like. That's what he was hearing. It was kind of depressing, but it was the truth.

Warhawk could make as much NuYen in a day as Grendel could in a month of packing fish or picking strawberries under the table as a SINLess laborer. A fat stick could buy the Clan real tangible benefits, it could repair a vehicle or add a new one to the fleet. It could pay for arms and ammunition, food, clothing, fuel, or, well, for medical care.

But is that who he wanted to be? Did it really matter what he wanted? His father did not want to be down south away from his family putting in sixteen hour days in the fields. Just as he was sure that his mother did not want to spend her days babysitting kids in a run down bus. They did what they had to do, for themselves as well as their family and Clan.

And they were both getting older, and they would need care themselves some day...

"Yeah..." Grendel agreed after he had taken a swig from the proffered bottle and handed it back over the glowing embers. "You're right, I mean, of course your right, but..." he sighed. "What I'm tryin' to say is, I'd appreciate that, a lot. You putting in a good word, maybe teaching me a thing or two about throwin' down so I don't get my ass handed to me. It'd be good." He agreed, and nodded a few times as he stared into the fire.

And it would be, he told himself, if he could just swallow his pride and fill up a stick or two.

Eventually he crawled into his bag and drifted off, buzzed and staring up at the blanket of stars swirling above them. It would be an early morning, and some way, some how, he had to kill this thing. He took a lot of comfort in knowing that he was packing some Ware now, it bolstered his confidence, and it made him feel dangerous in a way that he had never experienced before.

This message was last edited by the player at 05:06, Mon 03 Feb 2020.

Mr. Johnson
 GM, 65 posts
Thu 6 Feb 2020
at 18:25
Re: Prelude: Grendel
With the sickly sweet taste of last night's hurlg chasing away dreams of fat cred sticks you begin to rouse and ready yourself for another day on the mountain.  Watching coffee come to a boil over the resurrected embers of last night's fire, you have a few moments to contemplate the fine line between being a survivor and a sell-out, but soon there is no time for introspection.

It's a misty mountain morning.  Low lying cloud has the peak socked in.  The forest is suffocating in the grey, wet, cool embrace.  A rarity this time of year, the summer sun is obscured, glowing weakly behind the heavy clouds.  It's prefect weather for hunting peryton, they'll be grounded by the cloud and you can catch them in the roost.

Forging on into the summer nesting ground, with a hunter's eye you begin to take notice of the details of your surroundings.  Fresh spoor. Grass beat down where a buck must have rested for the night.  Bones of small game picked clean by the omnivorous flying deer.  Somewhere in the mist you can hear the animals grunting, antlers rattling, signs that there maybe a couple of bucks are up ahead.

Although this part of Grendel's story takes place in the past (and clearly he passed the blooding and went on to his trial), we'll play out the combat using Sixth World mechanics.  I'll crunch the dice and rig the rolls... just want to use the situation to show how it all works once we're in-game
 player, 25 posts
Fri 7 Feb 2020
at 02:01
Re: Prelude: Grendel
Grendel did not have a lot of time between breakfast and getting out into the field, but he had a few minutes, and so he used them to try and give some serious thought to what he was out there to do.

He sat cross legged in the damp leaf litter just a few dozen yards from camp, the dripping ferns and morning birdsong a fitting accompaniment to his mood. He thought back on why he was out there and what it represented. It was supposed to be a holdover from the fourth world, and so he let his mind wander in that direction.

There had been Trolls in the fourth world, that much they knew. His eponymous namesake could have been one of the last of them. They would have had to catch or kill food, and any one of them could have found themselves as he was now, on the verge of the days hunt, and on the verge of being counted as an adult among his Clan.

In some ways he felt that it was supposed to prove that he could provide. That he was useful, and that he would be a benefit instead of a liability. He had not done very well at proving that last part thus far in his life. This thought irked him, and it soured his mood.

But where as his forebears may have had spears, or were clad in furs, he was armed some of the latest cutting edge technology. His very body could be considered a weapon, was tougher in some ways than the crude armor of old might have been. But he had benefited from modern medicine, quality food and clean water, education, and the protection of his family. Was it really quite the same?

If his ancestors were watching, if the spirits the Shamans talked about really were everywhere, did they see him now? and did they view him as some soft pretender aping the Trolls of old? Or did they appreciate the notion in itself? That he was out here with them, on the hunt, as he was meant to be? It was hard to say.

He took a deep breath and stood, then took off his jacket and folded it up carefully before he placed it on a nearby downed tree. His shoes were next, then his belt, and his knife each in their place.

Bared to the waist and barefoot he could feel the faint warmth of the sunlight through the clouds, and he could feel the cool droplets as they fell from the crowns of the trees. He could feel the rich soil beneath his feet and he took slow, deep breaths as he took in the loamy scent of it. He closed his eyes, tried to mentally place himself in the fourth world, and opened them again. It felt right, and he felt ready.

Or as ready as he would ever be.

If he failed, he would not only look like a fool, but he would likely run up yet another medical bill or worse. But if he succeeded, well, it would be on his own terms.

The plan was simple. Get as close as he could, then tackle one, wrestle it down to prevent its escape. then either break its neck, or stove in its skull. Failing that, he might just have to choke the very life out of it. This was all once he had managed the antlers, and the fangs, and the sharp hooves. But if ancient humans had managed mammoths with sticks and stone, he figured that he should at the very least be able to handle a peryton with his strength and augmentations on his side. It was supposed to be a test, after all.

When they were close, he crept low and made his advance cautiously, trying to make out their shapes in the roiling mists as he went.
Mr. Johnson
 GM, 70 posts
Sat 8 Feb 2020
at 21:02
Re: Prelude: Grendel
You've been waiting your whole life for this.  Mentally and physically you are at the top of your game, ready to meet the demands that will be placed upon you as an adult in your clan.

Hold +1 for combat against the peryton.

Careful to take note of your surroundings and using the benefit of the clouds as cover, you make a stealthy approach as the shape of the peryton buck peer becomes clearer...

Check the Situation:
15:34, Today: Mr. Johnson, on behalf of Grendel, rolled 10 using 2d6+1 ((4,5))

Strong Success:
(1) (a) you may deal damage or (b) position yourself to prevent escape
(2) you know that you must target the wings to cripple it before you can make the kill
(3) you know it will try to gore you with it's antlers

 player, 26 posts
Sat 8 Feb 2020
at 22:13
Re: Prelude: Grendel
It's difficult for a Troll to be stealthy,  but between the damp pine duff, the low lying mist and the dense tree cover he had a pretty ideal situation to work with.

Had this occured mid July, it could have been a very different story.

He tried to keep his breathing shallow as he took one step after another, watching the placement of his bare feet, and rolling heel to toe with a soft crunch under every heavy foot fall.

He saw the general outline first, all too familiar with the exception of the leathery wings and canines. He had lived around deer most of his life, knew their habits, about how far one could get before they startled and where they might run towards. A peryton, well, they were far more rare, and the discussion of just how much magic was involved in their bloodline was a topic of debate among the Clan.

He found himself holding his breath as he moved ever slow slowly. Paused as he saw the thing slowly raise its head from where it had been eating and turn its face in his direction, the points on the sizable rack were menacing and marred from the territorial duals of the season.

Grendel pounced.

A normal buck could easily outrun him, but a peryton, they preferred to fly. But to get that much mass into the air quickly was a trick. They needed a runway of sorts, and an open clearing. Grendel seized on this as he anticipated a bound towards the most promising patch of open sky and hurled himself into a full tackle in an effort to prevent his quarry's escape.

Grendel uses his Strong Success to position himself to prevent escape.
Mr. Johnson
 GM, 71 posts
Sun 9 Feb 2020
at 03:31
Re: Prelude: Grendel
The buck takes a faltering two steps, tries to juke right to avoid Grendel but there is no way to escape.

Grendel pounced

Rock and Roll:
22:11, Today: Mr. Johnson, on behalf of Grendel, rolled 7 using 2d6+2 ((3,2)).
Weak Success Grendel deals damage (5 lethal) but leaves himself open to retaliation

The big troll took the buck by the horns, in a completely literal sense. Twisting the buck beneath him Grendel wrestles the creature to the damp earth. Stricken with fear, the beast lashes out catching Grendel in the ribs with his antlers...

Threat Move: deal damage (4 stun - 1 armour)

Grendel [\] [\] [\] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
Peryton Buck [X] [X] [X] [X] [X] [ ] [ ] [ ]
Fight continues

 player, 27 posts
Sun 9 Feb 2020
at 04:00
Re: Prelude: Grendel
Grendel's concious mind was absolutely awash in adrenaline, and his muddled brain only perceived his struggle in the broad strokes of the contest

He felt his hands fast upon the base of the antlers, white knuckled and straining.

He felt the violent thrashing beneath him as he straddled the beast, the coarseness of its hair, the impact of its flailing hooves upon his own legs, and the spray of churned up soil.

He felt a wave of sharp pain as it bucked wildly and forced the tines of it's antlers back against his chest where they impacted hard and forced the points into his bare flesh.

Unconsciously, and as a habit learned when wrestling with his Clanmates as a boy he tucked in his neck to shield it, and hooked his ankles high on the perytons frame to affix himself to the wildly struggling creature.

Thet tumbled sideways together, Grendel breathing hard, red faced and with his eyes to the ground, his face craned down and to the side to avoid catching an antler to the eyesocket.

In a moment of clarity he realized that he had the thing pinned, and that his endurance was waining. He had to finish this quickly, before his grip failed or the thing managed to turn in his grasp to potentially gore or trample him.

With his quarry affixed to the ground by his weight between his legs, he pulled inexorably with his right hand, and pushed out with trembling exertion with his left. When he felt the resistance of the perytons spine, a straining sound welled up from his gut, he bared his teeth, and kept twisting with all his might.
Mr. Johnson
 GM, 73 posts
Wed 12 Feb 2020
at 01:01
Re: Prelude: Grendel
You've got one more archetype move to pick up.  From the action you described in the last post it sounds like:

More Power: when you attempt to bend, break through, or otherwise destroy some­thing, roll+Stamina. On 10+, you easily achieve your goal. On 7-9, you break it, but (choose 1): It takes longer than expected / It makes a lot of noise / You take 1 stun in the process

Other options:
Get Medieval: when you deal damage to an enemy in melee, take +2 forward against that enemy.

Shake it Off: when you fight through the pain, roll+Stamina. On 10+, remove 2 boxes of stun damage. On 7-9, remove 1.

Situational Awareness: you are never surprised. If an enemy would get the drop on you, you may act first.

State of the Art: select one cyberware item that normally requires activation. That item gains the always on tag.

The Only Thing Faster is Light: whenever you Rock & Roll, on a 12+ you may deal your damage to a second target within range.

Pain Editor: when you have to make a Gut Check, you are boosted. Additionally, when you reach 9 or more wounds, you may choose to accept a chronic injury rather than bleed­ing out. If you already have all of the chronic injuries, you cannot use this move.

Honorable: when you uphold a tenet of your code, roll+Presence. On a 10+, hold 2. On 7-9, hold 1. You may spend this hold to pull strings, manipulate, or make someone sweat.

Deadeye: when you attack a surprised or defenseless enemy in ranged combat, you can deal damage or, name your target and roll+Combat:

 player, 28 posts
Wed 12 Feb 2020
at 01:23
Re: Prelude: Grendel
More Power sounds perfect.
Mr. Johnson
 GM, 81 posts
Thu 13 Feb 2020
at 01:01
Re: Prelude: Grendel
More Power
19:57, Today: Mr. Johnson, on behalf of Grendel, rolled 6 using 2d6 ((3,3))

Straining against the bone, it refuses to yield...

or does it?  Grendel holds +1 for his combat.
(1) Bump this result for a Weak Success or
(2) Take the Miss, take 1XP and allow a threat move?

 player, 30 posts
Thu 13 Feb 2020
at 01:32
Re: Prelude: Grendel
Rolled for it, for the heck of it.

He will take the weak success

Mr. Johnson
 GM, 85 posts
Fri 14 Feb 2020
at 02:49
Re: Prelude: Grendel
Straining against the bone, <s>it refuses to yield...<s> it gives way with a sickening crack...

Weak Success
Choose: take 1 stun damage or take extra time to break the bone

 player, 32 posts
Fri 14 Feb 2020
at 03:53
Re: Prelude: Grendel
There was a long moment of doubt.

The trembling in his arm grew to a shake, and the breath that he had held now turned to a sort of gasp. The doubt soured into something approaching fear, fear of failure, fear of pain, and fear of both embarrassment and shame.

Then, as Grendel drew upon reserves that he did not even know he possessed, the fear turned to  anger. Not anger at the Peryton, or his Clans traditions, but at himself. He had failed them once, and it had cost his family dearly. No, no he would not come back empty handed, or worse yet savaged by the beast he was supposed to be hunting. Not this time.

A second wind surged through him, brief, but it was enough. The straining sound in his throat grew to a sort of growl before it erupted from his lips spraying spittle onto the ground, and in that moment, he felt more than heard the Peryton's vertebrae tear loose of its moorings. It lashed out one final time as it died, catching him on the side of his face before it went limp as a dishrag.

Grendel lay there for several seconds as he caught his breath, and to make sure it was truly dead. He practically had to leverage his hands off the things skull, as the muscles had frozen in place with the amount of effort he had forced them to endure. He flexed them painfully, and stood up upon wobbly legs as his sweat suddenly started to feel cold in the mountain air, a sure sign that his adrenaline was already beginning to run its course.

Although his chest heaved and he hurt where the antlers had caught him, he wore an open mouthed smile. He put his hands on his hips as he paced, then threw his head back and stared up at the sky. He knew that he would remember this moment forever, and he basked in it, even as a small part of him mourned the knowledge that his childhood was now irrevocably over and done with.

Grendel takes 1 Stun damage (Prolonging the death seemed against the spirit of things.)
Mr. Johnson
 GM, 93 posts
Fri 14 Feb 2020
at 20:57
Re: Prelude: Grendel
As the life fades out of it's fear stricken eyes, the peryton shudders under Grendel's crushing weight. Take 1XP

It was over, the ride on the crest of emotion and adrenaline came to a crashing end as the fatigue, exhaustion and relief hit.  From the sidelines, Warhawk cries out, a guttural shout of triumph to celebrate the blooding.

Field dressing and cleaning the deer is a grisly, but necessary blur in Grendel's memory.  The Black Rock Clan teaches the young to be hunters almost as soon as they can toddle out of their derelict RV or run down shack.  Mechanically, Warhawk helps clean the carcass, joint the limbs and wings, split the animal for transport back to the camp.  Care is taken to keep the heart separate, it will be needed at tonight's council fire.


Shortly after your arrival, the camp is in a celebratory mood.  Wine, beer and hurlg flow freely among the adults while the peryton meat cooks over makeshift grills and open flames.  Those who can afford a few minor luxuries play guitars or sit in drum circles or listen to pirated chips of Third Tusk on jury-rigged sound systems.  Well into the evening, no one really keeping track of the time, council gathers and Grendel is brought before Mother.

She wobbles very slightly, the faint scent of smokey burnt herbs on her breath, as she runs her wet fingers across your face, smearing Grendel with the life's blood of the peryton.  Mother is one of the first in the clan to begin learning or'zet and she insists on using it for the ceremony.  Not many of the clan can fully understand her words, but Grendel picks up bits and pieces.

Ereth home ... cerri brother, sister ... fahd sacrfice...

As the ceremony comes to a close, the roasted peryton heart is presented to the wolf shaman.  She takes a bite of the bloody rare meat, letting the juices flow down her chin, then passes it to Grendel for him to finish.

Feel free to take this wherever you like... my next post will be two years later on the day you are sent off for your trial (the clan has something to give you)... after that, you're into the first scene...
 player, 33 posts
Sat 15 Feb 2020
at 01:42
Re: Prelude: Grendel
Grendel felt a lot of things, and a wide range of emotions during the journey home, upon his return, and during the celebration itself. Luck, featured prominently. He felt lucky, very lucky, to be born into the Clan. There were many reasons for this, but the foremost one just then was the knowledge that the vast majority of young people would never experience anything like he had.

They might graduate from a school, or their parents might buy them a car or something. But it was a given, it was nothing special, and they did not really have to do anything to attain it. They would just kind of become default adults as time marched on.

A Blooding was not like that. More than one Clan member had failed them within recent memory. There were no hard and fast rules as to what that meant for a member, but the Equals knew, everybody knew. An important factor was that potential mates also knew. But it was not like they got kicked out, not unless something spectacular happened, like they tried to lie about it or something.

So for him, it really meant something, and it quieted a part of his mind. Without that closure, without it being made official, where did that leave most young people he wondered?

In any case, he had a real story to tell, and tell it he did, again and again, as did Warhawk as they both became progressively and pleasantly inebriated through the evening.

In fact Grendel felt a little choked up when Mother started speaking in Or'zet. The death of Dunkelzahn earlier that year had shaken the world, and the lesser known gifting of the Codex Or'zet to Robert Page in the Great Dragons will had been something of an aftershock.

Mother, and Grendel's own mother in fact had seen it over in the Bayplex. It was still being translated of course, and the Draco Foundation was working with the Orkland Community Center to set up official transcripts and language courses. Mother had arranged for her own copy, which had been no small feat. They had only relented in the end over concerns about security, and the wish to have more copies, even unofficial ones distributed across the world should something go wrong.

It was not their language, no really, but it held real hope that somewhere clues to ancient Troll culture still existed. And it was hard not to be excited for their fellow Goblinoids

Grendel took the heart and held it up, still dripping, in the shifting firelight.  It was tough and stringy, being a lump of solid muscle, but he was excited (and drunk) enough to make a show of devouring the thing as the some cheered, some whooped and the drums beat.

An outsider might have mistaken it for just a weird Troll party in the sticks, but for Grendel, it really was a sacred and special thing. He dearly wished his father could have been there to see it.

The night wound down eventually, and the fires grew dim, but he would look back in that time as an exciting one, full of promise, back when he was still surrounded by those that he loved and respected, and when he was still blissfully ignorant of the world at large.
Mr. Johnson
 GM, 100 posts
Sun 16 Feb 2020
at 18:57
Re: Prelude: Grendel
Late November, 2059

You've known this was coming for awhile.  The cool air, the dark clouds of winter, it all marked the passage of another year since the blooding and time was fast approaching for you to begin your trial.

You're on the road in a beat up Gopher before the sun rises, before the camp rouses. In a rare moment, your mother and father are both home from fish canning and fruit picking.  Breakfast in the broken down bus is sombre, but supportive.  The years have taken the sting out of that night by the council fire when you spoke out against your father and things are as they have always been.  A mother's teary eyed hug, a fathers tight embrace and firm clap on the back make the departure bitter-sweet.

Leaving the silent camp, without any further fanfare, Warhawk drives. You sit in the bed, following the north leg of the CTTR down to Redding.  Traffic is non-existent at this time of day.  A patrol of California Rangers cruise by on their big cop model Scorpions, but after a cursory glace, blast past you into the early morning light.

Your journey together comes to an end at an ancient old Greyhound station where a rattletrap old bus will soon come by to take Warhawk back up north. Over a cup of bus station soy kaf, you wait for his bus after he hands you the keys to the pickup.

"Take this too," he says, handing you an old Fuchi PocSec with a cracked screen.  "It was mine during trial.  I sent a guy I know, Pearlman, a text.  Vouched for you, told him to look you up if he needs muscle.  Should help get you off on the right foot."  from his pocket he produces a standard blue-banded credstick.  "ID's not great, but it is a troll, so it might work.  It's got six-hundred on it, start-up cred.  Convert it to cash it'll maybe net you twice as much in CalFree script." he adds with a shrug.

The last thing he has for you has been sitting on his lap, wrapped in rough hemp cloth, tempting you with the anticipation this whole time.  Warhawk pats it softly.  "Troll gets caught with this in SF and you're on your way to an Imperial detention facility.  But, you can't be wondering around out there with only that leaf spring."  Pulling back the fabric, there is a dull glint of gunmetal and sweet smell of gun oil.  "They pulled this Winchester off the survey crew the night you got your meat torn up.  Big Mike had at it, musta learned somethin' while he was working with that halfer Lapierre.  Anyway, looks like he did an ok job..." Warhawk explains beaming as his bus pulls in.

The shotgun has been expertly chopped down, the double barrels ending just before the break action.  The original plastic stock has been cut away, replaced with a troll sized handgrip in polished redwood.  On each side of the grip there are antler inlays, one marked with a stylized letter 'G' the other with a runic Troll's cross.  In the Black Rock clan, this is a treasure befitting a warrior, worthy of a trail as a samurai of the streets.

Reply as you see fit.  Scene ends

Take +1 Rep.  Meet me in XP & Nuyen to dicuss advancement: link to a message in this game

I'll post up the first SF scene soon and you can jump right in...

 player, 36 posts
Sun 16 Feb 2020
at 21:25
Re: Prelude: Grendel
That last year, most of 59', had been spent with the constant knowledge that the day of his trial was on the horizon. There was a commingling of excitement, dread and contemplation as he came to grips with the fact that he was going to be forced from his home, from his family, and only allowed to return once he brought back something of real value to the Clan. Traditionally this was a skill set, much as Mother had pursued higher education, and Big Mike had worked under Lapierre, the duration was normally at least a year and a day, but often longer. Two, three or even four years was not uncommon.

Now that it was finally here, it felt surreal as he stared out from the truck bed, his surplus jacket zipped up and his hair rippling in the breeze. The countryside he had known so well played out before them, and his heart felt heavy. He waved at the Patrol, having never had any problem with the Rangers. They took all kinds, and road maintenance was a serious business for a Nomad Clan. They were never close, for obvious reasons, but at least polite most of the time.

When they reached the station, and Grendel clambered out with his haul bag over one shoulder, he stood confused as he held the keys that Warhawk had handed him. He had been expecting to take a bus, and had never imagined that Warhawk would be willing to part with his truck. A lot of the Clans more mechanically inclined had worked on it, Grendel included, had worked to modify it to more comfortably accommodate a Troll. They had gotten the plans off of a little Net group called TrogMog, which had given them the inspiration for the project. It now only had one seat, and space for gear, but at least the driver could stretch out and handle the wheel without jamming up his left arm all the time.

The battered PocSec, the CredStick, they were invaluable. Grendel had nearly always lived in a barter economy, and the feel of the Credstick seemed oddly light for something so precious. Gifts were somewhat expected before a Trial, but this was a lot.

The truck alone would be a lot.

So when Warhawk pulled out the Winchester, Grendel had to wipe away the tears that welled up in his eyes. It was perfect, a beautiful thing, while also being eminently practical. The grip was perfectly sized, and the antler had been so finely inlaid that he could not even feel the break between the redwood and the knurled horn. Even the engravings were meaningful for him, the soulless black plastic replaced with elements from the California coast that he knew and loved.

But it was still a deadly weapon. A 12 Gauge was a 12 Gauge, and although the beefier grip made the barrels look smaller than they normally would have, it threw same same amount of metal regardless. With the barrels so short, the pattern would be huge and the muzzle flash the size of a pumpkin, but it would easily fit in his bag, or under the truck seat or anywhere else he might have cause to stash it. He could even fire it one handed if it came down to it, although he imagined using both was far safer.

He embraced Warhawk warmly, tucked the sawed-off back in the truck and then enjoyed the last half hour or so of coffee with his friend. He needed to get on the road, and daylight was burning, so when they had finished he walked Warhawk to his bus then watched it pull back out out and head northbound, where he waved until it was out of sight.

Then, with a deep breath, he climbed back into the truck, his truck and fired up the engine. As he pulled back out onto the highway, the shotgun tucked under his seat and all he owned in the haul bag behind him, he cranked up some Third Tusk on his new PocSec and rolled down the windows as he gunned it south towards the Bayplex. (Music for inspiration https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jM8dCGIm6yc )

Scene End

This message was last edited by the player at 22:01, Sun 16 Feb 2020.

Mr. Johnson
 GM, 485 posts
Thu 27 Jan 2022
at 04:01
[December 2059] H2Ostage Situation
@Grendel you are here...

10 December 2059

Warhawk. The Winchester. The Ridge. Lapierre's. Jenny.

What a day.  It's all gone by in a blur.

The good news...
...you've got a credstick charged up with more nuyen then you usually see in a year and it's your first night in the city.

The great news...
...you met a pretty cool girl and it seems like she's into you.

:: LTG# 206 (90-4551) :: {Jenny :)}
Did you get some soy kibble or are you hungry?

The bad news...
...you're still wearing old tires for shoes and a piece of rope for a belt.

Rewind to the day before the meeting with Pearlman, Devlin and Gregory.  You've got one night in the city to get into some trouble.
 player, 107 posts
Thu 27 Jan 2022
at 04:02
[December 2059] H2Ostage Situation
Image is a funny thing. Not "funny hah hah" of course, but odd in the sense that even over the span of just a few dozen miles "image" can mean two very different things to two very different sets of people.

If a cube farmer were to show up in a Black Rock camp wearing slacks, dress shoes, a blazer or the latest AR glasses they would have been openly laughed at. If your average street kid wandered in wearing some cheap sportswear, or some celebrity "name brand" shirt or shoes nobody would have taken them seriously. This was mostly because "look" was a luxury, and luxury was associated with waste. The money you spent on a fancy PocSec could have gone towards food, fuel, ammunition, vehicle parts or a host of other necessities.

But in Oakland nobody cared how durable or waterproof his prized jacket was. Nobody noticed the intricate tight stitching on his hand made pants or appreciated the craftsmanship of his shotguns stock. To them it was just a laughably outdated "dumb" antique, no lights, no lasers, no ware. Few would understand the profound significance of what the weapon meant to him.

He looked like what he was in there eyes, just another transient, pushed to the edge of civilization like the rest of those that couldn't hack it.

If there was any consolation, it was a demeaning one. He was a Troll, and there were many homeless Trolls. Few really expected much of him anyway.

Jenny though, she seemed interested despite the tire tread sandals and the road dust, and that was a really good sign. Being able to look past that stuff to see the person underneath the circumstance, that was rare. But that did not mean that he wanted to show up at her place stinking and looking like an extra from a post-apoc trid. Even Nomads had standards, and when you spent time with somebody you were interested in, you put your best foot forward.

Long story short, he needed real clothes, and now he had no excuse not to buy some.

But where does a Troll go to pick up new clothes that will hold up once he heads back to the mountains? Grendel didn't know...so he sat in his truck hunched over his PocSec while he tried to figure it out.
Mr. Johnson
 GM, 486 posts
Thu 27 Jan 2022
at 04:02
[December 2059] H2Ostage Situation
If you’re searching for a new look, you are in the right place. The Ridge has everything you need.

Tamed Wilds is an outdoor adventure gear store that features sturdy hiking boots, rugged cargo pants, wind/water proof anoraks and other functional clothing all boasting a dizzying array of moisture wicking, breathable, microinsulation, versatile, rip stop, super lightweight fabrics.

Form offers casual wear designed to make an impression.  They have low shoes in real leather, designer label denim and khakis, pastel pullovers, zip-up jackets and button down shirts in every color of the rainbow available in form-fit, slim-fit, regular-fit, relaxed-fit and loose-fit.

Mosh Pit specializes in affordable fashions and caters to teens and twenty somethings into emo, punk or goth street scenes. If you’re looking for combat boots, studded leather jackets, rugged denim jeans and t-shirt from your favourite thrash metal band, this is the place for you... so long as you like to wear black.

Throughout the mall there are a variety of vending machines; some that haven’t even been broken into and looted.  One wall of Big Mart machines has all you need, although the automatic tailor is broken open and in peices.  Working machines offer cheap rings and bracelets boasting ‘mystical’ qualities along side genuine ‘handcrafted’ dwarven and orcish belts and bags.  Another machine includes ‘exclusive’ designer label shades and hats.  Another has bath supplies featuring colognes and deodorants endorsed by popular designers or famous athletes, most in definition defying scents like Armanti Fresh for Men and “Baby Joe” Johnson Electric Chrome sport.
 player, 108 posts
Thu 27 Jan 2022
at 04:03
[December 2059] H2Ostage Situation
Grendel pulled a lap around the mall, and then he pulled one more. He could feel himself being drawn in despite himself, and consumerism in all its glossy packaging soon had him checking price tags "just to see". He had never developed a defensive response to advertising, and had never been conditioned to tune it all out. The colors, the sounds, the carefully staged promotional images all threatened to overwhelm him in an avalanche of stimulation.

It also all wore on him in a strange way, and he found that he had a slight headache after about thirty minutes, which had prompted the second lap as the exertion helped to clear his head. Later he would look back and recognize it as culture shock, but at the time he had just a very faint sick, surreal sensation as he experienced the racks of goods, and the crowds of people, and the music.

He wound up at Tamed Wilds where the sticker shock on some of the latest gadgets nearly drove him off straight away. He found the latest version of his haul bag from the same company and was quietly amused at how different it looked from the new model. He felt eyes on him as he handled a few of the ultralight packs and jackets, and marveled at just how delicate they seemed.

He briefly walked around a mannequin with a new "Daedalus" armored wing suit and was not surprised to find that he fell well beyond the maximum weight range. He also made a mental note that the "Urban Explorer" suits also came in armored versions. Not now, but maybe later he told himself.

Then, to his surprise, he actually found a small meta-human specific section. The vast majority was Dwarf sized, but there was a brand named "Big Horn" that Grendel had never seen before that had a rack in the corner. The selection was tiny compared to most of the store, but he could care less after he found some things actually sized in "TXL". They could have been hot pink and he still would have probably considered them.

He limited himself to one pair of sturdy gray cargo pants that he felt went well with his olive drab jacket. A form fitting black t-shirt with a subdued "Big Horn" logo was next, along with a pair of gray "trail running" shoes with some sticky rubber fresh off the fabricator in the footwear section. It was a lot of money for him, but he felt it was time.

It was only after he had checked out that he realized that he had completely neglected socks or underwear. He had never worn any, and decided that he was probably fine. He had made it this far in life without them, and he was not about to start now.
Mr. Johnson
 GM, 487 posts
Thu 27 Jan 2022
at 04:04
[December 2059] H2Ostage Situation
You walk out of Tamed Wilds wearing trail runners that feed your PocSec constant updates on how far you’ve travelled, how many steps you’ve taken, what you change in elevation has been... PocSec updated

You t-shirt keeps demanding to synch to your PocSec music files so it can upload the latest Big Horn endorsed playlists...

The stimulus is overwhelming. You contemplate the last blister pack of headache medication in a Big Mart machine while mustering up the courage to respond to Jenny’s text.

”Pssst!” a nearby man wearing a well worn Ares Victory jacket hisses to gain your attention. ”You maybe wanna think about something a bit stronger?” he asks.  The human is short but his frame is thickly packed with muscle. A few days growth darken his heavy jaw and thick neck, sure signs of steroid abuse.
 player, 109 posts
Thu 27 Jan 2022
at 04:06
[December 2059] H2Ostage Situation
Grendel had a bag with his old clothes in one hand, and was mashing his thumb into his cracked PocSec with the other as he tried to navigate the slew of alerts that had just popped up.

He was a little concerned about the GPS options inherent in his new shoes. He really knew very little about how it all worked. Could people hack his shoes? Why would he want to "share" his shoe status with anybody else? Who did that and why?

He was in the middle of these sort of contemplations when the 'roid monkey tried to get his attention.

"Hmm?" Grendel looked up and slid the PocSec into his, well, pocket. There was even a little "sub pocket" in there to keep it in place. Fancy. "I'm not trackin' man...stronger than what?" he slowed his place, the bag still dangling from his left hand.
Mr. Johnson
 GM, 489 posts
Thu 27 Jan 2022
at 04:06
[December 2059] H2Ostage Situation
“Cagey. Oh yeah. I get it, I get it.” he snarls in deep gravelly baritone. Looking at you over his sunglasses, pupils like pinpricks in his dark eyes, his hands tracking through the air in unseen patterns. “Tell. You. What. You ever need to get bliss’d out. You want to go nova or get a little jazzed.  Maybe go... banzai!  Kamikaze crazy, yeah!  You jus’ find your old pal Randy and I’ll get what you need, dig it?”
 player, 110 posts
Thu 27 Jan 2022
at 04:07
[December 2059] H2Ostage Situation
"Ah" Grendel gave an exaggerated nod. He was just trying to sell him some drugs, for a moment he had wondered if the man was trying to offload some second hand armor. "Randy yeah? Alright, I'll keep that in mind." Grendel kept walking. Aside from some occasional weed, Grendel had never been able to afford anything harder. Not that he was terribly interested. The only reason Black Rock had any weed at all was because all you needed was some dirt, water and sunlight.

He had his reasons. Some tribe members liked their mushrooms, some of the younger ones might experiment with some harder stuff, but much like himself it was more a of financial matter than a cultural one. The reality was that addicts would never last long in the back country. If you're too far gone to work, hunt, fish, sow crops, or chop wood you're probably going to starve or freeze come winter, unless you've got some real close friends or family. The lifestyle took care of the issue long before the Council normally had to step in.

And now there was the added guilt of carrying bio-ware in his body. There was something disrespectful about his friends and family shelling out that kind of Nuyen only for him to wreck his system with some Nitro or whatever.

So he had some clothes, he had an address, but he felt he needed to bring something. A little gift to say thanks for inviting him over. He barely knew Jenny, but she had mentioned liking fresh food. So he figured he could splurge a little bit on some veggies or maybe even some meat, and maybe help cook a little dinner to make a good impression.