Regime Quest: 5

Results from Previous round votes:
Two Votes:
Plan Nevile (on SV forum)

One Vote:
Plan Skivverus (On my blog, Skiv you might want to make an account and post on the SV thread, so that you can interact with the other posters, it doesn’t seem like people on the blog see other people’s comments)

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Winning Plan:

[x] [Morning] Seek information on Regime military operations [ Query Subtracter] (Timeslot cost: 1; AP Cost: 3, returns 1 if successful)
[x] [Afternoon] Seek Posse members (Timeslot cost: 1; AP Cost: 1, returns 1 on successful completion)

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Day 1 Log:

5 AP at start of day
+1 for 6 hour sleep (6 AP)
-3 for [Morning] Talk with Subtracter (3 AP)
Talk With Subtracter roll: 2 (failure, complication added)
+ 0 for Failure, Talk with Subtracter (3 AP)
-1 for [Afternoon] Investigate Posse Members (2 AP)
Investigate Posse Members roll: 8 (Superior Success, detailed information gathered)
+1 for Success, Investigate Posse Members (3 AP)
End of day, (3 AP).

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Talk with Subtracter:

I tried to ignore the din around us and focus carefully on what she was saying. It wasn’t easy.

Subtracter didn’t share Her penchant for squatting in the ruined buildings of the old government, no, her office was presently square in the middle of an old furniture store. She’d built a sort of nest out of sofas and beds, and sprawled languidly across it while I addressed her.

“Thanks,” I said, accepting her congratulations. “I’m sure it is all due to having such a prestigious sponsor.”

She spared me a look at that, glancing up from the Rubiks cube she was struggling with. She said something, but it was drowned out by the ambient noise.

Subtracter didn’t really do privacy. Her Posse filled the furniture store, a band of young hooligans cast more or less directly in her mold. To a woman they were powerful Ultras, utterly unencumbered by anything resembling scrupals. They were also uniformly loud, and it made it kind of hard to pay Subtracter as much attention as I needed to.

I leaned closer.

“-tigious?” I caught.

“It means good,” I clarified, cursing myself internally. Making Subtracter feel stupid was dangerous.

“What do you want?” she asked.

She tossed a coin or something over at the couple who were messing around on the next bed, and they subsided a bit, leaving us with some breathing room.

“I’d like to talk about my job,” I said. “You have been the boss of all the warlords. Is there like a speech that you give or something? I don’t want to piss you off by doing the wrong thing.”

She looked up at me, eyebrows rising as somewhere within the dim expanse of her mind a pair of neurons bumped into one another.

“Oh, yeah!” she said. “I forgot, I told the last girl, not you. You haven’t heard yet. That was a smart catch.”

I contented myself with nodding, trying to keep the bile from my throat.

Subtracter probably wasn’t any more dim, any more brutal, than the rest of the Ultras of the Regime, but she was the one who’d ended my old life. I couldn’t look at her without remembering my old neighbor vanishing in a spray of blood, the nice old man who taught the kids in the afternoons being tossed helplessly into the clouds.

“Ok, so it’s like this. You have to make sure that a few things happen. The first is that you and your crew go and kill all the enemy Ultras, take their daggers for ours. Mess em up.”

I nodded, trying to push the past aside, focus on this moment.

She snarled at the cube in her hands, and it blurred as she used her speed on it. When she finished the frenzy of turning it was more jumbled than when she started.

She frowned, looking up at me again.

“But even more big deal than that, you need to make sure She is watching, dig? So work stuff out with Snitcher to make sure that She is watching when you take em on.”

I’d been intending to do that, of course, but it was worth the reminder.

“Do you have any more specific advice?” I pressed. “Like, how many Ultras I should take, any tricks you’ve picked up over the years?”

“Sure,” she said. “You don’t want to outnumber them.”

What? I leaned closer to make sure I was hearing correctly.

“That’d be boring for Her. You want to have just a few less gals than you are up against. And don’t fight sneaky. She has killed a few bitches who didn’t give her a fun fight, like they attacked while people were sleeping or whatever.”

I winced. It was hard to imagine a more pointless waste of resources. I’d known that Prevailer killed Her own minions, of course, but hearing it stated so starkly was sobering.

“So yeah, just take your people, ride into the place, win the fight, and then do it again.”

I hesitated. Could I get anything more from her? Anything a little more useful?

“When you say…win the fight,” I said, “Is there any particular way that I should do that? Like, if I need to uh, explain it to a dumb person, like Adder or someone.”

She chuckled, dissing Adder always got that response.

“Sure, yeah, I forget that you’ve been doing one on one stuff up till now. Ok, lots of Ultras fighting is like this.”

She put the cube aside and gave me her full attention.

“People matter in the fight on how much toughness they have. Bring a gal or two who, like, kill everyone that they look at or whatever. Some gift that is real hard to dodge and takes out chumps with no Ultra toughness. That’ll get rid of all the daggers and the Ultras who don’t belong in a fight.”

I’d noticed that before. Gifts had a certain degree of strength, and the ones that didn’t beat Ultra toughness tended to be much easier to apply.

“While you are doing that, you better figure that they’ll be doing the same thing. In a pinch, if you can’t find an Ultra with this kind of gift, you can just, like, have everyone carry guns or whatever. Its pussy shit, but losing would be worse. Anyway, sweep up the nobodies real quick, they’ll do the same to you.”

I noted that she didn’t mention taking any precautions to protect her own team’s human gunners or vulnerable Ultras. I didn’t think that was as much a tactical choice as it was just something that she literally never thought of.

“After that,” she said. “It is just your tough Ultras and theirs. Do the Cutter thing.”

The Cutter thing? I’d never heard of any Cutter. Must have been before my time. Some sort of algorithm, not that she’d know the word.

“The Cutter thing,” I said. “Of course, but-“

She cut me off.

“Actually, talking is a dumb way to do this. What you need is some practice.”

Oh, shit.

“We are a bit low on fodder lately. I’m supposed to go to Delphia and grab some people for Processing. Usually some locals step up when that happens. Why don’t you take a few weeks, then do that for me? You can test your Posse out, pop your cherry, bring a couple hundred people back and help us make up for the losses we took the last few times out.

It wasn’t really a question. I nodded, inwardly fuming.

This was everything I got into the Regime NOT to do. The Ultras I’d be killing would be those who were willing to fight to protect people from the Process. I’d get a negligible amount of new Ultras, at a ruinous cost to the people of Delphia.

The conversation kept going for a little while longer, but I didn’t get anything useful out of it. There was still more that I needed to know, but if I didn’t get out of there quickly I knew I’d snap. I made my escape a few minutes later, narrowly keeping my composure, the screams of my hometown echoing in my ears.

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I spent the afternoon wandering around, gossiping and prying with the Ultras who always lurked around in the Lair. It helped settle me a little, but I didn’t really get anything useful until I found a bunch of people making a disturbance, cheering and shouting around a bouncy castle.

I’d always kept myself aloof from the Ultras of the capital, focusing more on my intrigues against my rivals and my connections with KEM. It had gotten me my position, but it left me a little ignorant of the sort of things that the rank and file Ultras did for fun.

Which apparently included a bouncy castle.

I circulated among the spectators, and hear the gossip flowed much more freely. People were relaxed, loose, eager to brag on their allies and dunk on their enemies. I listened to everyone, and I heard about a number of prospects.

The first was Bubbler. Out of my three criteria, those being strength of their gift, basic competence and values at least nominally similar to mine, she had the second two in spades. She operated a sort of Ultra clinic, using her gift to heal Ultras and move stuff around, but what interested me about that was that she’d been doing the same thing for three years without incident, and that she didn’t discriminated against the humans of Shington.

Her gift wasn’t the worst thing, either. She could form a bubble around anything that she could touch, which stole away its weight and gradually repaired it. She could move the bubbles around at her will, and they were apparently pretty hard to break from the inside. I wouldn’t call it a first degree combat gift, but it wasn’t the worst I could imagine, certainly not if it came attached to a mind I could actually respect.

Clawer was another impressive Ultra, he was actually present at the pit. His form had been mutated by his gift, leaving him thumbless, with a pair of hooked blades where his hands ought to be. He was an Ultra fighter by trade, spending his time scrapping and sparring with other Ultras in nonlethal matches for the entertainment of the city.

From what I could tell, he had Ultra strength two and Ultra toughness one. First rate fighting gifts, and anyone who managed to survive in an environment as cutthroat as Shington’s pit fighting circuit must have at least a basic competence.

My last prospect actually sought me out. She was the woman who’d set up this entertainment, a scavenger and entertainer who went by the unfortunate name of Sucker. She’d apparently made an enemy of one of the Ultra gangs which battled over the outskirts of the city, and figured she’d hide herself in my shadow.

I didn’t get the details of her gift, but, I dunno, we sort of clicked? I got a good vibe off of her, and she couldn’t be that weak if she was in the Lair. I tried to work out a deal to take the castle off her hands later on (odd objects often have useful properties for Blending), and she wanted me to help out her sister with some dentistry in exchange. I’ll decide about that later on.

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Day 1 results:

Incomplete information gathered on Regime military procedures, new Complication gained [mission to Delphia]. I will develop actions relating to subverting this operation in coming days.
Information gained on Bubbler, Clawer, Sucker.
Opportunities discovered, Ultra Fighting, in coming days I will develop actions related to attending these events to discover more exceptional Ultra combatants.
Opportunities discovered, lesser Ultra gangs. When I begin to gather my main force, I may take advantage of the existing Ultra gangs of the outer city. I will develop actions relating to investigating this possibility once I’ve got enough of a Posse to begin to assemble my main force.

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Day 2:

Days remaining: 29
AP available: (3 end of last day + 1 for half night’s sleep) = 4/10
Prestige: 3
Timeslots available: 2 (morning, afternoon)
Posse: 0 out of 3 slots filled
Force size: 0
Condition: Uninjured
(Ultra format: Role, Ultra Strength/Speed/Toughness, other gift description)

Ultra Allies:
Maker- Friend, and protégé of Snitcher, 0/0/1, can summon the spirit of things

Ultra Enemies:
Masher- Enemy, and fellow protégé of Subtracter, 3*/0/3*, trades off strength and durability as she moves or stays still

Ultra Acquaintances:

Owner – housemate, 0/0/1 operates an imaginary firm, with real effects on the world,
Picker – First Fist protégé, 0/1/0, ‘selects the outcome of things’
Tracker – Running buddy, 1/0/1, Creates tracks, and can move things on them
Shower – Adder’s protégé, 1*/0/1*, gains strength and durability from witnesses
Sticker – Did dentistry for her brother, 0/0/2, Creates slime, can choose its stickiness
Echoer – Singer I am a fan of, 1/1/1, can duplicate any action that she sees
Bubbler – Operates Ultra clinic 0/0/?, traps things in bubbles that heal and move them
Clawer – Ultra fighter 2/0/1, melee combatant, deadly hooks for hands
Sucker — Ultra entertainer, ?/?/?, pulls objects/people towards her at incredible rate

Faction Rankings:

Regime 7
KEM 8
Pantheon 2
Union 4
Resistance 9
Prevailer 3

Actions:

[ ] Seek Transportation
-[ ] Scavenge (Timeslot cost: 2; AP cost 4, refunds 3 on success)
Motive: My current transportation sufficed for me in my troubleshooter role, but I will likely require a larger vehicle, or several vehicles, in order to bring everyone to Ar Harbor. I can seek to find something in the suburbs and surrounding towns.
Concerns: Leaving Shington could be dangerous, and I am far from guaranteed to find a bus or truck suitable to my needs, as the area has already been heavily scavenged.
-[ ] Trade with existing owners (Timeslot cost: 1; AP cost 2, refunds 1 on success)
Motive: As above, but instead of fixing up ruined vehicles I’ll negotiate to get them from their current owners.
Concerns: Snitcher may disapprove of a warlord being civil
-[ ] Seize by force (Timeslot cost: 2; AP cost 4, refunds 3 on success)
Motive: As above, but instead of asking my contacts for vehicles I’ll just take what I want. My role as warlord and my Tally should minimize resistance
Concerns: People like their vehicles, and won’t like the one who takes them. I will make enemies.
-[ ] Seek Transportation [Adder + Company] (Timeslot cost: 1; AP cost 2, refunds 1 on success)
Motive: As above, but Adder can use his gift to make something for my purposes, and the Company can duplicate it and make it permanent.
Concerns: Adder and I are not close, he may decline to aid me, owing to his rivalry with my sponsor, Subtracter.
[ ] Seek Target Information
-[ ] Company (Timeslot cost: 1; AP cost 2, refunds 1 on success)
Motive: The Company logs every Ultra they create. Their Ar Harbor records would be useful information
Concerns: Ultras migrate and conceal their gifts, this information would be incomplete
-[ ] Subtracter (Timeslot cost: 1; AP cost 3, refunds 1 on success)
Motive: Subtracter is the military leader of the Regime, she will have information on this target
Concerns: Subtracter is stupid and violent, I don’t like to be around her
-[ ] Survivors (Timeslot cost:1; AP cost 2, refunds 1 on success)
Motive: There have been 2 other attempts at Ar Harbor. I can seek out and question survivors in the outer city.
Concerns: I may be unable to find any survivors, and I may be misled by liars.
[ ] Seek Posse Members
-[ ] wander & gossip, (Timeslot cost: 1; AP cost 1, refunds 1 on success)
Motive: There are dozens of powerful Ultras in the Lair. I know only the barest fraction of them. I can learn the basics on 1-6 of them in a few hours of socializing and gossiping, opening up in depth investigation options on them and adding them to my list of acquaintances.
Concerns: None
[ ] Investigate Acquaintance:
-[ ] [Name], (Timeslot cost: 1; AP cost 2, refunds 1 on success, 2 if we become allies)
Motive: I can spend some serious one on one time with an Ultra I’ve chosen, evaluating the capability of their gift, the alignment of their values with mine, and their basic ccompetence. If all checks out, I might move them into my Ultra Allies column.
Concerns: None
[ ] Invite Ally into Posse:
-[ ] [Name], (Timeslot cost: 1; AP cost 3, refunds 3 on success)
Motive: If I want to bring an ally into my posse, get them to take actions on my behalf and rise or fall with me, this is the way to do it. I will only take this action on those I’ve already made allies, and once this has been taken it is difficult to undo.
Concerns: Posse members are most of the way into my circle of trust, and will operate on my behalf, representing me to stranger. A mistake here would be dangerous and damaging. I should be careful before taking this step, potentially investigating a prospect several times.
[ ] Seek Information on Snitcher’s patterns
-[ ] Passive listening (Timeslot cost: 1; AP cost 1, refunds 1 on success)
Motive: Snitcher can ride my senses at any moment, and bring Her along. If I am ever to contact my KEM allies, my resistance allies, or show any kindness or weakness whatsoever, I need to understand when this is likely to take place. Gossip can hint at this, particularly if I carefully steer conversations. This action would be mostly undetectable, even if he was riding me when I took it.

Concerns: None

-[ ] Active interrogation of Snitches (Timeslot cost: 1; AP cost 3, refunds 2 on success)
Motive: As above, but rather than listen for random gossip I will seek out other linked individuals and directly ask them how often he rides their senses, and what actions he has reacted to in the past.
Concerns: More likely Snitcher notices this, unknown consequences of that.
-[ ] Confront Snitcher Directly (Timeslot cost:1; AP cost 4, refunds 3 on success)
Motive: As above, but take the simplest possible route. Go to Snitcher and ask him for the deal.
Concerns: I am sponsored by Subtracter, not Snitcher, he may not wish to aid me. He may demand favors or other services in exchange for the information.
[ ] Seek Information on Regime military operations
-[ ] Ask Subtracter (Timeslot cost: 1; AP cost 3, refunds 1 on success)
Motive: My life depends on doing this right. I need to get a basic understanding of what She is expecting from my attack on Ar Harbor. Do I need to seize the Company Facility? Kill all the enemies? Are there any constraints on how I go about it? Subtracter is the leader of the Regime’s military, and my sponsor, she will know these answers.
Concerns: Subtracter is stupid and brutal, and she killed my neighbors, I hate spending time with her.
-[ ] Ask Around (Timeslot cost: 1; AP cost 2, refunds 1 on success)
Motive: As above, but ask survivors of previous missions instead of my evil boss.
Concerns: My predecessors may not have told them everything, their views of their missions may omit certain command level details that I need to worry about.
[ ] Relax and Recuperate
-[ ]By lounging around, (Timeslot cost: 1, AP cost 0, refunds 1 on success)
Motive: I could do with some rest.
Concerns: None
-[ ]By patronizing entertainment ares (Timeslot cost: 1, AP cost 1, refunds 3 on success)
Motive: I could do with some rest, and I might learn some things by socializing
Concerns: None
-[ ]By using my gift to repair the city (Timeslot cost: 1, AP cost 2, refunds 5 on success)
Motive: It needs to be done.
Concerns: This is not becoming behavior of a warlord, Snitcher may take notice, and people may talk
-[ ]By using my gift to heal people (Timeslot cost: 1, AP cost 1, refunds 5 on success)
Motive: This is why I have my gift.
Concerns: This is not becoming behavior of a warlord, Snitcher may take notice, and people may talk
[ ] Organize Armory [Timeslot cost: 1, AP cost 2, returns 2 on success)
Motive: I carry, in my backpack and on my person, various items to blend with if the need arises. I am overdue to look through my setup and take an inventory, once that is done I could seek out new objects if I am missing anything useful.
Concerns: None
[ ] Seek new residence [ Timeslot cost: 3, returns 1 if successful ]
Motive: I could get a lot more done if I got a full night’s sleep
Concerns: Owner and I have guarded one another’s rest for a long time. I wouldn’t necessarily be able to trust a new person to the same extent.
KEM Actions: (Sealed until I figure out how to deal with Snitcher’s surveillance, or resolve to defy him)
Resistance Actions: (Sealed until I figure out how to deal with Snitcher’s surveillance, or resolve to defy him)
[ ] Action: Other (Timeslot cost: x, returns x if successful)
Motive [Write in]
Concerns: [Write in]

3 thoughts on “Regime Quest: 5

  1. – Invite ally into posse: Ask Owner to join my posse. She’s my housemate, I’m used to her being around – and she can probably solve the transport issue as well (what company wouldn’t be able to provide a car for the CEO?)
    – Seek target information, from Survivors: The more I know about what’s up at Ar Harbour, the better.

    1. Owner is currently only an acquaintance, she would need to be befriended a little harder before she could be invited into Mia’s Posse. It isn’t about trust, in this case, it would be more like trying to get Owner to embrace a life on the battlefield.

      1. Ah, an excellent point, In that case:

        – Spend some time befriending Owner harder. She’d nowhere near Adder’s power level, but in terms of comfort, she can probably manage small-scale utility in similar things, like transport.
        – Seek target information, from Survivors: The more I know about what’s up at Ar Harbour, the better.

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