Regime Quest 43

Day 8:

Morning: Catching up with Maker

I knocked at the door, stood back to wait.

It was honestly weird to see a building in Shington, in the damn Lair of all places, with a carefully maintained lawn and no holes in any of the walls. Maker’s house looked like belonged at the end of a suburban cul de sac somewhere, way back in the past when such things were normal.

I could see a few of her creations darting around at the edges of my field of vision. One was fixing a pothole out in the street, another bringing a hefty sack of something or other over to a side door. They took no notice of me, of course, as I wasn’t relevant to their reasons for existing.

Andrew opened the door. He was a big guy, middle aged. He’d packed on a few pounds since the last time I’d been bye, but unless he had a secret forehead divot I was in no position to criticize.

“Mia!” he said, delighted, holding out a hand for a handshake.

It never failed to amuse me that Maker’s brother had absolutely no fear of my death touch. Half of my own warband would recoil if I tried to shake their hands, but this human asked for it without thinking twice.

“Andrew,” I responded, “Nice to see you again.”

He stepped back into the house, and I followed him inside.

Stepping into Maker’s place was always like going back in time. She had electric lighting. She had matching furniture. She had air conditioning, for goodness sake. I stood in a room that I could only call a foyer, but I was also, in a very real way, standing in the old world.

I’d never worked out who exactly had owned this place, back in the day. Some congress critter or lobbyist, most likely. Town houses didn’t come cheap, not when this was the capital of a nation.

“Hey Blender,” said Maker, stepping out of a hallway. “How you doing?”

Andrew was big, six feet something, the kind of guy you’d automatically step aside for if you were on a collision course. Maker was to him as he was to me. She towered over me, I came up to mid chest height.

“Quite well,” I answered, “You see the fight?”

She pumped a fist, then nodded for me to follow her and led the way into a sitting room.

One of her creatures, I always thought of them as goblins, hovered around anxiously. She made a gesture and it shot off to fetch something. Water, if I remembered correctly.

“I was so worried for you!” she said. “They kept knocking you down. That must have been awful.”

“I kept getting back up,” I said. “And, in the end, they didn’t.”

The goblin swept back in with glasses of water, and I was delighted to find that it was actually cold.

“Well, congratulations on your victory!” she said. “We were all rooting for you.”

I gave a wan smile.

“How did you watch it?” I asked. “I know Snitcher can’t save things for later viewing, and I know he was with Her when that fight was happening.”

At least, I thought I knew that. If I was wrong about that I was in a frankly horrifying amount of trouble if he ever decided to go back and check my mornings. I’d based my anti-Snitcher strategy pretty soundly around the idea that he didn’t have a save function.

“He casts a lot of things to me,” she said, unabashedly, “and I always make sure to catch the Warlord fights. We really wouldn’t have anything to talk about if I didn’t share his viewings, don’t you know. They are his whole life!”

“Oh,” I said, “I didn’t realized that he can share his vision with someone who isn’t present. That must be very convenient.”

Also, low key, somewhat terrifying. It meant that he could probably hijack my senses whenever he wanted.

Everyone knew that Snitcher could ride your senses once he’d touched you. Everyone knew that he could take someone else along, that was how She was able to watch out of people’s eyes.

But somehow I’d always assumed that the people he wanted to show his target’s senses to had to be physically with him at the time. Sobering to learn that that was not the case.

“You were amazing!” she gushed. “So brave! I had my heart in my throat every time you stepped up into the fighting. There were so many of those rebels, but you never got scared.”

I did the gesture where you sort of fan your face. Like a modest, ‘go on’ kind of gesture.

She did, in fact, go on, and I was treated to the unfamiliar sensation of being fawned over. Maker was extremely impressed by my wartime heroics, and not at all shy about showing it.

We got caught up over the course of a few hours. Her family was thriving, her situation basically good, and her relationship with Snitcher remained rock solid.

It might just be residual rivalry talking, but Maker was honestly lucky she’d lost out in the Warlord race. Arthur and company would have eaten her alive. As shy and retiring as she was, it was hard to imagine how she’d have ever recruited more forces than just her goblins.

I got a little more stuff about Snitcher, aside from just the thing about him being able to bring his snitches in on the viewing side of things. Maker seemed to be essentially his entire social circle, and she gave me a decent view into the nature of the guy.

Everyone knew that he was a voyeur, of course, but, like, I’d never fully appreciated the extent to which that applied. Dude was paralyzed. He spent essentially zero time inside his own form. The snitches lived his life on his behalf.

It wasn’t all screwing. He had them just hanging out, had us going into danger, the Fists pushing people around… Snitcher, in a weird way, the soul of the Regime to a greater extent even than Her.

It inspired me to think of a new anti-Snitcher countermeasure. Even if I was going to do something suspect at a time when he was active, I should be ok as long as I was really really boring beforehand. He would basically never catch on as long as anyone in his orbit was doing anything more interesting than what I was up to.

I finished our conversation with the preliminary invite for Maker to join the Posse.

She said she had to think about it. I was actually a bit surprised to find out what was driving her reluctance.

“I’m just worried I’d drag you down,” she said.

“Let me worry about that.”

“I saw the last mission,” she reminded me. “I saw how hard you had to fight with two noncombatants in your Posse. I hate to think that I’d contribute to anything like that.”

“I really think-“

She cut me off.

“Let me think on it for a few days, ok?” she said. “I’ll get back to you by Day 11.”

We shook hands again, and I left.

 

Afternoon: Gather Info on new targets.

I spent the afternoon listening to gossip, trying to get a hint as to where my next mission might be.

It was incredibly irritating to realize that most of the other people who were gossiping with me were desperately trying to get a hint *from* me as to where my next mission might be.

It made sense, of course, I would presumably be the first one to know, but it still led to some weirdly stilted exchanges where we all acted like of course we knew, while knowing that the other didn’t know.

I had the odd sensation that I was witnessing Resistance/KEM info gatherers at work, presumably they would be reporting my caginess back to the King Arthur equivalents in a variety of other targets as soon as they could.

I was able to put one notion to rest, at least. I’d speculated that the Regime, having previously sent me at a target that had resisted their efforts (our efforts? I didn’t think of myself as part of the Regime, but of course I was) might do so again.

It turned out they were simpler than that.

The Regime attacks the same place, over and over, until it wins. Then it attacks a new place. If Warlords fail too many times in a row they send a Fist, or She goes in person.

So I don’t have to worry about the next target being one that we have failed at before, it’ll be one we haven’t attacked yet (or one that we successfully defeated a long time ago, and then lost.)

 

Evening: Debriefing Owner

Owner was clearly in a better this evening, lacking the fatigue that had been so evident the day before.

“I got my customers squared away,” she said, “and I’ve fixed the worker situation. I should be able to start working on our next mission tomorrow.”

I liked that it was ‘our’ mission now. Back in the day she used to ask me what I was doing to prepare for ‘my’ mission.

“Nothing too serious?” I asked.

She shook her head.

“Just some Ultras getting snippy about their junk food getting cut off, dick measuring stuff. Plus some of my workers had wandered off when they weren’t sure I was going to come back. Can’t blame em.”

“You put it to rest?”

“Yep,” she said. “Everyone’s feathers have been soothed. We should be good going forward.”

I settled in to make sure no one killed us while we slept.

 

Day 9 ? until next battle

Note to players, Maker will contact you with her yes/no on Posse membership in a few days. No need to spend an action on it if you don’t want to.

 

Ultra rolodex: (#/#/# is Ultra strength/speed/toughness)

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

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

Sucker — Ultra entertainer, ?/?/?, pulls objects/people towards her at incredible rate

Gunner — 0/0/1, she shoots tracking Ultra Blasts at roughly Ultra Strength One

Chiller — 1/0/1, can freeze any object she touches, leaving them brittle and easily broken

Cutter — 1/1/1, she is a brutal front line combatant

Swimmer — 1/0/1, she can ‘swim’ through solid surfaces

Burner — 0/0/1, she can summon Ultra fire from anywhere that she can see

Maxxer — 0/0/0, she can augment the gifts of other Ultras, pushing their gifts

Puncher — 1/0/1, her strength and speed both go up when she repeats her movements

Replayer — 1/2/0, she can ‘step back in time’ to undo damage that she takes

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

Clawer – Ultra fighter 2/0/1, melee combatant, deadly hooks for hands

Stopper – partner of Clawer, 0/0/0, steals form’s velocity by looking at them

Sticker – Did dentistry for her brother, 0/0/2, Creates slime, can choose its stickiness

Grower – 0/*0/1, an outside Ultra I sponsored into the Lair, has a bullet blend from me, can rapidly increase the size and mass of objects

Joker — 0/2/0, a woman who can change what other people/herself look like

 

 

Assets: (physical)

1 truck

1 sedan

Owner’s Shington Store

Packer House

Fog Machines

Lasers (diverse)

 

Posse: (4 slots, 1 filled)

Owner (trusted friend, housemate, gift hard to describe) 0/0/1

 

Warband:

16 Veteran Ultras, 13 Rookie (that is, haven’t worked with me before) Ultras

Hexxer, Peeler, Guager, Soarer are notably less evil than the rest.

 

Blender AP: 6/10 (9 -3 +2 -3 +0 +1)

Actions cost 3, return 2 on success 0 on failure unless otherwise specified, Blender gains 1 AP every morning

 

Available Actions:

 

Posse Recruitment tree

Meet more Ultras (describe method, adds d6 to contacts)

Get to know specific Ultra better (describe method transitions Ultra to potential Posse member)

Invite Ultra to Posse (must have got to know target first, if accepted, Ultra joins Posse)

 

Warband tree

Get more Ultras (describe method, adds Ultras to warband of quality/quantity dependent on method)

Train warband (describe method, makes QM kinder to Blender in combat sections re: her troops actions and numbers)

Task warband (describe, needs Posse member or Blender to lead them, sets warband to a task)

 

VIP tree (Used for Regime Luminaries)

Visit VIP (explain, explain Blender’s motives and methods) (only returns 1 AP on success)

 

Contacts tree: (Blender currently believes morning is safer from Snitcher)

Get info from contacts (specify KEM or Resistance, method if different from usual dead drop)

Request mission from contacts (ask KEM or Resistance for action) (This can go in either direction, asking them to do something from you, or asking if they need you to do anything for them.)

 

Relax tree: (Actions which, on balance, regain AP)

Lay still: Cost 0, auto succeed, returns 2

Relaxation activities, Cost 0, returns 3 on success, 1 on failure

Healing work, Cost 1, returns 6 on success, Snitcher hazard

Blisser session, auto succeed, returns 4 per timeslot, cannot be ended until Blender is back at 10

 

Miscellaneous action: (Anything not covered above, scavenging, info gathering in person, etc, describe what Blender is going for)

 

Player Input:

Blender Morning Action

Blender Afternoon Action

Owner will take either a morning or afternoon action at Blender’s direction.

 

7 thoughts on “Regime Quest 43

  1. I agree with BriefVoice that we need more combat utility in the Posse, and that Ultra Speed will give us that utility. I *don’t* think that we should bring Replayer into our team, though; if we keep bringing people into the Posse just to get them killed, people are going to get suspicious.

    But no-one will be at *all* worried if we kill someone outside our Posse who ‘annoys us’. That’s the Regime way, isn’t it?

    Also, bringing Replayer into the Posse gives her a position of authority over the Warband. We don’t want her to make the Warband *more* monstrous than it is.

    Blender Morning: Invite Joker into Posse. Offer her a Bulletproof blend as an enticement to join.

    Blender Afternoon: Find out the nature of the next mission, by straight-out asking Subtractor. I don’t *like* to talk to her, but working in the dark hurts me in ways I don’t even know about yet. I need to find out.

    Owner Morning: Train the Warband. (BriefVoice is right, we should integrate them properly). Try to instil a bit of discipline – make sure that the rookies will listen to the veterans, and the veterans will listen to Owner. And learning more about discipline and hierarchical organisation may well help Owner to run her imaginary shop better, too…

  2. [if we keep bringing people into the Posse just to get them killed, people are going to get suspicious.]

    I mean, I doubt it. Also, Replayer is “light monstrous”. More uncaring that actually malicious. I’m not that worried about her effect on the warband.

    Replayer is a better fighter than Joker, full stop.

    [Owner Morning: Train the Warband. ]

    See, I think we made a big mistake last time by offloading all the warband training onto Smasher. It ended up that as far as they were concerned, she was the Warlord. She was the only one who ever interacted with them.

    I don’t want to make that mistake again. The warband needs to see that Blender is in charge, not her posse members.

    And frankly, I don’t think Owner with no offensive powers can command their respect sufficiently to bully them into line.

    1. [Replayer]

      I wouldn’t call her “light monstrous”. She’s a bored serial killer who can and will kill randomly. We *don’t* want that thinking being demonstrated as an example to the Warband. Also, there’s a decent chance that she’ll kill our Resistance or KEM contact if she hangs around us (likely without even realising the significance).

      She might be a better fighter than Joker (though she would mainly use her Ultra Speed to fight with, and Joker has equal Ultra Speed, so the difference is likely minor), but Joker more than makes up for that by being _way_ better at Sneaky Stuff and espionage.

      [Owner’s morning]

      You’re not wrong; we _should_ personally train the warband a lot. But… we also do need to start expanding the Posse (and that we _really_ should do in person) and we really, really, REALLY need to know where we’re going next – those are two tasks we _can’t_ offload onto Owner, no matter how much we might want to.

      As for commanding their respect? Owner survived Ar Harbour. If that by itself is not enough, then Blender will make the culprits regret their choices, tomorrow.

  3. [ She might be a better fighter than Joker (though she would mainly use her Ultra Speed to fight with, and Joker has equal Ultra Speed, so the difference is likely minor), but Joker more than makes up for that by being _way_ better at Sneaky Stuff and espionage.]

    Joker also strikes me as something of a coward by regime standards, honestly. I mean, not that I blame her OOC for wanting to preserve her own life, but she is not someone who is going to charge blindly into dangerous situations and risk her life if she can help it. Not even with a bulletproof blend.

    Replayer is someone who we can send into an extremely dangerous situation and she’ll be like, “no problem” and go in. Joker will not.

    [You’re not wrong; we _should_ personally train the warband a lot. But… we also do need to start expanding the Posse (and that we _really_ should do in person) ]

    Owner can do the “scout this person out and see what they’re like” portion of the posse expansion, which is why I put her on Burner.

    [we really, really, REALLY need to know where we’re going next]

    Yes we do, and honestly I’d like to think of a better way to do it than straight up asking Subtractor. Every interaction with her is a major risk. One low roll of the dice and we could get loaded with an ‘extra’ assignment (remember being told to go round up people for the Process) or she might just kill Blender for no particular reason.

    I haven’t yet thought of a good alternate way of finding out, so while I think of something I’m having Blender do stuff that absolutely needs to be done anyway on the theory that these are actions that would have to be spent no matter what the next assignment is.

    1. [Joker being a coward by Regime standards]

      Yes, but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. Joker used her brain on occasion; Replayer does not, trusting in her power to keep her alive instead.

      We need smart people more than stupid people.

      [Owner]

      Yes, Owner can scout out new potential Posse members. But *someone* should look after the Warband today, and Blender has two higher-priority tasks to complete instead.

      [Next mission]

      We’re agreed on the importance of finding this out. Asking Subtractor seems the logical next step… odds are she knows, but just hasn’t told us yet. If that fails, my backup plan is to ask Joker to do some spying.

      And yes, Subtractor might dump some more makework on us. Frankly, that’ll be better than working in the dark. I doubt she’ll kill us, though – not when Prevailed herself is looking forward to watching whatever our next mission is.

      For the record, other options for figuring out the next mission include:

      – Asking Snitcher, who sees plenty
      – Asking Joker to do some espionage for us
      – Assigning the Warband to figure it out as a “test” of their espionage abilities
      – Asking a precognitive Ultra, like Answered or Predictor
      – Asking KEM or the Resistance

      But asking the person who is actually supposed to be giving us these assignments seems like a decent idea to me…

  4. Incidentally, would you be wiling for me to post your plan and our back and forth into the Sufficient Velocity thread, or would that violate whatever moral objection you seem to have to SV?

    Or are you banned and me posting on your behalf would be taken as violating a ban?

    1. I’d be fine with you posting my suggestions and plans on SV, as long as you’re sure that you can do so under the rules of SV. And no, I have never been banned from SV because I have never had an account there, so no need to worry on that account.

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