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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedSorcererGirl

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    Default V for Victory! (IC)

    February 18th, 1942
    08:00
    New Public Offices
    Clive Steps, King Charles St, London
    SW1A


    The evening before...

    “It’s been confirmed, independently, by every expert we could get our hands on.”

    “Damn. I had hoped... No matter. The brass has been informed?”

    “Yes. As has everyone in the cabinet with clearance to know such things.”

    “What assets do we have on site?”

    “None who are equipped to deal with this.”

    “All right, Colonel. I know that tone of voice. You’ve got a plan.”

    “I don’t, but I approve. This one comes from the top. It’s… unorthodox.”

    “If we did things by the book, Colonel, we wouldn’t be here. Let’s hear it.”

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The morning dawns frosty and cold, but clear, or at least as clear as London gets. This close to the Thames, the mist hangs heavy in the air. A thin layer of snow, dirty and hardened by ice, crunches underfoot.

    London is a strange patchwork. In some neighborhoods, you’d never know there was a war on. In others, there’s no doubt, because there's no neighborhood left. The Blitz has taken a terrible toll on the city and Britain in general, but still its citizens soldier on. The mood on the streets is somber and despondent, not because of the bombing, but because of news half a world away. Two days ago, Singapore fell to the advancing armies of Japan. 80,000 British, Indian, and Australian soldiers have been taken prisoner in what Churchill curtly called “the worst military disaster in British history.” The Allies are starved for good news.

    That may be why you’ve been summoned, at the very crack of dawn, by very rushed messengers, not to 64 Baker Street, the HQ of the Special Operations Executive, but to the New Public Offices, a great white brick of bureaucracy, a mere two blocks from Westminster, close enough to look up and see Big Ben looming out of the fog.

    Or, to be more exact, you’ve been summoned under the New Public Offices.

    The War Rooms are a sprawling, top secret warren dug out of the basements, meant to keep the government safe and functioning in face of air raids and the threat of invasion. They were finished a mere week before Hitler invaded Poland, and have run 24-7 ever since.

    A small army of intelligence and communications officers and support staff live underground for days or even weeks at a time, alongside the top ministers and Churchill himself, confirming and collecting constant streams of information from all over the world, and turning it into briefings for the Prime Minister and his cabinet. The SOE usually just sends reports along. If you’ve been summoned here in person, whatever’s going on is big.

    You are ushered through the security cordon - though the guards are thorough and businesslike, they aren’t harsh - there’s little doubt you are who you say you are. On the other side, you find yourself in a separate little world. There are radio sets and telephone banks and maps of every size and stripe, but there are also offices, kitchens, and beds, some still occupied. You are not alone, it turns out. There are other agents here, as well as a number of allies, friends, and handlers. All of you have been crowded outside a large meeting room the sign on the door simply dubs the Map Room. Some are familiar, to varying degrees, some are new faces. A forest's worth of files change hands in the background. Leah Summers and Lisa Cartwright gossip about something in low whispers from the corner, the fingers pointed at Jane and Lily making it obvious what the topic is.

    Taking a look around, it's not hard to see that the summoned are hardly your standard soldiers.

    A tall, well-built man in a tight-fitting silver and blue outfit with a star on his chest and a long blue cape. While it is clear that all here are more than meets the eye, he is conspicuously a superhero, no doubt about it.

    The same goes equally for the young woman, a teenager, even, in a stylized birdlike mask and hood. Her costume appears to be similar tight spandex, though this is a lighter sky blue and sharp emerald green.

    A tall woman, even taller than the man in silver. Statuesque, even Amazonian in build, blond, with jade-green eyes, in a white shirt and suspenders. Those who come close can swear they hear music, the quiet but stirring sort that plays in the movies when something important is about to happen.

    Near her sits a woman no less statuesque, but far shorter, with wavy brown hair, though interestingly, similar vibrant green eyes. Though her outfit is military, it's also several thousand years out of date, that of an ancient hoplite, or an Amazon, though a small arsenal's worth of modern weapons sits next to her sword.

    A woman, beautiful, but conspicuously inconspicuous in this unusual company, dark haired, in a simple dress, somewhat worn, but still pretty, in a colorful floral pattern.

    Last to enter is a woman in a long, flowing wrapped gown, teal and ocean blue, and leaving a little less to the imagination than the British public was used to. Bronze skinned and white-haired, though quite young, and carrying an elaborate trident.

    The atmosphere is tense and busy, and even the strangeness of the new guests merits an odd look or two before the business of running an entire empire's war effort takes over once more. A dozen conversations carry on, melding into a general buzz in the background.

    You are not entirely ignored, though. A kindly looking old man shuffles past and adjusts a small sign on the wall, the only marker of the weather outside. “Would anyone care for tea?” He asks, utterly unruffled by the odd appearance of the gathered agents.

    At that moment, a man in RAF fatigues, short, but solid and stocky, with a massive walrus mustache and salt-and-pepper hair, who reminds Jane a touch of her father, and a taller man, balding, with wide, thoughtful eyes, wearing a civilian suit that makes him look like a professor, emerge from the Map Room and briskly wave you toward the door. They are, respectively, Charles Hambro, MP, head of the entire SOE, and Colonel Maurice Buckmaster, Director of European Operations - to you, he's simply "M".

    "Please, come in. I apologize for the short notice, we're all a bit rushed today. We'll begin in a moment. Tea would be lovely, Charles. Cream and sugar for everyone."

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: V for Victory! (IC)

    Silver Star was following a man underground and into the facility, all while thinking about how he had come to be here in the first place. It had been a year since the formation of the Liberty League, and not long after circumstances demanded they stay home for the most part. Star smiled as he thought to himself about the discussion he and fellow professor Mark Leeds talked at length about this decision. But those talks were some time ago; Earnest Evans resigned from his post at the college, saying he planned to volunteer for relief over in the UK, not far from the truth but besides a desire to do what he could to help end the war Silver Star had a second reason for wanting to come to Europe.

    His archnemesis, the dastardly Dr. Destruction, had escaped his latest lab in a rocket grandiosely announcing how he'd claim all the superhuman knowledge in Europe and rule the world by harnessing their powers, the usual claims of course. It seemed mad to go to a warzone just to find research subjects but the doctor had never exactly been sane to begin with, and there was a certain logic to it, people could get lost in the chaos of war easily enough; who knows who Dr. Destructo could claim as a victim or ally himself with in this chaos! So two reasons for Silver Star to come to London.

    The first reason had been occupying Silver Star's time for the most part. He'd been spending time intercepting bombs, fighting off the occasional agent or super agent. While the grateful faces of those people whose lives he saved always brought a smile to Silver Star's face he has lately been troubled by the fact that he lost Dr. Destruction's trail in London. Silver Star hopes to find him before he can get up to no good, but whether he finds him first or not he knows it's just a matter of time before Dr. Destruction and he meet again, so relief and help with the defense are the biggest priorities for Silver Star right now.

    Which brings him back to here, underground, and not the only superhuman brought here from the looks of it. Oddly enough all of the rest of them were women. Now, Silver Star learned long ago from his mother not to underestimate women, and in his time here he has certainly met plenty of powerful women who were fighting in this battle for London as well as or better than any man. Still it was a sight, and not just because they were a particularly attractive lot to boot. He had to admit he was already feeling outnumbered here, not just because he's one alien in a room full of humans as he usually felt, but now because of the hormone disparity of this super crowd.

    "Hello, a pleasure to meet you," Silver Star would say, or some variant thereof, to each lady as they entered the room. The heroes were all ushered to their seats and addressed by the other men in the room before he could properly introduce himself, "Oh, thank you," he said to the man who was sent for the tea, while he didn't need to eat or drink, something he had been making full use of to make sure everyone else in London got his share of rations, he had to admit he was starting to miss the taste of something sweet to eat. "Anyways, no need for apologies sir, I'd be a poor man if I didn't come here when I came to London to help in the first place."

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Troll in the Playground
     
    tonberrian's Avatar

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    Marina hated the gown. It was too flowing to be of use in a real fight, and uncomfortable to boot. But these people were scandalized enough at it, proper battle-gear would likely make them pass out. Plus there was the whole "visiting royalty" issue, and more than a few people had tried to take the Trident away from her - she nearly gutted the first man to lay a hand on it, and had to work very hard to convince them (at spearpoint) why having the dangerous magical artifact out of her grasp was a bad idea. The only bright sides to the day had been breakfast (a wonderful thing called "porridge") and the rain earlier. It was... different, feeling water falling on her face, rather than swimming in it, and not unpleasant. Still, by the time she arrived, Marina's mood was fouler than ever, the stink of these "automobiles" and "factories" filling the air and now being crowded in this bunker.

    Marina nodded coolly to the Silver Star at his greeting and entered into the Map Room, but rather than taking a seat she leaned against one of the walls, Trident in hand. She was a soldier, she could deal with these indignities. Marina has nothing in particular to say to the gathered group, so she keeps silent.
    The name is "tonberrian", even when it begins a sentence. It's magic, I ain't gotta 'splain why.

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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Ridai's Avatar

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    Default Re: V for Victory! (IC)

    Jane crosses her mental fingers that no one else hears the music. That and hoping not to bump her head into anything, no thanks to having been "graduated" up from Elizabeth's format to what she is nowadays years ago.

    Trying not to blush too obviously in response to seeing Leah gossip about her (and failing to do so; oh, sure is warm in here, isn't it?), Jane makes her way to the Map Room. She has been to various war rooms, usually knocking heads together and hitting people in the face with overflowing ash trays, but it is kind of a different thing when she isn't doing that and she's on the "good" side for once. Second thoughts about her idea are sneaking in, but Jane tries to push them down quickly before someone somehow can tell and gets overly sympathetic and encouraging with her. In response to tea, she says "Oh, that would be lovely, thank you," the London heritage showing in her accent, and in her not wanting to be a bother by refusing the tea on the basis of already having had coffee. She has a strong voice, some people acting surprised to hear her being neither loud nor rude, at least in a setting where she isn't being shot at.

    Jane greets the other heroes (as in actual heroes, presumably, unlike herself) with a handshake and introducing herself like her parents taught her, also making sure not to squeeze and to not be too self-conscious about the size of her hands compared to the others' ("Oh, Mr. Silver Star, how lovely to meet you here.", "Hello Elizabeth, I had a feeling I'd find you here.", raising a greeting hand towards the woman she recognizes from the time she had to find out that she can survive sudden changes in water pressure etc.).

    Being apologized at, Jane opens her mouth to answer, but good guy Silver Star already handles that, so she just gestures in the vein of "Oh, it is no trouble, thank you." After an awkward moment of standing, she accepts the cup of tea, thanking Charles. Jane should be looking ridiculous holding the comparatively tiny tea cup, but at that's one thing she can pull off without too much an issue, taking a seat to stand out a little less (and still standing out by towering over the others even while sitting, the woman suppressing a sigh and taking another sip instead). It's all rather unusual, really.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: V for Victory! (IC)

    Elizabeth had only been back in London for a few days and had spent most of those nights being bought drinks by a few soldiers she had either helped or even rescued during the last year and a half. It had been a few long nights, but still she walked into the underground War Room with a bounce in her step and a smile on her face. Divinely enhanced endurance and liver probably helped there. She greeted a few of the people she had worked with before and nodded to those who greeted her.

    She regally walked into the room filled with multiple other people, mostly looking like the type of person which would be called in when ‘specialists’ were needed. They were also all tall, even the teenager had her beaten lengthwise. Maybe that was a requirement or something. Not that she felt short, that would be ludicrous. She was just.. not giant sized.

    “Charmed.” Elizabeth favoured the man in blue and silver with a friendly smile when he greeted her.
    “Lady Athanasia.” She introduced herself with her cape name, even if it was a bit clunky and most people who she had been in battle with called her Elizabeth, then held up her hand for him to kiss. Her British upper class breeding obvious in both her bearing and accent.

    “Jane!” Elizabeth’s smile exploded across her face when the giant woman greeted her.
    “A pleasure to see you again. If you’re here this is going to be capital.”
    If nothing else when Jane was around they had fun. And she was one of the few who wasn’t such a controlling person that they always wanted to drive.

    Elizabeth introduced herself to the others who were at least a bit social and nodded at the ones who were more the grim and silent types. Some people were like that. To each his or her own she figured.

    “Thank you a spot of tea would be nice.” She answered Charles when he offered, then turned to M and said
    “It sounds, and looks, like something problematic occurred. What can I help with?”
    I will be on holiday in Scotland from June 17th to July 16th and posting will be sporadic during this time, unless the highlands turn out to be exceedingly boring. Fat chance of that though.


  6. - Top - End - #6
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Ridai's Avatar

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    Default Re: V for Victory! (IC)

    Jane's chuckle carries all the mixed feelings about just how capital things are going to be in it. But at least someone is happy to see her, who also is as charming as Elizabeth and who isn't a budding Love Interest. So far, at least. Finger's crossed that it stays that way. The lady's engaged, that has to count for something, right?

    "If this will be remotely like what happened on the way to me applying here, you will be as happy as a child in a candy store with a distressing allowance. I wonder if they scrubbed all the dragon bits out of the Tube by now. Sadly, their blood alone does not in fact make you invincible or I'd have a very durable face and set of hands by now."

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Tar Palantir's Avatar

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    When the call finally came in, Sparrow felt almost relieved. She'd spent the last several months in and around London, dipping her toes in the waters of superheroism, and while she found the lifestyle in general suited her quite well, it was hard to escape the creeping sensation that she could accomplish so much more than just rounding up muggers and rescuing kittens from trees. It was that feeling of wasted potential that led her to leap into this new opportunity with both feet. Bit of an odd turn of phrase when you're flying as often as not, isn't it, Lily? Her inner monologue offered no reply.

    Her eagerness was definitely due to a desire to push her limits, and most certainly had nothing to do with the individual making the offer, no matter how intelligent, charming, sharp-tongued, energetic, and confident that individual might be. Wow, that was...not terribly convincing. I wonder what the odds are of me making it through this meeting without saying something embarrassing. I probably can't get away with wearing a gag, hero or no hero.

    Such are the thoughts that occupied the majority of her attention as she descended down into the War Rooms. The rest of her thoughts were focused on the other 'specialists' gathered alongside her. Silver Star and Jane Hale needed no introduction, of course, and she believed she recognized Elizabeth Margaret Theresa Darwin-Wedgwood, a minor, if rather interesting, member of the peerage. She responded warmly to all the offered greetings, though she declined the offered tea, before attaching herself to Jane and Elizabeth's little coterie."You're joking, right? An actual dragon? I've heard the stories about you, Miss Hale, but I thought they had to be at least a little exaggerated."
    Thanks to Thormag for my Legion avatar.

    Current Characters:

    Lily Nightingale, a.k.a. Sparrow, in V for Victory (OoC)

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Ridai's Avatar

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    Default Re: V for Victory! (IC)

    "Do I ever wish they were grossly exaggerated," Jane replies wearily. "Do not ask me how they managed to get a lindwurm from Germany into the London Underground. Or what they are feeding them, for that matter. Those buggers can move like livid, overgrown ferrets!" She stops briefly, as the mental image forms in her head as well, frowning at thin air. Uncertain whether a big, murderous beast is better if it is fluffy. Jury still out on that one, hopefully to never be determined.

    "Please do call me Jane, though. If we are going to get shot at together, I think first name basis is proper enough. Or, well, hero name, as appropiate." She underlines her words with a quick smile.

  9. - Top - End - #9
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    The_Snark's Avatar

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    At first glance, the girl in the floral dress looks out of place: neither soldier nor superhero, she seems like she'd be more at home at some country faire than in the beating heart of Churchill's war machine. Until you look at the eyes. Those are hard, and cold. She doesn't appear to feel out of place, either, her body language broadcasting impatience more than anything else. Today marks almost a month since Chantal reached England's shores. At first she was grateful for the reprieve, having spent the previous two months fleeing the Thule Society's eldritch hounds (metaphorical and otherwise); now recovered from the ordeal, she's getting more restless with each passing day. Chantal Gaillot was not made to sit idle while the tyrant Germans and their toadies hold her home in thrall.

    She makes a dismissive gesture in response to the older man's courtesies. "It is fine, Colonel. There is a war on, it is good to rush."
    Avatar by Ifni. Thanks!

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedSorcererGirl

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    Default Re: V for Victory! (IC)

    With speed and efficiency that makes some suspicious that the old chamberlain may be some sort of superhuman, Charles has reappeared with a silver tray and a full tea service, with piping hot cups for all of the the assembled agents, even those who declined, and several people who have yet to appear. He vanishes back through the door with a bow.

    The SOE's two higher-ups busy themselves double-checking through reports, while a pair of staff officers set up a slide projector against the wall before retiring. A few of the empty seats are quietly filled by other spymasters, M's direct underlings, the officers responsible for the "Ungentlemanly" networks in individual nations - Belgium, France, Norway, and so on. For a supposed last-minute, rushed meeting, things are quite tranquil for a moment.

    "Well now!" The door doesn't open so much as give way in a wave of enthusiasm. A broad figure in a black suit stalks through and peers around, appraising you all through shrewd, hooded eyes before nodding with an expression that isn't a smile so much as a growl of approval.

    "Mm. I was told that despite it being the eleventh hour, some tremendous figures were to be made available, and I see I was told the truth! I do hope you're up to it."

    It seems the Prime Minister will be joining you this morning.

    Spoiler: No Pressure
    Show


    He spots Marina still on her feet, and corners her with a bow and a gentlemanly kiss on the hand before grasping her shoulder and giving her a concerned look-over. "You had a long journey. Always take the opportunity to rest when it comes. you'll find they grow rarer as you get older." While Winston has a reputation as something of a lech, he also has a granddaughter in the service, about your age. "Our ally against the terrible scourge under the waves. Would that more had your spirit, pri-" He catches himself, holding up a finger. "Ah yes. Nearly forgot. M'am." Marina catches a wink as Churchill turns to take his seat.

    "We face a grave threat to all of our intelligence efforts on the Continent. There are precious few of us who know the truth of this... war in the shadows. As one of them, I have been pressed into service." His mouth briefly curves up into a smile, appreciating the irony.

    "When informed of the situation, I happened on a rather daring idea. It is a great risk, yes, but we face a dilemma that can not be dealt with conventionally. You six brave souls, however, might well do the job. Colonel, if you would?"

    M stands and presses a button on the projector. A picture of a group of armed men appears on the wall. "This was taken 17 days ago, in Melun, some 25 or so miles southeast of Paris. Members of the Resistance, celebrating what was by all accounts a very successful raid on a railyard, one the Boche have yet to untangle. The fellow in the middle, with the glasses, is one of ours, Captain Robert Speights. Captain Speights was one of the leading lights in our effort to unite and coordinate the disparate groups fighting against the German occupation. He was carrying information on just about every Maquis cell in the occupied zone, and was due to be extracted tomorrow. I speak in the past tense because this picture was taken roughly 48 hours ago, and delivered at great risk, by channels reserved for the highest priority."

    The second picture shows eight of the same men, seated around a large table in what looks to be a cellar or storeroom. They had been eating a meal and playing cards. Two are armed. All are dead, still sitting in their chairs, with blank, lifeless stares. A note has been pinned to the table with a knife, but is unreadable from this angle. Captain Speights has been shot, one round, right between the eyes. One looks to have been strangled. Jane would take it for one of Elsa Jäger's grisly tableaus, save that...

    The rest of the dead are not entirely unmarked.

    "Now, that would be bad enough. The reason that, as the Prime Minister termed it, this is a 'job for the extraordinary', is this." M clicks to a magnified close-up of one of the fighters. On his neck are two small holes.

    "Those are what you fear they are. Contacts from a neighboring cell discovered and examined the bodies. All had been drained of blood."

    "This is the note left behind on the table, there."

    M shows the room not another slide, but the actual note. Scratched on it is a short threat. "Die Nacht ist unsere." - The night is ours. Below it is a rough swastika traced in blood, a macabre bit of finger painting.

    "In short, a vampire, and in all likelihood more than one, with Nazi sympathies, currently has the location of almost all Resistance fighters in northern France. This is not a moment for caution. This is a moment for our best to prove they deserve that title." Churchill finishes the briefing himself. "You shall be leaving shortly. If you have questions, now is the time."

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Ridai? Is that a good translation? Or would it be "Die Nacht gehört uns"? I haven't spoken German in seven years, and I wasn't fluent at my best. There is rust.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Tar Palantir's Avatar

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    Sparrow listens intently as M began the briefing, taking note of the faces of the resistance fighters; one never knew when such information might be relevant. Probably not this time, she thinks to herself as the next slide comes up. She finds herself leaning forward at the sight of the aftermath of what was clearly an exemplary display of supernatural predation mixed with good old-fashioned human nationalism, biting her lower lip just slightly. She drinks in the entire scene, her combat subroutines combing over every inch of the image for usable data, leaving her just a little hot under the collar in the process.

    She tears herself away from the grim tableau in time to direct her attention to the note, and to the Prime Minister's concluding statement. She clears her throat slightly, and says, "There is a great deal of conflicting information on vampires and related hematophagic creatures in publicly available sources. Given that much of that information labels such beings 'fictional', I am loath to rely upon any of it without substantial corroboration. Do you have anything a bit less 'rumors and superstition' and a bit more 'actionable intelligence', in regards to just what such beings are capable of? Summaries would be sufficient, but I would prefer raw data if you can get it in an appropriate time frame; I have no problem sifting through intel myself." If she in any way realizes the oddity of those words coming from a girl who looks barely old enough to drive, she gives no sign.
    Thanks to Thormag for my Legion avatar.

    Current Characters:

    Lily Nightingale, a.k.a. Sparrow, in V for Victory (OoC)

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Troll in the Playground
     
    tonberrian's Avatar

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    Marina heaved an internal sigh of relief. She knew very little about these surfacers, and apparently this was one of their odd "fairy tales" come to life. It would have been awkward if she had been the only one who knew nothing about these creatures.

    Still, Marina had hunted things from the deep that would scare these landlubbers witless. She had no doubt that these "vampires" would fall just as easily.
    The name is "tonberrian", even when it begins a sentence. It's magic, I ain't gotta 'splain why.

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  13. - Top - End - #13
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    Ridai's Avatar

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    Yup, the pressure is on. This reveals probably the one good thing about having fought demonic/deep one/[insert occult uglies here] invasions (other than saving people, that is): at least she has the mental tools to deal with this to a degree.

    Watching the slides, Jane sips her tea, still doing so for a moment as the slide with all the dead people appears, until she notices what she is doing and quickly sets down the cup with a slight blush and perhaps a little too much noise. Also has to suppress a sigh of relief, which would have been really inappropiate. This means that they won't have to go after Elsa, that Elsa hasn't lost her edge (she'd never leave a histronic note like that, her messages need no words and are done in a way where you cannot deny that it is art, which makes her work even more terrifying for most people), and that Jane won't lose most of her team without noticing. Well, fingers crossed in that last regard. Jane isn't sure why she is glad about that second one, though. Don't think too hard about it. Also don't mention it.

    Right, just vampires... on the other hand, "Bloody vampires again. SS uniforms make them all hot and bothered." If those uniforms were less impressive, maybe they'd have less fanged problems.

    Hearing Sparrow ask about intel, Jane swivels her hand and presses air out of the corner of her mouth in a very "Ooph, hard to say" way. "It kind of depends on what sort of vampire you are up against in terms of how to off them and what they can do to make your life miserable. The only sure fire ways to kill them so far seem to be sunlight, burning them (do we have flamethrowers?), decapitation or entirely destroying the head, destroying or removing the heart, or just generally grinding their bodies to a bloody paste. Crosses are dicey, many vampires bathe, and too many of them can quote the Bible. No silver, that's werewolves. People like to get that wrong. Regardless of bloodline, the older ones tend to be much nastier all-around. And harder to understand. They do not think much about going with the times, which includes language. Made a few villain speeches very awkward in the past." Then, realizing she possibly spoke out of turn, Jane hastily adds "Oh, I'm sorry, please continue" with a deferring gesture towards Command (despite them not having started to explain anything about vampires).

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    If the Spirit (and thus our dear GM) deems it appropiate, maybe Jane's Right Tool For The Job! arranges itself to give Jane the Well-Informed advantage, and possibly more ranks in Investigation (which I feel would be more appropiate in this situation than Persuasion)
    Investigation roll if Well-Informed is allowed (add ranks as granted, if any) (1d20+4)[15]

    Also, about the German "Die Nacht gehört uns" is the most conventional way to say it, yes. "Die Nacht ist unsere" sounds a bit like a reverse Germanism, but could be passed off as a vampire being overly theatrical, possibly to the point of changing syntax to where it would result in a dramatic message if translated. "Die Nacht ist die unsere" would be a, let's say, old-fashioned and kinda-sorta poetic way to say it.

    In general, though, even if it is clear, I just want to say: please don't feel pressured about getting German 100% right, I won't call you out or anything (I know I am constantly crossing my fingers about not messing something in English up too much), and dodgy German is genre-appropiate to boot (once, when asked about understanding German, Jane replied "Aye, can 'Mein Leben!' with the best of them"). I do reserve the right to Grammar-Nazi Nazis to piss them off and ruin their speeches, though.

    Hopefully, the mini-dump on vampires in the post isn't too much. Tried to explain the different ways media handles vampires as different bloodlines, with Jane also not being 100% certain that the murder-ways will work for absolutely every vampire, especially the old (lowercase o) ones.
    Last edited by Ridai; 2016-12-31 at 04:25 AM. Reason: Fiddling with wordings

  14. - Top - End - #14
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    "Créatures de la nuit," Chantal says, half to herself. She seems pensive, but not actually disturbed by the idea, much less at the sight of the dead men; they died cleanly, it seems. Many a Resistance fighter has met an uglier fate. She gazes at the photograph for a minute before looking up to address their British taskmasters in a strong French accent. "Do we know that the vampire is not working with the Germans? It does not matter how fast we act, if they have given the Staatspolizei all of the names already."
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  15. - Top - End - #15
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    "Thank you." Elizabeth sincerely thanked the chamberlain when she accepted the tea. She sipped it scalding hot, holding the cup's handle delicately between thumb and index finger, her pinky finger pointed up. Her eyes looking into the cup as she drank. She didn't even think about the tea ettiquette which had been drilled into her since she was able to hold a cup herself, but she did note that most of the others did not have similar manerisms. It didn't surprise her, there were comparitively few men and women of breeding working the SOE. She wasn't sure if she preferred it this way.

    When the Prime Minister entered she stood and half-curtsied, using the plié version with a half-bow of her head. He was the leader of the British war effort and had more than earned the deference. She seated herself again and then listened while Churchil explained the situation.

    She kept her enthusiasm at hearing they'd be going after vampires in check, but her eyes were already sparkling in enjoyment.
    "Eight of the nine men are dead. Do we know what happened to the ninth man? Or who he is?"Elizabeth asked after Churchill had opened the floor to questions. Dispite her eager anticipation of getting into things, she had learned that a modicum of preparation helped
    "Where will we be dropped? And will we have a contact on the ground to get us moving?"
    She then looked around the others gathered eith her and asked
    "Combien d'etre nous parlent français?"*
    To native french speakers her accent was obvious, but she was more than able to hit the nasal phonetic nuances. It was clear that she had spent a lot of time speaking with french speakers over the years.

    After Jane had given a rundown of a few of the different ways of finishing off vampires, she nodded in confirmation, an eager smile forming on her lips.
    "Jane is correct, those are a few of the most common methods of dealing with vampires. A liberal use of plastique is also very effective in my experience, but that can be said about most things that go bump in the night."

    "Speaking of which, I will need to resupply. I'm running low after that zombie tank factory thing."
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    * how many of us speak french?
    I will be on holiday in Scotland from June 17th to July 16th and posting will be sporadic during this time, unless the highlands turn out to be exceedingly boring. Fat chance of that though.


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    "Is that another of your surface tongues? Learning the first was hard enough."
    The name is "tonberrian", even when it begins a sentence. It's magic, I ain't gotta 'splain why.

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    Sparrow raises an eyebrow at Marina's comment, then answers, "There are upwards of six thousand different living languages currently extant around the world. I don't speak all of them, but I do speak most of them. Y compris le français." She directs this last statement at Elizabeth with a wink, delivered in an accent that would make her swear that Sparrow was of upper class Parisian upbringing.
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  18. - Top - End - #18
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    Jane looks into Elizabeth's general direction for a while after the French and throughout the others' answers, eventually offering "Sorry, I speak French only sometimes." A beat. "Please don't ask me to explain."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tar Palantir View Post
    "There is a great deal of conflicting information on vampires and related hematophagic creatures in publicly available sources. Given that much of that information labels such beings 'fictional', I am loath to rely upon any of it without substantial corroboration. Do you have anything a bit less 'rumors and superstition' and a bit more 'actionable intelligence', in regards to just what such beings are capable of? Summaries would be sufficient, but I would prefer raw data if you can get it in an appropriate time frame; I have no problem sifting through intel myself."
    "Entirely correct, Ms. Sparrow." Perhaps a quirk picked up in Parliament, Hambro insisted on titles and honorifics for everyone, even those who were already using heroic names. "We have some concrete information. Would that we had more. I don't care for my agents flying blind. We have a great deal more that is, as you say, contradictory, unreliable, or situational. I will do my best to provide you with our files. Perhaps you can glean something from them."

    "As for what we do know, I'll do my best." When M gets going, he not only looks the part of a professor, he sounds like one too.

    "First and foremost, vampires are not creatures of fairytale and folklore, they are very real things. The dead, brought back to a cursed, mocking semblance of life. If you want our researchers to get absolutely nothing of consequence done all day, ask them where it originated. They'll provide a dozen different versions of the most fascinating nonsense you've ever seen." He sighs.

    "The curse can be spread, transmitted by blood. This is the famous 'vampire bite', as you can see on the necks of the unfortunates on the screen there. 'Turning' a victim is, so far as we can tell, something of a choice on the 'sire's' part. Most often, the bite is simply lethal, as you'd expect exsanguination to be. Vampires are nourished only by blood, and need to consume it regularly, as the living need food. Without it, they fall into a weakened, and eventually comatose state, a sort of withered hibernation."

    "Barring destruction, the vampire is effectively immortal. They do not age, or succumb to disease. Older vampires do, as Ms. Hale notes, trend towards being more powerful than their younger brethren. In part, it is simply greater experience, but there are... I hesitate to say quantifiable when dealing with the supernatural, but they seem to be more difficult to destroy, and have abilities far beyond the rank and file."

    "Which brings us to the most pertinent information for you, going into the path of the beast; What they can do, and how to dispose of them. To be blunt, beyond the rather shaky proof of different bloodlines, cataloguing the abilities of the vampire is a nightmare. Such is magic, I suppose. They are usually stronger and tougher than the living, and have few of our concerns. Trying to drown a creature that doesn't use its lungs won't do you a lick of good."

    "Beyond that, it's a litany of remarkable abilities: Mind control, flight, intangibility, shape-shifting, summoning and command of animals, teleportation, the healing of wounds that would fell any mortal, more than I could reasonably list. They don't all have all these powers - this is where the talk of bloodlines comes in."

    "As for weaknesses, Ms. Hale largely has the right of it. They are not indestructible. Severe trauma - a direct bomb hit, a flamethrower, a tank's treads, a block of Demolition B in the right place." This last option comes with an approving nod towards Elizabeth. "To be crude, if there's no body, there's not much of a problem, is there?"

    "More traditionally, beheading and the stake through the heart are effective, and moreover, prevent the creature from rising again. Garlic does nothing, nor silver, as several agents discovered too late. The compulsions one reads about in folktales and penny dreadfuls - aversion to holy symbols, the need to count dropped objects, the inability to enter a building without invitation, etcetera, they do seem to exist, that is, all those stories started somewhere, but these mental disorders are not fixed parts of the curse, and certainly not to be relied on. Daylight weakens and burns them. Most avoid it like the plague. A very 'young' vampire might perish outright in the sun." M leans back and lets Hambro take over.

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Snark View Post
    "Do we know that the vampire is not working with the Germans? It does not matter how fast we act, if they have given the Staatspolizei all of the names already."
    The mustachioed man turns awkwardly toward Melusine after her pointed question. "It's not impossible, of course, but we believe the note to be something of a misdirection. That is, we-"

    "Oh, for God's sake, man!" If it were socially acceptable to hide under the table, Hambro would be doing it.

    "We know because I told them, and I know, because I received this, tucked into yesterday's bag of diplomatic correspondence." Churchill pulls a folded letter from his pocket and passes it around. The anonymous letter, written in rather archaic French, is the most polite ransom note those who can read it have ever read. Full of effusive, flowery complements, it boils down to an ultimatum - use British influence and resources to leave the Resistance as clueless lambs for the slaughter, or the documents go to the SS, and they die at the hands of a different kind of predator.

    "I will not stand for it." Churchill rouses himself and begins pacing around the table, the SOE men not getting to the meat of things fast enough for his taste. "You are not just a vital intelligence mission, you are a hammer coming down on a pest. I have enough real threats to occupy my time."

    "As for the rest of the questions put forward, let me see what I can do."

    "Rest assured, we're not sending you in unprepared. You will have time to resupply."
    His eyes twinkle at that. MD1, the SOE's nerdy cousin, where the research and development for "irregular warfare" went on, was nicknamed "Churchill's Toybox" for a reason, and fell under his direct control.

    "We do not know what happened to the ninth man." Winston runs a finger down a report, double-checking something. "Adam Couture, tailor by trade. Served a brief stint in the army in the interwar years. All we know for sure is that his body was not recovered with the others. He may be dead, or a prisoner, or perhaps a traitor."

    "You shall be going in this afternoon and landing tonight. We measured carefully, there is enough room, Ms. Gaillot." If that was meant to make sense to anyone else, the Prime Minister presses on regardless. "Your drop-zone will be in the Fontainbleau Forest, southeast of Paris. It's not far from Melun, where the attack took place, and it's the haunt of your contact. - Lazare Durant. He was the one who discovered what happened."

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    Right Tool for the Job shift approved. Well-Informed results, and the rolls for the folks with good memories delivered via infodump. They won't all be this long, I promise.
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  20. - Top - End - #20
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    Chantal's lip curls as she reads the note. The author is quite fluent, suspiciously so even. Put together with the Colonel's speculation about misdirection... "So, not a patriot but a traitor seeking easy prey. I suppose I should not be surprised to find that such a creature is a coward and a vulture. I will enjoy putting this one down."

    She favors Churchill with a nod, unfazed by the man's rank and reputation. (In fact she's decided she quite likes him; he doesn't waste time or mince words, unlike so many Brits.) "Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister. I am ready to leave at your convenience."
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    "As am I."
    The name is "tonberrian", even when it begins a sentence. It's magic, I ain't gotta 'splain why.

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    "Hmmm..." Several thoughts swirled in Silver Star's head as he observed the photos and was told about the vampires. The biologist in him had so many questions about something that could be clinically dead yet functional. Another part of him worried about the possibility of Dr. Destruction finding some way to harness these vampires or their "curse." The hero in him knew that they had to be stopped!

    "I can promise you Prime Minister, we will do everything in our power to stop them!" Silver Star swore, "That said I do have one question. Has this Fontainbleau Forest or Melun had any other noteworthy superhuman, or supernatural, incidents? If the vampires are really working with the Germans, or anyone for that matter, this could lead to disaster."

  23. - Top - End - #23
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    This is something all new to Jane. Prior warning, upfront information, a contact, knowing what villain she'll be up against. Clearly, this means things will go sideways in an all new and terrifying way no one accounted for.

    "No questions." I am rather used to figuring out the shape of things as I go. She also finishes and sets down her tea cup, which has a weird finality to its tone. Music is surging up, too. Preparation and heroic take-off, it is then...

  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Sparrow twists her lips in thought as M outlines the known capabilities of vampires, such as they are. "So, to summarize, they're tough, but if they can't even handle being blown up or decapitated, they're not as tough as me, maybe not even as tough as Silver Star," she nods in his direction, "but get any number of other capabilities on top of that, and they can spread their abilities to others. Do they have some form of control over their spawn? In any case, you may rest assured, Prime Minister, that we will root out this infestation and secure the safety of the Resistance." She pauses, then adds, "Well, relative safety, anyway. They're freedom fighters, not hair dressers."
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  25. - Top - End - #25
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    Elizabeth sipped her tea while listening to M laying out the nitty gritty about vampires. She gave him a smile when he spoke of using explosives to deal with vampires. The others all agreed that they were ready to head out and deal with this threat. She was happy that they seemed like the dependable types. She gave the young girl a speculative look when she declared that she and silver star were powerful enough to survive decapitation. She might be exaggerating, but then again she was a young woman in a meeting with the Prime Minister discussing destroying vampires, so she probably was not.

    Elizabeth’s own eyes started to twinkle in anticipation when the Prime Minister mentioned resupplying. Churchill’s Toybox was the place fun stuff was made.
    “Smashing. And while a promise is a dangerous thing, I agree with Mister Silver Star, we’ll stop them.”
    “For King and Country.”

    “I take it our way out is anything we can liberate, or that Jane can find for us?” She finished almost hopefully. Jane’s transportation was always exciting and eventful.
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    Sorry for the late post. But new years eve and hangover day cramped my writing a bit. Also, I found out Wikipedia lied to me! Ok, not really, I just read it wrong. Apparently Comp C3 was developed in 1944 and we’re playing in 1942, so apparently my character is ahead of her time! I’ll update het character sheet to composition B. *grumble* *grumble*
    I will be on holiday in Scotland from June 17th to July 16th and posting will be sporadic during this time, unless the highlands turn out to be exceedingly boring. Fat chance of that though.


  26. - Top - End - #26
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    RedSorcererGirl

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    Hambro shakes his head at Silver Star's query. "A few local ghost stories, nothing concrete. It's a large, pretty wood near Paris - no shortage of romantic novels, but nothing of help to you, I'm afraid."

    M nods at Sparrow's summary of the situation. "That's about the shape of it, yes. As for control, forms of hypnotism or mind control are commonly reported abilities. Control of 'spawn', as you termed it, is not unheard of, but we have no modern, verified reports of such. Take with the same grain of salt you would take any folklore."

    "As for how you're getting out, that's up to you. Predicting how a mission like this will go is a fool's errand. We will have resources on standby, but liberating something is always an option. We trust your judgement."

    "If there are no questions, I see no reason to detain you further. I do hope that I will be able to hear of your exploits in a more comfortable setting, and in person." Churchill looks like he'd rather have tea with Hitler than deal with whatever meeting is following yours, but he ushers you out himself, offering a handshake and well-wishes to each of you in turn.

    As you file out, Jane is ambushed with a smile, Leah appearing as if out of thin air.

    "Someone said you're going across the Channel, but all of my usual chatterboxes are clamming up when I try to get anything more. Must be important if they're sending you, Jane. Are you at liberty to let anything slip?"

    With the meeting finished, the heroes are led politely but insistently out of the War Rooms, exiting the building above through a different door than the one they came in through, and are bundled into the back of an army truck. Despite several of you being able to fly or leap far faster than any automobile, command insists on you staying together, "for security and ease of coordination."

    The driver nods genially as you pile in. "Welcome aboard. This bit of cargo's headed up to Whitchurch. Nice little town. Got an old estate you might want to see. Place called The Firs. Heard they offer tours."
    ------------------------------------------------------

    It's an uneventful, if uncomfortable drive north out of London and into the Buckinghamshire countryside. The roads are potholed and rutted, and the truck has little in the way of creature comforts. Or shocks. It leaves you with about an hour and a half with little beside your thoughts and each other.

    The Firs turns out to be a Victorian country house, styled like a medieval inn, white plaster and timber-framed. It's just about the last place you'd expect a secret weapons laboratory. Ministry of Defence 1, with a name that hides their true purpose behind a shield of bureaucracy, designs weapons for spies, saboteurs, and commandos. Whatever they need, MD1 can build.

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    "Duck and cover!"
    "Get down!"

    The trucks's engine is still idling when two men come barreling out of the house like their asses were on fire, and given the state of one's shirt, that may have been literally true moments before. They dive for cover behind the truck, and there's a dull bang and thud from inside. A pall of oily smoke drifts out of the door.

    "It's a bit fragile, ain't it?"

    "Yeah. Least it works, though."

    Major Millis Jefferis was a notorious grump who turned into an excited puppy when presented with a new challenge. A genius engineer who could do everything from building roads to designing tanks and a grizzled sapper and a combat veteran with a chest full of medals to boot, he's very good at making things blow up.

    Before the war, Major Stuart McRae was the editor of a magazine called Armchair Science. He knows a little bit about everything. Before that, the jovial and wily Scotsman was a military engineer, responsible for designing one of the first cluster bombs. He's also very good at making things blow up. Together, the pair head up MD1.

    The pair look a bit perplexed why there's such a colorful collection of people sitting in their parking lot, but it soon shifts to familiarity.

    "Wait, is that-"

    "Elizabeth! Ah, they said we were expectin' guests, but I didn't know you were comin'! Oh goodness me, look at you all. Isn't this something! Well right, come on in, then. Got some goodies for ye!"

    "Hold your breath, we'll get this cleared out in no time. I, er, don't think it's toxic."

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Shortly after their transport had taken off Silver Star looked to the women he'd be partnering with. He had to admit he wasn't used to being in a team with others, working with the people on the streets of London was the closest he'd come but this was an adjustment he'd have to make. Right now there was one thing he could do, make up for an earlier missed opportunity, "I'm sorry I hadn't introduced myself yet, even if some of you already know who I am. I am Silver Star, and I'll do everything I can to make sure we all get through this," he says.

    Silver Star is the first out of the truck when he arrives, "Watch your step here, puddle," Silver Star says to politely warn his compatriots as he stepped out of the truck, noticing a small puddle on the ground, then the two men came barrelling out of the house. "What!? Is it a bomb? Don't worry!" before anyone could stop him Silver Star ran into the front door. Perhaps he meant to suppress it? Perhaps he meant to bring it out where it could do no harm? However the onlookers did not see him emerge from the house before the boom!

    There's a silence in the air as the onlookers stare at the door and see the plume of smoke. It would be several moments before Silver Star emerged, the front of his costume and his face now soiled by some substance but otherwise he appeared uninjured. Silver Star wipes away the substance from his eyes, leaving his clear blue eyes to stand in stark contrast to the grime covering him. "Ahem... I'm sorry I was unable to intervene in time, greetings gentlemen," Silver Star says, apology aside his tone clearly indicating he was trying to act as though nothing happened.
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  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Sparrow floats lazily past the puddle before planting her feet on the ground, more out of a desire to seem appreciative than of any concerns over getting her feet wet. She barely has time to take in her surroundings before Silver Star leaps into action. Damn, I thought I was the only one who 'defused' bombs like that. She walks over to stand in front of him and frowns as she looks up at his face. "You have a little something, right...." she points with one finger briefly, before turning it into a circular wave indicating his entire front, "there."
    Thanks to Thormag for my Legion avatar.

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  29. - Top - End - #29
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    In response to Leah, Jane comically bares her upper "fangs", mimes an invisible noose while sticking out her tongue, and then puts on a saucy look while pinching an invisible thin moustache. Vampire killing the French. Hoping that's good enough for Leah, Jane puts a finger to her lips, wordlessly asking to keep quiet about it (or at least that Leah didn't "hear" this from Jane).

    Of course, Jane could have also just said this, but she'd probably let even more slip while stumbling over her words because of suddenly having Leah's full attention (she is looking very lovely today... then again, she is always looking very lovely). That bit of embarassment averted (haHA!), Jane walks away with the others and instead bumps into a paper bin (curses!). Returning to the group, Jane for once is glad that the conspicuous lighting doesn't show her blush too much. At least she hopes. Probably doesn't, no.

    On the drive out to Buckinghamshire, Jane briefly introduces herself a bit more completely. "Jane Hale, I usually end up kicking and punching bad things in the face and what constitutes one, or managing to mostly evade explosions at the last moment. Things tend to be a little strange and often dangerous around me, same with what I can occasionally do. I cannot turn it off (very sorry about that), but I hope I can be of help regardless."

    At MD1, Jane smiles to Silver Star and steps over the puddle (she knows, just knows, that she would have stepped right into it without the heads-up). Walking up to the building, she doesn't seem very fazed by the explosion, but sort of pleased that it happened quite a bit away from her. Handing Silver Star a handkerchief ("Unused, no worries") and slapping him on the back (which knocks off a surprising amount of soot), Jane introduces herself to the two gentlemen and follows, pinching her nose and keeping an eye out for low door frames or other things she could hilariously bump her head against.

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Marina steps over the puddle at the Silver Star's warning, but snickers at his predicament post-explosion. She follows the rest of the group into the MD1 compound.
    The name is "tonberrian", even when it begins a sentence. It's magic, I ain't gotta 'splain why.

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