Kitten Caboodle aka Kit
While day drinking after their semi-successful recon mission at The Joke, ThinkTank convinces most of the team that they should really take a vacation. As Tabasco and Carol don’t initially seem interested, they decide to plan a longer group trip for the future, and just each take a few days staycation around town to work on their own stuff for now. They hire 9Tails, Creep, Yoko Aruki and Kobold to do the actual run on the Iapetus lab, giving them all the info, and taking a small finder’s fee from the rate they negotiated with Annie. Their hired crew manages the job well, getting the data and finding out that the kidnapped awakened people are either turned into Yakuza killing machines or sacrificed in an attempt to trigger/copy awakening in others. Yoko kills all the scientists on site and burns the lab with white phos grenades, hating metahuman smuggling, and offers the team more work for Las Muñecas if they’re interested. Kit doesn’t approve of the high lethality but has a hard time arguing against the team, given the morality of that lab. Carol splits off for a bit to begin doing recon on the ARES lab raid job, and figuring out which employer to do it for.
With Annie’s help the team gets ahold of Giovanni Pentti, an MCT shadow fixer, and negotiate to not release the Iapetus data / publicize the experiments in exchange for MCT getting the Yak to stop kidnapping the awakened, leave Takashi alone, and not come after the team. Pentti agrees, and offers the team future work, appreciating their professionalism. After that they head into some time off, heading back to their various safehouses, though TT accidentally reveals to Tabasco that his mom killed his dad, so Tabasco needs some time to process. He decides he wants to have the team over, and consults with Emdachot Fahd, his building super/caretaker about updating his unit for guests, and she helps him take down his childhood posters and racecar bed, basically his only furniture, and replace them with a new generic flatpack condo set. Unfortunately, Tabasco leaves his eyes connected to the TacNet so the team sees what he’s up to and Kit especially gets pretty depressed about how he’s been living.
The crew heads out to meet up with Covalent, following up on Vogel’s reco for a safehouse for the sub when it arrives. They find a strange, animalistic man living in an abandoned, moldering mansion on Fox Island, and make a deal to trade him certain Tarot cards for his assistance. He seems to have very powerful magic and some kind of animal form but the team can’t quite figure him out. He seems to want to fuck with the Seelie Court, fairly explicitly, and the team’s latent connections to the Unseelie seem to reassure him. Kit arranges to return to help guide the sub in in a few days. They then head to Eletheria and finally meet up with her, check in about Sea Dragon jobs, and get a few further tasks. She’s using a formerly sunken luxury yacht as a safehouse, which it seems like the Sea Dragon brought up off the ocean floor and only patched up the outside, the inside still shows many signs of longterm water damage and rust. But the meeting goes well. Creature arranges to do some drake lessons with Eletheria, and begins perfecting xyr abilities.
The team collabs on some research and Tarot analysis to seek out Van Der Hum’s hoard, and gets some good intel: the figure depicted on the card is a runner named “Joygirl IX” who is an amnesiac with expert impersonation skills and an unknown metatype. They reach out and offer to swap info, and she just happens to be in town, having just completed a job and not yet left on the next one. She reveals that she knows that she is on the card, having retrieved it on a run, which was what started her on Tarot investigations and on regaining what she can from her memory. She agrees to let Aradia mind probe her, with some contractual caveats about what Aradia/the team can do with the info, after checking the team’s street rep and finding it quite good.
They meet up in a tech and gear alley in Auburn near the Clone Zone mall, right down the block from Technicolor Wings’ local office, it seems like JGIX at least has the use of a small roll-up storage locker here, and it is maybe an in-town safehouse of sort- conveniently near the international smugglers. She has some drone security, concealed, that Tabasco and Creature spot while they are also doing overwatch, and Kit stays with the van, perusing the various wares for sale in the neighborhood and dropping some digital flyers for their “Glovebox” carboxing league that they’re trying to get going. TT and Aradia head in, and find JGIX waiting with an old Italian man sitting a ways back in the corner keeping an eye on things. Aradia probes her mind, and manages to break through a hidden magical partition where it looks like someone really tried to secret away some memories they couldn’t erase.
It seems she was hired on a job to access Van Der Hum’s hoard herself, some time ago, and managed to find out that it required both some bio-data and a fraternity signet ring (explaining the greek letters on the Tarot card) to access. It seems she gained access but whatever she found inside has been cleared. It seems like some unknown scientists (who were very careful to conceal faces and voices while detectable by her) used one of the early CFD experimental “cures” to effectively but crudely mind wipe and rebuild her with her current skills via skillwares and wires. This explains her occasionally somewhat rote way of negotiating, etc. It is unclear if Van Der Hum was the one who originally did this to her, or is she got mind-wiped twice, but she thanks them for the info and says she has a lot to think about. Kit manages to ID the old Italian as Fianchetto, a legendary spy and Jackpoint-er, who seems to have taken a shine to JGIX after working some jobs together, and has had her guestpost a few times to share Tarot info on the board.
Tabasco has everyone over to celebrate, and they all get VERY interested in what exactly is up with his life. It turns out his building super/caretaker Emdachot is an ex-Ork Underground freedom fighter (or terrorist, depending who you ask) with the Sons of Sauron. She owns up to it when they ask, but has intentionally damaged her face and fingerprints to make it harder to ID her. Tabasco realizes she basically always stays in the building too… he calls Don Michaels, who explains that she did him a favor a long time back, and he helped her get out of the life when she needed to. Satisfied, the team decides to let that lie, but chides Tabasco on his inability to cook for himself, do his own laundry etc. They find the building laundry room, and notice that there’s a hidden tunnel behind the dryer. Aradia uses pyschometry to figure out that it’s a secret Underground entrance, seemingly used by Emdachot’s family to move trog families around away from prying eyes.
Tabasco, his mind a bit blown from all these revelations about his life, drinks for the first time. The next day, Kit heads to Covalent’s rotting mansion to help guide the sub in, and is interested to see that Covalent seems to open up a portal to some sort of water plane to hide it in- a very secure safehouse indeed. He says if the team keeps paying him in other Tarot cards and the like, he will work other “miracles” for them too. The team chats with Takashi once they get ahold of him to tell him he’s safe from Yakuza threats, and he tells them he’s been hiding out in and around Glow City, and investigating both the Rusted Stilettos and some local toxic druids (not the Isotopes, interestingly) who seem to be kidnapping people and disappearing them through astral rifts, telling them to “embrace the glow.” They compare notes a bit and agree to collab on diving deeper into this eventually. It seems like Takashi is setting himself up as a bit of a do-gooder, and maintains his sunny attitiude, despite leaving a trail of extreme violence from his good deeds.
Kit logs off the call, disturbed again by the violence, but everyone else is stoked to hear he’s doing well, although a little worried about what he may be uncovering. Aradia, Kit and Tabasco head to Squeamish’s alchemy lab in Auburn, and pick up a Vault of Ages so that Aradia can start collecting ritual samples from targets that the team needs to magically effect and stashing them at the safehouse. They also make a disturbing introduction to the powerful alchemist, who seems like a real creepy weirdo but has a lot of useful intel and knowledge, and hints at available work and exciting projects, and seems like one of the least prejudiced against Monads people that Kit has met who have known that they are a Monad.
Think Tank, Tabasco and Aradia then head into the Underground, checking out Touristville and the various stalls, restaurants, trade bazaar’s, etc, eventually working their way to the Ork Underground, away from the more “official” policed portion. They find a monument to a runner who died protecting multiple families from a violent eviction, and note that is the man depicted on the Karma card. They are a bit inspired by his legend. They eventually find the Underground branch of Sticks and Stones, and TT gets chatted up by a nattily-dressed pimp, dealer, and fight promoter named Fancy Derek. As TT initially claims he’s not great at unarmed combat despite his size, Derek tries to get him to agree to take a fall, and Tabasco commiserates, having done so himself with complicated feelings about it still.
TT says that that is against his code, says that actually he’s decent at fighting, so Derek agrees to make some introductions for him in the Underground if he wins. He challenges the biggest and roughest looking of the Rooter gangers who are training there, a buff ork named Mariusz. TT throws him off by being friendly and asking questions instead of buying into the pre-fight shit-talking, and they agree to go for drinks after. TT wins the fight via a technicality, as Mariusz is quite skilled, but gets some solid hits in, and Derek says he’ll put the word out about a solid new troll in town on TT’s behalf. TT and the Rooters head out for drinks, but Mariusz tells Aradia and Tabasco to head back at this point, as the place they’re going isn’t friendly to unknown “smoothies.”
They hit up a bar even deeper in the Underground called the Watering Hole, and the Rooters warn TT about the Feral Underground areas, including a ghoul neighborhood, and the Depths- unexplored, unknown locales filled with danger and mystery. They hang in a back room at the bar, and TT admires the skilled dwarven carvings that someone has crudely modded to have more orkish faces. The Rooters get him to try the “Dunkelzahn hot” rat-on-a-stick, and impressed by his fortitude and lack of machoness around it, both, seem to accept him as a decent sort. They tell him to stick around a while, and take off. After TT has a chance to sober up just a bit from the Hurlg, he spots an eye watching him from a recess in the carvings.
A door swings open along a previously concealed seam, and a troll with a staff and cloak does a brief interview to make sure TT is acceptable, before taking him to the Vault of Lore, a legendary Undergound library maintained by an order of troll Lorekeepers. The troll, Ned, explains that they “sing the stone” to keep the passages to the VoL secret, especially with all the new interest in the Underground. He gives TT the tour, and TT notices that though the space appears built with dwarven craft, it is all sized for trolls as well, implying a past collab before the current schism in their cultures (or at least in the popular representation of such). He finds a comfortable reading nook commemorating a fallen runner named Christopher Toff that has a cozy chair, a small shelf, and some carvings of dragons, and settles in to peruse the library, finding some fascinating 4th World hints of something called “the Deep City” and something called “Kothan Kaer”.
He plans to dig deeper, but satisfied that he’s made a good first impression, calls it a day with plans to return, once he sees what it is that the Sea Dragon wants with this place. Ned tells him that as an assassin, he might be best used to preventatively protect the VoL’s secrets, and TT says he would be happy to do so.