Kitten Caboodle aka Kit
The team follows up on a few things, as Carol continues prepping for the ARES lab raid- he’s got it all figured out, they’ll need to go in quiet since there’s only one secure elevator in and out, and they can use the huge multi-location music festival downtown this week as cover for moving themselves and gear around in a big van without unusual suspicion. He’s gonna feel out the various options for Johnson, and then it’s time to make some money and go to work.
Kit links up with Hans Yolo to talk more about the carboxing league, having to decided to call it “Glovebox” (get it?). Yolo suggests a few organized crime connections who might be good to loop in, and since Tabasco is skeptical of Enzo Gianelli based on his Urban Brawl tampering, they go with Bing-Lei Shen, a fashionable Triad boss with a few tough looking women guarding him, fresh in from Hong Kong- presumably this new imported muscle is a sign of the ongoing syndicate wars as well. Shen agrees to watch a test bout, and Yolo unveils the craft he’s been working on obsessively, a trike with 2 unfolding arms- lighter and faster than Kit’s one-armed van, but with less power. They have an initial match, and Kit dominates, but offers to help Yolo fix up and tweak his craft.
Shen then challenges Kit to take the van up against him, and smoothly leaps into the air and kicks the hand off Kit’s van arm without doing significant damage, with a perfect Bruce Lee yell. Everyone is very impressed, except his bodyguards, who roll their eyes. However, Shen agrees that this has promise, and says they came to the right guy. They plan to shut down some streets in Puyallup and have some escape routes out into the Ashlands if the cops come in hot. They’re scheming on a combo of arena bouts, as well as combat racing, but all with the “unarmed combat via a vehicle” angle. Exciting. The team heads over to Squick’s Vaults to check out their “secure storage” bolthole, and find it very much to their satisfaction: the owner, Squick, seems grumpy, watchful, and paranoid, and the onsite security measures look beefy, and their unit seems exactly as promised.
Creature wants to deliver the package given to xyr by Eletheria, so the team rents a speedboat and heads out to Blake Island, where they meet a steely-eyed STV lawyer named Eva Mari, who seems amused to see Tabasco, as she appears to have been the fund manager on his unofficial bereavement settlement from ARES. Creature passes over the package, and Mari scans it with a sensor -covered cyberhand, and the team can see reflected data flow across her cyber-eyes. She says all looks in order, and congratulates River Guard Investments in being the new owners of the private island, a former state park. It seems the Sea Dragon now owns an island in the Sound….
Mari gripes a bit as she boards a VTOL drone about STV not being willing to spring for a chopper for her. Shortly thereafter, a dwarf woman with a shark-y aspect wearing only a loincloth, swims up to the island, and introduces herself as G-Dub. Tabasco recognizes her gang tat’s as signifying her as a longterm member of the Red Hot Nukes who recently left the gang on good terms. She tells Creature that she has been put in charge of security for the island, as well as assessing it’s condition, but that the team’s welcome to hang there for a while if they wish. G-Dub admires TT’s bod as he strips down to sunbath, Kit stays with/in the boat, and the rest of the team takes advantage of the low tide to explore some narrow exposed tunnels riddling the shoreline.
Assensing, Aradia detects some sort of incredibly pure water magic source deep in the tunnels, and assumes that there’s either a metaplanar connection or a leyline somewhere, but they fail to find their way there. Summoning some water spirits to help them escape before the tides come in, Aradia finds they come out much more powerful than expected, due to the local aspect. Creature plans to return and explore further in Drake form and explore more, noticing that the tunnels seems almost perfectly sized for that. The island life is starting to convince Kit that being friends with the Sea Dragon might not be the worst…
They had back to land, and follow up on another thread: the Shadow Chapters. Tabasco uses Flipside to get a meet with Mrs. Snow, at a neutral downtown spot called Cuppa Joe’s. They meet Snow, and albino elf who play it up, in a secure room in the back, and have a not fully conclusive meeting where they try to push her on disappearances and potentially creepy local SC behavior, and she explains they aren’t in Chicago anymore, and that without a common enemy it will be a lot harder to unite everyone behind the idea, so they’ll have to work a little more harshly to get it done here. The team agrees to work with her but remains untrusting. She also essentially admits that they are doing some personality alterations to some local figures who are useful in the economy/scale but were not reliable, previously, like Flipside. Kit already has a couple recruits to the cause though, and Snow seems mostly friendly and like she’s trying to explain different realities to them, rather than manipulate them. She gives them a few initial tasks to look into when they have time.
Aradia decides she wants to look into some strange “entropy circles” that have cropped up around Auburn once each of the last 3 full moons, and the team does some matrix research and goes and looks at them and takes Quicksilver photos. Aradia determines that whatever is being done has some sort of Luna/Comet connection, and creates a perfect spherical radius of entropy that not only drains anything caught inside it of life, but also completely destroys the manasphere inside it as well, and that it seems to only be healing VERY slowly. Worrying! They look up the next full moon, and plan to do some more research in the next few weeks before returning to perhaps catch someone in the act. They think it might be toxies of some sort, given the proximity to the very polluted Lake Tapps.
TT checks in with Eletheria, and arranges to reach out on the Sea Dragon’s behalf to the Lorekeepers, in further seeking out the “Deep City”. He pays another visit to the Vault of Lore, solo to make sure he gets in. He speaks to Ned again, and Ned agrees to at least share research in exchange for an appropriate contribution. TT contributes some original research of his to a guestbook, which magically sorts it into an appropriate section, and Ned explains that the gift was a book from a librarian at the Seelie Court who came to visit once, seeking some esoteric info. He also tells TT a bit more about the history of the Vault and the Lorekeepers, and their connections to the indigenous shamans at Uluru in Australia, who taught them some of the ritual magic they use to keep the Vault secure but still accessible. TT reports in and Eletheria says she will acquire an appropriate initial gift from the Sea Dragon’s hoard while the Lorekeepers discuss a further alliance.
Creature wants to start checking out the local paracritter scene, so they head up to Blackstone’s in Snohomish, and find that it unfortunately seems to be owned/operated by metaracists, given it’s seemingly intentionally un-troll-friendly design. TT shrugs it off and they learn a decent bit looking at both the zoo and museum portions. Tabasco stays outside, spotting a small runner crew, all human, with some customized dart rifles, seemingly transferring some caged beasts to and from the facility. The team heard rumors that this place helped with import papers and supplied some of the fighting beasts to the Coliseum, and assume this must be part of that. Tabasco mentally designs a tracking arrow with a detaching shaft, to be able to quietly track vehicles like this in the future. The human members have a revealing convo with the nightshift front desk employee, further confirming the metaracist vibes of the spot. Creature is disappointed overall, but got to see a lot of new critters xe had only read about, so still some exciting inspo at least.
Feeling like the night’s still young (it’s not) the team wakes up Tommy Vermont in his apartment/office in Stuck’s, and hires him on to makes some introductions for them, to try and get the stuff they need to get into Van Der Hum’s vault under Stuck’s casino. Vermont suggests they cut Stuck in via Ranya Zhong and just try to gain legit access, as Stuck would take it poorly if they acted against his security. He also puts them in touch with the Black Knight leader/KE detective Tosh Athack, who agrees to meet them the next morning at the Big Rhino downtown. The team finally crashes out after a long day, scattered around between safehouses.
The next day Tabasco and Aradia rally to head to the meeting and find Athack, a very buff troll, wolfing down some food at the restaurant. In exchange for VDH’s “little black book” of clients, sales, etc that he always kept offline in the vault, Athack agrees to get biosamples and his signet ring out of evidence at the KE morgue where the body has thus far gone unclaimed, as the team needs these particulars to gain access, based on the info they got from reading Joygirl IX’s mind. Athack tells them he will need whatever he provides back at the end of the deal, but otherwise seems to be fully onboard- this could be some major evidence and /or leverage against some powerful individuals.