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"To Thine Own Self Be True", Part One

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Week Seven

April 25th, 1996
Avg. Rating: 3.6 out of 5

Wednesday May 10th, 2043

The party all started out together at Derek's- Rook planned to go to Que Xung's for some answers, BUG, Drake, Derek, and Alex decided to go to the Barrens to talk to Diamond Dave. Just before everyone left, a SpeeDee Deliveree Kourier dropped off a package for Bug; it contained a new medium monocrys overcoat (which she had asked Gipetto for earlier in the day). Everyone then departed.

Rook traveled to Que Xung's Antiques, the illegal chop shop where he awoke after being apprehended by Fusama's security. He broke into the upstairs apartment rather easily, though he could tell that there was a fair amount of security present. Rook confronted Dr. Xung himself, and asked him what he knew about Rook's bogus forearm muscle augs. Dr. Xung first thought he recognized Rook, but when he felt Rook's arms and there was obviously no muscle graft present, he said he must be mistaken. Before leaving, Rook checked Xung's computer to get more information on Drew Johansen; he then went to meet him face to face...at the Krispy Ken's Chicken in Bethel, where Drew was the manager.

Drew Johansen wasn't much more informative than Xung. He did have a recent muscle aug in his forearms, paid for apparently by a lot of saving and some of daddy's money, but he was transferred to a different "hospital" to recuperate. That's everything he knew.

Rook then went to the Puget Strip, the long waterfront strip where many of Seattle's wilder citizens hung out. It was also an occasional haunt of Gipetto's, and Rook quickly found him there, leaning on his motorcycle and watching the crowds pass back and forth. Rook called Gipetto on the G3K (where Gipetto's background was of an office), then walked across the street and surprised him. Rook wanted to know more about Drew Johansen and the whole chop shop affair - Gipetto admitted that he had pulled a few strings to "clean up Rook's mess" without attracting too much attention, but cautioned that he couldn't (and wouldn't) do that very often. He also admitted to living in the warehouse where Rook attempted to break in, on the Fusama Storage Facility lot.

After this, Rook returned to Derek's apartment to meet the others.

Meanwhile, Derek, Alex, BUG, and Drake had gone to see Diamond Dave in the Barrens- Alex and BUG were on a motorcycle, following behind Drake and Derek in the "rented" Cadillac. They all made it into Redmond with no problems and headed straight for The Arcadia. Once there, Drake and Derek went in to Diamond Dave's office; after checking their weapons at the door they were issued "visitor" badges and shown in to see Dave.

Dave was in the room, constantly flicking buttons on a small remote in his hand, watching a wall bank of various monitors spread throughout the Arcadia. He hardly looked up as the team entered, but they could see that he was covered in diamonds. Next to him was an older black woman, about in her seventies, who looked at Drake almost the entire time, and next to her was a large man who had been biosculpted to look like a panther. There were also five men playing dice in one corner, apparently oblivious to anything else.

Diamond Dave was quite friendly once he tore his attention away from the video banks, and asked the team to name whatever it was they needed to know. Once they described the black man with the tattooed scalp, however, Diamond Dave's attitude quickly changed. He thanked the two for coming and assured them that he would "get right on it", but it was obvious that he had no intention of doing so. Even the panther man and the dice players were paying full attention now, and Derek and Drake quickly left.

Once outside, they saw the old woman again, the one they had just left inside. Still looking at Drake, she asked them to follow her. Not wanting to pass up any possible leads, Drake and Derek went with her to a tenement building across the street and told Alex and BUG to keep their eyes open for trouble.

The apartment was small and humble; it contained a small altar, with a tapestry of a snake entwined around a tree, and a small rattle on the altar. The old woman referred to herself as Granny, and told Derek and Drake (mostly Drake) about all sorts of strange things that only half made sense. She told Drake that Drake has a "very old soul", and that this life she is currently living is a very important one. She told Drake that Drake had been very wicked in past lives, and that if she couldn't break her cycle of evil in this life, things would continue to get worse. She asked Drake why they searched for the bald man, and hoped it was not to "learn his knowledge". And then, to make things even more bizarre, the old woman began pouring colored powder on the floor.

She traced strange symbols onto the floor with the powder, put a lit brazier in the center, and began speaking to people who weren't there. She asked someone named Legba to open the curtain for her, then asked a friend of hers named Damballa where they could find the man named Morgan, the man the party was seeking. She answered herself, sitting up straight and saying "The traitor of his kind Morgan is living in the sewers, beneath the clock tower in Everett". She then thanked someone, poured some more wine on the flames...and asked Derek if he would mind sweeping up the powder from the floor (which he did).

Granny told Derek and Drake that Morgan was an evil man, a worshipper of dark spirits, and that it would be best if they killed him. She then gave Drake a colorful beaded bracelet, which she said would allow Drake to return to the Barrens to see Granny without any hassle from the local gangs. With that she shooed them out, to go about their business.

Once outside the tenement, the four joined up again and headed back to Derek's. There they met Rook, and everyone shared information to keep the team up to date.

The party decided to head out to Everett that night, at that moment, all by separate routes. Rook took the Cadillac, Alex and BUG took Alex's motorcycle, and Derek and Drake took Derek's motorcycle. Unfortunately, there were some problems at the checkpoint into Everett.

Rook had no problems getting through, but the other four were detained. NERCC placed both BUG and Derek under arrest and drove them off, just to "ask them a few questions" of course.

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Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes.
-- Maggie Kuhn