2 Good 2 B True

Duke's Flight
Shakespeare & ink, old people, airplanes, and the disappearance of Duke Irvine III
Just another day…?

The Problem Solvers sat around a table in an anonymous office park—the third this month—flipping through Portland’s fine free periodicals and perusing various websites (or AUrachne), all on the lookout for something weird. There were a few possible leads: tattoo artists with mojo, young folks turning old, and another drug something-or-other.

Then Duke took a call, which was obviously alarming to him. He bolted abruptly, offering no explanation. He just kept saying, “I need to leave. I need to leave.”

Airfield Adventures

The Problem Solvers realized that Conner was both good at driving and savvy enough to handle trailing their wealthy, well-connected coworker (Jordan is almost certainly a better driver, given his experience as an EMT, but the extent to which he is “savvy” or even “observant” are debatable).

So, he took off, trailing Duke several hours. Eventually, he pulled off into a private airfield in a field in the middle of nowhere Oregon. Said airfield was obviously well-guarded, but Conner was confident in his ability to win people over, so he got out of his car to take a better look.

Two guards approached him, James Borst and Morris Pond. The first wanted nothing to do with Conner, but the second was won over by Conner’s apparent love of aviation. The two exchanged numbers and Morris promised to look him up on Aviation-Nation, the number one forum for aviation enthusiasts.

Although Conner came back without having managed to get any identifying information on Duke’s plane, the Problem Solvers realized that someone somewhere had to have it, lest there be tragic plane crashes. Jordan’s drug connections came through yet again when he remembered Cody Shadle, an air traffic controller at Pearson Airfield in Vancouver, WA.

To ink or not to ink

Aaron and Kenji went off in search of a tattoo artist who apparently has some pretty intense mojo, something involving Avatars. They found two promising hits, Curtis Ray and Zelma Sy. They ended up seeing Curtis first, since they managed to get an introduction from his ex-girlfriend, Faith Bludworth.

Curtis’ work had obvious occult influence and it was the super legit old school kind, but he was more into Shakespeare than Avatars. After showing obvious anxiety, he finally told the two that they were probably looking for an artist who goes by Wunderlich. He warned them to approach with caution, though, because he means business.

Demetrius Cane’s home for rad 80somethings

Kate ended up checking out Demetrius Cane, who’d recently opened up an assisted living home on Hawthorne. There was some worry about evil wizards making the young grow old, but if that’s the case then he isn’t one of them.

Kate brought Garfield, much to the delight of Demetrius and the rad old people. He hopes both she and her cat will become regular visitors.

Jordan talks about drugs again

Jordan made a call or several and is apparently getting something from DJ Rise. “Something” obviously being drugs because Jordan.

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Splurch
Angry Dave, Bobbie's problem, damn kids, AHHHGROSSAHHHHHGODNOOOO
Well, that’s awkward…

The Problem Solvers (sans Duke, who is still MIA) were hanging around, doing their thing, when they heard shouting from the hall, which turned out to be Dave and Bobbie. This was odd because Dave was generally pretty okay at keeping his cool, although it is common knowledge that Bobbie is obnoxious, so, maybe it was to be expected.

Bobbie’s Problem

Dave walked in, sat down, and told them that he was very sorry but they all had to try to solve a problem for Bobbie. He insinuated that Bobbie was holding back very important information about the well being of Portland and refused to play ball unless Dave helped solve his problem. Dave also implied that they should try to find other leverage to use and possibly suggested violence (or, at the very least, had Jack join them).

Jack walked in and mentioned Bobbie had his bodybag body guard, Nadia Savidge.

The Problem Solvers did what they do best and tried to figure out how to solve their problem by finding some leverage. Apparently Bobbie was trying to get a coin to a plutomancer named Lester Silver, but the coin never showed up. Instead the courier, Tessa Ballerini turned up dead in a ditch. And, so, they figured they could get the upper hand.

Except, when Bobbie walked in, his problem was surprising: Bobbie wanted them to find Wraith, who has been missing for three months or so.

“Why am I doing it this way? Because I’m suspicious Dave had something to do with Wraith’s disappearance. If I’m right, once I give up the thing he wants then he’ll have no incentive to get my brother back.”

Well, that’s awkward.

Speaking of awkward, Aaron was all like, “Oh okay yeah, we’ll help you, this makes sense, let’s save Wraith.” And then Conner was like, “Wait, wtf? We work for Dave, what are you doing dumbass.” Conner tried to reveal their leverage, Aaron immediately assured Bobbie they’d do what he wanted, and the two ended up having a slapfest in the hallway.

Wraith’s apartment

The Problem Solvers decided to check out Wraith’s apartment, which was creepily clean given that he’d been missing for three months. Also, Wraith’s apartment is just kind of creepy. There’s a lot of fabric hanging from the ceiling and objects that look ritually significant.

While people were looking around, an attacker had been lurking outside. Kate looked through the peephole on the door, saw him, and acted. He proved to be no problem for the patented Kate takedown, although he also seemed to have no problem with Aaron’s gun in his face.

Also, there was a skinner in the closet. Jack was taken down first, Jordan failed to check the closet when he went to check to make sure Jack wasn’t dead, and Jordan ended up getting slapped with an epideromancer blast. At this point, Jordan got a chance to show off his stuff, did a bunch of drugs, stopped the skinner dead in his tracks, kept his hand from falling off, and stopped the third assailant from escaping.

In which everyone freaks the fuck out

So, there was some interrogation. The skinner is a kid named Stanley Beauregard whose sister disappeared and definitely seems to be amateur hour. The other two, Suzie Kranwinkle and Martin were friends (and a couple, apparently). Of all of them, Suzie definitely seemed to be the most bad ass (poor Stanley looked like he was going to cry) and Martin seemed to be totally weird or something.

Except, by that, we mean someone had rigged his brain or heart or all of his internal organs to explode the moment he was going to reveal anything he shouldn’t. So, when Jordan turned his charm up to 11 (with drugs, of course), Martin went boom all over everything. Gross.

Also, terrifying. And, not only in that “oh god I am actually covered in someone else’s blood and guts and oh god is that an eyeball” kind of way, but also in that way where it turns out someone has the kind of mojo to do something as terrible as that.

Kenji, anyone?

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A walk in the park
personomancers suck, magick heroin is too good, and god knows what to say about demons
Debrief

Dave pulled the Problem Solvers together after giving them a day to get Martin’s guts out of their hair. Before asking them to explain how the fuck some kid ended up plastered all over Wraith’s apartment, he introduced them to Jax, a local handyman who only seemed to take Underground jobs. It turns out Jax narrowly missed having a gruesome first day as a Problem Solver.

Everyone talked Dave through what happened, mentioning that they’d cut both Suzie and Stanley lose, although [[:aaron-garner|Aaron had made sure to give both of them one of his business cards. As they explained this, though, they started to realize they should probably check in with the two of them.

Oh, had anyone heard from Duke? Dave hadn’t either. Damn.

Before he left, Dave mentioned that [[:conner-atwood|Conner]] (who was absent from this meeting) passed on some intelligence about Bobbie’s plutomancer problem to Dave (was that a pointed look at Aaron?) and that Dave was very concerned about taking care of this Lester Silver guy. Yes, yes, he realizes that Wraith is missing and kids are blowing up and everything is terrible but he wouldn’t ask you guys to get involved if it wasn’t really important_.

Oh, also, Bobbie was getting anxious and decided his bodybag, Nadia Savidge, was going to be tagging along today (and making sure you all aren’t fucking up). With that, Dave smiled, wished them good luck, and walked off.

Magick Time

Kate started off by calling the kids. Suzie picked up but it sounded like Stanley’s phone had been disconnect. That’s not ominous AT ALL. Kate was full of heart and stuff and arranged to pick Suzie up at a local cafe, hoping to talk to her about Martin and try to make sure she was okay.

Once everyone heard that Stanley was missing, Kenji started on about a ritual he knows to find things and if Stanley had Aaron’s business card then they could find Stanley. Jordan reminded Kenji that the two of them had a date in an altered state in hopes of giving Kenji a clean slate that was less likely to end in explodey death times. Kenji was insistent they try the ritual however and the office was soon abuzz with occult activity.

Everyone ended up back in the conference room to find Kenji and Aaron peering over maps (Google and otherwise) while Kenji held onto a pendulum that was pointing in a way a normal pendulum shouldn’t. They finally figured out Stanley (or at least Aaron’s business card) was someone in Forest Park but… well… Forest park is really big (over five thousand acres).

That’s when Nadia spoke up. She knew something, but it wasn’t fun and the people around needed to be okay with some spooky shit. However, with Jordan feeding Kenji heroin and Kate have a heart-to-heart with Suzie, Aaron and Jax got to follow Nadia to a supply closet, where she spoke ominously and then apparently summoned a demon. Although, something went terribly wrong and she ended up possessed, which didn’t seem like what she was going for.

The demon’s name was Trevor and he eventually fixated on wanting a walk. At some point, Jordan walked in and looked vaguely freaked out. Trevor argued a lot, constantly changing the terms of the agreement he wanted, and eventually drew a creepy map of Stanley’s location in exchange for a walk with Kate. Luckily, he either couldn’t fight or wasn’t interested in trying, so nothing bad happened (that you know of).

Meanwhile, Kenji, blissed out, finally got to talk about his experiences with the Sleepers. He also had to keep reminding people to tell him that he should never do heroin again ever.

Forest Park

Everyone finally ended up at Forest Park (although Kate was a little lost and Kenji’s current state didn’t make him a good navigator). They didn’t really get to enjoy the scenery though. Nadia, who was still freaked the fuck out after her summoning-gone-wrong (even with the help of Kate’s optimism), got hit with something and fell. Jordan gave her a once over and declared it internal bleeding, thus necessitating that he get her to a hospital. Terrible.

Aaron, Kate, and Jax went to the spot Trevor marked, where Stanley was. Stanley seemed freaked out… but also kind of freaky. Kate realized something was seriously up just as Aaron had hoisted Stanley onto his back and shit started to go down. “Stanley” turned out to be a personamancer with a lot of juice. He did something that was just shy of invalidating Kate’s existence, tried to turn into Aaron, and eventually forced Kate to stare into the terrible depths of terrible.

Also, whenever you punched the personamancer, the real Stanley, who was tied up in a custodial closet, appeared to take the blow.

With the help of Jax’s… ring?… Aaron and Jax found Kate and got back to her, just in time for her to freak out (terrible depths are terrible) and start beating the shit out of the personomancer, which in turn did some serious harm to Stanley. Jax almost shot Kate, Aaron wielded a stun gun, and everyone eventually made it to the parking lot, only to realize that Jordan had taken both Aaron and Kate’s keys.

Oops.

A few phone calls later, Jordan returned, realized Stanley was getting a bit too close to dying, and there was a flurry of activity as everyone tried to keep everyone alive and calm. Before people could leave, Jax saw someone… a woman? Running. Aaron and Kate took off (although Kate’s very bad terrible no good day was showing and Aaron quickly out paced her).

Aaron ran down a path, was isolated from the group, and saw a beautiful blond woman. She smiled and suddenly everything he cared about on his person went up in flames. Fuck.

Debrief

The Problem Solvers were, again, around a conference table (in a different office building— summoning a demon seemed like it wouldn’t be a good way to keep a place secret). Jordan left Stanley, still alive, with Elwood and they had the personomancer tied up well and good. As they were debating the best course of action (“Who has the right temperament to interrogate a personomancer?”), Bobbie called. After pushing, hard, Aaron mention Lady Napalm.

Bobbie was quite for a moment and said, “We’re all fucked.” click

Thanks, Bobbie.

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Cloak and Dagger
#*$%ing Adepts...

August 23, 2012
Evening

Rich People Problems

Conner Atwood entered the conference room on the heels of Bobbie’s dick-move of a hang up. In addition, theProblem Solvers had an obnoxious thespian tied up in the conference room and were trying to figure out what to do with him. In good Conner style, he’d barely entered the room before he began talking about his problems and his day. Apparently Dave had sent him out to figure out what was going on with Duke and, well, something was definitely up.

Conner’s new friend, Morris Pond, agreed to meet him for drinks and mentioned that 1) he was now unemployed, 2) the airfield was closed or possibly changing ownership, and 3) apparently something happened, a scandal maybe, and his family is falling apart. Apparently Conner followed up by heading up to the ol’ Irvine estate and found the place in shambles. Like, the kind with brambles. The whole place was overgrown, musty, and looked like it hadn’t been inhabited in years.

Aaron mentioned that Jerri Bressler, his AUrachne colleague, said something weird was going on when she tried to search for the Irvines. Also, apparently, there were some weirdos freaking out about AUrachne and the Truth and a bunch of other stuff.

However, it was hard to justify worrying about some rich dickbag when there was a fricking Personamancer tied up in the conference room!

The Man in the Conference Room

The Problem Solvers knew they needed a plan. After the Personamancer caused Kate to go on a million terrible-magical-journeys in less than ten minutes, they all realized they needed to approach this kid with caution. Also, there was the whole Stanley issue. Poor Stanley.

So, the plan was laid out:

  1. Kenji McKillny mentioned he heard something about juicing phonies by having a picture of them as their “true selves.” He asked if anyone had a polaroid, but realized that it was 2012 and he’d just have to use his camera phone.
  2. Since Jack seemed like he had less personality than everyone else, he also seemed like an alright interrogator. Also, you know, he’s done the whole interrogation thing before. Professionally, even.
  3. Since Kate is a logistical genius, she realized they could use conference phones to be in constant contact. Also, since Kate is a badass, she agreed to back up the whole thing.

However, you know what they say about the best laid plans.

Duke of Bummersville

As the Problem Solvers were eagerly preparing, a very haggard looking Duke suddenly appeared and he had quite a story to tell. Apparently his entire life (including wealth, history, family line, etc.) was a lie constructed by his mother, a powerful Cliomancer, in the wake of his father’s death some number of years ago. Given that Duke’s only real contribution to, well, anything was being rich and charming, this was the definition of “bummer.”

In addition, Duke seemed convinced that Dave had something to do with it and was terrified about what would happen next.

Jordan, who can sympathize with someone with nowhere else to turn (unlike Aaron, who cracked a joke at the poor little rich kid’s expense), intervened and started trying to think of ways to help. Although Conner was opposed to the idea, Jordan took a walk with Duke and convinced him to try to get help from Lucy.

Conner, meanwhile, seems deeply suspicious.

Goddamn Adepts

Jack, apparently, decided now would be the time to reveal whatever personality he had under all those layers of “possibly just a sociopath” and freaked the fuck out the moment he saw the pseudoman’s face. Kate quickly subdued him, and dragged him into the hall, Aaron and Kenji rushed in shouting, and there was generally a lot of noise and chaos.

Aaron started asking the Personamancer questions, getting louder and louder as he went. Finally, the kid, Cloak, who is also named Felix, said, “The end” and someone hit Aaron on the back and large, bloody gashes sprung forth on his hands. Goddamn adepts.

The fight was frantic and kind of a clusterfuck. Kenji tried to hit the fleshworker with a chair and ended up matching Aaron’s hand wounds. Kate tried to hit him with a bat and alternated between hitting the air, hitting the floor, and hitting the assailant. Jordan reappeared and tethered the epideromancer to the floor. Conner tried to get Jack to wake up, to no avail and Jax sat around and looked cool and maybe shot him with a self-aiming gun?

Eventually, order was restored and the epideromancer was knocked out, tied up, and dragged out of the room. At this point, Jordan went about his fixer-upper (instead of upper-fixer) business and started patching Kenji up. Unfortunately, by the time he got to Aaron he’d done a few too many drugs and passed out mid-stitch. Ow.

At this point, Cloak began eagerly offering his assistance. People were skeptical, but Aaron was bleeding something awful and Cloak obviously had no charges, so they undid his hands. Much to their surprise, he did nothing more than first aid, and did a good job at it. He looked very pleased with himself.

Unfortunately, Aaron maced him.

Cloak & Dagger

Kate and Kenji dragged Cloak out of the room, crying and clawing at his eyes, since Aaron clearly needed “alone time.” They found a sink, washed his eyes out, and eventually he was able to start talking to them. Cloak, it turns out, is surprisingly friendly. You know, when he’s not ripping his face off and revealing the deeply disturbing depths of un-reality. Luckily for the Problem Solvers, Cloak also likes talking about things. Lots of things.

  • The epideromancer is Cloak’s brother Ben who goes by “Dagger” (I know, I’m the worst).
  • Cloak and Dagger belong to a group called CYGNUS that is really interested in the Apocalypse.
  • There’s something weird about Stanley or Cloak is just a Stanley-racist.
  • Jack is his… big brother? Wait, no. That doesn’t make sense. Jack is, like, 19 and Cloak and Dagger are clearly older.

At some point, Dagger woke back up to Conner, Aaron, and Jax trying to figure out what to do with, well, everything. He was also willing to talk (no one really knows what their plan or end game or whatever is).

  • Wait, Aaron, don’t you remember going to school with Felix? Oh, right, yeah. Apparently back in Chicago there was a serial killer and his three sons and the eldest committed suicide and killed the father, or something? Yeah, that’s where Cloak & Dagger (and apparently Jack) come from.
    • Don’t call Dagger “Ben,” his father was the last person to do that and he was clearly terrible.
    • In fact, he was an avatar of the Dark Stalker.
    • Jack ran away four or so years before whatever terrible incident happened and Cloak & Dagger were left with their father, young, helpless, and stuck.
    • Jack is a demon tethered to a dead person? Or something. Unclear.
    • Neither Cloak nor Dagger seem particularly interested in reconnecting with their brother.
    • Also, every time Jack sees them it appears to trigger a massive breakdown. But, that probably makes sense.
  • After their father’s death, the two brothers had to do something and apparently fell in with someone named Beth, who had a group of adepts intent on bringing about the end of the world called CYGNUS.
    • Ann(ihilate) and Lloyd/Void/Trip-Fold are both members and have both met Aaron. He hates both of them, but who doesn’t hate adepts, right? (Sorry Jordan & Jax). The last member is a bodybag named (Hurri)Cain.
    • Neither brother can really articulate what their deal is. Nor can they tell you much about Beth, besides the fact that they’re kind of scared of her.
    • They were looking for Wraith too and apparently thought Dave would have him. Sorry about the “attacking everyone in the park” thing.
    • They have no idea what happened to Martin either.

Given that Cloak & Dagger had largely played nice once they got over the whole “we will destroy you with our reality-warping powers” business, and seemed to have loyalty to Beth primarily on the basis of her giving them food money, Aaron grabbed two thousand dollars out of their petty cash safe and told them to keep out of trouble.

Also, talking to Jack about Cloak & Dagger seems kind of futile. He is eager to know his brothers are okay and has obvious memory gaps. Oof.

Shawarma

It has thus far been a very long day, particularly since it started early in the morning, took a trip through Forest Park (and several trips to Elwood’s clinic), and went straight on through pain, tragic back stories, and whargh adepts. So, given that everyone was kind of on edge, and everyone had some reason to be mad with at least one of the other Problem Solvers (probably Aaron), they decided to go for dinner and talk things over in a place that wasn’t owned by Dave.

Oh, and, right. Suzie was there in the office the entire time.

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