Scene One
Scene Two
Scene Three
Scene Four

Chapter Four: Separation

Scene One: Search
mgrasso> All right! So, Gemma, Chet, shall we discuss what your search for the Prof will consist of?
Chet> (What's funny is that "pima" is Japanese slang for someone stupid...)
Gemma> I'm sure it won't start off any fancier than just heading to his office and seeing if he's there during his monday office hours.
mgrasso> Fair enough. I like that kick-off. :)
Gemma> (Really? Har! Although I doubt the tribe by that name would be thrilled by that.)
Chet> Fair enough - we'll take it as read that Chet stopped at the student union for a hot tea to bring along.
mgrasso> That sounds great.
Gemma> We should really limit Chet's liquid intake. He has no bladder.
mgrasso> The hallway which holds the prof's office is deserted; none of the office doors are open. Professor Wynderven's door is sitting where it always has, no police tape or any other evidence of a crime having taken place. However, the hall is quiet for a Monday morning.
Gemma> (What, it's spring? Monday? Community college? Hell, it's probably as busy as it's ever going to get... :) )
Chet> (What time is it?)
mgrasso> (Heh. Well, what time... let's see... 10 am sound good?)
Gemma> (sure)
mgrasso> All righty, guys. Fire away.
* Chet walks down the hall, to the secretary's desk.
mgrasso> The sec for the department?
mgrasso> Because I figure the Prof doesn't have his very own secretary.
Chet> (No - the dept. secretary)
mgrasso> Cool enough.
mgrasso> She's at her desk in the department's central office.
Chet> Morning!
Gemma> (Hey, if you're curious: the sec for the lit department dweebs -- er, profs -- is at the far end of the hall and tucked away in the corner. The office doors themselves are off-set from the halls. You have to go down these little mini-halls that split off to get to the offices.... So you really have to make an effort to get anywhere. )
mgrasso> The secretary, a 40-ish Hispanic woman, raises her head wearily and says, "Yes?"
Chet> No one much around today, huh?
mgrasso> "No, what can I help you with?"
Chet> Do you know when Dr. Joe's office hours are this week?
mgrasso> "I'm sorry, you haven't heard?"
Chet> What? No - I've been out for a while.
mgrasso> "Professor Wynderven was found, dead, a few days ago. He'd been missing for some time."
Chet> What?
* Chet looks shocked
mgrasso> "When he went missing a few months ago, we let the police know. They just found his body last week." She seems very sad and disturbed.
Chet> That's terrible. I wish I had known.
Chet> When was the service?
mgrasso> "This Saturday, I believe. They're still trying to find out what happened. What a shame."
Chet> Last Saturday?
mgrasso> "Two days ago."
Chet> Damn. Have they set up an alumni fund for his wife and kids?
mgrasso> "I'm pretty sure the family wants contributions to a fund... I can get you more information on it, if you'd like?"
Chet> That would be great.
Chet> I don't have a ton, but I'll pitch in whatever I can. He was a great professor.
mgrasso> She toddles off to the back of the office where there's a sub-office connected.
* Chet glances around non-chalantly at the papers on her desk.
* Chet looks for a nameplate.
mgrasso> Chet sees some papers concerning the disposition of Prof. Wynderven's classes.
mgrasso> The nameplate is there.
Chet> (What's the name?)
mgrasso> (you guys can talk openly while she's digging up stuff)
mgrasso> (Man, I can't think of one! *snort*)
Gemma> (Mrs Borrego -- c'mon.)
Gemma> (Not that I'm trying to throw in sheep references or anything.)
mgrasso> Erica, give me a name quick. :)
Gemma> (I just did!)
Gemma> (Tina Borrego. TAKE IT!)
mgrasso> (Okay, then.)
mgrasso> (I gots it)
mgrasso> Chet, Gemma, any conversation?
* Gemma whispers to Chet, "For someone who's been missing for months, I sure saw a lot of him."
Gemma> And I just don't mean in the nudey, naked way, either.
Chet> Where did you see him?
* Gemma shrugs
Gemma> Around.
Gemma> Here, there, everywhere. He was like a little gummi bear.
Gemma> A gummi bear who drank a lot of tea -- is that where you get it from?
Chet> Was the last time you saw him more than a week ago?
Gemma> Depends on what one considers more than a week. Is fourteen days more than a week ago?
Chet> So, you're telling me that the last time you saw him was *more* than 2 weeks ago. Right?
Gemma> Should I say yes to dissuade you of that thought?
Chet> Answer the question however you'd like. Answering the questions with other questions isn't helping me, though. If you could give me a yes or no answer, that would be helpful.
mgrasso> Mrs. Borrego comes back out with a black-bordered sheet of paper.
Gemma> Ah, you say that now...
*** Chet has quit IRC (Connection reset by peer)
*** Chet ( has joined #pima
Chet> (that was uncalled for...)
Chet> (can you repeat if you replied to my last message?)
Gemma> Ah, you say that now...
* Gemma looks lost in thought for a moment
Chet> Yes?
Chet> No?
Gemma> Hm?
Gemma> No, what?
mgrasso> The paper that she hands Chet is a death announcement, obituary, and announcement of a fund for donations to be sent to.
Chet> Thanks so much, Tina. Can I ask you a favor? Dr. Joe was helping me out with a thesis paper. It'll feel kind of weird to go in there under these circumstances, but could you let me into his office so I can look for his notes and my rough draft?
* Chet takes the papers, looks them over, folds them and puts them in his wallet.
mgrasso> Chet: Manipulation + Subtefuge, diff. 7
Chet> !dice 7 7
* DiceWell Chet rolls 7d10 at difficulty 7. S/He gets 1 success.
* DiceWell 7 10 1 8 5 1 2
mgrasso> "Well, it is a bit irregular. All right. But please, be quick about it."
mgrasso> She walks out from behind her desk to go down the hall and open the office.
Chet> Thanks so much.
* Chet follows Tina down the hall and into the office.
* Gemma tags along (of course)
* Chet starts shuffling the papers on the professor's desk, looking for anything interesting.
Gemma> (Is Mrs Borrego keeping watch, Mike?)
mgrasso> The secretary opens the door and lets the two of you in. She goes back her own office.
mgrasso> Inside, the first thign that hits you is that the fae mien of the office, that of a comfy hobbit-hole, is completely gone.
* Gemma sighs deeply
mgrasso> Chet sees a number of student papers, all covered in a faint dust.
* Chet looks through the desk for any clues as to his travel plans or anything that might indicate if he was planning a trip or expecting some kind of trouble.
mgrasso> All the papers are dated from last year, that is, 2000.
Gemma> I wonder where that teapot of his went...?
mgrasso> November, December, December...
mgrasso> Chet looks inside the desk and sees nothing of interest, just office supplies.
Chet> December?
Chet> (Is there a computer in here?)
mgrasso> Yes, there is.
* Gemma starts digging around elsewhere (any shelves? file cabinets?)
Chet> Me turns on the computer.
mgrasso> There are two two-level filing cabinets. Gemma opens both and sees a whole bunch of photocopied articles and some more papers, organized by date and class.
mgrasso> The computer, too, is covered in that same dust.
Gemma> (How much dust? A week's worth?more?)
mgrasso> It's not regular dust. It's white, and a bit tacky.
* Gemma scoops up a bit of dust with her finger
Chet> Me wipes the dust from the screen with his sleeve.
Gemma> What's with this stuff? I didn't know the prof was into blow.
Chet> Trust me - this isn't blow.
Gemma> Chet, this is beyond wrong. I was here two weeks ago. Almost to the day. How could he be missing for months yet see me here?
mgrasso> You both want to give me Perception + Kenning, diff. 10?
Chet> !dice 7 10
* DiceWell Chet rolls 7d10 at difficulty 10. S/He fails the roll!
* DiceWell 9 8 6 10 9 1 5
Gemma> !dice 6 10
* DiceWell Gemma rolls 6d10 at difficulty 10. S/He botches the roll.
* DiceWell 3 3 7 4 8 1
mgrasso> Thanks.
Gemma> (crap!)
Chet> (Do I reroll the 10?)
mgrasso> (What's your spec?)
Chet> (Not weird white dust - I know that... :) )
Chet> Me clicks around on the computer looking for the latest dated files.
Gemma> (Mike, what's the most personal object of Wyndervyn's in here?)
mgrasso> (wow, tough question. Perhaps his diploma?)
Gemma> Hanging on the wall?
mgrasso> The latest dated files are from December, right before Christmas break.
mgrasso> Yes.
Gemma> Can I reach it?
mgrasso> Sure!
Chet> Hell - I give up.
* Chet stands up and turns his back to Gemma.
* Gemma goes over to the diploma and traces its seal, the signatures, and finally, Wyndervyn's name
* Chet collects himself for a moment and then walks over to the professor's bookshelf.
* Gemma traces and re-traces Wyndervyn's name with her fingertip over and over again
mgrasso> Chet sees all the regular books he liked to keep here. Wits + Kenning, diff. 8
Chet> !dice 6 8
* DiceWell Chet rolls 6d10 at difficulty 8. S/He gets 4 successes.
* DiceWell 8 10 10 2 8 7
mgrasso> But all of these books, all of these treasured first editions, are completely devoid of the Glamour once invested in them.
mgrasso> (In other words, the Dross has burned away)
* Chet collects four books from the shelf - a beautiful leatherbound edition of "The Iliad", a copy of "The Awakening", "White Noise", and a tattered copy of "As I Lay Dying".
* Gemma continues to concentrate on Wyndervyn's name...
* Chet slips the books into his bag.
* Chet pulls a couple of blue books out of his bag and his composition book.
* Chet squeezes his eyes shut for a minute and then begins sketching in the composition book.
Gemma> !dice 7 4
* DiceWell Gemma rolls 7d10 at difficulty 4. S/He gets 3 successes.
* DiceWell 1 2 9 7 4 8 3
* Chet finishes drawing and returns to the bookshelf. He plucks a fat book of poetry from the shelf and begins paging through.
* Gemma steps away from the diploma and sits down with a deep sigh
Gemma> Okay, guess what the sheepskin told me.
* Chet glances up from the book.
Chet> What?
Gemma> It's weird to explain.
Chet> Not any weirder than anything else going on.
Gemma> True.
Gemma> Open up your notebook, because you'll want to remember this one...
Gemma> There was a sharp pain, and then darkness. And not like when I wake up and James is trying to ... you know... Anyway, I could feel his life slipping away, and then being ... folded, I guess.
* Chet opens his notebook.
Chet> His life, literally?
Gemma> Maybe literally, maybe figuratively. I can never figure it out.
Chet> I know the feeling.
Chet> So - folded, huh?
Gemma> Anyway, um... this folded life, so to speak, was hidden in a sleeve of brown paper and then hidden behind glass.
Gemma> Yeah.
Chet> Like in a picture frame or something?
Gemma> Folded, trapped behind glass like Dr Lector, hidden behind brown paper like porn, crystalized, trapped...
Gemma> Chet! Oh, my god.
Gemma> Do you think Wyndervyn has become Larry Flynt?
Chet> That's a, no.
Gemma> Oh. Then I guess your picture frame guess is the way to go, then.
Chet> Well, you're holding his diploma. That's in a picture frame. Are you sure you weren't just getting a reading off of that?
Gemma> Great, you think it was fucking with me? That all I found out was that Wyndervyn put waaaay too much importance on a scraped piece of sheepskin?
* Gemma looks around the office, looking for anything else that might be framed
mgrasso> There are no framed pictures... no framed prints... just the diploma.
Gemma> Maybe we better break all his pictures, just in case he's behind one...
Chet> I don't know - is it backed with brown paper?
* Gemma flips it over and checks
mgrasso> It is indeed.
mgrasso> Stapled to the wooden frame.
Gemma> Um. So. Do you see a stapler remover on the desk anywhere?
Gemma> Or would you prefer to use your teeth?
Chet> Maybe we should take it out of here to open it up. Let me see it.
* Gemma hands it over to Chet
* Chet puts it in my bag.
mgrasso> First tony Danza, now this...
Chet> I think that's all we're going to find out here...
Chet> (lol!)
Chet> Let's call 'er a day.
Gemma> All right...
* Chet opens the book back up to page 257 and rips the page from the book.
Gemma> I still think that dust is weird. Should we take some to James? Maybe he can eat it.
mgrasso> You guys want to go back to Chet's?
mgrasso> I don't think we arranged to meet anywhere specifically, but we'll assume Chet's.
Gemma> If Chet's willing. Otherwise we can go to Gemma's.
* Chet writes on the top, "Final Reading Assignemt" in block letters, and thumbtack's it to the outside of the professor's door.
Chet> The passage is John Keats' "When I have fears that I may cease to be"
mgrasso> :)
Chet> OK - that ought to do 'er. Let's head home.
* Gemma half smiles
* Chet closes the door behind him.
mgrasso> (Where to?)
Chet> (Chet's house)
mgrasso> (Fair enough)
mgrasso> I'll put you guys there for a phone call.
Gemma> Is it from the president?
mgrasso> Congratulations! You just won the Super Bowl!
Chet> (I figured "When I have fears" was appropriate)
Chet> And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
Chet> That I shall never look upon thee more, 10
Chet> Never have relish in the faery power
Chet> Of unreflecting love!-then on the shore
Chet> Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Chet> Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.
mgrasso> Wow. Very cool. Thanks, Joe.
mgrasso> Hey, Ingrid calls and everyone's over at Gemma and James'.
Chet> (Sorry - I'm a lit nerd, too... :) )
mgrasso> So why not head on over there.
Chet> Gemma, that was Ingrid. She's molesting your boyfriend at your house.
mgrasso> Everyone back to #C-t!

Scene Two: Contract
mgrasso> Heh.
mgrasso> Okay, give me a mo.
mgrasso> All right. The meeting is for 9 am at the Company X headquarters, the 4th floor of a new office building in suburban Tucson.
James> has there been any email gossip about whos staying and who's going?
mgrasso> The email's been flying... most of your friends, the programmers and designers, figure all of the execs and most of the scrubs are history.
James> what's the mood? are other people as po'ed as me?
mgrasso> Well, your friends are pretty anti-Microsoft, so everyone's already networking trying to find a new place to work.
James> riight.
mgrasso> So, shall we?
* James wears a permanant scowel, but with Gemmas help is dressed 7 or 8 times nicer than he usually would for work.
James> absolutely.
mgrasso> Okay. The main meeting room of Company X has been cleared of Nerf weaponry and Gauntlet console video games for the meeting. The "boardroom table" is polished to a high shine, the first time anyone's seen it in such good shape. You and the other programmers have name plates where you're to sit: Jason, Dan, Derek, and Stu.
* James greets them
James> I don't think I've seen this side of noon since I started working here.
mgrasso> "James." A few noncommittal grunts greet James as he sits down. There are no free Snapples to be found.
James> (what an outrage! no free snapple?!)
mgrasso> Your immediate supervisor, one of the founders of Company X, walks in in a black suit, like he's going to a funeral. Behind him are two people you've never seen before. One is a polo-shirted man of your age.
mgrasso> The other is a woman. Stout, dark-skinned and -haired, her face lined with premuature wrinkles, she looks to be about 30.
mgrasso> She seems to be in charge.
mgrasso> "Good morning, gentlemen," she says.
mgrasso> "My name is Amanda Proctor, and I am Vice-President for Entertainment Development for Microsoft Corp."
mgrasso> You could swear that Dan's cough said, "Fuckers." :)
* James stiffles a bemused smirk.
mgrasso> "You've all been notified of Microsoft's purchase of Company X. We're VERY excited to have such a talented team working for us now."
* James taps his pen slowly against the table, staring at her through squinted eyes.
mgrasso> "We want all of you to know that there's a place for you all at Microsoft, if you want it."
mgrasso> "Ed here," she points to the co-founder and immediate supervisor, "is staying on as Division Manager."
mgrasso> Her male companion from Microsoft, apparently, is named Peter Bonguard, and will be liaison officer to Microsoft.
mgrasso> There's no mention of Ed's other two co-founders and presidents. They're gone.
* James wonders if they got axed or left, considering that ed's probably still there because of his three brats.
mgrasso> "We've renegotiated all of your existing contracts, and we intend to respect and even surpass them," Amanda slides papers to all the programmers at the far end.
mgrasso> James looks down at the letterhead. "Company X. A Microsoft company."
mgrasso> It's James' contract, but slightly rewritten. Intelligence + Law, diff. 7.
James> (what's the link for my char. sheet?)
James> (I hate having a new computer every two seconds)
James> !dice 3 7
* DiceWell James rolls 3d10 at difficulty 7. S/He gets 3 successes.
* DiceWell 10 7 7
mgrasso> Nice!
James> yeah!!!!
mgrasso> They've changed a few things... less vacation time. Mandatory trip to E3 in Vegas in May.
James> (E3?)
mgrasso> It's a entertainment software convention.
mgrasso> Ms. Proctor says, "Of course, since ownership has changed hands, you have the right to nullify your own new contract. I'm hoping that most of you will choose to stay."
mgrasso> "That's all, I guess! I'll be meeting with any of you who do decide to..." At that moment, Dan rips up his contract, gives Amanda the finger, and walks out of the room. "Bye guys."
* James always liked dan
* James absently flips through the pages.
mgrasso> The rest of the boys file out... and as they do, Amanda says, "Mr. Goldstein? Could I have a moment with you?"
James> uh, yeah.
mgrasso> "Wonderful," she says. At this distance, you can see her much better. Her skin is dark and creased... she seems very tired.
mgrasso> "Let's go into Ed's office for a moment."
mgrasso> You notice that Ed and Peter Bonguard stay in the boardroom as she leads you in.
James> alright.
mgrasso> She sits down behind Ed's desk, removing the model of the Borg Cube on his desk so she can see you clearly.
* James has the look of a boy who's afraid of getting in trouble for something he doesn't know he did.
mgrasso> "Mr. Goldstein, your skills here at Company X have been exemplary. We've looked at your code, and your game designs. Remarkable stuff."
James> thank you.
mgrasso> "We've had our eye on Company X mostly for you."
* James tosstles his hair, awakening the cowlick Gemma had somehow flattened.
mgrasso> "We didn't put down a new salary on your contract for a reason. I wanted to tell you personally."
mgrasso> "We want you to be Head Designer and Architect for Company X."
* James gappes
mgrasso> "And here, is the new figure." She pushes a small slip of paper towards you.
* James lifts the paper and looks.
mgrasso> $120,000/year
James> (how many resource dots is that?)
mgrasso> (Heh, 3, 4 if you're careful. :)
mgrasso> Perception + Gremayre, diff. 9
James> wp.
James> !dice 2 9
* DiceWell James rolls 2d10 at difficulty 9. S/He fails the roll!
* DiceWell 7 5
mgrasso> There is definite banality coming off of her.
James> now, as head designer and architect, what would be my responsibilities?
James> (I could tell that when she got rid of the borg cube)
mgrasso> "You would be designer of all new games... subject to Microsoft approval, of course."
James> of course.
mgrasso> "You'd put together the basic structure of all new games and hand them off to the programmers for work."
James> I work an erratic schedual, that can't change.
mgrasso> "Mr. Goldstein, coders are erratic people!" She smiles an odd, crooked-toothed smile.
James> your offer is quite generouse, however there are some fine points I will have to consider-- may I get back to you in a few days?
mgrasso> "Certainly. I'd be more than happy to give you that time to decide. My card." She hands you a Microsoft business card.
James> riight. thanks.
mgrasso> All right.
* James goes home to make a list.
mgrasso> James, when you get home, Gemma is not there. Willpower check, please.
James> diff?
mgrasso> Sorry! 8.
James> !dice 3 8
* DiceWell James rolls 3d10 at difficulty 8. S/He gets 1 success.
* DiceWell 2 9 7
mgrasso> It's the speed, it's catching up with you.
mgrasso> You crash on the couch.
mgrasso> One moment.
James> k

Scene Three: Abdication
mgrasso> All right, guys. First things first.
mgrasso> Ingrid, you do have to report to work on Monday morning.
Ingrid> Okay.
mgrasso> So, will you bring Roger to KVOA?
Roger> I was going to ask if I could
Roger> come
Ingrid> Sure!
Roger> I don't know much about Tuscon, and would certainly get lost on my own
Ingrid> I'd be glad to show you around.
Ingrid> Tucson's not LA, but it has charms all its own.
Roger> Great
Roger> Ingrid, i'm crashing atyour place, right?
Roger> can't remember
Ingrid> Yeah, sure. I have guest accomadations.
Roger> excellent, do I get room service
mgrasso> So, at KVOA at around 8 am, Ingrid walks in with Roger, and heads towards her large cubicle area.
Ingrid> Hey, don't push it. :)
Roger> Is it a large station
Ingrid> Best in town.
Roger> or small and local
Ingrid> Fairly small and local, but still the best.
Roger> is it an affiliate of NBC or CBS or anything like that
mgrasso> It's an NBC affiliate, a fairly large two-story complex with a large parking lot.
Ingrid> Okay, fairly large and local, and affiliated with NBC. :)
mgrasso> Ingrid's voice mail is flashing, and as she escorts Roger over to her desk, Danny Beltran sees Ingrid. Danny's coming from the production booth and he gives Ingrid the high sign.
Ingrid> Hey Danny! c'mere, I want you to meet someone.
Roger> Nice office
* Ingrid goes to pick up her phone.
Ingrid> Thanks. It pays the bills.
mgrasso> Danny says to Ingrid, "Ingrid, Judith really wants to see you."
Ingrid> I figured she would. Danny, this is Roger, a friend of mine from LA. Would you show him around a little while I deal with Judith?
mgrasso> Danny looks edgy and discomfited.
Ingrid> Is there anything I should know?
mgrasso> "Sure, Ingrid. No problem." Danny introduces himself to Roger.
* Roger offers his hand
Roger> Nice to meet you.
mgrasso> Danny shakes it and says, "I don't know, Ingrid. I don't know." and looks downcast.
Ingrid> Danny's my cameraman, and being very evasive right now, apparently.
Roger> i see
mgrasso> "I'm sorry, Ingrid. I just don't know what to say."
Ingrid> About what? What's going on?
Roger> hold on 1 sec
Roger> ok
mgrasso> Roger says to Ingrid, "I don't think Judith is very happy, and I don't think the bosses are either."
Roger> Happy with what?
Ingrid> I'd like to know too!
mgrasso> "Well, that's why I think you should go in and see her, Ingrid."
* Ingrid sighs.
Ingrid> All right, all right. Thanks so much for not ruining the surprise.
Roger> Tell you what Ingrid why don't I wait here for you.
Ingrid> Good idea. This doesn't sound good. I'll be back.
mgrasso> (Ingrid: let's go to msg)
* Ingrid turns and heads for Judith's office.
Ingrid> ok.
* Roger looks around and scans the room.
* Roger rolls a cigarette and holds it in his mouth, but doesn't light it.
mgrasso> Danny sits on Ingrid's chair and says, "Oh man."
Roger> What's up
mgrasso> "I think they're going to fire her."
Roger> why?
Roger> !Dice 4 5
* DiceWell Roger rolls 4d10 at difficulty 5. S/He fails the roll!
* DiceWell 5 4 1 4
*** Ingrid has quit IRC (Connection reset by peer)
*** Ingrid ( has joined #sidhesearch
mgrasso> re ingrid.
Roger> Why are they going to fire her, what did she do
mgrasso> "I don't know. She's such a great reporter."
* Roger offers danny a smoke
Roger> If they let her go, what happens to you?
mgrasso> "No thanks."
mgrasso> "I'll stay on, I guess. Get paired with a different reporter."
* Roger goes to light his cigarette and stops "can i smoke here?"
mgrasso> "Probably not. Let's go outside."
Roger> cool, so how long have you worked with Ingrid?
mgrasso> "About a year and a half now."
Roger> That will suck haveing to start a relationship with someone else
Roger> Its alwasy tough when managment jerks you around
mgrasso> "I hope that's not the case though."
Roger> Is there anything else that this might be, she's a nice girl I don't know what she could've done to get everyone so pised off
Roger> man its rough
mgrasso> "Oh, here she comes now."
* Ingrid emerges from the building, looking grim.
Roger> !Dice 4 6
* DiceWell Roger rolls 4d10 at difficulty 6. S/He gets 2 successes.
* DiceWell 2 10 10 2
* Roger waves
Roger> Hey ingrid how did it go....(trailing off)
Ingrid> Hey guys. Hope you weren't too worried.
mgrasso> Danny says, "I was."
Roger> a little, correction, alot.
Ingrid> Well, I still have a job. I *think* that's a good thing.
Roger> there is a but comm\ing somewhere
Ingrid> But I was reprimanded for absences and told I'd get no second chance.
* Ingrid sighs.
Roger> Thats tough with things the way they are.
Ingrid> It is. It's hard trying to have a personal life working in the news.
Roger> I can see that, so whats the plan now?>
Ingrid> Well, I probably have some work to do.
* Ingrid smiles wryly.
Roger> of course
mgrasso> Danny says, "Nothing's come in on the scanner. We could work on editing some stories."
Roger> That woukld be cool, i'd like to see how thats done
Ingrid> All right. I was about to ask you.
mgrasso> Danny says, "You don't seem like you really want to be here."
Ingrid> Danny, I don't even know where to begin telling how little i want to be here.
* Ingrid smiles again.
Roger> Work is work, if it was fun it would be called play.
mgrasso> Danny says, "I edited the mission story for you. Maybe I could help out with your backlog?"
Ingrid> You're a wise man, Roger.
Ingrid> And you, Danny, you're a prince.
Roger> Don't you forget it.
* Ingrid leans over and kisses Danny on the cheek.
Ingrid> Thanks.
mgrasso> Danny says, "I want the work. I'm eager to get the experience."
Ingrid> Stick with me, kid. You'll go far.
* Ingrid laughs.
mgrasso> Danny heads back into the office and leaves the two of you outsidfe.
Roger> Allright, Ingrid, why don't we go see how prince Ali here edited that story yesterday
Ingrid> Yeah, it will be interesting to see another side of the story. Luckily he didn't see the... horror.
Roger> There still might be somethingon the tape
Ingrid> This is *such* bad timing. I was hoping we could get some searching done today.
Roger> later we can go by and take a better look
Ingrid> Good point. Maybe it will be fruitful after all. Let's go find out.
Roger> the smoke should have died down by now
Roger> if it gets dark, I have flashlights in the car
Roger> Lets watch the tape
* Ingrid smiles.
Ingrid> All right, let's do that.
Roger> but I want to see all the footage, not just the edited version
mgrasso> Okay, so what are you guys up to?
* Roger opens the door for Ingrid and motions for her to "lead the way"
Ingrid> Okay. I'll ask Danny to show us the full version first.
Roger> I want to look at the tape and see if anything jumps out at me
* Ingrid heads into the building.
mgrasso> Ingrid and Roger head back to production, where Danny is working dutifully. "Hey guys! What's up?
Ingrid> Hey Dann, do you think we could get a look at all the footage you shot yesterday before we see the edit?
mgrasso> "You mean the stuff from the mission? Sure."
Ingrid> Something about that whole scene is still bothering me. Thanks.
mgrasso> He grabs a blue Beta case off the desk and hands it to you.
mgrasso> (lost Julia)
*** Ingrid has quit IRC (Connection reset by peer)
*** Ngrid ( has joined #sidhesearch
mgrasso> You pop it into the player, and start to examine the tape. Each of you, give me a Perception + Investigation or Per + Scan, diff. 6
Roger> !Dice 4 6
* DiceWell Roger rolls 4d10 at difficulty 6. S/He gets 1 success.
* DiceWell 1 4 6 6
Ngrid> !dice 7 6
* DiceWell Ngrid rolls 7d10 at difficulty 6. S/He gets 2 successes.
* DiceWell 2 9 4 7 2 10 1
*** Ngrid is now known as Ingrid
mgrasso> Ingrid is watching a pan from the parking lot to the mission, and sees a figure behind a couple of distant trees on the tape.
Ingrid> Wait! Stop the tape.
mgrasso> Danny hits pause, then slow reverse.
Roger> What what is it
Ingrid> What was that? Behind the tree.
mgrasso> It's a figure, that's for sure. A man's build, about 5'6", 5'7". Older, almost looking like a homeless man from the look of his clothes.
mgrasso> His face is too blurry to make out more than that, though.
Roger> Can you enhance that in anyway
Ingrid> Now why would someone be hiding behind a tre?
mgrasso> Danny says, "Sorry, this isn't the X-files." He smiles.
mgrasso> Danny says to Ingrid, "I don't remember seeing that man when we were out there."
Roger> Its ok, can we get a copy of that, maybe james can do something with in\mage
* Ingrid says under her breath " You'd be surprised."
mgrasso> "Sure. I'll dub it for you right now."
Ingrid> Good idea, Roger.
Roger> cool
mgrasso> "VHS?"
Ingrid> Yeah.
mgrasso> Okay, dubbing away.
Ingrid> Okay. We may as well work on that backlog you were talking about, Danny.
mgrasso> Okay, we'll be reunited at Chet's soon.
Roger> Thats cool do whatever you need to
Ingrid> Thanks, Roger. I know this isn't the most exciting thing to do.
Roger> Frankly, after this weekend, i could use a little boredom
* Ingrid laughs.
Ingrid> Good point.
Roger> Do what you need to and then I'll buy you lunch
mgrasso> You guys now have a copy.
mgrasso> What now?
mgrasso> Over to Gemma and James'?
Ingrid> How late do I have to work?
Ingrid> Oh, am I done?
mgrasso> You have no stories left for today, so, yeah, after you get your tapes ready, you're done. :)
Ingrid> All right, let's try James's first. He has all the video equipment.
Roger> ok
mgrasso> James, you awaken to a banging on your front door.
*** Ingrid ( has joined #companyx
*** Roger (rayan4d2@ has joined #companyx
* Ingrid pulls up outside James's place.
* Roger steps out of the passenger door.
mgrasso> Ingrid and Roger knock and ring doorbells for a good two minutes.
* James shakes off the sleep and moves to the door, rubbing his face.
mgrasso> Then Roger just decides to bang on the door. :)
* James pulls oppen the door.
* Ingrid looks impressed.
James> yeah?
* James is a mess.
mgrasso> James, when you bring your hand down from your face, you notice your nose is bleeding.
James> what the fuck?
Roger> Morning sunshine
James> be right back.
Ingrid> Hey James. We have a present for you... what's with the nosebleed?
* James goes to get a tissue
James> I was pickin it when you knocked.
mgrasso> Roger, Ingrid, Wits + Investigation, diff. 9
Roger> !Dice 4 9
* DiceWell Roger rolls 4d10 at difficulty 9. S/He gets 2 successes.
* DiceWell 3 9 4 9
Ingrid> !dice 6 9
* DiceWell Ingrid rolls 6d10 at difficulty 9. S/He gets 3 successes.
* DiceWell 10 10 8 7 7 9
Ingrid> whoa.
mgrasso> There's a very strange bruise or something on the back of James' neck.
mgrasso> As he walks away, you both can see it.
Ingrid> James. what happened to your neck?
* Ingrid goes over to get a closer look.
James> what are you talking about?
Roger> Who mugged you man
Ingrid> Ther's a bruise or something...
James> really?
Ingrid> Let me get a good look.
mgrasso> It's about the size of a dime, and... the weird thing, the shape of a perfect equilateral triangle.
mgrasso> It is a bump of raised, red skin.
James> I'm pretty fucked up right now hu?
James> nosebleed, bruise.
Ingrid> What happened to you?
James> nothing. I came home from my meeting and I fell asleep
mgrasso> James, you got back at 10 am... it's now 3 pm.
* Roger scans the appartment looking for anything that is out of place.
Ingrid> Do you often sleep all day?
mgrasso> Roger, give me a Per + Investigation. diff 7
Roger> !Dice 4 7
* DiceWell Roger rolls 4d10 at difficulty 7. S/He gets 1 success.
* DiceWell 6 9 5 4
James> yeah.
James> I mean, if I, you know, need too.
mgrasso> Roger: everything looks fine to you. I mean, there's clutter, but nothing wildly out of place.
Ingrid> How'd the meeting go?
James> good I guess.
Ingrid> What was it about?
James> I went there with the intention of telling them to fuck off, and they offered me a raise and a promotion.
James> I told them I'd think about it.
James> I mean it is the devil, but they'd give me ther freedom to do what I always wanted to do, plus more money than I can fucking shake a stick at.
Ingrid> That's it? No weird implantation of devices or anything?
James> no. why?
Ingrid> Just wondering. That thing on your neck is a little... odd.
Ingrid> Did you run into anyone on the way back home?
James> nope.
James> Odd? how do you mean?
Ingrid> Well, it's triangular. *Perfectly* triangular.
* James goes to his computer and uses his camera to focus on the back of his neck, zoom in and take a picture.
Ingrid> Not like any bug bite or anyhing else I've ever seen.
mgrasso> James can quickly call up some CAD software and confirm... it is indeed a perfect 60/60/60 triangle.
mgrasso> Guys, maybe someone should call Chet's and see if Gemma and Chet are back?
James> thats Fucked up.
James> good Idea.
Ingrid> Oh sure. I'll call and see if Gemma and Chet are back.
Ingrid> James, where's the phone?
Roger> I'm no doctor but thats not mormal, maybe you should see a doctor
* Ingrid does a quick scan of the room.
mgrasso> (Wits + Scan, Ingrid? Diff.6?)
Ingrid> !dice 6 6
* DiceWell Ingrid rolls 6d10 at difficulty 6. S/He gets 3 successes.
* DiceWell 10 4 2 6 7 4
mgrasso> everyone back in #C-t!
* James pokes at the back of his neck

Scene Four: Treasure
mgrasso> Gemma and Chet come through the front door.
mgrasso> You see James rubbing the back of his neck, standing near his computer with a huge blowup of a red triangle on a light background on it.
mgrasso> Ingrid holds a black plastic videotape case.
mgrasso> (Okay, guys, go nuts)
Roger> does it feel wierd
* Gemma goes over to James and gives him a huge hug -- and a nip on the neck
Ingrid> Hey, I was just about to call you guys.
mgrasso> (No, you did)
mgrasso> (Sorry, I left too soon)
Ingrid> Oh. :)
Chet> (Ingrid is *sooo* high right now...)
Gemma> You have the worst short-term memory, Ingrid.
mgrasso> (My bad)
Ingrid> Hey, you got here fast! :D
mgrasso> (*snort*)
* Gemma smirks at Ingrid
Roger> What does it feel like
Gemma> What does what feel like?
* Roger is still looking at james' neck
James> it burns, but that just might be because I'm rubbing it.
Gemma> Hey, that's what you told me last night.
Gemma> What gives?
James> stings kinda like a mofo.
* Gemma tugs on James' shoulder to pull him down so she can get a better look at the back of his neck
* James pulls his hand away so she can see.
Gemma> Let me see, tontito...
Ingrid> He had a nosebleed when he answered the door, too.
mgrasso> Gemma sees a red mark on the back of James' neck. It's red, and raised, and the weird thing is, it's a perfect equilateral triangle.
mgrasso> That's what's on James' computer screen right now.
Ingrid> Took *forever* to wake him up.
Gemma> What the hell is this?
* Gemma pokes it
mgrasso> Blown up to ridiculous size with a triangle overlaid on it.
Gemma> Does that hurt?
Chet> Where did you find him?
mgrasso> He was sleeping on the couch.
Ingrid> He found us, pounding on the door.
James> only a little.
mgrasso> It's about the size of a dime.
Gemma> Do you think some aliens gave you an implant?
James> look, It's weird, okay, but nothing happened.
* Roger goes over to the couch.
Gemma> I can get a steak knife. We'll cut it out of you.
Roger> (is there anything there that might have done it.
Roger> )
Ingrid> I think it's his new company. He's working for Agent Mulder now.
James> can't cut it out, it'll grow right back.
mgrasso> Roger: the couch looks clean.
Gemma> (Yeah, it *looks* clean ... ::leer::)
Roger> (ewww)
mgrasso> (Soooo... are we to share discoveries?)
Gemma> (That couch is stained witha thousand sins!)
James> look, i went to a meeting, came home, fell asleep, woke up to the door.
Gemma> Did you forget to take your meds?
* Chet sits down on the couch and pulls the diploma out of the bag.
Chet> James, do you have a pair of needlenose pliers?
James> yeah- basement 1st toolshelf 3rd draw rt hand side.
* Ingrid goes over and pops the videotape in the vcr.
* Chet walks downstairs to look for the pliers.
mgrasso> Ingrid starts the tape and the four of you see footage from yesterday, at the mission. It's a bit shaky, since it's unedited.
mgrasso> It's also lost a little bit of quality going from Beta to VHS.
* Ingrid fast-forwards to the tree guy.
mgrasso> But Ingrid is able to cue it up to the spot she needs it: there.
James> what's this?
Gemma> Ah. The San Xavier Witch Project. I've seen this one already.
Ingrid> Look, there's someone hiding behingd the tree there.
* Chet comes back ustairs with the pliers.
Roger> Its the news footage from yesterday
Ingrid> We were wondering if you could enhance the picture, James.
mgrasso> Standing, maybe even hiding, behind one of a few trees off in the distance of the mission, is an older man. He's about 5'6", 5'7", and is dressed in ragged clothing.
Ingrid> We couldn't quite make out a face.
mgrasso> His face is not well-defined and it's tough to see any features whatsoever.
James> um, maybe. do you have the equiptment to put this bad ass on a disk?
Roger> why, dont you
Ingrid> You mean you don't?
Gemma> Why would he?
Gemma> He's a programming geek, not an amateur porn producer.
mgrasso> (Ingrid: there's computers at the station that can do that...)
James> well...
Roger> are you sure gemma?
* Chet sits on the couch and begins, very carefully, removing staples from the back of the framed diploma.
Ingrid> If you can't I guess I can do it at the staion.
Gemma> As sure as I am of my monthlies, Roger.
James> great. If you can do that, I can do anything.
Roger> Chet watcha doin?
James> you might want to convert it from Beta to retain the quality though.
Gemma> He's rescuing Ozma.
Chet> Honestly, I don't know, Roger.
Roger> ok, whatever
Chet> Right now, I'm just trying to get the back off this picture frame.
Ingrid> Okay, James. From the beta copyit is.
Chet> I've been with Gemma all day, so I'm mostly disoriented.
Gemma> James? Did you put that red triangle on the computer, or was it already there?
Roger> Thankyou doctor obvious
Gemma> I hate you, Milkman Roger.
James> I put it there.
* Chet pulls the last staple out and removes the back of the picture frame.
Gemma> Why?
James> I wanted to see it close up.
Gemma> Is it a picture of yours?
James> because I am not gifted enough to look at the back of my own neck.
mgrasso> When Chet removes the back of the picture frame, he takes out the brown paper backing and sees inside a CD.
Chet> James?
Chet> Can you check this out?
James> what?
* Chet holds up the CD.
* James heads over to the couch.
James> where'd ja get that?
Chet> From this picture frame.
Ingrid> That's weird.
Chet> Is it a data disk or a music disk or what?
Gemma> Ah. That explains the crystals. I didn't think it was talking about cat litter.
Ingrid> "It"?
mgrasso> James: by the look of it, it's a data disk.
Gemma> I was talking to the physical manifestation of years of debt and beer, Ingrid.
Chet> Can you find out what's on it?
* James grabs the the disk and puts it in his computer.
James> his back up computer
James> that he uses for all questionable materials
James> that is not networked to his system
mgrasso> All right.
mgrasso> The disk is indeed a CD-ROM, with four files on it.
mgrasso> One is titled README.TXT
mgrasso> One is titled VOTM.JPG
mgrasso> One is titled MAP.JPG
mgrasso> And the last is titled LIST.TXT
Chet> No one ever reads the "README" file, do they?
James> i will this time.
* James opens README.TXT
Chet> Fire that bad bitch up, then.
mgrasso> In James' text editor, the following appears:
mgrasso> Well, if you're reading this, my office has either been taken over by someone else forcibly, or I'm dead, or some combination of the two. I'm writing this to whomever happens to find this disk. There's no way you'd know about it unless you knew about my other life, so I'm going to go out on a limb and say, "Hello Chet. Glad you could make it."
mgrasso> Chet, the world is unfair, but not *too* unfair. In fact, I'm going to make it more fair for you. If you're reading this, and everything's gone to shit, then there's really only one place to go. I'm sure you'll know once you read the rest of the files on this CD.
mgrasso> If we are all gone, and there's no one left, then the information on this CD won't help you. I hope you choke on it, Destroyers of Dreams. You'll soon turn on each other and die. All the better.
mgrasso> JV
Ingrid> Destroyers of Dreams? What's he talking about?
Gemma> Sidhe. Duh.
Chet> Maybe, maybe not.
Chet> What's on the other files?
mgrasso> Which one next?
Gemma> Open the other tee-ex-tee file, James.
James> well map must be to the only place to go...
James> sure, lst.txt
James> or whatever it is.
mgrasso> Okay.
Chet> Which one is the next chronologically?
mgrasso> They were all saved to the CD at the same time: May 18, 2000, 8:52 am
mgrasso> James: LIST.TXT?
Ingrid> (what's today?)
James> yeah.
mgrasso> (April 2001)
mgrasso> List.txt appears to be a combination of history of the fae of Tucson as well as a list of freeholds in the area.
mgrasso> The list includes... San Xavier del Bac, 144 Euclid Ave., and 2544 E. Allen Road.
mgrasso> Each of the three is described. San Xavier as "relatively free, but the nobles do require fealty."
Gemma> !dice 6 6
* DiceWell Gemma rolls 6d10 at difficulty 6. S/He fails the roll!
* DiceWell 1 9 1 7 2 5
mgrasso> 144 Euclid as "a harmonious home and hearth. Wondrous in that it grew quickly and entirely under my pupil's watchful eye."
mgrasso> And 2544 E. Allen Road as "The place where all Dreams and Nightmares begin."
Chet> Does anyone have any idea whay this address is? E. Allen Rd?
Ingrid> Maybe it's in the map file.
* James opens "MAP" provided that "list" is done
Chet> Has anyone been there before? The address sounds familiar.
mgrasso> There's a lot to LIST.TXT, especially in the history section.
mgrasso> But that's the important stuff.
Chet> Can you print me off hard copies of this stuff for later, James?
James> maybe it is that place where that fucker with our dreamer's names lived...
mgrasso> MAP.JPG is a HUGE graphic file, apparently a scan of a roadmap of Tucson.
James> print? what's that? just kiding, absolutely.
Ingrid> Well I have to admit, this beats the hell out of a shadowy guy behind a tree. Good job, Chet.
mgrasso> There are three places marked off with those sticky gold stars on the scan: San Xavier, 144 Euclid, and 2544 E. allen, which is north of downtown Tucson, on the way to Oro Valley. It appears to be relatively out of the way.
mgrasso> Near the Catalina Foothills.
Ingrid> Have any of us ever been there?
mgrasso> Ingrid: nope.
James> alright, and the other file?
mgrasso> It is a graphic image.
Ingrid> (oh my...)
Chet> Well, Ingrid, Gemma actually deserves the credit on this one.
* Gemma raises an eyebrow at Chet
Ingrid> How nice of you to say so, Chet.
* Ingrid pats his shoulder a bit condescendingly.
Chet> What the hell is that?
James> woah, whew's that?
James> (where)
Roger> ok, what about this other one 144 Euclid, is there anything about that one?
mgrasso> Roger: That's Chet's place.
Gemma> (I can't view eb pages -- is that the Valley of the Moon?)
Chet> It sounds familiar...
Roger> Oh
Roger> Good for you
mgrasso> (Julia came upstairs to look at the pic, and she said the same thing... "What the hell is that?" :D)
Roger> Ok so what now, road trip?
Ingrid> It looks like a cemetery, but what's that structure in the middle?
Gemma> A corn factory.
James> i guess. Maybe it's allen street.
Chet> Well, once we figure out what and where that thing is, I'd say we check that out first.
Gemma> Is that the pauper's graveyard or something -- no, that's over by the mall, where it can cheer people up.
Ingrid> We may as well see if it happens to be on E. Allebn Street.
Gemma> !dice 6 7
* DiceWell Gemma rolls 6d10 at difficulty 7. S/He gets 2 successes.
* DiceWell 8 4 7 5 2 5
Chet> Anyone mind if I put a smoke on first?
Gemma> I'd love it if you smoke if my house, Chet.
Chet> (Sorry, but I've gotta get... is this an OK place to wrap up?)
James> basement, garage or outside.
mgrasso> (It's PERFECT)
mgrasso> Unless Gemma has something to say before all this ends.
Gemma> (and I do)
Ingrid> Thanks for being so patient with my difficult connection, guys.
Roger> anytime
James> (that's okay!)
*** Chet is now known as Joe
Gemma> Ahhh... That's the Valley of the Moon, guys. Rabbit shows. Very strange.
Roger> very cool mike, its nice tobe back in the game