Tucker Harris (SteveR) - Provost
Megan "Mouse" Owens (Tammy) - Antiques Hunter
Mist 11th, 995
Megan ("Mouse") Owens gets ready to head out and visit Bluespark of the Hebbie's Cleavers gang. She asks if Allen Cleery trusts Tucker Harris enough for her to leave him alone with the Provost, but Cleery says that Harris "is harmless". Cleery has Tucker Harris bring the body of Julia Laycock under an eave on the roof, out of the rain, and he agrees and goes back out into the downpour to do so. Cleery gives Megan a sack of her own old clothes to barter with or give to Hebbie's Cleavers to sweeten the deal. They talk about the llive that Megan found on the roof, and Cleery says that it may not belong to the ghostfighter, but that neither of them will take it or use it.
Tucker Harris brings the body of the lostfinder under an eave, his clothes getting muddied and bloodied, and then goes back to where Julia's body was located. He sees a glint of something in the wet soil, but whatever it is is protected by three scurts. They bite him, inflicting minimal damage, and then they scurry off, bearing a shiny, glinting object with them. He goes after the scurts to the edge of the roof, and is amazed when he looks down to see the scurts climbing down the outside wall, like spiders! He does spot the one scurt with a plastic bag that has something shiny in it but can't make out what it is. Frustrated, Tucker returns to Julia's body, and finds there's nothing in her pockets, not even identification papers. It appears the killer took everything from her, and this leaves the provost with too many questions.
Megan exits the house into the gloom and rain of the day. She makes her way towards Dead Cleaver, the ruined section at the eastern edge of Cleaver Lane. She's very cautious and quite nervous as she moves deeper into the ruins. The disembodied voice of Hatchee one of Hebbie's Cleavers, addresses her, asking her what she wants, but then Bluespark says that Mouse is a friend, and asks her what she wants. Megan tells her why she's there, and leading her deep into the Cleavers' territory, Hatchee, Bluespark, and the others agree to dispose of the lostfinder's body at the terms agreed, plus the extra clothes that Megan's brought. The Cleavers worry about the presence of the Provost, as they hate Provosts, but Megan says that she'll get rid of the Provost. She'll use a signal of two short, three long torch flashes. Once the deal is agreed to, Megan heads back to 123 Cleaver Lane.
Tucker decides to search the garden for clues. The rain has washed away most of the footprints, other than the recent ones, and any other clues. He does find a bloodied club and a llive. He examines the llive, but does not touch it due to the dangerous edges of the weapon. He comes up with several wild suppositions, but leaves the llive where it is, and returns to the club. There are no clues, the rain having washed the club clean, but there is a fading remnant of a seemingly female (due to the length and depth) footprint. He follows the seemingly direction of the footprint to the edge of the roof; there's a Huyzel vine rope hanging down to the ground. He heads back into the house to talk to Cleery.
Megan returns to the house and tells Allen that she was successful in her task. She tells him that they need to get the Provost out of the house due to the feelings of Hebbie's Cleavers about them. Megan senses Tucker coming down. Tucker questions her and Cleery about various subjects. He learns that Julia was a climber, would have had to be, being a Lostfinder. They discuss the matter of the Huyzel vine rope, after some misdirection about clinging vines. He asks how long the Lostfinder had been up on the roof, but doesn't get a straight answer. He tells them about her pockets being completely emptied, and wonders if they might have done it. He questions the presence of the scurts, but they are a normal occurrence in The City where bodies are to be found. He asks who found the body, and while Megan tells him she was the one who did so, she can't remember when. Cleery and Megan question his investigating the murder now, as there's no body and no evidence. Tucker leaves the Cleery place, to return to investigating the robbery at the Painscotts.
As Tucker steps outside the Cleery place, he narrowly avoids being struck by a thrown knife. He hears the humming of capacitors, and dives behind the edge of the porch. He fails to get completely behind cover, and is shot by a heavy sparklock [he takes 4 Shock to the chest], and collapses unconscious.
Back inside, Cleery asks Megan if she heard a sound. He says it sounded like a sparklock. Megan goes to the edge of the hole in the house, and sees an adult in a hat and windswept cloak. The shadows of the Hebbie's Cleaver gang members approach, and the figure flees. Megan goes over to Tucker and sees that he's unconscious. She calls for Cleery, telling him that Tucker is bleeding out. Cleery administers some first aid to Tucker, using most of Megan's tunic to staunch the bleeding. Spark and the other Hebbie's Cleavers arrive, and go into the house and up to the garden to dispose of Julia Laycock's body. Cleery and Megan take Tucker's unconscious form into the ruins of Dead Cleaver, prop him against some cover, and call on his radio for Provost help (Megan attempts to disguise her voice for this purpose). The Provosts agree to come for their comrade. As Megan and Allen depart, they can hear the sound of the Provost aerostat coming towards their location.
Two days later... During the intervening time, Megan and Cleery clean up the garden and the other evidence at the house. They contact Polliproot, Mason and Son, and arrange for repairs to the house to start on the 14th of Mist. Allen hires Felicity Clearwater, a ghostfighter, to protect the property while the gaping hole in the house wall exists. When the two characters went back up to the roof, they find the llive has disappeared and fresh boot prints on the wall by the Huyzel vine. It appears the ghostfigher who killed Julia Laycock came and retrieved his/her llive.
Mist 13th. It is early afternoon. There is a knock at the Cleery door. Answering the door, Megan finds herself confronting three Provosts - Sergeant Collins, and Constables Gusarov and Marcusio. They state that they are investigating the death of lostfinder Julia Laycock. Pushing their way into the house, they inform Megan and Cleery that they learned of Julia Laycock's death from Constable Tucker Harris; he's alive and recovering, but talked during the period of his surgery. Megan decides that Collins is arrogant, Gusarov is very nationalistic in attitude, and Marcusio is just a leering buffoon. The three Provosts ask about the garden and the garden implements. Megan goes to the roof garden with Constable Marcusio to check the tools in the garden shed. He tells her a bit about himself, notably that he comes from a place (burgh?) called Tijuan, which she knows nothing of, for which he calls her ignorant and provincial. Marcusio also tells her about Constable Harris gabbing and that he told them of her (Megan's) role in finding Laycock's body. Marcusio also tells her that the Gorunna macrocorp is interested in the business, as Julia Laycock did some work for Gorunna. He makes subtle advances towards her, but Megan does her best to ignore them. They find a rake that was used as the weapon, as well as a hoe with some blood spots on it. Megan and Marcusio descend back into the house to find Cleery with a bruised face, and both Sgt. Collins and Constable Gusarov looking satisfied. Marcusio is sent to do forensics with their portable kit on the hoe and rake, and Megan refuses his offer to accompany him. Sergeant Collins asks what the two of them know about Deepdown, but both Megan and Cleery say nothing (thus implicating themselves in Collins's mind).
I had a pretty good gaming session of the a|state RPG on Sunday, and thought the game went rather well. The game session had a little bit of everything in it, though the conflict was less physical than it was mental, and the players seemed to handle things pretty well (other than what I've mentioned elsewhere and below). Tammy did a pretty good job playing her Megan "Mouse" Owens, and was rather effective in her role this game session. On the other hand, spross struggled with his character's job of investigating the theft of a machine part and focused instead on the business of the murder. He doesn't seem to grasp the process of conducting the investigations (the questions to ask, among other things) from a roleplaying point of view, and it was a bit painful and frustrating to watch Tammy give him hints and clues about what he should be doing. Otherwise, the game session was pretty good.
I won't be running the Sunday a|state game again until the New Year, so am looking forward to continuing on with that.