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Author Topic: The Clutch (A bar for airship pirates, ragamuffins and other law breakers)  (Read 29539 times)
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
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United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #450 on: November 13, 2010, 03:12:23 pm »

"Have they seen us?" Brantley said, his finger hovering over a diminutive toggle on the cigarette case labeled 'Discretion.' If switched on, it would render the field and anything within it invisible.

"If they hail us or blow the ships whistle as they approach our position, then go ahead and answer as if nothing is amiss. If, however, they fire on us, take us up and I'll make us into a difficult target," Brantley said urgently.
Logged

Walk softly and carry a big banjo...

""quid statis aspicientes in infernum"
Alexis Voltaire
Rogue Ætherlord
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United States United States


Shàlle We Dànce?


« Reply #451 on: November 14, 2010, 10:32:59 pm »

"Alright..." Horatio replied, already reaching for the controls when he heard the gunfire from below. He set the rear props back to almost horizontal and increased the power, and the Wyvern started to rise quickly, taking them up above the effective range of the rifles.

He looked over to the new ship as Arthur mentioned spotting it, and adjusted the angle and speed of the props until the Wyvern hovered steadily several hundred yards above the waves, and just underneath a thick layer of fog. The ship hailed them a few moments later over the radio, using a signal similar to Morse code.

Horatio grabbed a notepad from beside the radio and started to take down the message and translate it, relieved to see that it was a code he recognized. Apparently they were within a time close to their own, or the common international codes in this one were at least similar enough. The message was repeated three times, and translated more or less to 'State nature of vessel and intended destination.'

'Experimental hovercraft Wyvern on course to port. Trouble with weather and navigation forced descent to lower altitude.' He tapped back, hoping it was understood and believed.

There was a minute or so of silence, but the commander of the warship evidently decided they weren't a threat, probably in part because the Wyvern had no visible guns or gunports, and a short message was sent back. 'Proceed on course, and stay within proper altitude levels.'

"I wonder if they've had troubles recently with ships that look like this one?" Horatio wondered aloud as he steered a course toward land. The Wyvern appeared little like her original design up close, but at a distance it was possible for someone to mistake her for a martian craft...
« Last Edit: November 15, 2010, 10:42:05 pm by Alexis Voltaire » Logged

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The Corsair
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PixieOnTheMic
« Reply #452 on: November 15, 2010, 10:14:57 pm »

He maintained vigilance in hope of further defining what year, or at least decade, they were in. The warship that had fired upon them had certainly been an early steamship model but, due to the difficulties of updating overseas navies, the warship really gave them little further information.

"Anyone here speak Portuguese?"
He figured that if they were flying this close to the Portuguese navy a grasp of the local language could be somewhat necessary...
Logged

I think I should also mention I had a dream about this game, only Bailey was a woman...

I assure you, that incident in Singapore was all a misunderstanding.
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #453 on: November 16, 2010, 05:54:27 am »

"Interesting," Brantley said. "They're flying the Portuguese colors, but the tumblehome of the hull, low freeboard and the flying-type bridge* would be more at home on a French ship, or a British ironclad turret ramship of about the early Victorian period"... He flipped through the case's multiple leaves, and found a clock-like one. "Year is 1892," he announced, "and  it's the China Empire Hegemony."

The 'Porties' are allied with China, and much of what we, or rather, the majority of you folks, would term 'Spanish history' is rather severely altered from what you might know." He paused, "I've been here before, Arthur, and while I can understand a lot of Portuguese (not that different from Spanish), but speak...well, lets just say it could get dicey.

-----
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
 

 
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The Corsair
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PixieOnTheMic
« Reply #454 on: November 16, 2010, 09:29:09 am »

"Pope's line somewhat the same or are the America's more of a patchwork quilt?"
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #455 on: November 20, 2010, 09:58:56 pm »

Brantley Thought a moment, and said, "The Czarists are in control of the Pacific Northwest; California is American, the border with what you might know as Oregon is a tense line of entrenchments between two countries (US and Russia) who eye each other across it and act belligerently at times.Texas is a state, but Arizona a republic. Mexico is almost a state, but there's a resistance and revolutionist movement gaining power in Coahuila and the Mexican Sierras.
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AlegrahEredschtadt
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United States United States



« Reply #456 on: November 21, 2010, 02:14:17 am »

Alegrah frowned and listened the whole time, arms crossed. She bit her lip, a bit confused by the quick turn of events but figuring she'd just go along with it for the time being. She hung back, watching out a port-hole.
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Read the musings of a mentally unstable traveler: http://symphonicallymorbid.blogspot.com/

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The Corsair
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PixieOnTheMic
« Reply #457 on: November 21, 2010, 08:02:10 am »

((The pope's line refers to the division of South America between the Portuguese and the Spanish))

"How about the south?"
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #458 on: November 21, 2010, 03:42:20 pm »

"South America is a bit odd; it's a republic, but protected by the Portuguese mother country, and there is a Canton for Chinese traders on an artificial island in the mouth of the Harbor of Valparaiso, almosytexactly the same as Shanghai in China, for Western Traders. A similar facility exists on what we probably would all think of as the Chilean Coast."

"What we would call 'the Falklands' are bitterly-contested ground and the source of many conflicts between the Portuguese, Chinese, the Union of South America, and the British Empire, which is much smaller than yours." He punched a few buttons and slid a slider or two and flipped several toggles, to no apparent avail and his evident frustration. "No more information seems to be available," he said, "the Compendium shows no more relevant data. But I can tell you that there currently exists a stalemate between the Great Powers, as they call 'em here. Curacao is a not quite a 'powderkeg,' but it seems ro be developing into one."
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The Corsair
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PixieOnTheMic
« Reply #459 on: November 23, 2010, 06:40:51 am »

"Well it looks like we need to be in and out of this dimension-thing as quickly as possible..."

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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #460 on: November 24, 2010, 10:22:49 pm »

Things have gone rather well, all things considered, Sally Kemmermann thoiught, as she perused the reports of intratemporal phenomenae and re-established timeline stability. I guess we'll let Wendell brantley live for a while yet. Her feeling of dry humor was interrupted by a yellow flashing light on the so-called 'Panic Board' on her desk, a plaque set into its surface sporting several rows and columns of jewel lights, with toggles beneath each row, which consisted of blue, green, yellow, orange, red, and white lights, in order from least amount of trouble (blue) to catastrophic danger (white). the Yellow light on the Dimensional stability row was flashing urgently.

As head of both AUNTSALLI and The Committee, there were hundreds of people she could call, she reflected, to get information on what exactly was going on, but oddly enough, Librarian Rashid was the one who almost always had the news right out of the horse's mouth, so to speak, since any change always affected his stacks, and he always investigated to find out immediately (if possible)what changes had taken or were taking place. She punched the direct line on her desk, and after a moment Anton Rashid answered in his aged, yet clipped and clear voice. She listened to what he had to say, becoming more urgent and excited in her manner with each exchange of words. She finally thanked the man and hung up, then called the Dispatcher's Desk to make her requests.

"Yes... Yes, the Brantley Initiative, Shirley. for the time being, let Marius Wendell stay in the  Purgatory multiverse...Yes... Well, of course, he can handle whatever that rogue vamp hunter can dish out, neither of them are really human, in any case...Ok. Yes, I think that we should send some help for Marius William in Macau, things will get hairy there, no matter what we try to do to regulate it from elsewhen...What? well, thats inconvenient, why isn't Snorri through in Copenhagen?"

A hiss of frustration and sarcasm escaped the elfin Miss Kemmermann's lips. "Well, I suppose a severed leg would slow down a mere human. I knew we should have let that bastard turn  him back in London that time... oh, well. As long as he's sure he can handle things there...WHO? Beltane and Brantley together in Macau with a bunch of piratical people?! Are you completely insane, they'll blast that whole island to slag! You're certain he's the only one available?

A long period of apparent explanation on teh other end of teh phone ensued, and then Kemmermann sighed and said, wearily, "Really? Ohh... Oh, alright, then, but tell Beltane to leave that damned tesla stick in his boot unless he has a damned good reason to use it! Yeah...yes, I'll call Brantley and tell him. Okay, thanks. Bye."

Worlds, hours, seconds, and several layers of cloth away, Brantley's cigarette case once again began to ring furiously...
« Last Edit: November 25, 2010, 02:56:56 pm by MWBailey » Logged
AlegrahEredschtadt
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States



« Reply #461 on: November 25, 2010, 02:21:48 am »

Alegrah blinked in surprise at the loud sound. She frowned, oddly subdued as she asked, "Is there anything in particular I can do to be of help? It seems I've been paying little attention.."
Logged
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #462 on: November 25, 2010, 04:18:57 am »

"Well, yes, there is," Brantley said as he pulled his folded handkerchief from on top of the cigarette case, and flipped over several leaves of instruments to expose the communications console, pulling out the miniature transceiver and an  odd-looking set of wires with bulbs on them. He attached the wires with the bulbs on them to the blackbox, and said, "You can put these lil' bulbs in your ears; (they're tiny loudspeakers), and listen for what will sound like a series of four short, sharp 'pip!'s of sound, while I see what Herself wants," and handed Alegrah the bulbs, "and tell me the moment you hear them, if you will. It's a sign that some other timetravelling field is in use nearby." He patched himself into the comm call, and listened to what was said.

A surprisingly civil conversation (compared to those previously observed by the company of the Wyvern) ensued with Brantley's affianced, and at the end, he thanked her and hung up. "it seems," he said, "that I am to hook up with a fellow operative in Macau. We are not really friends, but we're not enemies, either." he cleared his throat, and then began speaking again, a note of unease entering his voice as he did so. "it's just that, well, the two of us in one place tends to get a bit hairy for others in the immediate vicinity -- especially if there's shooting involved."

He turned slightly pink for a second or two, and then resumed, "That fire in London back in old Henry Eight's time? It wasn't a knocked-over lamp on London bridge. It was my colleague's ill-aimed Tesla wand. No doubt he will tell a different story, however..."

"Apparently there's something going on in Macau that is more important than our original destination. Something to do with the underworld syndicate there...
« Last Edit: November 25, 2010, 02:53:31 pm by MWBailey » Logged
AlegrahEredschtadt
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« Reply #463 on: November 26, 2010, 02:33:51 am »

She blinked but nodded, doing as she was told. She listened rapturously, eyes wide and unblinking as she waited to hear a sound. She tilted her head as she listened to Brantley, thinking to herself. Sounds rather like some old acquaintences of mine...
A few moments later, she gave a rather lady-like squeak, jumping up, "I heard it, just now!"
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
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United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #464 on: November 26, 2010, 03:17:34 am »

In a dark, dank, back-alley stone dockside in the depths of the poorest section of Macau, a figure crouched beneath one of the billionly-numerous and ubiquitous huge coolee-type straw helmets worn by both the bosses and the lowliest laborers of the Asian world, the much-larger-than-usual spread of the hat keeping the part sof the figure that stayed beneath it safe from the straight=-vertically-falling rain that always seemed to either be falling, to have been falling just a moment before, or was about to fall , especially in this section of town. 

This was no ordinary laborer, however, or he would not be for long -- something was about to happen to him, and to the rest of Macau, that would change the course of history if so allowed, and could reverse his meteoric fall from grace as the most powerful tong-Lord's chief of assasins. He was Li Tung, former Lord High Assassin of  Liu Cheng, Lord of the Monkey's Fist Tong -- but now reduced, by repeated failures to kill Chu Ling, Serpent Tong's High Lord, to a mere laborer. a laborer with many, many underworld enemies who sought to keep him forever downtrodden. But they will pay, he thought, somehow, someday, I shall make them ALL  pay!

It seemed his hour of deliverance was at hand, for at the end of the alley, just as teh Rain stopped and the moon came out, a spark of fire fell from above. It was nothing, truly, just a coal dropped from a higher scaffolded boardwalk as the nutseller wended his way through the neighborhood andhis pushcart bouched over an uneven board, and it fell and nearly extinguished itself at the edge of the puddle beside which it now smoldered-- but suddenly, both the moonlight there shining on the puddle, and the coal itself, seemed to brighten and blaze forth as from udner the stones of the alley and dock there blazed forth the white-red light of a hundred suns, a pillar of firey light -- and then it was gone, and in its place stood apparently a man in a grey trenchcoat, holding what looked like a guardsman's truncheon, but one which glowed at the tip with a sparkling, actinic ball of lightning and dripped little arcs and droplets of electric fire.

Li Tung stood, and shouted, "Hail! Firey Spirit, I am Li Tu--!" the man whirled to face the former Lord of Assassins, and whipped his truncheon around and loosed a bolt of the same blue-white, electric fire from the tip, and blew a hole in the wall behind Li Tung. The erstwhile assassin threw himself to the ground, and howled piteously and angrily, You fool! the Firework Factory!
-----
Eddie Beltane stood dumbfounded in the alley which looked nothing like the place they said they were sending him to. He pocketed the blackbox, just as a voice speaking Chinese shouted at him. Taking it for an attack of some kind, and believing that the best way to put off such an act was to destroy or at least terrify ones opponent, Eddie turned and whipped his tesla device around, loosing a bolt of lightning at the figure, missing it narrowly and blowing a huge hole in the wall behind him, and starting a fire in the interior of the building in the process. Eddie. frowned, suck the rod back into his boot and walked ove rto the apparently-grovelling man, and tried to reassure him, "There, there, c'mon now, it ain't that bad, I've done far worse!"

Then there was a sizzle, he recognized the Chinese for 'firework' and some kind of premonitional circuit in his brain finally fired. OH....CRAP! he yelled, and grovelled beside the other man as the factory went up in multiple fireballs of would-have-been celebratory fire, sparks and detonations...

-----------------
"Good!" Brantley said as he turned back to Alegrah, "That's fine and dandy, now hand back the earphone--"

He clapped his hand over his face, nose between the two pairs of fingers, and dragged his hand down slowly in the universal gestural signal for "OH, S**T", as the fireball wasseen in the distance, and the loud multiple booms coming from the now-burning Barking Dog Fireworks Company's Factory, the fireball lighting up the rainy , foggy landscape like a hellish beacon of doom.

Brantley then said, somewhat resignedly, "well, it sounds like ol' Eddie is back in town..."
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Alexis Voltaire
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


Shàlle We Dànce?


« Reply #465 on: November 29, 2010, 09:14:55 am »

"Sounds as though you have some interesting colleagues." Horatio said with some surprise as the explosions and sparks lit up the clouds.

The sun was setting low on the horizon (or so it seemed from this altitude) as the buildings of Macau became visible through the fog. The city itself was in shadow and partly clouded by mist, one part of it now lit by the wild and erratic display of fireworks and what looked like spreading flames moving through the surrounding area.

The airship docks at the southern edge of the city weren't difficult to spot, being lit with the usual multi-colored guide and warning lights, and he was able to get landing clearance with the same radio code he had used with the Portuguese ship. He brought the Wyvern down in an empty space near some smaller planes and skycraft, many of which were brightly painted to resemble dragons or birds or other fantastical creatures. The low hum of the props quieted as he slowed them and shut off the engines, the hovership remaining a few feet above the ground due to some oddly-maintained trick of gravity manipulation.

"I can speak some Portuguese, assuming the language isn't too different over here," Horatio said as he turned away from the controls. "and some airshipper's lingo that might be of some use, if anyone around here knows it."
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The Corsair
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PixieOnTheMic
« Reply #466 on: November 30, 2010, 03:11:58 am »

He watched the incredible flying fire. He'd seen some fantastical things around and about but fire in every colour burning in the sky was new.
He knew the Chinese had invented 'fireworks' a long time ago but such a thing hadn't yet found it's way to the various slums in Ireland in his own dimension.

"Eddie..." He thought aloud. "The only Eddie I met was a narcotics junkie that kept having wild business plans. This Eddie better be a little more... clean. I've had a bad experience of Eddies..."

He absorbed the surroundings as they effortlessly floated into the Macau airdocks. The local ships were made to be Dragons and Birds for the most part. Having only visited the far east briefly before, these obvious oriental symbols gave him a fair dose of culture shock, but it held some pleasantries too as he could truly appreciated this entirely different way of living and thinking.

They entered the final motions of docking and at last came to rest. He still got slightly confused by the lack of the loud click of docking clamps due to the hovering nature of the ship.

"If your work partner is in town then I say you're best suited to dictating where we head Brantley."
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AlegrahEredschtadt
Zeppelin Captain
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United States United States



« Reply #467 on: December 01, 2010, 02:35:21 am »

Alegrah frowned, primly. "The last Edward I knew tried to kill me..." She smiled sweetly. "I'm sure you know how he turned out. Let's just say that I won't be afraid to repeat that little incident."
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #468 on: December 01, 2010, 07:59:24 am »

"Erm..." Brantley began, then started again, laughing in a bit of an odd tone. "Oh, I don't think you'll need to worry about Eddie Beltane trying to kill you, Alegrah, unless you pull something on him, first. he's pretty heavily armed, skilled, and paranoid as...well, nearly as much as I am..." he chuckled again, then pulled out the watch and scanned the area, then said, "I'd suggest we go that way," indicating the direction from which fireballs and firey streamers still lit up the evening sky,  "and see if we can pick up his trail, although he could come crashing through the wattle-and-daub walls any second; he's like that to a degree, always showing up at about the time you start looking for him."

Suddenly an all-too-familiar voice rang out behind them.

BRANTLEY! there you are, old squid! Brantley rolled his eyes; he hated that nickname. HE turned around, and there, at the end of the roofless corridor, stood Eddie, all sixfeet six inches of him, white wide-brimmed fesdora pulled down almost over one eye, wearing a pinstriped black suit under a khaki airman's trenchcoat, black-and-white oxfords, and carrying in his hand what looked like a painted black metal truncheon with pulsating, dripping electrostatic plasma and arcs of blue-white lightning at the tip. "How the hell are ya, Brantley? and who's the rogues gallery ya got with ya?"

Behind him trailed, apparently loyally, a Chinese man with a slight swagger in his walk and a huge conical straw hat on his head; the rumpled state of his dark, gauzy clothing and stained grey silk jacket suggested he had been crouching under the hat to avoid the rain. (which had been). He kept his hand at his right side, as if clutching something, a dagger, perhaps. He looked at Brantley's party, and his eyes rested on Arthur for several seconds. He then moved forward and whispered something almost inaudible to Eddie. "Oh?" Eddie said.

"This is Li Tung," Eddie said. "He's my guide, or at least he led me here as I requested. He says you look familiar to him, young fellow," he said, speaking to Arthur.
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The Corsair
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PixieOnTheMic
« Reply #469 on: December 01, 2010, 09:11:23 am »

As soon as the voice of what turned out to be Eddie sounded out around him, he spun round and caught the sight of a certain Li Tung...

He turned and whispered something in Brantley's ear
"Oh?" Brantley said
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
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United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #470 on: December 05, 2010, 01:34:06 am »

"Hmmm..." Brantley considered his words an dthen said, "My friend here, Arthur by name, says he remembers Li Tung as well, but isn't sure of him yet. Seems they parted under, let's say, slightly-adverse terms. Turn off teh tesla stick, Eddie, and stick it wherever you usually do, none of this bunch'll off you on the sly -- unless you do something stupid like try to kill 'em..."

"Tell yer friend to take his hand off of his dagger, too," Brantley warned,"Or I doubt I'll nbe able to lower my mauser." Brantley was aiming for the bridge of the fellow's nose, and the emerging Cthulid side of his augmented self was beginning to itch for a trigger pull. "Right now, friend, I'm not as patient as I was ten minutes ago...
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The Corsair
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PixieOnTheMic
« Reply #471 on: December 05, 2010, 08:27:45 am »

Li Tung...

He first met Li on an early trip to the far east when he decided seeing the world was the thing he would spend his regained life doing. Once arriving in Portugal he did a short bout of networking before picking up a transcontinental airship and heading off with a slightly unsavory Portuguese crowd determined to start a piratical empire out of the bustling but often lawless Macau.
Upon arrival, the empire went up fast but Arthur would have no part in it. He'd only just got out of the shady side of town and had no intention of getting back in it.
he became an honest laborer and worked alongside both the local Chinese and poorer Portuguese immigrants who needed a somewhat fresh start.

He met Li Tung on a job setting up a steam monorail from the port to the main markets. Probably the largest construction project the city had ever seen. It was a fluke that they'd ended up working together. His mechanical knowledge made him perfect for working on the train cars themselves. The pilot cars with the engines to be precise. His 'abilities', though barely discovered at the time, made him invaluable in picking out minute flaws or problems in the engines and their surrounding connections and interactions with the remainder of the vehicle. He helped make the train cars brutally efficient.
Li, on the other hand, did little more than bolt things to other things. Nothing spectacular. he was often depreciated by more senior workers. Arthur took sympathy, as he was prone to do then, and began talking with the Chinese fellow.

The two got along and with the end of the construction job they combined Arthur's criminal know-how and Li's local knowledge to form a somewhat powerful crime unit. However soon the guilt reached him and he confronted Li.The two fought with words and knives (neither wanted the other compromising their future safety) and the two left on immensely sour terms. He had no idea what happened to the crime unit after his leaving but, due to him being the driving force behind the actual robberies with his abilities, he assumed it had either dissolved or been caught and shut down.

"Looks like you've done the rags to riches and back Li. Running an empire too difficult?"
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
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United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #472 on: December 13, 2010, 02:48:22 am »

"Lo Fong, you remember him, I bet. He became Boss of Low Town and then Mid Town," Tung said in a  disgruntled tone, using the chinese-portugese polyglot names for the areas, "now he runs all of Macau. Boss Fong became displeased with my subordinates' activities, and edemoted me, then kicked me out with a price on my head. i killed all teh assassins who tried to collect, so now I'm no longer hunted -- but I'm not yet back on top. Maybe you people could help me with that project?"
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The Corsair
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PixieOnTheMic
« Reply #473 on: December 13, 2010, 08:08:47 am »

"I decided an honest living might be better after we parted. Sadly it landed me with this bunch." He said with a grin.
The deal was as good as done.
"I will, however, need something in return. We have something in desperate need of translation and it's in a convoluted, ancient and slightly cryptic Chinese script. I'm sure you have some contact who would gladly make it intelligible for us, provided you're in a position that demands his or her respect, so I'd ask that you set up a meeting with such a person once the groundwork for Fong's takedown is in place."
He paused, then added,
"I will have no part in the actual takedown. I'm sure some of the ladies and gentlemen with me would gladly take part for a bit of cash but I'm a decent mechanic now and would like to maintain that title."
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
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United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #474 on: January 04, 2011, 08:04:01 pm »

"First thing we do is take you to meet a friend of mine," Li Tung said, his eyes betraying no trace of his uneasiness; to get to his 'friend,' Shao Lin Master Ling Pao, they would have to go through the middle of the worst of the the Jade Monkey Tong's territory. The Jade Monkeys were not just feared fighters; they were dangerous sorcerors as well, or so the word ran on the street -- and they were at war with the Crimson Lizard Tong, a faction that was allied with several others, who were in turn allied with Lo Fong.

Lo Fong played all of Macau's Tongs against one another, and thus ensured that no one Tong ever became powerful enough to unseat him, but also that none of them banded together long enough to drive him out. Thus state of affairs was maintained by he himself., and enforced by an elite cadre of fighters who were not only masters of tehir respectyive styles, but also masters of their particular supernatural element. Thus, the Status Quo, as a western prisoner had once referred to it, was maintained, and Lo Fong's stabilizing influence remained in place. Li Tung's personal Status Quo (what there was left of it), would keep the Jade Monkeys from killing him or his new-found companions before they could reach his friend's dojo...if all went well. Things hadn't been going well for him on a regular basis, however, for quite a long time.
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