5722/Mouse Hunting

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Mouse Hunting
Date of Scene: 27 February 2018
Location: Tiny's Workshop, Hoonah, AK
Synopsis: Friends and allies of Tiny visit her workshop in Hoonah, Alaska to recover something of significance to bring her home.
Thanks to: Carna, Neuroi Girl, Dorian Pavus, Carna again.
Cast of Characters: Leyanne Mace, Neuroi Girl, Dorian Pavus, Carna
Tinyplot: Return To Escher


Leyanne Mace has posed:
Leyanne has been missing a long time now. The last thing anyone heard from her, she was headed to Lumiere to investigate... well, she wasn't really clear on what she's investigating, beyond the fact that it's something to do with 'freaky dreams'. It's now apparent that she is trapped there, and needs an anchor to her life to remind her who she really is.

As people arrive in the parking lot, the bike shop looks forlorn, showing all the signs of somewhere that has been abandoned mid-way through multiple jobs. Through the glass of the door, mail is visible piling up in the hallway.

Neuroi Girl has posed:
     Although they haven't spent a lot of time together, the warrior-mouse has won many points with the littlest Neuroi, Evangeline. So, when it seemed that Leyanne had been missing for a long while, she made her way to the now abandoned shop. She floats up to the door, her featureless face peering through the glass. "...hello...anyone home...?" she asks in her quiet voice. Those with radios nearby would hear it over their radio as well. Of course she knows that Leyanne is trapped in that horrible world, but she can always hope that her friend is somehow here instead of there.

Dorian Pavus has posed:
    ('Really, Leyanne... why do you have to live where it's so bloody COLD?!)

    Dorian does NOT like the cold. AT ALL. Nonetheless, he's here in Alaska, at Tiny's shop. He's arrived via... well, it's not initially clear WHAT the thing is. It looks like an elephant, with the arms of a gorilla, the head of a tapir, and horns somewhere between a deer and a ram. It really is a weird-looking thing. But the cold doesn't seem to be affecting it much, so there's that. He slides off the back of the creature -- it's a bit taller than a horse, so he's a bit higher off the ground -- and finds a place to tie it so it doesn't wander off.

    Evangeline's words, radio or heard, get a shake of his head. "I'm afraid she's not," he confirms. "But that's why we're here, to get her out." His voice is softer than it is normally, and he's seeming a lot less proud and snarky than usual. Not to mention he looks like he hasn't slept properly in weeks. He'll try to door -- is it locked? If so, they'll need to find another way in.

Carna has posed:
    Leyanne Mace isn't someone that Enark knows well. She's not someone that Carna knows (or at least remembers) at all. But she's one of the missing, and regardless of personal connections, that makes her worth saving. In the process of tracking down the identities of all the known missing Elites, Leyanne's name was added to the list, which some like the Paladins already had. Now two dead people arrive at an abandoned shop that looks like, with a few extra layers of dust and decay, and some ancient blood stains, it could fit right into Lumiere.

    There's even a ghost or something floating around outside! And also Dorian, and we all know about how he is with dead things. "Hello, everyone." Enark returns the greeting as he and a woman in attire that could best be described as gothic steampunk approach from behind. "I assume we are all searching for Lady Mace. Does anyone have a key--"

    Carna raises a big sword made of solidified blood that she got from somewhere!? "I will create an entrance. Time is of the essence."

    Enark says, "Please don--"

    *SMASH*

    "--'t."

Leyanne Mace has posed:
When Evangeline asks if anyone's there... her combat bike's engine growls into life, its headlights flaring into life and illuminating Dorian and Evangeline brightly. After a moment, the lights dim. 'Negative.' An electronic voice croaks out from the motorcycle. One of Scrat's spotlights shines on Carna as she approaches. 'Gunnery-Sergeant Mace has not been seen for over two weeks. Unit Skrat is worried. Are you her friends? Unit Skrat can- nevermind.'

The glass in the door shatters easily. Moments later, the burglar's alarm starts to sound, only to be rapidly silenced with a chirp from the combat bike. .

'Unit Skrat has cancelled the alarm. Please ensure to secure the building upon egress.' The machine pauses. 'Please bring my rider back. Unit Skrat is a cavalry charger. Without cavalry to ride Unit Skrat, Unit Skrat has no purpose.'

Peering through the shattered door, one can see her torpedo boat, half-way through repairs from his last engagement. There's the smell of old wood glue and sawdust.

Neuroi Girl has posed:
     Evangeline turns when the other approach. She looks curiously at the creature that Dorian rode here, then headtilts as Carna raises that sword. She floats back just a bit before the sword is swung, and once the alarm is off she floats her way inside. "...what sort of things are we looking for...?" she asks softly as she floats over and gives Skrat a little pat like one might a dog. "...do not worry, Unit Skrat...we will find her...and bring her back..."

     Evangeline then starts scanning. She has many sensors that might ping something. Radar, infrared, magic-detection, and of course good old normal sight. And any with similar senses would likely be able to tell that Eva is not a ghost or spirit. She would be much more consistent with a crystal and/or robot. As she starts looking, she asks the others in her quiet voice, "...how do you all know Tiny..?"

Dorian Pavus has posed:
    Dorian starts when the bike revs to life, turning to look in the direction of the headlights. That was probably not wise, since he has to raise a hand to shade his eyes. When the bike doesn't appear to be hostile, he's less jumpy. And then it... seems to SPEAK?! Dorian blinks. "...A talking motorcycle. Hardly the strangest thing I've seen," he remarks. "Well, you see," he begins, "that's because she..."

    SMASH! goes the glass in the door.

    Dorian shakes his head. "I'm sorry about that," he offers, in the bike's direction. And when it silences the alarm, he nods. "Thank you." Here he'll explain, "Leyanne is trapped in... some sort of dream prison. I was trapped there too, until recently. We're here trying to find something of import that we could use to rescue her -- is there something here that's very important to her?"

    He realizes that this 'Skrat', since it can talk and seems to have a decent amount of intelligence, can probably tell them more. And possibly guide them to an appropriate anchor to save her.

    Dorian admits to Evangline, "Not terribly well, unfortunately. I know she's something of a thrill-seeker, seemed to like doing dangerous things for fun. Oh yes, and didn't like being called a 'rat'. That and she seemed to be being sponsored by... I believe she said an energy drink company?"

Carna has posed:
    Carna looks to Enark briefly, crimson eyes taking in his pensive expression as the alarm starts and then stops. Then she looks to the talking machine. "...I assume I have offended. I apologize for my error." She is already more polite than oldCarna was, even if still impulsive, rash, and overly-direct in her methods. "I do not know her. But she is among the missing, and having one's memories and identity stolen is not something I will permit. We have successfully retrieved three already. There is no reason not to think that we can retrieve her as well, no matter the obstacles."

    Enark perks up a bit at this attitude. As saddened as he is for the Carna he knew to be gone, this Carna doesn't act like a barely-under-control monster. "Yes! Quite right! I would be pleased to get to know Lady Mace better after all this, but for the time being, the safe rescue of her and the others is our objective. And for that, we require an item of personal value or long term exposure, as Sir Pavus says." He turns to look towards the not-a-ghost that the comparison with a ghost was only made with due to the floating, and says, "I am Enark, of the Blue Scholars. This is Lady Carna. What might your name be?"

Leyanne Mace has posed:
Evangeline's pat makes the bike rumble quietly, sounding pleased. 'Thank you.' Skrat considers Carna's words for a few moments. 'Offended? Negative. Unit Skrat is not offended. Just requests the premises be secured upon departure.' He then turns a spotlight on Dorian. 'Many things. She has lots of mementos from home here... if you are venturing into the shop, Unit Skrat can follow you with a recon drone to assist?'

A panel on the back of the bike opens, deploying a small quadcopter to follow them.

Neuroi Girl has posed:
     The little Neuroi turns toward Dorian as he speaks of Leyanne, though shows little in the way of reactions except a slight cant of her head. "...are rats bad...?" she asks. When Enark introduces himself and Carna, she gives a polite bow at the waist politely as one might expect of someone from the orient. "...it is nice to meet both of you...I am Evangeline...part of the 501st Joint Fighter Wing..." she says.

     Evangeline gives Skrat a bit more attention before she starts toward the shop. She stops at the boat that Leyanne had used in several fleet actions with the Hikari Defense Force and tilts her head. "...would this work...?" she asks the others, reaching out to touch the damage patrol boat in the process. "...she battled great dangers in this boat...and I think she is quite fond of it..."

Dorian Pavus has posed:
    Dorian looks at Enark. He recognizes him from... somewhere. ...Oh! Of course! The Blue Scholars. The dream-vision, the memories of the Blue Scholar woman. He was the one who... that's right, he saved that woman whose memories he'd seen. He's bundled up, otherwise Enark might notice Dorian's still wearing that ring on his little finger. He hasn't forgotten his promise, and he intends to keep it.

    He nods to Skrat's mention of following with a drone. "That could be useful," he agrees. Oh right. He does need to give a name, at least to Skrat. "My name is Dorian Pavus," he offers. And, to Skrat in specific, "Thank you for helping us." He'll go on into the shop now, into the front room, and look around. Evangeline seems to have found something, though, so he heads over to wherever she is.

    Her question of rats gets a tilt of his head. "There's a difference between mice and rats, and... well, I believe it's an insult in her world. As closely as I can reason, it's much like calling a wolf 'dog', or a tiger 'cat'."

Carna has posed:
    Carna nods to Skrat, whom she will definitely remember the name of five minutes from now. Definitely. Crap, she's already forgotten. Damn her swiss-chessy memory! "As you say." she replies to the request to secure the shop upon their departure as she steps through the opening she made, broken glass crunching under foot.

    Enark takes the time to bow to Evangeline. "A pleasure to meet you, Lady Evangeline." He steps in after Carna, a bit more cautious about the broken glass than she is. "Hm? Ah, you can do that? Splendid! Like Sir Staren! Your aid in navigating this establishment so that no further harm comes to it would be most helpful. Thank you, err... Skrat. ...Is there a title you would like to be called by?" he asks as Carna has already begun looking around. She learned from obtaining Tamamo's anchor not to touch any of this, but she is not shy to peek into every nook and cranny.

    Enark nods to Dorian and says, "There was a weasel of man obstructing us from retrieving your family crest, you know. Lady Carna managed to... 'Convince' him to give it up, but he was terribly stubborn. I hope that it remains safely in your care from now on." He then moves to examine what Evangeline is looking at. "My word. A whole boat in here? I thought she mostly worked on... Motorbikes and what not. It seems her skills are more varied than I initially assumed. Especially if she also engaged in naval battles."

Leyanne Mace has posed:
Divided from the bike shop by a partition wall with a large glass window, The Boat-House is the largest room of the shop, and the one with the least space to move around in. The majority of the room is taken up by the FMS Leeroy Jenkins, Tiny's heavily modified 80-ft Elco PT boat currently up on stands in the middle of the room.
Hanging from the walls, and the mezzanine ceiling, one will find a wide variety of tools, most of them unique to working on wood-hull boats.
The air smells of varnishes and oils, with overtones of cordite and explosives from Leeroy's weapons. During the day, faintly rose light is provided by the huge windows, fitted with tinted glass to provide a closer approximation of Martian sunlight, and LED light panels line the ceiling for night-time lighting.

'Leeroy would be impractically large to transport.' Skrat reports, through the drone. 'However, these are his keys.' He shines a light on the keys. 'There are other possible items that have great meaning and significance for Gunnery-Sergeant Mace. Unit Skrat has a shortlist of suggestions?' At Dorian's comment, the quadcopter turns to face him. 'To shine light on her disliking of being called a rat, early in the war, the rats and mice fought the Plutukarians and Catatonians together. But when the Plutukarians had almost finished their conquest, most of the rats turned traitor. Several Martian cities were damaged, many Martians died. Even now, with several rats in the MFF, it is something of an insult.'

THe drone turns to Enark and Carna. 'Unit Skrat is willing to assist. While Gunnery-Sergeant Mace is not here... Unit Skrat has no purpose. He feels... lost. You are assisting Unit Skrat's rider. It is his duty to assist you in every way he can.'

Neuroi Girl has posed:
     Evangeline nods lightly at Enark. "...a pleasure to meet you as well..." she says, her voice seeming to come from a red plastic watch around her right arm. She looks over as Skrat points out the keys, then floats over toward them. She reaches out, and fingers emerge from the ends of her sleeve-like arms. She picks up the keys carefully, then looks toward the Skrat drone. "...please...if you have suggestions for other items she is fond of...it would be helpful..." she says, then floats upward to look at some of the tools and things hanging from the roof. "...I think...she also likes firearms...perhaps she has a favorite weapon..?"

Dorian Pavus has posed:
    Dorian gives a slightly embarrassed look when Enark mentions the location his family crest was found. "Well... after I left Tevinter, I didn't get to take any traveling money with me," he explains. "So I had to sell it. I wasn't foreseeing the need for it. But I thank you for returning it," he says gratefully, with a bow of his head. Besides that's one less thing the Inquisitor would feel the need to do to help everyone -- he wouldn't have the people of Thedas accusing him of using the Inquisitor's influence for his own gain.

    He pauses a moment. "...Enark. Do you, perchance, happen to know a woman by the name of Aicila? Or did you at one time?"

    Skrat speaks, and Dorian listens. "Ah. Yes. That would likely make being called a rat rather upsetting for her," he agrees, in what is probably a massive understatement. However, he smiles when Skrat expresses feeling lost. "Not to worry, Skrat. We're working on helping all of those that have been trapped there, including her," he reassures. "I was rescued, and as far as I'm aware, there's nothing stopping us from making a second incursion into the place to rescue more people."

    Evangeline's suggestion of a favorite weapon gets a nod from Dorian. "That's not a bad idea. It could also be utilized if that... face-in-the-wall Coeus accosts us again. It may not damage him much, but it might be certain to speak of our displeasure with him..."

Carna has posed:
    Carna doesn't have the empathizing skill to intuit how property might be valuable so is just trying to learn from everyone else as she crouches down to examine a wrench-looking thing. "Weapons are useful. It can not hurt to have more. Though I do not know if an item of personal value is of greater significance in harming those beings than one without. If that Coeus exists within the walls, unless we plan to destroy all the walls, we should be seeking a core that we can destroy."

    Enark shrugs it off. "There is no task too great or too trivial to rescue those in need." He pauses in his examination of the boat to hear the story about rats and mice. It is still odd to him. In his time, though they'd made it to Mars, humans never successfully colonized it. Too many other events occurred, destroying the space program, to continue. To hear about a war on Mars between aliens, not even humans vs. aliens... It's a sharp reminder of just how vast and different the Multiverse is. It's sometimes hard to forget when he keeps going back to Lumiere, where he was imprisoned for so long.

    It's enough to make him think more and more that he'd like to leave Lumiere behind for good.

    "Well, Skrat, a short list of suggestions sounds like a good start. You must know Lady Mace better than any of us."

    He pauses at Dorian's mention of a name. Enark tries to wrack his memory. "Aicila... Aicila... Perhaps? Was this someone I would have met recently? I have only interacting with people for the past three years. Less than three, really. Before that I spent a very long time alone with Wilson, a mimic-recliner I made. Where do you know the name from?"

Leyanne Mace has posed:
'Unit Skrat suggests several items.' The AI responds. 'She has a sample of dirt from the place where she was injured. Additionally, there is the baseball bat she used during the 2003 Sol Series baseball tournament, and her death certificate from when she was injured - for the augmentations she received, she had to be registered legally dead. There is also the dogtag of Colonel Hunter, one of Leyanne's.. first romantic partners. She was killed ten years ago during the liberation of Marineris Valley. An option may also be the spare beret... Unit Skrat theorises the dirt, tag, and beret may be good options because of their connection to Mars. I myself may also represent the same thing... she also has spare cybernetic arms in storage.'

When the weapon is mentioned, Skrat bleeps 'Mathilda may also be an option. Mathilda is a rotary gatling cannon, and her general-purpose weapon.'

Neuroi Girl has posed:
     Evangeline is all too familiar with how someone can be judge as a race by the actions of others of your race. She dealt with that for a long while when she first defected. Then a thought strikes her...will she be known among her own people as someone who is a 'rat'? Even though her goal was to help her people survive?

     Outwardly there is no sign of her internal conversation, but as the thought crosses her mind she murmurs, "...am I a...rat..?" The question is even softer than her normal speech, and may be missed by someone who has no radio or is simply not paying much attention to her. In any case, the little Neuroi adds a few moments later, "...we should...take all of them...our chances are greater with more shots to fire..." she says, starting her search for the various items. "...ah...I don't think most weapons' effectiveness is improved with how valued it is by its owner..."

Dorian Pavus has posed:
    Dorian nods to Carna's observations about a 'core' to destroy Coeus. "That's likely," he agrees. "He's likely just able to use the walls as a point to manifest from -- as if the city itself were his body -- as if he could choose which part of it to move, the same way you or I might move a limb."

    Enark's mention of a recent person, though? "I... get the feeling no. She was a Blue Scholar as well, I believe. It may have been... before." He doesn't say 'before' what. "But if you've the time at some point, I would like to talk to you about what you know about the Blue Scholars. It may be useful in... a personal quest of mine. It can wait until after we've rescued everyone from that prison, of course."

    He listens to Skrat's words, of the various things that could be used as an anchor. "My vote goes for the dogtags," he replies. "I believe a sharp shock may force the memories of her past to come back. Particularly if it's an unpleasant one -- I assume being reminded of a dead loved one, in the situation she's in, would be a shock. I don't want her to suffer the same uncertainty I did."

    As much as Dorian hates how his country works, he still loves his country, AND his family -- particularly his father -- very much. So his memories of his family weren't all negative. He figures that, if much of the memories they can bring to the surface for Leyanne are sad, that it might force her memories to come back faster, and for her to act more quickly, more decisively.

    "Or we could do that," Dorian replies, to Evangeline's suggestion of taking them all. As for weapons' effectiveness? "It's possible they could, but only under very specific circumstances -- an actual spiritual connection with the weapon, for instance. I have my doubts that these are those circumstances."

Carna has posed:
    Enark is thoughtful for a moment, the bike's knowledge of Leyanne, and the clear feelings of wanting her back, and then says, "Skrat, would you care to come with us? If not as Lady Mace's anchor, then as... A friend? One who is concerned for her? We would welcome you in the rescue attempt." He moves to reassure Evangeline that she is not a rat. "You look nothing like a rat, Lady Evangeline. And yes, I suppose we could simply bring them all. Who can know what is most treasured in someone's heart? I would not wish for our rescue efforts to fail because we assumed incorrectly."

    He then practically chokes on his tongue as Dorian mentions this Aicila was a Blue Scholar too. "Wh-what? I, err... Yes, let us discuss this another time in greater depth. I am very curious how you would know of another Blue Scholar, and from where." Already thoughts spin through his head. Hopes that maybe there were other survivors somewhere. That maybe he is not the last. This, combined with fears of much less palatable prospects. He has nine billion years of memories to sift through for a single name. Multiple bouts of madness that consumed him for millennia, just to spare his true mind total destruction in the grip of despair.

    But he desperately wants answers. ...And they will have to wait until he has rescued those he had committed himself to rescuing.

Leyanne Mace has posed:
Skrat audibly thinks a moment, looking blankly between Dorian, Carna, and Enark as they discuss. 'Collecting everything may be an option, but her armour, arm, and Mathilda are very bulky. Combined, taking all significant items would be... approximately nine hundred and eight point six two three kilos. Unit Skrat suggests no more than three items, and thinks there is good sense to Dorian's words. Gunnery-Sergeant Mace still speaks fondly of Colonel Hunter on occasion. Hunter is believed to be Gunnery Sergeant Mace's first actual love.'

At Enark's request, Skrat pauses again, and then nods. 'Unit Skrat will do what is required. He will gladly come with you, but... please return anything taken, if possible. They are all parts of Leyanne's history. Losing them for good would pain her greatly.'

Neuroi Girl has posed:
     As it seems their options are limited to only three items, Evangeline tilts her head lightly. "...then...we should take the items you suggested, Unit Skrat..." she says, looking up at the drone overhead. "...and of course we will return everything..."

     All the talk of Blue Scholars has Evangeline curious, so she floats over toward Enark. "...what does it mean to be a Blue Scholar..?" she asks, hands held in front of her politely. "...it sounds like it is imporant..." She pauses a moment, then adds, "...and...what is this cage that Leyanne is stuck in..?"

Dorian Pavus has posed:
    Dorian nods to Enark's flustered sounding words. "I think that would be a good idea," he agrees. He'll also give his personal radio frequency to Enark, for use whenever he's free for that talk.

    Skrat's words get a nod. "I would hope that would give her a shock. Sadness might be what shakes her out of it," he notes. "Though it wouldn't hurt to have a couple of small things. And... I do rather think you'd like to see her again."

    Evangeline's question gets a smile. "They are -- were -- a group of scholarly sorts in Lumiere," he explains. "Though I'm not entirely sure what they did. It seems to have been... a long time ago."

Carna has posed:
    Carna pauses in the process of trying to scoop up as much as she can fit in her arms at the protest. FINE. I GUESS. She puts it all down and just selects the three most meaningful items as-identified, or at least takes one and leaves the other two for the others. She has super strength, but she doesn't have super arms. "My understanding is that they will be given to Leyanne Mace as part of rescuing her. She will return them herself when she comes back here with them in her possession." She is also still not quite cognizant of a lot of Lumiere things. Not anymore. So she takes Dorian's word for it.

    Enark scratches his cheek. "Yes, not to worry. A matter for another time. I would be glad to explain to you at length. The cage is... Some sort of pocket dimension, we believe. Though the fact that it is located within Escher is peculiar. It is almost like the tower was turned inside out, becoming the outside on the inside. Though since the prison relies upon dreams and memories, I do not see why it would--" he pauses. His eyes widening, as if just realizing something. But he shuts his yap, perhaps not willing, for once, to toss out theories in the wrong situations the moment they pop into his head.

    "For now, Lady Mace and the others come first." Once everyone is out of the shop, Skrat included, with the items they are bringing with them, he will try to repair the damages to the window. A favored weapons, a reminder of a first love, earth from a place where one shed blood, an arm of mechanical might... All sorts of things they could choose from, and they had to choose just three and hope they were strong enough. But if nothing else... Maybe Skrat could help. The words of a friend.

Leyanne Mace has posed:
Skrat's drone returns to its cradle, which closes up behind it. He rumbles quietly. 'If you require transport, Unit Skrat can carry you'. A pause, as if the machine is struggling to come up with the words for a concept it is not familiar with. 'Unit Skrat is grateful for you letting him come with you, even though he is not one of the firm anchoring items. Unit Skrat will follow you.'

Privately, to Evangeline, Skrat opens a radio link'Unit Skrat does not think you are a rat. Gunnery-Sergeant Mace has told me what little she knows of your story. We are both of the belief your people /may/ consider you one, at present at least, that assessment is... inaccurate. Unit Skrat hopes history will prove you correct.'

It's relatively easy to find materials to make at least a temporary fix; there's plywood and steel that could patch up the hole quite securely.