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Kale Hearthward Welcome to Camembert Way. Somehow the multiversal translation works for a country with a majority-rodentia population, despite dairy-based cheese not actually being a thing here.



Getting to here is left as exercise. The next closest warpgate is at the capital, and unless you have personal travel options it's either getting aboard a local aircraft (by bribe or by stealth) that's heading this way, or grabbing a ride on a traveling convoy, or, well, walking. But now you're here, Camembert Way, a nice scenic mountainside town, arriving midmorning via the main road coming in through the south side.

There's no chanting mobs in the streets or violent acts of oppression... at least not immediately visible, anyway. Just stone roads, houses and businesses, greenery... some of the animal-person citizenry milling about (the humans in the Watch party don't stand out too much, although the locals tend to refer to you as 'ill looking pigs'.)...

... but then, yes, there's a trio of soldiers, standing on a street corner, sorting through a stack of paperwork. The word 'EVICTION NOTICE' is visible in bright red ink, even from a distance. This is the right place. The soldiers don't seem at all interested in the watch group right now (you're just a bunch of random tourists) - but perhaps the feeling isn't mutual.

For what's going on and what you might want to be doing, you should refer to the two reports that the Watch received for more information. That's the sum of what you know about the situation before arriving, the rest is, as they say, up to you to figure out.
Xion Xion arrives cleverly - via rank cheating thanks to the Corridors of Darkness - a convenient building alcove is all she needs to slip from between buildings on main street and out into the light.

The light rises warmly over her as the wide angle shot of the town lifts up, before zooming back in on...

Ears?

Xion has become simply the most protagonist coded doormouse heroine possible. Two large ears flop out over her head, to her bright blue eyes sitting over nose and whiskers. Transmogrified with tan fur, a splash of black from the tips of her ears to the crown of her head like she was dipped in ink, sprout and around her cheeks and neck. Her shifted-about body brings her in, Redwall World style, a bit more incognito, but also dominate her entry.

While her paws touch her cheeks, she stands in the middle of the street. "Woah... I've never been to a place like this!"

"Why do I want *terrine* right now?" Further confused, Brave Mouse Detective Xion approaches the soldiers knocking up the eviction notice. "What're they being evicted for?"
Maricel Thorne      DOC THORNE is in the ever-tragic position of being without money, without charm, and without subtlety. Getting a ride on an airship ought to be out of the question... but doctorly ingenuity always finds a way.

     She- along with any other Watch operatives who've seen fit to tag along- enjoy the blissful silence of a brainwashed crew, their eyes fuzzed over with TV static and their movements obliviously robotic. They won't speak unless spoken to, but she manages to hassle them while lounging in the co-pilot's chair anyway:

     "Are we there yet?"
     "No."
     "How about nowwww?"
     "No."
     "How about-"
     "Yes."
     "Fiiiinally. Thank you for your service."

     One snap of her fingers releases them from her control, backfilling their brains with pleasantly bland false memories of the past few hours. A second snap disappears her (and any companions) in a flash of neon-staticky energy, rematerializing them in some unremarkable back alley far below- the better to evade any official inspections of cargo and crew.

     First order of business: putting on her stylin' glasses. Second order of business: meandering out into the open all casual-like, oh-so-casually gesturing for any fellow Watch operatives she sees to party up with her, and moseying to the north with her hands in her pockets. Casually.

     "First order of business is the Gliderman's Head," she mutters on radio. "I want to know what the Gale Empire *wants* here, so we can stop them getting it. Something it's sitting on, some unuuuused potential. City Hall will be good for that. But networking with local resistance shouuuuld come first."
Selene After hearing and reading about the Camembert Way (yes Selene actually reads), there's little that can be done to control the trainer's eagerness to get her feet on the ground and bust some heads for the sake of liberation or whatever sounds good enough to slap on a news reel if she's ever interviewed about this. Donning a fresh-ish gray blazer around her neck like a shitty cape and a green beret on her head, she's made her way to the mouse-populated town through creative use of flying Pokemon and...

That's it. She flew here. There's no way she's going to survive walking from the capital, but at least she's looking none the worse for wear as she taps a ball against the winged head next to her to recall it. Without any visible creatures looming over her, she really might look like a regular tourist if not for that wide-eyed grin plastered on her face while she approaches the paperwork-bearing soldiers.

"Hey. Hey. Whatcha doin'?" She asks of the soldiers in tandem with BMD Xion, and she  follows up the first response they get with an initially innocuous-sounding "Why?"

It's much less innocuous and considerably more obnoxious when she does that to the next response. Then the next one after that. By the fourth repetition (or if she's not answered), she finally asks something else: "Whose turf is this, anyway? They got a name?"
Bercilak      The Green Knight's personal travel option is essentially a one-man milsurp aircraft masquerading as a consumer vehicle. It is green. It is large--large enough to make the rider seem small. It is heavily armored. Decals of golden hounds in pursuit adorn either side of its rear portion. The engine is, in a word, loud. In several more words, it is a roar that one feels in the chest, that seems to displace the very air. Even when the thickly armored motivators at the bike's front fold out to slow it down, and the engine cycles slower, it's still loud, moving from a roar to rhythmically timed detonations, until those too die off, and the rapid whooshing of ionized air is all that remains.

     When that, too, dies down, the bike gently touches down with a solid 'clunk' against the stone road. This 'pig' may look more ill than the others, owing to his startlingly green hair, beard, and skin. Of course... he's also jacked, which is readily apparent in the way his t-shirt strains against him, outlined by the vest worn atop it (really, the upper portion of a jumpsuit with the sleeves torn off) bedecked with pins representing various political causes and musical acts. Motorcycle boots thud heavily against the road as he dismounts, and there's a grin on his face as he approaches the soldiers. And Xion. It's unclear which of the two is more responsible for the expression.

[Team] Maricel: First order of business, I think, is the Gliderman's Head.
[Team] Maricel: I want to know what the Gale Empire *wants* here, so we can stop them from getting it. Something the town's sitting on, some unuuuused potential.
[Team] Maricel: City Hall will be good for that. But networking with local resistance shouuuuld come first.


     Bercilak has no interest in that. Not yet. He's always been a trees over forest kinda guy. "Doth hit matere?" asks Bercilak of Mouse Xion. "Thire is *liti* chaunce that al theim her-named art sothli deserven of swich punishinge." A glance towards the soldiers, red eyes peering down towards the bright red EVICTION NOTICE. He cracks his neck. Uh-oh.

     Two meaty green palms slam against the table, the seven and a half foot biker taking full advantage of his imposing physique. "Wher-awei dost *thou* bilive?" He asks the soldiers bluntly. "Per happes I might journei thither and fuck *thy* homs o'er?"
Hibiki Tachibana     Times like this, Hibiki wishes she had a collection of disposable motorcycles like her fellow Symphogear user. Unfortunately, she doesn't even have a license. But one of the things she does have going for her is an extra strong pair of arms and legs, so it's not too hard taking a convoy part of the way and hoofing it the rest. Traveling that way gives her some time to go over the reports.

    Once she's made it to Camembert Way though, only a little bit tuckered out for wear, she takes a moment to appraise the homely-looking surroundings. The hood of her jacket is up, not that she's unmistakable for anything but a tourist given her anachrostic getup anyway, as she regards the comments of the commonfolk without much concern. 'Ill-looking' though...?

    Over the radio, Maricel speaks some good logic. Hibiki, however, is also able to pick up on the very familiar group of fellow Watchmen gathering around the cornerside soldiers--and the unmistakable EVICTION NOTICE plastered on their papers. She's halfway to joining the pestering slash intimidation check when something hits her, getting her to pause short.

    <Tac-Watch> 4 Maricel Thorne says, "We have too little fur to not be *terribly* distinctive."

    "...Right. So if it does come to that..." Clutching at something beneath the cover of her coat as an idea forms, Hibiki opts to remain inconspicuous as can be, at least for the moment - casually falling into the shade of a nearby alleyway entrance, to both watch over how things go with the soldiers, and keep an eye on the reactions of the nearby populace as Bercilak is Bercilak and almost definitely draws some attention.
Liza Grier     Liza rides the airship with Maricel. She opines that "This seems kind of unethical somehow, but it's hard to describe how." but ultimately shrugs it off with "They get paid the same either way I guess; they'd be doing this all day anyways." Problem solved. Beamed down she goes.

    Not yet being armed to the teeth, by Maricel's polite request, Liza arrives in a configurable chameleomic jumpsuit which has the primary purpose of looking exactly like whatever a common outfit is here. Even if it could make her look like an anthropomorphic animal though, she has vocalized being staunchly against the very idea, on some kind of weird principle that she doesn't articulate other than something about catmen. It does make her even more distinctive, given the colouration of an albino snake, but them's the brakes.

    "Bercilak, Selene, Xion; more than enough to deal with that one eviction. No point clumping up even further." she says to Maricel on the way out of the alley. "Much as I'd like to head straight to the barracks, we did get called to help the resistance specifically. Looks like they have a long ways to go if they really thought a locally known to be unused warehouse was a viable headquarters." She thinks for just a second, sticking her hands in her pockets. "Well, that settles it. Much as I guess you have the right idea, you don't have any experience with training organized resistance movements, right Doctor?"
Chase Getting to Camebert Way isn't a problem for Chase and his mighty Ride Chaser. Personal transportation, as it turns out, is actually pretty useful. It does however mean he has to travel alone, but it's fine. He at the very least, understands that subtlety and subterfuge needs to be respected at the moment.

And he's equipped to deal with that.

Eventually making his way via roads, Chase parks his ride against a nearby building, stepping down as he begins pulling something from his jacket. Is it a dart gun? A radio? Some sort of spying equipment? No...

A pair of tinted aviators...

He slides them on, his eyes now obscured. Which means his true identity is now secured, which means he now blends. In theory, from what he's read up on, at the very least.

As Bercilak rages at the two soldiers, Chase places a hand on his shoulder. As best he can anyway, given how tall the green biker is.

"We were asked to not stick out. Speak calmly."
Bercilak      "Oh, I am plenteth calmed, sib," says Bercilak with an amiable smile. The table creaks under his weight, or perhaps under the force he's exerting on it. His eyes are still focused on the soldiers... but he does glance towards Chase with a mischievous gleam in his eye. "Wouldst thou like to *espy* angre?" he adds, as his gaze slooowly focuses back on the soldiers. The table creaks again. This time it was definitely intentional.
Kale Hearthward "Hmm?" The lead soldier, a shrike, glances over at Xion-But-Mouse. "Yeah - the building is being confiscated, for not being up to code. They had plenty of time to correct their mistakes, their fault for not keeping up with maintenance."

"Yeah-" says the second soldier, a weasel. "All the code changes have been posted well in advance..." he adds, with the self-assuredness of someone who knows that the code changes were ''posted''' in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying Beware of Steve'.

The third, a leopard, looks over at Selene, shuffling the papers a bit. "We're serving eviction notices. Because they haven't followed the law. Because they don't appreciate what they have. Because - because they just don't?"

The leopard has clearly not played the 'why' game before. He looks frustrated. "Kingdom of Quicknest - but we of the Gale Empire are caretaking it for them till they get their... leadership issues sorted out."

Bercilak comes in swinging, verbally. "Where has... what?" says the leopard.

"He's threatening us, Steve," says the shrike, who's quicker on the uptake.

"Hey - screw that, and screw you!" says the leopard, dropping his papers and winding up to swing at Bercilak's face. (He's just tall enough to reach.)

Hibiki can gather populace reactions - the Gale Empire isn't terribly popular here, what they're doing even less popular, and so the thought of someone confronting them is intriguing enough for people to stop what they're doing and watch.

... But before the leopard can finish his swing, Chase steps up behind Bercilak - and the shrike grabs the leopard by the arm.

"Now, now, there's no laws against *talking*, even if they are being rude..." says the shrike. "... There, *are*, however, laws against loitering. I suggest you newcomers get a move on, and don't stick your snouts into things that don't involve you."

If Maricel is heading on into the town to scout, the Gliderman's Head is a bit hard to find. It's not a prominent main street tavern, instead being tucked behind another building - but at least it's got a sign.

Inside, it's fairly empty - only an old couple having a late breakfast at a corner table, and the bartender, who is in stereotypical bartender fashion polishing a glass.

"Well, now, what can Ol' Legs do for you?" he asks.

(He's a maned wolf. It's probably a nickname.)
Liza Grier     "Well, at least they picked somewhere a little less conspicuous for this one." Liza says, not *particularly* bothering to be subtle as she looks around the place upon entry. There's basically nobody here. If someone has a problem then Maricel is probably just going to mind wipe them anyways.

    "You can mix up a . . . Actually what the hell do people drink in places like these? Not like I can just ask for a Singulo. White Russian? No there's no Russia here." Despite the purpose of their visit, Liza gets stuck on this immediately. A look of intense contemplation darkens her stare in a way that almost feels dangerous, one gloved finger tapping her pale chin while she stares into the near distance and mutters at high pace. "You must have rum, right? Ginger beer? Both of those and I'll take care of the rest. Whole bottle please. After that, we'd like to see the back room, if you don't mind." The latter is to be taken as what it obviously means.
Chase "Not in particular. I would rather stick to the plan."

Chase doesn't so much as flinch as the leopard attempts to throw a punch at Bercilak. He also seems equally flat and unmoving when their friend stops them much like he stopped the Green Knight.

Taking a look at the Eviction Notice, their brow slightly furrows. It would appear that the reports were indeed accurate. Though it's not as if he had any reason to doubt their validity in the first place. Just that seeing it versus reading it is a bit different.

"Is treating your own kind like this normal here?"

Seemingly ignoring the warning that they should be moving along, Chase decides to ask his own questions. Completely devoid of any anger or weird Olde English, but somehow almost as equally full of open judgement.
Maricel Thorne      THEN: "Frankly, it's superethical," Maricel says aboard the airship. She's chewing on what looks to be a lollipop, feet kicked up on some probably-important control panel. "A nine-to-five is inhumane. If you could pass the workday in a syncopatic haze, wouldn't you?"

     NOW: the good doctor trots alongside Liza, her labcoat fluttering in the breeze. (It's slightly less low-profile, but doctors wear that *everywhere*, right?) It takes her a few confused turns to finally arrive at the tavern, unless Liza has a better eye- she's sure as hell not asking anyone for directions. "No experience whatsoever," she cheerily admits on the way.

     "I mean, the concept's posilutely alien to Mortasheen. Resisting what? Vampires? Wreathe? The Circus? Haaaardly the same. ... As for the barracks, I'd be delighted to 'convert' some of the soldiers to our cause. But we ought to have an idea of *what* to use them for. I mean, don't you think it's straaaange? Muscling people out of their homes here, and *only* here. There's something special about this town, and I want to know their 'win condition'."

     When they finally waltz into the tavern, Maricel saunters up to the counter with a smile and immediately, quietly combs through the bartender's mind, the neon glow around her eyes muted by the thick glasses. How much does he know about the resistance? What's his opinion on them? Is he, broadly, trustworthy?

     "And a coffee for me," she says, and then nods towards Liza- "one check." She briefly eyes the old couple to see if she's gotta fuzz out their memory of the 'back room' bit, but probably errs against it unless they show clear alarm. This is a Good Vibes Only zone by doctor's orders.
Bercilak      Bercilak makes no motion to avoid the punch, nor any attempt to push Chase aside, nor retaliate. His face, however, lights up, and he bellows a hearty laugh.

     "BAHAHAHA!" One hand is removed from the table, resting flat over his abs as his whole body shakes with amusement.

     "So *one* inmong thee hath som fire," he notes, apparently pleased. "God! 'Tis treu, I threten thee--bicause thou threten theim," he says to the shrike, hand now off of the table as he gestures backwards with a motion of his head. Towards the people who are gathering.

[Vicinity] Chase: Is treating your own kind like this normal here?

     "Nay," says Bercilak, in response to Chase, but looking right at the people who have gathered. "'Tis verily not. I knoue hit, thou knoue hit, we al knoue hit," he says, working the crowd a little bit.

     Next, he turns back to the leopard, offering some advice uttered softly. "If I wert thee," he says to the soldier, "I wouldst use what limitid time yeven thee bi thy mortal existence, and what fire not yet quelled bi mondeine, ivel druggerie as this," he says, slapping his palm on the table, "To do god."

     "Not to iforce ifolk from thire homs into uncertenti and fere, oth excuse hit with speke of 'noticies' thou surmisedli yeve theim. But thou do thou, king."
Xion XION, THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE, flanked by the incredible yojimbos of Chase (Manlet of Darkness) and Bercilak (The Hulk, Played By Jim Carrey doing The Mask) to either side of their sad blue eyes and her bushy whiskers.

"Do you enjoy bullying people? I'm really curious. Do you understand that you're just being used too? Is it okay to live a life like that, in the fear you create, forever, never having any hope of creating something better? Can you really just stand there and staple pain onto people's doors and laugh about it?"

"Do you sleep better at night to know that you're condemning the lives of people who would, given a choice, rather feed you if you asked than not, to a cold misery and probably death? Does it occur to you that nothing is stopping you from leaving this situation, right now, rather than causing a single more harm to a decent person?"

Xion pauses. "Because *I* think about that kinda stuff. And I'm wondering if I can't hear it in your hearts or if I'm just thinkin' it too loud myself."
Kale Hearthward "... Yes, rum, beer, I'll just get you some of that," says the maned wolf, deciding to roll with it. "Don't know why you want to see the back room, it's just got our supplies in it..."

Maricel gets the download while he's getting the bottles out.

At the other end of town, the weasel's eyes narrow. "Our own kind? What? Buddy, we're doing this town a favor."

"It's called having a job, lady, and sir," says the shrike, glancing from Bercilak to Xion. "What we're doing here. I don't 'enjoy' it any more than I enjoy taking out the trash, but it needs to be done, since it's my *job*. Which, you might have some difficulty understanding what a job is, given that you have the time to stand around hassling those of us who do."

"And don't give me that cold and hungry tripe, please, ma'am - there's a soup kitchen down the road, and there's jobs available in the capital. Probably both capitals, even."

He smiles at her - politely. "Anyone who's really motivated will be able to bounce back and pull themselves right back up by their bootstraps. Unless you're telling me you don't believe in them."
Maricel Thorne      Maricel stares at the bartender for just a few seconds longer than necessary. Her slightly-too-spidery fingers drum on the countertop: thunk-thunk-thunk-thunk. Finally she raises her eyebrows at him, turns to the side, and gestures between him and Liza Grier as if making an introduction.

     "He's a friend. Liza, impress him?"
Bercilak      Bercilak laughs raucously at 'bootstraps.' No, he doesn't. In fact, he points *as* he's laughing, crying out:

     "Loke at this cokewold that bileves in bote-stroppes!" Two massive green hands dart out with alarming speed, attempting to enclose over the heads of both guards. Assuming he can get a hold of them both, he'll use his immense strength to lift them up and bonk their heads together to knock them out, dropping them unceremoniously on the ground immediately after. That should get Chase a disguise. And Xion or Hibiki.

     Bercilak doesn't really... do disguises. Not that he doesn't sometimes acknowledge it might be necessary, but... well. Look at him. Listen to him.
Hibiki Tachibana     Curious, huh? She shouldn't be surprised, but you really never know--it means that they're likely sympathetic to the resistance efforts, and also might just be hankering for someone to step in and really square up shoulders against the Gale Empire. Even though the resistance efforts took a big hit before they got here, what they do might tip things back around even more than she thought...

    And shoulders are definitely being squared.

    She leans out some, just enough to engage with one of the onlookers as if she was also someone who had just gotten caught up in the spectacle of the two Powerhouses of Justice ft. Mousetective and Loud Girl doing their thing.

    "People don't stand up like that to the soldiers often, huh?" She speaks up from off to the side, the pressure of Xion's speech assaulting her even all the way over here. Like, geez. "What's 'up to code' even mean? They went and changed it themselves after occupying the place, didn't they?" Despite her hood being up, her frown is plenty obvious. "You'd almost think they're trying to boot you guys out for a reason."

    And almost right as soon as she's done trying to get the everyman's perspective while she's still in the background, she gets to watch Bercilak go to do what he does best. There's a wolf whistle. Yup, that'll definitely do it.
Chase "I have a job. It does not involve hurting my people. I see that though you look like animals, on the inside you are just like humans. We are done here."

Chase, perhaps in a fit of bro-like understanding, doesn't interrupt or assist Bercilak in caveman smashing two heads together. Either that, or he just believes the seven-foot tall space knight is capable of dealing with these two by himself.

But it'd be cooler if it was him being a bro.

While this is happening however, Chase takes the opportunity to cover Mouse Xion's face...snout with his hand, out of an obligation to protect the youth.
Selene Leadership issues. That checks out with what Selene's read in the dossier, and the leopard actually does a decent job answering her attempts to screw with him. "

<Tac-Watch> [4] Maricel Thorne says, "I am not *forbidding* you to fight, merely that it might be better should you find some disguise as a local. Or interfere via proxy, perhaps."
<Tac-Watch> [4] Maricel Thorne says, "You don't happen to have... *battle-monsters*, do you?"

Right. that would let Selene get her fight on and still maintain plausible deniablity, wouldn't it? It seems things are calming down a little bit, though, thanks to Chase joining Bercilak and that other guy stopping that swing at Bercilak just in time. Of course, with the green knight going for the takedown route, Selene has little choice but to indulge in it herself!

For the mission, of course. "Hey, what's that in the sky?!" She shouts while reaching into her bag, grunting lightly as she pulls a claw hammer out of her bag of stuff. Drawing upon the strange infernal powers of the monster movie villain she had bound herself to, the claw hammer pulses with an eerie flame as she lunges forward, hurling it with that infernal flame (and mild homing capabilities) right at the third soldier's face.
Kale Hearthward KLONK go the guards' heads. *KALONK* goes the third guard's head, a slightly different sound for a slightly different blunt object. All three go down, hard, the stack of EVICTION notices scattering across the street.

The onlookers utterly fail to run off and raise any sort of alarm about the assault, suggesting where their loyalties lie.
Liza Grier     Liza is, briefly, busy. Pulling back her coat sleeve, she exposes just enough of her wrist-bound PDA to enter in a short code with a bleep bloop and a dull glassy crack. A starburst of red light pops into her empty hand, and fills in the shape of a very small cooler, which she temporarily drops on the counter and pops the top of with little wisps of dry ice smoke crawling out of the top.

    Withdrawing a couple of bottles of god knows what, one being a sort of bright yellow jelly and another a faintly luminous blue wine, she mixes all four things together in varying degrees, sprinkles a pinch of something silvery and powdery, adds ice, shakes, and then pours herself and Maricel something. It is pretty green, tastes spicy and slightly acerbic, has a deep body and slightly citrusy flavour texture, and has a tingly 'licking a battery' aftertaste.

    That taken care of, she fishes out a plain black card with the purple eye and mask icon of the Watch's favoured leadership motif. There's of course nothing identifying about it, and no credentials to scan anyways, but nobody would be carrying it if they weren't, at bare minimum, a supporter. After a little ice jangle and a long sip, Liza adds "Look, no offense, but you're obviously really new at this. 'Sorry but the back room is for employees only. We can't just have customers walking off with our stock you know. It's expensive, especially after the war.' Try rehearsing that. But we can play this game or we can have your problem out of here in a week. I'm not asking you to put yourself in harm's way. That's what I'm impatiently waiting to do."
Maricel Thorne      Maricel picks up her horrifying-looking drink like she's holding a fancy goblet of wine, takes a nice noisy slurrrrp, and turns back to the bartender to wiggle her eyebrows silently. For a brief moment her body looks somehow spatially concave, like one of those optical illusions with the imprint of a face; a passing but vertiginous feeling of staring into a deep person-shaped abyss.

     "Maaaarvelous to meet you, Mr. Greenholme. We're the help."
Xion There's a word that's said, and Great Mouse Detective Xion has the wooshing green giant of Bercilak assault passing over her.

Her expression, bright as Chase's hand falls over her face, is darkened when the violence is over and Chase's hand drops. Far past annoyed, there's a depth to her brow, the way she sneers down at their bodies. It helps that Liza is here. It makes the hate easier to lean into.

"You called them trash. So I'm going to make sure the street isn't littered with any. X-Zone!"

Pronounced 'Key Zone'.
A black pit opens up beneath them visually, spreading along the ground before their bodies tesselate into a sigularity and, voxelizing, 'down'.

With a close of her mouse-paw-fist she inventories all of the goons, adding their unconscious bodies like line items to her KEY ITEMS pocket.

"Okay! I think we needed to go to a bar?" She asks, bright as a summer's day at Bercilak. A curious look is cast up at Chase. "Mashin Chaser? It's me, Xion. Hero of everyone's hearts--" She strikes a pose, punching out in a power stance. She's never done this before, but, it's expressive of an energy. "--X!"

Pronounced 'Key'.
By a doormouse.
Selene Dusting her hands off, Selene holds a hand up as that flaming hammer boomerangs itself right back into said hand. She yelps a moment later thanks to not actually being good at catching supernaturally-boomeranging hammers, puffing her cheeks up and being very careful not to curse in front of the kids.

"MmmMMMMM! Mm. Okay. Where do you folks usually get rid of bodies?" She asks of the townsfolk as she shuffles over to one of the soldiers, straining just to lift an arm before giving up on that endeavor within the span of five seconds. Instead, she glances around '''nonchalantly''' before looking back when Xion creates the _-Xone to remove any evidence of wrongdoing.

"... Oh, yeah, that works too. Think they'll wake up in there?" She asks, and she doesn't stick around long as she starts recalling other details from the dossier.

".. Hm. You guys take care of that bar thing. I got another idea!" She points to the EAST towards the warehouse, then takes off in that direction! Less than half a minute later, she ducks into a side-street instead, nearly falling over from overexerting herself. Before heading out right away where people might be able to see her, though, she opts to go with something a little more...

Chicken-y.

Coming back out of that alley, Selene's swapped her beret for her trademark ~~flower~~ rooster hat, painted a beak on her face, and even added some paint to her eyes that makes them look considerably smaller like someone diving into the uncanny valley while being weirdly accurate to a rooster's facial proportions. It doesn't change the fact that her face is still shaped like a human's, but it might just be bizarre enough to be distracting!

Also, she has a fat purple ghost wrapped around her like some kind of cheap, yet functioning fatsuit. It'll have to do for now, though, as she approaches the building right from the front, trying to eyeball the place and figure out her different approach windows.

Also, actual windows.
Kale Hearthward The wolf stares at the sudden display of foreign prowess, again at the card, and then blinks as Maricel brings up a name he hasn't heard in a long while.

"... Through the employee only door, then push in on the third crate on the middle shelf. Apologies for the hassle, and I'll be in directly once I close things up," he says. "Closing things up, because we're light on inventory, especially after the war."

"... And thank you," he adds. "For coming."

In the back, through the secret door, there's a small meeting room - just large enough to accommodate everyone around a single table, although it'll be cramped quarters once the rest of the Watch shows up.

There's the cell leaders - all three of them. The one in the middle is an otter, and he's still wearing a work outfit. "Name's Bresk," he says. "I appreciate you arriving to assist, but I'll get straight to the point - we're in dire straits."

"Yeah, but!" says the ferret on the left, who *can't* be any older than nineteen flat. (And that's debatable.) "But we've got all of you new multiversal bigshots here - we can march right on the Galers and kick them right on out of town! Literally!"

"That seems a bit... hasty, Derek," says the grandmotherly vole on the right, who seems chair-bound. "Launching an all out assault like that - it seems too hasty, and it'll just lead to escalation. We should take a slow and steady approach. Gather some information. I'm Linda, by the by."

"We should shore up our supply lines, is what we should do," says Bresk. "We were running on fumes even before we were decimated, and then the donations died up and we couldn't get to our caches. A lot of us have had to go back to our day jobs."

"Yeah - and if we just attack attack attack, we can *win this* and not *have* to *worry* about *supplies*!" says Derek, leaning forward on the cramped meeting table as he accentuates too many words.

It seems as though there's some disagreement as to resistance priorities here.
Bercilak     As the third guard falls in a heap, there is no alarm--but there is a wolf whistle. The biker lifts a green hand, one single finger extended before his mouth. He licks it, holds it out as if testing the direction of the wind--

    Then places it behind him, sticks his butt out, and rests the finger squarely on his back pocket, making a hissing sound like water evaporating upon contact with a hot surface. He winks at Hibiki, grinning widely.

    Selene gets a celebratory chest bump because that shit with the claw hammer looked cool as hell, and it was plenty quick, too.

Xion looted Whole Ass Soldiers from remains of Eviction Table.
[Vicinity] Xion: Okay! I think we needed to go to a bar?

     Bercilak shrugs merrily. "Souns god to me, sib!" He'll let her lead the way and set the pace--he's not concerned about time, even if perhaps he should be.

     He enters in just as Bresk introduces himself, offering a friendly wave and pulling up a chair woefully inadequate to the task of holding all that man. "Thou shouldst ofhere what Liza bisaien," simply notes the Green Knight. This kind of thing is her forte, and she seems to have a talent for focusing dissenting voices towards a common goal.
Selene EARLIER

Bercilak's chest bump takes Selene right off her feet, and not just because she had to jump to reach that height. If nothing else, though, being able to jump that high just to get to chest bumping height with the giant is a personal best for her!

NOW

Her chest is still kind of sore from that. Selene is not a paragon of physical constitution in the slightest.
Kale Hearthward "We... get rid of bodies in the cemetary?" the townsfolk in question asks, not understanding the question.

The bodies get x-zoned (pronounced x-zoned) and that appears to be that. The crowd disperses somewhat, and the alarm continues to be not raised.

Selene goes into Chicken Mode, and heads out to check out the old, unused warehouse - also where the resistance used to have its HQ.

There's a couple of good approach windows - and a door - and...

"Doing some sightseeing?"

... And there's someone behind her. Not right behind her, a few meters away - watching her warily, there's a swan, wearing the same sort of uniform that the soldiers had before - just a more decorated one, suggesting she's an officer of some sort, if the fancy twin longswords strapped to her back weren't another clue.

"This area's closed off, sir - er, ma'am, sorry saw the comb and thought - anyway..."
Hibiki Tachibana     There's a small yet unmistakable 'what can you do' grin on Hibiki's face as she watches Xion banish the unconscious guards to the Inventory Zone, and in her following exchange with Chase. And at Bercilak's red hot fire, which only gets her to lower her head to hide the snickering that threatens to surface. She has a reputation to uphold and this makes it really hard, damnit.

    "Well, I guess we don't need /everyone/ at the bar," she mentions after she's gotten her wits back about her and has cleared her throat, watching Selene rush off. "I think I know where she's going. I'd probably just cause trouble if I doubled up, so onward it is." She has a few ideas on places to check out herself, but they can wait a little bit longer.

    Following suit into the meeting room once they've made the trek, she gives a shoulder-height wave herself and opts to find a wall to lean against rather than taking a seat. She nods along with the suggestion of listening to Liza, though also offers herself in the direction of Derek. "I'm all for doing things the straightforward way, but there's a lot of reasons we can't just jump in and fight them head-on. It sounds good now, but it'd probably just hurt more than it helps. Brute forcing it like that should be our last option," she murmurs while folding her arms, taking a moment to look down at the palm of one of her hands.
Xion Xion nods cheerily to Hibiki. "Have fun with Selene!" And then, off...

TO BARLANDIA.

"Hiya!" She squeaks, popping in from around Bercilak's leg.

"It sounds like you want to fight and need supplies. Why not just go to where they keep all their treasure boxes and make them your treasure boxes? That way, you'll have more treasure and also they'll have less."

It sounds tautological, but she's making a direct point: Raiding and pillaging also is a resourcing operation. Especially from capitalism.

"You're not going to beat a big pile of resources by shooting it. You beat it by making them spend the pile."
Liza Grier     "Just the three huh?" Liza looks pretty disappointed, but also as if she hadn't really expected much better. Instead of pulling up by the table, she casually moves a very heavy crate into a position to be seated a little ways from it, and incidentally make everyone look her way at once.

    "Well, first things first. I'm Liza Grier, Syndicate Nuclear Ops, and with the Watch. I'm roughly aware of hte situation here, and the fact that you don't have the means, the arms, or the experience to deal with it. At this rate, you're going to be stuck in a bitter but ineffective series of grassfire resistances, justifying the installation of permanent military police, which goes on for several decades until the Gale Empire manages to fuck something up and create an internal power vacuum. What you're doing right now is inconveniencing them in a few exciting ways. Not enough to be threatening, but enough to create popular backing for an inevitable crackdown. Let's go one at a time."

    "Given the number of soldiers in town, I could have them all killed today. As nice as that would be in the short term though, what happens when they don't report in is that their commanders send in a much bigger, better armed unit, and install some curfews and escalate police privileges until they find and execute whoever they can use to make an example, and incidentally make those temporary changes permanent to 'ensure the safety of citizens'."

    "Taking things cautiously won't get you anywhere though. You've been recently conquered. They're consolidating their gains. The longer you take to make them unwelcome here, the longer they have to put their affairs in order, reorganize their military, deploy their forces all over the country, and restock their treasury by raiding their own. The longer they're present, the more normalized their presence becomes, and the less likely people are to fight it, having passively gotten used to it. You are on a timer to make them as popularly unwelcome as possible."

    "Supplies are undeniably important. However, you're not an army. Not needing standard supply lines is one of your largest advantages. Most of these resistances come down to common efforts by tons of civilians hiding in plain sight. The more diffuse your network, the less vulnerable you are to these kind of rookie mishaps. Working day jobs is fine; your daily work is a cover already, and dropping off the grid is more likely to attract attention. You use those funds, sparing what you can as a community, to pool it into weapons, rations, tools, explosives, medical supplies, bolt holes, materials for fortifications; what you'll begin using when fighting starts. Running supplies underground is for when your infrastructure was already ruined; you have doctors practising, farmers harvesting, smiths at their workshops, so use them."

    "None of you look like you have any real military experience, so the most important thing for you to do is to recruit from the community. Get signs and countersigns you can change on a regular basis. Spread word of mouth through friend groups, and behind closed doors; performances, game nights, celebrations, regular pub crawls; places where soldiers won't bother to be. The important part is your barrier to entry; if your sympathizers have to quit their jobs, go off the grid, smuggle contraband and get into shootouts, you'll only get a few diehards."
Selene The Gengar fatsuit trembles lightly as both it and Selene hear that voice from behind her, although the trainer doesn't bat an eye as she stares right at the swan with her human-shaped rooster face.

A uniform. A fancy one, too, that has her holding back from just ordering her Pokemon to ice the swan right away. No, she'll have to pick her moment here, and that moment hasn't come just yet. There's information to be gleaned first, after all!

"That's right! This would be a great space for all my projects, so I gotta ask you..." She looks over the swan's uniform, looking for whatever might function as an ID for a few seconds before just looking up at the officer directly instead. "What's got this place closed off, anyway? And what'll it take to get this place un-closed off?"

She strokes her chin, and the Gengar's hand follows that hand to make it look like even her arms are beefy and purple. "Money? People? Something more direct?"
Liza Grier     "If everyone can sign their name on a sheet and pledge allegiance to the cause, just by donating food, mending disguises, storing contraband in a basement corner, patching up bullet wounds in the back clinic, doing gun repairs on the house, distracting soldiers, giving military police misleading information, covering up operations, barring Galers from their businesses, organizing tax boycotts; practically everyone will get in on that at least a little bit. And a thousand people doing a little bit is worth more than fifty people doing everything they can."

    "Only then, once your guys know where they can go for discrete treatment, where they can shelter in the attic, where they can pick up portable food, where they can restock on ammo, where they can pick up explosives, *then* you commit to a brawl. But you don't trade bullets with the soldiers in the streets first. They're expendable. Warm bodies for the imperialist machine. Grist for the mill. What people like that care more about than lives is property. Barracks, tax and census offices, stockpiles, airships. If they're stonewalled from inns, clinics, eateries, they're shit out of luck unless they use force. Then when they *do* use force, 'vigilante' citizens perform justice on them."

    "You want to use that time to train a real militia though. Operatives. Once their food, their ammo, their funds, their transports, and their lodgings keep disappearing, and gut their coffers and manpower trying to fix it, they'll commit to a full occupation to 'quell unrest'. And that's when you have a thousand rifles on a line of sandbags. Better yet if you can spread word to nearby communities, and they can drill up their own helpers too. Transport and messages in and out, along major roads."

    "Obstruct obstruct obstruct. Hit their pockets, get everyone on board, give them nothing. We can take on the dangerous parts, deniably unrelated to you, until you have a drilled force worth talking about."
Maricel Thorne      Maricel, upon realizing that the back room is just a little too small for the full group, improvises a solution. Opening a neon-staticky portal in the air to her right, she reaches inside, pulls out a metal folding chair slightly dripping with interstitial fluids, snaps it open, and sits down on it backwards in one smooth maneuver. The portal shuts with a slight sizzly hiss a second later.

     Now seated in proper Keeping It Real posture, Maricel slowly nods along with Liza's dissertation. As it concludes, she adjusts her glasses just right to ominously reflect the dim light. It just feels Correct for a clandestine meeting. "If I may add to that, Mss Griiiier?"

     "Mind the eviiiictions," she purrs. "The... ah, disappearances. Those are unuuuusual. When a territory has been captured, it ought to be held *intact*; continue producing. They want you gone for a reason. They want something here, without the people getting in the way."

     "I am concerrrrned," she continues, her voice dropping slightly, "that theyyyy see their objective here as more valuable than the town itself. If you put up too much of a fight, they'll burn you to get it. Telllll me, with how they've been treating you, that it doesn't make sense."

     "I can find no fault with Liza's advice. But, I think, the path to victory must involve ascertaining what they want from your town, and permanently denying it to them. I take it you have no idea what that might be?"
Liza Grier     Gesturing to Maricel, Liza adds "True, but the way they're acting implies that they either don't want to be seen grabbing it, or they can't get it if they use overwhelming force. If they're really after something other than a fief, it'd probably be something hidden, something fragile, or something they aren't supposed to have. Of course, the first one doesn't necessarily preclude them from taking prisoners to torture and interrogate later if they get pissed, but the other two do matter."
Xion "Oh! That's easy!" Great Mouse Detective Xion beams, extending a hand. Thumb in, fingers curled, with a momentary spin and a flick, snaps her hand meaningfully.

Lines of pale light twinkle like constellations of starlight spilled on the floor. They wash with color back into reality: the three goons.

"We picked up these dudes passing out fliers and stuff, so, if you wanna ask 'em or whatever," a potent 'whatever', considering the considerable psychic and biotic abilities chilling in drippy metal chairs right beside, "-you could probably figure out all the places they closed up and we can go open 'em up. Or we could use them to figure out where the cops keep stolen stuff. Or!"

Xion's whiskers rise on one side as she smirks. "I could just put 'em away again. They were pretty rude. I didn't like how their hearts felt at all."
Kale Hearthward > THE BAR

"Raiding the Galers for supplies - that might work," says Bresk, rubbing his chin. "They get theirs in via airship, if we can ambush it enroute..."

"You see, Derek," says Linda. "Just running in and fighting would be playing into their hands... we build up our resistance bit by bit, without a direct confrontation."

"Yeah - but once we're built up *then* we fight?" says Derek, focusing on that. "We *do* eventually kick the Galers out and everyone gets to take back their homes and everything's back to normal?"

"Eventually, I imagine," says Linda, her face not betraying the thoughts she's having. "I've seen ten children and a husband go into the Quicknest forces, and I know a thing or two... and all that you're saying makes sense. I might need you all to repeat it to me again, when I'm taking notes."

Yes - something they want here," says Bresk. "The areas in town they've hit - especially the areas in town they've... *insisted* upon taking, feel scattershot. Inconsistent. Not systematically getting people to leave, or targeting the easiest targets first, but like... some pattern, maybe."

Right after he says this, Xion brings up the three captured guards. "Well, that works out then - ask them what they're looking for," he says, sitting up.

"Oooh - do their heads explode when you read their minds?" asks Derek, leaning forward. "Should we wear... *raincoats*?"
Chase With the soldiers gone into Xion's deep pockets, and with it Chase's chance to Level Up his disguise, there is no reason to be here anymore. Which means he needs to be somewhere else.

Given that Xion currently has Berc to be her responsible adult, it falls on Chase to watch after Hibiki and Selene... Though they seem perfectly capable of watching themselves, really. But at least this also prevents one group from getting too big. Which is also useful when you're trying to sneak.

Anyway, Chase just kind of quietly struts behind them, adjusting their shades before coming to a stop.

He doesn't even say anything. Doesn't let the girls know he's following or tell Xion and Bercilak that he's breaking off from them.

Pretty rude, honestly, but please understand, it's actually not since if you were paying attention, you would have noticed all of this.
Kale Hearthward >WAREHOUSE

The swan narrows her eyes a bit... and then un-narrows them.

"The deed's probably defaulted back to the town. You'd have to go ask at city hall about purchasing it, I imagine. Right now it's closed off because some vandals were using it to commit crimes in, and the investigation's still ongoing."

"I'll thank you not to offer a bribe to an officer of the Gale Empire, by the way," she says.

She turns to leave, though there's a suggestion she's not going far, and has her eyes on this space.
Liza Grier     "Yeah." Liza says to Linda. "Yeah." Liza says to Derek. "They have infinity more men and guns than you do. If they're free to commit them all to squashing just you, they'll do it, because it'll scare everyone else into line too. You win when they're desperate. Broke, hungry, stretched thin, camping outside. Your country's military; you can't rely on it, but whoever is in power --if they don't use it when the opportunity comes, someone high up in the chain of command will."

    She handwobbles on Bresk though. "Raiding supplies is a risk reward kind of thing. Do you really need to steal them? Is there not any spare food in the town? Can your craftsmen not tool bullets and rifles? They were invented in your country, right? If you get too bold with the stealing, they'll retaliate to it as a threat before you're ready. Worse, it tells them that, because you aren't destroying them, you're planning to use those things against them. It tips your hand that you're organizing to fight, and not just being rebellious."

    Xion dumps soldiers out on the ground. "Nice catch." Liza says, dead bland, eyes cold as ice. "I mean, if you want to." she says to Derek nonchalantly. "But you're going to have to scrub every inch of the room to hide it after." She pulls back her sleeve for the PDA again, crunching and ejecting another spent telecrystal which she catches in her other hand with a practised motion. A soft carry case of vials and needles teleports into one hand, and something that looks like a very small power drill with a hypodermic needle instead of a bit teleports into the other. She loads it with some delightful cocktail of serums like a handgun, and says "Lemme just prep 'em."

    This entails injecting them with enough drugs to have no real concept of where they are or who they're talking to, such that there's no real possibility of putting up any resistance to Maricel's inevitable mental probing.
Kale Hearthward Bersk grins as history is brought up. "Did indeed invent those here in Quicknest. National point of pride. If the enemy has the superior force - forge the superior weapons. There's a thought..."

"Are we going to build a superweapon that'll eradicate every Galer in a nine mile radius??" says the excitable ferret, being too much as usual. Bresk is saved from having to answer by the appearance of the captured soldiers, and then the dramatic appearance and use of multiple drugs, which serves as a distraction. "Oooh..."
Maricel Thorne      "Perrrrhaaaaps," Maricel mutters in response to Liza. "I can see the sense in that, but we'll better know the lengths they can escalate to once we know what they want, won't we?" As she pushes herself up from the drippy folding chair, she gives Bresk a gratified nod- "Maaaarvelous. So you have noticed. Do you have, ah... a map, perhaps, of where people have been evicted from? Perhaps that pattern will be a piece of the puzzle."

     Xion disgorging three goons from her inventory sends Maricel's eyebrows climbing a good inch up her forehead. "Ahhhh... maaaarvelous work, all of you. So this is what you were out doing." She promptly disentangles herself from the drippy folding chair, pushes herself up to standing, and watches with positively puppy-like enthusiasm as Liza injects them with all kinds of horrible chemicals. Offhandedly, to Derek: "Only if I do it wrong. Hold this, just in case." More to humor him than anything else, she tosses him her white parasol.

     Light traumatic craniobrainial injury resulting in altered level of consciopathy, she assesses, shaking each of them gently in turn to try and rouse them to a minimal level of consciousness. "Let's just seeeee here. Rise and shine, kids."

     Once satisfied with their cognitive state, she holds out her hand in front of their faces, approximately equidistant from each. A quiet thrumming fills the air, but you don't hear it with your ears. As her hand slowly twists from 'flat palm' to 'claw-like grasp', the whole room gradually starts to snarl and blur with a green-violet chromatic aberration. It's as if some otherworldly mechanism is torquing the room, straining something invisible to the breaking point.

     The focal point of that psionic pressure, of course, is on the three soldiers' groggy brains- Maricel's trying to pull information from them like a dentist pulls teeth. In effect, she's asking "What are you looking for in Camembert? What patterns have you noticed in the people you're evicting? Tangentially, how much dirt do you have on the local resistance?", but with brain-gouging alien pressures instead of words.

     And when she gets her answers, there's a very quiet 'pop', and the room instantly returns to normal as if flipping a switch.
Bercilak      Bercilak sits quietly, one leg over the other, arms crossed, an expression of pleasant warmth apparent on his rugged features and in his blood red eyes (enough so to make that startling color seem the pleasant kind of red rather than the violent kind).

     He blinks, a sudden realization overtaking him. "O. Shit," he mutters, before his armor appears, enveloping his body on the heels of a wave of blue light, constructed atom by atom from the shared memory of his nanite cloud. "Mine armer shuldst hath ben on, from sinnes I journeied hither--operaciounal sikerte. Or som shit. Irighte?" There's a glance towards Liza for confirmation.

     Just as the cloak of rye grass and hyacinths sprouts from between the shoulders of his armor, the chair groans its last and snaps, sending him hurtling to his back.

     Standing up and gently scooping the broken thing aside, he replaces it with a freshly grown and promptly cut stump. There's even an actual back, made by a few precise hews of his axe. Pointing around the room, he makes several 'we're good' gestures of reassurance, leaning casually on the axe and giving a thumbs-up to Xion. "Hop I we do that shit," he muses idly. "That sounds sportli as fuck." Thieving from thieves.

     "Ah!" He snaps with his free hand. "Bercilak of the High Wasteland, so als the Green Knight."

     He steps aside as Xion's soldiers fly out, chuckling lowly. "Nay," he says to Xion, of their dispositions earlier, "Not I nether." He's careful to keep his voice down while Maricel appears to be working. She's a doctor.
Selene "City hall? But that's so city hall away from here!" Selene replies with an exaggerated sigh, even going as far as posing with her 'hands' on her 'hips'. "Fine, fine, lead the way, officer. I've gotta get this place stat, or my boss'll have my head when I don't file those RPS reports, post-stat on the double haste!"

As she's spitting words out with little care given towards what any of them mean,  Chase mentions walking away and not rushing being an option. What kind of plan is that?! Boring and practical, but where's Selene even supposed to go? The only other place that the swan mentioned was the city hall if she really wanted to buy this place, and...

<Tac-Watch> [4] Selene says, "... Wait a second. City halls usually have pictures and descriptions of buildings and stuff, right?"
<Tac-Watch> [4] Hibiki Tachibana says, "I think so?"

That's the in she needs. "Does the Gale Empire have anything against outside investors? I've got an eye on a few places around here. Vacation holes, watering holes, eating holes, you name it. Holes for every day of the week!"

She's going to need pictures of the warehouse or descriptions at the very least. It's one of the few times Selene's even going to try and do something... BRAINY, and she hates it already.
Kale Hearthward The first question turns out to not quite be the correct question to ask. The correct answer flows forth anyway - they're not looking *for* anything. They know what they want from this town, and it is... the town. The town itself. The land, the houses, the buildings and businesses and equipment.

The why... comes with the next question Maricel forces into their brains. There isn't a pattern in the people, there's a pattern in the *land*. Buildings that will be useful for future projects. Houses that will need to be torn down to make way for future developments. Camembert Way is located in *just* the right spot to serve as a central hub for some things, to serve as a construction stepping stone for some other things, to be a transit hub for others.

The newly crowned Gale Emperor himself came and explained all of this during the initial mission briefing, why it was so important. If Maricel presses in on those memories - they didn't get a good look at him or hear too much of his exact words, since the trio were near the back of the crowd that had gathered to hear him speak, but this was A Mission from The Emperor, directly, to the squadron dispatched to Camembert.

... And compared to A Mission from The Emperor, the fact that some people are getting forced out of their homes (or worse) in the name of Progress doesn't even really register on the scale of tradeoffs - nobody's *dying*, and it's some town in a foreign country (that got *conquered* in a pathetic way) that's bearing the brunt of the sacrifices for progress, so who cares? Glorious future, capital P progress, mission from The Gale Emperor himself - the brain feed that Maricel is pulling starts to repeat itself at this point.

The question of the resistance is the easiest to answer - they think they wiped the Resistance out totally with the last action, and there's effectively no resistance from this point forward. The resistance leaders are securely in a jail, awaiting trial...

... And Maricel gets an image of some of the old resistance leaders, arrested, that has something she may or may not want to share with the new resistance leaders.
Maricel Thorne      Doctor Thorne, of course, wastes no time relaying this to the others in the room in an almost stream-of-consciousness way- "they're not after some hidden treasure or latent power," in her disappointed-sounding words; "they want to renovate Camembert into an economic hub, core infrastructure for the assimilated territory"- along with the brighter news, that they think the resistance has been totally extirpated and that they have nothing left to fear.

     "I defer to you, Miss Griiiier, on what we should do with this information. The mystery of their intent here appears to have been thankfully short-lived. As for these soldiers, I suggest implanting them with a memory that they got horrifically drunk and setting them loose again. An abrupt disappearance may compromise their current complacency, yes?"

     The matter of the captured resistance leaders, she reserves for Watch radio.
Liza Grier     Liza sighs in nearly equal disappointment, but explosive lack of surprise. "Remember what we talked about the other day? That there are three types of people, and the third are always kept as pets by the second. The smoke that is economic violence to the fire that is those who have no greater purpose but to own everything."

    "Allowing these three to continue with business as usual, because they happened to be in the right place at the right time, is unconscionable to me. My intent is to climb to the top of the tallest building here, announce with a megaphone who I am, inform all Gale Empire soldiers in the town that they have twenty minutes to leave, and those that remain will be exterminated with extreme prejudice. You can implant the urge for these ones to run as far away as they can, and report what's happened back to their superiors, so they can inevitably eat shit for cowardice. Come back to scrape actual intel from them, instead of what they do fucking about town."

    "After that, we perform the second operation." She gives a vague you-know-what look. "Because then, the gesture will be associated with the Watch, and it'll send the message that the Watch sympathizes, and will enable, the Resistance. Improve morale all over. Encourage networking and support. Any objections?" She stands up regardless, rolling her neck and cracking her knuckles. "I don't see why you should have any."