Tsuiraku - A Contest of Miseries

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Tsuiraku - A Contest of Miseries

Postby Alberich » September 1st, 2013, 5:54 pm

[OOC: The events of this thread are doubtless a few weeks in the future compared to Rose's adventure - and will not be interacting with it.]

Azaka's Exotic Experiences closed closer to dawn than midnight, but in the end it did close. Early-rising attendants moved through the bathing chambers, draining and cleaning, or through the bins near the massage tables, to gather discarded towels and stained sheets, to scrub, and later to scent. This haven of pleasure must feel fresh for the afternoon. No trace of the morning's weariness -- or the lifetime's weariness some here felt -- must be seen or smelled by the ones who came.

The young ladies who provided the heart of the entertainment gathered in a private tea room, as was their custom, to sip and talk before their morning bedtime. The "house mothers" left them alone at this juncture. This was their time. Only those with punishments to serve would be pulled away for duty. Anyone frozen out of the society of the Plum Room (for so that room was called) would soon know to seek work elsewhere. It was not a policy of the house. It was a silent understanding. None were frozen out now.

The girls were a varied assortment from many parts of the world. All were human and some were even Tsuirakuan. Some meant to live this way just a little while and some had found, or fallen into, their life's calling. But none were of the upper class of Tsuirakuan pleasure women. Those were invariably natives, talented in magic, the arts, and courtly graces, so that it seemed almost indelicate to mention why men really came to them. The "bath attendants" here were far-flung and far more forthright. A man needed only a few well-rehearsed euphemisms and the right coins to ask for just what he wanted, and if he behaved with a modicum of courtesy, he would not be refused.

Some Plum Room mornings, the girls would simply talk in small groups or play traditional games. Sometimes they'd entertain each other. While they were not uniformly trained in the skills of the upper class courtesans, they had brought various skills with them or learned new ones in their off time, and some of these could be diverting.

This particular morning one of the newest girls, the one they called Nika, had been invited to tell a story from the Northern Confederacy. Shyness was a vice she'd lost long ago, so she hugged her knees, spoke low, and drew them in with her eyes and her voice. When this girl told a story, be it silly or serious, for the youngest children or grown-ups only, she always showed her own fascination and absolute reverence for the story. Some would say she overacted, especially in recounting dialogue, but her enthusiasm usually kept the listeners interested. Tonight she began the Tale of the Contest of Miseries, guaranteed to entertain the others over several of these morning teas.

[OOC2: To be continued. I changed her new name from "Anna" to "Nika" - shortened from "Anika" - to avoid any confusion with Anna-Lisa, and because I like the sound of it better, esp. as she is using "Azaka" as a surname. I figure this is something an orphan working in a house like this would do.]
Last edited by Alberich on September 2nd, 2013, 10:36 am, edited 11 times in total.
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Re: Tsuiraku - A Contest of Miseries

Postby Alberich » September 1st, 2013, 8:58 pm

"It happened long ago," she said, "that we had a king, a powerful king, much dreaded for his iron hand and ferocity in battle. Yet he had few battles to fight, for his neighbors rightly feared him, and few traitors to punish, for his neighbors all knew better. And men went about their affairs, and, so he said, happy was his kingdom and his reign.

"It chanced that a pair of his attendants fell to arguing as men will about the wars they'd fought in long before, and the privations and wounds they'd received in those wars. And as these two had brought home no enemy heads, they boasted instead of their sufferings, each trying to top the other. If the one said he'd carried a message at a full gallop, so that his saddles sores didn't heal for a week, the other claimed to have walked 'til his feet bled, then crawled under a summer sun 'til he reached the army. And if that one had had to survive three days on one days' rations, while nursing a wound that left him unable to walk, the other had been wounded so badly he couldn't use his arms for a week, and not only could not eat that entire time, but had himself been eaten alive by mosquitoes. And so the drunken courtiers boasted each to the other of who had known the most suffering, and was the best man for it.

"The Chancellor overheard it, and advised them to watch their tongues, but they shrugged aside his advice and went on. 'Well,' he said to himself, 'we'll see what this brings them.' So he told the king about it.

"His Majesty expressed his displeasure in laughter, and at this the Chancellor trembled, for while the King's frown was rightly feared by all, his laugh was even more so. None could know if it meant kindness or cruelty. 'Why,' said he, 'if these men would excel in suffering, and prove their greatness by it, let us see what they are made of!' And he straight ordered each to be chained in a cell. The one man had to wear a tunic made of flea-infested bear's hair, and eat the filthiest scraps from last week's meals. The other? He got better food, a hen's egg and a mug of water each day, but he was naked, and had to share his cell with a nest of hornets.

"So at midday on the first day the chancellor came to the door of each cell and asked each man how he was getting on. The first man said 'Woefully, for hunger gnaws at me, I can't bring myself to touch this filth I have to eat, these fleas and ticks are eating me alive and these chains are chafing. They're too short for me to scratch my itches.'

"'Good, good,' said the Chancellor, 'great is your virtue,' and went to see the other, and asked him how he was doing. 'Woefully,' he said, 'my stomach is begging for food, the chains have rubbed my wrists and ankles raw, and these hornets have raised great painful welts on my body, for I could not slap them all, and one stung my palm so that I'm in agony every time I slap one at all.'

"'Excellent,' said the Chancellor, and left the man to his agony. On the afternoon of the second day, he returned, and asked the first courtier how he was doing.

"'Worse and worse,' the man said weakly," -- and Nika gave a pathetic groan to his voice that had to make someone smile -- "'for hunger drove me to eat that awful food, and it's given me cramps and diarrhea, and made me sick besides, so whatever doesn't come out one way goes out the other, and what little is left is being drunk up by the fleas...I shall not survive this much longer, and my poor children will be left without me.'

"'Why, this is splendid,' said the Chancellor. 'No one will take you lightly from now on!' And he went to see the other."

As with the first, so the second, Nika comically caricatured the plaintive suffering in his voice, drawing out the vowels to show the hurt, "'Aaaah, my lord,' said he, 'the hornets swaaarmed me in the night, and my boooody is a mass of painful boils. Worst yet, one stung my peeeenis while I tried to sleeeep, and my simplest neeeeed is now pure aaaagony! Aaaaah, my wiiiife, she won't know meeee...'

"'Wonderful news!' said the Chancellor. 'You'll hold everyone spellbound whenever you talk! No one would dare to interrupt such a man as you anymore!' And he left.

"On the third day, the guards heard both men crying out weakly for the Chancellor in their agony. So that day he waited late, much later, into the evening, then came to the first man's door and asked him how he was. He was writhing in pain but he still gave an answer."

And here Nika gave the unfortunate courtier a gasping voice, weak in volume but not in spirit. "'What a greatly fortunate man I am,' he said, 'for I serve a great king, who provides me with meals and clothing, and the honor of being his most loyal servant.' And the Chancellor went to the second man's door, who answered the same, 'How could I be unhappy?' he said, 'for has not my king given me food and drink, a place to lay my head, and even companionship, such as he pleases? It is not for me to question his choices, but to fulfill my oaths to him.'

"And when the Chancellor told this to the king, he laughed again, and ordered the release of these men, who knew so well how to tell their good fortune. And he ordered them treated by the finest healers and awarded them fine new robes. But it is said that thereafter they spoke and boasted much less, even in their cups, and became fast friends to one another.

"Yet the king spoke to his Chancellor later, and said, 'Good brother, I am not satisfied. These fine fellows have learned to see things straight, but what of the rest? Can it be there are some who think this is not the happiest kingdom in the world?'

"'Oh, no, my dread lord, how could they? For your enemies at home tremble and hide, and bow the lowest when you walk by, and your enemies abroad flee and feign frendship, so all are in peace and security, and share in the glory of your rule. Surely this is the happiest of lands, and everybody knows it.'

"'That may be,' said the king, 'but I should like to banish sadness completely. And I think I have just the way.'

"But what he did after must wait for another day."

[OOC: As will what happens to Anfisa next - she won't make it straight to bed.]

For daylight was at hand and it was time to break up and go to bed. There was much applause and praise for Nika's tale. Whether it was heartfealt or not, that was simply how things were done around here. (And Nika's performance had deserved it, whether her tale had or not.)
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Re: Tsuiraku - A Contest of Miseries

Postby Alberich » September 3rd, 2013, 11:23 am

Nika Azaka, née Anfisa Duravsky, reached her little apartment without incident. It was sparse and a little jumbled, a place for sleeping, not entertaining lovers. Not that she had any of those. A few kitschy knickknacks adorned the walls and shelves. Among these was a little picture that changed scenes and colors every few minutes, or when you touched it. When she came in this morning, it was stuck on a crimson sunset behind mountains.

Oh oh, she thought. Crimson for “come.”

Nika had no magical talents of her own, not the slightest, so her more discreet employers had had to work out a special system of signals for her. They’d had a lot of practice in that. She had to tap the picture twice to make its color change.

Jurana’s dripping dong, thought the weary young mistress, why now? I need sleep…

To make double sure, with a heavy heart she stepped over to the music box with the full-breasted silver bird and pressed the switch. It played the cheery, chirruping tune she was dreading:

“Come, come, my sweet, come come, my sweet, and live with me on Blossom Street…”

That stabbed. She sobbed. Of all the stupid pitiless songs to choose, why that? By cruel coincidence she'd danced to it once with someone she'd never wanted to leave.

Within the last month, she’d gone from joy to despair, from complete and sailing into safe harbor to riven and cast adrift. A furious elf had torn her apart from her one true love, the only love of her life, and cruel fools from a land of bigots had taken that love away, never ever to return, nor even sent word as to whether she had lived. She had within her a grief that streaked her cheeks and soaked her pillows when she was alone, and from which her only true relief was sleep, the dreamless sleep of weariness such as she longed for now.

She also had a roof to keep out the rain, walls to shut out the unwelcome, a salary to keep hunger from the door, a second salary to keep comfort inside. This last came with connections who warded off oppressive officialdom and taught her ways to take care of herself.

It also came with responsibilities. She left.

First it would be a morning tea shop for a gulp of awakeness, and then a bank, but not for banking business. By the time she was out the door, she showed no signs of sadness.

[OOC: To be continued.]
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Re: Tsuiraku - A Contest of Miseries

Postby Alberich » September 4th, 2013, 9:59 am

Nika walked to the bank she used – a concept she hardly had understood a few months back. A request to inspect her box in the vault brought her soon enough to a dingy little office that had nothing to do with banking.

Her contact there was Choubei Masaki, an aging, balding, dumpy little fellow who looked as tired as she had half an hour ago. That meant nothing. He always did.

“Good morning, Mr. Masaki!” she said with spirit.

“Charmed,” he said. He always said it. He never was. If you went by his expression, she might as well be a beggar or a bill collector. He waved her to her seat. She sat gracefully and gave him her rapt, smiling attention, as if he were an employer considering a pay raise or a wealthy fiancée. That was part of the ritual. It was also a game she played. If she ever got a real smile out of him, she’d treat herself to something fancy.

“You haven’t heard of Ajiro Sufu, I suppose?” he asked.

“No – should I have?”

“Probably not. Lawyer. Civil servant. Smart guy. One of the top legal families in the city. You hear about him, you stay away from him. How about these guys?” He pushed three pictures across the desk, all headshots.

Nika looked the faces over, one Tsuirakuan, two foreign. “Of course, sir, you’ve had me watching out for them a couple of weeks now. This one”—she indicated the Tsuirakuan—“came in three times, and the others once or twice apiece…”

“Yeah, well they won’t be coming in now. They’ve had some money problems and are on tight leashes.” Mr. Masaki did not use the polite circumlocution of Tsuirakuan (or Gorielian) male society. He was wearily blunt at all times. “They travel and they’re still going to travel. And they’re all friends with this Sufu, but he hasn’t got them on the dole. And information off Sufu’s desk is getting out to people who shouldn’t have it. The documents aren’t missing. But the information is. And we think it's at least one of these three who carrying it.

“In particular, there’s information on some spell research by Dr. Bedaro at the academy, a new mind magic application. We’ve called it ‘Black Jewel.’ You don’t mention it to anyone. You hear anyone blabbing about that, you tell us double quick.” This last part was pure yah-yah. Only Anfisa was being told this particular lie; and if it surfaced anywhere else, he’d know just where the weak place had been.

“Anyway, here’s the deal. These guys have all got personal issues.” That was true enough. Espionage, in Mr, Masaki’s experience, drew in any number of strange characters, from brilliantly turned-on pathological deceivers to hopeless losers. “They don’t hang with each other all the time, only when they have their get-togethers at Sufu’s. And now they’re not in funds, they’re feeling like the earthworm’s poorer nephew, and they’re going to be lonely for company.

“What I’m telling you is – I want them to have girlfriends, at least when they’re in town. And it’s your job to find them. Girlfriends who report to you on what they’re up to, and what they’re carrying where, and what they’re keeping secret.”

Nika’s next question was coy. “Intimate girlfriends, I take it?”

He scowled. “I don’t care about that part. They’re not getting paid for that and they don't have to be in your profession, and I'm not recruiting them into it, either. They get a stipend, same as yours, and a bonus at the end if they do what they’re supposed to. If they want to dance lying down, that’s on their own. Just no blabbing. I want to find out what these boys are up to, which ones are carrying information, and how they’re doing it.”

“Could it be magical? I’m no good with that.” Nika’s training had established what she had long suspected – that she had no talent for magic whatsoever. Yet another reason she’d never be accepted as a full citizen of Tsuiraku.

“We’ve got some other folks working that angle.” Oh, yes, those bright young recruits an angry ancestral spirit had wished upon him. “Don’t concern yourself with it. Just find me a girl apiece who can get ‘em, keep ‘em, and report back what they’re up to. They report to you, not me.

"Oh, and since you bring it up - we've got no evidence any of these guys uses magic, not even a crystal ball. If you catch them doing it, you make damn sure to report that."

Nika started to ask how best to approach these men, but she knew enough about Masaki to let the question be stillborn. That was to be her job. And she was learning not to ask very obvious questions; it tried his patience less if she let him do it in his own time and his own way. It went without saying that she could fill one of these roles herself and was probably expected to.

Masaki produced three short dossiers, well summarized by skilled writers in the Department. “Here’s the info you need to get started. Names, businesses, cover stories for who wants an eye on them. Memorize it, leave it here. You know their other kinds of habits already or else you can find it out.”

Nika’s lips made a moue and she pointed to one of the pictures. “Finding the right girl for him is going to be a challenge…”

“I don’t want to hear how hard it is. You need other information, some kind of extra help, you come back. Now get to work.” He left the office. She got to work.

[OOC: Edited to add that Choubei was especially interested in magic use by these characters.]
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Re: Tsuiraku - A Contest of Miseries

Postby Alberich » September 5th, 2013, 12:16 pm

Later that afternoon, this same Choubei Masaki plodded into a plain-looking office at the Department of Homeland Security, wearing the same look of perpetual weariness. Khoo and Anna-Lisa were waiting for him there. They stood and greeted him politely.

“Charmed,” he said, without any feeling at all. They didn’t know his ways yet or why he seemed so down. He waved them to their seats and took his own.

“Okay,” he said, “I hear we’ve had you on airship security protocol review, how’s that going?” He cut off any but the shortest of answers. How he got through school after skipping all the etiquette classes must remain a mystery. “Good, good,” said his lips, but his tone said, “Every minute in your company is a step on the road to despair.” He went on –

“Well, you’ve been assigned to a project of mine, should be right up your alley. Don’t know if it’s going to involve any travelling yet. First, you heard of Ajiro Sufu?”

Khoo hadn’t. Anna-Lisa had heard of his family anyway, prominent lawyers sometimes involved in litigation with her company, but the given names ran together in her head. Given the usual reaction to hearing they were on the other side, they were all named “Uh-Oh Sufu.” On hearing she was vague about it, Choubei explained that he was from that family, but was now working in the Department of Barbarian Relations (okay, okay, Foreign Relations). “And as you can imagine with relations like that, he’s not someone you dismiss lightly.

“Problem is, there’s been information getting out to foreign parties that seems to come from his desk. Detailed information. We’ve picked it up in Farrel and the Confederacy, but we think it’s going to the Veracians. Give you an example – you’re cleared on OCRAP, right?” He didn’t give them any time to answer. He already knew they were. Watching for time magic violations was part of the protocols they’d been working on, and sometimes it seemed their own work had been a violation, as hours turned into days, mornings into weary weeks, and afternoons into months unending…

“Well, anyway, there’s been some very delicate talk of an additional protocol, to grant arbitration powers to some neutral outfit in Querene” – this being one of the more civilized parts of the Northern Confederacy. He shook his head. “Damn striped-kimono boys can’t leave well enough alone. Anyway, they codenamed it ‘Purple Lotus,’ which I guess sounds better than ‘Purple-Faced Raving Lunacy,’ but the point is, you don’t talk about it, and you hear anything about that one, you bring it straight back to me. The other point is, negotiating points are delicate matters, and handing ‘em over to the godnuts is a serious problem. So we need this kind of stuff to stop going out.

“Now we notice the information seems to be popping up where there’s airship terminals, and this guy Sufu has three buddies like to get together at his place. Two foreign, one Tsuirakuan, all with trading firms, none of them high status in their companies. And they all travel always by airship, but they’re in town at least a week out of every month, and out of it ditto ditto. So we’re thinking one of them, or maybe all of them, are finding a way to sneak the stuff out.

“We don’t think it’s on paper – we’ve been able to get a look at the documents they carry along, and test them for your standard invisible inks and like that. No sign. Also we’ve had some opportunity to look through their clothes and goods pretty thoroughly when they’re on their ways out” – for which he could thank Nika and others like her as well as dedicated security staff – “but there’s no sign of it."

Khoo asked a very sensible question, about whether these might be going over C-net; after all airship terminals and crystal ball users went together like a duelling school and pistol ball users.

“Been working with C-Net Surveillance on that one. And that’s where it gets weird. None of these guys seems to have an account at all. I get that with the foreigners, this is centuries ahead of their level, but this guy Henseijin” – the Tsuirakuan – “we don’t know if he even own a crystal ball. He was uninterested in a chance to win a fancy new one, which would’ve been very informative. Far as we know, between the three of them, they’ve got no balls at all.”

Anna-Lisa followed up with another sensible question about whether these fellows might be handing the information off to someone in Tsuiraku who could be C-netting it.

“Yeah, we have someone else working that angle, to get a hold of their movements in town, and any sign they’re using magic we don’t know.” Yep, I’ve got a foreign comfort girl trying to find ‘em girlfriends. Brilliant strategy that was. Probably get me busted by my birthday. “But I want you on the other angle, figuring how they might be getting it out by airship, and how to screen for it.”

One of the two asked whether the culprit might just be memorizing the stuff and carrying it out in his brain. Checking for that would be nearly impossible and politically unwise.
“Not too likely. Some of what’s cropped up is figures – mathematical stuff, be damn hard for anyone to memorize and get it right. Don’t know the godnuts can even understand it, but maybe they figure it’s a secret and say, ‘oooh, shiny thing.’ Regardless, point is, they’re getting an awful lot of detail to be carried in some guy’s head. Also, gross thaumic screening doesn’t show they’re carrying anything you wouldn’t expect.

“So, got any thoughts on what we might be looking for?”

* * *

Meantime, Nika had slept on the question of what sort of girls to recruit, and whether to set her cap at one of the boys herself. She’d take a late shift tonight so she could work on this project first. She had a notion of just the right woman for Henseijin. But could she recruit her? Also there were some questions to ask about the others and their intimate ways...
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Re: Tsuiraku - A Contest of Miseries

Postby Graybeard » September 5th, 2013, 4:35 pm

[OOC: Just something to play off of until I get back to full contact, which will be tomorrow. Assume it was the warmup for what just happened in the post above...]

Khoo's crystal ball rang with the distinctive tone telling him he had a new message from his advisor. Of course, this happened just as he was emerging from a thaumatic hot shower at his new apartment.

Swearing an oath by the Sea God (whose existence he had come to doubt after years in Tsuirakushiti), he looked at the ball, first wrapping himself in a robe just in case it would turn to a two-way communication. In the event, he needn't have bothered. Professor Takatsuka didn't normally deign to indulge in ball chats with a mere graduate student, nor did he do so this time. All that was on the ball was a message summoning him to his advisor's office. Khoo swore again and finished dressing.

Half an hour later, he was at Sashi Mu, wondering what this summons was all about ... and then, when he entered the outer office and saw Anna-Lisa sitting there, he knew.

The girl smiled broadly at him -- broadly, lasciviously, amorously, whateverly. "Our very first mission together," she announced. "This is going to be fuuunnnn..." And she enveloped Khoo in a hug that left him feeling like a fly in the embrace of a particularly jasmine-scented spider.
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Re: Tsuiraku - A Contest of Miseries

Postby Alberich » September 5th, 2013, 8:51 pm

Later on, at the meeting, it looked as if Choubei hadn't picked up on the conflictory chemistry between Anna-Lisa and Khoo. Looks were deceiving; he saw a lot more than he let on. He just didn't approve. The truth was that he didn't like working with young people. For girls like Miss Azaka, okay, there wasn't any choice; by the time they were old enough to have any sense they were ready to retire. But for this technical stuff, why did they have to saddle him with all these young know-it-alls right out of school? What was wrong with an old know-it-all, someone who'd grown up signaling with flashing lights and colored flags in the Navy, and knew this "C-Net" stuff because he'd helped to design it all, back in the day?

The answer, of course, was that someone with a background like that had no interest in a standard civil service slot, and as a contractor could command fees that would break the bank for Choubei's whole section. On another level he knew this. But he was full of silent gripes as he waited for Wonder Boy and Wonder Girl to come up with some theories in response to his question.
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Re: Tsuiraku - A Contest of Miseries

Postby Graybeard » September 14th, 2013, 11:09 am

[OOC: Something nonsensical from Anna-Lisa -- as will be seen, this is not uncommon for her -- just to provide an opening. I'll be back in regular communication tomorrow.]

Anna-Lisa beamed, an expression that Khoo knew, from abundant experience, promised trouble. "Oh, I've got it worked out already," she exclaimed.

Khoo saw it coming, tried to stop it. "Uh, Anna-Lisa, I don't think --"

The girl's smile grew broader. "It's all an Oshima plot," she announced triumphantly.

Khoo facepalmed.
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Re: Tsuiraku - A Contest of Miseries

Postby Alberich » September 14th, 2013, 11:45 am

"Humor me a little," said Choubei wearily, "as to how these Oshimas might be getting the information out. In your, ah, thaumical expertise. Less 'who' and more 'how,' that's what I'm talking about."

Before Anna-Lisa could get far into her fanciful tale of submarine smuggling operations, he cut in. "Assuming these boys are getting it out themselves by airship. That's the angle I want your help exploring. Nice though the submarines are. Not to mention the fishing boats releasing trained homing fish. New chapter in the history of espionage. We've got other people keeping an eye on them to see if they're taking it out some other way. But I'm asking you about airships, given the things I've just told you."

He figured their recent experience working airship security might just conceivably mean they'd have a good suggestion. In the same way the Council might just conceivably award him the Order of the Divine Wind at a surprise session this afternoon, or a lunch special from Reiko's Rice Balls in the lower city might just conceivably contain a diamond brooch, the reward for which would fund his retirement.

Oh my angry ancestral spirits, what a riot if Miss Azaka recruited this girl genius to keep an eye on one of the boys... He suppressed a shudder while waiting to see what they said.
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Re: Tsuiraku - A Contest of Miseries

Postby Graybeard » September 19th, 2013, 11:02 pm

"No, no, I'm serious," Anna-Lisa insisted. She'd seen Khoo's facepalm, and despite overexposure to Kureji Mesuinu, she did have enough social sense to recognize that something was wrong, although the Kureji propensity for "wrong place, wrong time, wrong idea" had left its distinctive marks. "We know the Oshimas infiltrated the airship terminals in Farrel, at least the ones in Port Lorrel and Rinkaiel and Webbish. Something blew up on them in Rinkaiel a few weeks ago, we know that, but we don't know how and who and why.(*) But they're still out there, and they'd like nothing more than for something to happen that embarrasses the government so badly that it gets unstable ... so they can take over."

"Anna-Lisa, we've been through this before," Khoo said wearily. "The Oshimas are on the run. Besides, they're not our problem. The Homeland Security guy was quite emphatic that after what happened in Webbish --" he shuddered at the memory -- "we were supposed to steer completely clear of any Oshima investigations, and specifically any airship terminals they had a hand in. That may not mean Rinkaiel any more, but it sure means the other two." He shuddered again.

Anna-Lisa patted his hand gently. "I know, silly. We won't be going back there. But that isn't where all these dastardly deeds are taking place anyway. They know we're watching. They know we know they know we're watching. They know we know they know we know they--"

Khoo interrupted, mercifully. "Then where are these nefarious exchanges occurring?" He thought this question would get her off the subject and back onto something closer to what their contact seemed to want, but Anna-Lisa was a jump ahead of him.

Anna-Lisa flashed a triumphant smile. "I thought you'd never ask..."

[OOC: I'll leave her answer hanging until next time, but first:
(*) This is NOT the violent encounter with the elf that Rose, Tim, etc., had, but rather the earlier wipeout of the Torou family, which Kitaura would have exploited, in his inimitable style, to drive the Oshimas to ground in Rinkaiel ... although they're still there in the underbelly of Tsuiraku-town, nursing a grudge. If the Rinkaiel threads ever get going again, there may be consequences to that ... but fortunately, Khoo and Anna-Lisa won't be going there.]
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Joined: August 20th, 2007, 8:26 am
Location: Nuevo Mexico, Estados Unidos

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