Murder on the Majestic Otter

For in-universe game play. Journey through both familiar and foreign settings, explore lost ruins and forgotten cities, and try to bring light to the darkness of the world... or, you know, blow stuff up. Either way.
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Jack Rothwell
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

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"I left them in the cafeteria, but they'll probably have moved on by now." Leo said, eyeing the magic being cast with no small amount of suspicion. The mercenary aristocrat was no magician; but the spell seemed to resemble some kind of dampening incantation designed to avert the gazes of prying eyes and the quiver of sensitive nostrils. Whatever was going on in there was something the flashily dressed gentleman didn't want witnessed.

"Moriarty won't be happy about this." He added, heading for the stairwell. "Official looking people aren't the best at being incognito. To the gym then. If I know Eve she'll be giving my lady a hard time on the training floor."

.......

Jade saw Eve's look, and understood.

"Kevin, right?" She asked. "Maud's... bodyguard was it? Don't you have a body to guard?"

"Pssssh, on a luxury cruiser? People hardly ever get killed on those." Said Eve, in a firework display of foreshadowing. "You sure you want a piece of this big man? I'm an expert and Jade's not bad."

The blacksmith raised an eyebrow, but said nothing.
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

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[OOC: Going to put some words in Morty's mouth here...]

"Bridge first," said Niranjan. "We should -- report in." One did not have to have magical Empathy or skills at reading body language to get the impression that there was something bothering the woman beyond just being taken off the case.

"I haven't served with Morokuma before," she said as they headed for the bridge. "In fact, this is the first time I've ever served on a cruise ship at all. Just got out of the Mekani six weeks ago." She realized the term wouldn't mean much to Leo, although it apparently did to Edgar. "Crewed on a military airship," she elaborated. "If I'd ever had a superior like Morokuma ..." She shook her head and started muttering darkly under her breath.

Moriarty was waiting for them when they reached the bridge, and they told him what they had seen and what had happened. "Hm, that's unexpected," the captain said. "Morokuma has the night watch tonight. Thought he'd be sleeping in this morning to get ready. I didn't order him to the crime scene, but he's right, he's the on-board cop." He looked Niranjan up and down. "You have dog watch -- you land lubbers would call it 'swing shift'," he added for Edgar's and Leo's benefit (and, just in case, to rub in the brothers' relative standing). "You look tired. Why don't you turn in, get some sleep. I'll cover the first hour of your watch." He did not say what he expected of Leo and Edgar, but he didn't really need to.

-----------

"I'm very good," Kevin smiled softly, leaving some ambiguity in just what he was good at. Actions spoke louder than words, though, and the way he twirled the nunchucks left little doubt that he was plenty good with those ... and probably at other things..

----------

Remarkably, Anna-Lisa didn't require a second round of Khoo's "services" (notably stud services) before the submarine surfaced. He groggily but carefully climbed up to the deck to help guide the little ship in and get it secured. They'd surfaced some distance from the Majestic Otter, but the seas were calm and they'd be heading straight in toward the stern. He permitted himself a look around; it had been dark down below, and it was nice to get back to some sunlight, although there was a bit of low cloud. That was probably for the best until he got his eyes reacclimated to the bright light.

A launch was heading out from the big ship toward shore. As he understood it, passengers were required to go with crew if they were heading to Alctraziel. From the looks of it, the small, jet- (and magic-) powered boats that were towing a few thaumo-parasailers were heading in the opposite direction. (He shuddered again at the memory of what had happened at the Tower of Artifex. No parasailing for him on this trip; if Anna-Lisa wanted to do it, she could go alone, and let him get some sleep.) Closer to the ship, there were three or four kayaks out, trying to maintain some kind of order as they milled around the stern. It was obvious, he thought, that the kayakers weren't very used to their mounts. He chuckled as there was a flash somewhere behind him; he'd grown up on the sea, after all, and it was always fun to watch landlubbers try kayaking for the first time. Most of the passengers would undoubtedly fall into that category.

His amused spectating of the would-be athletes was interrupted by a soft kraak coming from behind him, in the same general direction as where the light had been. Reflexively, he spun around to see what was going on -- the clouds didn't look like they should be producing lightning, not yet, anyway.

Indeed, not a storm cloud was in sight. What was in sight, however, was one of the paragliders, separated from its tow rope and dropping like a stone toward the surface of the ocean, where it vanished with a small splash. The tow boat was nowhere in sight.
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Jack Rothwell
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

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"Great." Leo said, clearly still angry at his younger brother. "I'll go and get my people. We still have work to do."

"You do that." Moriarty murmured as Leo turned to go.

He paused briefly at the door, then left.

..........

"Preferences?" Jade looked at Eve, who smiled.

"Age before beauty."

The blacksmith sighed and edged forward in a defensive stance. Nun-chucks weren't a weapon she had personal experience using, but she knew enough to know how dangerous they were in the right hands, especially big ones like Kevin had. The big man himself adopted a whirling pattern with the devices, creating a protective field of wood and chain around his torso designed to trap and disarm an overzealous attacker. Jade dimly registered Eve taking a wide loop to her right, obviously looking for an opening.

She feigned a jab, testing his guard, and was unsurprised to find he didn't take the bait, then had to step back suddenly as one of the weapons lashed out in a blink, utilising the maximum reach of her tall opponent in a strike that came within inches of giving the blacksmith a bloody nose. She tracked his follow up swing and blocked it with a downward sweep, rolling with the momentum to swing at his calf. Kevin's reflexes were sharp, his lifted the targeted leg and hopped backwards to avoid what would've been a debilitating blow, leaving the pair at square one.

"Pretty good." She said.

"I'm just warming up." He retorted.

Eve was still keeping her distance, but had made it 90 degrees to their opponent's left. Whether or not she would actually attack, or leave Jade to deal with the big man herself, was up to the mercenary's capricious nature.

OOC I'll reply to the other thread hopefully tomorrow. Things got a little busy in my personal life lately. Keeping thinking it's shame we don't have more writers on this. :( /OOC
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

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[OOC: No prob, real life takes precedence. Being retired, I don't have one. :roll: Go ahead and take the sparring wherever you want to; as I said, I'm not much for combat scenes. One little word from Niranjan, after which Leo can feel free to head for the gym. Kevin can be enlisted to try to talk "Maud" into joining the search. Meanwhile, out on the ocean ...]

"That bastard," Niranjan growled as soon as she was out of earshot of the cabin. She did not indicate which of the two candidates for the malediction she had in mind.

"I guess I'd better -- go get some sleep," she continued. "First, let me give you something." She reached into a pocket of her uniform and extracted a small, button-like object, handing it to Leo.

"If you find something while you're searching that you think is over your head, or that Lord Glow-in-the-Dark Uniform shouldn't know about but a helpful person should, press this twice." (That probably settled the "bastard" question.) "I'll be back in the bridge --" she looked at her thaumatic chronometer -- "in seven hours." She turned and headed for her bunk; as one of the ship's few officers, she rated space behind the bridge and close to Khoo's and Anna-Lisa's love nest, although without the accouterments of the honeymoon suite (and about an eighth the size).

-----------

The occupants of the selfsame love nest, meanwhile, were having some experiences on the submarine that were other than what they'd been doing while the thing was submerged.

Khoo had been starting to feel the first waves (so to speak) of the seasickness that had afflicted him on an earlier sea voyage. The Majestic Otter was large enough, and sufficiently equipped with Mesuinu-style anti-seasickness stabilizers, that he hadn't had problems until now, but the little sub was a different story when surfaced, even on calm waters. However, his queasiness vanished instantly as he realized that the tow-boat for the crashed paraglider was nowhere in sight. If anyone was going to rescue the passenger who'd augered in, he and Anna-Lisa were going to have to do it.

He had to hand it to his girlfriend; she was actually quite skilled at handling the thing. (The sub, that is.) A quick conversation, and they changed course toward where Khoo thought the glider had gone in. Yes, there, floating on the surface, was the canopy, trailing the severed tow line and with the passenger's seat half submerged, half floating ... but without any sign of a passenger in it. That was bad, probably.

As Anna-Lisa eased the sub closer, a life-jacket-clad body floated to the surface, not far at all from the crash site. It wasn't moving, except on the slight wake that the sub was creating. A minor course correction, and Khoo was in a position to cast a life preserver toward the crash victim, but there was no response. Muttering a prayer to the Sea God (and without much faith any more that such divine assistance might exist), he reeled in the ring and tried again.

Maybe the Sea God was listening after all, he thought, to his surprise; this time the ring snagged something on the body, and with some help from Anna-Lisa, who'd come topside, he was able to haul it alongside the sub. Still no response from the body; this was starting to look more and more like a body retrieval rather than a rescue. He knew, though, that sometimes an apparent drowning victim could be brought around, a surprisingly long time after they'd seemingly drawn their last breath. Anna-Lisa was stronger than she looked, and together, they managed to wrestle the body onto the deck ... where Khoo noticed something.

The man in the life preserver was as short and as stout as the Tsuirakuan bureaucrat with whom the two had tangled back in Lorrel, and that was a rarity ... but the soggy face was very definitely not that of Chigaku Kawamura, not at all.
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Jack Rothwell
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

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OOC hey Grey, just to let you know I'm finally back and re-reading the threads again. i'll post as soon as I can think of something to write./OOC
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

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OOC: Great news! I may be a bit intermittent for a couple of weeks owing to a death in the family (no condolences, etc. -- a 92YO father-in-law with horrifically advanced Alzheimer's) but will be close to full time as soon as I'm done helping my wife with arrangements.

Meanwhile, anybody else interested in joining this thing? There are lots of passenger cabins with possibly interesting occupants, not to mention a typically Mesuinu-crazy crew to adopt ...
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

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After a brief return to the dining area for directions Leo found himself in the ship's gym facing an unexpected sight; his girlfriend and Eve sparring with a huge man whirling nun chucks around like one of old warriors from a thaumo-fic he used to read as a teenager. He coughed politely.

"Am I interrupting?"

Jade broke off her advance on Kevin and shook her head.

"No. It's just a friendly... what happened?"

Oh. His jaw. Right.

"I, erm, got into a disagreement with my brother about something. It's not important. What is important is what's been going on on the ship since last night." The mercenary began to explain.
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

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Kevin [OOC: he's not really "huge" -- taller than average at 6'2", and muscular, but not body-builder-class] was by no means lacking in social awareness and tact. As Leo began his tale, Kevin hung up the nunchucks and stood a polite distance off ... but he was still listening.

When Leo got to the part about the dismembered corpse, Kevin softly cleared his throat. "Excuse me, but I think my boss had better know about this." Seeing Leo's puzzled look, he added, "We're all on the same side here. You'd know her as 'Maud'. You saw me earlier, but I was in uniform then." He certainly wasn't now.

One of the Silver Hands [OOC: pick your preferred one if you think it's important] ventured a question. "We'd 'know' her as Maud? Is there something else we might 'know' her as?"

Kevin smiled, with the slightest edge on it; that was enough to make him menacing. "As The Boss. Now please excuse me." He left without another word.

---------

When Khoo and Anna-Lisa made it back to the Majestic Otter, Morokuma was waiting for them at the boat ramp. "I understand you have recovered a body," he said without any preamble. "I am responsible for law enforcement aboard this ship. I will take custody of it."

The couple were quite glad to be rid of the thing; they'd lashed it to the deck with a combination of a rope and some basic magic, and then crept carefully back to the larger ship. Two of the crew helped them wrestle it aboard, and Morokuma shook his head sadly. "Doctor Kawamura, I see." His voice didn't sound nearly as sad as the shake of his head. "A terrible tragedy."

Anna-Lisa was never good at hiding her emotions, to put it mildly, and puzzlement was written all over her face. "Wait a minute," she said. "This isn't Kawamura. Yeah, short and fat, but it's not his face. We saw him a couple of times before we got on board, he --"

Morokuma cut her off. "This is Chigaku Kawamura, miss." (Not "ma'am," Khoo noticed.) "I knew him well. Now you will excuse me."

Khoo decided that he didn't like Morokuma on sight. "Wait a minute," he echoed. "My girlfriend is right. Kawamura's face is round, I saw enough of him on shore to know that. This --"

If Morokuma had had fangs, he'd have been showing them. "It is Kawamura, kid," he snarled. "This is now a crime scene. Go back to your room with your girlfriend and screw." (Anna-Lisa's face momentarily lit up at this instruction, but only momentarily, to her credit.) "If you keep hanging around here, you'll become part of the investigation, and you don't want that. Now move along. NOW."

Just like Niranjan in an earlier encounter with Morokuma, Khoo knew when he was beaten; he grabbed Anna-Lisa's arm and moved on, as Morokuma cast some manner of preservative magic upon the body that might have been Chigaku Kawamura's, or might not.
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

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Silence lay like a thick blanket after Kevin had left the gym.

"Why can we never go anywhere nice?" Jade groaned.

"Murder most foul." Eve grumbled her assessment.

"Indeed. But if the big man and his associates get on it we can cast a broader net on the situation." Leo replied.

"Won't your brother be mad you let other people know about this?"

"Morty's mad at me anyway. Old arguments and all that."

"To be honest. I'm not sure how much help I can be in this situation." Jade admitted. "Not unless something needs crafting or hitting."

"Think of it as the perfect opportunity to learn subterfuge."

"Alright, I'll do my best. What now?"

"We go find Khoo and Anna-Lisa. Even if they don't want to get involved they should know there's a psychopath on board and, who know? Maybe they'll think of something I didn't. 'Fresh eyes see clear' as the saying goes."

"Guess our training has been put on hold, Red."

With that, the Silver Hands left in search of their companions.
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Re: Murder on the Majestic Otter

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[OOC: Minor retcon required here by later developments. It's nothing significant -- yet. It may never be. But who knows?]

No great searching was required. Khoo and Anna-Lisa had gone back to their suite, as ordered, but something happened that Khoo wasn't even sure he'd thought Anna-Lisa capable of doing. As soon as the door was closed, she'd sighed, "You know, I -- I'm really not in the mood right now."

Khoo tried to hide his relief; certain very important organs were aching with overuse and fatigue. "That's okay, neither am I. Let's take a walk and see what else there is to this ship. I know there are amusements that we haven't seen." He shuddered at the thought, glad that his girlfriend apparently didn't notice.

The AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY hatch at the end of the hall was standing open, unprotected by a Ward; only later would they realize what an anomaly this was. Lacking any reason not to, they stepped through the hatch, passed by Niranjan's tiny berth, noting soft, even snoring coming from inside. They hadn't dealt with her to know her military background; someone in her position could fall asleep almost instantly, any time, anywhere. There was also snoring from within Morokuma's cabin, which caused a raised eyebrow from Khoo. Somehow the man didn't seem like the social type, and he couldn't be in there himself, since they'd left him down with the sub, and the body. He made a mental note to look into that some time, but not now.

They passed by the first-class deck without stopping. If they had, they might have noticed a shimmering curtain of magic partitioning off the row of cabins that included the one (or more?) where the homicide had occurred. Investigation would eventually reveal that this served as a Ward to keep out anyone who didn't have a cabin in the area; Morokuma had been magically busy, from the looks of it. The fact that it would keep out prying eyes like those of Khoo and Anna-Lisa and the Silver Hands would not be lost on them when it was discovered. [OOC: entirely OK for the Silver Hands to have found this while they were looking for Khoo.]

They'd just arrived at the entertainment deck, but hadn't had time to peek into anything, when three familiar figures came into view. Somebody started in on sharing the strange things that they'd seen and experienced, but Khoo put a finger to his lips. "Not here," he cautioned. "Let's find somewhere where I can cast a --" he became silent, but exaggeratedly mouthed Damping spell -- "without drawing any attention."

[OOC: Got any ideas where such a place might be, given what we know of the ship, or can add to it? The gym would work in a pinch, since it doesn't seem to be used much, but this would be a good time to set up some other locales if you can think of one. If you can't, however, I have a most outrageous idea ...]
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