Friday May 17, 2024

Delicate Business – 3

Chief Wissenhatch leaned her forearm against the cell’s chains, with Leqqya bound to a chair.

“You’ve done more than I asked of you, Leqqya.”
“Look, I don’t know what’s happening, but you’ve got the wrong person.”
“Oh really? Then who is it?” It was clear she was probing Leqqya rather than asking out of genuine curiosity. Nevertheless, Leqqya took the bait.
“It’s the 37th Mercenaries; they’re undermining the operation and exploiting your routes.”

Chief Wissenhatch is clearly the bad here – I need help of GUM to figure out her true motivation
🎲 Motivation (Evil) → Greed for political power, manipulate
🎲 Intention (Evil) → Prey down on the weak and vulnerable
I could have figured this out on my own, but well, figures.

“Exactly, and that’s why I need an example. So, I sent you to retrieve the pirates from the caves and bring them to me,” she explained. “I never disclosed their identities…” Leqqya realized she had been thoroughly deceived and added, “I was never meant to return, was I?”

🎲 Question (interaction) → No, definitely not

“It matters not; you will still serve as an example of what happens to mercenaries who fail to honor their contracts,” declared Chief Wissenhatch as she paced the warehouse and initiated a hologram call. The President of Monaco appeared, clad in bathrobes.

“Miss Wissenhatch, I believe my direct calls were quite clear.”
“I understand, Mr. President, but the situation is urgent. Your merchandise may not arrive on time, if at all.”
“Then ensure that it does, or you can say goodbye to your Parliament seat.”
“I will, Mr. President. However, I must inform you that the 37th Company has proven unreliable. They’ve not only disrupted our plans but also sabotaged our communications. As you can see here, one of their operatives even tampered with your Hunter Drone, altering its insignia. I urge you, Mr. President, to revoke their contract.”

Leqqya, overwhelmed with regret for her involvement, hung her head heavy with the weight of her decision. The president exhaled a sigh of frustration and fatigue.

“Fine… Fine. You may revoke their contract, Miss Wissenhatch, but consider this your final warning. Deliver the Tashido supplies within 24 hours to commence the campaign, or your position is forfeit.” With that, the president ended the call.

Chief Wissenhatch resumed her pacing in the warehouse, deep in thought, before commanding, “Bomb the cave; they’re of no use to me now.” “Yes, Miss,” responded a bodyguard. She then made her exit.

“Wait!” Leqqya implored. “What will become of me? Release me!”

And then, the room was plunged into darkness.

I have no idea how to pull it off from here. Advancing the plot track to 4/15
🎲 Plot prompt → Progress or solve a pending question
🎲 What do they want with Leqqya? (Intent) → Show or give you something + Faith/Divine
🎲 Who? → A very famous figure or leader

Amidst the darkness, the holographic communication device beeps and activates. Leqqya, half-asleep, lifts her head from its slumped position, right where she is bound to the chair.

It’s the President.

“Hello there. What is your name?” inquires the President of Monaco.
“Leqqya,” she replies, bewildered.
“Did you really manage to override our drone’s insignia? That’s no simple task. I’m astonished you managed to crack it in the first place.”

Leqqya gazes at the holographic projection of the president. The man, tall and well-dressed in a suit, handsome and still in his late forties, displays what appears to be sincere curiosity. Leqqya ponders whether she has unwittingly accomplished something complex, yet again.

“I did. Why do you ask?”
“You see,” the President leaned back in a large chair, relaxed further, and continued, “This is likely the third or fourth operation we’ve initiated to acquire the Tashido supplies. It’s difficult to obtain those chemicals here in Europe. Los Angeles nationalists claim it’s to prevent further escalation and political tensions, but the truth is, they just want to keep the prices high.”
The President lit a cigarette and savored it for a moment.
“To be frank, I don’t believe Lady Wissenhatch will ever deliver the supplies. She’s all talk. The 37th contract is designed to take over her operations, but it’s hard to do when your company keeps botching things, giving her the perfect excuses to stall.”
“Sir, I’m not sure where you’re going with this. I’m merely a prisoner,” Leqqya’s attention waned.
“Oh no, far from it. I’ve been tracking you,” which regained her attention.
“The Proxy box?”
“Exactly.”
“But how?”
“I had to be cautious, but the decoy is a substitute. The incorrect cargo was the first one.”
“Clever… but why complicate matters? You could simply snap your fingers and get what you want.”
“That’s what the naive think,” Leqqya felt slighted, “but I wager you’re not naive, are you, Leqqya?”
“No, Sir.”
“Good. Because what I need you to say is that those boxes were yours, and that you now remember where the Tashido cargo is, but you’ll send it to me directly instead. Could you do that for me, Leqqya?”
“Do I have a choice?”
“Well, you do. But not many. Time is short, but I need your agreement, and then I’ll ensure they give you the opportunity. And for heaven’s sake, don’t leave Aenor alone again. Then, we all parties are agreed, it was a pleasure doing business with you. I’ll call you back when necessary.”

The president hung up. Leqqya thought it was funny that she didn’t get a chance to weigh in on the deal. She’s going to work for the President, and she’s certainly eager to send Wissenhatch packing. But what did he imply by telling her to not leave Aenor alone? Was he in danger? It’s difficult to tell from a prison cell.

“Looks like it’s your lucky day, wake up,” shouted Chief Wissenhatch. “Untie her.”
“What’s going on…?”
“You’re going to tell me,” said the woman as she brought two proxy boxes and placed Leqqya’s interface trodes back on her head. Leqqya now understood that the President was relying on these relays, probably in real-time. “These Proxy-Relays seem to be linked to your interface, so you’re going to unlock them for us,” the Chief pointed a Magnum Zix-61 Plasma firing pistol at Leqqya’s head. “Or you die, and we’ll crack it open anyway.”

Aeron stood by them, his face etched with guilt. Leqqya muttered under her breath. The Chief was not pleased with the hesitation, but it was one of her Gorilla Company bodyguards who jolted Leqqya back to reality. “Do what she says,” he growled.

Let’s go for a discovery to see what do we find out. I am also going to advance the plot track, and advance it to 5/15 with a Modified Proposal (PUM)
🎲 Discovery → Find an item or a weapon + vast/big
🎲 Risks → Have to break a vow or lie + Pain/Suffering
🎲 Modified Proposal → Provoke frustration, stress, worry

“I am aware of the cargo’s location, but it is not in a data format… I am unable to transfer it. I must go in person.”

This calls for a deception (Cunning) roll, but Leqqya is pretty bad at it. Difficulty will be 3, with a setback for the circumstance.
h
Nor success or failure, with a threat.
🎲 Is the cargo in the now bombed ruins? → Strong yes

“Let’s assume we actually believe you, where is it?”
“In the ruins you decided to bomb…”
“SCREW YOU”
“…”
“Harlon, Opeth, gather your equipment, we’re heading out. Prepare the aircraft and deploy some scouting drones. Secure Aeron here and leave him. Elras, if he attempts anything foolish, eliminate him,” commanded Chief Wissenhatch.

Aeron was bound and left in the shadows, likely with a guard and a gun trained on his head, ready to shoot. The situation looked dire. They escorted Leqqya, with hands bound, and immediately began preparations for departure. Meanwhile, Leqqya planned to convince them of Aeron’s necessity for the mission’s success.

Leqqya tries to persuade them to let Aeron come with them instead of leaving him prisoner. Difficulty 2, but with 2 setbacks.
ffhh
Looks bad. Two failures and two setbacks. They gave a blunt no, and made themselves clear that this wasn’t an option. Ever.

JeansenVaars

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