As the four man team meanders back to Linus’ van, Yulong’s pocket begins to buzz. He draws his economy phone from a pocket in his robe and answers. “Hello Zin. Yes, it’s marked House 3 on the map, on Marly drive off of South Miami Boulevard. I have no way of knowing if that is where they are, but I believe searching the closest houses first is as logical an approach as any. We are headed there now—perhaps we will meet you there.”
The monk hangs up and turns to the party. “It sounds like our friends have about wrapped up their business. We should begin ours. Our new friend here is driving. Since you two are going to scout ahead on the astral, I will take shotgun, to help keep an eye out for danger. Objections?”
“None” Says linus. “I rather like having a chauffeur and body man.” He giggles to himself. “Why don’t I just recline in the back here.” Reaching the van, he unlocks the doors and throws his much more mechanically competent friend the keys. Then he hops in the sliding side door to sit in one of the reclining chairs in the middle row. He pops it back into full recline and gets comfortable.
“This has the added benefit of keeping me out of sight. May I recommend that we stop about a block away? We can look ahead from there, and we’ll be well placed to take action quickly should the need arise.”
Following the hermetic’s lead, Alexander arranges himself cross-legged on the floor, partly wedged between the front bucket seats. “Follow me, mage. Keep us safe but do no harm to the living while we are there. I won’t let you.” He punctuates the sentence with a meaningful stare, then casts his spirit upward into astral space.
The van starts quickly, and the motor begins the whine typical of electrical motors. The group heads off, down Alston, to take a left on Riddle, then a right on Ellis. When that dead ends on Miami, the group goes left.
[The astral folks are getting their own thread wooo.]
Skip drives about as recklessly as the car will let him, constantly complaining that there’s no power to electric motors. He advises Linus to get his governor taken off. He knows a guy who can do that. In fact he knows two. The guy he’s talking about drives a motorcycle that can go five hundred miles per hour. So he says anyway. Skip’s never seen it.
Upon approach, Skip gets a bit more focused and tells the others he’s going to drive by first and take a look at the place first.
Skip and Yulong drive by at a normal speed, not terribly out of place in their run down minivan. What you see is depressing, but not surprising. An ancient shotgun house, wooden, with a large front porch, with a gravel drive on the left, and a detached one car garage beyond that. The house itself is pretty square, single story, with an apparent addition, also ancient, onto the back. There’s no small amount of litter and garbage on the surrounding lawn, which seems to have been neglected since roughly the Awakening. A few scraggly shrubs and trees grow slowly and stiltedly along the road and property lines. Three men sit on the porch. Two appear to be interacting at a table, playing cards, and the third sips a beer slowly.
Skip suggests parking on the old roadbed of Mineral Springs, then walking over to watch those fellas for a while.
He also offers to go talk to them and “See what kinda guys they is.”
Parking down the gravel road, your little group is surrounded by hardwoods of moderate age. The foliage and seclusion give a sense of safety, though perhaps the lonesomeness is something to be wary of. You’re not quite certain, but you’re likely no more than a few hundreds yards away from the safehouse, though you’d be behind it now, having not seen the rear at all.
[Rim there’s a map somewhere of where this safehouse is located. I dug it up for easy access. ]
Yulong laces his fingers over the pommel of his broadsword. “You may scout ahead if you wish, but I believe at least one of us has a duty to stay here and guard our allies while their souls are abroad. Do as you like, but please do not get noticed if you go.”
Yulong hears gravel crunch behind the van, and turns just in time to see Zin and the cyborg arrive, going slowly as not to scratch Zin’s car. The sleek ride pulls up next to the van, and the group finds itself once more reunited.
[Linus and Alexander are both still astral, but the rest are all here.]
Yulong steps from the van and nods to the other runners. He speaks in a hushed tone. “Hello friends. I hope your business was successful, although I also hope we won’t need to use your new purchases. The mages are still projecting, and Skip has suggested ranging ahead to get a closer look.”
The monk leans against his sword. “I have decided that I shall stay here, to watch the casters while their spirits are away.”
“Which way do you suggest we scout?” the cyborg croaks.
[Kevin, can you describe the surroundings for me and Danny?]
You’re on a gravel drive that dead-ends into woodlands. The trees are mainly old growth pines and some medium age hardwoods. The foliage is pretty dense, as spring has come in force. You have about 15 yards of clearance and grass, then not terribly thick woodlands. The house in question is through about 150 yards of woodland, and is unable to be seen from this location.
Nameless scans the treeline for any cameras or listening devices which might detect his approach.
“Well,” says Skip, “I think they’re gonna notice when I go up and talk to them…”
Skip sets leaves his rifle in the van and then sets off to go play the overly-friendly-hillbilly card for everything its worth. Maybe a few off-color remarks about Orcs and the like. He heads through the woods and starts to walk down the road towards the house, signing country music loudly.
[Is there a convenience store around? B/c If there is, he’ll go get a few beers first].
The cyborg doesn’t say anything to anyone but ducks off the path to the right, mirroring Skip’s movements, but angling outwards so as to come in at a flanking angle.
[I know my guy isn’t much of a stealth guy, but given how poorly armed I am right now, I’m probably not gonna go in straight up. Roll whatever I need to to move quietly and stay out of sight].
Skip squints at the cyborg. “If yer in there mister, just stay far enough away these sonsabitches ain’t see you. I speak the language of fuckers like them.”
When Skip gets to the road, he opens a beer [if available] and starts to stagger a bit, singing country music loudly.
There is a minimart not too far away. Skip manages to down a few beers, and is now carrying what remains of his 6 pack back past the group on his way to the house. The cyborg begins trailing him through the trees, but has to stop once reaching the road. There is a span of two houses, totaling about 100 yards, where there is no real cover to speak of. The back of the house is more accessible, but there too is roughly 50 yards of open space. From where the cyborg stands, he can discern no security measures beyond the men on the porch, though nearly every window is blacked out or boarded over.
Zin glares at the other runners. “Are you all fuckin crazy? why did I get in this van? Skip, I hope you know what you’re doing.”