R4c 0b

Peter|GM: The Republic Metropolitan Area, The Century Hotel, Penthouse Suite. 1:00 AM. With a marvelous view of the city - its shining lights, its flickering LEDs, even the calm bopping marches of the BTs on patrol - the tremendous picture window of the Century Hotel's finest suite is an awe-inspiring thing, filled with the most impressive luxury that Country C could offer.
Peter|GM: Despite all of that, it's still kind of crappy to be coming into town at this awful an hour.
Peter|GM: (Your two bandmates are ahead. -Their- plane didn't get held up.)
Maria‘ stares down at the street below admiring the view for a moment. She pulls out her Selpass and examines her schedule. Her transport wouldn’t be for a while, right? Maybe she could slip out for an hour despite the time.
Peter|GM: Yeah, not for a while - they arranged it for you in the hopes that you could sneak in a nap, but… it's a nice night.
Maria‘ nods to herself before making her way to her luggage. She rips open the bag and starts to dig through it grabbing a few things. She quickly pulls a blue Yamaha hoodie down over her blouse and gets into some jeans. After flipping the hood over her head she starts to text one handed as she makes her way to the elevator.
Maria` reads over the message twice before hitting send to her manager. ’I can't sleep. Going out for a small walk. I'll take a nap on my next flight.'
Peter|GM: "Careful, darling." An outstretched hand stops Maria in her tracks as a glamorous woman steps out from the elevator, dressed in a fur coat and long earrings. Her hair is flowing and red - it's the moviestar, Carleta Rejona.
Peter|GM: She stoops slightly for a moment, getting a better look at Maria - "Ah, goodness, fancy running into you!"
Peter|GM: "…Though I imagine the set of people who stay on this floor is a little specifique."
Maria‘ half entered the elevator before taking a step back to get a good look at the woman. "Oh! I didn’t realize anyone else would be up here tonight. How's your filming going?"
Peter|GM: "Dreadful for the rain. We don't expect it'll dry out enough to start again until Wednesday." She folds her hand against the elevator door, holding it for a moment.
Peter|GM: "Heading down for a drink?"
Maria‘ nods before stepping into the elevator. "Something like that. In and out. I still need to sleep tonight."
Peter|GM: She slips in after. "Get it where you can, dear. Get it where you can."
Peter|GM: She’s silent, for a moment, waiting for the elevator to hiss closed. It's glass, with a shining view of the city. Not a new view, though. Just the old one.
Peter|GM: "You're… Institute of Art, yes?"
Maria‘ smiles before hitting the button for the lobby. "For a while, at least. With how busy I am lately I’m not sure if I'll ever finish the program."
Peter|GM: "Don't ever worry about it. Keep on doing what you're doing and soon enough the world will be falling over itself to give you honorary degrees."
Peter|GM: She looks, for a moment, as if she's going to say something else, but she merely presses her hand against the window, inhaling a sigh.
Maria‘ slides one earbud into her ear, leaving the other one open to listen to the woman. She grabs her selpass with her other hand and flips through a few menus. She hasn’t loaded up anything with it however. Not while she's still in the elevator.
Peter|GM: A few notifications. The soothing drone of the news - urban density trends on the rise. A few opinion pieces being batted back and forth over what all the foreign students mean for Selva. No immediate response from the manager.
Peter|GM: "There's… there's a big protest, I've heard, being planned for tomorrow. They think it'll break into riots." She says, with some difficulty. And then, immediately, as if struck by the urgency of the elevator ride ending:
Peter|GM: "No, that's a lie. I mean, it isn't, but… it's not… l'esprit vrai, if you would."
Peter|GM: "They're planning to make an example of them. SWs all over the streets."
Peter|GM: "No… no place for us to be about, yes? I mean-"
Maria‘ glances back at her Selpass before nodding to the woman. "I’d hate to get caught up in that. My flight isn't leaving until 8:30."
Peter|GM: She presses a slip of paper into Maria's hand, having decided.
Peter|GM: "Right."
Peter|GM: "And… if you do, there's a friend of mine."
Peter|GM: "…Not really a friend. But you can trust him."
Peter|GM: "Don't get stuck in it, darling. Promise me that?"
Maria‘ nods, taking the opportunity to unfold and glance at the paper quickly before the doors open.
Peter|GM: An address on 18th street, and the words ’Fixer'.
Peter|GM: As the doors open - there's a little flurry of camera flashes, and Carleta Rejona pulls down a pair of sunglasses, smiles, pulls a glove off her hand to lay on the shoulders of one of the paparazzo.
Peter|GM: She moves with a sudden urgency, letting the crowd close around her as she steps out into the rest of the hotel, leading them away.
Peter|GM: …They didn't notice you at all!
Maria‘ quickly pulls her hood down over her face again before the door opened. She takes a few steps out into the lobby.
Maria` slides the paper into her pocket before flipping through some menu’s and loading up a recording from her Selpass. One of her recent rehearsals. Admittedly she wasn't paying much attention to her surroundings, instead giving the video a hardened analysis. Her feet were certainly taking her somewhere, though. The performance wasn't that far off. Everything had to be perfect.
Peter|GM: The glossy marble of the Century Hotel clicks underneath your feet, and the automatic doors open up to welcome you into the night air.
Peter|GM: Fourth Avenue. Even on a warm night, it still smells like the storm air that delayed your flight.
Maria‘ takes a deep breath of the night air before walking over to the hotels public night bus stop. Realistically speaking… her flight was tomorrow morning. If she was going to check this place out, it needed to be tonight.
Peter|GM: Aside from the occasional hiss of a black hovercab this way or that down the huge, empty street, the plaza’s bare. A statue of Andres Sevriche stands with so much pride you could mistake the evening dew for sweat on his brow, watching over the nouveau-classic pillars of the Republic Building, opposite.
Peter|GM: (-blue- hovercabs, sorry, my bad.)
Peter|GM: …But you can take the bus, too.
Peter|GM: One stops after a little bit, picking you up, taking you down to 18th Avenue. Free, of course - no need to check the pass.
Maria‘ finally shuts off the video after letting it loop three times. She pulls up her hood slightly to get a bearing on her surroundings taking a look outside the window as the bus drove along the street. She didn’t get the chance to take public transport that often nowadays, come to think of it.
Peter|GM: The bus smells of new polyethurane, spray cleaner, and, underneath it, the lingering aroma of canela-smoke.
Peter|GM: City lights zip past.
Peter|GM: The R.M.A's a planned city, and its busses follow simple loops. The Avenues run north-south, the Streets run east-west.
Peter|GM: Your stop's soon enough.
Maria‘ pulls on the line above the window before getting to her feet.
Peter|GM: If you were sitting too close to the electronic bell, the DING would be painfully loud.
Peter|GM: The bus pulls to a stop. A gaggle of drunks get on.
Maria` glances at the doors. Did this have one at the drivers side and the middle?
Maria` patiently waits for the drunks to make their way through, despite the fact that she was reasonably confident people getting off got the right of way.
Peter|GM: Yeah, one at the middle too.
Peter|GM: So there’s no need to wait.
Maria‘ hops off of the bus before glancing at the nearest street sign.
Peter|GM: 17th Avenue. It’s a short walk over.
Peter|GM: The cool, broad lights of the LED streetlamps bathe the sidewalks and streets in a pure bluish-white light. Most of the businesses are closed, but for those that do business at the worst hours - bars, netcafes, frogurt places, pizza shops, canela lounges.
Peter|GM: Not that this part of town has any shortage of those.
Maria‘ didn’t expect the city to be dead at only 1 AM. Not in the RMA at least. She makes her way down the street following the building numbers to see if she was walking the right way for the address.
Peter|GM: I guess I might have been exaggerating.
Peter|GM: There's the place - a dingy little game cafe called "Supercell" .
Peter|GM: There's a huge black cargo hovertruck parked in the alleyway beside it.
Maria‘ stares at the building and then the black cargo truck. This wasn’t shady at all.
Peter|GM: It's -super- shady.
Maria‘ slowly makes her way over to the truck first. Best not make a fool of herself in the cafe if it was the wrong spot. To think Carleta Rejona would direct her HERE of all places, though.
Peter|GM: Two workers - looks like Erxians - are unloading crate after crate from the back. "Hey, lady." His Selvan accent isn’t too bad, though.
Peter|GM: "Help ya with somethin'?"
Maria‘ glances back at her Selpass. Still no reply. Probably sleeping? She blinks a few times before sliding it back into her pocket and smiling to to the workers. "I’m a bit lost, is all. Just looking for somebody." She peers at the crates as she gives her response. Why was an idol out on the streets by herself at 1 AM talking to be people that could very well be dealing in contraband anyways?
Maria‘ chews at her lip, seemingly having second thoughts.
Peter|GM: "Uhh, well, if he’s playing somethin, I'd just check inside-"
Peter|GM: And then, with a booming laugh, the Fixer steps out onto the loading deck - ebony-skinned, with a wild mane of white hair tied with a bandanna, dressed in a comfy-looking tracksuit. He's getting on in years, a little bit.
Peter|GM: The workers turn to him as soon as he appears - clearly, that's the boss.
Maria‘ is CLEARLY having second thoughts now.
Peter|GM: "I pay you two to unpack my computers, not scare customers, friend."
Peter|GM: He waves a finger. "They’re water-cooled, you know. Prismacolor LEDs. Super - eh, is cool still how one says it?"
Peter|GM: "That's how I says it. They're cool."
Peter|GM: "I'm the Fixer, Ms." He explains. "This is my little cafe."
Peter|GM: "Well, this is the back of my little cafe."
Peter|GM: "Less interesting."
Maria‘ takes a step back, seeming rather hesitant and simply nods in response. She admittedly doesn’t have much time to invest in anything except mobile games.
Peter|GM: "Nowhere to sit."
Peter|GM: "You come in? I don't mind the air, but the tourists, they'll misbehave around my staff if I don't breathe down their neck, remind them a little of the etiquette."
Maria‘ shifts in place silently for a moment before speaking up. "Miss Rejona. She sent me, I mean. To… because of tomorrow?" She fumbles with her words, not entirely convinced this was not the worst idea she’s made all month. Scrap that, year. She takes a step forward. Seems like consent.
Peter|GM: "Friend of Ms. Rejona." He says, closing his eyes as if accepting a holy pact.
Peter|GM: "That's a friend of mine. Come with me."
Maria‘ nods before trailing after the man.
Peter|GM: He nods seriously, snaps his fingers - and the loading recommences - and heads in the back of the cafe, leading Maria to a room with a door. There’s vague traces of the accoutrements of a birthday party in it - a platter with cake crumbs, a pile of glasses that haven't been picked up for washing yet - And when the door is shut.
Peter|GM: "Friend."
Peter|GM: "Tomorrow, that truck you were gawking at is going on a special trip -right- the fuck out of this country."
Peter|GM: "And if Carleta Rejona sends you to meet me, the special thing about that trip is that you have just gotten a ticket to it, because this lady-"
Peter|GM: "Who, let me tell you, was applying some si-eer-ee-ouus hustle to get that ticket-"
Peter|GM: "Lets me know, plans are cancelled, offer her seat to a friend."
Peter|GM: "But." He stops.
Peter|GM: "You don't know the thing about tomorrow, do you?"
Maria‘ seems rather tense regarding the notion of being in a back room with a shady stranger. She glances around the room seeming to take a moment to process what exactly he was saying. "… I heard something about protests? I had a flight tomorrow in the morning."
Peter|GM: "Ehh, fuck, moviestars I can explain this to. Teenage girls trickier." He paces.
Peter|GM: "I can tell you very fucking for certain that flight is not getting off the ground."
Peter|GM: "How is it I come to know this?" He inhales through teeth.
Maria: "Are you with the protesters?"
Peter|GM: "I am with getting the fuck out of here. We’re a niche party but I find the ideology very persuasive."
Peter|GM: "Unlike most protests which start with the protesting and then become a riot when the state bites back, this one is going to leap straight to the rioting."
Maria‘ tilts her head, not seeming to understand. "Why would anyone want to riot, though? We’re hosting the summer olympics later this year. My concert is later this week!"
Peter|GM: "How bad does it get? I don't know. What I -do- know is that it is planned for it to be bad enough that a few kings of shit NIA agents and a PMC or two are going to ride in waving banners to-"
Peter|GM: He stops.
Peter|GM: "You're Ms. Universe."
Maria‘ pauses. "… whoops."
Peter|GM: "No whoops."
Peter|GM: "I sell coke to Carleta Rejona, talking politics with Ms. Universe is no whoops."
Peter|GM: He waves a hand dismissively. "Secrets are safe."
Peter|GM: "Hell, on good day, you want a panda bear or something? I get you a panda bear." He coughs.
Maria: "I want to know why I’m apparently not able to take my flight and go to my concert!"
Peter|GM: "Okay."
Peter|GM: "Well, they call me the Fixer. My entire job is knowing everything that happens in this city and this country."
Peter|GM: "And, eh, fulfilling the stranger habits of most of your older friends in the industry. But that's a side thing."
Peter|GM: "So the one thing I know about tomorrow is that Alleron is -very sure- something is going to happen bad enough that it's going to be able to justify sending full on fucking military aid."
Peter|GM: "And if Alleron is sending military aid, it does not intend to pack up and leave politely, it will intend to fucking dig in and make sure that when the smoke clears things are looking hell of a lot more stars and stripes."
Maria: "So what you're saying is that civilians are going to get caught up in a huge mess. Why is your black cargo truck the safest way to go, though? Couldn't they send someone to get me?"
Peter|GM: "And what's going to happen? -I don't know-, but a lot of strange shipments full of explosives are being stopped at the border, and a fuck lot of people are trying to pin them on me."
Peter|GM: "Hmm. Why am I the safest."
Peter|GM: The Fixer considers a strategy of discourse.
Peter|GM: "You weren't around for the revolution, were you?"
Maria: "Just turned 18 two months ago."
Peter|GM: "When a nation goes up in flames there are always a lot of people on the roads who see every car and truck as a possible source of what they want."
Peter|GM: "And when you just look at a pack of people, well, you don't really know what they want."
Peter|GM: "Could be, eh, truth, justice, liberty."
Peter|GM: "Could be money. Could be security. Could be blood."
Peter|GM: "A lot… a lot of the times, Miss Universe…"
Peter|GM: "…It is a real good cellphone."
Peter|GM: "And this truck is full to the fucking brim of clever places to hide Miss Universes and enough cellphones to donate to the glorious cause that they do not look -too closely- for Miss Universes-"
Peter|GM: "Especially if they decide that such people are wonderful examples of the Sins Of The Previous Regime."
Peter|GM: "Do I think Selva is going to go mad tomorrow?"
Maria: "That was a fancy way to say that if I had an escort car someone could try to kidnap me since it was too high key, right?"
Peter|GM: "Ah. Yes."
Peter|GM: "And also, my particular experience with navigating, eh, the turmoil of a revolution."
Peter|GM: "I don't think Selva will go utterly mad tomorrow. It is a good country. I am glad I came here."
Peter|GM: "But, hmm, my homeland… I spent many days there, thinking to myself - ah, we will not all go mad tomorrow, and be shooting one another in the streets over the colors of our skin, which-"
Peter|GM: "-I don't know if you know your history that well, but we were pretty much the fucking same."
Peter|GM: "But yes, most of the days I thought, ah, yes, we will all not go mad tomorrow."
Peter|GM: "Most of the days, I was right!"
Maria: "Well. Don't worry about me too much. Not going to go shouting 'I'm Miss Universe. My next concert is going to feature our brand new hit, 'Eyes Pouring Like the Rain' please come see me before we sell out! S'why I'm wearing a hoodie 'n stuff."
Peter|GM: He smiles.
Peter|GM: "Ahh, and when tomorrow comes, Ms. Universe, I will look the fool, I'm sure."
Peter|GM: "But we'll save you a seat. Even if it's just because all the chaffeurs in the city come down with the flu."
Peter|GM: "You want a hot chocolate or something before you head back? Oversweet, probably, but maybe your thing."
Peter|GM: He shrugs, opens the door, looks a little bit more tired.
Peter|GM: The din of the gamecafe pours in.
Maria: "If there's no rioting I'm going to be taking a huge chance coming over to you. My manager will be furious if I miss my flight."
Peter|GM: "Oh, yes. Skip out on us if you can."
Peter|GM: "I hope to not see you, but if we have to…"
Peter|GM: "…That's what I want to say."
Maria: "You sell bubble tea down here?"
Peter|GM: He frowns. "No, no, we don't. I apologize."
Maria: "I'll take a hot chocolate, then. It'll keep me warm while I wait for the next bus."
Peter|GM: He calls out to the bar - "Hot chocolate for my young friend, here!"
Maria: "M'flight leaves at 8:30. When does your thing head out?"
Peter|GM: "Nine. I'm hoping for no delays on the itinerary, but we have to wait for the first train in from the IOT."
Peter|GM: It's made quick - one of those bog-standard cafe hot chocolates, piled high with whipped cream and served in a tall cup in a cardboard sleeve.
Maria‘ slides her Selpass into her hoodie front sleeve before taking the drink with both hands and blowing on it. "Guess I’ll be heading to the airport and if things get hectic I'll have to hike a few blocks. Check in is pretty early…"
Peter|GM: "Yeah, yeah. Take care out there."
Maria` nods before heading off into the night street again. She makes her way to the nearest bus stop and quietly drinks her chocolate before eventually heading back to her room.
Peter|GM: Big day tomorrow, after all.
[OOC] Peter|GM:

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