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IC Masks: The Spiderweb

Hyena_Creative

Constant Giggler
Validated User
INTERMISSION: BLACKOUT

Matty is working on his homework, still feeling pretty good about how things went, when his dad calls him downstairs. There, he finds his mother crying quietly and his dad looking grim. His dad says with no preamble, "I just found out who it was that fell from the bridge. It was your Uncle Tony. I wanted you to hear it from me. We're going to have to be careful for a little while now..."

Uncle Tony is Tony Pavone, the younger brother of Luca Pavone, the leader of the Pavone crime family, who's your dad's boss. Unlike Luca, Tony came around socially sometimes, and you have memories of him in your house since you were little. He was a funny guy, generous to others, hot-tempered. He used to call you "Champ." Now he's gone.
What's your strongest memory of "Uncle" Tony Pavone?
Matty Morrican, Blackout
Matty wasn’t prepared, not at all. Not for the news, and not for the flood of feelings he had to quickly clamp down on. He should have felt relief. Tony Pavone had, by all accounts, done horrible things to innocent people… but Matty didn’t feel relief. He felt sorrow, loss. The world may have rid itself of the gangster Tony Pavone, but he'd lost his Uncle Tony. Not an actual uncle, to be fair, but as good as blood. It hurt. It hurt a lot.

Uncle Tony had been really supportive of Matty, particularly in his acting. In fact, Uncle Tony was firmly wedged in his memory as the first person ever to give him a standing ovation.
He’d been quite little, trusted with a role that should have gone to an older kid. He’d gotten overconfident, hadn’t looked over his lines as much as he should have. The inevitable happened. It was the only time he ever remembered freezing on stage, mind completely blank, the teacher standing in the wings hissing out his line louder and louder until he shook himself free of his panic. He’d crawled into the nearest corner as soon as he’d gotten offstage. He was mortified, ashamed, crushed. His then-best friend actually had to grab him by the arm and pull him back on stage for the bow. There, under the heat of the lights, the heat in his cheeks, all he could hear as he stepped forward to bow was silence. That was when Uncle Tony had stood up in the crowd, clapping loudly, hooting and hollering, the only person clapping for him. Seeing his possibly drunk idiot of an uncle standing there, slapping his hands together so hard Matty could feel his own hands sting, made him feel much better. Made him feel like less of a failure. In that moment, he’d really loved Uncle Tony.

Now, Uncle Tony was gone. Forever.
Once again, Matty found himself frozen, with no idea what to say.

OOC: And now, my end-of-credits scene :p

Matty Morrican, and Blackout

Later that night, his eyes still rimmed in red, Matty tried to teach the Blackout Program a new trick. He knew what he wanted it to do: pull information from an infected phone or computer without bricking it, and send it to his own computer. He even knew what he was going to call it: The Live Mouse Protocol.

Pulling the info and bricking the phone, the program could do easily. It was the leaving it undamaged part that was the problem, the bit that would allow the program and its owner to stay undetected. No matter what he tried, Matty couldn’t stop the program from going for the nuclear option after it’d pulled out the data. It didn’t even go for the same method of destruction each time, but destroy the other phone it did. If a computer program could be said to enjoy anything, this one enjoyed playing with its food.
Matty sighed softly.
“Hey, Blackout, you have a real problem, you know,” he said to the program, “You’re a sadist. I don’t want a dead mouse, I want a…”
His phone, its microphone active, beeped assent. The two words, Dead Mouse, stood still on the screen for a second, followed by a flurry of code as the program started working at top speed. Before Matty could even think about stopping it, it had reached out to its entire network of infected machines, and started ripping out information. It wasn’t bricking them, though. Instead, it was cutting and pasting the information. Matty slowly grinned. This could work. It’d look like the affected phones had accidentally deleted everything that the program retrieved. It was a brute force solution, but for the moment, it’d do.

OOC: Am I right in thinking I need to roll to Unleash my Powers, or are you alright with this as a narrative thing DannyK DannyK ? I’m basically using it to justify taking the “All the best stuff” move in future.
 

DannyK

One Shot Man
Validated User
Blackout

The Dead Mouse trick gives you a mass of quotes, texts, addresses, selfies and screenshots, with no metadata or context. It’s going to take some time to organize but it seems like there’s going to be a lot of good stuff in there. Lev’s name comes up a lot. So, disturbingly, does the word “Eisner”.

OOC:
No roll needed, you’ll have to make a roll when you use it, anyway. The downside is that people notice their data is missing, but they probably blame it on their phone company or on the Wraith.
 

DannyK

One Shot Man
Validated User
Measure

Will raises an eyebrow at the graffiti when he sees it for the first time. After the fourth, however, he begins to worry.
I'm being paranoid - I wear a hat, but I'm not a skeleton. Whatever this is, it isn't me.

He quietly google searches the phrase, and tries to see what areas or neighbourhoods they appear more often.

Eventually, he brings it up again with Tommy. "So did you find that band on Spotify? Back the Hat?"
Tommy wordlessly shows you the only search result: “The cat in the hat comes back soundtrack.” Then he shows you a similar-looking image which he says is from a really old band called the Greatful Dead, but it doesn’t have any words under it. It’s a mystery.
 

DannyK

One Shot Man
Validated User
Theresa "Rook" Russo (Delinquent, thinking it through)


Theresa looks at the two of them in barely concealed surprise.

"Umm... ok. It's nice to see my devious plans come to fruition. I guess?"

She shakes her head, then adds, "So, I think you know that we cut a deal with the Kings, right? They behave and start acting more like guardians of the neighborhood, and we ignore the shit that they do that is actually victimless and I come help them protect their territory from the outside."

She takes a breath.

"But they need reinforcement... not just in terms of physical violence, but moral reinforcement. You know, a role model."

She meets Paladin's eyes.

"What do you think of the idea of training some of these guys? Teaching them how to be... more like you?"

She shrugs and says, "Not all of them, obviously, just the ones that you think have promise. The path that I'm on right now... There's a good chance that we'll wind up dead, and then someone else will need to help protect the people of the UEB."
Paladin remains impassive until the end, then nods. “I can do that without wearing a mask, get them kids in my gym and teach them some self-respect. But... dying? You can’t be talking like that, Rook. I spent all my time trying to keep Bolo and the rest of you alive.” He must see something in your face that he recognizes, because he stops protesting. “Just don’t die doing some dumb-ass shit, Rook. Don’t sell yourself cheap.”
 

DannyK

One Shot Man
Validated User
Spiderweb: Book Two: A Thousand Things

In the city there's a thousand things I want to say to you
But whenever I approach you, you make me look a fool
I wanna say, I wanna tell you
About the young ideas
But you turn them into fears”
—The Jam, In The City
 

DannyK

One Shot Man
Validated User
One week later...

Blackout
had some clues from Lev’s phone, Measure told everyone what the cat lady had told him, The Knight overheard some gossip at the Oasis between Officers Allan and Phillips while they were making their afternoon donut run, and Rook scouted it and verified all the stories. Some tough guys were setting up shop down by the river, near the homeless encampment under the Eisner Bridge called the “Jungle.”

There’s a crumbling old warehouse with new locks on the doors and vans coming in and out at night. Rook’s heard dogs barking over there. And there’s a trickle of big men in hoodies walking between old buildings from the warehouse, staying in shadows, going back and forth to the Jungle. The Jungle is big and there’s a maze of tents and lean-tos, some cars and campers in there, like a national park after the apocalypse. There’s smoke from cigarettes and weed and cook fires hanging over the Jungle making the shadowy spaces under the bridge even murkier, especially in the middle where the bridge supports spiral up out of view.

Nothing seems out of the ordinary this afternoon, it’s perfect to put your plan into action... you do have a plan, don’t you?

Rook what else have you seen in the neighborhood that worries you?
Measure, have you had any more contact with the cat lady?
Knight, what did you hear about this place from other shelter kids?
Blackout, what was the argument with your dad about you had this morning over breakfast?
 

Hyena_Creative

Constant Giggler
Validated User
Matty Morrican, Blackout
One week later...

Blackout
had some clues from Lev’s phone, Measure told everyone what the cat lady had told him, The Knight overheard some gossip at the Oasis between Officers Allan and Phillips while they were making their afternoon donut run, and Rook scouted it and verified all the stories. Some tough guys were setting up shop down by the river, near the homeless encampment under the Eisner Bridge called the “Jungle.”

There’s a crumbling old warehouse with new locks on the doors and vans coming in and out at night. Rook’s heard dogs barking over there. And there’s a trickle of big men in hoodies walking between old buildings from the warehouse, staying in shadows, going back and forth to the Jungle. The Jungle is big and there’s a maze of tents and lean-tos, some cars and campers in there, like a national park after the apocalypse. There’s smoke from cigarettes and weed and cook fires hanging over the Jungle making the shadowy spaces under the bridge even murkier, especially in the middle where the bridge supports spiral up out of view.

Nothing seems out of the ordinary this afternoon, it’s perfect to put your plan into action... you do have a plan, don’t you?

Rook what else have you seen in the neighborhood that worries you?
Measure, have you had any more contact with the cat lady?
Knight, what did you hear about this place from other shelter kids?
Blackout, what was the argument with your dad about you had this morning over breakfast?
Matty should have been in his element. The man on the ground first, hood up but skeleton hoodie open, mask not yet on. Pacing, watching… and stewing about this morning.

Ever since Uncle Tony died, the Wraith had become more paranoid and protective of his son than ever. The word ‘curfew’ had never been said outright, but it was pretty much what his Dad was doing. It made it really hard for Matty to have any sort of life at all, given he needed to make time for homework, Drama Club, his exploits as Blackout… and, dare he say it, having a girlfriend, all as well as getting home on time. It was time for it to stop. It had been a week now, surely that was enough?
As it turned out, his Dad had disagreed with Matty’s view on things.
Which led to a shouting match.
Which led to Matty storming out of the house early, spurning his usual ride to school.
And that, at present, including the precise words he used as he left, was now making him the world’s worst point man.
He was tired, distracted… and this wasn’t a place to be either.
 

Nick the Nevermet

Concept Monger
Validated User
Measure

Measure went back to Marianne the Cat Lady a few days back to check on her and see if she had anything specific she needed. He hadn't really gotten a chance to investigate much about what's happened in the Jungle, so he didn't bring it up. He does want to figure out something to do, though, since it just seems ungentlemanly to ignore a marginal person who has such a simple desire. And he also needs to investigate The Hat that is worthy of respect... sigh, so much mysteries to be delved, so little time.

He also makes sure to sketch out the lighting for the next production of the drama club. He makes sure to make it simple, straightforward, and effective. He suspects he will not have time to develop something more intricate, but he doesn't want to shirk his responsibilities either.

As for the warehouse, William can't help but expect a degree of synchronicity: Somehow, the fates will likely connect this with one of the other mysteries around.

OOC: Eventually, Measure is going to want to assess the situation involving the warehouse, but he'll want to talk with the others first.
 

Unka Josh

Social Justice Chimera
RPGnet Member
Validated User
The Knight

Knight, what did you hear about this place from other shelter kids?
"Be careful," said the Knight. "I'm told that their defenses include unusually vicious dogs; let's keep an eye out."

At the moment, the Knight was more K; there wasn't an immediate threat or memory, after all. He kept his sword-- well, a baseball bat-- loosely held in one hand. It didn't need to be more, yet, but the time would come...
 

QuZi

Libido Cattle Prod
Validated User
Theresa "Rook" Russo (Delinquent, an unquiet mind)

Theresa nods at the warning from Knight.

"Yeah, heard them yipping about before and brought some cuts of meat to distract them," Theresa says. "We'll see if knowledge gained from movies and tv is worthwhile. I would hate to have my childhood betray me."

Rook, what else have you seen in the neighborhood that worries you?
The leadership of the Kings have been swearing that they don't have any real knowledge of what is going down in the Jungle as the homeless have no money to burn on vice, but Rook is not sure that she can afford to trust them. She's been seeing more people in their colors hanging about in the area, though she hasn't made an approach and is somewhat sure that she has not been spotted.

The situation has added several bullets to her growing itemized list of concerns that she does not have time to deal with.
* Is the leadership of the Kings jerking her around?
* Is a schism forming in the Kings, so some of them are doing things that their nominal leadership don't know anything about?
* Are the god-forsaken idiots actually trying to help her by getting more information?

Theresa's not sure which is the worst option, really.

But her biggest worry right now, the one that will lead her to borrowing K's bat and going to town on whole butt-loads of people, is that Christina has started taking martial arts training at the dojo and been giving all the signals of wanting to date (or, god forbid, having already started dating) one of the gods-be-damned Kings hanging out there.
 
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