A guard, a locked door, and a lost comm keep the crew on their toes as they get closer to the prize.
Chaos and Havoc
// Scene Setup
That ending was... yikes. UPPING THE CHAOS TO 6!
Duece has stumbled onto what seems to be a sign that the heist is a trap. Expected scene is that he...well...continues. Can't be trapped if you're not caught!
Chaos roll of 8, so scene is as expected.
This is the third roll of our Location chart, giving us 3, 7, 4 (1+2, 5+2, 2+2)—Expected, Special, Expected.
Special Encounter, 31: This is good. Cool, rolling again on the Encounter column to get... 3+2 = 5, Expected. What happens that is good? Mythic Action: 36, 66: Imitate Fears.
We begin the scene with 6 momentum, our maximum.
Whoever thinks they can turn ME into a statue has lost there fucking mind. Nothing can hold me.
Was that a threat?
Caduceus couldn't decide whether he was more pissed at the attempt to scare him, or worried. Was the job even real? Anger flared within him. Dangling all that money in front of his face had worked—he'd never live that down. Perhaps the owner of this gallery had simply overheard that he and his crew would be stopping by, or maybe the Emmeline job was the actual trap. Or perhaps it was harmless and purely coincidental.
Unlikely in this city.
Dwelling on the what-ifs wouldn't help him now. He was already knee-deep into the mission. There was no way they—whoever was responsible—would be able to take him or his crew alive. If this was a trap, he'd be ready.
He moved to the next set of exhibits slowly, more alert now than before. A massive canvas stretched along a wall, an artist's rendition of the city in all its glory, as if on a world map. All manner of gods and demons, witches and deities, myths and folklore overtook the scene. It was chaos and havoc. A small portion of the painting depicted the familiar mist, cordoned off and secluded to a far corner with small, faceless figures fighting off an army of goblins.
It was all a bit startling.
The distracting art drew all the attention onto itself, which was good for him. The onlookers were enthralled by the emotions it invoked, unable to turn away. He took this opportunity to slip further into the gallery.
espionage + quick on my feet + distracting art (this is from my "This is good" location result, only here because it's supposed to benefit us) = +3.
1+1+3 = 5.
Hey, remember that momentum we've been saving? Let's use it.
My rule here is that I can replace the lowest d6 with the value of my momentum. "Luckily," they're both 1s. So now I have a roll of...
6+1+3 = 10. A complete success! And I reset my momentum to 1.
Fourth location roll, we have 4, 8, 6 (1+3, 5+3, 3+3)—Expected, Special, Random.
So, for the expected, are there a lot of people in this room? Very Unlikely, -2. C6, +1. Total modifier: -1.
3+2-1 = 4, exceptional no. So... completely empty, got it.
Special Encounter, 01: Supersize. Um, ok. 3+3 for another encounter, 6. Guard. So empty except for the large amount of security in the area?? Nah, since it was an exceptional no, let's go with there's exactly one security guard... and he's jacked.
Object is Random... What does it look like? 58, 40: Joyfully Good.
Ooh, is the guard listening to music on his break? Very Likely, +2. C6, +1. Total modifier: +3. 3+2+3 = 8, nope. Womp womp.
Ooh, wait, describe the room! 50, 41: Helpfully Graceful.
And the purpose of this location? 96, 35: Guide Legal.
I think it's a closed down section of the gallery. You can tell it's going to be some grand spectacle at some point, but there's yellow tape everywhere to keep prying eyes away.
Caduceus slipped through a door leading off into a closed exhibit. He shut the door behind him and took a deep breath, looking over the yellow tape that stretched out from wall to wall before him.
A thud off to the side caught his ear. A tall, hulking man—almost as tall as Kane—had spotted him. With a deep voice, he said, "Sir, you can't be in here."
"Oh, I'm so sorry," Caduceus said, raising his voice an octave and feigning defenselessness as the guard approached. "I was looking for my grandmother. Did an old woman about this high come by here looking for the bathroom?"
a way with words + talk my way out of anything = +2.
3+1+2 = 6. Failure. WELP.
The guard scoffed and gripped Caduceus by the shoulder. Instinct kicked in and he almost phased through it. As he tapped into his power, he could almost feel the place wanting to... consume him. The warning about the abilities of Rifts setting off an alarm resurfaced and he let himself be manhandled—and not in the way he was used to.
The door slammed shut behind him and Caduceus sighed. He pressed the button on his comms and said, "Nana, I need you here."
It took a few moments, then Nana's smiling face appeared before him. Caduceus filled them in on what was going on.
"Got it. Distract the guard."
LET'S BEAT HIM UP!
Nana pushed through the same door Caduceus had moments ago, making sure to make their presence known. Under other circumstances—ones that didn't involve them stealing some strange thing for some random lady—they would have enjoyed all the art, or tried to. They'd been in this city their entire lives, and finding the beauty amidst the chaos always brought a welcome respite.
He looks big! What if he eats us!?
Scaredy, we're just going to talk.
The security guard huffed and rounded the corner, right on time. They looked around aimlessly at the cordoned-off areas. They wondered for a brief moment what they gallery could be preparing for next.
Maybe he just needs a hug!
I'm not so sure about that, Skip.
Of course, the other voices in their head had other priorities.
We'll stab him then.
Nana shook their head, trying to keep them focused. It was hard managing seven other personalities, but they'd—all of them—grown used to it over time.
The guard approached, and Nana finally locked eyes with him.
I can't think of a good visual way to represent the prep sequence without just calling it out as such. Otherwise, it'll be difficult to know what's the heist and what's the prep.
So, going to work on using the Prep Sequences to dive into other characters' POVs perhaps.
Speaking of prep, does Nana have a weapon of some kind they can use in this scenario?
a thing for every occasion = +1.
3+2+1 = 6. A miss. Makes sense, considering their hoard is pretty much gone. As a result of this, I'm going to Force them to Improvise.
They didn't have any weapons, much to Sly's disappointment. They did, however, have their smile.
"Son," Nana said as the guard stopped a few feet in front of them. Sly begged to take the reigns, seeing as they were perfect for such a lie—Nana knew Sly just wanted to find a reason to jam a pencil in his eye. Nana themself could easily handle this, though, and they retained their control. I got this, I got this. "I seem to have gotten turned around. Can you point me to the nearest bathroom? My idiot grandson seems to have left me behind." They chuckled in the way older people did when you were simply supposed to go along with whatever they said.
Nana has a useful tag for such an occasion: "I'm just an old lady!" (+1).
4+2+1 = 7. YAY! Partial success, but we can work with this.
I think with this, we have removed the threat of the guard, but introduced a new danger: Locked door.
Caduceus paced back and forth, eyes watching over the door that Nana had entered minutes before. None of them could risk getting into a situation that required their abilities to defend themselves, so he hoped that Nana could make that winning smile and charm work for them.
The door opened. His nerves tensed up as he saw the guard exit.
And relief set in upon seeing Nana. They were chatting with the man about something—probably the state of the city today—and he could tell the guard seemed rather annoyed but played along. Caduceus smirked and—
The guard raised a finger, signaling Nana to wait. He locked the door behind him and continued with Nana to wherever.
Caduceus ran up to the door and tugged on it. Locked. He cursed to himself, tapping into the mythos within but stopping himself once more.
// Prep Sequence
Again, not actually cutting away, but using it as a way to help myself. I may actually make this a solo rule and use it going forward (more Flashbacks, essentially).
Anyway, he needs some lock picks. espionage = +1.
(Buff) 2+1+1 = 4. FUUUCCCKKKK.
Gonna Force them to Improvise again because I can't think of another way this could go wrong.
Caduceus patted his pockets, looking for the lock picks—
And to make matters worse, he could see more guards beginning to make their way toward him. Had the other called in someone to take over his post?
He quickly walked off, tapping his comm. "Bad news. Door is locked. Gotta find a new way in."
// Scene Setup
That was a bit of a hectic scene and everything went wrong! smh Upping our chaos to 7.
Expected scene is that Caduceus and the crew will figure out a way to get to the mark now that the door is locked.
Chaos roll of... 3! An altered scene. Fun.
5, Action. 49—Rescue. Oh, interesting.
10, Mystery. 90—Fraud.
8, Personal. 15—None.
7, Action. 79—Travel setting.
7, Action. 71—Double down.
I did a little housekeeping with my threads and character lists. When finding out what character gets invoked for "Rescue," I got "choose most logical," which to me screams Nana.
Why does Nana need rescuing? lol Uuuum... Mythic Action! 69, 85: Ruin Technology.
Lesse... Ruined Technology. Technology is Ruined. [They] Ruin Technology. Old (Ruined) Technology...
... Nana loses her comm. lol
Ellie took a sip of the champagne in her glass, eyes fixated on the artwork before her. The depiction of Acinvar overrun was simply titled "Myth." Some of the other patrons had their guesses, but it was clear to her what the meaning was. On the outside, a believable theory was that it was the way the past influenced the present, how all the stories told in school or from religion or passed down had influenced the world in some way. And, for what it was worth, it wasn't an incorrect theory.
But, just like in life—especially life in Acinvar—the true meaning was hidden away in plain sight. The art simply depicted the Rifts and Avatars of the city, running amok. It depicted a city without the mist holding them back. Ellie wasn't sure how she felt about it: what would the city be like without the mist?
Even on the job, she found the time to appreciate good art. She smiled and sipped her drink once more.
"Damned technology." Nana's voice was clear in her ear one moment, followed by a thwup sound. Ellie sighed. It sounded like Nana's comm had fallen in water.
"Already on it," Ellie said, cutting Caduceus off. She took in the artwork before her for the final time and finished her drink.
It was showtime.
Earlier, she'd sent out a blast to her followers, requesting their attendance at the Ofen Gallery for a special live broadcast with her. It gave her paying subscribers a perk while also providing necessary cover should it be needed.
// Prep Sequence
Let's see if anyone is showing up.
Buff: enthralling + social media influencer = +2.
1+4+2 = 7. Niiice. Creating two temporary tags of crowd of people and distracting.
She stepped to the main atrium, recognizing a few familiar faces followed by a crowd of those she did not, all sporting some sort of sign or merch signaling what—or who—they were here for. She hadn't cleared the event with the gallery first, but she'd work out the logistics with them later.
Ellie inhaled, and said with the voice that commanded millions, "What's up, EllieFans!!!!!"
crowd of people + distracting = +2.
5+6+2 = 13. Complete success!!
She managed to grab every guard and gallery official's attention as well, using her own powers—not the mythos inside of her—to captivate them. She was born to do this. How could her sponsors think she wasn't "right for them" anymore? The way she could talk to a crowd, command an audience, lift spirits—she was right for everyone.
Whatever, she thought. The payout from this heist would cover any losses she suffered for the next few years. She would be free to focus her time and efforts on projects that actually interested her. She could make more of an effort to really communicate with her fans.
As she orated, Ellie saw the familiar elder make their way through the crowd. The security guard that had escorted them previously looked around confused. Ellie could picture him thinking, "How did I lose a little old lady?" She smiled.
Caduceus breathed easier once he heard Nana's voice over the comms. "Make sure they stay in their ears this time, Kane."
"And I could use some help getting around this locked door. Can you—"
"Already on it."
Kane is gonna do some hacking (+1) to get the building schematics.
6+1+1 = 8. Only one power—booooooooo!—but it'll do. Making building schematics.
Stunt: building schematics (+1)
1+5+1 = 7. A weak hit. Let's say there are some wandering eyes and Caduceus will take
Caduceus nodded as Kane read off the directions and set off. He could feel sets of eyes on him, but he ignored them. All he cared about right now was getting what he came for.