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Digital Waltz

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76 Re: Digital Waltz on Thu 8 Jun - 11:14

Serena made her way through the crowd. The small radio in her ear feeding her information from the police radios. As she walked her eyes were drawn by someone in the crowd, another female wearing a dark brown flight jacket and with platinum hair. Even with a number of people that came into the cafe when she worked, the distinct appearance and that this other girl was a regular made her instantly recognizable. Pushing past the few people in her way Serena stepped beside the other girl giving a friendly hello

Naomi had been slightly lost in thought when her attention was brought back by the dark haired mare walking beside her. Naomi returned the greeting given upon recognizing the barista, happy that there was at least one person she even recognized in the crowds. Serena, it seemed felt the same way and the two began to casually chat as they followed the crowd to the 'Event'.

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77 Re: Digital Waltz on Thu 8 Jun - 14:06

(Moon, Twilight, Arthur, Oboro)

The entrance to the maintenance tunnel and the entire subway platform smelled of alchohol, rotting fish and something so foul, you weren't quite sure you wanted to know what it was.

The maintenance tunnel itself was poorly lit. It continued further underground somewhere, with no end in sight. Its depths obscured by the darkness.

Apart from the maintenance tunnel, you also spot a few closed shops and a very wide escalator, that supposedly led to the surface and street level.

It was quiet here. The only people present on the platform were half asleep and none of them looked even vaguely like Kaylee.
It seems no one will notice if you subtly step over the yellow tape at this moment, and dart into the maintenance tunnel.

(Serena, Naomi, Violet, Dallas)

In the previous days, when Serena went over her phone's subroutine and hidden data, nothing really stood out.
Nothing suspicious or out of place. The data seemed fine.

As she listened now to the police radio traffic, it seems there was a coordinated effort to get more and more police forces to the Union Council building.

Some sort of rally was about to start there and the police were nervous, putting riot teams on standby and asking for reinforcements, in case something went wrong.

But so far, all seemed quiet. The cops on the radio talked calmly and coordinated their forces with efficiency.
They used a lot of code phrases and most remained unknown to you, but you gathered that this 'Rally' hasn't started yet, the crowd was peaceful and someone had 'Rumbas' on standby.

This word, 'Rumba', was mentioned a lot on the radio. From the way it was mentioned, you gathered it must be a codeword for some sort of special police unit.

After a few more moments, you arrived at another police checkpoint.
Two officers in riot gear stopped you, raising their hand:

"Please halt. Present you ID's please" one of them said, extending his hand, expecting to recieve your papers.
The two cops were batponies, hulking and towering, almost 183cm in height, their faces marked with old scars. Ex-military, probably.

"Are you carrying any cybernetic technology?" One of them asked in a monotone. He and his pal both seemed like they didn't want to be here.

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78 Re: Digital Waltz on Thu 8 Jun - 14:31


~No one here... No guts, no glory. Better get this over with soon enough, maybe it will be a bit easier to pull off now.~

She walked to the tape, on her own, and moved it so she could get past it. She then put it back where it was before.

To counter the rotten stench, she made her own, by lighting a cigarette. Though it stinks as well, it was one she had grown accustomed to. Well, had to, given she chose to get that bad habit in her system.

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79 Re: Digital Waltz on Thu 8 Jun - 14:51

Moon took a deep breath and pushed the tape aside so she could walk through before replacing it. She took a sip from the small flask of alcohol in her pocket before walking down the dark passage. After a moment, she activated her magic and bathed the area around her in a soft yellow glow of light.
"Twilight?" She called out quietly, in barely a whisper.

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80 Re: Digital Waltz on Thu 8 Jun - 18:20

Having spent a lot of his time around dark allies and forgotten corners of the city, being in the middle of the crowd like this made him more then a little uncomfortable. Looks like a rally or an announcement, either way I shouldn't stay here for much longer he thought as he quietly pushed passed through the gathered crowd.

As Dallas stopped at another checkpoint he took note that the police at this checkpoint were dressed heavier then the previous officers. "Officers" he said as he handed them his ID card and presented his arms.

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81 Re: Digital Waltz on Thu 8 Jun - 22:59

Naomi placed her military ID into the outstretched hand, "Just a few strength augments to help with work. Are you expecting something?"

"Will I still be allowed to pass if I do?" Serena asked handing over her ID. "I mean it would kind of suck to get turned away right now, I was really looking forward to this."

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82 Re: Digital Waltz on Fri 9 Jun - 11:57

(Moon, Twilight)

As the yellow light washed over the maintenance tunnel, dispersing the shadows, you suddenly noticed that the tunnel led right into a featureless concrete wall. A dead end. About 10 meters further ahead.

The tunnel simply ended there, abruptly and un-aesthetically.
The concrete wall seemed out of place. Recently built, by the looks of it. You noticed a few small grains of concrete still scattered over the floor, from when construction took place.

The maintenance tunnel walls and the dead end, seemed completely featureless. There was nothing that could hint at a hidden passage or some sort of hidden lever.

The tunnel was empty. Kaylee was nowhere in sight.

After a few seconds of silence, a low voice suddenly called from behind you:

"Hey. What are you kids doing here. This area is off limits you know"

You turn to look at the source of the voice and notice a thin figure, standing at the tunnel entrance.
The figure's face and features were obscured by shadow. You can't quite tell its face or its gender.

This person was wearing a sun cap, low over his face, which cast even more shadow over his features. A stylish, puffy winter coat and sports pants.

The figure looked like one of the stylish hip singers on tv. Someone who blended into the crowd quickly and easily.
You vaguely recall seeing this person at the subway station, when you arrived on the train just moments ago. Back then, the figure was simply sitting on a bench, nodding off and staring at the floor.

Now the figure stood straight, slightly leaning against the wall and looking at you. Its hands in its pockets. Whoever it was, he was too tall to be Kaylee.

"...who are you" the figure called out to you after a moment.

(Serena, Naomi, Violet, Dallas)

One of the cops took Dallas' ID and briefly looked over it:

"..P.I.?.. okay, go ahead" he gave you the ID back, looking at you with some level or relief:
"Keep a lookout for anything funny.. kids like to bring knives to these kind of events lately.." the cop looked wearily over the crowd then nodded to you.

"Next" he called out and took Naomi's ID: "...its a rally. It would be prudent to expect something...
If you won't have any faith in people, you'll never be caught off guard"
He said, starting to chew on a toothpick and looking around:

"...a massive crowd like that... all kinds of crazies come out. Criminals seeking to settle disputes, pickpocketers, drunken idiots with knives, overly zealous protestors.." the cop sighed: "Just keep your eyes peeled"

All the while, the cops buddy was waving some sort of metal detector around everyone who passed through the checkpoint.
When he waved it around Serena's arm, the detector suddenly went wild and the cop turned pale:

"Shit! We got Yan-tech!"

Both cops reflexively grabbed the hilts of their blades, staring at Serena with alarmed, pale expressions:
" barista.." one of the cops slowly read, looking over her ID: "'am.. do you have permission for carrying concealed military grade cyber-technology?"

"Wait" his partner called. The metal detector emitted a long beep and a green light flashed on its surface.

"...we have a green ping" he quietly called: "The tech is authorized"

Both cops visibly relaxed and exhaled in exhaustion:
"..god damn it"  one of them said, releasing the hold of his hilt and wiping the sweat from his forehead:

"Who are you? Black Ops? Zerber?" he asked Serena with a grave expression: "Never mind. I don't want to know. Just, head on in. Gods sake"

The cops returned the credentials to you and waved everyone through the checkpoint.

A few moments later, you arrived at the massive square, outside of the Union Council Building.

There was no car traffic here. Instead, the whole road and square were completely packed with people.
They were all hanging around the place, looking at the Council Building, chanting something and shouting.

After a few moments, you noticed some sort of a split in the crowd. Two distinct groups that seem to be forming and yelling at each other.
There was no violence, but the groups were slowly growing louder.

You noticed a police perimeter, established around the Council building. Cops in riot gear and a few armored cars, stood in a circle around the building.
The police looked calm but somewhat uneasy at the rapidly growing number of people, at the square before them.

Off to the side, you noticed a TV news van.

A tall woman who was most likely a news reporter, was sitting on some sort of crate and chugging down coffee like there was no tomorrow.

Her camera buddy was sitting a few feet away from her, tinkering with his massive camera.

A few moments later, the woman's phone rang and she answered, starting to shriek into the cellphone almost immediately:

"LARRY, WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT!" she angrily smashed some sort of clipboard onto the pavement:
"I'm not reading this on national television!... I can't believe you pulled me out of bed at four in the morning for this fucking bollocks!-..."

She started chugging down coffee again, listening to whoever was talking on the other end of the phone.
With each passing moment, the woman was becoming more agitated. After another second she scowled and placed her coffee down:

"...Tell Mike, if he wants another propaganda piece, he can put a Rumba in front of a screen! I'm not doing this!... I don't care- wait WHAT!" She leaned forward, her anger quickly turning to fear.

She listened to the other end of the conversation for a few moments, before calming down, nodding and hanging up the phone.

"... cheap bastard" she quietly muttered, hid her phone, looked at her wrist watch and sighed.
Both she and the camera guy, seem to be waiting for something.

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83 Re: Digital Waltz on Fri 9 Jun - 15:14

Twilight gave the newcomer a glance, then began to inspect the wall again. She spoke with a much heavier tone, trying to sound like a man.

"What exactly makes this area so forbidden then? From the looks of it, there's nothing wrong here."

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84 Re: Digital Waltz on Fri 9 Jun - 16:04

(Twilight, Moon)

The figure remained quiet for a long moment, watching as you inspected the wall. Then slowly took off the sun cap from its head and began sorting its wavy hair.
It was a woman.

"...there's nothing in the wall" she said with a sigh, absentmindedly fiddling with the sun cap: "I've been crawling up and down this tunnel for the past hour. It really is a dead end"

She, never showed" the woman looked at her wrist watch: "..and its already 6:14 in the morning"

In the dancing shadows of the tunnel, the woman's face remained largely obscured, but something about her manner of speech, her tone, seemed familiar.

You know this woman. You've seen here somewhere before, you're sure of it.

"So.." she stopped fiddling with her sun cap and looked at you: "How did she convince you to hike halfway across the city at 5 in the morning for her? Who are you to her anyway? Just curious"

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85 Re: Digital Waltz on Fri 9 Jun - 16:11

"Who the hell are you?" She frowned, taking another sip of her drink "And what the hell do you want?" Moon reached out, looking as if she was putting her hand in her pocket. In fact, she was taking hold of the handle of the sword which she had hidden under her coat.

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86 Re: Digital Waltz on Fri 9 Jun - 16:20

(Twilight, Moon)

"I want to take a train home and head back to sleep" The woman said with a frown: "But against my better judgement, I've been hanging around this dump for an hour. Watching for someone to show up. You two are the first one's I've seen"

The firm tone of her voice triggered a recent memory. You recognized the woman, the same moment she said her name:

"..Alex Noel. Head Prosecutor. I suggest you let go of the knife. I have the police on speed dial.
I don't need to explain what will happen if I will be harmed in any way"

Noel squinted, drilling you with her familiar piercing stare: "Now. Why are you hanging around this tunnel? Who sent you and why"

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87 Re: Digital Waltz on Fri 9 Jun - 16:31

Dallas walked the perimeter of the crowd and sat on a bench.he took a moment to survey his surroundings, the chaos that was happening on the square. looks like a riot is going to happen, both sides look pretty angry each other. on the good side there don't seem any punches thrown so that's good. he thought as he rubbed his left arm.

He stood up and walked through the crowd looking at the people gathered trying to hear what was being shouted. After a minute of crowd surfing he stopped a random person in the crowd "hey, I can see a lot of you gathered here, is this a protest or something. i mean what is all this shouting about?" he said making direct eye contact.

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88 Re: Digital Waltz on Fri 9 Jun - 16:32

The hobo 'woke up', and looked at the situation unfolding in the hallway. His or her movements suggested it was plastered, and of no consequenses.

Twilight took a huff of her cigarette, and looked at the newcomer, making sure they were on the same wavelength. She took of the hat of her illusion, revealing her mane and horn. Her voice natural again.
"I believe that if harm is to either of us, both of us will be in trouble. Other then that, good morning."
She gave a polite bow, then resumed.
"Now, for why we are here, we had a date at this location. How about you though? Were you invited here as well? Or was there a little birdy that told us of our..." She struggled with the words, feeling insecure about it. "Romantic escapades"

Mentally, she slapped herself.
~Oh, good job, element of dumbass. Well, hopefully she can play along with my ridicilous story.~

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89 Re: Digital Waltz on Fri 9 Jun - 16:51

She let go of the sword, but didn't let down her guard. Moon glared at Alex for a moment, before her expression turned into one of contemplation as she tried to figure things out. She slowly removed her contact lenses, they were annoying her eyes.

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90 Re: Digital Waltz on Sat 10 Jun - 1:08

As soon as the woman had put her phone away, Serena was already hacking into the phone from a device she had pulled out. It was had the same length and width as touch screen phone but was about twice as thick. The sides were lined with ports for plugging in a variety of cables. After about 20 seconds Serena had downloaded the phone's contact information including the call and text data.

Once she had the information she severed the connection and began to go through the data. Looking specifically at the call from the most recent number, if it had called in the past, and if any texts had been sent in the past four days what they were about.

Naomi watched Serena for a moment, then decided to examine the surrounding environment. As she studied it she searched her memory to see if there had been any signs of the 'event' being planned or teased in the past week, or if there was some holiday or something along those lines she had been missing for the past 24 years of her life.

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91 Re: Digital Waltz on Sat 10 Jun - 10:05

(Twilight, Moon)

When you removed the illusion, Noel's eyes briefly widened: "You?..." she quietly asked. She seems as surprised as you are:

"Oh, okay. Now it makes sense" she nodded to herself: "Our mutual acquaintance managed to slip a letter into my purse, asking me to come here. I don't understand why she asked for my help though"

She sighed and looked down:
" are her friends, it would make sense for her to seek your help. I however.." she uneasily looked away:

"...I've barely exchanged two words with her... I wasn't kind...
I don't know why she asked for me"

Noel slightly shifted in place, uncomfortably looking around the subway station. Then checked her watch and said:

"...its 6:17. She doesn't strike me as someone who's usually late. And the meeting point is a bust. There's no secret passage here." she looked at you:

"Something is wrong. I think we need to start moving.
In the letter, she said this maintenance tunnel leads to the Union Council Building. I think its reasonable to conclude that your friend is at the Union Council Building as well.

If we can't get into the building through the maintenance tunnel, perhaps its best we looked for another way in. Nothing too complicated. We can just go up to the surface and walk through the front door.
My credentials will get us in. Hopefully we'll find your friend there. Meet up with her, finally start figuring things out"

(Violet, Dallas, Serena, Naomi)

As Dallas walked through the crowd, the words 'Filthy Bloodsuckers' were heard over the noise, much louder than anything else.
You noted that some of the people were shouting at the police forces, gathered around the Council Building.
After a few more minutes, you realized the crowd was mainly shouting at the batpony police officers.

The police remained collected and unmoving, watching the crowd with maximum attention.

As Dallas stopped one of the people in the crowd, the guy turned toward him and launched into an angry rant:
"-Can you believe what they're doing! We've had over six attacks in Adelheid during the past month! Its the Vampire Unit! The goddamn batponies! Its their revenge for what happened to their country!
And now we have batponies serving inside our police force!? We're supposed to trust them!?

They're bloodsucking murderers! All of them! And the Union Council is doing fuck all!

Now there's supposed to be a Council meeting this morning, to sort all this mess out. Pass some sort of resolution! We're taking it to the streets man! The Council needs to know - 'We Are Not Okay With Batponies In Our Police Force!"

The guy shrieked to the crowd, turning on his heels and yelling at the police forces around the building:

"Step away from the barrier" The batpony cop said in a firm voice, waving the guy away.
The police was starting to become a little tense.

As Serena completed the download, pages upon pages of endless data appeared on her screen.

Finding something would require the use of 'key words' search, or other means of filtering the data.

The last call was placed from a cellphone, originating at the U.N.N. TV Station in Adelheid. From what you recall, the U.N.N. or the 'Union News Network' was the biggest news networks in the Soren region, and in the world really. Working for them was considered highly prestigious.

The number was registered in the woman's contact information as: 'Larry the Hack'

'Larry the Hack' called over half a dozen times each day, every day, and the woman called him back about as much.

There was an infinity of messages sent between the two. Too long to go through everything in a short time.
You note that the most recent message exchange, happened this morning, at exactly 4:35. The message log showed the following.

L: Mira.
L: Mira.
L: Mira. You awake?
L: Mira I need you to do a news piece. Six in the morning, sharp. In front of the Council Bulding.


L: Mira, you know whats happening at the studio. Mike's in a bad mood. We really shouldn't be rocking the boat right now. Mike asked you to do it.

M: Mike can suck a dick for all I care

L: You still have an hour and something to prepare, you live close by, gods sake. Its just a live piece. Nothing serious. Mike will send you a transcript, directly into the glasses, just read it into the camera, as it appears and everything will be 'kay

M: Put a cardboard cutout in front of the camera and read the text from off screen! Why the fuck do I even bother coming to work in the morning? All my pieces are getting filtered and censored now!

L: Its a temporary thing. You know whats happening at the office.

M: This is bullshit.

The text message ended there.

As Naomi recalled the past few days, no major holidays or events were supposed to happen today.

But there was major activity on the internet. During the past week, every trending website and forum, was completely spammed with messages about a rally, on the 7th November, at 6 in the morning, in front of the Council Building.

A lot of people were unhappy with the increasing crime rates in Adelheid and the Council was supposed to hold a meeting today, to pass some sort of new resolution, that would deal with the issue.

A lot of people blamed the batponies. A lot of them kept droning on and on, about the Vampire Unit. About it still existing in the shadows, carrying surprise attack against Union forces, mostly in the Adelheid region.

But the most prevailing topic was batponies who served in the Union military or the police force.
A lot of people wanted them removed from those positions, openly spewing hate in every website, forum and comment section they could find.

The woman by the TV van slowly rose to full height, stretched and began sorting her hair, then dusting off her formal suit.

The camera man handed her a pair of white glasses. The woman took them and began pressing some sort of buttons, on the glasses' surface.

"The transcript arrived" the camera man said.

The woman only grunted, then placed the glasses on and looked around.

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92 Re: Digital Waltz on Sat 10 Jun - 11:57

Moon nodded, using a quick spell to remove the colouring from her hair. "Sounds like a sound plan. And personally, I have no idea what is going on. All I got was a letter in my pocket." She said quietly "Thogh it sounds like something important is happening. I'm hoping it's not another massive attack or something."

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93 Re: Digital Waltz on Sat 10 Jun - 12:08

Twilight looks at he wall, then at the floor.
"Mrs. Noel, you say this wall has no secret passage, right? What if it's the opposite? That it's put over the maintenance tunnel to seal it off?"

She puts a hand on the wall. She then moves it back, and gives it a quick punch with the side of her hand, checking how thick it might be.
"Maybe we can go through here ourselves."

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94 Re: Digital Waltz on Sat 10 Jun - 12:40

(Twilight, Moon)

The sound was dull. The wall appears to be surprisingly thick.

Noel shifted in place: "..It looks like someone built this wall here, recently. Perhaps to seal off the secret entrance.
I think the wall was built around last week. I can still see traces of construction material on the floor" she moved a few grains of concrete on the floor.

"I tried pushing and punching it, all over the surface. Nothing really happened. And it sounds pretty thick. We may need heavy construction gear to drill through here. And the noise will attract a lot of attention. I don't know about this.."

Noel looked around again. Hanging around this subway station made her visibly uncomfortable.

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95 Re: Digital Waltz on Sat 10 Jun - 13:19

"Magic?" Moon suggested "If one of us uses a blast spell and another uses a sound blocking spell, that could work." She said "I know both."
Moon still cast glances at Noel, slightly nervous.

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96 Re: Digital Waltz on Sat 10 Jun - 13:20

Twilight held her chin in though.
"I could blast through it myself... But that would create as much noise. Maybe a phasing spell as an option..."

From the entrance, someone spoke.
"But you can also take her route, boss."

Twilight turned in shock, and there was the hobo.
"Oh don't tell me, you followed me?!"

The hobo pulled off the beard and hat he, or rather, she wore. Revealing a mare with a bluecoat and dark blue hair.
"Yes, I did. I'm your bodyguard, remember. Protecting you is exactly what you pay me for. And keeping this a secret to us? Shame."

Twilight could only frown at that.
"I asked you to take it easy today. Is this what you think of as doing it easy?"

"If I'm going to do my own thing, can't that be serving you on this mission? After all, it looks like it's going to be diplomatic."

"... Okay, Oboro, you win. But no comments out of you. Especially when the Artemis are close."

Oboro frowns at that. "I will do my best, boss."

Twilight sighs.
"Okay, maybe the other route is easier. After all, something could've prevented her from coming in the first place."

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97 Re: Digital Waltz on Sat 10 Jun - 13:41

"I guess so. I would suggest that one of us phases trough the wall and the other goes round the other route, but I would not be able to ensure that I wouldn't steal anything. So, maybe not." She shrugged "I don't mind what we do."

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98 Re: Digital Waltz on Sat 10 Jun - 14:10

(Moon, Twilight, Oboro)

"It would be best to stick together.." Noel said, giving Oboro a brief suspicious look: ".. There's too many unknowns. If we get separated and something happens, we won't know that the other one is in trouble"

She looked at the wall again: "..its likely that our friend bumped into this wall from the other side, and went back, to look for us on the surface.
We should head for the escalator for now. Keep your disguises up. Just to be safe"

Noel placed her sun cap, low over her head again and slowly drifted toward the massive escalator at the end of the platform.

The trip to the surface took a while. Almost 3 minutes of simply standing on the moving stairs, as they slowly carried you to the surface. The higher you got, the more noise you began to hear from up top.

When you finally stepped out of the underground passage, you suddenly came face first with a massive crowd.

In the distance, you saw the Union Council Building. A tall structure with over 20 floors high. Before the structure, was a massive open square, which was completely packet with hundreds of people.

They were all looking at the Council Building and chanting something. Shouting and shaking their firsts.

You noticed a heavy police presence almost immediately. A perimeter of police officers and armored cop cars was stationed around the Council Building, keeping people away.

There was no violence going on, but things seemed tense and the cops looks nervous.

"Hell" Noel frowned to herself, pulling the cap over her eyes: "Where the bloody hell did this rally come from? This place was deserted an hour ago"

She looked around. The place was pretty crowded:

" hell with it. Lets try to subtly squeeze our way through the crowd. Blend in. Make our way to the Council Building. I can get us passed the police perimeter"

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99 Re: Digital Waltz on Sat 10 Jun - 14:16

"What the hell is going on?" She mumbled as she looked around "We best squeeze through this fast, I don't want to be around if it starts getting violent." Moon tapped her feet nervously and scanned her surroundings.

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100 Re: Digital Waltz on Sat 10 Jun - 14:25

Twilight had putted her cap and illusion back on, and Oboro had donned her hobo hood again. The two looked at eachother, then up.

Oboro was the first to speak.
"Surprisingly little fliers here."

Twilight nodded.
"Yes, would one or two more really be noticable?

"I think they will be."
"Oh well. Maybe in emergency."

The two of them began making their way through it, a few times the muttering of "Artemis scum" could be heard.

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