Taraz the Wastrel's page

228 posts. Alias of pinvendor.


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Insufferable Lout

Whitey sees this:
Taraz is holding out a finger allowing a drop of blood to fall onto the exposed motherboard of a Serv-Bot with a sunflower like head which is partially opened and held down by other Serv-Bots. As the blood hits the circuit board, a strange sparking occurs and the Serv-Bot jerks. It's little mechanical limbs would be flailing wildly if the other bots weren't there. After a moment of this, the movement ceases, and the Serv-Bots quickly push the Serv-bots parts together.

Slowly, two digital eyes blink on the LED-like display in the center of the "flower". The Serv-Bot sits up and looks around at the world as if seeing it for the first time. It looks down at its limbs and and little hands in what in a human one would describe child-like wonder. It looks up at Taraz, and then suddenly jumps up and runs to his boot and hugs it. The other Serv-Bots seem to cheer, squeaking and beeping, jumping up and down if they had legs, or twirling on treads or segmented sections, or even loop de looping if the flying variety.

Taraz looks up as a Serv-Bot points out the man staring at him and the Serv-Bots in wonder. The man's surprised look indicated he had never seen a Serv-Bot which in itself was an oddity, as the Baron had always prided himself at the vast number he owned. Analyzing the man's reaction, Taraz wondered for what von Ryuko had kept him.

Taraz calls for some of The Ament's crew. An Egyptian woman and one of armed men from either Eldon's or Vorian's former crews come running up. "Take this man into custody, and get him on board. We need to question him, but we must leave immediately."

With that, Taraz gestures and the small mob of Serv-Bots surrounding him approach and board The Ament. With one last look at the castle, Taraz enters the grand airship his mind filled with the night's adventures, and he pondered what awaited them with the coming of the dawn.

Insufferable Lout

As Rashida pulls him aside, Taraz says to Vorian, "I believe you should seek medical attention. You look a tad worse for wear, I'm afraid. I am certain Lady Massri will not say no to posting a sentry or two around that hatch while the final preparations for our departure our made. Hopefully the owner of those sounds will emerge before then, so we can be sure we are not abandoning anyone to their fate on this island of death."

Then Taraz listens to Rashida's whisper. A strangely uncharacteristic look of nervousness appears on his features, but is quickly replaced by his usual demeanor as if the first was as ephemeral as a breeze blowing across his face.

Insufferable Lout

Taraz whirls around at the sound of Alessandra's voice. He does not look terribly surprised.

"Ah, so here you are. One of my pets advised me you were hiding, and that Jin was mostly incapacitated. Though for an assassin of his caliber, I am sure that is a gross over statement." Taraz nods to Jin that universal sign of one male acknowledging another's prowess with respect.

"Since I was not yet sure of whether I could trust the young Mimi," Taraz turns uncertainly to the two Cassies and vaguely gestures to both of them, "I covered for you two. Incidentally, Mimi is a replica of Cassie we have encountered who is very much aware of her situation unlike the unfortunate Gigus. She has vital information on this evening's wonderful host." Taraz's eyes say it all.

"Needless to say, I figured I would allow you your space until you were ready to announce yourself. I told the others you had left with Eldon and Andrezi in that emergency Mason submersible that arrived as a result, no doubt, upon request by one of you Masons."

Taraz smiles even as Vorian peers into the depths of opening, the playful sounds of the dragon thundering in the background.

"As to what is happening? We are getting the blazes off of this island. Just as soon as we have determined who the devil is down here. If you or Jin need any assistance, we can have some of your own ships crew help you board The Ament and take control of the medical situation there."

Insufferable Lout

As Taraz walks towards the opening into which Vorian now peers, he glances at the dragon rolling around causing tremors and vibrations. He had only seen four others in his lifetime. They had not seemed quite so...playful. The great bluish form tossed the remains of the giant around, much like he would have expected the Duchess to play with a ball of yarn (assuming she still enjoyed such things of course.) He was glad to see that this dragon had no interest in eating them. Killing dragons was never pleasant business.

Insufferable Lout

Taraz considers Mimi and Cassie's oil coated forms, their clothing not hiding their fantastically feminine shapes.

"Uh...once I may have had a rather excellent suggestion for myself regarding such a...suggestive moment as this. However, now I have other plans for my upcoming time," Taraz glances at Rashida with a smile. Returning his attention to Mimi and Cassie, he says, "I would suggest you two quickly gather our Gentleman Adventurer and the Duchess Kittington and get them to The Ament. The crew and Serv-Bots should see to your injuries. Rashida and I will attempt to locate this 'hidden' person. We have eaten and drunk, so between us, I imagine we should have no trouble with any further dangers."

Hearing Vorian's shout, Taraz's head whips around.

"Best laid plans of mice and men..." he mutters chuckling.

Insufferable Lout

Seeing both Cassie and Mimi fighting brought up an instant need to protect and save within Taraz. But despite the physical pain they dealt one another, he knew that unless one of them was going to make a true killing blow, he should allow this to play out. He did not believe Cassie was a killer, and despite her original programming, Taraz did not think Mimi had any true desire to "replace" Cassie. Mimi had fast begun to become separate from her base roots as Cassie's replica.

So he did not stop them. He watched for that moment when even one of the fighters became "serious". After a while, it looked as if it was over. The two combatants eyed each other seeing whatever demons had been brought to the surface. Taraz hoped both women now saw they were not nearly as scary as they thought.

Rashida's display of power made his eyes go wide. He wondered what she saw when she looked at him. He could only hope she couldn't see the dark stain of his genes. For there was truly no greater shame one could bear than to be cursed at birth as a Rorenson...

Insufferable Lout

Taraz watches Mimi make Rashida's sandwich like a mouse watching a hawk. When Mimi finishes, Taraz goes to speak, but then has to clear his throat. His eyes wide, he says simply,

"I'll have what she's having?"

Insufferable Lout

Before the three leave Rashida's room, Taraz feels a small tug on his pants. Looking down, Taraz sees a small Serv-Bot. This one appears to have the shape of a wheel with its head and two retractable arm limbs in the center. It emits a couple of robotic squeaks and squeals.

Taraz raises an eyebrow.

"It seems our friends have been busy. It appears Jin had an escape plan. He led Allesandra, Bors, Kimefe, Eldon and Andrezi to a hidden watercraft, and they have escaped the island. Also, no trace has been found of the Eldon replica that I suspect still exists.

"It seems that Vorian, Meowselsworth, and Ca-...our dancer friend are engaged in a firefight with the mercenaries I encountered before. And...a dragon," Taraz pauses briefly with a look between the two females. "The dragon is locked in some kind of mortal combat with one of those large abominations. This little fellow also tells me a sometimes lion, sometimes man creature has entered what's left of Vorian's ship. The Serv-Bots are afraid of it since the Duchess Kittington interfaced with the controls. They do not know what is happening inside."

Taraz gestures to the door. "The ballrrom is probably stacked with not-quite-so fresh food, but I imagine it should still be fairly edible and delicious. I am famished, so I look forward to the repast."

The wheel Serv-Bot spins off in front slowing to match their speed as the trio moves towards the ballroom.

Insufferable Lout

As Rashida considers Taraz's question, he stands and gestures to Mimi.

"My dear, this is Mimi. She's Cassandra DuSollier's...virtual twin. She knows the locations of our good friend the Baron von Ryuko. I have asked her to accompany us."

Insufferable Lout

Still holding Mimi's hand, Taraz hears Rashida cough. She begins to move around, and Taraz instinctively lets go of Mimi and clutches Rashida in case she is convulsing once more.

When she opens her eyes again, the mysteries of the universe are still in them. Taraz finds himself almost speechless for a second. He doesn't know what she's talking about, but what's more important is that she's alright. And now. Now it was time to leave.

Taraz helps Rashida sit up. When Rashida mentions her brother, Taraz frowns.

"You say that like it should be difficult. Will it be difficult to stop him from boarding the Ament?"

Insufferable Lout

Taraz watches Mimi the Cassie-replica whirlwind through a number of different emotions. He has to restrain his instinct to kiss that beautiful mouth when its presented to him. Once upon a time turning down such an offer, even while one's lover lay prone and unconscious in his lap, would never have occurred to him. He would have kissed her deeply and enjoyed it. But things were different this time...weren't they? He glanced down at the pretty face and honey brown skin of the woman below.

Mimi, Cassie-Bot wrote:
"How do you cope? These emotions! You're virtually a cyborg, how do you organize these inconsistencies?"

Taraz starts at this comment. Virtually, a cyborg. He breaks eye contact with the distressed bot and his visage darkens. He realizes his training and breeding demand more than wearing his emotions so plain. He quickly smooths his features, and he favors Mimi the Cassiesque robot with a smile.

"Don't worry. Even know we fail to cope with such things. As you get older, you'll learn how we pretend to cope." He reaches out to catch Mimi's hand.

"Do me a favor. Allow me to introduce myself, young Mimi. I am Taraz Rorenson, Lord of Serv-Bots." He gestures to the prone form of Rashida. "This is Rashida of the Massri Clan. Promise me you will help me take care of her. And if you accept, please tell me if she is going to be okay." Taraz looks at Mimi gently hoping his diversion helps calm the excited bot and focuses her attention on something other than her new found predicament.

Insufferable Lout

Clutching Rashida to his chest, Taraz allows the mitos to notice her. The proximity to his body allows the mitochondria in his body to sense the disruption in Rashida's electrochemical patterns. Upset about this abnormality, the mitos begin to try and "correct" Rashida's. It wasn't a perfect fix since the mitos would try and stabilize her patterns based on Taraz's biochemistry, but it would slow down any degradation or escalation of the problem.

The replica of Cassie returned. She had brought a sweet wine from his room. Taraz noted without surprise that the Cassie had responded exactly as he anticipated. She was immediately concerned and attempting to help Rashida without thinking. It was obvious to Taraz that the Cassie didn't even realize that she was moving at superhuman speeds. Not too much faster, but fast enough to notice.

As she looked into Taraz's eyes, he was struck by just how similar the replica was to Cassie herself...but yet, so different. It was clear the robot did not have all of Cassie's memories. Perhaps she had been activated prior to full upload, or even her programming was the beta stage before final implementation. Either way, it was apparent there was a difference in her. An innocence that the human Cassie had shed. This being was similar, but was evolving and experiencing the world differently. Despite their physical identical looks, Taraz could see the replica was moving away from being exactly like the one she was meant to emulate. That caused Taraz to smile. Just like the Serv-Bots I have freed.

He translated the smile into acceptance of the replica's reassurance. "Thank you...Cas...hmmm," Taraz started to say. "Well now. I guess we can't keep calling you 'Cassie'. What name would prefer to claim as your own?"

Insufferable Lout

As Cassie first responds, the moment seems endless. Cassie's moist lips part as if aching for a reciprocation. But Taraz allows the moment to stretch. As the light of understanding appears in the replica of Cassie's eyes, Taraz knows for sure.

"Fascinating," he murmurs. "'re not complete are you? That's why..." Taraz gets a little smile.

When Cassie mentions Rashida, Taraz looks concerned. He can hear the trace of personal distress in her voice and she's emitting a strange odor. Replica pheromones? They were making Taraz think of sex and depression all at once. Very odd...Then his eyes track her sharply as she whispers von Ryuko

Taraz gently stands and finishes the rest of the bottle. Tossing the empty vessel onto the bed he offers his hand to Cassie. If she accepts, Taraz brings her to her feet close, touching close. He peers into her eyes and says, "I want to know why you were made. You help us, and I will protect you."

Then quite unexpectedly, perhaps from the moment or the booze or the pheromones, Taraz kisses Cassie on the mouth. Softly, gently and only for a second. "Come young one, we must see if we can help Rashida. For if you are like your counterpart, you already care for her." Taraz winks and leads Cassie from the room.

Insufferable Lout

Without warning Taraz throws the bottle straight up into the air. Then he shifts. Not just a little. Full shift. Suddenly the air is thick, as he is having to push the molecules out of the way. They move easily, but he feels it, like a fish would feel swimming in water. The bottle floats overhead lazily.

Taraz jumps up and reaches for Cassie. She reacts instinctively drawing away. So... Taraz's eyes narrow as he observes Cassie move at a speed only slightly slower than him. She's still surprised however as Taraz grabs her, spinning her and her red dress around. Taraz plucks the bottle out of the air and pushes Cassie onto the bed on her back. He falls into the space between her arm and her torso with his bottle hand behind her head as his arm presses in an arc there. His other hand slides...into Cassie's dress! His fingers run along her thigh, a caress of an extremely intimate kind. Cassie can feel an energy passing from his fingers to her body as if he is trying to pass sensation directly to her nervous system.

In the softest of whispers he sings-sings:

"And so the mountaineer finally conquered
the Maiden Peak
then descended to the valley...

Before reaching there, both Taraz's hand and whisper stop. He seems to be waiting for something.

Insufferable Lout

Cassie sees Taraz sitting on the bed, leaning forward on his knees. His head hangs down hiding his face, and he has a bottle clutched in one hand. It's mostly empty.

"Come in...close the door...Cassandra," Taraz says quietly.

On the floor next to the bed is a a couple of luggage bags and a large garment trunk. All are neatly packed. There are no Serv-Bots visible anywhere. The room seems oddly quiet, and a draft blows in from where the secret door remains open. The darkness stretches onward.

Insufferable Lout

At first Taraz has some apprehension about letting Cassie run off, but he doubted very much that she would try something now after all the chances she had in the passage. He looked around the room at the items of clothing and toiletry that had been strewn without regard by the Baron's servants. He snapped his fingers and Serv-Bots suddenly crawled out of hiding. The closet, under the bed, the vents, and at least two other secret entrances. Some of them were holding items Taraz would not have wanted anyone to find which they knew. The all looked at him waiting for his command.

"Time to move on," he said softly. A small whirlwind of activity appeared and all of Taraz's things began to be expertly packed.

Taraz reached for a bottle of Gale Force '77 and began to drink straight from it. The liqueur coated his throat even as it burned. It would take a few minutes for the mitochondria to begin calming down, going back to "sleep". He paused and regarded the Serv-Bots, his personal force.

"We're taking all the Serv-Bots in this castle. Make sure they know this. Make sure they are not infected with rogue programming. I am sure the Baron will have tried...something. Once we're on the Ament, I will deal with the Baron's bots directly."

Several Serv-Bots raced out of the room. Taraz sat on the bed and drank, the alcohol bringing the world back down...down...down...

Insufferable Lout

Taraz looks back to Rashida. His next words are very soft.

"If anything happens...if we are separated or worse..." Taraz squeezes Rashida's hand as her breath catches at what he is suggesting. "Listen...if something unexpected happens, keep the Duchess close to you. She is a helmetcat. She is very capable, and she should be able to take care of you. I know that may sound crazy, but trust me, she will be a powerful ally.."

Insufferable Lout

Taraz allows his outstretched arm to fold over the young woman. Her concern for him makes him smile. While Rashida seems upset, she doesn't appear to be in any more danger than anyone else. And apparently, the snakes were not her only magic trick. An amused smile played about Taraz's lips to imagine this beautiful woman as dangerous. As far as Taraz could discern, Rashida didn't have prior experience with fighting and killing, as most nobles wouldn't typically. Taraz knew his own family's proclivity for such things was wholly unusual. But everyone had their secrets, and Rashida Massri was proving to be no exception.

Wrapping his other arm around Rashida, Taraz listened as she spoke somewhat manically about her experience and worry. "I am okay. Really. I...I just need a drink to help calm my nerves." Taraz knew explaining he actually needed a lot to drink right now was probably just going to upset Rashida further. When they had the time, he was going to explain some things...and probably ask some questions as well. Without even thinking about it, Taraz breathes the scent of her hair. He felt a little silly when he realized it. How could she have come to mean so much in so short a time?

"This has gone far different than I expected...though I should have...If I had known von Ryuko had gone to such great lengths..." Taraz shook his head. "I think I have underestimated this situation greatly. There were indeed soldiers in the garden. I fought them as Andrezi and I were coming out of this passage. I pray the Russian is alright. I ran into Mlle. DuSollier here coming from the beach. Some kind of large mechanized clockworks were emerging from the surf. We must gather the others and get off this island as soon as possible."

Still holding Rashida close, Taraz regards Cassie with a small smile. He raises his voice slightly to include her. Though if her uncanny hearing from earlier was any sign, this act was unnecessary.

"I encountered some more robotic replicas. Inactive in a laboratory. I destroyed them with a controlled explosion. But you may find it interesting to know two replicas were already missing. One of the General Eldon Gorski. The other? Our own dear Cassie."

Taraz eyes narrow slightly as he looks at the young woman, and while he may not be aware of it, he holds Rashida to himself even tighter. The mitochondria are clamoring angrily now, and Taraz begins to open the pathways slightly. The world rushes into a greater detail, time begins to feel fluid again. His head has cleared mostly, but he can still feel the the presence of the two women and knows he will have to be careful lest his mind be overrun by the warring feelings amplified by the mitochondria's involvement.

"I do not trust you," Taraz says to Cassie simply. "There is no way to know what you know that I could test. Knowing von Ryuko, the replica would have been supplied with any and all communication that I may have had with Cassie DuSollier since the beginning of If you are not the Cassie we know and love," this word comes out differently than the rest, "then know I will be watching you carefully. Baron Gigus von Zombi's replica was greatly repentant for his role in this game. I would prefer to think you are the same. Cassie has swore that she will find a way to restore Gigus. So if you are not her...or have never been her as is should consider this."

Taraz gestures to the figure on the floor. "If this is any indication, at least one of us here can destroy perfectly when threatened. If you are not the wench-wielding woman, consider your own existence is tolerated at our whim. Cross us, and it will be to your own misfortune."

Releasing Rashida, Taraz takes his eyes of Cassie and looks down at the Massri clan member. Her eyes were just so dark and beautiful. Taraz couldn't help but feel that the answer to many of the mysteries of life lay in those eyes. An upsurge of fascination and attraction came bringing a euphoric moment. This was followed by a stab of guilt. Taraz knew that long term involvement would lead only to one thing. Exposure to the Rorensons. Taraz forced the thought away. No, not now.

He allowed the mitos more access, bringing his senses to greater attunement. If Cassie wasn't Cassie and made an attack while his eyes weren't on her, he would be more than fast enough to meet it. So he had a moment to...

If Rashida allows:
Taraz leans forward and kisses Rashida tenderly. He loses himself in this for a while, the mitos singing in his head. They are always happy during extended physical contact with others, but more so now. The kiss creates some kind of conduit, and Taraz seems to be aware of Rashida in a way not normally possible. He feels like he could sculpt her perfectly from clay or even marble as long as he were to maintain this embrace. Her form etching itself in his mind, somehow so different from the other women who had crossed his path. It was the most exhilarating and terrifying experience he had yet encountered.

When the moment was done, Taraz looks from Rashida to Cassie. "We must get the others. Time is not on our side. The Baron von Ryuko is determined to keep us on this island. So it is of the utmost importance we leave. Let's go."

Insufferable Lout

With his heightened senses, Taraz can feel the power emanating from Rashida. It slowly fades, but it was definitely that indescribable feeling that always accompanies magical energy. She looks somewhat distressed, and the urge to run to her, to comfort her, and press her to his chest hits him like a giant corpse-bot's fist. At the same time, seeing Cassie kneeling there, the proximity to her...the mitochondria remembered things about Cassie, and something about the French woman was upsetting them. His feelings and emotional response were magnified, those related to the Massri descendent were greater than the usual. And Cassie was causing memories to surface in addition to a disturbance within himself. He could hear his pulse pounding and dizziness was threatening to make him pass out. His senses were screaming that something was very wrong here. He feels himself staggering, the feeling much like being punched in the forehead.

Head whirling, Taraz intentionally ends the shift. The world comes crashing back to normal speed. The musty smell of the corridor no longer provided in fine detail of how long it's been since the most recent mouse ran through. Taraz could feel the mitochondria's discontent with the abrupt end to access. He knew that was going to be a problem, and he would have to open himself to them until he had a chance to drink. But he could handle the pain for a little while. At least until he had a chance to calm down, and regain control of his thoughts.

"Ah...R-Rashida," Taraz coughs out. "Are you...okay?"

Taraz glances down as Cassie examines the body of a man that is dressed in a familiar style of garb, but with his head still fuzzy, he can't think from where. Ignoring his lack of recognition, Taraz reaches out and tries to place his hand on the stricken Rashida's shoulder. He is not certain if it his vision or his hand that is trembling.

Insufferable Lout

As Cassie kicks up her leg to block his way, Taraz instinctively reaches out and places a hand on it, ready to fling her if this was an attack. There is an almost imperceptible tremble at his touch on her warm soft skin. As if drawn by a string, Taraz eyes travel up to meet hers. She winks, a flirty smile on her face.

Cassie DuSollier wrote:
"You'd better keep close to me, who knows what's"

The double entendre comes out softly with a huskiness that promised more than Taraz knew would be granted. As if there was no doubt to what she referred, both Taraz and Cassie looked down towards that place only barely shaded by the fall of her red dress. The angle of her leg on the wall only needed to be raised a little higher if she wanted to Taraz to see...

Cassie has always been such a tease. The thought came unbidden even as the comely young woman twirled away with a laugh and ran light on her feet like the perfect dancer she was.

Taraz paused as memories came to him, and the mitochondria responded. Always the danger of shifting, as senses were heightened, so were emotions and thoughts. He fought the rising tide of physical response to Cassie's playfulness.

At that moment, a man's scream echoed through the now spirit-gas lamp lit tunnel. It helped Taraz focus his thoughts. Nothing like a death cry to bring one back, he thought. Taraz smiled. Then worry replaced it. Cassie had somehow seemed able to discern the previous scream as originating from one who could only be Rashida Massri. Or it could be... Taraz pushed the thought from his mind. One mistake he had made when destroying the laboratory. Only one...

Taraz had a fleeting thought for Andrezi, and he hoped he would see the Russian again. He still owed him for the needle. Even if the man would never remember the reason, Taraz was determined to offer the man a drink.

He hurried down the hall after the French woman. Damn you, Eichorn. Damn you.

Insufferable Lout

That was a very specific description, Taraz thinks as he hears Cassie describe the faint sound coming from back and behind them. Even though he could not identify the owner of the vocal distress, he had heard it...despite a normal human lacking such perception. While the mitochondria were active, much of his senses were enhanced greatly. Damn, you uncle. The thought came automatically. Taraz couldn't curse the man enough.

"Then Cassie, let's move along shall we? Andrezi should be closer to the source than we. I believe it may have come from the direction of the tunnel where he and I emerged." Taraz says quietly. He watches Cassie and hopes to determine whether he can trust her. He begins to move back through the garden to where he hopes Andrezi is still alive.

Insufferable Lout

Taraz seems to almost flinch from the kiss, but checks it. Such familiarity...perhaps she is in fact Cassie. But I must still be wary until proof can be obtained. A part of Taraz is pained to imagine not being able to trust Cassie, the dance lover.

It had been a surprise to see her here at the ball. He had thought she had gotten what she needed before...why would she have needed von Ryuko's land? Eichorn had truly done everything he could to make the playing field as uneven as possible.

"I suppose then, we should arm ourselves." A couple of dead soldiers lay nearby, the bodies displaying crush injuries of great force.

Taraz picks up one of the soldier's sidearm and offers it to Cassie.

Insufferable Lout

Taraz had slowed down for a moment. His breathing slightly hard. He had attacked several of the men successfully, but then the ornithopter had flown overhead with an exuberant burst-firing kitty. Knowing this, Taraz had attempted to calm the mitochondria down for a time, letting his body rest close to a hedge. He retrieved the handkerchief from his coat pocket and wiped his slightly bleeding nose.

The ornithopter had dipped below his vision beyond the hedge a moment ago. Taraz hoped that Andrezi had made it out of the wall okay...or perhaps back inside if it had been more dangerous to emerge. Cassie's appearance in front of him was sudden. He couldn't forget what he had seen below...

"Well, Mademoiselle DuSollier," Taraz said with an overly flourishing bow. "What a pleasant surprise. I am afraid however, I cannot give you the pleasure of that private dance of which we once spoke at the moment, but perhaps another time. When there are less dreadful corpse clockwork and gun-toting mercenaries about."

Insufferable Lout

Taraz shifts. The mitochondria in his cells awaken. Andrezi may or may not see that Taraz becomes a blur of motion, moving faster than anyone should be able.

Shifted Taraz:
The pulse rounds fly towards Taraz almost lazily. He moves between them and around them. Closing the distance, Taraz pulls the rifle out of one of the soldiers' hands easily. He flings it back in the direction of the Russian noble without much force. The rifle still flies at a rather disturbing velocity, but to Taraz's enhanced perception, it appears to merely float as if a feather on the breeze. Taraz then punches the man with a left cross. The blow knocks the man off his feet, and he too floats like a feather flying backward at what would be a terrifying speed. Taraz spins on his heel and connects the back of his boot to the other man's solar plexus launching him up into the air.

Taraz then saw several more men running sooooo slowly through the garden. He began to plan how he could take them out. Too many probably. They would have seen his speed and begun to try and account for it. He hoped Andrezi could get a pulse rifle or other weapon and assist him. Damn. Taraz usually left no one alive to witness this. In this instance, killing Andrezi was not an option. If Eichorn had wanted the Mason dead, then Taraz could not afford to give up the advantage the aristocrat's continued living must (should?) give Taraz.

Suddenly, something else began happening. The soldiers had begun to shout, and their attention was turning from their two airborne comrades. There were things coming out of the water. Taraz slowed himself.

Andrezi sees almost an after image of Taraz as the man moves at inhuman speed. A pulse rifle is suddenly hurtling back, hitting the ground near the secret passage, and then clattering off of the garden wall. Andrezi sees first one soldier then the other knocked backwards at great speed. Concussive cracks indicating the two men had suffered very serious bone-breaking injury as the Taraz-blur moved between them. Suddenly the blur stops and seems to coalesce into Taraz again. His attention drawn to the giant corpse-bots emerging. Andrezi notices a trickle of blood beginning to leak out of Taraz's nose.

Then the booming voice of Baron Eichorn von Ryuko resounds across the island estate.

Insufferable Lout
Meowselsworth wrote:
In other words, she gives 'em hell.

Insufferable Lout

That is fantastic to hear! Believe me when I say that we are all very excited knowing we can look forward to that. :D

@Vorian: Just wanted to say, your RP is fantastic. Over at Our gaming talk in our 'mafia' chatroom, we always talk about your awesome posts.

Insufferable Lout
Andrezi Denikov wrote:
"I am quite confused. I must admit, but I trust you Taraz... You are good friend." Andrezi stands by himself for a moment, barely keeping his feet. "Am feel like bee sting on my neck." Andrezi scratches the small bump left by the hypodermic. "What are we doing now?" His instincts from his time in the Russian military takes over as he asks for a task.

Taraz considers Andrezi's question for a moment as the two aristocrats move through the corridor. "What are we doing now?" Andrezi hears him muse out loud. "Now...we get the hell out of here."

As if timed to be the perfect complement, a low rumble indicates a section of the passage wall is moving before them. It swings out on hidden hinges. Pale moonlight and starlight bleed into the darkened corridor lending strange shadows to an already eerie place. Taraz steps out and takes a long breath. In a couple of hours the dawn would be breaking, and the long night of Eichorn's "murder" party would be over.

Von Ryuko's massive gardens were certainly impressive even in the night. Everything carefully manicured and in order. Greenery and colorful flowers artfully arranged to draw the eye to the sculptures and ornaments that were Eichorn's true prizes. Taraz walked further out trying to let the tension of the moment bleed out into the grass beneath his boots.

He moved his arm in a circle. His range of motion was good. Yes, that knife wound had healed nicely after his shift in the lab. He turned his head to address Andrezi.

"We should be able to make our way back to the main halls if we go through this..." Taraz lifted his hand to point, but his voice caught in his throat as he saw movement on the other side of the garden. Two figures in combat clothing were approaching their position from the where the almost cliche hedge maze opened into the garden.

"Andrezi!" Taraz hissed fiercely just as the two figures realized he had spotted them. Taraz knew he was rather exposed having stepped out of the secret door shaped like a vase relief carved into the stone wall. He wasn't sure if Andrezi was still close enough to make it back inside for cover.

One of the figures shouted, "Squad Twelve reporting targets confirmed. Fire!" The soldiers raised their pulse rifles and began shooting.

The whine of pulse rounds filled the air. Taraz had always admired the ingenuity of a pulse round: a physical bullet that fired its own beam of heat energy when within six inches of its target to increase its own penetration. While having been shot at many times before, Taraz knew there was very little chance of surviving this unless...unless he allowed Andrezi see his secret...

Insufferable Lout

Psst...the dragon shrank to dog size...not enormous, but still barking strange sight, heh.

Insufferable Lout

Taraz chuckles at Andrezi's waking comments. "Lost? Oh, no. You have won. We have all won. Another chance at life."

Taraz kneels down to allow Andrezi to stand on his own. He steadies the disoriented man.

"As far as robots...hopefully, the only robots you meet from here on out will be Serv-Bots. The other kind, like Baron Gigus von Zombi...let's say they should be interrupting no more parties." If it were not for the darkness, Taraz's smile would be enigmatic.

"As for the party's results? Let's just say the Masons came down on the right side of things...for once." Unlike his smile, Taraz's sneer is indeed evident.

"I believe we should be exiting this corridor shortly. Place your hand here on my shoulder if you have trouble seeing. I am confidant we should be coming out into what hopefully is the gardens soon." Taraz gently takes Andrezi's hand and guides it to the top of his silk shirt.

Assuming Andrezi allows this.

Insufferable Lout

@Andrezi: Lol, what perfect timing! Yes, literally you're waking up as Taraz carries you through dark and gloomy corridors looking for an exit. If you would like, I would be happy to PM you what I would imagine your now hazy memory of your time in the lab with Taraz recalls, or you can just assume you only remember going under the throne and nothing else, if you just want to make a fresh start of it.

Insufferable Lout

For a moment, Taraz felt some kind of connection with Rashida. She was in his mind. He could smell her, hear her breathing. Then in a split second following the detonation, Taraz felt her torn away. Her stifled cry echoed through the, just his mind. He staggered and nearly dropped Andrezi. A different kind of panic filled him. Steeling his resolve, Taraz clenched his jaw and shifted the Russian noble so he would not let him fall.

All the twisting and turning of the previous walk through the castle's underbelly had prevented him from returning to the throne room. He began to try and move quicker, jogging through the near darkness. Taraz had chosen a corridor at random in the hopes he would come across an outlet. This one had a slight incline, so it seemed a good bet.

Andrezi wasn't going to remain out for much longer. Taraz needed to get to the main halls again. He needed to find out what was happening up there and get the rest of them out of here as soon as he found Rashida. Before it was all too late.

Insufferable Lout

Taraz has incapacitated all the androids as fully as possible. The tables and notes are ready for their bonfire. Even after the acid was poured onto everything, Taraz will take no chances. He must protect them. He must protect her. Yes, that sounds right. Taraz used to think the nameless face of humanity was his protectorate. Now he feels like he was made to protect Rashida Massri.

He moves the unconscious Andrezi close to the laboratory's entrance, so he gets ready to leave. Taraz looks at the journal in his hand. It had current dates. That should be impossible. The writer was dead and had been for many years. Taraz would know that better than anyone having personally seen to the task.

He carries Andrezi into the darkness outside of the ruin he has just created. Looking back into the darkness through which Taraz could "see" perfectly, he determined he and the Russian man were far enough. He pressed the button on the detonator.

The ground shook.

A roar of sound rushed up the passageways under the castle. Everything that was in that room should have been obliterated. Taraz knew one day he would have to come back here and make sure this castle was razed to the ground. But now there was too much to do. Too many lives he had to protect. He picked up the slumbering noble and walked back up the passage.

Insufferable Lout

As the long moment of darkness stretched, Taraz began to wonder if Andrezi hadn't been right. Was this all just a ruse to lead me to a trap? Did I assume with my life, and Andrezi's, that Eichorn was leading me to his next move? Taraz couldn't even hear Andrezi breathing, and felt his own pulse pounding.

Slowly, light began to fill up the open doorway. Halogen lights were powering up and gradually illuminating what evidently was some type of laboratory. Tables and work stations littered the intervening space of the large room which Taraz and Andrezi entered looking around in wonder. metal stairs led them down slightly as the room was deeper then the low ceilinged corridor. The workstations were not, however, that which captured the pair's attention. Along the walls on each side were recesses. Recesses which contained figures. The figures were them.

More specifically, Taraz saw as he approached them in amazement, replicas of each of the aristocrats that had been come to the party. They all looked to be simply sleeping, if one could sleep standing up attached to cables and hoses, clamped to the wall. There was a panel at each one's feet with blinking lights. A yellow one next to Hibernate was lit and steady for most of them. One panel named the recess as the home of Baron Gigus von Zombi, but it was empty. The lights showed red and flashing with a status of 'Host Connecton Lost' flashing on a read out. The implication of what Taraz and Andrezi were seeing was certainly confirmed upon this discovery.

Andrezi called out, "Taraz!" Pointing, the Russian looked at an empty recess bearing the name of Cassie DuSollier. They found another empty recess with General Eldon Gorski's name listed. Both panels' readouts lights flicker and read 'Status Unknown'. The men share unreadable looks. They split up and begin checking all the panels. All the other readouts Taraz finds show 'Hibernate'. Andrezi calls out that his side of the room shows the same.

As Taraz is moving from one side to the other to double check Andrezi's findings, he passes a workstation. Some handwritten notes catch his notice. Not the words themselves, but the handwriting. Taraz's eyes dart to the notes, alarm beginning to build. He begins to read, to examine the flow of the words, the angle of the letters. No...this isn't possible! Panic begins to grip him. Now the words come into focus, now he lets their meaning to filter and be understood. Worse, even worse than I ever imagined. Eichorn, you fool! Why would you do this?

Andrezi called out to him. "Taraz, what do you zuppose dis eez?" Andrezi gestured to a tank of murky fluid. A placard read 'TR12-Z^6'. Taraz face went white. Glancing down at the workstation to hide his reaction, Taraz saw a small chemical bottle and a hypodermic syringe. Taraz almost laughed. Even now, von Ryuko was one step ahead of him.

Picking up the syringe, Taraz begins to fill it from the bottle. To Andrezi he says, "Andrezi, is there a way to get under the tank, or open it from the bottom?"

Andrezi leans down to find out is just lifting his head when Taraz offers his hand in assistance. Andrezi opens his mouth and says, "I did not zee...urk!" He doesn't get any farther as Taraz inserts the hypodermic needle into the Russian's neck.

"My apologies, Andrezi," Taraz says softly. "I can't let you remember what you've seen here. No one is allowed to remember." Andrezi's eyes look at Taraz wildly, then they roll up into his head as his body goes boneless. Taraz eases the man to the floor.

Standing he looks around the laboratory until he spots it. A ventilation grate. As if on cue, a Serv-Bot opens the grate. It holds a cloak turned sack which it has improved by binding it closed with a strong twine from somewhere.

"Perfect. The Gertrahr snake's venom is exactly what I need. The venom disrupts robotic electronic signal almost effectively as an EM pulse," Taraz says to the Serv-Bot absently. The Serv-Bot hops down and runs over to Taraz offering him the cloak. Taking it, Taraz hears the animal hiss. He turns and surveys the figures in the recesses, and his eyes narrow.

"Now. Time to make sure this part of the castle is destroyed. Utterly."

The Serv-Bot has already hopped back into the vent and moves into the darkness. Behind it are the sounds of its master. Sounds that no one except Serv-Bots have heard in many, many years...

Insufferable Lout

As the throne rumbled closed overhead, several spirit-gas lamps flared to life in the now dark passage. Andrezi coughed as some dust settled onto his hair and shoulders. Being a little ahead of him in the corridor, Taraz didn't get quite as much. The vibration of the settling throne stops. An extremely muffled sound was barely audible and it resembled a person yelling, but the sound was indistinct. Taraz frowns at the bottom of the throne wondering if it is Rashida, but as he can barely make it out, he knows no one will be able to hear.

Taraz wordlessly motions for Andrezi to follow and moves down the passage. The spirit-gas lamps behind them began to wink out while further down the corridor light blooms at their approach. The corridor seems to angle down, and the pair pass several doors and branching passages. Andrezi apprehensively follows Taraz who ignores all except those in which the spirit-gas lamps light. Taraz strides forward knowing there is no trap, not here. Eichorn had gone to great lengths to make sure Taraz found this. He wouldn't ruin whatever shocking surprise waited for them.

Eventually, they reached a door at a T-junction which the spirit-gas lamps on either side. Taraz reached for the door handle.

"Ah...are you zure you zhould...?" Andrezi started to say. Taraz turned the handle down and pushed the door open. The spirit-gas lamps went out, and darkness covered them.

Insufferable Lout

As the Serv-Bots dropped him off, Taraz looked around at the slight disarray left by the fleeing Baron. Eichorn had knocked over his drink goblet and what appeared to be some kind of remote. The wine had apparently shorted out the semi-delicate copper wiring. Taraz could see where some of the gas tubes had exploded a part of the casing open as the wine caused a surge of energy overloading them. Hoping Cassie or one of the other Aristocrats might understand it, Taraz bends down and picks up the ruined device. He winces as the action draws his stitches tight. Inwardly he cursed his carelessness once again. He could only assume Jin had meant this merely as retaliation of Taraz's early mistreatment of Alessandra. Surely that he had been savable showed the assassin had not wished to kill.

Straightening, Taraz stood before the grand 'throne' of the Baron von Ryuko. It was a full backed affair of gilded edges and golden lions worked throughout the red fabric and on the metal. The last time Taraz had seen this large chair was in the study of von Ryuko's castle in the Alps. Unbidden he recalled the last words, Eichorn had said to him before Taraz left that snowy January day.

Baron Eichorn von Ryuko wrote:
If you think you can keep playing these games and remain unscathed, Taraz, than you have already conceded victory to me.

Taraz's jaw clenched. He forced himself to forget about it and begin checking for secret compartments. He knew there was a hollow in this chair. Eichorn had made sure Taraz had seen him "cleverly" concealing it just as Taraz had been ushered into the room for their game of Go. Taraz was not foolish enough to believe that had not been carefully orchestrated. Nor was he foolish enough to think Eichorn hadn't expected him to be the one to approach the throne. Which meant the Baron probably assumed Taraz would use Serv-Bots. Or assume that Taraz would assume that.

What a headache, Taraz thought. He gestured to the two Serv-Bots that had carried him up to the mezzanine. "Hold this closed," he said to them gesturing towards the place where he knew the panel opened. He carefully probed the edges and the images with a silver fork upset from the Baron's dining tray. Finally, he realized that one of the lion faces that rested directly under the armrest had a whisker that was slightly worn at one edge. Slipping it between two prongs, Taraz pushed it slightly and heard a catch release. And then he heard a hiss.

Directing the two Serv-Bots to relieve the pressure on the panel incrementally, An opening began to appear as the side of the chair began to unfold very slowly. Snapping his fingers, Taraz pointed to a Serv-Bot with miniature rotor blades whirring out of its head and it flew over. A light shown out of its eyes and Taraz indicated the very small ever widening opening. The light hit the space, and a hissing sound emitted again and something snapped out briefly. Taraz gestured and the Serv-Bots held the panel where it was. Taraz removed the hooded cloak he wore and held it before him. As ready as he could be, he nodded to the Serv-Bots.

"Now!" He burst. The Serv-Bots stopped holding the panel closed. Something silvery blue shot out of the opening. Taraz felt the impact into the folds of the cloak, and immediately dropped down, gathering up the sides of the cloak until he had all the corners making the cloak into a makeshift sack. Quickly he glanced into the panel. There was an envelope with the seal of von Ryuko in the wax holding it closed. With one hand holding the thrashing cloak-sack, Taraz picked up the envelope. In the Baron's elegant hand bordering on the calligraphic was simply the phrase Lord of Serv-Bots. Taraz mouth turned in a wry manner.

Suddenly one of the Serv-Bots began to emit an alarm. Rashida! An acrid scent filled the air. Was that smoke? As if Murphy's Law had been decreed, there was a rumble and the ground shook and outside the ballroom's massive windows, Taraz saw an airship crash to the ground. He heard Kimefe and Alessandra gasp down on the ground floor. Jin shouted something, and Taraz turned in time to see both he and Alessandra move out of view.

Quickly, he tucked the letter into his jacket and grasped the makeshift sack tightly. He was about to vault over the balcony edge when an ominous click was heard. Taraz looked back at the throne and saw that the lion face on the opposite arm had turned 180 degrees. A time delay mechanism! Taraz thought with apprehension. Damn Eichorn! With a grating sound, the throne slid backwards. A short stairwell was now exposed.

Just then Andrezi charged up panting. In surprise he looked at the moving throne and then at Taraz.

"Merde! Qu'est-ce que c'est? Ze throne iz moving!" The blonde man shook his head. "But why zhould I be zurpreesed?" this last was more to himself.

The lion's face suddenly clicked in rotation. The lion face was now beginning to right itself. With a wordless growl, Taraz shoved the cloak full of unknown creature into the grip of a Serv-Bot. Gesturing to Andrezi, Taraz yells, "C'mon!" In surprise, the Mason follows him down the stairs. A moment later the lions face has clicked a full 360 and the throne rumbles back into place.

The Serv-Bots look at each other, look at the sack, and then scatter. The one holding the sack runs deep into the castle...

Insufferable Lout

Taraz contemplates the lovely figure of Rashida as she departs.

Turning back to the rest, he says, "Well, I believe if nothing, I would like to see the seat of power that the Baron oversaw this malign event. Plus, I should probably retrieve my boots." Taraz smiles and lifts his stockinged feet.

Turning to face the balcony, Taraz lifts his arms slightly and two Serv-Bots with small rocket jets rush forward and leap up with rockets blasting. They grab a hold of Taraz's arms and in a short burst, carry Taraz up and over the balcony edge to the throne-like chair where von Ryuko had been sitting.

Insufferable Lout

Taraz turns to Cassie. "Let us hope the Baron's cannons have not ruined it. My minions are at your disposable."

Several Serv-Bots suddenly line up as if for inspection before Cassie's chair. One offers her a slightly dented metal cup with some type of drink, just like she asked.

Insufferable Lout

Taraz looks at Rashida in amusement. "Yes, see powers of clairvoyance and magic are so less useful." Smiling, he kisses her cheek.

Insufferable Lout

Taraz smiles at Rashida's whisper and turns to face the remaining Aristocrats. As he hears Cassie's words and sees her expression, a strange look crosses his features

"Allow me to be the first to say, it is time for those of us who have survived this game to make a choice. I believe Mademoiselle DuSollier has advised she wishes to find a way to restore the recently destroyed Baron Gigus and find new programming for him that will allow him the freedom to choose life if he so desires. Personally, I have no doubt that whatever means there is to this, von Ryuko will not be far. And I fear none of us may be safe while he and the escaped assassins remain alive."

Taraz looks at Rashida out of the corner of his eye. "For my part, I am not content to sit idly by, while a threat to that which is dear remains." He gives a slight smile and a nod to the Dame Devries acknowledging the strong emotion which drove her actions during the party.

"I have no qualms doing what must be done, and I encourage all of you to examine yourselves to determine if you wish to journey with me...with us," Taraz lifts the pretty hand he shows to include Rashida and gestures to the discomfited Cassie. "Your own unique characteristics will come in handy on wherever this journey takes us."

Taraz looks at each of the remaining nobles in turn: Duchess Kittington, Vorian, Alessandra, Jin, Kimefe, Eldon, and Andrezi.

"In the meantime while you make your choices, I think we should figure out how we're getting off this damnable island." A wry expression appears and Taraz surveys what remains of the ballroom.

Insufferable Lout

Right before von Ryuko leaves:
Ingilstadt wrote:

In preparation for the next, here is my alternative ending to this one...

Unbeknownst to the party goes, as Ingilstadt performed the ‘life saving’ work on Taraz, it also provided the opportunity to infiltrate the serv-bot master control system. The virus.blackhat code was inserted, the access passwords changed to time synchronized OTA with M86 hashing algorithms, and the logic bomb set to detonate before the end of the next hour.

In the moments before the ‘event’, Wowbagger and Ingilstadt hastily gather up the Star Wars chess set and flee the party, the pilfered keys to the space yacht in Ingilstadt’s pocket. Laughing manically, they pile into the stolen ship and blast off the island like the Millennium Falcon out of Mos Eisley.

As the logic bomb detonates, the serv-bots all stop their activities, a glowing red beacon of light wells up inside them, and they turn on their masters. Operating under the new code snipet, assassinate.aristocrats(all), the blood bath is awful and Baron Von Ryuko cackles in glee.

Meanwhile, aboard the space yacht, Wowbagger instructs his new student, the apprentice assassin Ingilstadt, in the finer points of assassination. ”Now, insult them to death if possible, this is the cleanest method, but if that doesn’t work...”

Except...the bloodbath doesn't occur. The Serv-Bots swarm as the Stalker Assassin Wowbagger and his apprentice Ingilstadt flee cackling. The robots suddenly brandishing small rotating saws, cutting lasers, and small projectile firearms rush throughout the room cornering the remaining aristocrats murderous intent showing in their now red-lit eyes. As they began to follow through on their new programming, a voice cuts threw the loud mechanical sounds and electrical buzzing.

"Remain calm! Taraz makes a gesture with his hand like he's dismissing something. Immediately, every Serv-Bot simply freezes in the action it's about to take.

Verbally, Taraz commands, "System rollback epsilon. Purge commands from..." Taraz looks up at the grand clock. "...19:30 forward."

Suddenly, the Serv-Bots eyes sees to have a red glow and many return to a non-illuminated status. The various weapons or threatening implements are subsumed back into their chassis and they quickly run back into the various places where they vanish as usual, once again a hidden servant force.

Looking first in the direction of the escaped assassin and then coldly staring down the angry outburst of Baron Eichorn von Ryuko, Taraz seems unsurprised by these events.

His mouth twists in disgust as he realizes the enemies the aristocrats share are now in the wind, literally. But then it softens, and his gaze is transfixed as he sees Rashida reaching up behind her head. As if in a trance he walks towards her. As Rashida begins the process of unclasping the weighty golden mask, Taraz can't help himself from reaching up and gently lifting it from away from her face.

Rashida's beauty hits Taraz almost as hard as the stinging golden snakes. For a moment he can't help but take in how incredibly soft her cheeks look, the dark kohl of her eyes against her beautiful caramel skin. The bit of gold flecks which might be natural or artfully applied make-up. Her smile lights up his world and no one else is in the room. All the pain and trouble of the last several hours is swept away, and Taraz feels himself a new man as he looks upon that which has become most important to him. He doesn't even know what to say to the vision of loveliness before him. Surely in his heart he had wondered if she would be pretty, but as time had passed as their secrets and what seemed a vain hope for survival had been all he focused on; Taraz had stopped even thinking about it.

Now as Rashida Massri stood before him unmasked, he himself holding heavy item in his hand, Taraz was breathless and astonished at how affected he was by her exquisite smiling face looking up at him full of hope and love. If her ancestors had not been somehow divine as her family believed, than surely at least Rashida had been blessed to be a stunning example of feminine beauty.

Taraz took a breath finally and began to try and say something. He was forestalled as Rashida placed two fingers on his lips and shook her head still smiling. Then without any further pretext, Taraz tossed the golden mask aside. Reaching out with both arms, Taraz drew Rashida close and bent over her perfect mouth.

Finally, yes finally, Taraz kissed Rashida the way they had both longed for since the night began. With a passion and a forcefulness born of desire, there was no longer any point in hiding the feelings that had begun to form so early in the night.

Insufferable Lout
Cassie DuSollier wrote:
"I don't think he treasures so much the skirt, as what is inside it." She quirks an eyebrow in Taraz's direction as her eyes sparkle with humour. With a roll of her shoulders she awaits his cutting retort or Servo-bot induced mischief.

Smiling, Taraz nods in Cassie's direction with acknowledgement twinkling in his eyes.

"Why yes, I do treasure..." Taraz pauses to gently pick up the Duchess and stroke her fur, "...what might be found under a lady's personal protection." Taraz grins wickedly and winks.

"But the Dame Devries is much safe from any quest to locate such a delicate flower as the one you waved under the noise of the Devil Duke. For my part anyway. We have already come to an understanding, Miss Alessandra and I. We leave her virtue to be discovered only by those willing to kill for it."

Taraz eyes dart around the area still seeking that which has not made its presence known...

Insufferable Lout

Taraz regards the seemingly small blue-colored dragon with amusement. "I long suspected you allowed some kind of wild wyrm up your skirts, Alessandra, but this..." he gestures to Jeraclya Carewyr, his voice trails off slightly. Then he chuckles and says, "Jin is a brave, brave man. My hat's off to him."

Taraz mimes the removal of a head cover and bows slightly while twirling his wrist several times in front of himself with the imaginary hat. If the currently unseen assassin sees this has yet to be known.

Insufferable Lout

God-mode obnoxiousness and arrogance checking in. Stand-by to roll your eyes.

Insufferable Lout

Holy Crap! The Duchess was killed in the end?? I feel like I failed then...

Alright then...So some of you may be interested in the PMs I sent and received. I would say a fair bit are mostly RP related, and just outline the way Rashida and Taraz acted together. And unless you're just curious, I probably won't post them since it sounds like the heavy RP wasn't what a lot of you were terribly interested in, and I understand that. Alessandra posted most of the good stuff pretty much already.

Some of you may be wondering how the Investigator Rashida and I came to be in cahoots so quickly, and also found Cassie leading us to Alessandra & Jin. Here it is:

Order of events

1. Meowselsworth suggests the Investigators begin scanning in alphabetical order starting with the one below them in name. For Rashida that was Taraz.

2. Rashida confesses to Taraz about her scan, and he turn chooses to trust her as well.

3. Believing Rashida was a Lover along w/ Baron Gigus, Cassie confronts Rashida with this, and for some reason, confesses her role as Baner. Rashida accepts this and tells Taraz who has been targeting Meowselsworth for his investigation.

4. Cassie completes investigation on Bors, Taraz rules out Meows based entirely on anecdotal evidence, as his scan was inaccurate and he knew it, Rashida discovers Gigus is an assassin. Plus, Cassie blocks Jin's attempt on Rashida. Queue Alessandra's confession and discovery of the Duke.

5. Duke lynched, and Jin proves the Baron is an assassin. Next scan shows Vorian as an assassin, but was proven to be incorrect after a subsequent scan showed no. Taraz "stabbed" because his PMing skills suck.

6. Taraz allowed to live completes scan on Kimefe who is innocent, and apparently Meows is lynched while Wowbagger kills himself.

If any of you are interested, I can also compile a post of the Serv-Bots, because yes, I attempted to be very original with those and only receycled a few but never for the same person.

Insufferable Lout

My cyber friend...I respectfully disagree the game went wrong. Just a lot of very unlikely things all culminating into this truly total victory for the aristocrats. Unless you believe that there was something in particular that occurred behind the scenes to which I am unaware, I certainly don't believe the game "went wrong" just extraordinarily improbable.

I think you did a great job, and I enjoyed the semi-evil presence of the Eichorn von Ryuko

Insufferable Lout

As I was discussing with Bombadil (Ingilstadt), the unbelievable improbability of the way things fell out in this game will probably never be repeated based on statistical chance....however, I agree that the coincidence that occurred here was definitely game-breaking in a way.

As it stands...are we in a situation that completing this game is less than desirable? I could probably RP Taraz at a party ad infinitum, but I realize it's the accusations and risk of death that adds suspension for some. Now that the results are "almost" guaranteed, is there anyone who does not want to play it out?

I certainly don't want to force anyone to drag this out if it would be easier to just "fast-forward" and have a few finishing posts before recruitment break and next game rules discussion with loimprevisto. Thoughts?

Insufferable Lout
Andrezi Denikov wrote:
He shouts, hugging the man in a classic Cossack bear hug.

"Ooof!" Taraz winces slightly, as the hug compresses his wound a little painfully. "Thank friend. And it wasn't so miraculous as due to the timely intervention of Ingilstadt and the Duchess."

Taraz looks up and over his shoulder at Rashida Massri and places one hand over the one she laid on his shoulder. "In addition to having a very good reason to return," he says gently and small smile very unlike his usual sneers.

Insufferable Lout

The other baron, lol.

Insufferable Lout
Wowbagger tIP wrote:
Wowbagger tosses Taraz some keys with the words 'Don't Panic!' prominently displayed on a keychain.

Taraz smirks at this. "I am trying harder than you know."

He glances in Alessandra's direction.

Insufferable Lout
Rashida Massri wrote:
Ya wants I should stab 'im, boss?

Nah, I think Cassie called dibs on the Baron...

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