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    Cork, Ireland

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  1. Taking a moment to overcome the pleasant surprise, her eyes return to the blade. True enough, worldly tender such as the strange currency they used on this world did not mean much to a Sororitas; technically this had not been Estelia's but the Church's money to spend, yet the mere thought not to mention the time investment warranted gratitude. It could not have been easy to find a weapon like this, and her fellow novice could well just have spent her resources elsewhere -- such as in a candy store, as the cynic in Ariel might well have suspected. She eyes the other novice once more. After all this time, she'd never consider her an enigma after all these years together, but from time to time, the other girl still managed to surprise her with entirely unexpected things such as this. Standing up, Ariel lifted the weapon and practiced a weak swing, just to feel the weight and handling. Nodding, she proclaimed: "This was an excellent find, Sister. Thank you. Of course ...", she grinned a boyish smile, "you know this means I will have to use it to protect you from the witch and the alien."
  2. XP Expenditures: Mighty Shot (-400 XP) Dodge +20 (-600 XP) Hip Shooting (-300 XP) Downtime Requisitions: #1 Shotgun Slugs - 63/25 FAIL #2 Shotgun Slugs w/ +30 bonus - 20/45 PASS, 2 DoS With some hours to spare after the group's return to the mansion, Ariel once again ventures out into the streets to visit various gun workshops and merchants she had recently become aware of. Finally, she had discovered the reason for why the munitions she had been looking for were so incredulously difficult to obtain in spite of their relatively simple making: an archaic licensing contract with the Adeptus Mechanicus meant that this particular type of shell was - notwithstanding the black market, or the grey market of unlicensed gunsmiths in the lower hive - manufactured and sold in only three registered stores in the entire hive, and at long last, the dusk-skinned novice had located one of them. As Estelia found her in the villa, she was just busying herself with loading some of the slugs - freshly unpacked from a small box reading "" - into her gun's compartmentalised drum magazine, but looked up with a puzzled expression as the other girl addressed her in such a cheerful tone, then down again at the object that had managed to topple several of the shotgun shells she had neatly lined up like thumb-sized brass chess pieces, three of which were briefly rolling over the table, yet fortunately without leaving it. "Humm", she muses as she reaches out for the scabbard, drawing the sword to inspect its blade. "This seems well-crafted. It reminds me a little of the sabers I've seen some of the Dominions-..." She paused, only now realising Estelia's intent. "A moment ... you want me to have it?"
  3. Raising a hand to signal the fellow novice, Ariel waited until Estelia had bridged the distance. "For the Emperor's love, please try not to get lost again, Sister", she chides the other girl, though her expression also conveys a sense of relief. "And I thought the Convent Sanctorum was big. Do the people here not get lost, or is it just that there are so many no-one will miss them?", she wonders aloud before turning to Balthazar, perhaps expecting the priest to give the go-word for the next stage of their plan.
  4. The other novice could not suppress a small sigh, though part of her empathised with Estelia. This humongous city was truly a mess; she wondered how many people got lost here on a daily basis, and how many might never find their way back. "What if you just ask one of the people you meet for the location of the alms house?", she offers, perhaps a little naively. "If it services the poor, it has to be a location the streetfolk would know about." ((Unfortunately that is a Specialist Skill I don't have, so this is not an option for me. Would have probably just been trivia anyways, though!))
  5. The bribery itself does not seem to concern Ariel too much. She would have been enraged if they had been acting in their official capacity as emissaries of the Church, but even in her blissful ignorance she understands the concept of poverty (somewhat), and thus the idea of being paid when performing services for strangers. "Suffering lets us experience an inkling of the Emperor's own sacrifice", Ariel offers helpfully as Skive finishes, as if happy to have finally found something common to talk about. "We need to eat to survive, but by choosing to fast we can show Him the purity of our immortal souls, so He may elevate us to sit at His table in the afterlife." Like right out of the book. Belatedly, the novice wonders if her little sermon was too out of line for their cover, but she calms herself with the thought that starfaring nobles considering to invest in an alms house would of course have to be spiritually minded. Why else would anyone part with their riches to fund a public institution? She tries to recall if the briefing they had received on this world mentioned anything in relation to this 'Dark' and the 'wastes'. The terminology seemed obvious enough, but perhaps there was something more specific.
  6. Watching the two hivers retreat for the moment, Ariel has little to do but wait for their return -- a time she uses to let her eyes wander to take in the sights once more. Still unaccustomed to such environs, however, the young novice finds herself easily distracted and does not seem to be able to make out anything out of the ordinary. (Roll 75 vs Per 35, 4 DoF) Her attention returning to Tandy and Skive, she listens to their description. (Roll 72 vs Per 35-10, 5 DoF) Presumably, she muses, the Dark must refer to the lower levels of the hive, where she had heard living conditions would become more and more miserable, and public safety more and more transferred into the hands of bandit gangs. Why anyone would want to live down there was beyond her comprehension.
  7. Ariel watches the hivers warily, perhaps thinking they might try to rob the cleric after all if he were to start flaunting his currency. Then the message reaches her commbead, and she glances at Balthazar to verify the priest has heard it as well. The novice seemed a bit more tense now, but made no intention to move away just yet, considering the call to be more of a status report. At least for the time being, there should be no need to interfere. In all likelihood, the denizens of the alms house might consider Lia's observation the doings of some local gang, a careful probing as to how hard or easy it might be to hit the place. If this were the case, they would most likely not pursue the scout, nor would they link the incident to this investigation. Or at least this is what the dusk-skinned novice hoped.
  8. Blinking, cheeks uncharacteristically flushed with a hint of crimson at the dwellers' reaction, the novice slinks back a feet or two behind Balthazar, apparently convinced it would be better to let the cleric do the talking.
  9. Failing to spot anything out of the ordinary on her own, Ariel turns her attention to the questioned hivers, listening to the conversation Father Thorne had involved them in. For the most part, their answers seemed what one might expect, too. From her own familiarity with the Sisterhood's titles and conventions, she knew that a title like Father or Mother would most likely be reserved to a single leader. "On the boat?", the Sororitas asked in naive lack of familiarity with hive slang. "Do you mean a voidship, or is there a sea in the levels further down?" ((Rolling Inquiry, -20 Untrained for TN 10 -- Result 71, 8 DoF))
  10. For the moment, Ariel merely keeps her eyes open as she accompanies the priest, inspecting the hivesfolk going about their business. The still-strange environs and the busy way the people move about, however, make it difficult for her to spot anything out of the ordinary, perhaps chiefly because the novice is still struggling with what 'ordinary' would actually mean for a place like this. ((Awareness Test result: 89))
  11. Leaning back from the window she'd been looking out of, Ariel nods to her compatriots. "It appears we have arrived. Are we ... just going to get out? I'm not quite sure how to proceed." Her eyes soon focus on the preacher she had already identified as the most skilled person to talk information out of the dwellers of this city sector: "I'm not sure of how much help I can be, Father, but if you have any ideas, I am at your disposal."
  12. A corner of Ariel's mouth curled upwards, forming a slight smirk at the other novice's words. "Confident as always, Lia. But as I recall, you always did have an aptitude for being hard to find when Sister Galene took notice of your little exploits." Her own bodyglove was largely concealed beneath the ragged duster she'd been wearing as part of her guise as Balthazar's escort. Given the subdued nature of their inquiry, she had left the large shotgun as well as her newly acquired plasma back in the mansion, trusting instead in the less powerful, but also considerably less noticeable presence of the laspistol and dagger, the latter sheathed in the inside of her right boot, the former holstered beneath the cover of her cloak. "Well, I shall keep in the back and trust in the Father's ability to sway the populace", she announced, fully aware that her brooding, often frosty disposition gave her the opposite effect of Estelia's charisma. "I do not foresee much trouble out in the open ... but in a place like this, you never know. It makes you wonder why they do not simply raze the place and build it anew from the ground up." Her words spoke the innocent wisdom of a sheltered upbringing behind convent walls.
  13. Casting a sideways glance, Ariel studied the other novice critically. "We could always switch places, Lia. Of the two of us, you may be better equipped to deal with the locals. Remember the platform?", she seemed to reference the trio's trip on the lift after their arrival on this world. You blab all the time, is how she might have put it another way if the situation were less serious and allowed for some of their usual teasing. "I'm the better climber, anyways", she still added matter-of-factly as she directed her head back to the front, eyes closed, as if to make up for the other's lack of confidence.
  14. Ariel scoffs. "Too bad you do not have six arms as well, lest you might have this bundle of fireworks at least shoot as fast like a proper gun, if not as true." The words might seem harsh to outsiders, but both novices had practically grown up teasing one another in a rare form of kinship that, by virtue of the fate the Emperor had chosen for them, lasted beyond their Schola years. "I shall pray one of them shan't explode in your hand." ((Fine with me! I just had to add something given this kind of opening ))
  15. To complement her new guise as a bodyguard, Ariel had visited the merchant quarter to try and, as quietly as possible, attempt to acquire a suitable melee weapon of appropriate quality and design. Unfortunately, the girl was not just a novice of the Sororitas but, like many of her Sisters, also a novice when it came to day-to-day interaction with those outside the order, complicating her attempts to do business or even just locate the appropriate shops. As the saying went, one woman's self-sufficiency was another's stubbornness. Alternating her plans, she opted for the plasma pistol instead. It was perhaps a rather flashy symbol of status to carry as a retainer, yet whereas she first intended to let a blade represent her as a kind of fencer, the matte-silver gun - a rare Sunfury-pattern model acquired from the Inquisitor's household armoury - would work nicely to present the appearance of a ranged duelist. Of course this appearance required not just looks but also action, and so she had spent most of the remaining days alternating between practicing fancy gestures, pistol target practice, and basic weapons maintenance on the temperamental gun, trying to get Lax to provide some measure of help with all three. When Estelia sought her out, she had once again been in the workshop, studying the pistol's loading mechanism. The gun required a refill of plasma at least every ten shots or so, and swapping the flask was no simple task. For all the reputation these weapons had, Ariel found them to be awfully complicated to operate. To her, the Sunfury would still have to prove itself in combat. Then again, it was certain to operate both more efficiently and more devastatingly than the array of ancient wooden pistols Estelia presented to her, immediately earning the other novice a skeptical gaze and an arched brow as if Lia had once again cracked some weird joke. It took Ariel a moment to answer. "Like a street vendor. No, the conspicuously well-dressed daughter of a street vendor, who has been tasked to do her father's business without time to change." She fixated the other girl with a serious, lecturing look: "You haven't been lured into agreeing to some strange sale by one of the local merchants, have you? We can probably get your currency back if we go right away--"
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