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Old 03-05-2020, 04:28 PM   #1
Icelander
 
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Default [MH] (Caribbean by Night) Driving Miss Piggy

I have been asked to write a chronicle of certain events in my campaign, Caribbean by Night. So, for the possible amusement of anyone who might want to read, and without further ado, here they are...

Aboard the superyacht Penemue, Galveston, TX
1335; December 30, 2018

“Hey, you! New guy!” Kit looked up from his reverie to a see a middle-aged man of average height standing in front of him. Slender and wiry, wearing the requisite plate carrier and beard for an operator, this guy was unusual in that his long gray hair was braided down his back and he carried a neat little bolt-action rifle, some kind of elegant old-fashioned hunting weapon, in place of the usual AR black rifle.

“Reporting, sir,” Kit replied.
The older man grinned. “Not sir, youngling, just another shooter. Been soldier since before you were born; never been sir. You Walker; Christopher R.?”
“Yes, sir. Uh, I mean, yes, yeah.”
Pointing a finger at Kit. “You collect paycheck from Sentinel?”
Defensively, Kit replies, “I’m a consultant, part-time, while I’m at college, for Sentinel Risk Management Inc.”
“Is good. You look like you are wasting oxygen and Mr. Alexandre says that despite appearances, you could be useful. Do you have somewhere you need to be over the next few weeks?”

Blinking, Kit tries to think quickly. “I thought this was just over the New Year’s. I’m expected back at school on the 15th of January.”
“Not problem. You attend University of Texas, yes?”
“Uh, yeah, I’m at…”

Interrupting rudely, the older man ignores whatever Kit was about to say. “Your professors will accept apologies. You will not miss more than week; maybe you will not miss time at all. Grab go-bag and draw extra kit if you need for personal protection detail of few weeks. Dress normal, blend in, but tactical gear in spare bag. And eat lunch before we go.”
“I’ve already had lunch on the way here, si.., uh, boss.”
“Was it made by Aunty Genie? No? Then go have another lunch. You will not regret it.”

---

After an exotic and exquisite meal of rice, peas, plantains, yams, fish stew, spicy soup and a selection of Caribbean fruit, served in a luxurious dining hall of the superyacht Penemue by a white-gloved Filipino steward, Kit can better appreciate the older man’s advice.

He has also been graced with the company of the all-powerful Mr. Alexandre, right hand of J.R. Kessler himself, who confirmed that his employers were asking Kit to undertake a protective detail that would last a matter of weeks, in the company of a Mr. Juman and Mr. Wojciechowski, the latter of whom was the graying acerbic gentleman with whom Kit had already spoken.

Kit found himself idly wondering if Mr. Alexandre had ever considered a musical career, as his deep, mellifluous bass-baritone caressed the listener like liquid chocolate. In light of the distinguished French accent, perhaps some fine Belgian chocolate.

“Rest assured, Monsieur Walker, you are not being ordered to go anywhere. Your contract states that for the next three years, you are on our books as a consultant only and your education is your priority. If you should agree to an operational tasking; you will obviously be paid accordingly, as per the Sentinel contract. If you do agree to go, you will be briefed by your fellow operators, to whom you should consider yourself subordinated for the duration, and to whom you would be wise to pay careful heed.”
Kit smiles. “Here am I; send me.”

His eyes dancing in acceptance of a hit, Alexandre rejoins, “Ah, but Monsieur Walker, verily I say unto you, no prophet is accepted in his own country. And we do not want a hasty decision. Qui se marie à la hâte se repent à loisir. Truthfully, there may be danger, from blade, bullet or less familiar threats. Certainement, there will be inconvenience and discomfort. And while you were very well trained by your Navy, you have never gone out with the Night Riders.”
“Mr. Alexandre, if I understand correctly, it’s a security detail, not direct action or something like that. That sounds like a good way to learn the ropes, if I’m ever going to do it. Also, Mr. Wojciechowski is right, this time of year is pretty good if I want to take a few weeks off. And if I’m collecting hazard pay and everything, well, four weeks on the operational pay scale would double my income for the year. Not to sound mercenary or anything, but with my father’s diagnosis, I could use that money.”

With concern in his eyes, Alexandre leans closer to Kit. “Your father, he is sick?”
“Yeah. Diagnosed just before Christmas. Lung cancer. Doesn’t seem fair for a non-smoker. Don’t get me wrong, we’ll manage. Better than most, I guess. It’s caught early, he’s got good health insurance and he’s on full union benefits. But he’s going to have to stop working, at least for a time, and, well, I’ll need to replace that income somehow.”
“You are a good son, but you do not need to do this thing. While you are working for Monsieur Kessler, your family will be taken care of. When he learns of this, he will want to help. It is his way. And you will not need to risk your life for the money.”
“Ah, thanks, Mr. Alexandre. I know I should act all noble and refuse charity. My father certainly would if he were here. But really, if there’s anything anyone can do to help, I’ll take it. As for the job, though, it doesn’t sound like you’re trying to sell me on taking it. Don’t you want me as an operator?”

With a hint of a smile in his deep brown eyes, Alexandre answers, “If I did not want you among the Night Riders, I should not have given you a passing grade on St. Lucia. No, it is not your skills I am worried about. I do not want you deciding to offer up your body to the God of Death because you are in need of the money. A warrior who serves only for money is rarely worthy of his pay.”
“With respect, sir, that seems a strange sentiment for the right-hand man of a billionaire.”
Certes, but who better to know the worth of all things than he who can afford everything? Money is a most useful tool; fuel and ammunition for our operations and a shield from consequence when we fail. It is never a goal.”
“I get it, sir. You want volunteers, not mercenaries. And I still see this the same way I did before. Guys I trust say that you know what you’re doing and that what you do helps people. It doesn’t look like anybody else knows what he’s doing when it comes to the supernatural and I think it’s pretty clear somebody needs to. So… here am I; send me.”

With an approving nod, Alexandre clasps Kit’s hand and welcomes him aboard, before instructing him to leave details about his family with Ms. Marchant while signing the paperwork and to report to Mr. Bannerman if he requires anything from the arsenal. Then Alexandre wishes Kit well and sends him on his way.

---

After signing an unreasonable amount of paperwork, Kit finally finishes up with Ms. Marchant, a most formidable woman of undefined age who acts as Kessler’s Executive Assistant, but who reportedly wields almost as much real power as Mr. Alexandre. She is neither as warm nor as poetically inclined as that worthy and Kit is left without any firm guarantees on what will be done for his family. He takes some comfort in the fact that Mr. Alexandre promised he would contact him as soon as he had spoken with Kessler himself.

As he leaves Ms. Marchant’s office suite on the Penemue, Kit runs into the sarcastic middle-aged man from earlier, Wojciechowski, and another older guy, an overweight dark-skinned man, walking with him. Both are wearing casual clothing, not tactical gear, but both carry hefty sea bags in one hand and gun cases in the other. Before Kit thinks to say anything, Wojciechowski hands him his hefty bag. Seeing a free hand, the thick-set man hands another sea bag to Kit before he can muster an objection.

“Good,” Wojciechowski says, “You’re done dilly-dallying.” He indicates his companion. “This is Zamal Juman. Him you can sir all you like, because he hasn’t worked day in his life, but don’t start right now. He just ate and you mustn’t let him bloat.” Motioning the heavily-laden Kit down the hallway, Wojciechowski saunters behind him. “Time to meet our protectee.”

Juman makes a grunt that a kind soul might interpret as a welcome before starting behind the two men. Kit revises his original estimate of the man as a middle-aged slob, in that while he is a couple of inches shorter than Kit and definitely at least twenty pounds overweight, some of his bulk appears to be muscle and he moves with the kind of confidence that comes with authority.

Navigating narrow stairs in the crew section of the yacht is hard with two bags of this size and Kit finds himself wondering why even the fanciest superyacht seems to have a backstage area where the bit players don’t touch the luxury. To Wojciechowski’s cheerful words of encouragement, Kit finally manages to find the desired door down in the hold.

With an indecently free hand, Wojciechowski knocks on the door and is told to come in. Kit recognizes Dr. Lapointe, the librarian aboard the Penemue and an occasional guest lecturer at UT. There are also two unfamiliar men and two women. Wojchiechowski motions toward one of the women. “Our protectee, Ms. Gwen Delvano.”

Straining for a polite greeting with both hands full, Kit manages a creditable straightening of his back and a personable nod. “Howdy, ma’am.”
Kit is nonplussed when everyone in the room, except the woman he just greeted, burst out in laughter. “Howdy, ma’am, he says;” booms Juman through a huge guffaw.
“Take another look, boychik,” says Wojciechowski.
Kit does. He draws a sharp breath as he realizes and drops both bags. “But, she’s…!”
“That she is, boychik. That she is.”
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Old 03-05-2020, 04:51 PM   #2
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Default Re: [MH] (Caribbean by Night) Driving Miss Piggy

I'm almost feeling sorry for Kit. Or should I say, Kermit. XD

(He wasn't a frogman in the Navy, was he?)
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Old 03-05-2020, 05:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: [MH] (Caribbean by Night) Driving Miss Piggy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
I'm almost feeling sorry for Kit. Or should I say, Kermit. XD
Never fun to be the new guy.

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Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
(He wasn't a frogman in the Navy, was he?)
Of course he was. All Navy SEALs are trained combat divers (His rating was NEC 5326 Combatant Swimmer (SEAL)).
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Old 03-05-2020, 05:03 PM   #4
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Default Index of Episodes

E1: New Guy
E2: A Pig in a Wig
(E2.5: Intermissio I)
(E2.75: Intermissio II)
E3: They Call Me the White Wolf
E4: I Grew Up in an American Town
E5: Barbecuemancy
E6: Welcome to Night Riders
E7: See Where This Thing Goes
E8: Daddy Issues
E9: Sons of the Bird
E10: At Cahokia
E11: Rome of the West
E12: It Was a Blonde
E13: Venus in Robes
E14: Trouble with Tulpa
E15: Riddle of Steel
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Old 03-05-2020, 06:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: [MH] (Caribbean by Night) Driving Miss Piggy

Point of information: In U.S. english, nobody ever says, "Here am I," unless they want to come across as quirky and funny, or annoying and pretentious.

We say, "Here I am."

Also, while it's fine to say "dilly-dally," the phrase normally used by men when talking to one another -- especially macho guys like this -- is, "dickin' around."

"Now that you're done dickin' around...." or "Once you're finished dickin' around...."

Hopefully, that doesn't trigger the forum censor. It is the more polite version of the terminology normally used by active-duty military personnel. :)
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Old 03-05-2020, 06:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: [MH] (Caribbean by Night) Driving Miss Piggy

Quote:
Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post
Point of information: In U.S. english, nobody ever says, "Here am I," unless they want to come across as quirky and funny, or annoying and pretentious.

We say, "Here I am."
"Here am I, send me" is a quote from the Old Testament (God is looking for a prophet, the quote is Isaiah volunteering himself; of note to the story, the job of prophet is implied to be difficult with few rewards, but the right thing to do); some translations write it as "Here I am," but others have it as written in the story. Presumably, that's the version Kit grew up with.

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Also, while it's fine to say "dilly-dally," the phrase normally used by men when talking to one another -- especially macho guys like this -- is, "dickin' around."
Wojciechowski is an older man, is Polish, and unless Icelander happens to concentrate his grammar-typos in this one character, is probably speaking English at Accented level. Him using "dilly-dally" seems perfectly appropriate to me.


Just another opinion on it from another American.
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Old 03-05-2020, 07:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: [MH] (Caribbean by Night) Driving Miss Piggy

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
"Here am I, send me" is a quote from the Old Testament (God is looking for a prophet, the quote is Isaiah volunteering himself; of note to the story, the job of prophet is implied to be difficult with few rewards, but the right thing to do); some translations write it as "Here I am," but others have it as written in the story. Presumably, that's the version Kit grew up with.
This is all true and identifies the converstations Kit and Alexander have in the allusions behind their dialogue.

To avoid spoilers, let's say Kit Walker prefers the King James text. As does, evidently, Jean-Michel Alexandre. And I, personally. But preferred translation is not necessarily a signifier of specific denonomination, especially not with characters who are likely to have read the Bible in many languages and translations.

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Wojciechowski is an older man, is Polish, and unless Icelander happens to concentrate his grammar-typos in this one character, is probably speaking English at Accented level. Him using "dilly-dally" seems perfectly appropriate to me.
Wojciechowski isn't Polish-American. He's a Polish immigrant who has spent maybe 6-7% of his lifetime on US soil. He has, in many ways, learned Enlish exceptionally well. It is still his sixth language and one he has not used much in conversation before he was fifty. He learnt English earlier, but only from books. Somewhat idiosyncratically.

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Just another opinion on it from another American.
Thanks, I'm always looking for feedback. I want Kit to have a mostly 'US Armed Forces muddled' accent, i.e. tell-tale signs that he tried to shed a regional one, but any trained observer should hear that he grew up withing driving range of Matthew McConaghey. Especially if Kit becoves nervous, upset or otherwise preoccupied.
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Old 03-05-2020, 09:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: [MH] (Caribbean by Night) Driving Miss Piggy

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Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post
Also, while it's fine to say "dilly-dally," the phrase normally used by men when talking to one another -- especially macho guys like this -- is, "dickin' around."

"Now that you're done dickin' around...." or "Once you're finished dickin' around...."

Hopefully, that doesn't trigger the forum censor. It is the more polite version of the terminology normally used by active-duty military personnel. :)
My dad, one of the first batches of SEALs, has always (since I was 11, -.41 years ago) has always used dilly dallying. Sorry.
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Old 03-05-2020, 09:30 PM   #9
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Default Re: [MH] (Caribbean by Night) Driving Miss Piggy

I don't follow most of your game postings, but now I want to run a Muppet Show themed game. Maybe starting from the premise of Tom Smith's "The Rocky Horror Mupet Show."

The Muppets need money to pay the theater, so they are trying out one genre they've never done: depravity. :)
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Old 03-05-2020, 09:36 PM   #10
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Default Re: [MH] (Caribbean by Night) Driving Miss Piggy

Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerousThing View Post
My dad, one of the first batches of SEALs, has always (since I was 11, -.41 years ago) has always used dilly dallying. Sorry.
It's a fine saying and, as I noted, its use is perfectly acceptable -- and, while I've heard soldiers use it, the slightly ruder saying is a lot more common. :)

If you're interested in a pretty decent example of how American soldiers talk to one another -- and that includes how many former American soldiers speak -- this video represents it pretty well.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaKX...sPHChAko1Yczp5

Devil Dog Gamer is called that because Steve Miller served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He and several other former military personnel have a group called, "Spearhead" that sometimes play military simulation (mil-sim) games, together.

Squad is a multi-player mil-sim in which players work together in small-unit tactical combat. The video includes Miller and other members of Spearhead, and they use military jargon throughout.

The language is definitely NSFW, but the videos in the selection are fun to watch and in these you can hear all participants speak to one another.

Hopefully, its useful and/or entertaining, even though you seem to have a solid idea of the personalities you want for your characters, already. :)
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