Ash Gently's Office
Piscina Nadya; October 4-18, 2008
Piscina Nadya; October 4, 2008
Pisces is going to visit Ash Gently's old office and poke around to see if anything's left there that might shed light on his role in the Halifax fiasco or how he ended up in a coma. She doesn't have very high hopes, since it's been months and it was the kind of official dwelling that get emptied out when someone officially dies, but she particularly desires and will try to liberate and horde objects that might have belonged to him.
The remnants of the Ash Gently's Bronx office are easily gotten into with a little carefully played Obfuscate and a dynamic door entry device (i.e. a hammer). Lockpicks are vastly over-rated.
The place is a testament to why PIs lives are best portrayed in monochrome. The faded and water-stained vomited-pea-soup colored dry-wall would most definitely look better sans color. Slightly less-than-faded squares on the walls and deep matted indents in the puce-orange carpeting betray places where shelving or furniture once stood. Dead bugs pile in the light fixture. The whole place reeks of stale soggy tobacco.
In spite of Ash's long absence, you find the place hasn't been entirely cleaned out, although you suspect most of what you find is largely useless. Any trace of important paperwork (pertaining to mortal or immortal affairs) is certainly long gone.
In addition to a desk, a very uncomfortable looking chair and an empty filing cabinet, the office yields the following:
- A fairly bland 2008 calendar given out by a not-for-profit company dedicated to the conservation of Canadian wildlife. It is pinned up to April, and shows a silhouette of a lone bull moose forever surveying the wall. It contains no circled dates, seemingly-important notes or cryptic messages.
- A cheap plastic mask portraying the character Count von Count from the hit children's television series Sesame Street.
- A copy of Arabic for Dummies: A Guide for the Rest of Us. It is marked as being the property of the New York City Public Library.
- A book of matches from a Motel 8.
- An ugly but functional glass ashtray that looks vaguely like the sort one might pilfer from a Motel 8, if you were the sort of person who stole things from motels.
- A small book of largely untouched crossword puzzles.
- A skein of heavy duty nylon rope.
- A large collection of ball-point pens taken from other peoples offices.
- Many many paper clips. A few have been twisted into odd shapes. A few have been combined with a large rubber eraser to make a little animal of some sort.
- A bag of assorted value-priced candies that now contains only a few discolored butterscotch wafers. Nobody likes butterscotch wafers.
- Half a bottle of Klipdrift brandy and a shot glass.
- A leather wallet with no money inside which has been shoved into the corner of the top desk drawer. It contains the long-expired (since 2003) NYC driver's license of somebody named Paul Michael Fasciani. Paul is Caucasian, dirty blonde, 5' 8", 130 lbs, an organ donor, looks like he really hates having his photograph taken and does not resemble Ash Gently in the slightest.
- The most depressing looking office plant you have ever had the misfortune to encounter. It's dessicated to the point where you aren't able to even begin to hazard a guess as to what it once was. Upon cutting it, you find a flimsy line of green that shows that it somehow still stubbornly clings to life.
- An ink-stained desk blotter which is quite nearly stuck to the desk.
- The photograph below, carefully tucked underneath said desk blotter.
Piscina Nadya; October 18, 2008
Pisces puts on some leather gloves, gets a big duffel bag, and spends a half an evening stealing all of Ash Gently's old stuff. Except for the desk, chair and filing cabinet. Those don't fit in the duffel bag. She is storing it in a nearby bolt hole.
She is using Auspex 3 (bought last game) to spirit's touch:
The uncomfortable looking chair (while still in the room)
The desk (while still in the room)
The filing cabinet
The mask of Count von Count.
The nylon rope
The paper clip animal
The shot glass
Pisces waters the plant, refertilizes it, prunes off the dead parts (which seems to be most of it), and buys a sunlamp for it. She stores it in one of her bolt holes near the Cirque de la Lune warehouse so she can check on it every night.
You circle back to Ash's office and find that nothing has been done to remedy the original ministrations of your dynamic entry device. This makes getting in the second time a lot easier. You quickly pilfer whatever is lootable but not stupidly cumbersome. Applying your arts of Psychometry to the objects in question yield a wide variety of results, which are listed below.
The Un-Comfy Chair: The chair gives you a feeling of irritation, as if a yellowy incandescent light was humming in an unpredictable yet maddening waver for hours on end and you had a crick in your back that just... wouldn't... pop. There's a sense of monotony and malaise, and you feel a little bit sick as you take your hand away.
The Desk: The desk conjures up feelings somewhat similar to the chair, although a bit more distant. Overlying this is a sense of satisfied frustration as it were, as if somebody was trying very hard to solve a puzzle that they didn't really feel was worth solving. You get a brief flash of Ash at the desk, paperwork strewn in all directions.
The Filing Cabinet: The filing cabinet has much the same monotonous/irritating/unfulfilled/frustrated feel of the chair and desk. You think you can catch a little bit of smugness wafting through.
The Mask of Count von Count: As soon as you touch the mask, the salty-hot metallic taste of blood floods your mouth and you find yourself on your knees in the dark of some place you've never been. There's an angry and immediate flash of self-revulsion and you feel acutely and absurdly ashamed. The thick substance pours down the back of your throat in slippery-smooth clots. It's as if you're naked somehow, naked and trembling in some ludicrous schoolboy nightmare in which all the world sees you stripped at the crux. You are obvious. There is no beating around the bush about what you are. You feel even worse as you feel working it's way back up your throat in dry bileless heaves - and through the guilt the last thing you can recall is a decision to suck it all up and try a little harder. Somebody's face connects with your knuckles as you come to.
The Nylon Rope: There's a sense of boy-scout-like satisfaction here, as if you know you'll be ready for something. A vague sense of anticipation is mixed in.
The Paperclip animal:Boredom. The animal radiates a grim and irritating boredom, as if waiting for something unnecessary and unappreciable. You get a vague impression in the back of your mind that it's supposed to be a piggie - and a slight hint of mirth creeps in.
The Shot Glass: You can feel the burn of the brandy on your lips and your thoughts are awash with a sudden and strange nostalgia. The world hazes like perfume around you as you start to feel your exterior stripped away and you realize how much old wounds can still hurt. There's a lot of "what ifs" now; a lot of "wouldn't that have been swells" a lot of wondering if maybe... just maybe... just if only
...and then there's despair, and heartsickness and a venomously, angry and hateful resignation as the sort of airy world of potentials slides away into mess and stupor. Regret. There's a lot of that too.
The Photograph: The photograph initially floods you with a similar mournful sort of nostalgia as the whiskey glass. It's different, however, much different. Instead of simply bitterness, this feeling is one of bittersweetness. There's a solemn clear-headed recognition here - a realization that you were happy and even if there's no hope in that there's still remembrance. That some things can't and won't be erased. You feel a little foolish for dwelling on it.
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