The Kingdom of Dogwood is pretty big for Rifts Earth and the city at its rough center is one of the wonders of the Atlantic seaboard. There aren’t many places this side of the Appalachians that can offer this level safety and security even if it does come at the cost of a neo-feudal order that would have many from the previous age blanching at the lack of freedom most of the citizens live with.
The Dogwood Docks are the point of entry for many visitors to the area. Even those who come from back West often find it politic to go around the D-shifting mountains and come up the coast by boat. So they’re busy and quite noisy. Visitors come and go, cargo is unloaded and the business of a Kingdom churns on.
Sir Adison Adler is one of the unlanded ‘Questing Knights’ based here in the city and today he has the ‘honor’ of assisting the Guild House guards in their patrols and vigil over the docks. Movement means opportunity for crime and it’s helpful in many cases to have a power armored deterrant. Plus he has one of the few Glitterboy armors in the Dogwood inventory. It’s… very noticeable. Perfect for this kind of see and be seen work.
Docks also mean the likely place to get your armor unloaded, and places to pick up the supplies needed for them. Which is what Sindri is doing; as a new arrival, you try to walk serious kit all over. Like across an Ocean, he’s currently barking at a crew unloading a large imported suit, making sure nothing can possibly go wrong, such as it falling onto the dock! These things might happen, drumming his fingers against his leg as he watches.
“Careful damn you! Those are -live- plasma missiles!” That should encourage people to be careful as the suit begins a pre operations check..yes?Seeing and being seen is not something with which Catriona often feels comfortable – especially not in a city with a reputation for maintaining a rather profound dislike of all things (and people) of a magical nature. Still, better Dogwood than being D-shifted into somewhere even less hospitable… though her artistically archaic style of armour and the twin blades she carries certainly would not help her to blend in with the technologically-inclined locals, even if she weren’t also sickly-pale and scarred. In spite of her preference for going unnoticed, she keeps her hood down, letting her lack of fear of sunlight be seen as she maes her way down the gangplank and onto the wharf… head turning to warily eye proceedings as “live plasma missiles” are shouted about.
Rachel Williams is the ‘ranking officer’ for the Guild House and she marches along side Adison. Her uniform is crisp, clean, and sports the guild sigil. Her hair is cut short, though it might be difficult to tell with the cap that she wears. “We’ve rumours, Sir Adler, that one of the bands will be making an attempt on the cargo as we move it to the warehouse.”“I see. Well that’s not a concern until we move it out of the city. Until then we should be fine. Now, I believe we have some arrivals to register.” Even from inside the suit Adler’s slightly nasal voice sounds bored. And he is. The Glitterboy is a precision instrument of death and destruction. He’s using it here to look over crates of ore for anything suspicious. But, such are the times. And it beats the alternative. The last time Dogwood went to war with it’s southern neighbor – a place much friendly to people like Catriona – things went poorly for the Kingdom.
The gleaming silver suit begins to move, looking up at the large foriegn armor as it’s hoisted up onto a crane and brought ever so carefulyl down onto the dock. And it really does have to be carefully. Live plasma rockets notwithstanding, the kind of weight a German armor can clock in at is the sort of thing that could punch through the pier if it were dropped from high enough. Which would be disasterous on several levels.
Thankfully that doesn’t happen today and as the cargo is secured the suited Knight and the Guild Security Officer stride up to Catriona and Sindri.
“Welcome to the Kingdom of Dogwood. I am Sir Adler, inspecting these docks in the name of the Crown. This is Miss Williams of Guild House Corbell. Please state your business within our borders?” Williams will ahve a clipboard and a pen, hopefully.
Sindri is used to these sort of questions; given he makes his living as a gun for hire. He’s already climbing up onto the Ultimax II; to check power couplings and the like, with an expert hand at such matters, especially given the added Naruni tech to the suit, or is it robot? Hard to tell with those German constructs.
“Sindri Steiner; soldier of fortune. Hopefully locating work in the area.” He says, even as he begins to open the hatch for the command cabin, to begin powering up sequences..hopefully with out shortings!The Glitterboy suit is certainly more beautiful and elegant, but an evidently-distracted Catriona can’t help but spare a good portion of her attention for the hulkingly brutish form ot the Ultimax. She skirts a semi-circle around it, looking up and down at its assorted weapon systems and sensors… as well as the sheer *bulk* of the thing. Every now and then, she glances to the Glitterboy, directly contrasting the two.
Rachel is carrying a tablet of sorts. Not a pen and clipboard. As Sindri introduces himself, she taps most efficiently and frowns at the Ultimax suit. “I see. Well, our guild house maintains a roster of soldiers. I can register you on it, if you like.” It’s not that she sounds bored, but this is fairly routine stuff and they’ve been doing it for a while.
“I’ll just need to ask you a few questions.” The tablet is waved in the mans direction. “I’m sorry, may we help you” she says quite officiously as Catriona starts to circle.“Don’t forget to mention the Billet.” The kingdom has a long term relationship with a mercenary outfit called the Black Suns who form the backbone of the ‘professional’ portion of the Kingdom’s military. The Suns have a special mercenary reservation in the southern part of town and often take on smaller outfits and singletons to augment their numbers so it’s a good place to find work.
Leaving Williams to continue her questionarie with the pilot, the Glitterboy turns to directly face Catriona now. “And you Miss? Name and business here in Dogwood?”
It’s a good thing Dogwood lacks psi-hounds and such like they have in the Coalition States. For the most part unless she does something, Catriona is unlikely to be found out.
Still it’s not a nice place for ‘her kind’ even if it’s less lethal than some.
Sindri is placing his head set on, letting the HUD swirl to life in his eyes, so he can watch system displays and the like, but he’s curious now about The Billet and the like.
“Ask away.” He says, though when he goes to look at whom the Glitterboy looks at, the ‘head’ of the Ulti swivels slightly, the HUD definitely is synched up properly at least. “Oh and I need directions to where to..store this. I assume there is Ordinances about that sort of thing.”Catriona starts, twice, as first Rachel and then the Glitterboy pilot address her. The radical difference in heights of the two doesn’t exactly help, as she looks up and down as well as back and forth between the two. “Ahhh… I apologise. Catriona Moore. Passing through, I believe. I’m a scout. I was thinking of seeing if anyone needed my services out in the wilds, or in… Saren’s Rest, is it? I’ve never been to the area before, so I’m yet to learn where the work might be.” Her accent, certainly, isn’t local.
Rachel gives Adler a very dry look before looking back to Sindri. “Just a few routine questions, Mr Steiner. To ensure we know who’s on our roster and how to pay you.” Tapping on her tablet, she continues after a moment, watching the head of the Ulti swivel “The Billet is the other place you should approach. It’s in the southern part of the city with the Black Suns. They’re kept rather busy and are often looking for individuals to fill out their ranks.”
She’ll get to the questions in a moment. Catriona’s answer has entering that data on another screen. “And where are you from?” Direct. That’s how you would describe Rachel.
Adler nods. He’s still only been doing this for about eight months – being a new ish Questing Knight – and sometimes forgets that people can’t see him not. After a moment he coughs. “Passing through. Very good. What is your estimated length of stay?”
The Glitterboy takes a step back to give the Ulti-Max room to move and to make his presence slightly less… imposing. The pilot flips on his thermal imaging and makes a quick scan of both people and equipment. He’s really looking for, you know, bombs and the like. That aren’t in missiles where they’re supposed to be.
“Visual scan appears to be in order.” He notes to Williams.
Sindri is sliding into the pilot cabin, letting it seal shut and the force field engage, a test, now Sindri also will be a mechanical voice emitting from robotics! Isn’t life grand? “I’ll begin to upload past information.” He booms to Rachel..you know, if they have any sort of local data feed. How back water can they be?Catriona’s heat signature is a little lower than would be normal for a human… but hey, it’s Rifts Earth. That archaic-looking armour is almost certainly something rather higher-tech beneath the surface, unless its wearer has a death wish. “Up North,” she says, nodding in the appropriate direction. “Took ship from beyond Old Washington. Tensions are a little high up there, and I don’t want to get caught up in another Swarm, or all-out war. As for length of stay….” A slight creak accompanies a gentle shrug. “I admit that I don’t know your regulations on visitors. Is anyone without work and an address required to be beyond the city limits by sundown, or the like?”
“Excellent, Sir Adler. Thank you.” Williams murmurs and rolls her eyes at the booming voice. “Data uplink being initiated.” Dogwood isn’t a backwater and it has some fairly advanced technology. Steiner will see the connection request flash up on his systems.
Rachel watches the tablet, tapping at the screen occassionally. “As Sir Adler asked, how long are you planning on staying?” She frowns as she reads something and falls silent as she taps some more “Ownership is verified as well.”
Catriona’s words get a look “No need to vacate before sundown. You will need somewhere to stay, and be able to pay for it. Vagrancy is illegal.”Sir Adler chuckles from inside his armor and it carries through his speakers. That’s the first bit of humor he’s shown in the entire exchange. It //may// be the first bit of humor he’s shown for the entire day. “There’s some inns on the road and in the southern end of town. Stay out of trouble and you’ll get along fine while you’re in our borders. If you’re headed south make sure your papers are in order. There was an incident a few days ago and the border patrols have orders to give any crossings extra scutiny. That said… welcome to the kingdom.”
The knight nods to the pilot and the scout then turns and heads off to the next group of people.For her part, Catriona offers the duo a respectful inclination of her head, casts a sidelong glance at the booming Utimax… then allows herself a long, slow breath as she moves away into the city. One hurdle overcome… next, she just has to see if she can pass for (sufficiently) normal to cope with the city long enough to get her bearings…
“Welcome to the Kingdom.” Rachel says, finishing her entries on her tablet. Turning away from the pair, she gestures to Adler “Come along, Sir Adler, there’s work to do. We’ve got to get that shipment to its destination.” She sighs “And Sir Jamison wants to see us. God knows what for but it will be related to his missing daughter.”
Her voice fades as they walk away and the crowds swallow her. Not so much the Glitterboy at her side.
Entering Dogwood, Wraith and Sindri meet the officials and get advice. (Emits by Aiden and Slaine)
December 01, 2409