At the Pleasure of the President

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Sacerdos
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At the Pleasure of the President

Postby Sacerdos » Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:09 pm

This is the storyline thread for a game set in 1870’s America. The characters are members of a special branch of the United States Secret Service dedicated to “detecting and apprehending persons breaking laws by use of preternatural abilities.” They’re based in New York City, though they likely will travel throughout the Union.

Since I can best remember games from the standpoint of my character, I’ll be mostly writing these synopses from Lady Covington’s point of view.

The characters for this game can be found here.

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Sacerdos
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Postby Sacerdos » Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:15 pm

Lady Covington’s Journal: A Curious Offer of Employment

July 24, 1870
Early this morning, I arrived in New York City to be greeted by a city decidedly less provincial than I had expected. Like everything American, it is very new and therefore brash and vibrant. There is an exuberant sort of construction and hurly-burly everywhere one turns. It may be that my restless soul has found a home suited to its temperament at last. Only time shall tell.

An intriguing offer of employment led me to this city. The package which accompanied that proposal contained directions to a brownstone apartment and the key to its front door. After a brief inspection, I determined that the dwelling would suffice and began arrangements to have it suitably furnished. Over the two days between my arrival and the appointment with my mysterious new employer, I noticed four other fresh arrivals moving into the neighboring buildings, suggesting that I am to have company at the meeting on the 25th.

I must admit to a great deal of curiosity about Mr. Sebastian Kane and why he might wish to employ me--especially as it appears that I might not be the only person he has summoned to New York.

July 25, 1870
I arrived at Room 101 of 33 Liberty Street promptly at noon, as stipulated by the invitation. The address turned out to be an office of the United States Secret Service, an organization about which I knew next to nothing. The seal painted on the windowed door was quite fresh, and it was obvious that Mr. Kane was as new to his quarters as I was to mine.

In addition to the secretary in the waiting room, I found a polite, well-dressed man whose race I could not immediately determine. In conversation, it turned out that he was an extraordinarily perspicacious gentleman with an equally extraordinary background. His name is Xian Qin, and he is half Chinese, from Leipzig. Before Mr. Qin could proceed overlong into an explanation of his circumstances, we were joined by another man and woman.

The man, whose attire was somewhat out of fashion, introduced himself as Mr. Marcus Duval. He was a prestidigitator who had recently spent a great deal of time in Tibet, a fact which I learned from eavesdropping on his conversation (held in Cantonese) with Mr. Qin. Apparently, he had lived among the monks there in some clandestine monastery fortress.

The woman was Ms. Olivia Quinn from Texas, who exhibited that people’s paradoxically charming and off-putting forwardness. Of the odd crew, she interested me most, as she had been a sharpshooter and performer in Buffalo Bill Cody’s traveling show. As such, she knows much about the various arts which led me to America--gunslinging, the use of the lariat, and so on--and she promised to introduce me to some Red Indian friends of hers. This was certainly an exciting and fortuitous turn of events.

The next to arrive was a young man with a distracted air, winded and disheveled by his vain attempt to reach the appointment on time. According to his report of himself, he had been captivated by the construction site of what will one day be a bridge to the island of Brooklyn. He claimed to be an engineer and a professor at Harvard, though I judged him to be a little on the young side for such a prestigious post.

The last of our group actually arrived after we had entered Mr. Kane’s office. A vain and flighty creature, her overly dramatic entrance was soon explained when she identified herself as the famous local actress, Anne Carmichael Montgomery. She exemplified the bourgeois inclination to ineptly imitate one’s betters by doing such things as adopting long names and assuming that one is by rights the center of attention purely on the ground that one has wealth and fame. This tendency is nothing more than a sad and contemptible pretense that cannot match true noble breeding. It is tedious in the extreme, and it is only made worse when the person doing it is a member of such a low profession. Far preferable for people to know and accept their place. But, that is no excuse for poor manners on one’s own part, and I am sorry to admit that I was less than polite to Ms. Montgomery on our first meeting.

Equally disagreeable in his own way was our new employer. Mr. Sebastian Kane is a cigar-smoking thug who surrounds himself with a pair of Irish toughs. He rather ordered than offered that we enter into service with his government, and made veiled threats about what might happen to those of us who chose to be “part of the problem, rather than the solution.” Had that problem and solution not been so thoroughly interesting, my next destination would most certainly have been the British Consulate! Fortunately for him, though, his description of our task managed to captivate my imagination.

Over time, what Mr. Kane described as preternatural incidents had been occurring with increasing regularity across the United States. We were to form a special team whose purview was investigating and dealing with such incidents, empowered as federal agents to apprehend the guilty and dispense justice as necessary. With such a romantic and adventurous nature as mine, how could I not tightly grasp such an opportunity? The others agreed as well, though some were more reluctant than others. I had to go to some small effort to convince Ms. Quinn not to storm out on the spot.

Once it was clear that we were all willing to accept the appointment, Mr. Kane passed out badges and writs of authority to us. We had already been given quarters in New York, and, indeed, were neighbors in the West 22nd Street brownstone. Beyond that, we were to be afforded the use of a private train as a mobile headquarters in which to travel the country. I had to admit that the ability to travel in comfort and style appealed to me. He also described our first line of inquiry, which involved a series of mysterious disappearances and grisly deaths in nearby New Jersey. We then adjourned to make our preparations for travel during what remained of the day, with an agreement to meet for dinner at a local restaurant in order to better acquaint ourselves with each other.


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