Wednesday, 31 August 2016

The Cells, S01E04 Scene 1

This is an actual play report from the PTA game I've been playing in for the last year or so. Steve Dee posted play summaries for the first few episodes before he had to bow out. But since then there haven't been any updates. So I'm going to try and pick up the baton and continue the story. Enjoy.

Spotlight character: None for this episode.

The camera pans in above Citadel and focuses on a long black car with a military escort ahead and behind. It's the hearse, carrying the body of Quiver, to a place of contemplation for the Path. It's a neo-modernist pagoda, scattered with reflecting pools. The coffin is painted in four different colours to represent the four elements of the Path. In older times the body would have been quartered; today it's much more symbolic. Ultra-conservative sects appoint someone from the family to cut the body up with a bonesaw, but not here in this civilised place. Gathered for the ceremony are the council members and other dignitaries.

Agent Quiver

Zach is in a pinstripe suit. Hal stands with his wife, Kate. He's again refusing to wear his military uniform, especially for the funeral of the man who was sleeping with his wife. Attendees are wearing tokens or sashes of red, the colour of mourning. Lazarus wears the red of civic government, not the red of the Path. Political commentators notice the difference, but the general public doesn't care for him.

It is, of course, raining.

Knightfather Roland, though present, does not lead the service. Rather, Cardinal Templeton delivers all the necessary pomp. He tells a lovely story and draws everyone in, but the focus is not on Quiver. As he speaks about duty and honour, Kate starts shaking beside Hal, a mere fraction from losing it. Hal puts his arm around her to offer comfort.

Zach has come prepared, however, and secretly presses a valium into Kate's palm. She's initially surprised but realises that she needs this. Discretely she "blows her nose" and pops the pill. Hal's gesture is missed. He reaches out to support her but she turns away. Hal is left looking awkward.

The Cardinal comes to the end of his speech, claiming that the world is darker for Quiver's passing. Hal keeps a stony face throughout. The ceremony ends, the press take photos, and the coffin presented to the four pools. Mourners throw rose petals onto the canal as it draws the coffin away. The service ends and the people begin to move on towards the wake.

Before he can make his way there, the media approach Zach and ask him for comment. "Quiver was a good man. He meant well with every one of his actions. I have nothing more to say." Ever the media focus, they then seem more interested in who made his suit and the questions become more inane.

The press descend on Hal and Kate. "Captain Hal, how do you feel about losing a key support in the council's infrastructure? Will the council be able to move forward and do anything meaningful with this terrible loss?"

He replies, "It is a setback but the council has been chosen to be able to approach obstacles from a number of angles and we will find a way forward." They lap it up; the words of a war hero. Hal seizes on the opportunity and says that the council will continue to work with the military and the General, but saying it in a way that casts the tiniest doubt on the intentions of the military.

Avoiding the media, Lazarus heads directly towards the main entrance. An unassuming man in a grey suit sidles up to him, puts him arm around Lazarus' shoulder and guides him to one side, giving Lazarus no option but to go with him. Lazarus complies. The man shows him an ID badge from Global. "So you've lost Quiver. What now?"

"We need a replacement. One who is quick and effective. There's a lot we need to do but we can't cut through the nonsense."

"We can take care of that. This city needs to get itself back in order. We need to be shown to be in complete control after this. Just because Quiver managed the fiasco out the front of Central doesn't change the fact that you're all in a precarious position right now."

"Could you get somebody with fewer personal problems this time? Perhaps someone who can keep it in his pants?"

"You know, I've got just the man."

"Good. Send me a brief," says Lazarus. "Next, we need to accelerate the technological advances in order to feed the people. The people here are unruly and need to be pacified. They need food and need to feel as though we are listening. We need a cultural event. One where the people are free to express what life is like after the white , without breaking rules of which side they were on and who we fought for. Just allow them to be... edgy. Let them feel as though they are criticising us. Keep them a little happy."

"Redirect them? Is that what you're saying?"

"Yes. While we can do the more important things."

"Mr Moore, I think we're going to be able to work together well. We'll have a briefing for you within the hour, sir."

"I look forward to it. I'll see you back at Central."

"No. You won't."

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