And now it's time for something completely different! Yay complete lack of focus!
Fracture here, by the way.
Be tea Double You, as the kids say. Do they say that? I think I heard one say that.
While Cerberus is out looking for the Doll in Black Lake, I decided to do a little research on Picasso's Slicer situation.
I'm referencing this specifically.
Somewhere in that lengthy exposition of post, Navi explains that Slicer boasted that he was part of major proxy organization that spanned several cities, one them being Atlanta, when they captured him. So they stole him so Slicer's Order wouldn't know someone was helping April.
As a figure head and ambassador for the Free Market, when I can be bothered to be, I decided I would personally head this up and see if such a large cell had actually managed to survive the Bureaucracies fall.
The answer is no, no one did not. The cell in Atlanta is much smaller than Slicer boasted. Its truly is a miracle it's held together isolated as it is for so long. I can say, however, that is an official Father sanctioned cell.
They operate out of a Walmart, have in house staffing, supplies and money to spare, a... working leadership hierarchy, and most importantly, an Oracle.
I was skeptical when they told me they had an oracle. False oracles have led proxies to ruin on more than one occasion. I was far less skeptical when I was told it was a little girl. My worries were laid to rest when I went to meet her.
Shes the real deal. She had a stack of papers predicting my arrival when I came in and was still feverishly drawing more like a child possessed. The greatest bit of truth though was the last thing she drew. It's crude picture of someone with a broken face holding up a guy. There is scribbled text across the page that reads 'The Angel's whore stole Slicer'. I could barely keep myself from braking down in laughter. Those are fighting words. I'd wager Picasso would snap that poor little girl's neck if she knew.
Further proof still was the little oracle through a panicked fit when she saw me and realized who I was... perhaps even saw what I am. She huddled on the floor in front of begging for mercy. I know the others get this kind of treatment all the time, but I so rarely do. It was a cool novelty.
I spared the poor thing my presence with haste before she had herself a heart attack to go talk to their leadership again, a man named Duke.
I handed him the pages and explained the situation carefully. What had happened, who I actually was (because I had been lying him him about that up til then), what I was gonna do to make this right, what I wanted from him and how I intended to compensate him for it, what the Free Market is, my crusade, the code of Ethics, and what I have to offer him.
We came to an understanding. He, unsurprisingly, has not accepted the code of ethics.
He and his people are still very wrapped up in the old ways and trying very hard to act like the Bureaucracy can still be saved. We call those kind of people 'Fallen' Proxies. Like angels lost and stranded in a order less world, they just can't let go of what they were and keep trying to recreate it. So while they have a real oracle, they chose to interpret the orders they're receiving as a call to hunt from Father because that how they were taught to understand thing in the old system. Progress is slow...
I think it broke Duke's heart a little when I told him how broad my influence was these days. In a lot of ways, I think I am what he aspires to be... and that might make him dangerous. Envy is a thing.
Whatever gripes he may harbor, hes at least being civil about it. We agreed that he gets first dibs on all activity going through Atlanta and in exchange hes agreed to report in on his groups activities so I may weigh in on his decision making with a stated understand that he has the final say at the end of the discussion if there even is one. I certainly have no intention of sitting of his shoulder telling him how to handle every little thing.
He has also agreed to let me and my people buy, order, sell, and ship through him at a discount. A reasonable one. It wouldn't be fair if I wasn't letting him turn any kind of profit off of me. That would be bad for the market. Hes also offered up room and board for passing proxies. In exchange for all that I offered up access to the Docks the Free Market controls in the Atlanta area. Our people there keep storage, offer room and board, and know this nifty little trick where they make corpses disappear.
And as a final exchange I offered to pay for the time Slicer has spent in our custody and to, for a little while at least, keep him with us on Retainer while we get April's business with him handled. To which Duke reluctantly agreed. To make sure everything is on the level, hes having me take a Proxy named Tracker up to meet Slicer, April, Navi, and Picasso. Hes apparently a friend of Slicers.
I'm writing this on my phone while he drives. We're making pretty good time. We should be there tomorrow morning.
Picasso show Slicer this post and untie him. Everything is fine. We've settled things and he can be a free man again. Get to work settling his and Aprils... business I guess. Tracker will be there soon to make sure you're behavior.
I'd join you lot but... I have some not dying to do else where. You understand I'm sure.
And try to sort this all quickly before Slicer costs us a small fortune.