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Old 09-18-2020, 12:02 AM   #5
Hench Mutant
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 323
Side Story: "The World-Weary"
In addition to the tabletop RPG on voice chat, the Discord community also has a channel for text-based play-by-post roleplaying. One of the players didn't want to use voice chat, so she instead instigated a side story in which she played:

Jasmine Smith-Garcia, the aforementioned mutant fox with brittle bones and a healing factor that means she has to reapply her cast on a regular basis.

In her role as a journalist in Mutant Town, Jasmine uses an old plastic typewriter that has seen better days to type up a news story on the few sheets of usable paper she can find. While she doesn't live at the shelter, the place is warmer than the apartment she shares with her wife, a nurse named Jeri.

The clacking of Jasmine's typing annoys a gopher mutant wearing jeans, flannel, and a baseball cap. He shouts that "Some of us are trying to read a newspaper!"

Jasmine begins to offer a timid apology, but instead she holds her ground and points out that she's "trying to write a newspaper so you have a new one to read tomorrow." She even asks the man if he happened to find any real newspapers that might have blown over the Mutant Town walls.

The gopher in the flannel almost pursues the argument further, but he's discouraged by a pointed look by Alopex, who doesn't appreciate people being jerks in her establishment.

Alopex checks in on Jasmine, and the two end up in a conversation about Jasmine's relationship with Jeri, as well as whether or not there's anything to Alopex's rapport with "that handsome turtle".

At first, Alopex tries various methods to redirect the conversation away from the topic of Raphael, but Jasmine is persistent. Al admits whatever she has with Raphael is in a holding pattern, as all he does is show up to her shelter and eat food, seldom saying more than a few words to her or anyone else.
Jasmine makes Alopex promise her that "if he doesn't start noticing the way your eyes sparkle when you're talking with him, you make him see stars instead and hit him with the cooking pot?"

"You sure you want to give me advice like that?" Alopex asks. "Because I'll take it. Any old excuse to club some sense into that lummox."

The topic turns into the general state of Mutant Town, Alopex's shelter, and Alopex herself. Jasmine promises to offer her a listening ear and venting time when she needs it, because Alopex has been working herself ragged, and she's not good at asking for help.

Soon the outside door opens, admitting another visitor to the shelter. This is a shy white-furred woman with a feline mutation. She timidly admits she needs help in the form of food.

Jasmine and Alopex share a look. There's something about this woman's shy nature that makes them wonder if she needs more help than just food. And if there's anything or anyone from which she needs protection.

Alopex rolls Empathy, but she isn't able to discern anything specific. She and Jasmine soon learn this woman's name is Raelle Ravencroft.

As Raelle gets comfortable and eats some bread, she asks if anyone knows what happened "to us". It turns out to be a question about the mutations that changed them. Alopex tries to give some details about what happened, but she isn't comfortable giving too many details. The best she can say is that the substance in the explosive device was called 'mutagen', and maybe there might someday be a cure. There was even the promise of one last month, but that turned out to be a hoax.

The door opens again to admit another visitor, one who catches the tail end of Alopex's conversation. She's a huge polar bear mutant wearing a black leather jacket, sunglasses, cargo pants, and heavy boots. "Who says we need to be cured? I don't know about any of you, but this change has worked out great for me."

The polar bear woman, Tora, gives off bad vibes, which she confirms when she says she's been hired by the Mutanimals to hunt down the vigilante turtle named Raphael. She pins a wanted poster on the wall with the bounty printed on it. She's been offered a large sum of money and rations from the Mutanimals, and she's willing to split the reward with anyone who can inform her of Raphael's whereabouts.

Agitated by Tora's presence by a variety of reasons, Alopex stands her ground, ready for a fight. Jasmine tries to convince her that no one in the shelter would want to turn on Raphael. She isn't successful.

“Nice speech," Tora replies. "You should run for office, if this walled-off ghetto had one. But you know what? I don’t care if this Raphael is a sinner or a saint. He’s got currency on his head, and I’m gonna collect. I can already see there’s people here who want a cut of that as well. So I’m gonna get what I’m looking for.”

Tora bids them all a good day and exits, leaving a tense atmosphere in her wake.

Ending Notes:
  • The events of the side story currently take place shortly before TMNT #101, so Mona Lisa's encounter with the mutanimals in the alley hasn't yet happened. At some point I might align the two side stories as happening at the same time, but I didn't want the side story to get ahead of the main story.
  • Jasmine's wife Jeri Garcia-Smith is the nurse at the local hospital mentioned in Session 1. In that session she's sent Crank on the mission to procure black-market medical supplies, but in terms of this side-story, that hasn't happened yet.
  • Raelle Ravencroft is played by Johann Sebastian Shark's player. The text-based format of the side story allows players of the main story to create other characters they can play out.
  • As some might have guessed, Tora is an actual (but obscure) TMNT character. Tora was a video game boss created for TMNT 2: The Arcade Game for NES. As in that game, Tora is an immensely-strong polar bear who wears shades and a black leather jacket and works as a bounty hunter. There are two differences here: Tora is a mutated former human instead of an alien, and Tora’s a she instead of a he. I made the former decision because a polar bear mutant fits into this setting a bit better; I made the latter decision because Tora is typically a feminine name, even in Japanese where it means 'tiger'.
  • If any of you are interested in roleplaying in this Discord community, the link is in my signature. Besides the play-by-post side story, I have an opening for up to two more players in the main story, which is played Friday nights on voice chat from 11pm to 1am Central Time (aka 4am GMT).

Next in the Side-Story: "Loyalties at War"

Next in the Main Story - Session 3: "Eat at Al's"
TMNT: Mutant Town
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