Ladybug and the Tramp

After witnessing an argument at a bar between a married couple of Freebooters, you’re drawn deeper into their strange and sometimes violent relationship.

Level: 13
Start: Paradox Virtue, Lounge, Caen Stronghold

Introduction

You’ve just sat down to order a drink at the Lusty Lemon when you’re distracted by the terrified plea of a server at the next table over.

The waiter says, Please don’t throw that! I’m s-sorry I thought that’s what you ordered!

You glance at the direction of the commotion to see a clearly distressed Mall woman throw her drink to the ground in a rage. The cup smashes to pieces and splashes a thick, black drink all over the tile, startling both the waiter and the man across from her whom your COETECHS identify as Muck O'Flannery.

The mall woman says, WELL IT’S NOT WHAT I ORDERED. THIS IS THE WORST BIRTHDAY I’VE EVER HAD.

You have accepted the "Ladybug and the Tramp" mission.

Next NPC: Muck O'Flannery, Lounge, Caen Stronghold

  • Listen in

The baseline man sitting across from the woman stands up to calm the petrified waiter.

The man says, Sorry, lad, Ladybug’s just a bit irate about an unrelated issue, you’re alright.

Ladybug turns her gaze on Muck, pure rage behind her eyes.

Ladybug says, IRATE, MUCK?

She grabs the rim of their table and rips it out of the floor; quite a feat as it was nailed down. Their server, Paradox, flinches as she hurls the table across the room, causing several other patrons to duck out of its way. The other patrons peak back up at the couple with renewed interest once the table skids safely to a halt.

Ladybug roars, I am more than IRATE, you CHEATING SON OF A SCUM BUCKET! Hookers? On our HONEYMOON? When were you planning to tell me?

  • Continue listening
  • Walk away

Walk away:

You hastily walk away from the unfolding scene, unwilling to get caught up in it in case the Trade Barons get involved.

You have failed the "Ladybug and the Tramp" mission. You can retake this mission and try again.

Listen:

You continue to listen, interested to see where this goes.

Muck says, Honeybear! Please don’t call them whores, that’s demeaning! The hardworking ladies at the Moulin Rouge prefer “up-scale escort.”

Ladybug gutturally screams and balls her hands in tight fists.

The other patrons are taking much more notice now, some of them have stood up from their comfortable chairs for a better view of the drama. Paradox watches in terrified silence, too meek to kick them out.

She screeches: ON OUR HONEYMOON! And I had to find out because you’re still in CONTACT WITH ONE OF THEM ON YOUR CORETECHS? We’re married now, Muck! I thought that meant something to you!

Ladybug looms over Muck and he laughs nervously. Several of the Lounge’s patrons holler and hoot support for her, some voices calling for her to hit him.

  • Walk away
  • Break up the fight
  • Continue listening

Walk away:

You hastily walk away from the unfolding scene, unwilling to get caught up in it in case the Trade Barons get involved.

You have failed the "Ladybug and the Tramp" mission. You can retake this mission and try again.

Listen:

You make yourself comfortable, allowing yourself to melt into the growing crowd.

Muck says, Come on, baby. Of course it means something to me! A roll in the sack is one thing, but what we have, Ladybug, what we have is special. Come here.

He approaches her, arms outstretched for a hug. The crowd hangs in silence, waiting for her next move as tears gather in her eyes.

All at once she bares her teeth and swings her fist at Muck’s face. As her fist makes contact, the entire crowd can hear the audible CRACK of his nose breaking. He falls to the ground, moaning pitifully. She wipes away tears from her eyes and spits on him.

Ladybug says, You’re still coming to my birthday party. I’m not going to explain to my friends my husband cheated on me after less than a tenspan of marriage. This isn’t over, but we’ll deal with it later.

Ladybug storms out of the the Lounge, things quiet down again. The crowd around them gets bored and disperses quite quickly, leaving Muck alone on the floor, trying to plug is bleeding nose.

  • Help Muck up
  • Leave

Help:

You approach Muck and help him up off the ground. He wipes away some of the blood dribbling down his face and nods to you in thanks.

He says, Thanks, Stranger, sorry you all had to see that. You don’t have the likes of a ‘Booter and I’d hate to set a poor example…

  • "I've seen worse"
  • "It was interesting"

Interesting:

Me: I honestly do not mind, that was the most interesting part of my day. Are you okay?

Muck smiles at you weakly as he tilts his head up to keep the blood from his nose from running down his face.

Muck says, Aye, I’m fine. Ladybug’s just a bit upset about my… er.. transgression. She’ll get over it soon, don’t you worry, we’ll be solid as a rock, me an’ her.

  • "What makes you so sure?"

Me: What makes you so sure she'll forgive you?

Muck says, Well… it’s her birthday today and I have a surprise I think she’ll be quite taken with.

  • "What was she so upset about?"
  • "Is she always so angry?"
  • "What's this birthday present?"
  • "Is she going to be okay?"

Present:

Me: What's this birthday present?

Muck says, Oh, a surprise.

Muck's eyes light up with inspiration. A toothy, wolfish grin spreads across his face.

Muck says,Say, you’re the helpful type, right? What say you go pick up Ladybug’s birthday gift for me? It’s in the market, a merchant called “Bean” is holding it for me. I’ll even pay you! 300 credits. Whaddaya say?

  • "Why can't you go?"
  • Decline
  • Agree

Why:

Me: "Why can't you go?"

Muck says, I’ve got some preparations to make for her birthday party and if she were to see me picking up her gift from Bean she could guess what it is and ruin the surprise. It’d be all ‘round easier if you could go fetch it for me. Please?

  • Agree
  • Decline

Agree:

Me: Alright, I’ll help. What should I do?

Muck claps his hand across your back in delight.

Muck says, Thank you! Very kind! It’s the simplest job in the world — just go to Bean and ask for the “special.” I’ve already paid for it, he’ll just hand you the package and you can bring it back to me. Got it?

Me Sure. I’ll go there now.

Speak with Bean in the Market and retrieve "The Special" for Muck.

Next NPC: Bean Bagbottom, Market, Caen Stronghold

  • Speak with Bean

You approach the colonist merchant fitting Muck’s description. Even for his genotype, he’s a very small man. You watch his head bob as he sorts through the various types of guns in his wares, muttering to himself.

Me: Hi there, are you Bean?

He stops what he’s doing and looks up at you with eerie pale eyes. A wrinkled smile stretches over his yellowish teeth.

He says, Ahoy there, traveler, Bean’d be me. What can I do ya for?

  • "I'm here about the 'Special'"

Me: I'm picking up the "special" for Muck.

He says, Old Muck sent a friend for it, did he? That'll keep the Trade Baron's dogs off him. Clever, clever.

Bean titters unnervingly as he ducks beneath his booth for something. A unit later he comes back up with a small package, something which could easily fit into a pocket. As you reach to take it from him, he snaps his hand shut.

He says, That’ll cost ya 100 credits.

  • "What is it?"
  • "Muck said this was paid for"
  • Give him 100 credits

Paid for:

Me: What? 100 credits? Muck told me this was paid for already?

Bean says, I gave Muck the friends and family discount. You’re not friends and family, so I took off the discount. If I know Muck, he’s paying you well over that to retrieve this here package. Old Bean gets a cut, yeah?

  • Intimidate Bean into giving you the package
  • "What is it?"
  • Give him 100 credits

What is it:

Me: What is it?

Bean titters again and shakes his head. His meaty jowls wiggle like soggy rations.

He says, It’s the special, deary.

  • Intimidate Bean into giving you the package
  • Give him 100 credits

Intimidate:
(Strength check)

You lose your temper with him and pull out your weapon to threaten him. On any other station this would be a one-way ticket to the brig, but here on Caen, no one bats an eyelash. Bean hastily hands you the package and sends you on your way. Maybe this place isn’t so bad after all…

You have received 1 'Muck's "Special" Package'.

  • Open the package
  • Take the package directly to Muck

Muck:

You decide to return to Muck right away with his package. What’s inside is none of your business.

Return to Muck in the Lounge with his package.

Next NPC: Muck O'Flannery, Lounge, Caen Stronghold

  • missed message

You return to the Lounge, package in hand. Muck is pleased to see you have it.

Muck says, You’re back with my order! No one gave you any trouble, did they? The Trad Barons? Ladybug?

Me: Nope, everything went fine.

New goals: Go to Ladybug’s birthday party at the Bar.

  • Ask what it is
  • Give Muck the package

Go to Ladybug’s birthday party at the Bar.

What:

Me: Before I give this to you, I need you to tell me what's inside. I don't feel good about this.

Muck scowls at you, his fingers fidgeting, hungry for what you just retrieved for him.

He says, That's none of your business, it's a surprise for my wife. Now give it to me!

  • Give Muck the package
  • Demand to know

Demand:
(Social check)

Me: I'm not giving this to you until you tell me what's inside!

Muck throws his hands in the air in frustration.

Muck says, Fine then! See for yourself, open it! I got Lady a clone for her birthday. I nice sexy Belter. This is just a means to get her in there.

  • Open the package

You open the package and sure enough, inside is a single pill with a distinctive skull insignia on the outside. He plans to give his wife a suicide pill to force her into a new body.

  • Don't give Muck the pill
  • "Did you ask Ladybug about this?"
  • Give Muck the pill

Ask:

Me: Did you ask Ladybug about this?

He says, Well… then it wouldn’t be much of a surprise, would it? I know she’ll love it once she takes her first steps in that sexy new body! There's no risk, really. A harmless bit of spontaneity from a loving husband.

  • Give Muck the pill
  • Don't give Muck the pill

Don't:

Me: I’m sorry Muck, it sounds like your heart is in the right place, but you can’t just change your wife’s entire body without asking her first.

Muck's face hardens.

He says, I see.

In a blur, he suddenly lunges at you and yanks the package out of your hand. He grins wolfishly at you.

Muck says, Thing is: ‘Booters don’t take advice from goody-two-shoed Consys. Lady's getting her present, and that's that.

He takes off down the hall towards the bar.

Arrive at the Bar before he does to warn Ladybug!

Next area: Bar, Caen Stronghold

  • Rush into the party

You arrive at the Bar, with the party in full swing. The room is teeming with the dim hum of conversation, many guests already there. Ladybug appears to have an eclectic collection of friends. There are the expected Freebooter guests — some sport cybernetic limbs, some are gruff Malls, some battle-scarred Belters too — but more intriguing, a few Gaule military men are present as well as what appears to be a Taungoo noodle chef, a water miner, and an Amazonian tree shaman covered head-to-toe in wooden beads.

You frantically search for Ladybug and Muck and finally spot them on the other side of the crowd. Muck's just handed Ladybug a flagon of beer and whispered something into her ear. She smiles at him and raises the flagon to her lips.

  • Watch

You watch as Ladybug takes a heavy swig of her beer, and half a unit later, falls to the ground, dead.

The thud of her body hitting the floor silences the room. All the conversation is sucked out of the room. Between the party patrons, you see Ladybug’s lifeless corpse, flagon of beer sprayed across the floor, still in her fingers. Muck is standing over her grinning. His voice cuts through the silence.

Muck says, Come on now everyone! Let’s go say hello to the birthday girl in the Cloning Vats!

He merrily leaves the room, hesitantly followed by the other party guests.

Go to the Cloning Vats to see Ladybug’s new clone.

Next NPC: Muck O'Flannery, Clones, Caen Stronghold

  • Follow Muck

You and Ladybug follow Muck into the worn-down Caen cloning facilities. The clones are suspended in a thick green liquid in rusted pods, many of them with patched together tubing attached. Typical Freebooters, “waste not want not,” you can practically hear ‘Booter vat techs telling each other while rigging up these dirty, dangerous pods.

Muck approaches one of the Vat Techs and speaks to them for a moment. The Vat Tech nods and disappears between pods. The Tech re-emerges a unit later with a gorgeous Belter woman in a white bath robe. She looks unsteady on her long, lanky legs. You realize with a shock, that this is Ladybug now. She looks terrified, her whole body quaking. Muck takes her hand.

Muck says, Happy re-birthday, baby. Say hello to the new improved, Ladybug, everyone!

The party guests cheer. Ladybug looks like she's going to be sick.

  • Ask Ladybug if she's OK
  • Ask for your payment

OK:

Ladybug is immediately swarmed by her friends, all trying to touch her and congratulate her on her beautiful new body. She hasn't said a word, she's just staring at her own fingers, haunted. You push past a few of her friends to speak with her.

Me: Ladybug? Are you okay?

She stares down at you from her new tall stature and hesitates.

She says, I-I feel… gone. My whole body is… g-gone…

Muck puts an arm around your shoulder and leads you away from Ladybug.

He says, Consy! I'm sorry, I forgot to pay you in all the excitement! Pretty stellar gift-giving though, huh? Cost me all my savings, but it was worth every penny! I can't wait to see how she bends, ohhh…

  • "My credits…"
  • "Is she OK?"

OK:

Me: Is she OK? She seems sort of afraid..

Muck brushes off your concerns nonchalantly.

He says,: Awful kind 'a ya ta worry, but Lady's just fine. It's totally normal to have an adjustment period. She'll be happy as a clam tomorrow, you'll see! Why wouldn't she be? She's beautiful now, and her man is happy. That's what matters.

  • "My credits…"

Me: About my credits…

Muck grins at you.

He says, Of course! Here you are my good ser! And a tip because I'm feeling generous. Ah, today is a wonderful day! I do so love new beginnings.

You have received 500.00 credits.

As you leave the Cloning Vats, you take one last glance and Ladybug's terrified figure and try to push down your guilt. You try to convince yourself she just needs to get used to her new body. She'll love it in time. It's beautiful, after all.

You have completed the "Ladybug and the Tramp" mission.

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