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Friday, 1 September 2017

Babes in London: Act Four, Scene 1A (Half-Time Nursery & Landscaping Services)

SCENE 1A: HALF-TIME NURSERY & LANDSCAPING SERVICES

If the PCs decide to go to the garden centre first, read, or paraphrase the following:

You arrive in time to see the first of three delivery trucks drive out of a gated driveway to the right of the garden centre entrance. The driver of the lead vehicle calls out to a young woman in overalls and work-shirt.
“I’ll check back in the afternoon, but call me if anything comes up, okay?”
“Sure thing!” she calls back, and the trucks head out and down the road away from you, the woman closing the gate behind them.

Allow the PCs to interact with the woman as they see fit. Her name is Maddie (short for Madigan), and she can answer the following questions:

Was that the boss?

Yes. He’s got a landscaping contract, and won’t be back until late this afternoon. Can I help you?

When will he be back?

He’ll be back late this afternoon, but he’ll be busy.

Have you seen two girls around here?

If you mean women gardeners, we have lots of those as customers, but did you mean kids on their own? Because we have lots of children come to visit, but always with their parents.

If PCs show a picture of Anika and/or Leyila…

The woman looks closely at the pictures. “I remember her,” she says (of Anika). “She came one day with her parents. Very persistent she was, asking about a grove of Japanese maples. ‘Where’s the grove?’ she said. ‘Can you tell me where I can find it?’ On and on, even though her parents asked her to stop—and then she broke a leaf off one of our trees, the little minx! Her parents apologised, but when she took off some leaves from one of the camellias I just had to ask them to leave.

What sort of tree?

One of the Japanese maples! Of all the cheek! Those are expensive, and we try to have them in peak condition for our customers.

Do you get a lot of customers asking for Japanese maples?

A few. Most of them are inspired by the display at Kew, and want one for their gardens. Not many of them of have enough space, but some of the bigger estates like the idea of having their own zen garden with maples at the edges.

Has anyone recently ordered any?

Just the project the boss is on, now. And they only ordered a few.

How long ago did you see the children?

Three or four weeks. We haven’t seen them back since. Wouldn’t want to, either. The boss was so cross. He’d spent weeks getting those bushes up to spec.

Are you sure you haven’t seen them since?

Of course I’m sure. I remember customers like that. We’ve got a reputation to keep. Can’t have plants being damaged by that kind of person. I’d have shown ’em the door as soon as they arrived.

Is the boss using Japanese maples or camellias in this landscape?

“Now that you mention it, yes, he is.”

Is it around here? or Where is it?

The woman looks at you, suspiciously.
“Why’d’you want to know?”

If the PCs can give her a satisfactory response to that—anything official, like ‘police investigation’, backed up with badges or a call to the D.I. in charge will work on a TH2 Air test, but things like ‘private investigator’ will require a TH3 Air test, and anything personal will require a TH4 Air test. Threats increase the TH by 2, bribes increase the TH by 1, and these penalties are cumulative. If the PCs bomb out here, they can still find the address by hacking the shop computer (TH3), asking for planning permits at the municipal offices (TH2). If they are successful in convincing Maddie, read, or paraphrase the following:

“Come this way,” she says, and heads into the office, where she looks up the address. “Don’t know why he thinks he’ll make it back here this afternoon. It’s a mad drive.”
And she hands you a slip of paper with 20 Willoughby Road, Havering written on it.

A TH2 Air test suggests that this is a long way for the two girls to have travelled, and a quick check of the map shows the address isn’t near a tube station or bus stop. If they’ve told Maddie why they want to know, she ushers them out of the office, but stops them at the nursery door.

“To be honest, I don’t think you kids are way out there. If they like the maples, they probably just went to Kew. It’s easy to get to, and the trees are easy to get to.”

Maddie doesn’t have any more information, and will cut the conversation by saying she’s got a lot to do because the boss is away. She promises to call if she sees either of the girls.

The PCs have to choose where to go next. If they go out to Havering they discover the girls are not at the work site and the boss is annoyed that Maddie sent them. Kew is closer for them to investigate, however.

NOTE: This adventure is not sanctioned in any way, shape or form by Fantasy Flight. It is not an official product, and I am in no way affiliated with them or they with me. There is no relationship between us. This adventure is mine, for fun, and for you, because some of you asked me to finish it.

Also, if you like this adventure and want to play it, please go buy the official rulebooks from somewhere where the original creators and publisher of the setting will be paid. I got mine from a Melbourne game store, but I’ve found PDF versions of the Player's Handbook and the Gamemaster's Handbook are now available from DriveThruFiction. If you enjoy their world, this is the best way to thank them.




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