i am the resurrection

Out-lawyering an Inevitable

 (This happened during downtime as sort of an interview-slash-session-zero for a new player to replace a player who’d dropped out.  The new character is an elf cleric whose backstory has him running an apothecary on the side, specializing in reviving the dead.  There were dice rolls involved, but I was not privy to any of them since this was all done on Discord.  The whole party was listening, but the rest of us had our mics muted.  All kibitzing was done in the OOC text channel, but I’m omitting that here since neither participant was reading it at the time.)

DM:  You see what appears to be a construct approaching.  *Dice roll.*  I’m just going to go ahead and give you that it’s an Inevitable.

Cleric:  Marut, I’m guessing?

 (Note:  Inevitables are construct outsiders who are built to enforce universal laws; Maruts specialize in dealing with people who cheat death.)

DM:  Very good.  Do you try to run or attack?

Cleric:  Nah, I’m good.  I wait for it to approach.

DM:  *Raises a brow.*  Alright, then.  *Clears his throat and does a creditable Michael Dorn impression for the Marut’s voice.*  “You are Taviel Andaris.”  Statement, not question, by the way.

Cleric:  “I am.  What brings… I would ask what brings you to my apothecary, but I think I already know.”

DM:  “If you expect the charges against you, then you already know of your crime.  You stand accused of denying death its due.  To date you have resurrected four hundred and seventeen people…”

Cleric:  “Um, four hundred twenty-two.  It was a busy week last week.”

DM:  *Without missing a beat.* “…Four hundred and twenty-two people.  My programming is to stop this from happening again.  Your options…”

Cleric:  “Defying death?  Um.  Not guilty, actually.”  Not rolling a bluff check, I’m not bluffing.

DM:  Fine by me, I’m still rolling sense motive.  *Dice roll.*  The Marut looks profoundly dubious.  “You not only confessed to your crime, you corrected my outdated count.  You have already admitted guilt.”

Cleric:  “I did no such thing.  Yes, I specialize in resurrections; no, I am not guilty of keeping anyone from the grave.”

DM:  …I think I see where you’re going with this, but the Marut won’t.  “Your arguments are irrreconcilable.  My programming is to stop this from happening again.  Your options are to accept a geas or to be destroyed.”

Cleric:  “If you wish to place a geas on me to prevent me from, as you phrased it, denying death its due, then you are welcome to do so.  It will not affect my business or business practices.”

DM:  The Marut looks sort of bemused.  “You do understand what a geas is, correct?”

Cleric:  “I can cast them, myself — and break them.  I would not need to break yours to continue my business.”

DM:  *Dice roll, snort.*  It’s not happy with that answer.

Cleric:  *Laughs!* I can make it a lot unhappier, but I’m not set up for this kind of a one-on-one fight.  “Let me explain myself.  How much do you know about my business besides the resurrection count?”

DM:  *Dice roll.*  It scowls at you.  “I will allow this, but be brief.”

Cleric:  “Let me rephrase that question, actually:  How many people have I granted immortality?”

DM:  *Snickers.* I stand corrected, that’s not where I thought you were going with this.  It doesn’t like that answer, but it doesn’t move.  “You have granted no one immortality.”

Cleric:  “And how many people have I brought back to life who were not killed by old age or disease?”

DM:  *Dice roll.*  It gives you a triumphant look at that.  “Three.”

Cleric:  Shit.  Um.  “Those were deliberately administered diseases with the intent of killing the victims, two from traps and one that was later successfully tried as a murder case.  They can not be considered natural deaths.”

DM:  Nice save!  *Dice roll.*  I’ll allow that.

Cleric:  Yes!

DM:  “Discounting that, you have resurrected no one who has died of natural causes.”

Cleric:  “Then how have I cheated death?  It’s natural and even more inevitable than you are.  I’ve only postponed it so that…”  What was that number again, anyway, four-twenty-two?

DM:  Uh, I think so, yeah; close enough.

Cleric:  “…So that four hundred twenty-two people could have a chance to finish lives that would otherwise have been cut short.  I firmly maintain my not-guilty plea.”  And I put my hands on my hips and glare up at it.

DM:  It glares right back at you.  “Your arguments are based on a technicality.”

Cleric:  *Defiantly.* “No.  Your charges are based on a technicality.  My clients will all die.  Eventually.  I cannot change that.”

DM:  *Dice roll.*  …Hm.  *Dice roll.  Snicker.*  Well, then.

Cleric:  What?

DM:  “Your answers have satisfied my programming.  You are free to go.  But be aware:  You actions will be monitored intently.”  *Laughs.* I hate you.  That was supposed to be the start of a fight that I was going to get the rest of the party in on for our next session.  You just broke how I was supposed to introduce you all.  …Who the hell even tries to out-lawyer a god-damned Inevitable in their own area of expertise, anyway…?

I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?
—  John 11:25-26

@careamorran your art dragged me back into writing jaytim how could youuu (I’m completely joking, that comic about civilian!Tim single-handedly saved my life and watered my crops thANK YoU) And I hope you’re okay with me taking the au and running with it haha

(Also I was about halfway through when I realized Tim wasn’t supposed to be an actual detective- or was he?? I can’t even remember it’s like 4 am *nervous laughter* but yeah, here’s this) Sorry it’s long I’m just such trash tbh

Jason really should have thought about what he was saying, before calling out the man before leaving the cafe. Unfortunately though, he didn’t, and now he’s left standing in front of a suspicious detective, the words, “Do I know you?” hanging between them. 

Technically, yes, he’s seen Drake before.

In a warehouse wired to blow, a few nights prior to this particular encounter.

“Yeah, uh-” Jason now uses the hand not holding his coffee to smooth down his hair, and no, the cute detective isn’t raising his usually dormant levels of self-consciousness.

Thinking back on it again, he probably should have gone with something smart, or at least believable- like “newspaper article” or “tv report” or maybe even, “Remember that asshole from third grade? No? Good, because that was me”.

But instead. Instead, what comes out of his mouth is;

"The alley?”

Drake’s eyes (very blue, he notes with a sinking heart) narrow, and get this look in them that borders between amusement and mistrust. It’s something Jason decides he doesn’t want to be on the receiving end of, so he backpedals- or rather, keeps running forward- plows straight into a wall.

"I mean the- uh- bowling alley-” He flounders almost immediately and adds, completely unnecessarily, "Where people… bowl.”

There’s a short silence where the coffee shop continues busying itself around them in a haze of tired customers (mostly college students) and even more exhausted employees (also students) and Drake’s expression shifts into something more pitying.

He glances at the computer bag slung over Jason’s shoulder, resting at his hip, and then the coffee cup marked for about five shots of espresso, and makes a deduction. “Finals week must be hitting you pretty hard, huh?”

Jason’s not sleep-deprived enough to let out an amused snort, much as he wants to. The coffee is, in truth, his attempt at resurrecting himself before a long stakeout later in the evening; the night before had been taxing enough with Roy out of town.

And the bag, of course, is actually stuffed with his suit and a few spare tools (guns) for said stakeout, but he’s not about to mention that to a detective, cute as he is.

So Jason goes for a plain but safe route in answering, “You have no idea.”

Drake finally cracks a smile, and it’s much more devastating when he’s not bruised and beaten, set against a backdrop of tenements and criminals that only managed to elicit the response through loss of composure- though Jason supposes the lighting wasn’t great, and that’s probably all the difference right there.

He’s pulled from the brief musing when Drake shrugs, sips his coffee again and replies, “I should, actually. Went through four years to make detective, after all.”

Jason takes the initiative and slides into the booth, across from him, setting his drink down gingerly. “Only four?”

Drake grins again. He rubs his neck this time, looking vaguely embarrassed. “Yeah. Kind of had a head start, I guess.”

“Huh,” Jason answers, and he nearly winces with how interestingly uninterested it comes out. Because even though Drake doesn’t know, and he’s pretty shitty at it on principle, Jason is a detective by right too, and it’s not hard to analyze. Drake looks young to be an investigator, even for someone who’s probably got connections and brains.

“What about you?” Drake asks, swirling his coffee around absently.

“Criminology,” Jason answers, and yeah. He’s really got to get with the whole “civilian persona” thing that the rest of the capes have down.

“No kidding?” The detective quirks an eyebrow. “GCU?”

“Liberty,” Jason answers, because it’s close enough and he knows a couple guys that went for their majors there- so the campus is the most familiar out of all the others he’s been in, which is to say… none.

Drake gives an approving nod, offering his hand suddenly as if Jason passed an unspoken test. “I’m Tim. By the way.“

"Jason,” He says, accepting the handshake before it dawns on him, that using his real name was a rookie mistake- and he definitely needs some pointers on the secret identity front, but it’s not like he can pull up a wiki-page for it, for god’s sake. There isn’t exactly a vigilante crash course, even in Gotham.

“Nice to meet you,” Drake -Tim- follows up, then tilts his head at Jason’s coffee cup. “And nice to see that I’m not the only one overdosing on crappy lattes.”

His incredulous laugh is inevitable, this time, and the conversation starts to flow a little easier. “You think this coffee is crappy? Have you been to that place on third and Campbell?”

Tim huffs out a laugh of his own in agreement. “Like dirty rainwater, right?”

And that’s how, when Jason looks back on it, he hit it off with a Gotham City detective.

Disclaimer: Don’t drink five shots of espresso at once, guys. I learned that the hard way, trust me O_O

okay honestly though i absolutely ADORE the line “finding himself on an empty road, trying to choose which way to go” like it sounds so simple but it portrays such an intense feeling and i can’t even explain it but i love it and i love bastille and i love dan smith