2020-0810 – Ariyah

[Ariyah – Downtown – Laura’s Apartment – BoL – NA]

Master post of interaction between Ariyah and ST @Taggie

Ariyah arrived at Laura’s apartment building, alone this time, and found that although she still needed to give her name at the door, she was admitted inside much quicker.
The doorman called the elevator for her and, while they were waiting, told her that if she was expecting anyone bringing anything or needed any help, to let him know and he’ll oblige.
Ariyah thought about her own apartment complex’s level of service – email the building management and hoped you get a response in one business day – and figured that you do get what you pay for.

After a short elevator ride upstairs, Ariyah finds the apartment to be all wrapped and packed; Laura’s people don’t fool around.
All the artwork that were identified as replaceable had been wrapped and tagged for donation to various galleries, and most of the furniture had been packed and set aside for removal in the morning.
From the looks of things, Ariyah had the place to herself.

The Toreador put down her box of paints and tools. Before she got started, she wanted to check a couple of things first.
Laura had mentioned that she would be installing cameras around the apartment, and before Ariyah began working – on both her jobs, the dodgy one and the aboveboard one – she wanted to see where they were.

[Looking for cameras in Laura’s apartment: Wits + Awareness: 4 Successes vs Diff 3 | Success]

Ariyah does a discrete check around the apartment and spots three cameras; one in the living room area, one in the dining room area that also captures a view of the elevator entrance, and one in the bedroom.

[Determine whether the cameras can see in the dark: Intelligence + Technology: 3 Successes vs Diff 3 | Success | 1WP]

Upon closer inspection, Ariyah was also able to determine that the cameras were light-activated, only coming on when the room lights were switched on.
This was handy information and made some of what Ariyah had planned much easier.

Ariyah looked at some of the packages left by the elevator. Last night, she had arranged for the replacement artwork to be shipped to Laura’s apartment, and it seemed they have all arrived intact.
Opening them up, she quickly sorts through them, and move them to the location they were to be displayed. Final decisions will be made when the furniture arrives, but for now, Ariyah put the paintings against the walls she intended to hang them on.

Two pieces though, she takes with her to a side room – out of sight of the security cameras – for closer inspection.
These were the painting and the statuette that the Camarilla had tasked her to install in her client’s apartment. They had hinted at these pieces being bugged, and Ariyah wanted to know where and how.

[Checking art pieces for bugs: Resolve + Awareness: 6 Successes vs Diff 5 | Success | 1WP]

It was intricately done; there was a small audio piece built into the statuette, and a very discrete camera was installed in the frame of the painting.
But now the question was, did they have to be paired together? Did the Tower expect the statuette to capture the sound of whatever was being videoed?

Ariyah considered for a little while, before calling up Studio X. Luckily, someone was still there, and Ariyah left a message for Collin.

“Hello, this is Ariyah Daniels, is Mr Hasting around?… No?… Can I leave him a message?… Can you ask Mr Hasting whether the two pieces I recently purchased… he’ll know the ones… whether the artist intended for the two pieces to be paired together or can they be displayed separately?… Yes, this is the number to call back on. Thank you.”

Not for the first time since this project started, Ariyah wished there were some direct means of contacting Collin. This whole leaving messages business is tantamount to using carrier pigeons in the modern night.
In the meantime, Ariyah carried the statuette and placed it in Laura’s office, just in a corner until all the new furniture has arrived, and propped the bugged painting against a wall with a view to the living room. It would be suspicious if two items were properly displayed when everything else was temporarily placed.

She also wanted to look around the apartment for more information on why Laura was under Camarilla observation – just get all the underhanded business out of the way – but her conscience reminded her that she had a paid job to do.
Technically she’s done everything the Camarilla has asked her to do, install the bugged art pieces in Laura’s apartment, anything else she does is extra.

With that thought in mind, Ariyah rolled up her sleeve and began to work.

[Paint wall mural for Laura: Intelligence + Craft + Specialty: 4 Successes (Extended Roll Tally: 4/7) ]

The featured mural was going to be painted on a large blank wall to the side of the living room. Ariyah threw down some drop sheets and taped down the edges to ensure there was a neat line where the wall met the floor. She then pulled out her portable projector and projected the concept art from her iPad to the wall. Using a piece of chalk, Ariyah roughly traced the projected image onto the wall.
Before she began to paint, Ariyah connected her iPad to a set of paint-splattered Bluetooth speaker and loaded up Band-Maid’s New Beginning album.

Laura had finally opted for a more neutral piece for her feature wall. Op Art was all well and good as a temporary installation, or even a medium-to-large piece on a side wall somewhere. But it would be straining to the eyes if used as the primary focus piece spanning a whole wall in the living room.
Ariyah pulled bottles of Golden Acrylic and started mixing her colour. Although the piece was not going to be an optical illusion, Laura still preferred the line art style of op-art pieces. To give the wall a bit of colour, Ariyah was going to do an abstract watercolour background, overlaid by black line art that would curl and travel across the wall.

[Paint wall mural for Laura: Intelligence + Craft + Specialty: 2 Successes (Extended Roll Tally: 6/7) | 1WP]

The apartment benefits from large windows and lots of natural light, making for a big, airy space. Ariyah didn’t want to spoil that with dark, heavy colours, so the watercolour background used muted pinks, golden yellows and a dash of turquoise as contrast.
Recreating a watercolour effect using acrylic paint required a lot of layering, lifting of colours, and drying between layers.

[Paint wall mural for Laura: Intelligence + Craft + Specialty: 3 Successes (Extended Roll Tally: 9/7)]

After making sure the background was sufficiently dry, Ariyah began to draw the twisting lines using black paint. Her hand had to be steady and sure, each stroke a complete arc from start to end; any hesitation would result in unsightly and wobbly lines.
The lines took a lot more concentration than any other part of the mural and the hours wore on as Ariyah worked her way down the room.

Ariyah took a few steps back to have a proper look at the full mural. It was done.

Inspiration for what Ariyah paints on Laura’s apartment wall

It wasn’t the most intricate of pieces, but there was external pressures on this project that didn’t exist with any of her previous jobs and Ariyah had to be wary of it accidentally bleeding into her work.

Ariyah looked around at the empty apartment. Before she packed up for the night, there was something still left for her to do.
Since she was in full sight of the cameras, Ariyah stretched her body and wandered out of the room, looking like she was taking a break.
On her way to the bathroom, Ariyah ducked into Laura’s office, leaving the lights off so not to activate the security camera.

[Heighten Senses Activated]

With a little concentration, Ariyah felt her senses prick up, and the dark office suddenly lit up to her sight.
She didn’t get a chance to look properly last time, but she was hoping this time to find something that would be of interest to the Camarilla.

[Look around Laura’s office: Resolve + Investigation + Auspex + Blood Surge: 5 Successes vs Diff 4 | Success]

[Blood Surge | Rouse Check: Success | Hunger stays at 1 ]

It was clear that Laura had cleaned up when packing her apartment, and didn’t leave anything just lying about. But after some determined poking around, Ariyah managed to find a slip of paper in the crack between Laura’s desk and the wall. It must have fallen there at some time and Laura didn’t realise.
Swiping up the piece of paper, Ariyah took it into a lighted corridor to read.

It looked to be the draft of a speech, containing talking points about Laura’s position on a proposed joint venture with another company. From the notes, it was evident that Laura was against the idea, and she had listed a few of her key concerns. In her speech, she was working to convince others of her position, and judging from the tone it’s probably a close vote.

This looked like the sort of “extra information” that Collin was interested in…

Ariyah took out of her phone and snapped a photo of the speech. She then returned the draft to the darkened office, in the gap between the desk and wall; Ariyah didn’t want to risk the piece of paper being missed.

Coming back to the living room, Ariyah took one last look at her mural before packing up her things. She had completed her jobs, or at least as much of it as she could – the renovation of Laura’s apartment was going to take quite a few more days, and nights – now she just had to report back to Collin on her findings.

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