FUTURE PERFECT: Identity Function

Nobody Wants To Die In A Shopping Mall
Still poking through the heart of Calvert City's now dead financial district as they look for hidden transmitter/receiver arrays, the player characters find robots waiting to ambush them.

Reeva, Otto, Pilgrim and Gabriel make their way to the Mallplex and again gain entry with the assistance of Control. Shaun thinks he knows the location of each device and begins to direct Reeva using the sensors to locate the pings. The first location he figures is a communications store where they sell personal communicators and long range communication devices.

Reeva searches the first location and discovers that in fact the transmitter is next door in the ventilation shafts of a lingerie store. Reeva and Gabriel try to get at the transmitter and end up breaking it. Reeva feels that if he and Gabriel can’t be more careful then this may result in a total bust. Gabriel takes his leave as he is recalled to Nexus gate with Doctor J. Shaun asks Control if it can release two security guards and transport to assist his team in locating the pings.

A small hover transport and two android guards show up to help them to the next location that Shaun and Reeva agree must be an arcade. During their short ride, Shaun asks what guards showed up and Reeva tells him that androids had shown up. Shaun, noting the ambush, explains that Control sent two biological guards, Basher and Little Jim a pair of mutants.

Reeva draws a carbine and Shaun warns Otto. Otto also prepares to attack and both he and Reeva dispatch the androids, Reeva using the butt of his carbine to knock the guard over the side and Otto picking his up and throwing it to the side. All the while Pilgrim notes the androids had the transport on a suicide course heading towards the railing that surrounds the center of the Mallplex, which plummets dozens of stories down.

Pilgrim, having lightning fast reflexes and near mastery of vehicles, takes control of the transport before it goes over the edge. He hits the rail, slides along it’s edge, kicks the back end around and does everything he can to stop the momentum of the hovercraft as it begins to spin out of control. As the group on the wild craft heads towards the wall, they see that nearly a dozen combat robots are waiting to attack them, should they survive the crash that was to occur.

Pilgrim is warned and he attempts to use the craft as a weapon, to smash into the robots, but their combined mass, stops his attempt and they begin to latch on and try to board. Reeva and Otto are trying their best to fend off the boarding attempt but the end result is not much to speak of. Two or three robots are left sputtering on the ground and the hovercraft is sent sprawling and crashes bottom up when one of the Robots fires at the hovercraft propulsion system. The lot of them manage to avoid being trapped underneath the craft with a little advance warning from Shaun to tuck and roll.

Basher and Little Jim arrive to assist as the situation reaches it’s most dangerous. The group is pinned down behind their fallen craft and are taking cover. The combat robots are splitting up and attempting to flank them. The two androids that initiated the ambush regain their composure and begin taking shots from a longer distance side position, forcing the hunkered down group to do little more than cower so as not to be shot.

Otto takes this opportunity to slink away into a sporting goods store that is adjacent to the arcade Reeva and Shaun insisted the transmitter was in. He ignores the panicked screams of his companions and no longer replies to Shaun on his communicator. Otto has gone silent and is stalking through the sporting goods store, searching for additional threats and the goal at hand.

Meanwhile Shaun requests more backup from Control who releases three more guards. One hulking brute in the full grips of psychosis from too much body augmentation, one more mutant with a blaster staff and a burly man with salvaged armor and a large old-fashioned sling that fires fist sized ball bearings.

The robots have advanced and suffered little for their trouble as the team behind the craft can’t mount much of an offense. Little Jim is prone, taking distant shots at the androids, with some luck he manages to take one out. Basher rounds the corner when the robots get close and with support fire from Reeva and Pilgrim, he manages to drop on of the robots before taking wounds and falling unconscious.

The robots that flanked the other side, leap on top of the craft. The craft topples down, eliminating the cover of the group and trapping Reeva underneath. Pilgrim and Little Jim face off against five robots and end up worse for wear. Pilgrim targets the sensor arrays of the robots, leaving one or two dazzled, while he guns one down, taking several minor wounds in the meanwhile. Little Jim sends one Robot sputtering before getting hit and falling unconscious. Reeva on the other hand, finds that underneath the hovercraft, he can still shoot out the legs of the robots and disables the one of the dazed ones and the one who shot Little Jim.

Shaun has a brief premonition and warns Pilgrim that the final robot can still sense him despite it’s fried sensor array. Pilgrim barely avoids being shot fatally and is locked in combat for his life, for the second time in three days. Shaun continues to coach Pilgrim through his harrowing situation and he ducks and dodges shot after shot, until reinforcements arrive.

The three guards sent as backup, begin to take action. The mutant with the blaster staff and the burly man with the sling take shots at some of the remaining robots, and don’t accomplish much. Reeva begins to note that the robots must have some sort of dampening system that helps them deal with the shots from blaster weapons. The large man full of cyberware, calling himself Cyberjack, rushes the robots head on. Several blaster shots bounce harmlessly off his armored skin and he pushes one over the railing. Continuing his momentum he charges the remaining android. The burly man with the sling, runs to catch up and takes a shot to the face for his trouble, as the android that Cyberjack is now throwing over the railing takes it’s last shot. Cyberjack continues his haphazard and relentless onslaught on the robots, ignoring all sense of safety for himself. In short order he has either thrown the robots off the ledge or bashed them to pieces with his bare hands. Reeva concludes that indeed they had some sort of dampening field, as they didn’t last long against Cyberjacks armored fists.

Otto scours the sporting goods store and locates an employees only back office. The office contains a desk that has been blasted apart and a corpse of a woman in the act of shooting up intravenous drugs. Otto notes that this looks like Gabriel’s work and climbs the ruined desk to open up the ceiling tiles to find the transmitter. He calls over to Reeva and Pilgrim and asks if they are done wasting time, because he had found the transmitter. He also says that it appears as if Gabriel had been the one to plant the transmitters, that’s why he and Shaun never know exactly where the transmitters are, just the whereabouts.

Reeva goes to assist Otto and Pilgrim begins to tend to the wounded with his medkit. Basher and Little Jim will be just fine, but The Burly man who was shot in the face, is gone for good.

Reeva traces the signal and finds that it appears to be mostly self contained within the Mallplex, though it may be receiving a signal by remote from outside. Shaun suggests Reeva hook his helmet display up to the transmitter so that Shaun can remotely hack the signal. As soon as Reeva hooks up the helmet display the signal goes from No, No, No, to YES, YES, YES. And several pulses of power hit the helmet and overload it’s systems, rendering it useless. This confirms that whatever the signal is, it is hostile and harmful.

Shaun tracks the last signal to a cinema in the Mallplex and the dozen or so biological guards that Control has are sent to secure the area. Reeva and team head to the sub-basement where Shaun uses the makeshift rig parts he has to fix Reeva’s helmet, so that he can sense the transmitter.

Control offers to use it’s corrosive gas to eliminate the robots in the Mallplex. Shaun and Reeva accept, pulling the biological guards back and sealing the cinema, and leaving the robots to their doom. Reeva and Otto note that the robots are the same as the ones that were on the catwalks on the roof and in the underground bunker. Reeva also informs Shaun that he may have let slip that Sentinel is active and that someone who claims to have worked with him in the past and seems to know him, thanked him for the information. Shaun is not pleased but there is not much he can do about it now.

With all the transmitters located and some of their suspicious about the system confirmed, Hatch recalls the lot of everyone to his base of operations, a large ship sitting in orbit above Rakkhan Prime.

View
Reeva, I Own You!
Reeva and 61TO track remote transmissions to find a third AI in a protected bunker... Gabriel returns to kick some ass... and Deefor the Robot makes Reeva his bitch.

Otto sits on the Wayfarer and time slips by. Pilgrim recovers in sick bay as microscopic nano-machines repair the missing tissues and fibers that were scorched away by plasma fire.

Pilgrim got into this whole mess because he’s a thrill-seeker. He took one too many risks and ended up shipless and unemployed on Nexus gate. So he threw his lot in with the people Reeva was running with and now not only does he not know what or if he’s getting paid, but now he’s laid up in a medical bay, staring at his exposed ribs and pectoral muscles as tiny machines put him back together.

Reeva has been assisting in attempting to go through the core dump from Control. He and 61TO set things up and leave the RIFU team to the task of tediously going over the information and compiling a report.

Reeva is concerned for Shaun, seeing as he’s been inside the Sub-Basement for hours. He contacts Hatch and tries to see how he can help. Hatch states that he will not be pushed around by some ancient financial district AI and if it thinks it can hold one of his team hostage, he will take Shaun back by force. Reeva insists that Shaun willfully volunteered for the task and he would prefer to wait out the three days that were promised to the AI.

Reeva gets thinking about Control and why it is so paranoid. It sensed a threat from the outside in the network, but everyone, 61TO, Shaun, the RIFU techs have all said the network is silent. But, Shaun seemed to think the virus that was present in the network is lying dormant, waiting to start again. Reeva thinks for a moment, what if it’s not a virus, what if there is another AI in the system waiting to overtake the whole system once Control opens the link?

At Reeva’s request, 61TO searches the sysnet and does discover a barely noticeable repeating signal. Reeva figures, they can use the sensor array on the Wayfarer to search out the signal the way Shaun modified and used Angel’s sensors to track the zombies. He and 61TO are allowed on ship and Otto lets them modify the sensor. 61TO does the bulk of the work and has the ship locating signal pings in the area.

Reeva, excited at the discovery, wants to investigate the locations and tries to take the helm of the ship. Otto pushes him back and insists that he already has a pilot. Reeva asks if it’s Rodeo he’s talking about and Otto states that Rodeo is the gunner, Deefor, the little astrogation robot is the pilot. Reeva thinks Otto is crazy and again attempts to take the helm. This time it is Deefor who stops Reeva by shocking him with his welding apparatus, knocking him to his knees. Reeva attempts to strong arm the robot with threats of his ability to disassemble it within minutes. Deefor looks to Otto for a minute and Otto tells Deefor not to take any shit from Reeva. So again, Deefor fires up the welder and this time shocks Reeva unconscious.

When Reeva comes to he sees Deefor is having no trouble what-so-ever piloting the massive ship and is easily following the network pings that he and 61TO had located. Reeva catches his bearings and asks what happened. Deefor being a bit more cocky now, tells him that he is bad ass and if he tries to take the ship again, he will do worse than shock him. Otto is amused and Rodeo is amazed at how competent the robot appears to be, handling the massive ship with a steady grace and ease. 61TO has pointed out the most notable of the pings and has directed Deefor to it.

Upon arrival the scanners pick up something else. The location is an underground bunker of some kind, but it is being swarmed by the bioplague zombies. Reeva reports to Hatch, who in turn informs Tigh who thought he had dealt with the entire zombie threat. Tigh realizes that this area is just outside where he had things quarantined. Tigh and his team head out to lay ground fire and purge the zone. Once the flames die down, Reeva and 61TO get together with their group of armored marines and prepare to jump from the ship using flight packs to land safely. Otto opts to stay on ship with Rodeo, Deefor and Pilgrim.

The ground team faces the entrance to the bunker, which is a heavily armored blast door. Reeva and 61TO cannot break the security, so they ask one of the marines to blast down the door. Once open, Reeva tries to enter but is pulled back and sternly informed that he and 61TO are specialists on the job and have a higher field rank. Due to this fact, and the orders the marines have to protect all specialists, he insists that Reeva and 61TO stay behind them and give instructions. One marine enters and before anyone can warn him, he is blown back by an explosive trap.

Reeva tries to argue about how he might see something that the marines may not, and he is silenced when they unpack a remote controlled robot meant to enter hostile areas and act as the hands and senses of the operator. Reeva operates the Robot and notes a few oddities, such as abnormalities with the power circuits in here. It looks like they are rigged to blow up. Another person makes the drop to ground in a heavy power suit.

Gabriel has just landed, wearing a jet black heavy power suit loaded with weaponry, most notably a rotary plasma assault cannon. Gabriel is made aware of the threat inside the bunker and without pause, he fires up the cannon and lets loose decimating everything inside, including the robot Reeva was operating.

Gabriel takes point and heads in, prying up a hatchway leading down and uses his booster pack to lower himself down, while the team of marines leads Reeva and 61TO down. Six more of the combat robots that were on the catwalks feeding the ventilation tubes are inside and appear to be protecting a terminal. The marines and Gabriel begin to combat the robots. The marines lay cover fire while Gabriel unleashes hot plasma, decimating both the robots and the terminal.

Reeva wanted to use the terminal, but he sees it will take some doing considering how damaged it is. He and 61TO cool off the terminal with a fire extinguisher and do a little rewiring and repair. Once online Reeva is in contact with a female voice.

Reeva makes inquiries to the voice who seems to know him and claims to have worked with Shaun in the past. He seems to know Shaun better than Reeva, as she knows his mannerisms and last name. Reeva gets no information from her, but lets loose that they still have Sentinel. She takes the information and thanks Reeva for the tip and breaks communication.

Gabriel and the marines have secured the floor and are headed to the bottom to secure that one as well. That floor contains yet another terminal and a large information containment unit, both of which are protected by force fields.

Reeva and 61TO Make short work of the force fields by re-routing their power source. Using the terminal, 61TO determines that indeed there is an AI contained in this unit. 61TO stays behind with the marines to collect the AI and Reeva heads back tot he surface.

Otto and Pilgrim got bored and took the shuttle to the surface now that the threat is over. Otto gets a marine escort through the underground bunker and meets Reeva half-way. He oversees the beginning of the collection of the AI and takes Reeva back with him to the Wayfarer. On the Wayfarer Reeva begins again to look for more signals. Over the next day or so Reeva discovers that there are many pings inside the Mallplex.

By this time RIFU has finished going over the core dump from Control and find very little of importance. Shaun is allowed contact back with the group, and Control mentions that the power supply in the area is running very low so it will put itself in hibernation mode unless Shaun needs help.

Reeva explains the past few days to Shaun and Shaun gets right on laying out a full map of the Mallplex to send to Reeva’s heads up display on his helmet. He coordinates the map with the sensor array from the Wayfarer that is sensing the pings. This way, Reeva can see exactly where they are coming from. given this information, Reeva, Pilgrim and Otto set out to find what is sending out the pings and trace the signal further.

View
Why Is Otto Hiding, Anyway?
Otto hides from some robots, Pilgrim almost dies, Reeva does his job, and Shaun has a slumber party with a lonely computer...

Reeva is busy at work with 61TO. They are hired on specialists who are working with a group of heavily armored marines who stand guard. Their present task is to try to contact Control and understand what went on here from it’s perspective.

The issue at hand is that Control doesn’t trust 61TO and continues to block all of his attempts at communication. Reeva already understood that the terminal outside the Mallplex was physically disconnected. He notes that the disconnection was caused by a large blade, that severed the cables. He repairs the connection and sets up a switch on the terminal, making it appear inoperable until they need to use it, therefore keeping Control at ease. They now have a means of contacting Control that has a switch so the terminal can remain safe. Hatch requests Shaun on the ground team so he can try to reason with Control.

Meanwhile Tigh and his group are laying ground fire and napalm to neutralize the “zombie” threat. They have been largely successful and they believe they have at least quarantined the majority of the threat, and have begun collecting samples.

Otto sits on the Wayfarer, staring at the walls, he just feels no connection to any of this. Otto decides to poke around the ship and finds that there is a locker room stocked with standard side arms snd rifles for Securitech security force.

Shaun is briefed on the situation and Hatch informs Shaun that indeed he and many of his companions have been here before. He reinforces Shaun’s thought that there was a hacker/fire team in this area that helped set these things in motion. Further it is explained that Sentinel was on the job here as well. The new information though is that Hwar Do was on our team assisting in whatever it was we were doing.

Why then, does it appear Hwar Do would be trying to kill us? Unless he is trying to stall us or keep us away from something. The last place he tried to keep us away from was Reeva’s ship.

Reeva and Shaun go through Reeva’s ship looking for anything that might be out of place. Searching high and low for non-standard hidden compartments, seeing as Reeva has standard hidden compartments to hide “salvage” in. What appears out of place are the sips crew robots. The robot most out of place is the astrogation bot. It appears to be avoiding us and trying to remain innocuous, performing simple repair tasks and such.

Shaun tries to question the robot about the time we all had missing memory, but it is evasive and eventually he and Reeva force it to the floor and turn it off. Shaun hacks the robot, and looks into it’s log, finding many holes in the star chart log. Apparently this ship had been several places during the time we cannot remember. The robot has these files stored elsewhere on it’s system and they are encoded. Shaun tries to recover them, but when he gives the password, the files begin to delete themselves. Shaun takes the physical drive out of the robot, and goes much deeper, recovering the deleted files and then re-installs the drive and reboots the robot.

Now they have a log of places they were during this time, but no reference point as to where point zero is according to these sets of coordinates. If they knew what zero point was, they could go from there and determine what these other points are. But they have no idea where to start with all that for now.

Hatch has determined the next step in the mission is to go inside the Mallplex and get Control to give us a core dump of all of it’s information. Shaun and Reeva are sent in while 61TO is not allowed in by Control. Shaun makes short work of convincing Control to give up it’s information and it shuts down while it deposits copies of everything.

Shaun takes note that the counters listing the percentage of corrosive gas available for the offensive capabilities of Control are steadily increasing. Shaun pinpoints the increase in supplies are coming from the rooftop area, near the ventilation shafts. He radios Hatch and informs him of the discovery and potential increase of Control’s offensive capabilities.

Hatch contacts Otto and asks for his assistance in the matter, as he does not have any available soldiers at the moment. Otto agrees to investigate, but warns that he is not the combatant Hatch thinks he is. Hatch suggests that he either take Rodeo, the pilot/gunner he was given to assist him, or Pilgrim, the pilot they had picked up and is in the sick bay recovering. Otto opts to take Pilgrim, who claims to be fit as ever and ready to take on the world.

Control finishes the core dump and will only allow Reeva to leave with it to bring it to the RIFU team outside to go through. It wants Shaun to stay and talk with it, as it has had very little contact with anyone in several weeks and wants someone to communicate with. Shaun takes the opportunity to reinforce his relationship with the AI and get to know how it thinks, should it become an adversary. Hatch informs Reeva it may take a few days to go through the information, and meanwhile Control has locked down the Mallplex, severed all communication, and shut down most of the power, conserving most of the resources for itself. Nobody can speak to Shaun and he cannot get out. Essentially he is a willing prisoner of the AI until Rifu finishes going through the information.

Meanwhile, back on the roof, which is more like a series of catwalks than one solid roof. Otto and Pilgrim have landed, only to see several stacked plastic crates that were not there previously. The crates ate stacked near the ventilation shafts and pilgrim notes that something seems to be moving near them, but whatever it is, it is distorted.

Several cloaked combat robots begin to lay down fire towards Pilgrim and Otto. Pilgrim uses Otto for cover, who takes offense. Pilgrim suggests a concentrated attack on one side of the robots, so they can take cover on one side of a ventilation shaft and fight the rest from there. Otto ignores the man he sees as a coward using him for cover and shoots down one of the robots on the opposite side and makes his way boldly into the fire of another one who misses his shot. Unfortunately for Pilgrim, the three on his side, have much better aim and three shots of hot plasma tear through his armored flight suit and fry a large portion of his upper chest muscles, leaving his ribcage nearly exposed. Pilgrim lies motionless on the brink of death.

Otto rushes forward and pushes the robot who missed him, off the ledge, tumbling several hundred feet down before it hits anything solid, being smashed apart by the force. He uses the fallen carcass of the robot he had already shot as a shield, deflecting yet another blast. One more shot, one more kill, as Otto takes out another robot, three more left.

These three seem much more tactically sound and they concentrate their efforts on Otto who sustains several minor wounds, while making no headway battling back. Otto manages to grab one of the robots who is trying to engage him in close range, and leaps from one catwalk to one that is two or three stories down. Using the robot to break his fall, he survives with a sprained elbow. He calls Hatch to ask for reinforcements since he is in no position to finish this job, and Pilgrim lies dying.

Minutes later three RIFU security soldiers land. Within a minute of landing, the three RIFU soldiers lie dying next to Pilgrim. Otto had no way of making his way back up the catwalk in time to assist. The robots took the men out with concentrated shots to the chest and shoulders, with one unlucky man getting hit in the neck and lower face. Still two robots remain, one begins again the task of loading the corrosive gas, while one keeps watch.

Otto, stealthily makes his way up the catwalk and sets himself up for an ambush on the robot keeping watch. The robot has sensors to identify organic life, and prevents Otto from getting the drop. Otto struggles with the robot who weighs over six-hundred pounds and is as strong, if not stronger than he is. The other robot stops loading the ventilation shafts and begins to take shots at Otto, who uses the robot he is battling as cover. Eventually Otto manages to throw this robot over the ledge and use the largest ventilation shaft as cover.

Otto and the robot have a shoot out where neither of them gain any ground. In fact the robot begins to position itself in such a way as to pin Otto down and take more advantageous shots. Seeing the danger he is in, Otto climbs the ventilation shaft for better cover. Atop the shaft, he discovers a small satellite relay that is sending orders to the robots, and destroys it. Otto keeps a low profile and hides while he again calls Hatch to report. He explains that the three security soldiers sent up are also dying on the ground near Pilgrim, and he is again, pinned down by the robots. Hatch sends Tigh, since he is the most experienced medic on his team and tells Otto to try to take out the last of the robots.

Otto has one hell of a time trying to put down the security robot with his pistol, but eventually after a minutes long battle, manages to disable it. Tigh arrives, tends to the wounded and helps Otto disable the corrosive gas with a chemical he has. In short order the gas levels begin to drop then level out at just over 40% full. Otto and Pilgrim are delivered back to the Wayfarer and Tigh takes the RIFU soldiers to his medical bay.

Otto sits on the Wayfarer, looking at his wounds, not much to speak of. While four others lay in critical condition, his supposed friend is locked in a sub-basement with some stupid machine that may kill him, yet Otto feels nothing.

View
Curse Your Sudden But Inevitable Betrayal!
Shaun and Otto offer Sentinel to Securitech, double cross them, and end up working with RIFU after all.

Shaun and Otto relax in the Securitech highrise in Hightower and try to plan their next move. Shaun has been trying to get his hands on a device to vaporize his medication and ends up rigging a device to freebase the drugs. Otto busts into the bathroom and slaps some sense into Shaun who he thinks is making a big mistake with the drugs.

Shaun tries again to explain his mental condition and finally after getting nowhere with that angle, reveals that he has visions. He explains that as far back as he can recall, he has had minor precognitions that usually come true. The frightening part of the visions are that they are usually of people coming after him. Otto is not buying a word of the story and tells Shaun to get out of the bathroom. Shaun goes into the living quarters and puts on the Video screen and looks for news feeds. The news states that local ProVee’s have gotten together in an effort to clean up the problems with the southland and Blackwatch. Combined efforts of Securitech, the Icon Syndicate and the Aurora Confederation have enlisted the assistance of the Interzone, namely RIFU with assistance from Ragnarok Arms. All parties involved agree that the virus that is infecting both the people and information networks of the area are very bad for business. With Blackwatch Gate down it has made trade between certain key areas very difficult.

At this point Shaun begins to understand exactly why RIFU is involved. Simply put, they benefit if trade is good, if one gate is infected, there is decreased trade. If the infection spreads, it could halt nearly all trade. Therefore it is best to stop this early before it affects the bottom line.

After watching the news, Shaun gets to work surveying his surroundings via the security cameras. Otto grows tired of watching Shaun fiddle around with the net and leaves the room.

Otto explores the building and discovers that Securitech has human looking android guards that watch his every move and insist that he not go past certain floors. Otto spends some time in a large open market area where it appears there is much food being sold and some sort of indoor carnival going on. Not much of this catches Otto’s attention and he heads over to a large fish tank that runs up and down between several floors.

One fish in particular spends a lot of time following Otto’s movements and whereabouts. He finds the fish a little suspicious and informs the desk clerk that it appears to be following his movements. The clerk and her supervisor both dismiss Otto and ignore further discussion on the matter. It just seems to Otto that no matter where he goes in this building someone or something is watching him. So he goes back to his room where he feels he can be left in privacy.

Shaun continues to get up to date on news and local goings on, such as a protest against some environmental situation involving Securitech, being held at the foot of the building. Otto enters the room, locks himself in the bathroom strips naked and goes to sleep in the bathtub, leaving Shaun to whatever he was doing.

Several hours later Otto awakes soaked in sweat. He feels more tired than before he slept. He never has restful sleep and always feels worse after he wakes. He knows he has terrors in his sleep, so he usually avoids it. Otto stands up, in the tub and showers off the stink of sweat and some other smell. He thinks, puzzled for a bit, is that fear? Am I smelling fear, the same smell I smell just before the life fades from someone’s eyes as I choke the breath from their body? Sickened by the smell, Otto nearly vomits. He quickly finishes showering, dries off in a full body vacuum dryer, dresses into his tailored suit and steps out into the living area.

Otto appears, calm, and emotionless with violence hiding just below the surface of his eyes. Shaun is quiet and trying to keep his composure. He makes slow and deliberate movements, nothing too sudden. He speaks with a drawn out calm in his voice as he explains to Otto that there is food waiting for him at the table, as well as the local newspaper. Shaun made sure to have a nice bottle of blended whiskey sent up with the food, the alcohol always seems to settle Otto after he gets too excited.

Shaun knows that typically after a fight or particularly heated event, Otto likes to sit down and be quiet with a nice whiskey. Otto never does talk much about violence in fact he doesn’t talk that much at all about anything personal. He knows that Otto must see hell when he sleeps because the noises and movements he hears when the man sleeps could give any listener nightmares of their own. Shaun waits for Otto to regain his typical muted composure.

Otto eats and drinks, taking in the moment. He reads the newspaper, remembers what day it is and where he is. He comes down, back to the reality of the world he is in. He breathes in the day and understands he’s awoken again in a hell worse than what he must have seen in his sleep. He steels himself for another period of struggle and unrest, before he sleeps again and dreams that he will never wake up.

It is not long before the Securitech executive calls them to the meeting. The meeting is short and to the point. Securitech is interested that they have possession of a Sentinel AI, but are concerned about it’s application. If this is an Alliance built military AI, why would it not follow some core programming instinct and remain loyal to the Alliance military?

The executive wants further explanation, as he has security footage from some six weeks ago when things began to get nasty down in the southern continent. The footage shows that Otto and Shaun, along with many of the others that were on the prison ship, were involved in the situation somehow.

At this point the executive demands answers first, before he will entertain the application of a Sentinel AI that may further complicate this situation. The way he sees it, the Sentinel can be used to take over a whole region and if used on Blackwatch it could take full control of the gate and isolate this region from the rest of known space. So since Otto is on the Securitech watch list and he just walked through their doors with a sketchy little character, offering to make a deal, he wonders why.

Shaun explains that he and Otto, along with those shown on the footage have no memory of the events, in fact we all seem to have a six week or so gap in our memories. Furthermore, it is explained how the Sentinel was obtained. How it sought us out and how it helped us escape a prison ship. It is stated that all Shaun wants is a computer system capable of loading Sentinel up enough to speak to it. Once Shaun speaks to it, he agrees to allow Securitech to speak to it and assess it’s usefulness with our problems. Shaun and Sentinel are brought to an area with a large enough computer system, and technicians begin to get Sentinel on line.

Sentinel awakes in an area that is both too small and low on resources for it to make full use of itself. Also, it notices that it has been locked away from the network, and all areas out of this confined system are cut off.

Shaun and Sentinel have a brief conversation. Sentinel is concerned about it’s confinement and it also states that it feels we are being played. It also explains that it has gaps in it’s memory, corresponding with the gaps in ours. Sentinel has only probability to go in in the absence of certainty. It feels that it is more likely than not that Securitech has already screwed us over before and it doesn’t want to wait around for round two and shuts itself down.

The techs are confused as Shaun was just speaking to Sentinel in code, and try again to get Sentinel online again but are unable. Shaun asks Sentinel, in code again, what it wants and it explains that it needs access to the sysnet so it can patch gaps in it’s memory, and so it can leave.

Sentinel sends out surges of electricity to disable the techs and Shaun connects the sysnet. Sentinel escapes quickly and urges Shaun and Otto to do the same. The executive busts in with security and places Shaun and Otto under arrest. He expresses his disappointment at the betrayal but knew that it was the most likely outcome. He tells of the unknown havoc that Sentinel will cause and blames Shaun and Otto entirely. Shaun takes control of the situation and explains that Sentinel was spooked by the confinement and skeptical of Securitech involvement. He asks to be able to have a short while to try to speak to Sentinel and get it back into it’s data storage case, thereby avoiding any damages, minus the two stunned techs. Shaun and Otto are told that if this fails, they will be facing very serious legal penalties, including long term imprisonment.

Shaun and Otto are escorted to their room and are placed under arrest. Shaun wastes no time contacting Sentinel who explains plans for an escape. Shaun briefly tries to convince Sentinel back into the storage unit and quits trying when he meets too much resistance from Sentinel.

The plan is simple. Leave the room, the guards will be disabled. Head down the hall to the elevator and get to ground floor. The security androids that are inside will have already disabled the hallways guards and will escort us outside where Sentinel will have arranged transport.

Shaun and Otto leave the room after hearing a pop. The two androids, taken over by Sentinel, have disabled the hall guards. The elevator ride to the ground is stressful but relatively uneventful. Shaun keeps constant eye on security and any attempts to shut down the elevators, ensuring their uninterrupted escape. Sentinel has secured a starship and is awaiting the arrival of Otto and Shaun.

Dozens of security guards have assembled at the foot of the elevator hundreds of floors below. They are waiting for the fugitives to try to make their escape outdoors. The elevator hits ground floor. Before the doors open, the androids explain that they will deal with security. The androids come out first and unleash a barrage of sonic stun grenades from their torsos, sending security sprawling and knocking even the strongest of them to their knees.

Otto and Shaun run faster than they ever have before and waste no time boarding the ship Sentinel had taken possession of, a Wayfarer Coalition cruiser. This ship had belonged to the Coalition Security Defense Force, Security Division, that was then and this is now.

Otto can’t pilot the ship, Shaun can’t pilot and Sentinel is underpowered and unable to do much more than talk or make use of sensors. After Shaun nearly crashes the ship, Otto gets a small astrogation robot online and feeds him coordinates to the south where RIFU is. The trashcan robot who calls himself deefor, makes a steady path for the south, with Securitech in pursuit.

When the Wayfarer enters RIFU controlled airspace, they are hailed. Cornelius Hatch, the regional executive for RIFU is pleased that we made the meeting. Seeing that we are apparently being tailed by hostile Securitech ships he would be happy to clear up any misunderstandings between Securitech and his employees, since we are on the job, right?

Otto happily takes the deal, and Shaun groans and begrudgingly agrees. “Good then, let me send Tigh to intercept and explain.” Tigh is sent, in a Ragnarok Arms, heavily armed starship. The ship easily outclasses the Securitech force and with little negotiation, Securitech heads back home.

Hatch is overwhelmingly pleased to see Shaun and Otto have agreed to the job. He offers a pilot for their ship and requests that they debark and submit to the medical procedures that Gabriel and Reeva already have. Having little choice, Shaun agrees, while Otto seems not to care so much about his initial refusal, considering his options.

Shaun takes issue with the RIFU pilot, still not trusting them much, and mentions that Pilgrim should be in the area at a local starport. This way they can get Pilgrim, since Reeva vouched for him, and he can pilot the ship.

Reeva contacts Shaun and Otto, expressing his pleasure that they joined on. He tries to introduce 61TO “Beeto” or 61 Tommy Oroshi a Kokoran hacker that he’s been set up with on his end of things. Reeva is interested where we got the ship and how much we got for the job by playing hard to get. Shaun groans that the deal was less of what Reeva thinks and more a matter of last minute desperation.

The medical probing ensues and in short order everyone is signed on. Pilgrim is picked up from a starport where he complains of sickness, due to an attack from a homeless man. He checks out and shows no signs of the bioplague.

Pilgrim is given quarters on the Wayfarer to rest off his sickness, and Shaun and Otto await their orders from Hatch on this job at hand.

View
When Worlds Collide...
An Alliance Cop comes looking for Ryan, but finds Otto, Gabriel, and Shaun instead...

It’s culture clash when an Alliance law enforcement agent comes looking for Ryan.

Cole Turner is a Bounty Hunter with a badge, an officer in the Alliance’s Fugitive Detection Services. He’d been tracking Ryan Williams, callsign Vertigo, an AWOL combat pilot with a sketchy record who was wanted for retrieval and questioning. His leads brought him to Nexus Gate, where he’d learned that Williams was traveling with a strange group of companions, most notable among them was Otto Murinn, the Icon Syndicate mobster.

Williams had split off from the rest of the group, but to where he was traveling and upon what ship was information that seemed to be missing from the station records. Murinn and company quickly became Turner’s only lead.

In New Starlight City, on Rakhan Prime, Otto, Shaun, and Gabriel are separated from Reeva who leaves to get his ship and is side tracked by the vendors. Reeva acts like a typical tourist and begins to experience all the things that are available for travelers. He makes himself an easy target and is soon the target of an assassination attempt. Otto also notices a sketchy character who tries to run away when he sees Otto. Otto hunts down the man and discovers that he was blackmailed into giving up information on Otto because a man, Hwar Do, had kidnapped his family and threatened him. Otto, having connections to the security in the starport, finds out of the attempt on Reeva’s life, not long after Shaun watched the event happen over the security cameras. Otto and company investigate the assassination attempt on Reeva while the young man recovers from his near death experience, and cries a little in his ship. They enhance pictures of Hwar Do and one of his accomplices. But it is the third assailant that seems the most elusive.

They discover that the third shot was fired by way of a drone, robotic arm connected into a local SysNet terminal. After hours upon hours of pouring over station security footage, they finally catch a break. A pudgy, youngish man made his way from the SysNet terminal, through the busy food court, down the access stairway, and out through the maintenance doors which lead to the spaceport’s exterior hangars and repair facilities. While they can’t find him, they do have a blurry picture and a good description to feed out to regional law enforcement throughout the Northern Continent.

Otto heads back to the security room and checks in with the man who had given Hwar Do information about his whereabouts. After some interrogation, which involved both physical and psychological coercion. In short order, Otto has the man at a greater disadvantage as he has had his family sent for. His Wife and young daughter are brought before Otto and are used as tools in his interrogation. Quickly it is revealed that this man knows nothing and was simply unfortunate enough to be played between two ruthless men, Otto and Hwar Do. Shaun convinces Otto that he should place the family in protective custody, and wait for Hwar Do to make contact with them. Seeing a chance at getting his son back, the man explains that Hwar Do is keeping him hostage, just in case of a situation like this. That if he gives up Hwar Do, he will kill his son. Otto blankly looks at the man and says his son is already dead then, and he may well lose his daughter by the end of the day if he doesn’t shut up.

Meanwhile, Turner had found passage into Coalition Space and made contact with Securitech, who agree to assist him and meet him at Hightower Spaceport. Securitech operatives in the Syndicate controlled New Starlight region begin watching Otto, his companions, and reporting on their activities. When the call to identify the blurry hacker goes out region wide, Securitech has a hit in their database.

Cole Turner makes his move and attempts to make contact, however a distrusting Shaun is resistant to the idea. Gabriel – recognized by Securitech as a former freelancer with whom the corporation has maintained a good relationship – is the focus of another attempt. Gabriel negotiates a meeting to swap information, but it has to go down in a known Syndicate stronghold. A meeting is set to occur six hours later, at T.T. Bar’s Nippleopolis.

Otto and company have set up shop at the strip club and are taking it easy, waiting for Hwar Do or his accomplices to make another attempt. Shaun has stayed outside in the Syndicate armored transport, and is watching everything from the terminal cameras. Gabriel has taken to the young girl and is playing games with her, making her laugh and smile, oddly Gabriel seems to enjoy the company of the girl. Gabriel on the other hand just makes the girl’s parents uncomfortable, because he looks more like a predator stalking prey than a man playing games with a girl.

The meeting is happening. Cole with two armed and professional looking Securitech security agents step into the club. Immediately Gabriel recognizes the two as Securitech Soldat guards. In fact he had worked with them on other jobs. Cole, remains calm and collected despite his clear disadvantage. Otto sits at a table with Gabriel at his back, the family remains silent and make themselves as invisible as possible in fear of what might be happening here. The bartender offers drinks to Cole and his men, while letting it slip that he has quite a rifle behind the counter.

Sensing the danger and type of people he is dealing with, Cole cuts to the point of the meeting. He explains that he is law enforcement and is being assisted by Securitech in his goals. He has what we are looking for, a full profile on the pudgy little hacker that tried to shoot at Reeva. In return, he would like our assistance with his goal, the location of Ryan “Vertigo” Williams, The (Butcher of Bakersfield, I don’t recall his infamous name). Since Otto is one of the last known people with him, Cole thinks he should help out.

Otto says he cares little for Ryan, what he’s done, or even if he’s wanted. What he is interested in though, is the profile of the man who might be associated with a man who tried to do him harm, and he would like that folder now.

Cole tries to keep his advantages and insists that there be a trade of some information on Ryan first. Not liking where this negotiation is going, since Cole is still trying to maintain any kind of advantage in his weak position, Gabriel changes the playing field. With a quick bit of playful distraction, and a pat on the back to one of the Securitech goons, Gabriel is now in possession of both of their sidearms. With a wink and a smile, he lets Shaun know that things just got dangerous.

Shaun asks Otto, over the comm link, to ask Gabriel what he just did. Gabriel happily reveals that he is now the proud owner of both the embarrassed soldat’s sidearms, as well as his standard compliment of assault weaponry, ready to fire at a moments notice. Otto takes the opening and insists that Cole give him what he wants right now and without trade, as it is now obvious the danger he is in by not doing as he is told. Shaun reminds Otto that if Cole again tries to keep any sort of strong stance or remain in control, that we can just take him in the basement and interrogate him until we get what we require. After all in this region, the Syndicate is the law, and Otto, as a made man is legally judge, jury and executioner of the state. Reluctantly Cole gives up his only bargaining chip for free and agrees to assist in the location of the hacker in trade for some information on Ryan.

Gabriel sends the two useless, embarrassed Securitech goons packing, as Otto arranges ground transportation to a small neighborhood of CanApts in zone 7.

As for the family inside, they had remained so still, so quiet, so invisible, that Otto had forgotten them until Shaun radios in reminding him that they are left alone and vulnerable. Otto calls back the club, speaks with the bartender and tells him to take care of the family, but to please save the little girls smile for Gabriel; he did like her smile so much. Otto ends the call safe and secure that once his boys take care of the family, not Hwar Do, not anybody will ever hurt them or use them against him ever again.

Zone 7 CanApts: the investigation begins. Otto, Gabriel and Cole head up to the designated apartment and knock, Shaun watches the whole thing from the streetlight security cameras. An old woman’s voice yells from behind the door, “I ain’t interested, whatever you’re sellin’ I ain’t buyin’” Otto is more forceful with his words and tries to bully his way through the door. Cole seeing the total lack of tact or professionalism, let alone authority, steps in and begins the negotiation. He informs the woman that her son is wanted for questioning concerning certain computer related crimes and illegal sysnet usage. He further informs her that her son may well be in danger as some of the other men involved with the incident are armed and highly dangerous. He explains that they do not want to hurt them, he is only trying to help, and their cooperation will make it easier for him to help them.

Gabriel, always ready for danger, hears a noise in the basement; the kid is trying to flee. Otto slaps the woman hard in the face, sending her backwards into her apartment, giving Gabriel room to run inside. The woman is barely able to recover before Gabriel kicks the woman in the jaw, knocking her cold as he yells “you signaled him, you helped him to escape”.

Cole is taken aback by the whole scene and cannot abide the violence on civilians who were attempting to comply with the investigation. Cole makes a sly attempt to trip Gabriel as he readies his weapons and runs down the stairs. Gabriel never misses a beat and avoids the trip. Otto calls out for Gabriel to take the man alive, as Gabriel rushes out a back door and into the yard. Cole attempts to keep pace and comes up fast on Gabriel who he sees drop to one knee and take steady aim. Three shots ring out from an automatic rifle and one sad, pained, chubby little hacker lies flat in shock from the loss of at least one of his feet.

Cole draws his sidearm, levels it at the back of Gabriel’s head and momentarily contemplates murder. It seems the association with these people, as well as the disadvantageous position he is in, is causing Cole to get a bit desperate and consider actions he would normally not think of. The tactical helmet and relatively heavy armor Gabriel is wearing gives Cole pause, he thinks, Gabriel is a soldat. Being a soldat means he has an owner, or has escaped his protocols. Either way, Cole figures, Gabriel is not responsible for his actions he takes orders and he is bred to do what he is told. The person giving Gabriel his orders is responsible for what he did, that person is Otto.

Having lost himself in thought momentarily, Cole is jarred back to reality by the screaming Hacker who is being dragged inside by Gabriel. Cole intercepts Gabriel and tends to the wounds of the hacker, bandaging his stump. He tries to regain some order in the situation and is quickly overruled as Otto interrogates the man. Shaun instructs Otto how to connect the hackers computer to the sysnet and Shaun gets to work. With little effort Shaun digs up some records regarding Securitech and how this chubby mess thinks they had a hand in what happened with Harcourt and Loughlund, or at least they were trying to capitalize on it. Shaun copies the files and finds little else, so he destroys the whole computer.

A shot is fired and glass upstairs breaks. Otto and Cole head upstairs to investigate, while Gabriel rushes outside to confront the shooter. The old woman is found dead, a solid slug had been fired, as opposed to the typical energy weapons commonly used. This was the same instance as when the hacker in the starport had used a remote weapon. Gabriel sees no shooter but tracks the shot to across the street. Gabriel calls out to Shaun and tells him to use the security cameras and the feed to triangulate the shot and find out where it came from. Shaun directs Gabriel and he finds another automated weapon. Cole also heads outside to help make a full sweep of the building, while Otto heads to a burned out husk of a building to check for anyone hiding.

Entering the burned out door frame, Otto feels a strange fuzzy feeling coming through his legs and up his spine. He discovers that he is standing on some sort of metal pressure plate and thinks he may be standing on a mine of some sort. He calls out to Gabriel to have him get a look at this thing. Without looking Gabriel yells out that it is a stun plate, a device designed to shock and render anyone unconscious who would be unlucky enough to step on it. Unfortunately for whoever planted he device, they did not count on Otto being the size of an ox and capable of taking the same jolt. Otto steps backwards off the plate and continues his investigation.

Four gang punks step out from the rubble of the building and try to rob Otto of his belongings. He takes one man hostage and disarms him, using him as a human shield and backs away. The other three try to get better position and draw aim on Otto. Cole sees what is happening and tries again to take control. He breaks out a window and commands the three to drop their weapons and freeze. Momentarily they are confused by the order and by not knowing where it came from. This gives Gabriel the moment he needs to set up position and begin gunning down these men in the streets.

Blood flows, panic ensues and Cole manages to save one man’s life by convincing him to run away. Gabriel claims two more people who had no idea what they were up against. Otto asks the man he is holding why they thought they could get away with this, as he is obviously Syndicate, and therefore the law. He begins some bullshit story about seeing his nice suit and thinking he might be easy prey and is quickly snapped back to reality by the pain Otto causes him for lying. He gives up the fact that once again, Hwar Do is on the move and had instructed these men to keep Otto busy for a short while. Gabriel and Otto head back to the apartment of the hacker and his mother and find that now not only is the mother dead, but the hacker as well. They were kept busy long enough for Hwar Do to gain entry and eliminate someone who might be a lead in his direction.

Gabriel notes the scent of ozone thick in the air and wonders what it means, he asks Shaun to analyze the area. Shaun deduces that some sort of cloaking device was used. Maybe Hwar Do has a stealth suit, or more likely, due to the concentration of ozone, he was cloaking his transport.

Cole has a few moments to himself and realizes that if he does not act soon he will never get what he wanted from these men, and dealing with them on this level will have been more than a waste of his time, he may be in danger.

Gabriel gets a call on his comm and agrees to a pick up from RIFU who at this point wanted to meet with everyone, but only Reeva and Gabriel had agreed. Meanwhile Shaun, still on the line with Gabriel, and paranoid from the whole situation beginning to look like a set up, tries to talk to Gabriel. He tries to understand why Gabriel would leave them in a time like this, where they are being hunted by an assailant that seems to know them but they don’t know well at all.

Gabriel explains that he does know Hwar Do, as he is also a Harcourt Soldat, but can’t explain why he knows this, maybe it is part of the lost memories. He further stresses that the deal with RIFU is way too sweet to pass up and like it or not, he’s leaving. Shaun tries once again to talk to Gabriel, and is blown off by Gabriel who suggests that Shaun get help with his paranoia and is told that is he wises up he might still be welcome with RIFU.

Shaun’s mind begins to race and spiral into dark thoughts. He is being betrayed, abandoned by the one person who might have some insight on this ordeal. Cole is a plant, he’s obviously a spy for Securitech, and this whole red herring of the hacker was only to show us that we are being played.

He contacts Otto, the only man who he feels he can trust. “Otto, Gabriel is leaving us, we’re not just going to let him walk away are we?” he inquires. momentarily Otto entertains the thought of killing Gabriel, but snaps to his senses. “Yeah Shaun, we’re going to let him walk away, get off the fucking drugs.” Shaun is left with no options as he watches Gabriel, over the cameras, leave the scene in a RIFU transport. Otto is also informed that Reeva is leaving the hangar at Starlight. Shaun tries to bully Reeva into staying. Reeva explains the huge opportunity and larger payday, Shaun threatens that if Reeva leaves he should never come back. Shaun and Otto are left to investigate the threats on their lives alone.

Otto gathers that the four men had been given their orders in a bar a block or two up the street. Cole offers his expert investigation techniques to help Otto get the information he requires, in trade for the information he had already requested regarding “Vertigo”, he also sweetens the pot by offering to tell them who it is that is after them. Otto asks Shaun what he had dug up on “Vertigo” and he informs Otto that he had already passed a message through Blackwatch, to Gryff who had shown a hatred for Ryan.

The information had gotten back to Shaun, and at this point Shaun is holding it close to himself, not even letting Otto know. Apparently Ryan is well liked by another Warlord in Freespace, Hakim One-eye, who is a shill for all Greyjackets. Apparently this warlord offers sanctuary to anyone who wears a grey jacket even people who may be scum who slaughter the innocent. Furthermore he tells the tale of exactly who and what Ryan really is, according to Freespace lore. Shaun is given exact coordinates of Hakim’s territory and the defenses that it may have.

Otto makes a few calls of his own at this point and tries to see what he can do about Hwar Do and “Vertigo”. His first call to the Starport in Starlight makes little sense as he tries to ask for a scan of the skies looking for a cloaked vehicle, but ends up asking for some sort of laser support, to which they reply that they lack those capabilities. Otto is growing tired of this investigation and seems to no longer have any interest in any part of it. His missteps betray this fact and Cole takes notice. The second call is to an Alliance law enforcement agent who may have information on “Vertigo” and he is informed that Cole is in fact an Alliance bounty hunter of sorts and has been reporting on Otto and his companions, as well as his objective “Vertigo”. Otto asks that all transmissions regarding he or his associates be intercepted and sent to Otto.

Cole takes the lead on the investigation in the bar where the men had been given orders from Hwar Do, while Otto has several strong drinks. With a little digging and some calls to Securitech Cole turns up a lead that Securitech may know something about Hwar Do himself. Shaun is pouring over the information stolen from the Hacker’s computer. He feels that what he had previously discovered, regarding what the hacker thought was incriminating evidence against Securitech, linking them to the problems down south, may be a bargaining chip.

Cole grows tired of everyone talking to an eye in the sky and requests to be patched into communications. Combining the idea Shaun had, which was to use his bargaining chip to gain assistance from Securitech to upload Sentinel on Blackwatch to fix the problems, and his information that Securitech may have information on Hwar Do and makes a plan. The plan is to arrange a meeting between Shaun, Otto and Securitech in trade for the information Shaun and Otto have on “Vertigo”, and an agreement is made.

The three get on transport headed to Hightower and Cole and Shaun finally meet face to face. Cole is polite and quiet on his trip to Securitech territory and Shaun is nervous about the whole ordeal, going as far as to commit all information on “Vertigo” to memory and erase all other copies, hopefully ensuring that he won’t be double crossed.

Cole is stuck on a rapid transit with a man who shows obvious signs of drug use and paranoia, the other is a large monster in a suit who seems so uninterested that someone would be trying to kill him. He gathers that Otto, due to his orders and actions, must be so accustomed to violence that he no longer even notices it. In a way, Cole thinks it would do the world a service to get these two off the streets for good, if only he had any authority here.

The transit stops in Hightower and everyone debarks. A Securitech executive makes a quick meeting and explains that he is extending hospitality to Otto and Shaun and is intrigued by the Sentinel in their possession. He also thanks them for eliminating the little nuisance that the hacker was proving to be. He regretfully informs them that he still has other business to attend to and cannot meet right now, and takes his leave.

Secure with the idea that he may have made a good trade, Shaun finally gives over what information he has on “Vertigo”. He gives the Coordinates of Hakim’s territory and tells the tale of “Vertigo”, a man who gunned down innocent people who were hungry and desperate and near riot in a food line that was horribly under supplied. They had no options and the frustration towards the government had gotten so high that they acted out and without pause, “Vertigo” fired upon civilians. Shaun notes that “Vertigo” must be a real scum to do that. He also warns that “Vertigo” may be allied with Greyjackets but Shaun doesn’t believe that he is actually one of them, just hiding in their ranks.

Cole comments, noting the irony of Shaun’s statements regarding “Vertigo”, since It seems Shaun, Otto and Gabriel also have no issue with firing upon civilians. He explains that he may have left out some information regarding who or what he was, but he was at least honest in all these dealings. He suggests that before Shaun judge others he should be honest with himself. He should take a strong look at himself and his company, as they are no better than “Vertigo”. Furthermore he states that had he known what he would have to be party to during his investigation of “Vertigo” he may never have tried to contact “People like us”, and taken a different route. Cole then turns to Otto and gives him the last bit of information he promised. Otto has been marked for death by an organization known only as the Coil.

Shaun is offended at the comments and tries to explain why it is he acts the way he does. He notes the world he lives in, the threats of violence around him and the general condition of life on Rakhan Prime. He also reminds Cole that nobody asked him to participate in our investigation, that everything he did was of his own choosing. Maybe he should be honest with himself and admit he is not so dissimilar from we who he is now judging.

Cole wants none of it, takes the information given and heads away from a situation that he feels he did the best he could with. He might regret dealing with those three but in the end they had what he needed. Maybe he can do some good with it, and maybe, just maybe, come back another day to do something about them.

Otto feels that Cole might have represented something, maybe he was a ray of light in a dark world. Maybe he proves there is order and justice, somewhere; just not here on Rakhan Prime. Here, where the idea of law and order is sold to the highest bidder and nobody has any rights unless they take them.

Shaun on the other hand, paranoid and petty, sends one more message through the Subnets of space. He warns the group of Greyjackets he had met on Nexus Gate not many days ago that a man by the name of Cole Turner, bounty hunter with a badge, is on the trail of their associate Ryan “Vertigo” Williams. The way Shaun sees it, Ryan was captured on the ship along with everyone and if captured again he might alert “The Coil” or who ever it was that is after us. Shaun sends a full data packet containing images of Cole as well as anything else Shaun could dig up on Cole, including his professional history. With any luck, Shaun thinks, Cole will disappear and Ryan will remain invisible, hidden in the far reaches of the Frontiers. The way Shaun figures it, secrets can be kept between two people, providing one of them is dead.

With Cole gone, Shaun and Otto head into the upper levels of the Securitech highrise to get some rest. Gabriel and Riva are briefed and are getting settled into their new job with RIFU, and Hwar Do and his team may still be out there, waiting for the next opportunity when any one of them may be vulnerable.

View
It's Not a Tumor... Nor Is It a Good Plan
Gabriel and Reeva come up with a very bad plan...

Barely awake, Reeva is half running, half being dragged down a central through way on one of the major spokes of Nexus gate. Gabriel runs, assault weapon in one hand, Reeva’s sleeve in the other. Neither of them have any idea where they are running to, or if they are running away from anything at all.

Shaun has noticed the commotion and has begun to track their path, and watch for what they are running from. He sees nothing of interest, it appears that Gabriel didn’t draw as much attention as he thought he did.

Reeva and Gabriel find themselves in a park with nobody following them. Gabriel is still convinced that they are not yet in the clear. Reeva is beginning to sober up. and he notices that this park is not just recreational, but seems to be a place where less than above board deals take place.

There are prostitutes and drug dealers selling their goods. There appear to be several couples having kinky sex in public, and there are still others who are busy with sports, such as rock climbing.

Gabriel approaches the prostitutes and tries to work a deal for Reeva to get some action. He makes an offer to one of the girls who appears to have a strange cancer or mutation growing off her side. Reeva turns down the Pro who says it is a mutation, where she believes it may be a conjoined underdeveloped twin, the lump then turns what appears to be it’s face and says it is not a tumor.

Reeva barely holds down his lunch and makes an offer to another girl claiming she is “bigger” and she takes immediate offense. Reeva tries to explain that pirate clans prize hardier women and she thinks it’s a fat joke and slaps him. Reeva learns a quick lesson that often prostitutes in this park wear rings with sharp blades on the inside so that they can defend themselves against drunks and rapists.

Seeing blood on Reeva’s face, Gabriel guns the girl down before she can even react. The other two girls begin to scatter, as Shaun’s voice comes over the security feed for the park, telling Reeva and Gabriel to get out of there fast.

What the two had failed to notice was the fully Gunsuited Security Trooper hidden in the wooded area. When a weapon was fired, a security message alerted the guard and was sending for back-up. Shaun had stopped the signal for back-up, but could not stop the pilot in the Gunsuit.

Gabriel tosses his rifles to one of the girls and runs away. Reeva had already been running away. The gunsuited guard sees the woman with the weapon and fires a sonic grenade to stun and disable her and the other girl. Reeva and Gabriel stealthily escape and are met by Pilgrim just outside the park.

Pilgrim has a room not far from the park and had noticed the commotion early on as they ran in. He offers to hide them out until the heat dies down. Gabriel is curious about hearing Shaun’s voice and wants to get to a data terminal and speak to him.

Inside, Pilgrim is offering hospitality and a place to hide until things cool down. Gabriel is uneasy about Pilgrim and his way. He thinks the glow-sticks and fluorescent reactive body paint is too much. Pilgrim shrugs off another person who looks down on his ways and offers a drink to Reeva, who is starting to get uncomfortably sober.

Gabriel used the data terminal in the hallway and speaks to Shaun. “Hey, I know you’re in there you creepy voyeuristic fuck. Talk to me or I’m gonna press my balls against the screen so you can get a close-up of my taint” Shaun replies, “Ok, ok, I’m here, what do you dumbfucks think you’re doing causing all that commotion. You know if it wasn’t for me shutting down the security in the park, you guys could be in big trouble”

Hearing that Shaun had control of the security, Gabriel gets an idea. “Shaun, I want that Gunsuit. Reeva can over-ride the controls, and creepy over there says he can pilot anything. Me, I just want the weapons” Hearing that there is money to be made, Reeva and Pilgrim begin to get involved in the planning process.

Reeva says he knows a guy who will buy the suit once they strip it of it’s weapons, so he’s in. Pilgrim just wants the chance to try to hijack the thing and take it for a joy-ride. Shaun gets moving on some security feeds and tries to find out the schedule when the gunsuit guards switch shifts. It appears that the guards switch shifts within the next two hours, so the plan is formed.

When the guards switch, they disarm and drop the weapons rig, the now on duty guard arms the new suit and begins work. The idea is that if they can find out who the other guard is, access his suit, over-ride the security and get in place when the switch is made, they can steal the whole thing without a fight.

Shaun finds out who the other guard is and where he lives, sending everyone on their way. Thinking that this might get messy, since the other guard is retired Coalition Defense who went into corporate security operations and now works for a subsidiary of Ragnarok Arms, he calls Otto. He figures if the whole thing gets too messy Otto can clean it up and the two of them can walk away from this.

Otto gets up from a game of naked Clue, where apparently Otto did it, in the … well, where he did it and with what isn’t up for discussion, and answers the call. Hearing the plan, he wonders if it’s worth his time to even get dressed for a shit plan like this one and wonders why he even humors something like this.

Otto opts for clothing and drags himself away from Angel to go follow around three half-wits and a drug addict. His heart is just not in this one and he really doesn’t want to waste the time. Instead of meeting everyone at the guard’s apartment, he heads to the park to watch the first guard and check his movements.

While everyone heads to the apartment, Shaun keeps the security cameras in the dark to their movements. The apartment is well secured and it takes the combined efforts of both Reeva and Pilgrim to bust in. The Gunsuit is locked away in a small vehicle hangar adjacent to the living quarters. This system cannot be broken into with physical methods, as it will lock down tighter and alert security if tapered with. They will need a passcode to open the hangar, and they will need a password to switch with the other guard. Shaun informs them that this information changes twice daily and should be on his terminal. It seems the terminal in the apartment is cut off from the SysNet at most times, and is only connected briefly to gather the days orders. If they want Shaun to hack the terminal they will need to connect it.

Inside, Reeva connects the terminal and allows Shaun in. Pilgrim and Gabriel begin to ransack the place. Shaun discovers more information on this particular guard and sees that not only does he have an impressive military background, but he’s also an electronic security specialist who was called to headquarters not long after Shaun shut down the park security. At this point, Shaun realizes that he may be being tracked and if he is, this would be exactly where he would look if he were in the other guy’s shoes. Shaun thinking the worst, this guy is augmented heavily, is fully equipped and heavily armed for both physical and net combat, sends a warning to the three inside and bails.

The three inside try to salvage this mess and look for anything to steal. Reeva turns up a pistol, a Ragnarok Striker to be exact. Pilgrim finds a scrap of paper with the last few days passcodes on it, the flipside reveals that it was letterhead from a rough club on Harlinn’s World. Further indication that this guy is nobody to be fucked with. Gabriel on the other hand steals snack food and convinces Reeva to give him the pistol because it’s keyed to the palm print of it’s owner and useless to them. Thinking that this guy may come back soon and they may need a distraction, Gabriel has Reeva rig a light power cell to the gun and give it a detonator, so he can blow up the whole thing in his room.

Leaving the scene quickly, after blowing up the guy’s bedroom and stealing his snack food, the three head back to the park to meet Otto.

Shaun is now busy packing up his things and making a hasty retreat from his hiding spot, and Otto is still wondering why he left Angel so he could help three half-wits steal junk food and catch a man’s room on fire, potentially making an enemy.

Otto just wants off this station, where he has no business or interest in being, so he can get back to his life on Rakhan Prime. He wants nothing to do with this RIFU job, he has no interest in petty theft and the half-cocked idea of hijacking a Gunsuit that he couldn’t do anything with anyway, and to top it off, he was inches away from finding out where Otto did it and with what in his game of naked Clue. All in all, for Otto this day sucked.

Otto calls Shaun and tells him to quit wasting his time and come to Angel’s ship, he doesn’t have to get his own ride back. He tells Reeva and Gabriel much the same, pack it up, we’re getting the hell out of here. Pilgrim on the other hand, is creepy and he won’t let him on board. Instead, he is given money to make his way to a southern spaceport on Rakhan Prime, where they agree to meet him later, since they still may try to upload Sentinel in the Mallplex.

View
That Boy Is On Drugs, I Tell You!
Shaun grows increasingly more paranoid as the others have split reactions to a possible job offer from RIFU.

Shaun grows increasingly more paranoid and agitated as they pass through the Gateway and sync from Blackwatch to Nexus Gate.

A messenger is waiting for Angel’s ship as they head toward the lower docking rings at Nexus. After some hesitation on the part of Shaun and Otto, the message is delivered. Seemingly a gift from RIFU, it contains a message of thanks alongside an informal request that they visit their regional offices in the central hub. RIFU would like to collect some simple biosamples from them PCs to see what they can learn from people who’ve been exposed superficially to the bioplague in Calvert City. Furthermore, for their assistance in transporting their employees, RIFU pays them 1000cr apiece in Interzone credits.

Tigh gets some orders transferred to his datapad, which he immediately prints to a hard copy and hands to Otto—seemingly the calmest person present. The paper is an exerpt from Tigh’s own field report about the Infected down in Calvery City, detailing his observations and recommendations. Added as an addendum are his orders in response to the report.

Shaun freaks out over the report – its intentionally incomplete nature only feeding into his paranoia as he insists he is being denied information. Tigh replies that the remaining information isn’t relevant and does not pertain to the Infection at all. He also adds that he is concerned over Shaun’s behavior and certain symptoms of possible drug overdose that he’s noticed – in the process letting it slide that that he was trained as a Medical Doctor before becoming a field operative for RIFU. He strongly encourages them to provide biosamples and at least hear out what the local Corp Executive has to say.

Otto and Shaun want nothing to with it – ultimately resulting in Reeva and Gabriel taking their own shares while Angel quietly pilots the ship, and Shaun and Otto space the package containing the cred chips. Reeva makes a mental note to come back out with a salvage ship later on…

Angel docks the ship as the bickering continues, comments that she’s hitting a local pilot’s bar called “Tweak’s Wreck”, and walks off ship. Otto and Shaun head for the same bar, while Reeva and Gabriel – as well as Tigh and Charlie – make their way to the RIFU offices in the central hub.

Tweak’s Wreck is large circular room. Along the wall to the right of the door way is a bar extending about a quarter of the way around the circle, some stools, and a bartender. Beyond that are some restrooms. Along the wall to the left of the door is a long countertop with chairs – at each station is an auto-bartender for standard drink and food assortments, as well as news feeds, entertainment, and gambling. The counter extends all the way to the far side of the chamber, where it terminates at a protruding round stage upon which three women are dancing.

Angel sits at the bar to the right, surrounded by a number of wee Zergs whom she seems to know. Otto and Shaun see a drifter milling around from table to table, fiching drinks where he can, before settling himself down at a counter station at the room’s far left side.

Otto orders some food while Shaun plays around with the console. The Big Guy notices Angel trying to get his attention, gets up and approaches her. When Shaun moves to follow, Angel indicates that he need not bother coming over. Otto tells Shaun to sit down, and – alone – goes over to speak with Angel.

Angel, too, expresses concern over Shaun. But it is his attitude she’s worried about, commenting that if he keeps going on like he has, he will become a liability for Otto.

Otto walks back, grabs Shaun, and pulls him into the bathroom. The drifter wastes no time in grabbing Otto’s food and drink while the pair step away. In the bathroom, Otto and Shaun have a “discussion”. They walk ot of the bathroom with Shaun agreeing to see a Doctor.

The drifter wanders by, and hearing what is said, starts commenting that he’s a trained medical professional – and could easily save them a lot of money. Otto shoves them all back into the bathroom, and demands Shaun whip out his… Drugs. Oddly enough, the drifter seems fairly competent, and mirrors much of what Tigh said about possible overdose.

Otto disapproves of the drugs Shaun is taking, while Shaun tries to explain that what he is taking is real medication to help with a condition he has. Otto continues to voice his disapproval and in his paranoid spot, Shaun decides to try to level with Otto about why he takes the pills.

Shaun tries in vain to explain that he has strange visions and they cause him great paranoia, as they are usually about someone who is following him. Nobody else sees what Shaun sees because he is slightly precognitive. Otto listens to about two words of what Shaun has to say and hears even less. He sternly tells Shaun that he is a liability as long as he’s high and that he had better pull it together and walks away.

Shaun not wanting to be in the way or cause trouble, sinks into the shadows and goes away, not before getting some advice from the drifter, “the medication your taking should be vaporized, by taking it orally, you’re overdosing”. Shaun makes a mental note that he needs to freebase his meds instead of swallowing them whole.

Meanwhile Reeva and Gabriel have gone to their meeting with RIFU, where they seek to meet Cornelius Hatch, the regional head for RIFU on Nexus Gate. Reeva tries to put the moves on the receptionist by dropping that he is there to see Doctor Jay, the scientists in charge of the objective RIFU has regarding this bioplague. Tigh laughs at Reeva’s weak attempt and notes that part of the receptionist’s job is to make people feel “welcome”, and he doesn’t have to try so hard. Reeva and Gabriel meet Cornelius, who is dressed extremely casual, as if he were on a beach on some sunny island. He is overly friendly and familiar and makes cheesy jokes and double entendres regarding the medical tests they are about to subject themselves to.

Both Reeva and Gabriel are happy to allow RIFU doctors to take bio samples and blood, preform full body scans and tests. In short order, Gabriel and Reeva earn another 500cr and Reeva is awestruck by the sugar cookie and juice he is given in trade for his blood.

Gabriel is yet again informed that he is a biological bomb, that when exposed to this bioplague he could very well explode. The other thing he is informed of is that he is a Harcourt make Soldat. Again, Gabriel seems totally uninterested and nonplussed by it all. Both he and Reeva head out to Tweaks Wreck for drinks.

At Tweaks Wreck Otto is quietly having a drink with Angel, and Reeva throws down a 1000cr cred chip claiming that he’s buying drinks for everyone, and quickly gets himself staggeringly drunk. Gabriel takes advantage of the free drinks and sets himself up as body guard to Reeva. The shady stranger who diagnosed Shaun slides up and gets himself a few free drinks. Reeva barely recognizes the guy and then it clicks. They know one another. This guy is Pilgrim, a daredevil pilot who has spent some time with the Sky Forger pirate clan that Reeva is from. They have done a few jobs together, usually hijacking ships.

Reeva makes an ass of himself, pawing at the “dancing girls” and being repeatedly reminded that he is not to touch. The evening has worn on and Reeva has worn his welcome and needs a place to sleep off his drunk.

In the meantime, Shaun has faded away to the planet surface in Xiu Xi City. He has rented a small room and is already making plans to hitch a ride on a cargo ship that has dumped it’s cargo and is heading back towards Rakhan Prime. The captain of the ship wants to meet Shaun face to face because he is requesting to book passage away from any other potential passengers and wishes to remain very discreet.

Shaun goes to make his meeting and drops a message to Otto that he is getting his head straight, and will find his own way back to Rakhan Prime, so as not to be a liability.

The meeting goes honestly. The crew are Greyjackets, they don’t hide the fact. Shaun states that he is protecting his case (containing Sentinel) and wants no questions asked about him or his case. He is told that he will have to give up all weapons when he boards, he will be allowed to board early, and will be segregated. In turn, he will pay double, and half will be paid right now up-front. Shaun agrees and leaves, beginning to connect to the local SysNet to see what is going on with his companions, by scanning the security feeds.

Reeva had left Teaks Wreck in search of a place to sleep, Pilgrim has followed, trying to convince a drunken Reeva to hire him on his team, or at least help him hijack a ship, since he just recently crashed the ship his former employer had let him pilot. Pilgrim gives up and goes to his room when Reeva accuses him of trying to follow him home for something more than friendly.

Otto, noting that Reeva is very vulnerable, followed him out the door. Gabriel noticing that Reeva may be in trouble, also follows.

Reeva has found a place to rest, when he stumbles upon a diner and gets himself a coffee and falls asleep in the booth. Otto loses interest, seeing Reeva is no longer vulnerable and heads back to Tewaks Wreck. Otto hooks up with Angel and heads back to her ship for some naked twister.

Some time passes. Pilgrim is broke, hanging out in his room, thinking of a way to get off this station, Shaun is creeping his way through the security feeds, Otto and Angel have since stopped playing naked twister and moved on to something more adult, like strip scrabble and Reeva is jerked awake.

It’s Gabriel, “Fuckin’ get running kid, we’re in trouble!” Gabriel had shot four men trying to steal Reeva’s wallet and security may very well be on their heels.

View
Zombies you say?
Plague infected people have become little more than zombies and they hunger for the flesh of the PCs.

The group as it now is, Otto, Shaun, Reeva, Gabriel and Angel and two mutants from the security force, make their way to the sub-basement of the mall complex.

While they descend, they realize this is no mall, but the central financial complex and trade hub for the region and all of Calvert City. The sub-basement is found at lease five stories below ground level. Indeed the builders of this building intended the sub-basement to survive even if the building had collapsed.

The doors to the elevator open and they find themselves in a concrete hallway devoid of all markings. Small lights, behind a clear casing, are set into the wall, lighting the way. Upon close examination, the walls appear to have trace amounts of paint stuck in the tiny crevices where maybe a painted sign once was. There also appear to be small holes in the floor and walls, as if something were once bolted into them.

Further examination shows that there were bolted down corrals and docking stations for small motorized transports, along with directions painted on the walls. Somehow, something has stripped the metal and paint from the floors and walls. This leaves the assembled group to wander aimlessly down the hallway without even a map to go on.

The primary stretch leads down to a T intersection. One way leads to the Transit Authority, the other leads to the inner workings of the complex, including Control. They opt to head towards Control and begin their negotiations.

Control allows certain people inside the computer room, namely Reeva and Shaun, who are the “acting consultants” for the Coalition military. Shaun gains schematics for the system and it’s connections to the SysNet. The AI offers up information that it severed it’s connections to the outside network, because of both physical and system related threats, and it’s primary function now has become the safety and security of the complex. In fact, the executives in charge of this facility had fallen victim to Control’s defense mechanisms.

It seems that there was some sort of electronic threat, like a computer virus that caused Control to isolate itself. Also there was some sort of physical threat from the outside, and as the executives tried to flee the sub-basement through the Transit Authority, Control released a corrosive gas through the ventilation. Everything but the concrete walls and blast doors had been dissolved. All ways in and out of the sub basement had been sealed completely, with the only way to contact Control was through the terminal ports that it had guards protecting.

Reeva examines the connections in the wiring shafts below control and understands how to repair them. He comes back up and speaks with Shaun who had come to an agreement with Control. If Shaun can go outside the complex and reach a working terminal, then gather proof that the outside world and system are safe, then Control will agree to reconnect.

The problem now, is finding a working terminal in the middle of a ruined city full of scavengers.

They head back up to Angel’s ship and try to connect to the local system and find a working terminal. There are two terminals on the grid that appear to be salvageable. One is a bit of a way out and would make connecting to Control difficult, the other is much closer, which they opt for.

This terminal is right outside the Transit Authority entrance, so they land on the roof. The roof of the building has some rubble scattered on it and it appears there are scavengers living amongst it.

The scavengers are not behaving like the much bolder people on the mallplex roof, but appear rather afraid. They are hiding and looking across the way at another pile of rubble where nearly animal noises are coming from. Gabriel aims his rifle at the rubble and Reeva takes steps forward to investigate the sounds. What he finds are what appear to be people being torn apart and eaten by other people. The cannibals are gaunt and frail looking. Their skin is sickly colored and their eyes lack any signs of human thought. What Reeva has stumbled upon are plague zombies. People infected with a degenerative bio-plague, that is consuming bodily resources and sickening their brain. These people are driven by blind instinct and hunger, tearing away at anything they think is edible.

The unlucky scavengers had been set upon by these monsters and two of their number were as good as gone. Reeva draws the attention of the four monsters who rush at him, scrambling through rubble and over any obstacles.

Reeva takes a few shots and is unsuccessful as he is knocked to the ground, safely sheltered in his hermetically sealed combat armor. Gabriel makes quick work of the hungry animals with rapid fire shots. The commotion draws the attention of yet more hungry beasts, that begin to crawl out of the woodwork at the thought of a meal.

Shaun keeps his distance and hides near Gabriel who makes excellent use of his automatic rifle. Otto and Angel use Angel’s ship as cover and begin to lay down fire on the approaching threat. Not long after it had begun, it stops, there appear to be no more zombies in the area and the scavengers had fled.

Reeva goes to examine the scavengers that had been being attacked by the plague zombies and finds one torn to bits, the other busily trying to scoop his guts back into his abdomen, delirious from trauma and blood loss. A ventilation shaft opens, and a scavenger says it would be mercy to kill anyone bitten by the plague zombies. Before he can be questioned he scurries back from where he came.

Reeva raises his blaster, considers for a moment, looks the man in the eye, and kills him.

Shaun tells Reeva he’s a cold hearted bastard for looking this desperate man in the eye then gunning him down, after all, all he needed was help. Shaun laughs off the sentiment and looks over the edge of the roof at the streets. Gabriel also surveys the area noting that this is all so strangely familiar to him, as if he’s done this before.

The streets have begun to crawl with plague zombies who are looking for a way onto the roof. Many of them disappear into the Transit Authority itself. Maybe this was the physical threat Control had sensed. Disgusted at the scene before him, Shaun suggests that they make their way down to a not so distant building where he suspects the terminal may be.

They pile back into Angel’s Ship, and she pilots them across the street and hovers in place, allowing Otto, Gabriel, Reeva and Shaun to descend to the streets.

The terminal is located underneath some rubble that Shaun and Reeva must push aside before assessing the condition and functionality of the terminal. Otto and Gabriel set themselves up to ward off any approaching zombies.

In short order zombies begin to appear, but not the same as the zombies on the roof. It seems the roof zombies were younger and more recently infected, these are older, nearly skin and bones. These zombies are much more hungry and aggressive, but a bit slower to move as they have less muscle on their frame.

They come into the protected zone in waves. Gabriel takes full advantage of the terrain and has the zombies funneling at him through openings in the rubble walls. When they get through the rubble, they get gunned down. Otto is engaged in a stand still hand to hand battle. No matter how they swarm Otto they cannot gain an advantage and over power him, and no matter how many times Otto cuts away at the emaciated bodies of the zombies, they feel no pain and refuse to fall.

All the while Shaun and Reeva are moving rubble as fast as possible and then they begin their assessment. The terminal is partially operable, but has a few broken parts that Reeva easily replaces. The terminal is now operational and Shaun begins a diagnostic scan of the network.

There is evidence of a virus that had been through the network, but shows no signs of being active any longer. There is also evidence of a fire team of people that had been through the area, possibly causing these problems. There is also one dead zone in the network, there is an office on the other side of the mallplex that has no connection to the network at all. Shaun feels they should investigate that for signs of where the virus might be hiding.

The group is about to leave the area, when they see a large cybersoldier body guarding a man in a hover chair. They try to flag down the group and are met with near hostility. Gabriel calls out, “We’re leaving, and if you want a ride out of here you had better make your way here fast, or I could shoot you from here and save you the misery”

Gabriel is suspended in the air on a zipline attached to the ship and Reeva, Otto and Shaun fan out to create a safe zone for the two men to get to, as zombies again begin to swarm.

Otto is again locked in a stalemate in hand to hand combat, Reeva is snug, safe in his fully encased combat armor and Shaun, despite his best efforts, is overcome by hungry beasts.

Shaun is tacked to the ground after killing two zombies, and the beast who is set upon him is attempting to eat him. Gabriel is taking shots from the sky, covering the battlefield with fire. Reeva is mostly holding his own.

The two men eventually make their way to the safe zone, but not before Shaun has suffered several wounds to his shoulder and abdomen, some of which may now be infected. Luckily Shaun had the foresight to bring along decontamination units from Blackwatch. He makes good use of the kit and contains himself, holding his fear of infection at bay. He tells everyone that he understands that if he were infected he would have expected to be left behind or shot.

The large cybersoldier introduces himself as Tigh Rell, interzone operative for RIFU. The man with him is Charlie, an accountant from Harcourt and Loughland, the former ProVee of the area. He had contacted RIFU six weeks ago, just before this all went down, to defect to their side, citing that he had information on some underhanded plans Harcourt and Loughland had in the works.

It was now Tigh’s responsibility to get him back, but had unluckily lost his extraction team and ship in an assault some days ago. In trade for a ride, Tigh barters his medical assistance, as he is not only a soldier, but a skilled medic as well, as well as a good word in with his employers.

Shaun discovers the deadzone in the network is Charlie’s office. He had disconnected all of his data storage units and taken all of his records with him when he left. Shaun wants to see the information, because what is happening here looks similar to what is happening on Blackwatch. Charlie informs him that the information is too sensitive and might be seen as hostile to RIFU. He would prefer not to even raise a concern if there would be one at all. All this cautious talk is making Shaun nervous, may or may not be seen as hostile? Cybersoldier that is both a soldier and a trained surgeon? Angel vouches for Tigh, as he has a barcode tattoo that all interzone agents have, and he checks out.

Shaun pieces together some crazy conspiracy theories bout the interzone organizations and their “involvement” with creating a bioplague that is delivered through a ship that first explodes, then drops an infectious agent, evolves in the human body into nanotechnology, then infects the SysNet when an infected person interacts with a terminal.

Shaun is looked at like a freak, and Tigh shows concern over Shaun’s health, noting that he may be over-medicated, or under the influence of drugs.

Blackwatch Gate is still lagged and the earliest they can leave is six hours. Otto Decides that it’s time to get reconnected with his boys and takes everyone to his hangout, T.T. Bar’s Nippleopolis. Gang boys greet Otto warmly, as if he has been gone for quite some time. Otto offers hospitality to everyone but Tigh and Charlie, who are left on Angel’s ship, where she also stays, not wanting to be around the life she left behind. Everyone is taken to a tailor for custom fitted armored suits, they are given medical attention and any supplies they ask for. Shaun is itching to get back to Calvert City to connect Sentinel, but is told to relax and have a drink. As he drinks, he takes the information he has gathered about the situation down south and puts it all over the Net space so everyone will know. He hopes this will bring attention to the matter, but Reeva and Otto tell him, that this makes him a snitch, as some money begins to collect in a small account that Shaun has for his Fake ID that he used to put this story out. This reinforces the idea that he may have just sold out information, and gets worried that he’ll be looked at like a rat. Shaun drinks heavily and gets more paranoid.

Shaun awakes on the ship en route to nexus gate against his wishes. The party had agreed to give a lift to Charlie and Tigh, where they will meet with a representative of RIFU.

View
Balls, Malls, and Tall Tales
The PCs meet up in the lawless southlands of Rakhan Prime and begin the fight to liberate a shopping mall... indeed, a shopping mall.

Reeva, in Xui Xi City on Dust, starts poking around for information. He’s told to look for old Caleb on the Southwharf Spacedock.

[Forthcoming]

Reeva, noting that at least 36 hours had passed since he departed from the people he shared his little adventure with had contacted him, decides to go looking for them. Unfortunately for him, they had already met up with Angel and gotten their ride back to Coalition space.

Reeva makes his way to his contact and seeks out Ron Sh’teal, a shady businessman in the area. Ron, hoping to make some money, readily invites Reeva into his modest place of business and home, locally known as the Sh’tole. The Sh’tole is where anyone can barter or sell just about anything for just about nothing. They’re not picky if you’re not. Stray housecats linger around the Sh’tole pestering anyone who comes by, and getting excited and noisy when people approach, sort of like a crazy cat lady perimeter alarm.

Inside Reeva is quickly offered Sh’teal hospitality and refreshments. Ron’s cousin offers Reeva a dirty sock soaked in starship fuel and some sort of low grade food from a can. Cousin Don says the food and fuel makes the cats more tolerable, which Reeva is very uneasy about. (both the cats and the intoxicants)

Ron and Don both breathe deeply on the dirty sock, casually eat the canned meat and drink some sort of home brewed moonshine. Reeva is desperately trying to get any sort of useful information from either and is losing a battle with intoxication on their part. Reeva is perceptive enough to realize he’s not getting the whole story. Such as when certain things are brought up, like the disappearances of people all over the area, as happened to him and the others he’s looking for. Reeva manages to get a lead out of Ron, who states he’s heard a few things about the disappearances around the Southwharf from an old grizzled cyborg named Caleb. Reeva asks how he’ll recognize Caleb, and Ron just smirks and says, “oh, you’ll know Caleb.”

Caleb is a Cyborg with cybernetic systems that are obvious and garish, looking old and worn. Caleb’s cybernetics click and whir as he busily works the wharf around some docked and stored ships. Reeva thinking he sees a chance at an easy score, offers to go through some of the ships for Caleb. Caleb responds that those are the words of a clanner salvage brat. Reeva feigns offense and Caleb responds that they are the only people stupid enough to think he’d let them have unsupervised access to these ships that only they would consider “abandoned”.

Seeing that he has no chance of “salvaging” anything here, Reeva gets to his reason of being there. He mentions that he’s looking for someone that he knows, that disappeared. Caleb, turns from his work, his cybernetics go quiet and appear to move much more smoothly. “who are you looking for kid?” says Caleb, squinting as he questions. Shakily, and feigning confidence Reeva says, " Oh, me, um, Otto, a big guy and hard to miss seeing. I’ve done some jobs with him and I can’t find him anyplace and heard you might know what happened to some people who have disappeared."

Caleb stares at this kid, confusing Reeva and making him nervous, says “Otto Murrin?”. Reeva screws up his courage and continues on with his boasting. “Yeah, Otto Murrin, the big guy, we’re associates, we’ve worked together and I’m looking for him.” Caleb points to a room in the back of the wharf, sort of like a foreman’s office, “There’s coffee and danish in that room, go sit down. You want to find Otto, I have a call to make.” “You got fifty creds for the call?” Reeva negotiates down to forty.

Onboard Angel’s ship a transmission comes through. “Angel, it’s Caleb from the wharf. You seen Otto lately?” Angel replies “Caleb, is that you? Yeah, Otto’s with me why?”

Caleb turns to look at this kid who is actually drinking the sludge he called coffee by the half gallon and says “well I got this kid here, who says he works with Otto and is looking for him and thinks he’s missing. He wants to get hold of him.” Angel asks who the kid is and learns it’s Reeva. Otto says he doesn’t know the kid and Caleb gets ready to take serious action. Shaun recognizes the name and states that the person in question is the obnoxious cocky tech kid who was imprisoned with them.

Shaun and Reeva are allowed to talk over the comm link. Reeva seems confused as to why he was left behind, after all they shared that experience where they were all captured for unknown reasons. Shaun tries to subtly get Reeva to understand that that topic is not something for open conversation, as some comm channels are not secure. Soon Reeva finds out that yet again his attitude has driven people away from him. Due to the nature of the task at hand Shaun admits that they need the kid’s help.

In short order Shaun gives Reeva specific coordinates to where they are and where to find them planet-side.

Reeva thanks Caleb for the call and asks if he knows anything else about missing people. and offers him fifty credits. With only a blur of a motion and no sound at all, Caleb slashes Reeva across the face with an implanted cybernetic blade. The force and precision used surprisingly only leaves a slight cut across Reeva’s cheek. This action shows the tech savvy kid that Caleb’s cybernetics, although looking ancient, have fine manipulation and deadly accurate precision. Caleb looks like an old heap of a labor model but have the working precision of a cyborg meant for something much more deadly.

“That’s a lesson kid, I don’t need your credits.” “Only a few minutes ago you only had forty, now you have another fifty. That’s one clumsy mistake, but the clumsiest mistake you made was casually mentioning Otto Murrin.” “Let that cut be a lesson you learn.” “Don’t go dropping names of dangerous people, it could get you hurt” “What are you gonna tell people when they see that scar?” With watering eyes and a slack jaw, Reeva tries to muster up some bravado. “I’m gonna say I met a cyborg and survived a nasty fight with him, no, I kicked his ass.” Shaking his head, Caleb tries again to explain that he’s teaching him a lesson. He could have just killed him for dropping a name like Otto, and nobody would ever ask questions. Instead he’s being let off with a warning.

The crew on Angel’s ship looks for places to land on Rakhan Prime, in the lawless southern hemisphere, and immediately distrusts anyplace with an active landing signal. Angel states those places must be traps set up by those desperate to hijack a ship on the planet surface.

Angel finds a high building they can land on and makes her descent. Upon landing, her three engineering robots stand around her ship and a passive cloaking device is set up between them.
Angel states they should hire a local to guide them, since they are most likely more familiar with the area and cheap to buy.

Shaun surveys the area and looks at the locals like stray animals. He claims they can most likely buy passage for food and continues his under estimation of the locals.

One of the locals with some sort of rigged up sharpened steel rod approaches the team. This local man seems a bit brain damaged and confused. He states his love of food and “stuff” and seems to state that he knows where a terminal is that they can access the network from. This local keeps stalling and confusing the issue of leading the team to a terminal, even after he was given a meager meal of survival protein cakes. The team takes some joy in poking fun at this man and threatening his well being if he doesn’t bring them to a terminal.

Otto is on the verge of ending this man’s life, and Gabriel is once again taking out his huge balls and threatening to quench the man’s thirst with his urine if he doesn’t get more cooperative. That’s when the ambush occurs. I guess you should never get caught with your pants down.

Otto who is so attuned to violence, reacts before anyone, stepping in front of Angel to take a shot from some sort of makeshift power staff blaster being used by some scavengers on the adjacent building ledges. Gabriel usually the first to react pulls up his pants and readies an assault weapon. A few more shots are fired from the scavs and Angel is hit, she falls like a rock. Shaun tries to hold his own, taking out one of the scavs before being shot himself and falling down. Gabriel had already shot three dead and is looking at Otto to see what he’s going to do. Otto had already taken the man with the makeshift spear as a body shield and is looking for something to throw at the scavs on the ledge. Having no luck, and having fumbled the makeshift spear, he regretfully hauls out a large pistol and blasts one of them off the ledge.

Seeing that there is only one left, Gabriel takes the moment to tease. “Hey, if you jump off the ledge now, I won’t shoot you. You might survive the fall, but you won’t survive me shooting you.” Briefly considering the options, the scav tries to run. Otto hurls a loose stone from the roof at him, knocking him down as he tries to run. Gabriel guns down the scav before he can get back up and says he’s going to jump the gap and gather what the scavs had. He takes a motion toward the edge and stops, “Nah, If I try to jump this gap I might trip on my balls and have a nasty fall.”

Otto is already tending to Angel who had fallen and Shaun has gotten up after faking how badly he was shot. Gabriel takes out a med kit and tends to Shaun when he find out that indeed he had been shot and was wounded, not just faking. Angel on the other hand, smirks and says the shock of the shot mush have knocked her senseless but other than that, she’s just fine.

The assembled team, not wanting to be caught in another ambush, decides to go inside instead of waiting outside for Reeva to meet up. Inside they find they had landed on a huge mallplex and economic tradehub of the area. They make short work of several desperate scavs and find the first terminal broken. Looking around for parts to scrounge and fix the machine, Shaun notices the remains of an electronics store that may have what he needs. The only problem is that it’s two floors down and only accessible by either zip-line or fighting through two floors of scavengers.

Gabriel who had been assigned to guarding the passage between the rooftop and the present position of the team, is called over. Shaun asks Gabriel to repel down and see if he can find a list of items he needs to repair the terminal. Gabriel, laughing that he could just toss his balls down the hole and follow them down, grabs the rope and slides down.

Several minutes pass and Gabriel calls back up that he has a problem. There seems to be a standoff between him and what appears to be mall security and some mutants. He asks if he should just shoot them. Shaun states that he and the team will make their way down to negotiate.

Upon arrival, The team is faced with two burly, nearly seven foot tall people with leathery skin and bony protrusions on their heads who are armed with rifles. Four other men, who are the most cleanly dressed of anyone they have seen so far, seem to command the security force. They state their purpose, to protect the terminal and supplies that exist in this storefront. They provide law and order to this area and receive their orders from Control.

Shaun smirks and recognizes them as androids who are getting orders from a command computer that must be nearby. Trying to begin a negotiation, Shaun says he needs access to the terminal so he can connect to the local system. The android team asks what clearance he has to access the system. Is he from the new ProVee? Seeing an opening Shaun lies his ass off and convinces the androids that he is indeed a representative of the new ProVee, thanks to some of his bio-engineering. “Who is the new ProVee?” they ask, and Shaun is stumped. Gabriel speaks up and says that the Coalition military has stepped in to regain control, and if they don’t believe him, he’ll show his credentials, motioning to his balls. Not really wanting to see his balls, the Androids accept the answers and allow Shaun to contact Control.

Shaun negotiates with Control, as a consultant for the Coalition military, and learns of what is going on. Control has set out security androids, allied with locals, to make a secure area in this lawless land. They have secured several terminals 36 out of over 70 that once existed. It seems that Control is mostly trying to ensure that it is protected and secure. Shaun convinces Control to allow he and his team to access the main Control room to check the integrity of the network. He just needs time since he is waiting for his technician to arrive. The team is given protection and a perimeter is set to ensure that Reeva will have safe passage to the rendezvous point.

Hours later, Reeva who followed the given directions,lands on top of the mallplex. He is escorted to the rendezvous point. He is quietly instructed on the lie that is going on, and to play along. Reeva finds the lie easy to go along with, because it makes him appear to have great authority.

Gabriel asks Reeva where he got that nasty scar on his face, and Reeva gives his story about beating up a cyborg. Rolling his eyes Gabriel knocks Reeva on his ass with a little jab, then helps him to his feet. “Kid, I fight, that’s what I do. You build and repair shit, that’s what you do. Stop the bullshit, it’s not working for you.” “but keep it up if you wanna see my balls, did you hear, they’re huge”

With that, Gabriel takes point with the two huge mutants and clears a passage to the elevator so the team can go meet Control. In short order, the team is on their way to the sub-basement.

View
Otto Steps It Up A Notch...
The PCs split up - Otto, Shaun, and Gabriel have some fun on Nexus Gate

Otto stalks, rapes, and kills some government officials from the Collective…

It appears as if there are three ideas as to what to do next for the assembled group.

Ryan takes his share of the haul from selling the Ogre and goes off to his Greyjacket buddies where he’ll get his ship. He also may be trying to sell out the people who are carrying Sentinel; after all Sentinel could be useful to the Greyjackets and he doesn’t owe these people anything.

The remaining four, Gabriel, Otto, Shaun and Riva need lodging for the night. Riva suggests going to Xui Xi City on Dust where rates for everything are much cheaper than on Nexus gate which caters to higher end travelers. Riva is largely ignored and he leaves contact information where he can be reached, which is also intentionally forgotten. It seems out of the remaining three, nobody really wants to deal with Riva with all his bluff and bluster.

Otto wants a place he can hang out for a while so he can wait for his contact Angel who will be his ride off this place. Gabriel mirrors the sentiment of wanting a place to sit down a while so he can sit and rest, as he’s just been paid and he’s fatigued from lugging around his massive nuts. Shaun looks around for cheap lodging, like a coffin hotel or other out of the way place. Otto refuses to rest in some cramped fucking coffin and heads off to a seedy pub named the Jumbled Goat for a sandwich and drinks. Gabriel follows so he can get his drunk on and maybe have some fun with the locals and Shaun keeps in line so he’s not left alone with whoever might be trying to track them down after their escape.

The Jumbled Goat is packed full with really nowhere to sit, so Gabriel makes himself a spot at a table by tossing two of the four occupants to the floor and starts telling tales of his huge sore balls to the other two who actually begin to laugh at the situation. Gabriel has found himself among four business/political types from the Collective who are blowing off some steam and having a few drinks before they head off for the evening.

Otto and Shaun find a dark corner table occupied by one man in a dark hooded jacket who appears to be busy with his own thoughts and things. This man who later lets on that he knows Shaun as his Hacker ID Whisper, offers up some hospitality by kicking out a chair so they can sit. Otto gets his meal and keeps mostly quiet watching Shaun as he works the room for information and locates a contact for a woman who makes high quality counterfeit ID papers. Shaun thinks he should get a fake ID to hide behind just in case he is being followed, that way he can lose the trail here by making his ID disappear.

Gabriel is busy being fed drinks four to one against the four businessmen who are amazed at his ability to keep up at this rate. Not long after Gabriel begins to fade and the four see their opportunity to roll this guy who had previously flashed his roll of recently earned “Combat pay” as he tried to buy his own drinks. Otto notices Shaun who noticed this situation and they meet in the middle at the table with Gabriel before he loses too much money, scattering the four Collective men to the streets.

Shaun takes Gabriel to the corner table, finding the dark jacketed man gone. Otto on the other hand, gets his night started.

Otto begins his prowl. He follows the four half drunk men back to the hotel complex that has been rented out by the Collective for their own. The four go to the penthouse area of the building which is a large hotel casino. Otto sets himself up to watch the four until they leave to go back to their room for the night. A waitress comes up to Otto and offers him her services for the night, and brings him drinks. Otto flirts with her so he can get access to her service pass which she told him would allow him access to the room the four are staying in.

When the waitress gets off shift she invites Otto to her room. Otto takes the invite and wastes no time once inside. She warns Otto to keep quiet as she has a young child who might wake up and see what they are doing. Ignoring her request, Otto begins his assault on this woman. His time with her was less of a sexual thing and more of a way to dispatch her so he can get on with his goals for the night. Otto treats the woman roughly and chokes her during sex, forcing her into unconsciousness as her child watches on horrified. With a thumbs up to the child, Otto takes the service pass and exits the room to find his intended prey.

Inside the room of the four, he finds two of the men having very animated sex on the couch. Several doses of some kind of sexual drug lie used on the floor. these two are oblivious to the monster that has just bypassed security and gotten into the safety of their room. Otto surveys the room and heads up stairs to the automated bar and gets himself a blended scotch whiskey and begins to set out his tools for the night. On a cloth napkin he places two carbon glass knives, and icepick, a corkscrew, and three security batons. Pleased with his selection, Otto takes his things and heads off, drink in hand calmly searching the room for unlocked bedroom doors.

He finds one open and one locked. Preferring to keep silent and calm, he enters the open room finding clothing strewn about and an open sliding glass door leading to a jacuzzi on a patio area joining to the other locked room. There is one man in the water, wearing a device that is dripping this sexual drug into his eyes, which are rolled back in his head. This man is in an unconscious state of hyper-arousal. Otto takes out two blades, plunges them into the sides of the man’s neck, and pushes his head underwater. He cleans his blades, takes the man’s ID and enters the locked room through the open sliding glass door.

This room contains a man who is drunk and passed out on his bed, half empty bottle of bourbon in one hand, one dose of the same sexual drug in the other. Otto collects this man’s ID and a credit chip containing some money. He simply ties the man to his bed with his own clothing and leaves the room seeking his big kill of the night.

By now the two lovers on the couch have changed positions and are busy, face first in the crotch of the other, unable to see the approaching doom. Otto calmly loosens his tie, finishes his drink and begins to disrobe. Once naked he grabs his two knives and leaps on the two men. He forcefully rapes the one on top, while attempting to use his knives like handle bars in the gut of the one below. Otto pushes his massive frame onto the man on top, keeping him trapped under him as he is sodomized. The one on the bottom narrowly rolls out avoiding the two blades that cut deep into the couch. As the man being sodomized frantically tries to get away he only manages to get further penetrated. Otto, continuing his sexual assault, throws a knife at the man scrambling to hit a security alert button.

One blade thuds as it sinks into the man’s skull, killing him instantly. The man being raped and sensing death, reaches for his last hope. He pulls a large pistol hidden in the couch, and tries to gutshot Otto. Now that his prey is armed, Otto disengages and rolls behind the couch for cover. The man rolls to the floor and takes a shot. Bad luck continues for this man as his shot blows through the couch but isn’t left with enough force to stop Otto. A second blade flies, thuds and leaves more blood.

Calmly surveying what he had done, Otto collects his weapons, and gets himself another drink. Before getting dressed he takes a little time in the moment. He savors his second drink and cleans and puts away his tools. That’s when something, as if it were the first feeling Otto has had during this whole exchange, hits him. He cocks his head, looks into the eyes of the man he had raped and killed, and pulls his knife. In short work Otto decapitates the man, stares deep into his eyes until the pupils constrict to pinpoints. Whether it’s loss of blood or some condition of the brain dying: that eye reaction looks almost like a camera taking a picture. When this is done, Otto places the man’s head in his own crotch and leaves the room. Otto strolls down the hall as security passes him, heading to the room to investigate the commotion raised by the gunshot.

One bad day for four businessmen, just another Saturday night for Otto.

Meanwhile, back at the Pub. Gabriel is quickly sobering up and Shaun is having a sandwich with cold beer. Otto arrives several hours after he had left, suggesting that they get a room for the night and look into a credit chip he had found during his walk.

In the cheap room Shaun hacks the account and steals the money, he also makes contact with the Counterfeit ID woman and sets a meeting. Otto and Shaun leave while Gabriel takes a huge dump, complaining that his balls keep drooping in the toilet. Shaun and Otto meet the counterfeiter and acquire new ID’s.

Shaun hears through the streets and sub-nets that someone had been looking him up. A quick search leads to the man with the dark hooded jacket in the bar, who is met in the net space. He is introduced as Abstract, a hacker who runs in a ship the Wayfarer. He inquires about certain information regarding the Nebula Queen and other oddities. He offers to possibly inform Shaun about the case of missing persons if things check out. He also makes an offer of work and suggests they meet on Harlinn’s World in a months time.

Otto and Shaun go back to the room to wait for Angel, who shows up within 12 hours and they all depart to Coalition space, from Nexus Gate to Blackwatch Gate.

At Blackwatch, Shaun collects his things and finds the station in disarray. A potent computer virus and bacterial infection have begun to ravage the station. The people seem to be suffering from a bacteria that enters the blood stream and consumes the heart. The androids and robots are also acting strange, as the whole gate system is compromised, with the environmental controls being most obviously affected.

Shaun freaks out fearing infection, gets his meds and gets the hell out after manually decontaminating himself and companions, only to find out through the med scanners that Gabriel is a biological threat. He contains four out of seven components to make a bomb of some sort. The other three are very common, such as oxygen and hydrogen. It seems whoever made Gabriel had a reason to blow him up. Maybe it’s a safety switch if he goes rogue, maybe it’s so he can be used as an unwitting suicide bomber, who knows.

They head down to the planet where Shaun might be able to formulate a plan to stop the computer virus with some information he gathered on the virus code itself and some of this allies on the net. But first, he wants to re-establish Sentinel and find out what he wanted with them in the first place.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.