FUTURE PERFECT: Identity Function

Two, Two, Two Feints in One...

While Shaun is struggling to contain the damage being caused by an AI accessing ship functions on Hatch's RIFU Cruiser, the vessel comes under attack... and its up to Pilgrim, Reeva, Rodeo, and Deefor to stop the attackers...

Hatch and his team of specialists have invited Otto and his companions aboard his orbiting cruiser. Once aboard, the crew of the cruiser notes that Securitech had sent several pursuit ships after the Wayfarer, but are quickly run off by Tigh and his Ragnarok Arms Bully heavy fighter ship. At which point Tigh docks his ship and heads to the meeting.

The cruiser is more of a laboratory and massive computer than anything else. There are engineers and technicians busily working, as well as a crew of command and support staff. There are small barracks for a few dozen marines, but most of the troops are deployed.

Hatch would like to conduct a meeting about the next step in things but is interrupted by Shaun who takes Otto aside.

Shaun asks Otto if he really feels that he is being paranoid and a threat to the proceedings. Otto tells Shaun that he has been very unreasonable and has no reason not to trust Hatch who seems to be conducting business, not some crack-pot plot that you might hear in a conspiracy theory.

Shaun informs Hatch that he needs medical attention to help regulate his medication. Tigh insists that Shaun does not need medication, that he is making himself worse. The medical crew goes over Shaun with simple medical scans, but Shaun still denies them access to a simple blood sample or a deeper scan. The result of the simple tests are that Shaun is having a severe reaction to the medication he has been taking. Not only was he taking huge over dosages but the hypnotic beneficial effects of the drug have been causing him to become paranoid to the point of hostility and have most likely been causing him to repress memories. Shaun leaves medical bay without allowing them to dig any deeper after they insist he does not need medication at all.

Back in the command room, Hatch is again trying to begin his meeting and is again interrupted by Shaun who tells him that he has a neurostorage system that is locked to him. He explains how he has been trying to hack his own brain for some time now and has had no luck. He had gone as far as trying to have the company who implanted the device attempt to unlock it, with no success. Shaun says that he feels that the key to what they are going through right now might be locked inside his brain, if he was indeed part of this mess when it begun.

Hatch thanks Shaun for the information but explains there are too many “if’s” in the situation and would prefer to go on with the facts and information he has already collected, hence the meeting.

Hatch and Tigh begin to explain their findings. It seems that Doctor J had been going over Gabriel’s bio-samples and found something quite impossible. It appears Gabriel is a clone of a soldat, and soldats cannot be cloned. Furthermore, they believe we were the ones to have Gabriel made. There are other issues with Gabriel, such as hallucinations and imperfect memory. He believes he has enlarged body parts that are not enlarged, it may be a sign that his sense of self or being is impaired. Gabriel may not be able to sense himself for who and what he is. Also, it seems Gabriel is having breakthroughs, remembering things that occurred during our time of memory loss, via moments of Deja’Vu.

The concern is that Gabriel is so unstable around the bioplague that he may have been a much more deadly threat than we had first imagined, which is half the reason Hatch had him removed and brought to Nexus Gate. The other half is that Hatch is intrigued by the mystery. He wants to know how it is Gabriel is a clone from something un-clonable. Doctor J had theorized that the only ones that might be capable of something so on the cutting edge of genetics would be Prometheus Innovations, a relatively new bio-engineering corporation in the Interzone.

Hearing the name, Shaun explains that the moment he had his neurostorage system locked down was when he had been creeping through a Prometheus database and suddenly something was downloaded into his brain. He woke up some time after feeling very ill and unable to access his storage system. Since then he has had more problems with his memories and has gotten weaker, whatever he has in his head, it’s taking it’s toll on him.

Hatch tells Shaun that if he cannot hack into his brain, that he should seek out someone who can. He suggests the man Shaun was going to meet on Harlinn’s World in a few weeks, Abstract. Apparently not only is Abstract one who gathers information on the strange and obscure, but he also dabbles in it’s application, such as knowing how to hack a human brain. The other thing Hatch offers are the services of a forensic accountant, Cal Haverdash III. A forensic accountant will be able to track where the funding came from to create someone like Gabriel. Hatch further tries to explain to an unimpressed Shaun that the one thing RIFU knows is money. Not just currency, buying and selling, but the knowledge that everything takes resources and funding to accomplish. With that knowledge they can track it, and effect it.

Otto tells Hatch that they had plans to go to Harlinn’s World in a little over three weeks time to meet Abstract. Also he tells that they had recently received a communication from a scratchy voiced man who explained he will meet us in our usual spot. Shaun takes the sets of astrogation coordinates he salvaged from Reeva’s robot and asks Hatch if he can use his computer. He plugs in the coordinates using first Harlinn’s World as zero point, and gets no results, but when he uses New Harmony Gate outside Harlinn’s world, he has a match. The points are, an oceanic planet in Recengy space, several markers in the salvage areas around planet Twilight in Alliance space and several other spots that at this point don’t seems to make sense at the moment.

Thinking that there was hidden information on the astrogation robot on Reeva’s ship, Shaun believes that since Deefor seems to know Otto from before, it may also have hidden information somewhere in it’s programming or in Sentinel’s programming. Shaun tries to contact Sentinel on the Wayfarer to gather information and is told Sentinel has been blocked and contained by Deefor. Deefor refuses to explain himself any further than he was stopping Sentinel from taking the ship. Shaun gets agitated with Deefor who refuses to cooperate with any of his requests and continues to block all attempts to access Sentinel. Shaun asks for Otto’s help as it seems Deefor only responds to Otto. Otto speaks to Deefor and convinces it to agree to send a core dump for Shaun to go through on the cruiser.

Not long after the core dump is received the cruiser computer systems go haywire, Shaun instantly distrusts Deefor and assumes the worst. He thinks the robot is a plant from our enemies in the Coil who have a hit out on Otto. Hatch gives Shaun permission to begin countermeasures to regain control of the ship’s computers. Quickly Shaun notes that he is up against what appears to be a hostile AI that is searching the system for the last information received by the cruiser. Shaun physically disconnects his information storage unit from the system, safeguarding the core dump from Deefor. Shaun continues to try to battle the AI by trying to contain it, but what it appears to be doing is consuming resources and taking ground. Every sector of the system that it searches, it takes control of simultaneously and then locks it down. Shaun seems to be fighting a losing battle as every sector he regains control of is again attacked and taken by the AI again, as it continues to attack and lock down new areas as well. The only thing Shaun can think of is to hook up his storage unit to an area where the AI will be tricked into going, and then physically disconnect that part of the ships computer, containing the hostile AI.

While Shaun is doing what he can to regain control of the cruiser’s computer, everyone else is involved in a larger threat. A torpedo had connected with the hull of the cruiser and luckily didn’t do much more than cosmetic damage. Even though the first hit was not much to speak of, it did signal that they were under attack. Tigh gets into his fighter ship and heads out to deffend. Reeva looks for a gunner amongst the marines, and selects one soldier to play gunner while taking four more as a small boarding team if needs be. Pilgrim is itching at the chance to get into some action with the Wayfarer and with Otto’s permission, he and five marines make a zero-g space jump from the RIFU cruiser to the open bay of the Wayfarer and Pilgrim takes the helm.

Pilgrim takes the controls and has Rodeo the pilot/gunner from RIFU take the guns. The sensors on the Wayfarer aren’t really up to the task of finding the ship that had attacked the Cruiser as it appears they may have an advanced cloaking system. Reeva attaches his freighter to the docking bay of the Wayfarer and reminds Pilgrim that 61TO had tweaked the sensors and he needs to turn on the advanced features.

With the advanced scanners active, Pilgrim notes an anomaly on the screen and heads off to investigate. It appears something around the size of a medium ship is hanging back at a distance from the cruiser. When Pilgrim is about half way to the anomaly it fires off a pair of torpedoes and three drone fighters, giving away it’s stealthy position. The drones streak past the Wayfarer as Reeva takes a shot at them, blowing one out of space. Reeva detaches from the Wayfarer to try to defend the cruiser that the drones are going to attack.

Pilgrim and Rodeo are now locked in a gunfight with a collective make Rakshasa stealth gunship. Rodeo is taking shots at incoming torpedoes while Pilgrim is doing all he can to force the Wayfarer towards the enemy. With a little evasive maneuvering, clever use of a tractor beam to create a web to slow down torpedoes, the depletion of all the Wayfarers micro missile packs and expert gunnery on the part of Rodeo the Wayfarer continues to make it’s way towards the Rakshasa.

Reeva takes out another of the drone fighters and calls to Tigh for help. Tigh is not responding, so Reeva tries to contact Otto inside the cruiser and has all communications blocked by the hostile AI. Reeva radios Deefor who is actively scanning the area for the Rakshasa that has cloaked itself again, after deploying a half dozen torpedoes towards the Wayfarer. Deefor takes the message and multi-tasks the sensors and contacting Otto. Deefor somehow either hacks the system or deploys a brute force worm program that burrows a hole to send word to Otto. The people inside are made aware of the assault and attempt to take defensive actions and Otto puts on a space suit. Reeva no longer sees the third drone and again calls to Tigh for his position. The third drone reveals itself as it takes shots on the cruiser and the power on the cruiser goes out.

Inside the cruiser Shaun has failed to stop the hostile AI and he could not lure it into a trap. The only way Hatch feels they can regain control is to shut down the power of the cruiser to everything but life support and try to reboot. Otto tells Shaun that they will die in this cruiser today, Shaun reassures Otto that he is the psychic and they aren’t going to die.

Shaun and the technicians shut everything down as one of the drone fighters takes a shot and disables all their scanners. The passengers on the cruiser are all in the dark, and they are blind to the outside world.

Security on the cruiser radios Hatch and informs him that a hostile team has boarded the cruiser and killed several men. They are pinned down in the docking bay next to engineering. Otto and Hatch head out to assist.

Reeva continuously calls out for assistance and Tigh indicates he is busy with another attack, it seems the attack on the cruiser is a feint. Three other drones had already been deployed, most likely when the first of the torpedoes hit the cruiser. These three drones are hurtling towards the planet’s surface right for the underground bunker where 61TO is collecting the inactive AI, and Tigh is in pursuit. Reeva disengages the drone that was attacking the cruiser as it flees when the power goes out, and heads off to assist Tigh.

Otto and Hatch meet the security guards who are in a standoff with the boarding party. They give orders to the guards who re-enter the docking bay and use sonic stun grenades to shock the boarders. The following firefight leaves the RIFU security worse for wear and several of the boarders wounded and stunned. Otto takes two grenades from Hatch, one Stun, one IR smoke. Otto makes his way, stealthily, towards the docking bay and tosses in the grenades. Two of the RIFU security rush in and take shots at the now confused boarders.

Hatch meets up with Otto and the two enter the obscured area. Hatch takes one side, breaking the neck of one boarder with a kick to the neck. The security guards continue their fight against the exposed boarders and end up on top, with few injuries. Otto stalks the boarders in the smoke and takes one hostage, then guts him with his knife.

Using the corpse as a human shield, Otto stalks another man. This one recognizes the huge frame in the smoke as belonging to someone other than one of his fellow boarders and panics. Otto makes several slashes towards the man’s face and leaves him oozing brains.

As the smoke begins to subside, Hatch stands with two guards flanking him, and Otto menaces the remaining boarders. One man flees out the escape hatch and one is left shaking with piss running down his leg and is taken prisoner.

Reeva and Tigh are racing towards the surface of the planet in pursuit of the three drones who seem to be on a kamikaze course with the underground bunker. Reeva overloads his guns and takes several shots at the drones and with a little luck, he takes two out of the sky. Reeva taunts Tigh for not having any kills yet, and Tigh responds with a blast from his hex cannons, decimating the third drone into nothingness.

Pilgrim closes in on the position of the Rakshasa that he and Deefor managed to track down in stealth mode. Unfortunately, the thing they tracked down was a decoy image left behind by the ship as it made it’s way elsewhere. Deefor locates it immediately and Pilgrim attempts to wheel the ship to face it. The Rakshasa is below the Wayfarer and headed towards the cruiser, it appears as if the attack on the bunker was also a feint. It appears that the target was the cruiser all along. They sent drones to take out the cruiser’s scanners, an AI to shut the ship down and drones to the surface to keep the smaller ships busy. The only thing the Rakshasa had to do was get the Wayfarer far enough away that it could never turn around fast enough to stop the last few torpedoes that it was presently deploying on the cruiser.

Torpedoes are launched and Deefor calls out to Otto. Otto informs Hatch of the eminent doom and radios Shaun that he isn’t much of a psychic, because indeed, they are about to die. Shaun warns the whole bridge crew and everyone he can. He attempts to use the intercom system and remembers that the power is out to everything except life support. Shaun gathers anything that looks important from the bridge and jumps into an escape pod.

Otto grabs his hostage, and tells everyone to prepare for death. Otto opens the boarding door in the docking bay and jumps into the abyss of space. The two guards step next to Hatch who turns on a force field that creates it’s own environment, they are also sucked into space.

From their position, hurtling towards the surface of Rakkhan Prime, Hatch and Otto watch as the cruiser is blown in half by several torpedoes.

Pilgrim uses the tractor beam on the Wayfarer to collect Otto, Hatch and their people. Reeva hits the planet’s surface and picks up Shaun and the things he took from the cruiser, including Deefor’s core dump.

Hatch suggests they all meet on the Wayfarer to discuss what just happened. Shaun distrusts Deefor, because it seems he can do much more than repair and astrogation, not to mention the attack followed the sending of it’s core information. Otto wants to interrogate his prisoner, so he takes the two guards to the back with him. And, as always Reeva boasts about how spectacular of a job he had done, how clever he is, and how without him, we would all be dead right now. Shaun tries to calm Reeva’s ego, by explaining our losses and reminding him that we fell into an obvious set of feints. Furthermore, he would like Reeva’s assistance in going through Deefor to find out if anything is hidden in or on it, as it seems to be a robot that is way more than it appears to be.

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