Eclipse Phase | AUSTIN, TEXAS | 2015-2019 A.D.

Session 27: Into the Hinterlands with Rep and Rifle
A new journey begins among the Scum.

Concerned with the intense media pressure and law enforcement scrutiny being brought to bear on the Team, Lieutenant Miller opts to move his Cell to a headquarters in the Outer System, choosing as the new rear-ward operating base the science/mining ship USG Ishimura. This sizeable vessel was salvaged by FireWall after a particularly bloody Exsurgent encounter ( See the game Dead Space for details )and is now retrofitted with modern and secret Firewall equipment. Through arrangement with Anarchist FireWall agents from allied Cells, the way has been paved for the now-renamed U.S.S. Sulacco to join the Scum Swarm “The Stars Our Destination” and travel the Outer System under the anonymity and cover that the Swarm provides.

Retired Player-Character Johann rejoins the FireWall Cell of Router Lieutenant Miller as the space-ship-sleeved AI in command of the Sulacco. As the crew of sentinels come aboard and take stock of their new surroundings the vessel is tentatively renamed The Fuzzy Earwig and then Rudolf the Red-Nosed Fuck You and Agent 23 nearly succeeds in welding giant plastic antlers onto the vessel before he is wisely voted down by the rest of the Cell. Miller’s cell has come to be named The Murder Hobos (as a result of their rootless, unconnected string of homicides left in the wake of their operations) in the banter on The Eye ( the covert network of Firewall operatives). This chafes Lieutenant Miller and is a primary factor that is instrumental in his decision to shove the Sentinel Beta Team (our heroes) out to the rowdier outer-system, where they either could do less harm, or at least no one would care as much about the harm they continue doing. Agents of The Murder Hobos Alpha Team will continue to mop up as Firewall ‘Cleaners’ in the inner-system, covering the tracks of the organization. Agent Motoko resumes direct Vector and Scanner work for the Cell as Agent Nikolai covers everyone’s media tracks as the Cell’s Social Engineer back on Mars. Mr. Thursday joins Fenopy in piloting Firewall’s trans-atmospheric shuttle for Agent Mike Chin and Gunnar Vorstagg. They team up with Victor Vorstagg Gunnar’s now-reunited estranged brother. (This surprising turn of events having come about after some very interesting psionic cerebral editing by the mysterious Async with no past Ganos and fantastically expert psychosurgery by the inner-system-reknowned psychosurgery wunderkind Dr. Albion Bernal ( aka Marbles )). This Alpha Team remains stationed in the Martian theater of operations to help clean up Beta Team‘s flashy, public assault on the "Olympus Infrastructure Authority’s":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/eclipse-phase-austin/wikis/olympus-city classified-site crater base. This event having been the biggest media event of a string of recent local terrorist actions that have been attributed to the Barsoomian Movement. With the powerful Erasure Squad Sentinel VIctor Vorstagg now at his disposal as an overseer for the AI murder machine Soldaat Moordenaar v7.01.0023 ( also now hesitantly deployed by Miller as an erasure squad operative ) Miller has then skipping around the inner system in the Cell’s last remaining spaceship engaging in extraordinary renditions, wetwork black ops and other silent operations required to keep the existence of Firewall under wraps while not raising any further flags among the Planetary Consortium or Lunar Lagrange Alliance. This is becoming increasingly difficult as dogged former L.L.A. New Detroit Colony Delta City police inspector Jayne Lewis and the indefatigable Reginald Stonecypher of The Planetary Consortium’s OVERSIGHT are hot on the trail of even the tiniest clue left unbruied. Stonecypher is networked with the hideously well connected and very VERY pissed-off Project Ozma operative Neurasthenia who after being murdered by Agent Sandy seems capable of almost miraculous insight into Firewall-related hijinks as concerns The Murder Hobos. Supporting the fearful rumors about Ozma’s reach and capabilities that pass among Sentinel agents on The Eye.

After being rescued from the O.I.A. Crater Base by The Murder Hoboes, Asa Ivorssen remains in a FireWall top secret facility so dark, even Miller doesn’t know where it is. His formerly latent Watts-McLeod infection now having advanced to Exhuman Psi-epsilon class sleights due to his mind shattering trauma. He is perhaps among the most dangerous Exhumans in known Transhuman space and debate rages among Firewall Proxies as to whether or not he should be destroyed utterly. The safety concerns of his being kept alive for study at all being subject to hot debate among opposed cliques of Proxies.

Agent 23 meanwhile has busied himself over the last 12 months since the mission at the antimatter crater east of Olympus Mons. Having been unable to burn from his mind the image of the TITAN assimilator absorbing first Zak Corvid shuttle and then Johann terrified synthmorph before flying off to the IFF friendly signals it detected coming from the TITAN Quarantine Zone. Having seen the effect of the ElectroMagnetic Pulse grenades on the centibot disassemble worm-swarm as it destroyed the Trancom subterranean complex, he has applied his not inconsiderable talents as a research physicist and academic to network with his Titanian university and the Argonauts to craft a never before seen atmospheric photon pulse cannon and extra-atmospheric Gamma radiation directed energy weapon. This he designed in a feverish one-year hiatus from professorial academia crafting nanofabricator blueprints with the aid of some University AIs and his own custom-created Muse. And the invaluable assistance of his network of intrepid Argonaut theoretical physics and Mathematical allies.

He created a prototype experimental cannon which he promptly replaced the rail-cannon on the undermount of the Sulacco with during a moment of zeal involving considerably unauthorized and dangerously unmonitored extravehicular activity at speed. It is not yet known what this cannon will do when activated. Virtual Reality computer simulations all point to favorable outcomes.

Agent Dave has completed doing the cell’s inventory and analysis of the Sulacco’s extensive equipment load-out, verifying the materials on record as it was presented by Johann after sleeving into the vessel and running an electronic scan of all spimes in the vessel.

The Team encounters the one-girl narcotics circus that IS the teenager known as Barking Dog, and she leads them down the proverbial rabbit-hole through the Labyrinth to…A Reception!…which has been presented to the gathered representative of the Autonomist Collectives that make of The Stars Our Destination scum swarm. This introductory, ‘Getting to Know You’ event is a truly typical Scum stunt-event. It’s part a talk-show interview, part a celebrity roast (to determine starting reputation for the newcomers) and part an anything-goes deviant cosplay/S&M/potluck dinner party in the spirit of pre-Fall Brazil’s Carnivale. Led by “Captain” Sui Generis, the hermaphrodite (male genitals/female secondary sexual characteristics) Thai LadyBoy salvage barge party-girl (boy?) who is known for throwing some of the best parties the swarm has to offer and blowing apart the remaining quaint notions of binary gender.

Swarm Captains
Captains2

This Ruby-Rod (see the film The Fifth Element) style-entertainer/party personality puts on a fabulous interview until the question and answer session when Agent Sandy is confronted by a member of one of the collectives among the guests who brings a professional circuit fight challenge from one of the Swarms contenders. A berserk-exhuman borderline-psychopath named Simona Soukupova. This ego sleeves in a deeply posthuman morph with an alarming amount of hyena and jackal chromosomes integrated into an otherwise human body. Simona is a post-slavic Ego committed to extreme geno-modification and exhuman physiognomy who, due to the use of numerous extreme, experimental, and dangerous self-modifications, has done some permanent damage to her psyche, transforming her mode of thinking into something that is no longer recognizable as fully human.

This intimidating warrior runner offers a challenge to compete for reputation and bragging rights against the Martian title-belt holding Sentinel. Sandy foolishly accepts this challenge since she doesn’t want to be shamed be seeming like a coward if she backs down in front of all these Scum Captains. There is going to be a Free-Running/MMA combat event on 30 days between the two. Asses WILL be kicked.

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Session 25: Side Story - Assault on Crater Base Gamma
Player versus player power-suit mayhem with Jihadi Rebels!!!

During the events of Session 24, two members of the Miller FireWall Cell ( we really gotta come up with a cooler code-name for the group, I mean honestly… ) Agent Stan the consumate con-man, and Agent Sandy the international cat-burglar and Martian title belt-holding free-running mixed martial arts female middlewieght champion, join forces with Barsoomian Rebels and Church of Kemetic Orthodoxy Mujaheddin Warriors to create a diversionary assault on the Crater-rim Olympus Infrastructure Authority command base.

While Agent Sandy crept into the base having infiltrated the perimeter under considerable technological cover, Agent Stan strapped on a jet pack and packed himself, sardine/coffin like into the side of a multi-warhead missile turned post-war supply rocket with 11 other psychotics with no common sense and proceeded to rocket into the base at mach four or more.

Sandy commando’d on over to the communications and air-traffic control tower and placed eight shaped super-thermite charges around the perimeter of it’s base and waited for the go signal. None was forthcoming but when the missile streaked over the base disgorging it’s payload of ululating, hell-fire VII missile launching freedom-fighters, she figured it was about time and blew the tower right into the dirt. As Agent Stan’s troop of Rebels howled down out of the sky on full deceleration burn, Sandy faded back to the camp perimeter and planned her next attack.

Ragnarök ensues in the base as Barracks with sleeping and off-duty OIA soldiers are torn to absolute ruin by the anti-titan missiles and the inflatable structures with their volatile oxygen/nitrogen pressurized interiors erupt into hideous, soldier immolating crematoriums. Six soldiers survive.

Master-Sergeant B. I. Douglas who happened to be awake, pre-duty shift, so lovingly maintenance testing his Vulture Exoskeleton armor.
Sgt. W. Bird who had drawn perimeter patrol duty for beating the Captain at poker most soundly the previous Saturday.
Commander A. Gonzales, whose modified military DAITYA synthmorph sleeve was bunked in the Motor Pool where it was MUCH easier for his hulking form to fit.
Cpl. B. Willingham the K-9 Trooper, just returning from the final round of her outlying patrol shift and thus not in the ground zero of the Götterdämmerung that broke out in the middle of the base-proper.
Capt. S. Nishimura, the operations leading CQB commando who had an uncanny feeling that woke him up pre-dawn and caused him to don his martian surface gear and head out into the dark to take a look around for whatever was setting his ‘spider senses’ tingling.
And finally PFC Blackwing a Wampanoag descended brave who ancestral spirits were truly watching out for him that night. He survived by waking from nightmares of strange armored animal men with hulking, brutish forms and tough hides that turned his sharp flint tomahawk at every turn, (see the movie The Pathfinder for the dream) to go get a whiskey from the hidden stash the Captain kept in the Rec-Room next to the barracks.

As the Rebels Blitzkrieg the base, Agent Stan slips off into the pre-dawn shadows to hunker down out of the crossfire while Agent Sandy creeps up on Sgt. Bird in her Thermoptic Camouflage armor and cloak and commences a dizzying assault of high-speed blurring Hyper-vibrational, Mono-molecular-edged whip attacks on the patrolling trooper while he stands, momentarily agape at the ruin of his base in so few seconds. His blood sprays out in frozen droplets from his depressurizing body-armor and clatters like gravel on the stones and sand of the Martian desert. Unable to pinpoint the location of his near-invisible assailant, he opens up with his standard issue Battle Rifle and hoses down the general area with hypersonic tungsten core rounds, blazing lines from staggered tracer ammo showing that the bulletstorm is soaring off across the martian landscape, finding nothing solid.

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Session 24: Assault on Sphere Base Omega
Sentinels against the Olympus Infrastructure Authority

Background

The ‘Miller-Cell’ Firewall team has taken on the task of seeking out known Kemetic Orthodox artifacts and returning them the Church headquarters on Venus for safekeeping. The ‘Nebt-Het’ helmet/headwear/asa-assimilator is thought to be enclosed within a 3-meter diameter black impenetrable sphere at the bottom of the new crater near the Quarantine Zone on Mars. The team decides to go after this artifact first in the hope of penetrating the sphere with psi-sleights to communicate with or otherwise activate the artifact within. As a secondary objective the team will capture any scientists found, or at least retrieve their cortical stacks, particularly the chief scientist on the project, Dr. Karl Ulstadt.

  • Dr. Karl Ulstadt, the martian specialist on Xeno-material science

Fightpunch metal gear kitano

Operation

This operation is the most complex yet attempted by the team. A month of infosec, scientific and security ops research reveals a lot of details about the new research base, including security, communications, infosystems, logistics, troop rosters, defenses, base layout and scientific personnel assignments. Use of science networking and rep identifies the chief scientist assigned to the project, Dr. Karl Ullstad, and his team’s cautious and thus far unsuccessful attempts to open the ‘Sphere’. A full scale multi-day assualt operation is devised for immediate execution against the new temporary research facility constructed by the Mars Olympus Infrastructure Authority (OIA) around and within the crater. The team acquires the necessary equipment, the most imporant piece being a small but capable shuttle. Firewall is unable or unwilling to provide such a resource, so Dave exerts her influence to borrow a shuttle from Gorgon Arms. The team installs a hacked Martian OIA IFF.

  • Borrowed Gorgon Arms unmarked Shuttle

Koryface interplanetary explorer

Crater Base Security

Perimeter and Crater Base (5km radius): 1. electronic fence with monitor posts every 6m (IR, visual, ?); 2. Up to 12 Troop Insertion and Air Superiority (TIAS) transports with 2 crew and 6 troops, carrying 1 externally mounted OIA BattleSuit; 3. up to 55 Mars OIA Regular combat personnel (up to 24 deployed in 4 airborne TIAS transports at any given time).

Exclusion Zone (30km radius); 1) patrolled by an unknown number of synthetic patrol drones that have standard senses plus enhanced motion and sound sensors, and probably t-ray emitters (stay out of LOS). The Sentry ‘Dog’ Drones are programmed to stay 100 meters apart, minimum; 2) patrolled by 4 airborne TIAS transports at any given time. The TIAS transports orbit the Exclusion Zone in a programmed equidistant patrol pattern.

  • The Soldiers of the Olympus Infrastructure Authority

Team by sttheo

  • OIA Troop Insertion and Air Superiority (TIAS) transport

Drop by sttheo

  • OIA BattleSuit

Regulator by sttheo

  • OIA Sensor Sentry Dog Drone and Synthmorph Handler K-9 Trooper

Fox by sttheo

Teams

  1. Nomad Relations: Sandy (Nomad Contact); Stan (Negotiator)
  2. Infiltration: Sandy; Dave
  3. Infosec: Jak
  4. Sphere: Marbles (Async); Mr. Thursday (Security); Agent23 (Security)

MISSION LOG

A week prior to mission h-hour, the Sphere and Infosec teams conduct a reconnaisance of a known spy or communications satellite serving the OIA Crater Base. The satellite proves to have a 30km exclusion/detection zone around it. It is determined that the satellite is using encrypted laser point-to-point communications with various OIA ground stations including of course the Crater Base communications truck/tower. Agent 23 uses his hardware and physics skills to build a reflector/refractor/laser transmitter so that Jak can attempt a hack during h-hour. Jak will join the ‘Nomad Relations’ team and attempt to hack the satellite from planetside.

Three days prior to h-hour, the Nomad Relations and Infiltration teams land and begin operations. Stan and Sandy are successful in negotiating with the Nomads and Barsoomian rebel groups respectively. These two groups turn out to be closely related and have no problem running a joint operation. The Nomads volunteer at least 15 fanatical ‘Jihadi’ fighters, all heavily armed and armored. More are likely to join the cause. The Barsoomian rebels review the operational plan and decide to make the most of this opportunity to hit the OIC in their exposed position at ‘Sphere Base Omega’. They will go ‘all in’, committing some of their best tech and warriors to the assault. Courtesy of Dave and Gorgon Arms, Stan delivers 4 laser guided thermobaric disposable seeker launchers to the Nomad/Barsoomian teams, for use in taking down TIAS transports, or as needed, and 2 homing HEAP variants of same (for use against OIC BattleSuits).

  • Barsoomian Rebels in the assault on Sphere Base Omega

Barsoomians

  • Martian Nomad Jihadi Fighters

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With a day to spare Sandy and Dave reach their infiltration entry points, 180 degrees opposite each other.

16 hours prior to h-hour, Dave and Sandy begin infiltrating the Exclusion Zone. Communications blackout is now in force. Both manage to reach the 5km perimeter fence undetected. Dave discovers the fence is a powerful electromagnetic barrier with motion detection. She is held up by the fence and unable to find a way around, so sets up several EMP grenades near the fence and waits for h-hour. Sandy discovers a weakness in the fence and uses her amazing acrobatic/catburgler/freerunning skills to climb atop a post, execute a handstand, and complete a vaulting/flip over the top and across, barely avoiding detection by a scanning laser which begins searching the area after her chameleon cloak briefly contacts the EM barrier. Proceeding 5km past the fence to the crater rim, Sandy locates the communications truck with 10-meter mast and mines it with 8 shaped charges set for remote detonation, then takes up position to interdict OIA troops at h-hour (now 2 hours away).

30 minutes prior to h-hour, the Sphere Team begins their descent from orbit on a Crater Base approach vector. The shuttle is co-piloted by an Alpha Fork of Mr. Thursday. Agent123 straps into his orbital re-entry suit and prepares for drop.

10 minutes prior to h-hour, the barsoomian rebels and jihadist fighers launch over and into the Exclusion Zone near the crater rim using rocket-accelerated transsonic pods, artillery style. Five minutes ballistic travel time puts the rebel fighers on site at 5 minutes to h-hour.

5 minutes prior to h-hour:

  1. Agent 123 launches from the re-entering shuttle and meteors toward the Crater Base in an arc of flame.
  2. The shuttle is now in terminal re-entry mode and breaking hard for a hover near the Sphere Lab Dome at the center of the crater.
  3. Activating the new laser comlink to contact the satellite from planetside, Jak fails to overcome the VPN security, but burns a moxy point and makes it in anyway. Then in two amazing rolls, the brainy feline hacker defeats the satellite firewall (crit success) and dances past the AI monitor (2nd crit success) to gain HIDDEN/ADMIN access to the satellite systems. The team tactical VPN is linked into the satellite feed, while OIA is now locked out.
  4. Dave takes out the 5km perimeter fence with EMP grenades and begins moving for the crater at top speed.
  5. Sandy blows the communications truck and tower successfully.
  6. Scores of Barsoomian rebels and jihadist fighters, along with Stan, leap from their smoking artillery transport pods and begin taking out K9 Dog Drones, Synthmorph K9 Troopers, and most importantly arriving TIAS transports.

H-HOUR

  1. Agent23 guides his re-entry suit toward a just-airborne TIAS transport from the OIA reaction force and manages to pass close by. Making an amazing shot with his spindle climber, Agent23 begins reeling himself in toward the accelerating transport only to be caught and tossed about in the jetwash from the underwing turbines. Agent23 reaches the back of the transport just as the occupants realize what is happening and dispatch a solder to the attached BattleSuit. Agent23 shoots out the right turbine engine, causing an explosion of composite fan blades and sending the transport into a spiraling death spin toward the ground a few hundred meters below. Agent23 is violently thrown from the cartwheeling transport and barely manages to activate his drag/descent chute before impact. As he gently descends the last 100 meters to mars, the now detached BattleSuit slams into the ground below and flies apart. The spinning TIAS transport plows a 200 meter flaming trench of destruction through the martian sands. Agent23 quickly climbs out of his charred re-entry suit and begins running for the Crater Base rim 5km distant. That’s gonna make one heluva XP movie.
  2. The rebels and jihadists + Stan are now heading for the Crater Base rim, taking out additional TIAS transports and a squad of OIA soldiers.
  3. Sandy begins taking out Base security personnel, soldiers and other high-value targets as they emerge from barracks into the martian night.
  4. Having sprinted 5 klicks through the chaos and carnage around the crater, Dave reaches the rim and sights in her Railgun Sniper Rifle on the Sphere Lab Dome and entry passage.

Two minutes later the Gorgon Arms shuttle comes in hot on a column of flaming plasma, thrust braking directly over the 2km crater into a hover position only 20 meters above and beside the Sphere Lab Dome. Agent Marbles swallows a dose of Drive and begins transmission of a realtime video/voice/data log to Firewall using a Portal QE Comm and backpack-mounted Low-Capacity Qubit Reservoir, then quick-ropes down from the shuttle beside Mr.Thursday’s heavily armed and armored Conquistador ‘Air Force Variant’ synthmorph. Mr. Thursday moves to the pressurized passage connecting the surrounding crater base ring structure and Sphere Lab Dome, then cuts a hole into the passage using his structural demolition attachment (30 seconds). Marbles unwisely rushes through the opening first, eager to reach the Sphere, and finds the 1-meter thick sphere dome entry door is wide open. Just as he turns to run down the passage, two Project Ozma Special Agents appear in the opening. While Marbles fumbles with the safety on his Shredder, Mr. Thursday steps through the gap, turns and downs one of the agents with two shots from his particle beam bolter while Dave blows the other one away with a 1500 meter RAP shot through the passage wall (tacnet entoptic painted over the target).

  • Project Ozma Special Agent (What the hell are Project Ozma Special Agents doing here? Not good.)

Jeremyloveavengersconcepts5

Marbles uses the Unconscious Lead psi-sleight and races down the passage into the dome chamber beyond. Seeing a catwalk to the 3-meter Sphere, Marbles races along the periphery and then down the catwalk. Mr. Thursday notices Dr. Ulstadt attempting to hide behind the Sphere earthquake-shock supports and moves to retrieve him. Marbles then removes his armor glove and touches the Sphere, using ‘Grok’ successfully (< COG35*2). That’s when things get weird.

From the Sphere radiates a wave of anti-energy/anti-electrical force which puts out the lights and disables all powered equipment in its path. I’m not sure if Marbles’ Portal QE Comm continues to stream data to Firewall or not, we’ll have to check on that. After apprehending Dr. Ulstadt, Mr. Thursday realizes the null energy field wave will devastate his synthmorph and flees the Sphere room while broadcasting the danger to his teammates. Meanwhile the sorely wounded Ozma Special Agent previously shot by Mr. Thursday regains consciousness and attempts to call in reinforcements. Dr. Ulstadt climbs a ladder to the catwalk and runs for the Lab Dome door. Marbles turns and runs from the Sphere.

At this point the Sphere emits a beam of pure disassociative energy which effortlessly lances through the 2-meter thick Dome, then begins oscillating wildly about to quickly slice the dome into sections. Marbles is the last out the door…just as he reaches the opening, a psychic sub-susurrous impinges itself upon the async’s consciousness, inviting a look backwards. Succumbing to the message, Marbles looks back to see the Sphere replaced by a glowing womb of light, within which floats the macabre fetal-form of IVORSSEN-NEBT-HET-INTEGRATION. Dr. Ulstadt is beyond terror and runs right into Mr. Thursday and Agent 23, who had just arrived at the Sphere Lab Dome along with the OIA reinforcements called in by the Ozma Special Agent.

The Sphere team must dodge a wall of automatic weapon fire as they run the gauntlet through the depressurized access hall, out the ragged gap and back toward the shuttle. Dave fires a seeker minigrenade at OIA troops entering the hall from the surrounding facility. The resulting thermobaric explosion flattens them. The shuttle, piloted by Mr. Thursday’s primary biomorph and assisted by an alpha fork replacing the shuttle’s AI, dodges for survival as the deadly beam of annihilating energy spins wildly outward from the IVORSSEN-WOMB floating up from the center of the collapsed Lab Dome. Marbles and Mr. Thursday, with the crazed/gibbering Dr. Ulstadt in tow, reel up into the open cargo bay door of the gyrating shuttle, followed by Agent23.

Several OIA Special Forces teams have brought portable missiles to the roof of the surrounding structures and launch a wave of seekers toward the shuttle and the IVORSSEN-NEBT-HET apparition.

  • Olympus Infrastructure Authority Special Forces Soldier

Hellenic by sttheo

As the team straps in for acceleration, IVORSSEN-NEBT-HET emerges from the Sphere of light to annihilate the OIA missiles with a blaze of other-worldly energy, then takes up a gigantic hammer of light from the glowing Sphere and strikes all about the demolished Dome, flattening structures and OIA special forces troops all at once. IVORSSEN-NEBT-HET descends a bizarre staircase of scintillating terrain that forms just under his feet, reaches the martian surface, then peels off NEBT-HET to reveal an exposed brain and face frozen in a rictus of unknowable emotion. The Nebt-Het falls to the ground and Firewall Sentinel Asa Ivorsson staggers forth, regenerated and apparently physically intact. The ship delays for a moment longer while Marbles ropes down and retrieves the Nebt-Het. Asa and Marbles are hauled back up the spindle line into the shuttle. Dave is picked up from the rim of the crater which is now in the hands of the Barsoomians and Nomad Jihadis. Mr. Thursday rockets the shuttle away toward Noctis at max acceleration and minimum altitude.

During this time Stan and Sandy battle OIA troops and special forces above the crater. Sandy sacrifices her morph to destroy the last operational enemy BattleSuit. Her ego survives intact thanks to an Emergency Quantum Farcaster. Stan survives the melee and is picked up by the fleeing shuttle. See the Session 25 log for complete details.

Jak is a safe distance from the action at the crater, but close enough to see the beams of pure energy spiral up into the martian night sky. The shuttle briefly stops to pick up Jak on the way to Noctis.

  • Mission Outcome

Nebt-Het retrieved. Karl Ulstadt captured (morph intact).

  • Additional Results

The original Asa Ivorssen, lost here months ago in the Antimatter Event is now safely aboard the shuttle. The effects of extended Nebt-Het assimilation on Asa’s mind are unclear at this time. The Asa created from Firewall backup after the Antimatter Event is living a new life, retired from active Sentinel duty and undergoing extensive psychotherapy. It is doubtful if these two personalities can or even should be re-integrated.

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Session 23: Netsahk and the Inner Sanctum - Conclusion

The team concludes investigation of the last artifact by invitation of Netsahk.

  • ‘Pyramid’: emits a powerful healing field affecting all in the presence of the artifact. Heals and energizes life and soil by routing lifeforce from another dimension, actually creating a form of microbial life in the process. Long term exposure to the ‘Pyramid’ affects a wide physical area and accelerates genetic evolution.

The team ends with a vigorous debate around whether the Church is capable of protecting these artifacts from those that would attempt to misuse them, and whether Firewall should assist in recovering the missing artifacts, both known and unknown, and return them to Netsahk for safekeeping. The consensus seems to be that there is no better protection for these artifacts than the Church.

At this point the team debates which artifact to pursue first. The ‘Father of Tools’ is known to be floating in space where the firewall shuttle was destroyed somewhere off the Coventry Colony at Mars Phobos Lagrange point 2. Inquiry with Netsahk reveals that the artifacts produce no signature that could be detected from the vast distances required. By this time the ‘Father of Tools’ could be anywhere within a gigantic area of space. It is also possible that the artifact was already recovered by the Planetary Consortium or Trancom (research needed).

The ‘Nebt-Het’ helmet/headwear/asa-assimilator is thought to be enclosed within a 3-meter diameter black impenetrable sphere at the bottom of the new crater near the Quarantine Zone on Mars. The team decides to go after this artifact first, though we have no clear idea how to penetrate the sphere other than use various psi-sleights on it and hope the artifact inside responds. As a secondary objective we will capture any scientists found (or at least their cortical stacks).

The team works on the details of a raid to be conducted on the new temporary research facility that has been constructed by the Martian government at the crater. Research by the team over a period of several weeks reveals a lot of details about the new research base, including details about the chief scientist assigned to the project (Karl Ullstad) and his team’s cautious and thus far unsuccessful attempts to open the ‘Sphere’. The research information and raid plan is documented here.

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Session 22: Netsahk and the Inner Sanctum

MISSION LOG:

  1. Sandy (Team Lead / Agent of Kemetic Orthodoxy) Player:Yishai
  2. Mr. Thursday (Security Team / Pilot) Player:Brian
  3. Agent23 (Security Team / Infiltration) Player:Alex
  4. Marbles (Asynch / Secondary Hacker) Player:Will
  5. Stan (Wheeling and Dealing) Player:Kelley
  6. Jak (Primary Hacker) Player:Bree
  • Mission Summary

The team returns from their first meeting with the representatives of Kemetic Orthodoxy. Sandy gathers the team for a virtual meeting from across their various hideouts. The team rates the Church of Kemetic Orthodoxy on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest threat to transhumanity. The team returns these ratings, which are possibly more an indication of personality and propensity for religious thought than anything else: Sandy:1; Marbles:4; Mr. Thursday:6; Stan:2; Jak:5; Agent23:9; for a total average rating of 4.

Accompanied by the team except Marbles who monitors from afar, Stan proceeds to the arranged meeting with Netsahk, the ancient non-human and possibly alien elder of the Church. Prior to the meeting Marbles gives Stan a goodbye handshake, taking the opportunity to implant a subliminal suggestion. Netsahk proves to be a superhuman intelligence who among other feats empathizes with Jak’s true personality and offers assistance. Stan plays it cool and a further dinner meeting is arranged.

Marbles arrives for the dinner that evening. Now the entire team is present. Discussion soon focuses on the ancient pre-human artifacts treasured and guarded by the Church for millenia. Marbles reveals that the ‘Father of Tools’ was lost along with the destroyed private shuttle off the Coventry Colony at Mars Phobos Lagrange point 2 (see Session 12-13:Coventry), and the ‘Nebt-het’ is probably inside a black impenetrable sphere at the bottom of a new crater near the Quarantine Zone on Mars ( see Session 17 INTERLUDE: Spiderbot Resolution). Impressed with this information, Netsahk agrees to grant the team a viewing of the ancient artifacts currenly in possession of the Church.

The ark of the artifacts and the seven priests: Marbles is granted permission to ‘Grok’ the artifacts. Ultimately Marbles suffers great strain and a few psychosomatic wounds, but is able to make it through 2 of the 3 artifacts, revealing something of their nature and original purpose. The artifacts are revealed and groked in turn:

  1. ‘Bracer’: a potent defensive weapon used by Church leaders across the ages. Negates electrical fields. For inexplicable reasons, certain persons through history have proven immune to the bracers power.
  2. ‘Gorget’: grants understanding and control of any device (auto 80 skill); 2) provides instinctive knowledge to lead, control and administrate pre-fall civilizations.
  3. ‘Pyramid’: {pending)

Not present but details provided by Netsahk:

  1. ‘Father of Tools’: bestows the gift of toolmaking to pre-fall intelligent minds.
  2. ‘Nebt-Het’: a helmet-shaped artifact converting the user to Kemetic Orthodoxy and providing a deep knowledge of the faith.

The team ends with Marbles about to ‘grok’ the Pyramid artifact…

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Session 21: Inside the Church of Kemetic Orthodoxy
The workings of one of mankinds last remaining religions

The Team advance through the entire Kemetic Orthodoxy facility, finding only good people and the last remnants of ancient African traditions. Oh, and a few Asyncs and a hyperintelligent demiurge neoprophet who inexplicably falls for Stan’s bullshit despite intelligence beyond human understanding.

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Session 20: Journey to Venus
Acclimatization in Orbit

The Team Journeys by the Transport ship to the orbital colony of Gerlach at Venus. After a period of acclimatization to 90% Earth gravity, the team boards a trans-orbital shuttle bound for Octavia, the capitol aerostat of Venus and home of the Neo-Synergists of the Morningstar Constellation. After a brief series of arrangements, the Team arranges for an intra-atmospheric jet to the Planetary Consortium aerostat of Etemenanki to embark on a private tour of the Church facilities there.

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Session 19: The team reconfigures
Asa leaves for recovery and only 9 remain

The team recuperates after the harrowing martian infiltration of Trancom’s black lab and the mission to their corporate office in Olympus City. Asa finally retires from active duty to seek extensive professional therapy for his extreme PTSD and other associated mental disorders gained from his exposure to ASYNC powers.

Miller breifs the team on the Cell’s next phase…Investigating the church of Kemetic Orthodoxy.

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Session 18: Deploy the Neuralizer!
The Men In Black let loose the shenanigans on the Trancom lackeys

DM Message to the gaming group:

Okay so that plunging of a gunship full of armed missiles into a mostly unshielded Antimatter Reactor pretty much resulted in a really cool localized re-shaping of the Martian landscape that will not be soon forgotten in the annals of transhuman history. It also resulted in a total and complete party-kill. Each and every one of you were killed in the resultant matter-annihilating super-sphere that emitted, Akira-like from the uncontained reactor.

So, that being the case we all get to undergo a nifty little experiment in temporarily inhabiting a number of the VAST Martian panoply of the Clanking Masses. That’s right, synthmorphs for one and all! This is especially inviting and luxurious for the two ASYNC members of your team. Now don’t panic kids, Stan’s got one or two biomorphs (and only one or two unless he spent a colossal amount of character generation points buying a crap-ton of expensive extra bodies, which it is most likely he DIDN’T!) in cold storage which he was intending to sell as he IS a ‘used-morph salesman’. However, before any of you are going to gallivant off to the Ego Bridge facility at your local mall and get re-sleeved in a more comfortable (and possibly genetically-glitchy second-hand biomorph Stan will most likely attempt to convince you is a great deal at a bargain price,) body, your FireWall Router Lieutenant Miller, has a G-13 classified, A-1 priority mission for you to tackle immediately after being released by the Psych-docs from your sleeving into these synthmorphs. And I mean RIGHT NOW! Which is going to be an infiltration and possibly terrorist massacre (because I know how you guys tend to operate) of the Trancom Regional Office in OLYMPUS CITY at the base of the mighty space elevator you rode down in 48 hours ago.

MISSION BRIEF:

Trancom turned out to be involved in some hideously dangerous research and experimentation. The threat to transhumanity is excessive by most FireWall standards and this cannot be allowed to continue. Sentinel Dave is to be commended for her quick thinking in containing the menace to transhumanity even at the cost of her own and the rest of the Sentinel team’s bodily incarnations. And so FIREWALL is taking immediate, direct action to eliminate Trancom and commandeer the body of their research for safekeeping and threat analysis. As such a joint operations mission has been undertaken with three other FireWall Cells in which the many enclaves of Trancom will be sanitized of threatening material, their staff reeducated through advanced proprietary Firewall ‘neuralization’ technologies ( a sort of less-painful and safer psychosurgery and memory editing process) and their off-site backups and storage replaced with harmless data pertaining to their corporate day to day operations and statistics. In short, Trancom will be cleansed of all threats and re-pathed toward a brighter future not-inimical to transhumantiy. Both by you all and by other FireWall operative parties across the solar system.

For this operation you have all been sleeved in immediately available synthmorphs stored in Olympus City FireWall Facilities and given access to matching weapon-stocks acquired along with said synthmorphs. A small degree of customization is available in body color and purpose-modfications.

These are the available “Conquistador” multipurpose synthmorph shells available for Male-oriented Egos:
Color variations by sobaku chiuchiu

These are the “Maria” ToO gynoid synthmorph shells available for Female-oriented Egos:
Fred augis remember me android the valet

Please pick one, no pushing, there is only one unit of each type so no two Sentinels may have the same shell.

On the upside, each one has a little “Special Power” built into it that may help you in your mission.

When FireWall “misdirected” this shipment of illegal covert military morphs from the Planetary Consortium hypercorp, they were generous enough to include their new experimental modular weapon system with it. These customer fitted armaments designed for use by these morphs are available for this mission as well.
Sobaku chiuchiu weapon

And also these optional hand weapons designed for the fixed weapon mounts on all unit’s right forarms.

Synthmorph claw weapons

The purpose of this mission is infiltration and neuralization of 26 key employees of the Trancom Corporate Building in Olympus City. There are 26 biomorphs on staff in the building at this time. You will be issued a device designed by Argonaut Crows that is decades ahead of current psychosurgical science that will excise memories of forbidden technological research from the target’s minds by the application of the neuralizer helmet. 61.72667 seconds are required for neural scanning and mapping, deletion of data and implantation of cognitively relevant data that will prevent discontinuity in the subjects. During this time nothing must interrupt the process or the subject will need to be deleted. DO NOT cause any subjects to need to be deleted.

Neuralizer

This is a map of the Trancom facility that you will infiltrate while around the solar system, other Sentinel teams infiltrate, assault Trancom facilities and extract similar data.

FIRST FLOOR
Floor plan 1st floor

SECOND FLOOR
Floor plan 2nd floor

Do not leave distinct trauma to the facility or it’s employees in your wake. If it can be avoided. If it cannot be avoided, harm but do not kill the targets. Do not fail to neuralize the subjects.

MISSION LOG:

  • Infiltration Team:
  1. Mr. Thursday (‘Conquistador’ Synth Air Force variant; Neuralizer Team) __Player:Brian
  2. Marbles (‘Conquistador’ Synth Police variant; Neuralizer Team/Secondary Hacker) __Player:Will
  3. Stan (‘Conquistador’ Synth Engineer variant; Environment Systems Team) __Player:Kelly
  4. Jak (‘Maria’ Synth Medic variant; Environment Systems Team/Primary Hacker) __Player:Bree
  • Transport & Security Teams: Sandy/Ganos/Dave/Johann/Zak
  • Mission Summary

With Security team discreetly positioned to prevent ingress/egress from the premises, Infiltration team moves into the 1st floor public lobby and finds the local mesh to be non-stealthed but encrypted. Proceeding to the reception desk past the office lobby, Stan determines that the building security office is located nearby in office 3500E. Jak and Stan pay a visit to the security administrator, posing as a Trancom inspection team dispatched to review Trancom facility security and environmental systems after the recent antimatter ‘Event’ at the nearby Black Lab site. Gaining physical access to the security VPN using the administrator’s credentials and the default VPN password, Jak provides guest/inspector access to the team and verifies locations of 1) passive security nodes 2) 26 biomorph targets and 6 nearby non-target synths and 3) building environment overpressure/backup systems in the 2nd floor ‘Electrical’ room.

Stan and Jak move to the 2nd floor electrical room and begin inspecting the systems while Mr. Thursday and Marbles stage in the 2nd floor elevator lobby. Stan fabricates a custom input device for the air overpressure backup system and Jak begins manufacturing a large volume of knockout gas which is then fed into the system. Neuralizer team jumps the gun and enters office 4800U before the KO gas is fully effective. Marbles shocks/stuns/restrains the 1st target successfully and applies the neuralizer. While neuralizing, another target staggers down the hall, obviously unwell. Mr. Thursday escorts the disoriented target into the Electrical room, then disables the target with a zap round. The next target is in the same room with one of the bystander synthmorphs down the hall in 4800S. At this point Marbles relocates to the electrical room with the rest of the team. Another disoriented target wanders down the central corridor and is escorted into the electrical room, shocked and neuralized by Marbles along with the the prior target. At this point 3 targets are neuralized.

Discovering that a number of targets have donned emergency breathers and the bystander synthmorphs could be a threat, Jak puts out an office mesh alert to the target biomorphs stating that an environmental emergency is underway and all personnel should relocate to 2nd floor classroom 4750 for medical treatment. There the team waits for targets to enter. A single synthmorph also accompanies the targets. After Stan convinces the targets that immediate medication is necessary to counter the affects of the ‘terrorist attack’, Jak anesthetizes the targets one by one. Having no better plan, Marbles and Mr. Thursday unload full clips of Shredder and AP railgun/auto-pistol ammunition into the unfortunate office synth who instantly suffers over 100 pts of damage and disappears in a cloud of coruscating metallic confetti (cyberbrain/stack retrieved). Marbles applies the neuralizer to the unconscious subjects in 4750, one after another.

The team moves through the rest of the building neuralizing the few remaining unconscious targets. Jak extracts all the relevant artifact research data, transmits to Firewall and deletes from the Trancom systems. A private team copy is retained just in case. Jak and Stan then successfully remove mesh and physical intrusion traces. A number of non-targets attempting to flee the building during the Op were disabled/restrained at the exit tower by Security Team. The teams then split up and exfiltrate the operational area at a leisurely pace.

  • Mission Outcome

All 26 targets neuralized without trauma or deletion. Cover story sticks and for a time at least, Trancom will believe there was an aborted terrorist attack or at least a major environmental malfunction at their Olympus Campus complex.

  • Additional Results

No collateral installation damage; 1 non-target/Trancom office synth destroyed; covert status retained.

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Session 17 INTERLUDE: Spiderbot Resolution
"...Going out, in a blaze of Glory..." Just like thta song from The Alarm

A beam of coherent light erupted from the ground, which was clearly visible from 3km from the origin. If one could call a column of energy that was such a deep blue, that it appeared almost black, “light”. From far away, a billowing cloud of dust narrowed to a small silhouette of some sort of military-styled truck, which was, colloquially put, ‘hauling-ass’. Within this compact, speeding APC, there was a near-palatable mix of anxiety, confusion, and dare it be said…fear…

“Colonel, is it ok we just bailed like that?” The question which was asked came from the F.N.G. {Fucking New Guy} of the “Black Moth” mercenaries, crammed into the back of the armored personnel carrier, with a noticeable amount of trepidation.

Col. Hapablap, a 58 year old veteran of the TITAN wars and the literal definition of ‘career soldier’, looked at the newest inductee of his unit for a bit, before responding. In an era when genetic defects and age are easily remedied, the stare of a milky-eyed, gray-haired, leather-faced ‘flat’ held an inexplicably unnerving quality…”Son. Our contract was to secure the facility from OUTSIDE threats. What happened—happened INSIDE. We done our job and you best pray to whatever god you find conveniently at hand that whatever those eggheads had, can be stopped. But THAT. AIN’T. OUR. JOB.” He then banged on the driver’s cabin’s door. “Can’t this frakkin junk heap go any faster?!”


“I’m sorry, say that again?” This question was asked with the same amount of stunned disbelief as the first person to ask Saint Christopher, ‘You killed a what?’

The disconcertingly calm response, that the AGI ‘Johan II’ {Alex’s ghostrider alpha Fork}, gave to summarize the past 35 minutes’ occurrences while the tactical network was unavailable to one, of the only two sentinel, who were not there to witness them, took less than 0.8 seconds to deliver. When one is essentially a computer capable of processing millions of points of information in a second or bio-modded, gene-perfect human with enough neuro-ware to be able to see and dodge bullets, a conversation entailing a 30 minute jaunt through a heavily fortified checkpoint, the contents of a top-secret hypercorp facility, the rough barometric pressure above ground {the weather}, and the components of one’s breakfast can happen pretty quickly. The placid description of events could be considered a little out of place, as the party giving it was hanging from a broken ladder, 70m above the undulating maw of a TITAN-spawn ‘death-spider’, which occupied the entirety of the space that, until recently, had been full of ‘elevator’.

‘Dave’ took this information, fairly stoically. For her, it was as much a buzzkill as finding out your parents were coming home early, from vacation, when you’re in the middle of throwing the high-school kegger of the decade and are just about to score with the head cheerleader. Her response was succinct. “Well. That is…disappointing…”

Johan II’s response was almost immediate, “I concur, Dave. As an aside, we believe that we are slipping and will soon plummet to our demise.”

“Noted, J-Two.” As Dave circled, 75m above a vertical shaft, from which her entire Firewall cell, save her and one other, were frantically trying to extract themselves while being chased by a TITAN-forged swarmoid. Dave played out a number of scenarios. None of them ended well.

[Dave: HAL {Her Muse}]

[HAL: Yes, Dave?]

[Dave: Fully purge my inserts.]

[HAL: Please confirm full-purge, Dave? This will mean I will be wiped from your local memory.]

[Dave: I know. Just do it.]

[HAL: Purge order confirmed. Please wait 0.63 seconds. Goood….byyyeee…….Daaaaaav…..]

“J-Two, alert the others that I am, as of now, assuming full operational control of this op. Mission-critical priority is now stopping this thing.” “Dave, I don’t kn…”

“Stow it, tin-can! In 0.34 seconds, upload your full mission logs to my mesh inserts. Oh—and you should probably tell Sandy to start running.” Without waiting for confirmation, Dave killed the tac-net link and activated the wide-band radio in the vectored-thrust gunship she was piloting; while dictating a transmission to the gun ship’s AI, “Emergency Broadcast: this is EDF {Earth Defense Force, or whatever the human resistance was called} ‘Sierra November Three Niner Niner’ {her call-sign during the TITAN wars}. TITAN assimilator-class kill-bot activation at Martian coordinates {present lat/long}. Attempting destruction/containment.” As Dave set the broadcast to repeat on all band-widths, she gave some further instructions to the gun ship’s AI via Smart-Link, as she set about arming every weapon mounted on the craft and maneuvering away from the opening of the elevator shaft while throttling up the hover-jets.


The remainder of the majority of Firewall ‘Miller-cell-6’ was deeply embroiled in a vertical fight/flight for their lives, roughly 50m below the surface and 80m from probable doom: a roiling mass of self-replicating nano and micro-scale robots, which eerily set shimmering blue shadows dancing around the interior of the elevator shaft due to the matter/antimatter reactor at its core, all of which were intent on the destruction of all trans-human life. The mood was…tense. While the remaining 7 members of the team were all privy to the tec-net exchange between the team’s resident AGI/hacker and Recon/Sniper, few would have been able to follow the 2.0 second conversation as it sounded like two squirrels hopped-up on MRDR arguing and none felt it necessitated their full attention, at the moment due to the not insignificant distraction provided by certain death.

As the synthmorph ‘Johan I’ {Alex’s morph and ego fork} hung by one hand from disjoined ladder which spanned from one wall to the other below the majority of the team, he primed an EMP grenade with his other hand and let it fall into the fracas, below. He announced via the tac-net, in an somewhat disturbingly upbeat voice, “Dave says she is taking command of the operation, that we are to destroy the TITAN machine, and that Sandy {Yishai’s char} should run. She was unclear about the destination, however,” as the EMP went off, below.

If ‘all hell’ had not ALREADY broken loose in the confines of the fullerite reinforced concrete walls, it certainly would have now. Though, as the situation was, it was much akin to using a Torch {Eclipse Phase-era flamethrower} on a burning hab-fire.


One of the pilots of the Firewall cell, Zak {Jeremy’s Raven Pilot Character}, having just secured the spindle’s line to the top of where the elevator’s building facade, used to be, unslung his sidearm and began showering the TITAN-monstrosity with small-arms fire as an EMP detonated within the whirling mass, in an attempt to buy his compatriots ANY extra time to escape up the service ladder to the surface. As he slammed home a fresh magazine of kinetic slugs, he was startled by a deafening roar and overpressure, followed by a vacuum, from the mouth of the elevator’s shaft. He instinctively dove to the ground, away from the opening.


Having cleared the rim of the opening, Dave quickly acquired the blue glow of the matter/antimatter reactor at the center of the swarmoid and depressed the firing stud for the gun ship’s underslung tri-barreled rotary cannon. Turning what was a drizzle of kinetic projectiles into a torrent of 20mm HEAP shells. As the shaft walls blurred past, she activated the emergency farcaster, implanted in the base of her neck. The small charge literally blow her head off while at the same time, sent her consciousness and Johan(s)’ mission log hurtling through space to a Gorgon Shield backup facility. The explosive fusillade did not stop, with the death of the gun ship’s pilot, however; as the vehicle’s AI follow the tasked commands to maintain target lock and continuously fire the cannon.

Once the aerodyne, laden with armed and primed missiles, rockets, and unexpended cannon ammo, slammed into the TITAN mass and consequently, the structurally weakened reactor, things REALLY got interesting.


If one were to examine the events on the surface, while Johan(s) was delivering their message, one would see the semi-aerodyne shape of a vectored thrust gun ship hover away from the wreckage of what appeared to be a farm house. After traveling roughly 400m and gaining some altitude, the craft pivoted in place, then the idle thrust-engines roared fully into fiery life. This rocketed the aircraft to roughly 190kph as it rolled belly-up and dove into the cargo-elevator’s opening, accelerating the whole way.

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