Author Topic: Umbrae Europae [IC]  (Read 5114 times)

Jack_Spade

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Umbrae Europae [IC]
« on: (10:01:33/09-05-16) »
Chapter 1 - "I've lost my heart... to a Blood Mage"

2076-08-01, 18:15, Cologne, Rhein-Ruhr-Megaplex

It's been an unreasonable warm Summer in the plex. Almost no wind during the day has made the smog almost unbearable thick during the day, muting the daylight and making respirators a necessary fashion item. Since the explosion at Rheinenergie Cologne, brown outs have been occurring outside the arcologies with increasing frequency. Bottled water sellers make a killing in these conditions - literally, since many of those fraggers are refilling their bottles from some very polluted sources.

And now heavy, lead colored clouds have begun to darken the sky, promising the mixed blessings of sour rain and thunderstorms.

It's been a while since you had a paying job. Therefore, when your commlink chimes you are delighted to see it's a message from your Fixer Pankratius.

<<Hey there. Time for you to stop being a lazy drag on society and become an industrious one: I've got a damsel in distress looking for some chivalrous gentleman of leisure to fix a matter of the heart for her. She'll be waiting for you at the Bar Jeder Vernunft at Hohe Straße around 2030h. Ask the Barkeep for Frau Schnee. You are guaranteed your usual fee. Anything extra you'll have to negotiate yourself.>>
talk think matrix

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Revenant Kynos Isaint Rex

Haywire

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Re: Umbrae Europae [IC]
« Reply #1 on: (16:02:32/09-05-16) »
Waywalker almost enjoyed the warm summer, it remembered him the summers of Italy. The Matrix was silent about jobs, but this month rent was already payed, thanks to the previous run.
The commlink in his pocket chimed, and a string of text appeared in his field of vision. It was his fixer, and beared good news.
Effortlessly, he wrote the reply without moving a single finger: "Ok, will be there. Stay frosty."
No more than two seconds later, he ordered the Nixdorf Sekretar to search some info about the location, the position in the city and the expected security.
Three seconds later, his deck come to life thanks to the DNI. He ordered the other agent to search the Matrix for info on Frau Scnee, if there was any.
Then he proceeded taking a shower. After all, he was going to meet a Frau.

[spoiler]
I'd make my agent search (Rating 3 on Sekretar and 4 on Deck (A/S/D/F 2/3/4/5, running Browse, Agent and Toolbox.
[/spoiler]
#1
« Last Edit: (17:32:34/09-05-16) by Haywire »
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Jack_Spade

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Re: Umbrae Europae [IC]
« Reply #2 on: (16:31:38/09-05-16) »
The search for the bar was quickly done: A well liked little place with two floors a small bar and an even smaller dance floor upstairs. Seated about 40 people and was a favored place for students of the local university. No mention of security led you to believe that its location in a B-area and maybe one bouncer was all the place had to offer.

For a Frau Schnee - Mrs. Snow there were no search results - no-one with that name had appeared as runner, Johnson or other shadow figure anywhere in the Plex before.

#2
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k-sim

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Re: Umbrae Europae [IC]
« Reply #3 on: (17:11:11/09-05-16) »
#1
The line at the Lidl was moving so slowly, four of the five selfscan registers were out of order due to the brownouts and only one of the regular registers was manned. Because of the brownouts refrigerated and cooled goods were being sold cheap before they could go bad, and Käse managed to pick up half a kilo of chicken breast and some cauliflower. Inching forward in line Käse noticed why the regular checkout was so slow, the teenage girl behind the register was secretly busy in AR. Her manager probably didn't notice but Käse's sharp eyes picked up on the minute almost rhythmic movement of the girl's eyes. Hm... Must be chatting with her boyfriend of something... I really should get my hands on a deck, then I could brick her comm and this goddamn line would start moving. Käse thought agitated.

10 excruciating minutes went by until Käse was next in line. Several times he had to keep himself from casting a mind control spell on the girl to speed things along Keep calm Freek, Patience is a virtue... Just think of the delicious meal you'll be having soon. It had been ages since Käse last ate real meat and real vegetables in the same meal. The self checkout opened up and Käse rushed his groceries past the scanner, his fingers flying over the AR display. With his groceries in the blue and yellow bag Käse started making his way home through the outskirts of Dortmund. On his way there his matrix search for good chicken recipes was interrupted by a message from his Ork fixer Pankratius:

<<Hey there. Time for you to stop being a lazy drag on society and become an industrious one: I've got a damsel in distress looking for some chivalrous gentleman of leisure to fix a matter of the heart for her. She'll be waiting for you at the Bar Jeder Vernunft at Hohe Straße around 2030h. Ask the Barkeep for Frau Schnee. You are guaranteed your usual fee. Anything extra you'll have to negotiate yourself.>>

Well screw you buddy, I'm out here buying my groceries just like next wage slave, and you're calling me a drag on society... Pff...

<<Hey Pank, I'll be there, but that damn Dwarf Gummi better not be. After what he pulled last time I'm never working with that loose cannon again!>>

Käse picked up the pace, his plans for a leisurely evening in with a couple of lukewarm beers and a real meal had suddenly changed. He fried up his meal and wolfed it down with one of the Bittburgers. So much for taking time to enjoy this real food, it'll probably be weeks until he can afford some real meat. Though the upcoming job might be promising. After dinner with still a little foam in his mustache Käse jumped in his Golf and made his way to the meet.
« Last Edit: (17:19:49/09-05-16) by k-sim »

Jack_Spade

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Re: Umbrae Europae [IC]
« Reply #4 on: (17:50:32/09-05-16) »
Käse received his reply only a moment later: <<Don't worry, Gummi has left the Plex - at least most of him. New team altogether - all at least as experienced as you. I've vetted them all personally - except for the dog and that one isn't invited to this particular party.>>
talk think matrix

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belaran

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Re: Umbrae Europae [IC]
« Reply #5 on: (03:23:40/09-06-16) »
#1
Hot weather is not particulary good for people with ... well, with Franck's affliction. Generally, everything seems to make him more "hungry" lately, and apparently, the summer did not helped that at all. So it is the middle of the day, but in the shabby flat Franck is living in, all windows are closed and shut. The cheap AC he has scavenged and hacked together is doing its very best to keep the flat below a somewhat reasonable 25°C. Meanwhile is trying to keep himself rested and calm by trying (and utterly failing to) meditate. The blimping noise of the commlink actually came as a sweet delivery.

"A damsel in distress ?" he grunts to himself, looking at the comm and silently wishing for something he does best: wetwork. Wetwork is his thing. He does not enjoy the killing in itself, but he likes the planning and how everything in a kill can be orderly - if you are doing it right of course. And sometime it does come with a free meal. Gosh, what is wrong with himself ? Franck never think about mark as being "free meal" - he is far too professional for that....

He briefly acknowledges the message and agrees to the meet. While he is dressing up and packing his gear, he also run some matrix search on the client - Frau Schnee (an obvious alias), without any success, and take a look at the bar Jeder Vernunft. Nothing special here, but it takes the time to look at all the entrance (or exit) to be sure to, at least, have an escape plan, if things go South. It would not be the first met that goes South he went too...

Jack_Spade

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Re: Umbrae Europae [IC]
« Reply #6 on: (14:19:32/09-06-16) »
One main entrance, one emergency exit to the back, leading down an alley. The toilet windows have bars as far as you can make out from the bit of grainy footage you find, but probably nothing that would stop a determined or desperate man for long (at least as long as he has his micro welder with him)

#4
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Revenant Kynos Isaint Rex

Zweiblumen

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Re: Umbrae Europae [IC]
« Reply #7 on: (15:13:40/09-06-16) »
#1

Schöner has his feet up with the Trid on while drinking a cold bottle of synthahol.  It's hot out today so he's taking it easy inside.  Occasionally chatting with various contacts around the 'Plex.  Just because the world is a nasty place doesn't mean he needs to be and he can spread the love, for lack of a better term, from the comfort of his couch almost as well as face to face.  In person is always better but when circumstances, such as foul weather or a pretty friend visiting or better yet both, dictate the 'trix will make do.  As he's making his rounds a message from Pankratius pops up in a preferred list AR window.

<<<@Schöner [Pankratius] Hey there. Time for you to stop being a lazy drag on society and become an industrious one: I've got a damsel in distress looking for some chivalrous gentleman of leisure to fix a matter of the heart for her. She'll be waiting for you at the Bar Jeder Vernunft at Hohe Straße around 2030h. Ask the Barkeep for Frau Schnee. You are guaranteed your usual fee. Anything extra you'll have to negotiate yourself.>>>

Hmph!  Lazy drag on society my hoop.  Though always interested in helping a damsel, wether she's in distress or not.

He thinks back through his mental list of names and faces.  One Mrs Snow doesn't ring any bells, but he's been to Jeder Vernunft a few times.

<<<@Pankratius [Schöner] Thanks for the tip, I'll be there with bells on.  Do I know the crew?>>>

While waiting for the fixer's reply he packs his gear and washes the day's grime off.  With the impending weather he grabs an umbrella and makes sure his respirator has fresh filters.  It would be nice if they were meeting closer to home, but work is work, and he's expensive tastes to maintain.
Speech, Thoughts, Comm/Text, Subvocal

Jack_Spade

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Re: Umbrae Europae [IC]
« Reply #8 on: (15:23:29/09-06-16) »
The reply came instantly: <<Don't know who you know, but it's the first time I've put you in contact. Watch out for three other fellows. Two matrix jockeys and a mage. Combined with your talents you should be well suited to solve that particular puzzle. But don't let me influence you unduly. Paint your own picture. Cheerio.>>

talk think matrix

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Revenant Kynos Isaint Rex

Haywire

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Re: Umbrae Europae [IC]
« Reply #9 on: (16:51:22/09-06-16) »
#2

After a good shower, Waywalker packed his gear for the meeting. The answer his Agents provided him were satisfactory, but a bit of paranoia never killed anyone. At least, not the one being paranoid.
He loaded one of his Rotodrones in the Armadillo drone rack, ready to go if the meeting would go south, and one of his Fly Spy for reconnaisance. While he let the autosoft drive him to the meeting, he connected his deck to the Matrix for some more info on the bar.

[spoiler]I'd like to connect in VR (hot sim) with A/S/D/F 2/5/3/4 loading encryption, toolbox and agent.
I will look for the host of the bar, if there is one, and enter with hack on the fly to have a look around. [/spoiler]
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Jack_Spade

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Re: Umbrae Europae [IC]
« Reply #10 on: (16:13:45/09-07-16) »
To his disappointment, Waywalker couldn't find a host for the bar. All there was, was a bunch of AR tags based on RFID chips. And even the number given in the impressum only connected to a boring Renraku Sensei commlink with no data of any interest.

The only really remarkable thing - if it could be called that - were some of the AR designs adoring the walls of the bar that looked a bit like those arcane symbols that Karl Combatmage, the main character of the eponymous trid series, used all the time.

Time moved on and the sun was going down - time to meet the Johnson.

Arriving at the location you noticed two things:
The bar is even tinier than you remembered and there are more people drinking inside than you would have thought physically possible. The ground level was packed with university students - most of them already quite inebriated.

The bar keep tried to keep up with the demand, but looked already quite exhausted.

#6
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belaran

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Re: Umbrae Europae [IC]
« Reply #11 on: (17:29:58/09-07-16) »
#2
Even if his Evo Falcon is not the most discreet bike out there, Franck still tries to do a first drive by as casually as possible - just in order to assess the crowd. A cramped bar is actually a good thing for him - it makes it that more easy for him to hide among the people.

Parking his bike a few blocks from the place, he then come back to it as not conspicuously as possible. Hopefully the crowd would be more into ordering and drinking beer, than paying attention to the "strange dude" in a trench coat.

Walking inside the place, Franck also look for other "shaddy" individuel or any signs this could be a trap... Outside of AR, that is to say, as he prefers to let his deck off for now - better have all his reflexes wire into the meatspace...

[spoiler]
Checking for "snipers" or sign of an ambush: (3s)  http://orokos.com/roll/434641
Walking in the as bar discreetly as possible:  (3s)        http://orokos.com/roll/434644
[/spoiler]
« Last Edit: (17:33:03/09-07-16) by belaran »

Haywire

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Re: Umbrae Europae [IC]
« Reply #12 on: (17:45:17/09-07-16) »
#3
The bar did not have a Host to speak of. On one side, it was a good thing: a thing less to worry about. The AR signs of Karl Kombatmage gave him a smile: he used to watch it when he was a kid.
With a thought, he setted up the Fly - Spy to watch his back, the Sekretar to watch the back of the FlySpy and the Agent on the Deck to look after himself. I'm almost a one man army, I only need a help for mojo.
He walked in the cramped bar, blissfully ignoring the crowd.
At the bar, he waited for the bartender to be free, then politely asked her the specialty of the house, a "Frau Schnee".

[spoiler]I'd like to slave the Fly - Spy to the RCC, running its autosofts (Manouvering, EW, Evasion, Stealth) and Signal Scrub; the Agent in the Deck to look for unauthorized MARKs on Deck and RCC, the Sekretar to do the same on the Sekretar and the Transys Avalon.
I'd also like to have the visual of the Fly-Spy displayed on my field of vision, as it goes around the bar in the adjacents streets.[/spoiler]
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Jack_Spade

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Re: Umbrae Europae [IC]
« Reply #13 on: (05:07:15/09-08-16) »
Circling around the block revealed no worse things than a few drug dealers and a lot of drunk people. Likewise, no remarkable matrix activity could be found.

Getting the attention of the barkeeper turned out to be an exercise in patience. When Waywalker finally was able to make himself heard over the din of the bar, the man just nodded and called back: "UPSTAIRS, GIRL IN WHITE, YOU CAN'T MISS HER"

Making your way through the crowds to the stairs is a slow process, but once you manage to climb the helical staircase it gets better:
The upstairs room is bathed in a light show with a dwarf DJ behind a huge AR Display. The music is a bizarrely mixture of electronic noise and pieces that sound like they were grabbed from classical operas.
No wonder that only a few people are up here - the experimental music is grinding on your nerves.

At a corner seat a young attractive human woman, probably around 25 years old, with long, snow white hair and a fitting white body suit sits and watches the stairs. In front of her is a tall drink that's equally white. Now that you get closer, you notice that even her lipstick has a blue-white tinge.
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Revenant Kynos Isaint Rex

Haywire

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Re: Umbrae Europae [IC]
« Reply #14 on: (07:57:42/09-08-16) »
#4
The Fly-Spy reported no suspicious activity. The Agents reported no matrix activity.
Maybe there aren't really dangers here... No, that's how you get screwed really fast.
The bartender was right: Only a blind throwback could miss her.
The music made Waywalker regret that he didn't purchase the bundle for a sound filter when he got the cyberears implanted.
Slowly making his way through the crowd, altough easier than downstairs, he approached the woman with a glaring smile:
"I'm honored to meet you, Frau Schnee. I'm Waywalker, and I think we have a mutual acquaintance. Do you mind if I take a seat?"
Waiting for an affirmative nod, he grabbed a seat and sat down, without losing his smile.
There was a sharp contrast between the white outfit of the woman and his clothing displaying the Vandals logo surroundend by fireworks.
«Never, ever, cut a deal with a dragon.»