Shadowrun Play => Play-by-Post => Topic started by: Aria on <01-17-17/1231:16>

Title: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <01-17-17/1231:16>
[Thursday September 10th, 2076; Citadel Game [Private], Matrix Host: SEAѤ67-∑2]

The wind whistled across the bleak moorland bringing the scent of autumn with it, but if Silk’s nearly nude form felt the chill she gave no sign as the silks of her persona rippled around her.  Overhead, constellations never seen in the real world wheeled and danced as the host accepted data from Silk’s own network and spun it together to mesh with the Citadel’s own architecture.

The pattern was nearly complete…after six years… it had been too long but she was honest enough with herself to know that to try this sooner would have ended in disaster, no matter how much she wanted the truth behind the web she had unravelled.

Aria’s petite form appeared beside her unbidden “you could have done this on your own host you know?  No need to use my resources so heavily”

“Yes, but who would look for it here in a game world rather than the files of an up and coming data broker?”

Aria conceded the point with a bow and a wink “So, you’ve found out who was responsible for Mother’s death, your mother, now what?”

“Find Monarch and find out why that bastard targeted one of his best teams for removal

Aria looked uncharacteristically sad “You know they say ‘be careful what you wish for’, you may not like the answers that you find”

“True, but they would be better than no answers.  I know running is dangerous, mum didn’t expect to live a long and happy life… but this wasn’t a stray bullet in a fire fight… she was executed, by her own bloody fixer.  What part of the Pattern is that?  We will dig him out of his hole and ask him some rather pointed questions.  Once I’m satisfied we’ll dump him on the authorities and let them have their pound of flesh.”

“You don’t want to kill him then?”

“I’m not stupid, that won’t bring mum back and I think I will get more satisfaction from watching him rot, denied access to his power base…”

“Let’s get out of here… it’s cold!”


And so Silk reached out to Al, itinerant wonderer, and more importantly for her purposes, a nexus in the Pattern…his actions were so hard to predict, hopefully they would not see them coming.

<<Al, it’s Silk.  I promised you a job in the near future and that time has come.  I know you won’t like it but can you assemble your team and meet me in the Citadel?  I would prefer face to face but you’re scattered across Europe and this needs to move quickly now.  I am hoping you can get Isaint, Deckard and Robyn together for this.  The Old One has told me some of what happened in London, I don’t know who you were working for or how you managed it but you make a formidable team>>

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <01-23-17/0911:41>
[Thursday September 10th, 2076; dilapidated Caravaner on bank of the Thames]

Al was demonstrating to an enraptured Spike how to eat a Double-Soyrito without taking the cigarette from your mouth when his working 'link - the Fairlight - started playing Me So Horny, signalling a message from Silk.

Well, work. And not a damned moment too soon, he having nearly depleted his stash on luxury excursions and military-grade explosives.

<<See what I can do. Make it witchin' hour Greenwich.>> he replied.

Then he composed a voice message to all three requested parties, layered on as much encryption as he could, which was not half bad, then sent it direct to Robyn, with a request she protect it more and deliver to the other two.

The message: <<Attached the dets onna fancy-pants game host in Seattle. Silk uses it fer virtual meets. Requests the presence of the four of us as and when, but soonest. I'm gon' tell 'er midnight GMT. Be there or be square, mi compadres.>>

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <01-25-17/1607:37>
[Thursday September 10th, 2076; Former warehouse, North, outside London]

Isaint was just putting away the broom when his commlink beeped. Not the Transsys but the Fairlight - that meant work. The timing was excellent he had to admit: Whatever could be cleaned in his new home had been cleaned, all furniture was installed and/or constructed and even the drones were all nice and clean in their charging stations. There would have literally been no excuse to put off looking for a job or calling his chummers.

Upon receiving the message from Al via Robyn  he frowned. An online meeting wasn't as dangerous as a real life one, but there were still dangerous entities around. Isaint sent a confirmation message and began preparing for the meeting - mainly by updating his matrix security and his iconography...

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <01-25-17/1621:28>
[Thursday September 10th, 2076; dilapidated Caravaner on bank of the Thames]

For his part, Al wandered out to the small mountain of scrap that was accumulating from all the work he'd been doing on his cars and dug around until he had the makings of a crude 'trode net, then to his shop to assemble it while he downloaded the necessary ASIST software.

And he ate another double-soyrito - better to puke in volume than dry heave. He hated dry heaving.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <01-29-17/2023:09>
Robyn takes the message from Al and notes that his encryption skills seem to be improving and makes a couple of additions before sending it off to ISaint and Deckard.  She is familiar with the game site as the host for the wonderfully good Vampire Hunter game.  She has spent many hours wiling away the time in the alternate world of that game.  Sometimes too much time.  But it is so easy to just slip into her vampire lord character and exist in a completely different sort of life.

She considers something and fires off a response to Al.  >>Al, I have forwarded your message on as requested.  You know, I can translate the meeting and send it to you on a trid screen if you like.  There would only be a second or so delay in the conversation for you and you would not have to be in the matrix.<<
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <01-30-17/0402:57>
It had taken Isaint a while to set everything up. He had learned what he could about the gaming host and brought his Agents up to date. Having them enter the host was a bit of a hassle, but in the end the captcha-guard let them pass.
He appreciated the vampire hunter theme and had his agents take the same form as himself: A simple monk in a coarse looking black robe and a wooden crucifix.
Just to be sure, he only went in AR - he really didn't want to get link-locked by anyone. Nevertheless, he had instructed Arthur to kill the connection if he went unconscious or showed signs of distress.
'Paranoia doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.'

With that he and his monk brothers made their way through the host towards the meeting place.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <01-30-17/0608:31>
Al seriously considered Robyn's offer. It would allow him to sleep through the meet's more boring details - which was probably all of them. Paying attention to that crap was what they kept Isaint around for, after all.

But in the end he shot back: <<Appreciate it, toots. But Silk's my contact, and no one else has met her, so reckon I'd best "be" there.>> Even if it would be just his Fairlight's default persona, he thought. <<"See" you at midnight.>>

He played with his homemade 'trode rig for a while to see if he could minimize the vertigo effects. And then - AR or VR??? Either way he'd be puking - with AR he'd be able to use a bucket, but with VR he wouldn't feel a thing until later, and he had his failsafes against aspirating his own vomit. All right then, VR it would be. He knew the place as well as he knew anywhere in the Grid, so at 2359 he stripped naked on the floor of his workshop, laid down on a plastic tarp, and took the plunge...
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <01-30-17/1043:49>
Robyn enters the gaming host some time before the meet to get in some play time and to not stir up any real questions as to why she is there.  Her Vampire Lord is part of a large guild of characters and has achieved enough rank to garner Prestige Access to the guild mansion and she walks about in her avatar form, leaving in time to get to the meeting site.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <01-30-17/1738:43>
Al navigated straight to the meet spot, and there he found a Vampire Lord and a retinue of monks. The rich detail of their icons stood in sharp contrast to the featureless black humanoid default persona provided by his Fairlight Caliban. In person, he might have touched a shoulder or shaken hands, but he wasn't about to dignify this shadow existence with any suggestion these were real bodies. "Toots," he said, nodding to the vampire, and "Boss," nodding at the lead monk. "Where's our fourth?" he wondered, idly scratching at his ass - what? - he tried again - no, seriously - eight grand for this piece of crap commlink, and the persona didn't even know how to respond to a simple ass-scratch command?

Utterly exasperated, he opened up a window to the graphics code and started jiggering lines here and there while they waited for Rick. And of course Silk.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <01-31-17/2343:08>
Robyn's avatar is a startling contrast to her meat body.  She appears to be human and stands almost six feet tall.  Her garb is demure, but is some of the finest game clothing available, with all sorts of hidden Prime bits that greatly amplify her stats and abilities.  The voice has a soft Slavic accent, go figure, but has a high Charm Quality to it.  She long ago got rid of her obvious weapons, instead relying on magic and pure physical power to defeat her enemies.  Over the years, Robyn has used this avatar to get through every level and all the various raids and group arena combats.  She is a very skilled combatant and now spends time helping shepherd new players through the harder scenarios.  She looks at the monks near her and smiles.  "Welcome ISaint.  Have you been part of this universe long?"

Robyn looks over at the rather amorphous creature that Al has selected as an avatar.  "Al. the Vampire Hunter character that you have selected can be a powerful foe of the darkness, but it takes a while to get to where it is really strong.  I know that you have little interest, but if that should change, I would be glad to assist you in mastering this alternate reality."

She looks about.  "Does anyone know where Rick is?  Or our hostess?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <02-01-17/0256:49>
The hooded monks turned to Robyn and shook their head and spoke in unisono: "First time that I come here. I have always preferred the real world vampire hunt and also very little time for playing. I guess a sleep regulator allows you to keep up with so many activities.
And no, I haven't heard from Rick. But I've been busy getting set up here near London again. Our two unfortunate chummers are in good hands now by the way. The Jesuits are taking good care.
Under caution that our conversation might not be as private as we wish, how are you two? Have you worked out your... issues?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <02-01-17/0735:10>
"Issues? What issues? Hippies got issues. Me an' sweet cheeks here, we's thick as thieves," Al answered evasively, his persona still flailing its arms jerkily as he tried to make it scratch its ass. "Only issue we got is toots here thinkin' ol' Al'd take any better ta virtual gamin' - or virtual anythin', fer that matter - than a rainbow trout ta the sands o' Death Valley...There!" and with a flourish he completed his coding to allow the persona to not only reach its own posterior but perform a range of other crude and uncouth gestures.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <02-01-17/0949:01>
The vampiress shakes her head.  "There is a lot of down time in my life between contracts and I can always squeeze a little time for some game play.  My life has not been as complicated in the past as it has been lately.  Neat trick with the cloned monks.  I am glad that you were able to get our friends to some sort of treatment."

She nods at Al's words.  "Yes, there are some personal things to work out, but this is business, right?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <02-01-17/0952:57>
"An Alouicious Harlan Guthrie is nothin' if not a stone cold perfessional. Work first, that's my motto. Sweat o' yer brow, early bird, idle hands, all o' them."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <02-01-17/1745:26>
[Thursday September 10th, 2076; Citadel Game, Matrix Host: SEAѤ67-∑2]

From out of the gloom you hear a musical chuckle and Aria’s diminutive icon, dressed as a mini vamp natch, glides into view.  She looks at you all sideways and tuts at Isaint’s army of digital goons before waving a tiny and admonishing finger

“Not allowed in here! Spoils everyone’s fun…” and with a clawing action she does something to their code “permission revoked!” before turning a beaming smile on you all.  “Right, follow me please, we haven’t got time for the grand tour but I think some of you have been here before?”

For Robyn this brief exchange is a revelation…Aria is the whispered owner, creator of the Citadel game host, judging by the quality of sculpting on her persona icon she has used the resulting wealth well…that or she’s a technomancer!

She leads you to a darkened corner of the hall where huge black drapes conceal whatever is behind.  Swishing them effortlessly aside Aria reveals a glowing planar portal like the one you’d stepped through to reach this game zone… “This way…”

You emerge into a very different environment…from the gothic halls of vampiredom you find yourselves on some sort of bucking troop dropship, wind howl drowning out the throb of the vector thrusts that you can nevertheless feel through the hull.

Aria hasn’t followed you through, instead you find Silk waiting for you, bracing herself lightly against the sway of the deck.  She’s dressed in combats with a rifle slung across her chest.  The grin she gives you reveals her sharp teeth and her joy at the wild ride.

“Welcome!  I’m glad you could come at such short notice!  I’ll provide you some intel and then if you are interested I will let you know the details…?  About two hundred clicks south south east of Tonga in the South Pacific there’s an aquaology.  Inside it there’s an individual that I very much want to speak to, and I assure you it isn’t mutual.  If you are up for it we’ll steal a series of access codes from an offline server in the corp’s base on Tonga and then proceed to the site.  Yes, I meant we, I’ll be coming with you…”

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: obidancer on <02-01-17/1936:47>
Deckard was enjoying a cup of tea with Pr. Slughorn, his contact at the Oxford University. The visit was courteous and long overdue. The man's knowledge in the Magical Arts was phenomenal in spite of his low aptitude to use any sort of Magic. So sharing his experience in Lyonnese, omitting a few details and names, was for the Professor like getting access to a rare book or archive. He wasn't missing any second, and drink on the information faster than he was sipping his tea. For Deckard, it was a good way to get into the man's good side, and insuring he would gladly help the Shadowrunner should he need information of favor.

Deckard was about the describe the arrival of the Army from Below when his commlink alerted him with a ARO of an incoming encrypted message. The blind girl...

An Army walking to their death, while his two companions laid the device that would certainly consume the metaworld - Deckard left it on a Cliffhanger. It seems the rest of the story will have to wait for another time, Professor. Of course it drove the older man mad, but at least Deckard knew his contact would be looking forward to their next meet...

So the Shadowrunner head back home.

He was excited. He hadn't heard from his companions in two months but was pretty sure he would not refuse a job if it involve any of those three people. So his friend had call to play video games... great.

It had been a while since he touched a VR game. He grinned at the irony. Vampire Hunter world. At least he will have something to compare it to with his real life.

It took him forever to create his persona for this game. Too many options. He looked at the clock and realize he could easily be late for a meet  he wouldn't want to miss.  He chose a few more option and without understanding much why, got kicked out of the game. He cursed. He re-entered the Virtual World. This time he just went for Random and within a second he found himself in this Gothic Hall.

He was dressed with a long black trench coat, and Van Helsing type hat, kind of the game iteration of a Vampire Hunter, lacking all the bells and whistles of the rank, courtesy of a Level 1 starter gamer.

Thanks to their ID, he could recognize his trio of Friends, but as soon as he greeted them, an Icon appeared and dismissed ISaint's pets.

It wasn't long before they got shifted to a totally different environment. Deckard wasted no time grabbing on the cargo netting surrounding the wall of the drop ship.

Polynesia... I was just mentioning an acquaintance of mine, I was looking forward to some time away from the crappy London weather... To be clear, we're talking a real hit of  a physical place, not one of those virtual building you all seems fond of, right?

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <02-01-17/2020:01>
Al was not amused by this or any other virtuality. Bad enough his meat was shivering with nausea, now they were trying to disorient his digital representation as well. The Fake World always put him in a mood.

He was, however, delighted that Rick turned up at the last minute. He was a good guy, plus it always was good to work with people you had some experience with.

And yeah, of course he'd be taking the job. It was Silky, after all. They went back some. And an aqualogy - old stomping grounds, only instead of the frigid North Sea they'd be in the South Pacific. Visions of white sands and thongs filled his jet-black head. Another milk run.

He didn't know about his boon companions, but for himself he caught Silk's eye and with a wink the deal was sealed.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <02-02-17/0245:24>
The matrix is Alyce's life and she grins at the choice of game Silk is playing.  She actually has an advanced character here that she has not played in a while, mostly because she really got involved with Vampire Hunter, which has a better play mechanism than this one.  With a twirl of her cape, Alyce takes on the persona and avatar of a Senior Captain.  Her combat armor bears enough hash marks to choke a horse, each one representing a perilous mission.  The decorations painted on the breastplate of her armored suit show anyone who knows that she has participated in some of the most harrowing and deadly drop missions in the universe.  That she is here at all means that she has survived missions that have left controllers swearing for weeks as they have to recreate avatars, because this game is different from others in that there is no replay and no saved lives unless you are lucky enough to earn an incredibly rare slot in the clone bank.  Captain Krait has three of these slots.  It takes a couple of seconds to remember what everything is and what it all does, but then she flips on the grav units in her boots and clicks to the floor of the descending drop ship and salutes the other trooper.  "Senior Captain Krait reporting for duty, ma'am.  What is the sitrep?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <02-02-17/0632:22>
Isaint smiled beneath the hood when Rick appeared. The monk choir said: "You know Rick, this style quite suits you. Maybe you should go for Van Helsing garb in real life. Great to see you again by the way."

He wanted to say more, but Aria appeared.

Isaint frowned when his agents were kicked from the game, but at least the hardware wasn't damaged from the maneuver. He went along to the new environment but didn't bother to change his appearance. The hooded monk therefore was standing unsupported in the middle of the drop ship, the robe gradually soaking from the spray.

"Can't say that aquatic missions are my specialty - neither is the south pacific - but I'm certainly open to broaden my horizons. And I do personal protection, so if you go there and want my help staying safe, I certainly can do that."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <02-03-17/0815:39>
[Thursday September 10th, 2076; Citadel Game, Matrix Host: SEAѤ67-∑2]

"Senior Captain Krait reporting for duty, ma'am.  What is the sitrep?"

Silk shrugs, “I’m just a private! Aria will be pleased that you come here often enough to get where you are Cap’n”

“Can't say that aquatic missions are my specialty - neither is the south pacific - but I'm certainly open to broaden my horizons. And I do personal protection, so if you go there and want my help staying safe, I certainly can do that."

Silk smiled wryly “Before I was an infomonger I was a runner, I know a little bit about keeping myself safe and I won’t be relying on you any more than the others.  I know your reputation for keeping the team together, it’s why you are all here.”

She turned to face the others… “The target is a man who calls himself Monarch.  He was a high level fixer in Seattle a few years ago for a group calling itself the Brotherhood.  My mother was one of his runners.  This bastard had her executed at the same time as giving the orders that got thirty or more people killed in the Stillwater compound.  After six years of searching for him I intend to go and ask him why!  It’s usually bad business to go after fixers but I believe he is sufficiently removed from the scene for the repercussions to be small.  But you will need to determine for yourselves whether you are prepared to take that risk.  I know you all have other fixers and that it is a fairly tight knit group of mutual favours and interwoven networks…for me this is personal and I am willing to take the risk, but you…?  So, do you want more details?”

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <02-03-17/0905:07>
"Shee-it, girlie, real sorry ta hear 'bout that," answered the featureless black form standing in the midst of the soldiers and vampire hunters. Al tried to make his tone sympathetic, but it was tough amid the roar of the drop boat. "Damn straight I wants the deets. Turnin' on yer own, well the only thing worse'd be takin' someone's kin. So that's a double mark on yer Monarch friend, an' you can imagin' how much credence ol' Al gives ta some spook-tales about fixer secret society payback. Fuck 'em - I ain't never been long fer this so-called perfession anyway."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: obidancer on <02-03-17/1420:37>
Deckard's parents had been Shadowrunners too. He grew up in the street of Seattle, from one safehouse to another.  So he knew quite a bit about Shadowrunner's etiquette. And yes, it was bad form to go after your fixer. But for one,  a job is a job, and two, going after someone else's Fixer wasn't that bad. Surely it would make a few people unhappy but in every Run there was a winner and  a loser, a happy party and an unhappy one.

He knew oh too well to desire for revenge or answers, he couldn't blame the girl. On the contrary, he was happy to help.

If that's what we're hired for, I'm sure there will be forgiving circumstances with those who get pissed off. I guess you got yourself a team. Though you know we don't come cheap... But I do have questions: It's quite a trek to get there. Have you planned for it already? And when are we leaving?
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <02-03-17/1634:01>
"I see. Well, I guess we all wanted to spend a bit more time in the sun after the last mission. Hunting a traitor is an acceptable endeavor.
So yeah, let's talk logistics. As our wise mage said: How are we getting there and what can we take with us. Also do you want us to find our accommodations ad hoc or do you already have contacts in place?"
Isaint said while he also looked around in his new flat. Seems like he could have saved himself the trouble of cleaning everything...

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <02-04-17/1153:29>
Senior Captain Krait nods.  "Are we the extent of your assault force and what are the rules of engagement?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: obidancer on <02-09-17/0115:04>
Wise Mage... quite a pleonasm.
Distracted by his new matrix representation, Deckard couldn't fathom the meager skills of level one Avatar. He had no Magic here, no fetish, no gun...
The ones who seemed to thrive in the role were the two ladies...
Well, if Ms Silk needs to ask question, I take it we need the principle in good conditions, aka alive...
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <02-14-17/1233:23>
[Thursday September 10th, 2076; Citadel Game, Matrix Host: SEAѤ67-∑2]

Silk gestures for you to take positions in the restraint harnesses whilst herself seeming to ignore the bucking movement of the dropship…doubtless most of you decline her offer,

"I see. Well, I guess we all wanted to spend a bit more time in the sun after the last mission. Hunting a traitor is an acceptable endeavor.  So yeah, let's talk logistics. As our wise mage said: How are we getting there and what can we take with us. Also do you want us to find our accommodations ad hoc or do you already have contacts in place"

“I’ll start with the last part first.  This is outside my sphere of influence so my usual contacts won’t be much help here.  I do have a possible exit route in mind with some friends of mine but I will confirm that later this evening.

How we get there and therefore what resources you will have with you once you arrive are open for discussion.  Commercial flights are readily available and I may be able to charter one private flight.  Unlike the corp J’s you’ve worked for in the past my resources are finite.  Some of you are in the UK I believe, I’m in Seattle but I can probably take what I need on a commercial flight with the correct permits in place.

This needs to happen quickly for a variety of reasons.  Our window of opportunity could close very fast and I have worked for too long to let this bastard slip through my fingers again… so I will do what I can to expedite getting you all on site.”

"Are we the extent of your assault force and what are the rules of engagement"

”Wise Mage... quite a pleonasm.  Well, if Ms Silk needs to ask question, I take it we need the principle in good conditions, aka alive...”

“Yes, I want him alive, and in a condition to answer questions, but I’m not too concerned with his long term health prospects.  Once we’re done with him I intend to hand him over to the Knights, they have their own reasons for wanting a quiet conversation with him.

To answer Robyn, the five of us are it for the simple reason that I don’t want to spread the information web too far from this point.  We have the basics covered I believe?  I was an infiltrator when I ran with Balefire and I don’t think my skills have deserted me.

But, and this is a very serious point for me, the target is hiding in an aqualogy which houses a large number of people, including children, whom I don’t want our actions to put in harms way.  At the end, that is more important to me than the conclusion of this run.  I trust you can work with that?”


Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <02-14-17/1457:15>
"I don't think anyone in this group would deliberately hurt innocent bystanders or children.
So we are going into a place without an existing contact network and without time to cultivate one. The best way to do this would be to engage shadow carriers to get our more problematic gear into place and otherwise only carrying legal equipment with us. Doable, although it will hurt my performance in the field somewhat. But at least it will give me the opportunity to learn a new language.

As I see it, this is a classic extraction job. We'll need all available information on the aquacology and the local shadows before we can plan an approach."
Isaint's Monk paused for a moment before continuing:
"You say this guy is on the move quite often. Is there a reason why it wouldn't be easier to nab him in transit than inside the very controlled environment of an aquacology?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <02-14-17/1828:56>
Al had no use for the restraints. Hell, he hoped he'd be thrown out - then maybe he could wake up in the real world, clean himself off, and have a beer or three.

He'd taken the job, there was really no need for him to be here for the Q&A. Isaint would plan all the details, leaving Al free to do what he did best - everything.

Getting there would indeed be interesting before. Only way to do it fast was fly. And while Al had done plenty of that, usually behind the stick himself, he'd never travelled that way. Not in all his journeys. Hell, the farthest he'd ever gone not on land or the sea was the distance between the shore and an oil rig. Certainly never flown commercial, no suborbitals or semiballistics. No reason, just had never come up. And you needed a SIN, which once upon a time had been pretty spendy relative to his various modes of employment.

Now, hell, he went through IDs like water, and he currently had a shiny new, airtight one from Horace, all virgin and with sec licenses for a couple of must-haves. He'd never get his boom-bag on board, but whatever...not like he was married to mountains of machinery like their leader Inspector Gadget.

Flyin' the friendly fuckin' skies...white beaches on the other end...drinks with the little umbrellas...would they put those in beers?...yup, this was going to be the best ride yet....
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <02-15-17/0052:29>
Robyn nods in acceptance.  "When do we go and are we travelling together?  I can get a sub-orbital to somewhere close and we can puddle-jump it out there.  I suppose that we should try to determine what we are going to take with us, but it sounds like we do not have much time."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <02-15-17/0813:42>
[Thursday September 10th, 2076; Citadel Game, Matrix Host: SEAѤ67-∑2]

“Sorry, as far as I know Monarch hasn’t left the aquaology in the last six years.  Our window of opportunity is when the Pattern has suggested we have the best chance of reaching him.  I can read the Pattern to a certain extent, it’s a form of divination…and I have waited for this moment for a long time.  You and Master Guthrie have a strange effect on the Pattern, like kittens and a wool blanket, but I am hoping that will work to our advantage and mask our intentions from other seers who might be looking on.

You have heard of the Seer’s Guild no doubt?  We believe a faction within the Guild is actively opposing us for reasons we can’t yet fathom but must be to do with a rival vision for the future.  Divination is a tricky business, a reading of probabilities more than a clear picture of pre-ordained events.  Those of us who can see the Pattern can nudge it in directions that suit our goals, and of course it can be nudged back by others.  Some say we shouldn’t meddle but to my mind it is no different from anyone who seeks a favourable outcome, we just get a little more insight into the path to that outcome.

If you can provide me a list of things that you either can’t or won’t transport I will see what I can do about arranging similar items to be available in Tonga.  Diving gear and local transport can also be sorted, Al, you can pilot a small vessel can’t you?  That would be preferable to hiring a pilot out there.  It may be moot, there are supply vessels for the station which we may be able to catch a lift on and the infiltration of the land facility may reveal other ways on board the aquaology…”


Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <02-15-17/1001:56>
Al's faceless obsidian humanoid did its best to snort. "Silky baby, lemme jist tell ya what ol' Al can't pilot... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...Flyin' saucers. Ain't never flown no UFO afore."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: obidancer on <02-17-17/0019:02>
Deckard's personna lifted an eyebrow.
I've heard stories that what you pilot tend to quickly become unidentified objects though...
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <02-17-17/0532:29>
"Well I do recommend conscientious use o' seatbelts an' other approved safety devices fer all my passengers. Ain't lost none yet. No guarantees on the state o' the conveyance once the job's done."

The featureless figure shook a bit in what might have been a simulated chuckle.

"Not ta worry, though. We gon' be onna water this time, baby. Or under it. What could go wrong?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <02-17-17/0618:42>
Isaint's monk nodded: "I see, so this is more a kind of "use the intel before it gets stale" situation instead of a chase. In that case: Time to get a tourist visum and a hunting licence.
For our travel there I'd suggest everyone of us uses their own modes of transportation instead of a group thing. We don't want to give the system a chance to build a profile of our group where international information sharing actually is a thing.

Also, airlines tend to get interested if too many awakened people board a plane."
Turning to the friendly banter between Al and Rick:
"What could go wrong? I'd say the boat either sinking or the sub failing to submerge. That said, I can't help but wonder if this isn't again crossing paths with a dragon - a water dragon that is - or crossing Proteus interests.

In any case, this will need some thorough matrix research to prevent us walking headlong into disaster." 
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <02-17-17/0815:56>
"Proteus? You guessin' or you known', jefe? Them fellers gen'rally treated ol' Al all right. Silky, this joint a Proteus block?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <02-17-17/0958:54>
Robyn smiles and her battle-armored avatar mirrors her.  "Already started the searches.  Do you have anything specific you want me to look into and I can prioritize my searches."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <02-17-17/1124:48>
"Nah, no specific reason. You say underwater, I hear Proteus. Their tech is cutting edge in that regard."
To Robyn he said:
"Since my agents aren't allowed here I had them start as well, but yes, all you can find about the local organized crime. I need to get my APDS from somewhere local."

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: obidancer on <02-17-17/1646:56>
I'll make a jump to Seattle. That's were I'm from, and still got an decent enough ID linked to it. Could be just a family visit or return home sort of thing.
What's the status on travelling to Tonga? I'm not too current on geopolitics. A Travel Visa shouldn't be too hard to get if we go at it the legal ways, but that also means being recorded as going there...
We could all meet back in Seattle and find transportation from there all together.
Oh and could somebody refresh me on Proteus?

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <02-17-17/1712:54>
"German AA corp, main seat on Helgoland, specializes in bio technology, marine development, deep sea exploration and exploitation as well as space research. They've got aquacologies in the north sea, Japanese sea, as well as on the coasts of North and South America. Domestic rival and enemy of S-K.
Word on the street is that they don't hesitate to do everything they can to get research results, no matter how un-ethical.

And yeah, without a visum smuggling will be the only option - but I guess burning one SIN for travel is the easiest way to do it. But then, I've got a malleable face, so it isn't that much of a problem."
Isaint replied.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <02-18-17/1347:24>
Robyn gives a small laugh.  "Proteus?  Bloody hell, I actually have a friend on the board of directors.  I might be able to do a soft probe to see if he can tell me anything about this specific aquacology.  He might be very interested in getting some information on it if it is not one of theirs.  Might make a payday out of the entire experience.  Do you want me to include him in my search for information?  I will also see about smuggling some APDS to the island through some of my more unsavory contacts.  Let me know the specific weapons and calibres and I will see what I can do."

"Beyond that, my getting to the island is no trouble."  She looks at Al then back to the others.  "It has been far too long since my last holiday and I have never been to Tonga, although I have always wanted to go there.  I can check it off the bucket list.  When are we looking to go?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <02-22-17/1625:55>
"Hold up a second. After rethinking the situation a bit, we could all fly together - provided we use a private plane. Because it just occurred to me that we might have to leave the island in a hurry while the corp tries to lock down all outgoing flights.
I'm thinking long distance turbo-prop plane - possibly amphibious, so we don't have to bother actually with an airport. We could collect Silk en route and come and go at our leisure.

We'd just need to find someone who is willing to lend us such an aircraft... Isaint interjected.

"Hell, if we pool our resources, we could just buy one of them babies - I know a guy where I can get'em cheap - just need a bit of fixin'"
Al added

"Actually that's a great idea. That gives us maximum flexibility and solves the gear issue nicely - although I probably will have to gear down regardless in such a corporate controlled environment." Isaint replied
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <02-22-17/1639:25>
Once Al sees a nod from Alyce he figures they can swing the price even if the others are less enthusiastic. "Settled then. Once vacation's over I'll be happy ta buy yer stakes if ya want - always wanted a plane. Guy I know's in Seattle, an' his stock's there too. Reckon I'll fly commercial, meet y'all there. Leave the rest o' this powwow ta those who care, check outta this vomit-fest now, git all this started. Y'all know how ta reach me ya need ta coordinate anythin' else."

And with that, the obsidian humanoid that could scratch its ass winked out of existence just as an alarmingly accurate bit of flak vaporized the section of fuselage just where he'd been sitting.

He awoke just as he'd gone out, naked on plastic on the floor of his shop, the only differences being the nightmarish dizziness, the excruciating knots in his gut, the rancid taste in his mouth, the burning in his throat, and his dog Spike lapping at the pool of vomit he was lying in.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <02-28-17/0823:45>
[Thursday September 10th, 2076; Citadel Game, Matrix Host: SEAѤ67-∑2]

Silk smiled at Al’s abrupt disappearance, despite the years she had known him now his actions still amused her, although she was well aware that it would annoy the hell out of other prospective employers…she was just as glad that the runs she’d set up for him in the past had been for her or her fellow conspirators…she pitied his regular fixer, whoever that was.

“Ok, it looks like you have transport in hand.  Send me a list of any gear you want me to organise in Tonga or anything else you need to get in touch on.  For now feel free to enjoy the game or get on with whatever preparations you need for heading to sunnier climes”

And with a salute to Captain Krait her persona deressed from the game…

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <02-28-17/1336:42>
Isaint just nodded to his chummers and said: "I'll be off then, lot's of things to organize and ship to Seattle, not to mention getting a tutor soft for a quick piloting session for sea and air. Give me a call when you go to Seattle so we can meet up. "
Isaint's Monk vanished in a glaring white light.
After a quick reboot Isaint gave his fence a call: <<Hi MacDuff, a job's come up outside Europe. I need a reliable contact for guns and ammo in Seattle. Much obliged, usual finders fee.>>

That done, he prepared another batch of herbal tea, while renewing the salve.That was followed by checking his licences and making sure they were all up and current to import his essentials to Seattle.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <02-28-17/1553:54>
Spike was pretty self-sufficient out there in the high riverbank grasses, but Al cracked another 20-kilo bag of chow for him anyway.

He threw some personal things into a plastic garbage bag and loaded it along with his Remingtons in a single carrying case into the Aguilar. He made reservations for a first-class, round-trip to Sea-Tac on the way - he'd learned from watching the trid that buying tickets at the airport aroused suspicion. He used Gatwick for the same reason. Silk had offered to pay air fares, but Al wanted to fly first class, but hadn't wanted to take advantage. He mentally worked out what five-thousand-one-hundred-thirty-seven nuyen was divided two-hundred-sixty-two minutes, the scheduled flight time.

His ID's were solid, and the guns raised fewer eyebrows not only because of his security license and the weapons' individual registrations, but also because he was obviously a Yank, complete with UCAS SIN.

He was in the First Class lounge drinking beer less than three hours after dumping himself from that accursed game host - they had all decided to travel separately, and he was in a hurry, wanting to get to Seattle quickly to do his own safety checks on whatever they bought.

Relaxing in a huge leather chair while waiting to board the semi-ballistic, he started a conversation with his guy in Seattle about buying a plane.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: obidancer on <03-01-17/0032:57>
The Vampire Hunter Persona scratched his head, a little embarrassed. He never had much attachment to Nuyens but between his rent and the debt to the Russian he was trying to pay off, Deckard had little money left to spare.
I love the idea guys but I haven't work much these past two month, and, well, some obligations brought me low on cash. I can spare 10k maybe, if that'd help.

His Companions disappeared one after the other. He turned to Robyn's persona before she, too, disappeared. Let's get in touch in the real world. Maybe we can catch a ride together to Seattle. So long.
And he disconnected. Virtual Games were not his things that much.

Seattle. Home. It had been quite some years since he had left the Emerald City. But that was were he grew up. Where he'd been taught the art of the shadows. Where he became a Mage. It was only going to be a short stop, but he was happy for it.

But first, he had to make sure he was ready to do his part in the Run. Having a Water Elemental at hand could always be useful in an arkoblock, or EVO's equivalent, eventhough they may actually never get wet. But he was going to leave his Magic Lodge behind, and now was the time.

He messaged Robyn. >>I'm going to need a day to get ready. I'm certainly gonna book a late flight for tomorrow. Would be happy to have the pleasure of your company. If not, see you in Seattle.<<
He didn't bother messaging Al and ISaint. The big boys knew what they were doing. And Al's distinct scent was not necessary one you'd want for too long next to you, in a confined space.

The Chaos Mage gather a good amount of reagents, filled up a big bowl of water that he placed at the center of his Lodge. He continued with the preparation for several hours...

[spoiler]Summon Water Elemental F8 ( 18d6t5 4
Summon Water Elemental F8 Resistance ( 8d6t5 1
Bind Water Elemental F8 ( 18d6t5 6
Bind Water Elemental F8 Edge Reroll ( 12d6t5 4
Bind Water Elemental F8 Resistance ( 16d6t5 4
Bind Water Elemental F8 Drain DV8 ( 15d6t5 8
Bounded Water Elemental with 9 services

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <03-01-17/0043:10>
The battle-armoured commando nods to Rick and grins.  "Indeed, I would enjoy riding with you.  I can arrange tickets and meet you at Heathrow.  I will send the departure time to your 'link and I hope that you do not mind riding in First with me."

Captain Krait has already tasked an assistant to contact Stephanie and arrange transport to Seattle for two and is now poised at the open bay door of the plummeting drop ship.  She checks his log and sees that there are some bounties she can collect here and gives a wolfish smile.  She checks the special sidearm and the combat knives at her hips and takes the power gun off her back.  With little warning, Captain Krait leaps into space and begins a rapid descent to the surface below.  Her suit has many improvements over the original and she activates several at once, including a small parachute that slows her speed a bit while keeping her a small target, no that she is really worried; the radar scattering armour and noise dampeners virtually guarantee that she will not be detected until it is too late. 

The landing zone is far from clear and she comes in hot, cutting down a number of minions of the drug lord based in the area.  Of course, these are just the starters and the difference between her experience and theirs makes the initial onslaught a slaughter.  The trek to the drug lord is brutal and some of the higher grade minions actually give her a challenge in solo mode.  At the last clearing, she gathers her strength and pops a couple of fist aid kits to heal the little damage she has taken so far and begins the boss fight.  The last of the minions falls and the drug lord attacks her.  They never learn. 

Finished, Robyn signs out of the game after having her kills verified and her experience compiled.  The battle had been risky and fun.  One day she was going to do that one time too many and lose Captain Krait.  But that day was not today and she parks him in his healing cubicle and logs off. 

it is time to pack an overnighter, but Stephanie and Mae will already be on that.  She sends her agent out to lay in medical supplies in Seattle and have them waiting at the airport for pick up.  It is good to be on again.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <03-04-17/1505:04>
[Friday September 11th, 2076; Heathrow Airport]

Isaint hated squeaky wheeled luggage. Especially if they were pulled agonizingly slowly by an elderly pair in front of him in the queue who were endlessly complaining about their feet, their families, their various ailments, their feet and the lack of respect these days. The damned thing also looked much to big for the overhead compartment. In contrast, he carried only his sleek armor briefcase, containing not much more than a bit of clothes, hygiene products and a few ration bars. All his restricted items he had packed in a secure crate, double checked that he had the necessary permissions to import them into Seattle, filled out a seemingly endless questionnaire, documented each and every part and finally paid a small fortune to send it express to the warehouse MacDuff's contact owned and who according to MacDuff was "a very reliable business partner". Alfred Schwarz was a quarter master at Fort Lewis and specialized on buying and selling surplus army gear on the side.
Hopefully that was true, or he would have to break into a military compound to get his gear back.

The pair cleared the way for him to board, only for Isaint to realize that the pair was seated next to him. So he waited another endless minutes to see them failing to get their stupid piece of luggage stowed in the much to small overhead compartment. When he finally was able to get to his seat (the offending luggage now was being unpacked) he immediately went into his meditation, slowing his breathing and heartbeat and allowing him to ignore the cramped environment and the insufferable travel companions.

'God, Al really needs to buy that plane asap. If necessary I'll pay for the whole thing myself. Life is to short to travel commercial...'
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <03-05-17/0259:02>
[Friday September 11th, 2076; Heathrow Airport]

Robyn had hired a speedy helicopter to get her to Heathrow from her estate on the Cornish coast.  The Hughes Stallion WK-4 made quite an impact when it flew in over the village to land at the manor and whisk Robyn off to London..  Robyn sat back in the luxurious passenger compartment and thought about the trip ahead of her.  Of course, Stephanie had wanted to pack several trunks, but Robyn's will had proven to be the stronger and she had eventually departed with one hanging garment bag and a small overnighter with.  She is dressed in a conservative dove grey suit with a skirt length a comfortable and stylish two inches above the knee,  The blouse is a light cream in color and she wears it with only the top two buttons undone, allowing the barest amount of lace to be observed, and that only if she is not wearing the smart jacket that goes with the skirt.  Of course, the outfit is completely outfitted with the latest in add-ons such as protections against electricity discharges, fire, and chemical exposure.  The latest YNT Softweave materials had made it possible to add more that the usual options to the outfit.  The Big Game Hunter clothing in the garment bag were custom made and fitted to provide similar protections where the skirt and blouse would seem out of place. 

At heathrow, Robyn bid farewell to the two person crew of the helicopter and deplaned, where she was met by a car and driver, who took her to the British Airways VIP lounge in the main terminal.  After checking in, she placed the bags in a tall locker and sat, waiting for Rick's arrival.  Twenty minutes after she been served a steaming cup of Earl Grey, she hears his voice at the information kiosk as he asks for her.  She rises and walks to meet her travelling companion and brings him back to the table.  Snacks and drinks are provided gratis to the people waiting here and the two share some small talk while waiting for their flight to be announced.  There is a small utility electric vehicle to take them to their boarding gate and the two are ensconced in luxury accommodations for the flight over the pond.  While sipping champagne, Robyn looks at Rick from over her tall flute of the amber liquid and says, "I have been to Seattle a couple of times, but only as a pass-through to another destination.  I know that Al has spent some time there, but have you?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <03-05-17/0734:24>
[Thursday September 10th, 2076; Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Seattle Metroplex]

With first class customs expedited, Mordecai had barely shown up at arrivals when Al came through the gate, As they got onto the road, Al congratulated himself on the time. Three hours from workshop floor to Gatwick plus four-hour flight then the nine-hours gained for travelling west and he was boots on the ground in Seattle two hours before the meet had ever taken place. In a manner of speaking.

He was tempted to head south into Puyallup's Hell's Kitchen, check on his snakes, say hi to the hippies, get his own truck. But he wanted to use his head start to have all in readiness with the plane before his co-workers arrived the next day. The funds they'd seconded him were burning a hole in his pocket. He'd never purchased an aircraft before, but how hard could it be?

When, in that ridiculous game, he had said he knew a guy in Seattle from whom he could be a suitable aircraft, that also had been in a manner of speaking. Perhaps if his meat's desperate nausea had left him inclined towards a more nuanced conversation, he might have said he knew of a guy in Seattle. Or he knew a guy in Seattle who knew said guy in Seattle. In either case, the result would be the same.

"Alrighty, Mordecai baby, tell ol' Al 'bout this friend o' yours."

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: obidancer on <03-05-17/1156:12>
A light rain started, as Deckard entered the limo Robyn had sent for him.  He sat comfortably in the luxury vehicle and adjust his glasses, proud of his decision to tag along with the blind decker. He usually couldn't care less about money and luxury; nuyen were used for his thirst of knowledge in the magical arts, not some fancy dinning at London's most exclusive restaurant. But as he appreciated Chaos, he loved the irony of the situation... he was shamelessly broke again yet travelling in an opulent way, well above his mean. After sending Al the 10k Nuyens he had promised, Deckard's account only showed a couple thousand Nuyens to his name. For a Mage of his caliber, it was pretty terrible; people were willing to pay a small fortune for his talents.

But Deckard didn't care. He had spent the last two months studying, entertaining his connections, and making sure everything was set to survive the next month, just like his parents had taught him. The son of two Runners, he had learnt soon enough of the darkness and uncertainty of life in the Shadows and this world in general. Next month, everything could be different.  His last job was the proof: you wake up one day and the world his destroyed by a horde of Horrors form some hellish Metaplanes. Unless a group of Runners decided it was not gonna happen. Proudly enough, he was part of that group. Reassuringly enough, he was on his way to meet with the rest of that group.

Deckard had found quality people. Crazy for sure, but people whom he would trust and for whom he would risk his life. People worth making sure next month was there for them. He was looking forward to show ISaint his new magical talents, to hear Al call him names, to find out if there was anything a blind elf couldn't do. He was looking forward to meet his friends.

He arrived at Heathrow Airport and was unfamiliar with the level of services and courtesy he was receiving thanks to Robyn's VIP ticket she provided him. In less than 20min he had passed regular and Astral Security, had his two sustaining foci approved for travel, and had been respectfully called a 'Sir' at least five times. His bag checked, he was then ushered to the BT Lounge where the beautiful Robyn was enjoying a cup of tea. 

He knew she knew he was approaching. He kept wondering how many sensors and electronic equipment was in her head. She was a woman full of surprise, and a great asset to the team.  He grabbed and kissed her hand. Ma'am, what a pleasure to meet you again. Very, very, very deep inside him a slight feeling of guilt tried to spur. He knew what he was doing when asking Robyn to travel together. He was using her and her generosity. But a comforting pat from an invisible Raven's wing reminded him of his own nature. Heck with the guilt, this was good!

The two started to small talk for a bit, sharing what the two had been up to those last two months. Champagne was served.
"I have been to Seattle a couple of times, but only as a pass-through to another destination.  I know that Al has spent some time there, but have you?"

Have I? Seattle is home, darling. I grew up there. I survived its treachery and embraced its Shadows. A lovely city. Human's lifespan wouldn't be enough to find out about all it's secret. Elves... I still doubt it. But I can tell you this. It quickly grows on you. The only reason I left was to be with a gorgeous London Technomancer.  Go wonder what life throws at you...

He chugged his glass of champagne, ignoring the 'gentlemen and women' etiquette. So, speaking of... you and Al... what's the deal?
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <03-05-17/1444:01>
Robyn's sensors tell her that Rick as certainly dressed the part of a first class traveler and she can smell the after shave on his face from when he had applied it this morning.  The two talk for some time about the past two months and she tells him that she had bought a new cottage down in Cornwall.  "You should come see it, sometime.  Perhaps after the current mission?  You are always welcome there.  Here, let me give you the address."  She sends a quick post to Rick, then continues.  "Afraid that the really best way to get there is by train and I would definitely recommend the express as the local makes a lot of stops.  Things are still a mess, but my PA should have everything worked out by the time I get home."

"As for me and Al, we are just friends while we are working.  After that, well, let's just say it is too early to be posting banns or anything.  I take it one day at a time and am gloriously happy to have every day I get.  How about you?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <03-05-17/1640:54>
Isaint left his meditative state when the plane had stopped on the runway and the other passengers were already standing up to retrieve their belongings. 'Lucky that you learned that contortionist trick or you wouldn't be able to get out of this small seat at all.'
Once again he was forced to wait for the elderly pair to get their horrible squeaky luggage. He still enjoyed the serenity of the meditation and waited until the main part of the passengers had left the plane.
Nodding and smiling at the stewardess he left towards the customs - but not before visiting the toilets. His metabolic control had stopped his bladder from filling up, but nonetheless his facial features had returned to their normal state. So he used the mirror to correct that issue and formed once again the face of his main identity.

He could already smell the famous Seattle air - one part acid rain and two parts sea smells. The customs officer took his time examining his brief case and seemed not particularly convinced when Isaint replied "Pleasure" to the customary customs question.
The tracking information for his gear told him, that it had already been delivered to Fort Lewis. He quickly sent a message to the team that he had arrived safe and sound before leaving the airport with a taxi.
What he now needed was a hotel room with a hot shower and maybe a beer, followed by something to eat...
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <03-05-17/1749:39>
[Thursday September 10th, 2076; Hat Island, Salish waters, of coast of Snohomish, Seattle Metroplex]

"Time enough to run down his particulars on the flight up," Mordecai had answered. Mordecai's truck had been parked in the red zone at the arrivals pick-up, and he'd been eager to get clear. But once they were in the cab, rather than head out of the airport he drove through some service gates and around to a heliport. "I told this guy what you told me, that you had a cash budget of two-hundred-and-fifty-kay. Had to swear you were for real. That sort of purchase comes with a whole different sales pitch than buying a new Toyota Gopher, right?" They pulled out onto the tarmac where a Hughes Palomino - basically a limousine with a rotor on top - was just revving up. As Al grabbed his gun case and his garbage bag of personal stuff, Mordecai looked at him doubtfully. "You do have that kind of cred to spend, right?"

"Heh, worried about an awkward social situation, compadre?"

"Fuck that. Worried about my rep, turns out I pulled this guy's chain."

"Not ta fret. This guy's got what he said he's got, then ol' Al's got the green, baby."

An attendant in a long-sleeved white blouse, black necktie, and matching black micro-miniskirt helped strap them into seats that were unmistakeably real leather. The interior of the cabin was eerily quiet as they took off, enough that Al was hankering to look at the schematics for the sound baffles. After the woman had offered champagne but come back from the bar with beers, Mordecai laid it out.

"Winslow Flannery. This guy's basically legit, sort of a sales agent, hooks wealthy clients up with rare or specialty aircraft. Has himself a niche clientele, since he's licensed to deal in both the UCAS and the Salish lands, and has access to wholesale from Boeing, Northrup, and so forth. Operates off Hat Island, which is in a bit of a gray spot jurisdiction-wise, which allows him to deal with folks like yourself as well. He's real careful about it though. I had to tell him nothing you buy'll be used for anything illegal anywhere in the Pacific Northwest. That's what you said, right?"

"That's what I said," confirmed Al.

"Well, I know you're too stupid to be scared of anyone - hell, the damned Eye-ties still keep eyes on my place, you ever come back. But screw this guy and it's my ass, right?"

"Wouldn't do that, amigo. Reckon ya know that."

"Well, I don't doubt your intentions, just your wisdom. No offense."

"None taken."

The flight was thirty minutes, running the length of the metroplex north from Sea-Tac. They landed on a cement pad outside a sprawling glass residence with views of forested shore of Whidbey Island and the grassy southern tip of Camano Island to the north, both in Salish hands, and the Snohomish coastline of the Metroplex, and beyond that the Cascades. It reminded Al of just how beseiged Seattle really was.

From the air, they saw that beyond the house's extensive gardens was a marina housing half a dozen boats, and a number of large hangars further along on the water. They were too big to feasibly have been built all of wood, but their exteriors were done in the style of native longhouses, and as such they did not detract from the stunning views the house had in every direction.

They went down the steps from the helicopter and man was standing alone just beyond the rotor wash, full head of hair ruffling slightly. They approached to find a man obviously of Native American descent, clad in a grey leisure suit and silk tie. By the time they reached him, the Palomino had flown off.

He extended a hand. "I'm Winslow Flannery. But please call me Dukwibal. It's a pretentious name, that of a creation deity dear to the Skykomish people. But it is the name my parents gave me, and here on my island I prefer it to the Westernized name I use for dealing with the corps. And you must be Mr. Guthrie."

A scarred hand entered his and shook it firmly. "Jist Al, baby. Jist Al. Name my folks gave me, right?"

The man smiled. 

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: obidancer on <03-05-17/1913:01>
"As for me and Al, we are just friends while we are working.  After that, well, let's just say it is too early to be posting banns or anything.  I take it one day at a time and am gloriously happy to have every day I get.  How about you?"
Deckard didn't lose a second
Well, Al and I are still on the get to know each other, you know... barely met the guy, but it'll remain very platonic, no worries...
The two exchanged a laughter, and Deckard continued.
I tell you what though, the man is the most powerful Adept I've had the chance to assense. More powerful than me, more powerful than the mighty ISaint. The sad thing about it is he seems to not really know that, or care for that matter. He's a very unique man, indeed. One with a world changing Destiny, I can feel it. So stay close to him, whatever your feeling for each others are.
He was going to make a joke about how love is blind, but caught himself in time before being very inappropriate.

Anyway, I wish the best for the two of you. You certainly deserved it. Deckard didn't remember how much Robyn knew about his defunct wife Cara, but he preferred to simply skip the subject. I've been wearing those glasses lately, kind of give me that scholar / smart guy kind of look. It's pretty bad ass with the ladies and the lenses automatically adjust the ambient light, looking forward to test it where we're going, you know. Oh and I grew my sideburns a bit. He took her hand and let her touch his cheek. What do you think?

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <03-05-17/2342:47>
Robyn lets her hand remain against Rick's face a bit longer than necessary.  "Thank you, Rick.  I will remember your words.  I have met and slept with many great and amazing men in my life."  He moves his face in surprise.  "Oh, yes.  I am completely unashamed of my past, or my present, for that matter.  I have been on expeditions all over the world, mostly in wilderness areas like jungles or mountain forests.  Some of the places have been so wild there are natives that have never seen other people.  I have seen more awakened plants and animals that the encyclopedia has listed, and I have many friends and associates scattered about the globe that are as comfortable in those settings as I am.  But until I met you three, I never really knew what being part of a team is.  I mean a real team.  Out in the wilderness, everyone has to trust everyone else to have their back, but with you three, I KNOW you have me covered.  So I am quite glad that you have accepted me into your little clique.  I know it must have been hard to not laugh at the blind Keeb trying to play with the big boys, so thank you for giving me that chance."

The flight across the Atlantic was pure luxury.  The seats contained individual entertainment consoles and were programmed with the latest trivid releases, music, and video games.  Robyn looked at the choices and smiled at her companion.  "Hey, Rick?  Not blowing my own horn or anything and I have no idea if you are interested in that sort of thing, but check out the classical selection, instrumentals section, about seven selections down.  The title is "Robyn Lysander does the Cello Classics" It was one of my better recordings.  I think I will go listen to myself for a bit."  Robyn slipped some headphones on and jacked into the system before selection her own music to listen to.  Sitting back, she smiles and lets her attention wander. 

They are interrupted by a very attractive flight attendant coming by with menus for the meals they will be eating while on the plane.  Robyn selects Thai and Cambodian dishes and is not disappointed when the food arrives.  After a great meal and some more small talk with Rick, Robyn goes to the loo and changes into the airline-supplied nightware and returns to her seat, pushing the buttons that lay it horizontal and turn it into a bed.  Several hours of sleep later she is awakened to be told that breakfast will be served in an hour.  She stretches and goes to the bathroom to change into her suit again and brush her teeth.  While eating, a polite male attendant comes by to let them know that there has been a problem with their connecting flight and their three hour layover in New York would have to be stretched until the following afternoon.  The airline would of course make arrangements for the passengers stranded in New York by putting them up in one of the five-star hotels near the airport.  Rick, Robyn, and three other first class passengers are given a list of hotels to select from. 

Robyn scans the AR list and leans over to place a hand on her friend's arm.  "Hey, Rick, the Waldorf reopened a few years ago after several years of renovations and is supposed to be one of the best hotels in the world.  I say give it a shot, what do you think?"  She pauses.  "I could be comfortable with only one room if you are.  It is completely your call."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <03-06-17/0758:16>
[Thursday September 10th, 2076; Hat Island, Salish waters, of coast of Snohomish, Seattle Metroplex]

Dukwibal walked with Al and Mordecai toward the house, but not inside. It was a sunny fall day and as he led them around to the north face of the residence they found a luncheon buffet. A number of people were dining in the garden - several children, minded by young women; two older ladies at a small table by a fountain. A handsome woman of about forty approached with a smile. "Gentlemen, my wife Alessandra. Alessandra, Mssrs. Al Guthrie and Mordecai Sparks."

"Charmed," she replied with a radiant smile and a hand outstretched, palm down. Mordecai looked at it, uncertain what do do, but Al shook his head at his friend's boorishness, grabbed the hand, righted it, and shook it heartily.

Their host broke in - "I understand you've only just flown in from London. You must be famished."

"Nah, flew first class. They feed ya pretty good. All ya can eat, ta boot. I can recommend it. Ya ever tried it?"

"Yes," the man smiled and nodded, "I have had the opportunity to fly first class. I agree the food can be excellent. But please, our chef has outdone himself this morning, and I'm sure something here will tempt you. I never talk business on an empty stomach."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <03-06-17/1537:03>
[Friday September 11th, 2076; Fort Lewis, Seattle]

The rental Gopher made its way around the vast military installation, following the instructions Isaint had been sent by the quartermaster. He had been surprised how easy it was to get a visitor pass, but then there where countless civilians working for the army and the soldiers had spouses visiting too.
The warehouse was one of the more out of the way buildings, requiring civilians to submit their car completely to the military equivalent of grid guide.
The car arrived at the loading dock 22b and Isaint got out of the cab. A steady drizzle had set in and he hurried to get inside, lest the chemical protection of his coat turned out to be not all that it was promised to be.
Isaint was greeted by a bunch of loading drones organizing and transporting boxes of all shapes and weights seemingly at cross purposes through a large warehouse hall. A small office to the left showed to be lit and spread the smell of tea.
When he entered, Isaint immediately recognized Alfred Schwarz: The dwarf had a stereotypical long, grey beard and wore a leather apron. Standing on a stool he was just in the process of dismantling a rifle.
"Good day, Sergeant Schwarz."
The dwarf grunted a reply but kept his focus on his work: "Just a minute."
Interested Isaint peered at the rifle. He realized that the chain that was part of the standard weapons cleaning set protruded from the barrel and Schwarz was pulling with all his might without being able to dislodge it.
"Goddamn it. However do those shit for brains recruits manage to fuck their weapons like this. It's the third time this week."
Isaint grinned at that: "If I remember correctly, I had a fellow Kamerad who managed that trick as well. Used to much cleaner fleece on the chain. They only got it out by using the fat press. Took him ages to get the grease off again."
Now Schwartz looked up and grinned too: "Yeah, I think that's where I'm headed with this PoS too, but before I ruin the week for this unlucky boy, maybe you want to give it a go? Brawny guy like you sure got a good pull, eh?"
Isaint shrugged, took the barrel, let the chain touch the ground and stepped on it. He concentrated for a moment before he pulled with all his might.
There was a ripping noise followed by the chain falling to the ground. Isaint lifted the barrel to his eyes, to see if the blockage had been removed.
"Good news, the barrels clear, bad news, there seems to be a nasty scratch in the rifling."
"Eh, don't worry about it, it's not like those things are shooting particularly straight anyway.
So, you must be Isaint. Got your package right here - with custom stamps and all. Really nice collection, especially that souped up Warhawk. Must be hell on the wrist to fire."
"You get used to it. I hope there were no problems?"
"Na, all necessary permits were there and once it was with my network it was as good as home dry."
"Great. Say, do you have lot's of runner customers?"
"A few. Most of them ex-military. Don't like to sell to people who don't know how to take care of their gear. In fact just a minute before I had one of my regulars here. European with the same accent like you. Which reminds me: He had the same ammo order as you: 7.62 and .44 APDS. Scary motherfucker, but reliable. Don't get in a shoot out with him. I hate to lose paying customers. Let's see, what else did you have on the list... ah right. Flechette, Gel and SnS. No problem.
Flashbangs and pepperpunch grenades are also no trouble, but I couldn't get the foam grenades on short notice. So instead I filled some gas grenades with Hold Fast Spray. Doesn't create barriers for cover but pins down anyone unlucky enough to be caught in the blast. I added the solvent, just in case."
"Thanks. What about that tutor soft?"
"Oh yeah, almost forgot. It's on the chips here. Basic training for planes, boats and submarines. You planning an invasion or something?"
"Nah, just standard bodyguarding." Isaint had gone to the large crate, making sure his possession were all there - both the old and the new ones. He picked the cestus and the Warhawk out and put both into his briefcase. "That seems to be all in order. You take credsticks, I pressume?"
"Either that or gold coins. To dangerous otherwise."
Isaint nodded and handed over the agreed upon fee.
"One last thing: Don't leave by the main door. There is a faster way out here and the guys on guard are part of my network - less paperwork if you catch my drift..."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: obidancer on <03-06-17/1546:57>
Deckard made himself comfortable in the huge first class seat. He put on the provided AR Glove and was already swiping through all the options available on the flight. He wasn't used to such luxury and though Robyn was like a fish in the water, he was like a child in a toy department.

Hey, Rick?  Not blowing my own horn or anything and I have no idea if you are interested in that sort of thing, but check out the classical selection, instrumentals section, about seven selections down.  The title is "Robyn Lysander does the Cello Classics" It was one of my better recordings.  I think I will go listen to myself for a bit.

After your performance Below I wonder what can be a better piece, I'm definitely going to listen to that!

And he did. And that was beautiful. He had eclectic taste of music but classical usually wasn't his first choice. But Robyn Lysander had definitely a way to transmit emotions through her instrument. He gave her an approval nod and enjoyed the piece.

Everything was just going too perfectly. Let's see, depart London 8PM arrives in NYC around 11PM Local time, a three hours lay over would be plenty enough to go through Custom, and get some leg stretch. Another 6h flight would make them arrive a bit before dawn. Deckard loved Seattle in the early hours of the morning; when the Shadows dissipates, the cleaning drones washing the night away, Cafes and Bodegas starting to open doors for the early workers or late after-party goers and traffic has yet to built up.

Until he heard the news. Problem with the connection flight, rebooking done in the afternoon... Welcome to Manhattan, Inc! Deckard cursed under his breath. He had this love-hate relationship with the Big Apple, the officially Magic-dead sprawl, yet with more than half a million Awakens. NYC was huge, and strict. The constant check up point, colored passes, ever flying spy drones, a tough place to be for a SINless Runner. And that's what he was. Hopefully Robyn will manage to get them the VIP treatment and avoid all the hassle.

He was running through all the info the plane's matrix could give him on the City, and alas barely listened to the blind elf. All he heard was Waldorf, best hotel, comfortable, room, your call. Deckard gave her the OK sign while reading through the various local info he could find, and a short 'Sounds Good' answer.

Make sure they provide us with the right colored pass, the authorities won't care much for a lame missed connection excuse if we bear the wrong color.  

He looked through the window at the bright, shiny, city at night. It was a beautiful sight with a constant flow of motion and life. He looked anxiously at Robyn, she had a soft smile on her face, obviously unfazed by the news. He recalled their earlier conversation about having her in the team, he reckoned she was probably their best asset.   

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <03-06-17/1704:08>
[Thursday September 10th, 2076; Hat Island, Salish waters, of coast of Snohomish, Seattle Metroplex]

After lunch they'd gone out to one of the hangars and there she was, just as advertised. A big beautiful Fed-Boeing PBY-70 Catalina II. Al loved the way she looked like a real airplane, not one of these new-fangled contraptions the corp eggheads were turning out these days.

Al took his time looking her over, working the manuals, visually inspecting the control surfaces, and crawling down into the interiors of the amphibs. He plugged his Fairlight into the diagnostics, made sure there wasn't anything spoofing him, and ran through the checklist he'd downloaded earlier. Mordecai was interested for about fifteen minutes, but then paced and smoked. Dukwibol (damned injun name - Al went back to calling the guy Winslow in his mind) simply stood and smiled through the two-hour process, but Al knew the guy was doing other work on his headware the whole time.

"Looks good," Al finally said. "Let's talk money."

Winslow smiled. "Can we really do that without talking about licensing and registration?"

Al shared a look with Mordecai. "Well, Ducky baby, ol' Al was given ta unnerstand we might could dispense with such formalities, bein' out here in redskin territory."

Mordecai winced, but if Winslow took offense he did not show it. "I'll be frank, Al. You are right, those details don't have to be a problem. Of course, you'll run into problems anywhere else you try to go, but I'll assume you know that and have plans in place."

"Oh, I got papers. Reckon I'd like ya ta put the plane in one o' the names I give ya."

"Thank you for not insulting me with an intimation the papers are valid."

"Valid as money can buy, kemo sabe."

"I can do what you ask. I can also show you a dedicated flight path into and out of Puget Sound where you won't be asked too many questions. It won't exempt you from customs checks, however. It is a courtesty path for my clients, not a license to smuggle through Salish territory."

"Hell, I ain't done no smugglin' in ages."

"How about a place to berth her? Will she be based here in the Sound?"

"Heh, let's see if she comes back from this trip. Cross that bridge when we come to it."

"Fair enough. Throwing in a tank of fuel..." and they talked money for a while. Al came out of it much heavier in the purse than he'd expected, and didn't bother hiding his satisfaction.

"Yes, Al, it's a good deal. I don't think we've made any bones about the sort of work you do. The fact is, you're the sort of individual whose acquaintance I find useful. As is Mr. Sparks here. Call the deal an investment in positive future relations. There are a couple of catches, however, that come with that price."


"I need an assurance that you'll do nothing illegal with this aircraft anywhere in the Salish-Sidhe Council or the Seattle Metroplex."

Al shrugged. "Done."

"Sorry, I said assurances, not promises. The day may come when they are one and the same, but that day is not yet."

"Well if ya want Mordecai here, I doubt he'll go for it."

"Nothing as melodramatic as that. Merely a lock of your hair, cut by myself."

"Hooo-eee, Ducky baby, now who's askin' fer trust?"

"Well, Al Guthrie, don't you think I've earned a little, not informing the Italians of your presence here today?"

Now Al grinned, wolfish yellow teeth clenched around what was left of the afternoon's tenth Lucky Strike.

"Jist try not ta mess up my hunnerd-nuyen coif."

The aircraft dealer snipped a neat, two-inch lock of Al's sandy brown hair from the nape of his neck with an ornate pair of small silver scissors, depositing it into a plastic sample bag. "I'll look forward to returning this to you once we know each other better. When will you be taking possession?"

"Once my travellin' companions is assembled, Day. Two."

"Are you interested in adding armaments?"


"You are welcome to stay here while you await your companions. The house is for my family, but there is a room here in the hangar, and the chef would send your meals out."

Al thought about how annoying it would be if the mafs got a line on him here prior to Silk's run. And of some of the small things he was thinking of doing with the plane before they left.

"Sounds like a deal, Ducky, much obliged."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <03-07-17/0035:04>
[Friday September 11th, 2076;  New York Metroplex]

Robyn and Rick deplaned at the terminal and were met by some very apologetic and efficient staffers for British Airways who expedited them through customs.  They were told that the airline would comp them their room and a breakfast at the hotel plus lunch at the VIP lounge here on Saturday.  After all the luggage was gathered, they were whisked off to the hotel by private limousine, arriving at the Waldorf Astoria at just after midnight.  During the ride over, Robyn had sent out a message.  >>Team [Robyn]:  Rick and I are delayed in New York due to aircraft problems.  Current departure time is 1715, about fifteen hours later than originally planned.  We will keep you updated if things change.<<

They are welcomed at the hotel and given keys to the room.  Robyn had tipped the limo driver and the hotel doorman as they arrived and not the bellman as he rides the lift to their floor with them.  The bellman opens the door and graciously stands aside to allow Rick and Robyn to enter the room then follows in to point out the amenities before departing.  Robyn hangs her garment bag in the closet and stretches out on the single king size bed in the room.  "Rick, do you take the right side or the left side?"  She removes the grey jacket and begins unbuttoning the blouse, revealing that she is not wearing any sort of a bra as she takes it off and lays it across one of the chairs.  She is unzipping her skirt when she notices that Rick is still dressed.  "I may be blind, Rick, but I can tell that you are still dressed.  I do hope that you are not planning on coming to bed like that."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <03-07-17/0749:13>
[Thursday September 10th, 2076; Hat Island, Salish waters, of coast of Snohomish, Seattle Metroplex]
Putting people together with aircraft was what Winslow Flannery did every day; once they had agreed everything, then the cred was transferred and the registrations and other formalities were handled within minutes. By mid-Thursday afternoon Al had already had the man express-order some components for some quick work he wanted to do, given Mordecai a kiss and a tender embrace goodbye (well, more like a quick handshake and a "Don't ever change, amigo"), and was lying on the spartan cot in the sea-hangar's small apartment.

He texted the team. <<Bird's ours. Babysitting it in a private compound, north side of Hat Island. Guy here's cool, but his family's here and he won't appreciate his home being our staging area. So best come out all together right before you're ready to take off. Give me a heads up on when that'll be and she'll be ready. Ferry service is pedestrian only, and just once a day. But this guys' got his own marina, so just let me know if you decide to all come out by boat, I'll set it up. It'll be a long flight, so bring food and beer.>>
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: obidancer on <03-07-17/1211:35>
Deckard started to get suspicious when the Bellman led the couple to the one room. But it's only when he saw the king size bed, that Robyn's words flashed back in his memory... where sentences made a bit more sense. Curse him for not paying attention.

But the woman had all his attention now, he embarrassingly couldn't stop starring at Robyn undressing. The fact the Keeb had a body to die for didn't help. 

"Rick, do you take the right side or the left side?"
No words came out of his opened mouth. It had been more than 5 months since a woman slept by his side, left or right mattered very little.

  "I may be blind, Rick, but I can tell that you are still dressed.  I do hope that you are not planning on coming to bed like that."
Again, no words came out of his mouth; he was pointing at different part of the room, trying to make sense of his clouded train of thoughts. ...Right... I .... euh.... I'm ... .... I'm gonna take off my contacts, probably jump in the shower for a bit... (cold, cold, he thought) ... heard New York Water is great... That didn't make sense, but not much in his head did at this  moment.
He stepped in the luxurious bathroom that only virtual reality was able to offer, though it was real here. He proceeded to indeed take off his contacts, jump out of his clothes and into the shower. Instinct decided against making it cold, and the hot water pouring down his neck and body felt good. But he had trouble clearing his mind. His wife, his love, his sadness, but also the lust, the lack of sex and the intimidating confidence of Robyn's sexuality and the sight of her quasi naked body, all meddled in his mind; as clouded as the bathroom was getting by the hot steam of the shower.

He pressed his hands on his neck and lifted his head to let the water splash his face. 
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <03-07-17/1703:16>
Isaint was just in the process of setting up shop when Al's message reached him:
<<That's good news. I'll take care to organize a boat and supplies - I hope you all like SotA foodprocessor food.
I'll hang around in the harbor area - a really charming part of Seattle just now three punks tried to rob me.
By the way, do you know a good dry cleaner in town?>>

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <03-07-17/1734:03>
[Thursday September 10th, 2076; Hat Island, Salish waters, of coast of Snohomish, Seattle Metroplex]

Al voice-to-texted back. <<A dry cleaner? I have honestly never even figured out what the holy hell that even means. How are ya s'posed ta git yer kit clean without even gittin' it wet? One more hippie invention meant ta circumvent the natural order o' things. Jist make sure your food contraption can make beer.>>

He tossed the link down in disgust. Then he picked it up again and shot off one more message. <<If it's yer armor yer lookin' ta take care of, Victor's Vintage & Venlar in Seattle Center. They's a mite metrosexual fer ol' Al's taste, but you tell 'em I sent ya, they know they shit.>>
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <03-07-17/2305:33>
[Saturday September 12th, 2076;  Waldorf Astoria Hotel  New York Metroplex]

Robyn listens to Rick as he goes to the bathroom and gets into the shower, smiling when she does not hear him lock the door.  She finishes stripping her own clothes off and walks quietly into the bathroom, greeted by a growing fog of steam.  The man in the shower is standing near the shower head with his face upturned into the water, deep in concentration and does not even realize that he is not alone until Robyn puts her arms about his waist and presses close to him.  She feels his body stiffen and she leans her head closer to his ear and whispers to him.  "Shhhhh.  It is OK, Rick.  It is OK to want this.  Just let it all go and let me be your therapy tonight.  She loved you, Rick, and she would not want you to grieve alone like this for the rest of your life.  Grieve, but live your life."

She holds her breath, hoping that he will turn and take her in his arms and make love to her
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <03-08-17/0242:04>
[Thursday September 10th, 2076; Hat Island, Salish waters, of coast of Snohomish, Seattle Metroplex]

Text sent, Al popped off the cot. The components he'd ordered - radar-absorbing panels, thermal-dampening materials, aural baffles - wouldn't be here until the next morning, but half the work was pre-installation so he'd best get started.

Anyway, it would give him a chance to spend some real quality time with his new girl.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <03-08-17/0519:19>
Isaint was about to reply with an explanation about non-water based solvents and their better evaporation but thought better of it. He was rewarded with a second message that actually solved his problem.
<<Thanks Al, I'll make sure to stock up for flight and return trip.>>

His high fashion armor was durable and chemical resistant, but blood and bile left a smell even if you cleaned them with water. That wouldn't do.
So he braved the Seattle traffic once more to get to Seattle Center.
It had been somewhat invigorating to get into such a relatively harmless fight - the thugs were only armed with knives and a lead pipe - but Isaint still felt bad about it. They lived, albeit with broken bones and teeth. Isaint knew perfectly well, that easy recourse to violence only led to more problems and yet its siren song was stronger than ever in his ear.
It was sobering to think that he now was a SINless who shouldn't and couldn't involve the legal authorities anymore to actually take care of such problems. He had broken the compact of society wherein he was entitled to shelter under the law and in turn gave up his own primacy of violence.

Those pseudo-philosophic thoughts went through his head while he waited for his coat to be cleaned. He also started the tutor soft to get his first flight lessons. As usual he planned to rely on instinct and quick reflexes more than actually rote learning.
When his coat came back he already had mastered the first ten lessons and decided to return to his hotel room so he could switch over to true VR training.
But first he had to make good on his promise. So he steered the car towards a small import market that according to their matrix site provided its customers with real Bavarian bear, although with a horrendous mark up. No matter - he certainly wouldn't brave the Pacific with what Stuffer Shack had to offer...
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <03-08-17/0935:46>
[Friday September 11th, 2076; Hat Island, Salish waters, of coast of Snohomish, Seattle Metroplex]

Al had returned to his cot late with a beer, and now was up with the dawn delivery. Four outhouse-sized rolls of what was basically radar-defeating cling wrap would be the first step. The thermal dampeners and aural baffles would arrive later today, and their installation was internal, so he could get started on the wrapping now.

It was great stuff - instead of affixing multiple layers of cumbersome plates, usually metal alternated with ferrite-rubber mixtures, he just had to apply the film. Sure, doing it correctly was harder than it sounded, and he needed to reprogram a couple of the hangar's loading drones to manhandle the huge rolls around for him. But it was still a huge time saver - polyvinyl chloride dip-coated in a uniform mixture of rare earth lanthanum nitrate-doped amorphous carbon nanotubes. If that sounded expensive, well, it was. But all the best hobbies were expensive at some point in the process.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <03-09-17/0834:16>
[Friday September 11th, 2076; University District, Downtown Seattle]

Silk wandered through the crowds of students out enjoying a rare burst of early autumnal sunshine.  There was little she could do now other than wait for the runners to arrive in Seattle so that they could begin.  Her gear was packed and Gossamer would monitor her information network if for some reason Silk was unable to for the next week or so, being underwater for example. 

She had nagging doubts about this whole misadventure…it was one thing to trust her Gift to give her insight into the future, but here she was going to try and manipulate that future and the course of events.  There was a certain amount of hubris in that but then what was the point in just being a passive observer?  This test would be the last one before the Choir accepted her as one of their own and she knew that her misgivings were mostly about her own fears rather than real doubts in this course.  The threads were woven… Aria had long ago persuaded her along the path that lead here…she was a master manipulator under that benign child persona that she wore…but this was also what Silk wanted.  The truth, finally, about the death of her mother and the attacks on Stillwater.  She owed so many…

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <03-09-17/0859:07>
[Saturday September 11th, 2076; Harbor District, Seattle]

The morning mist drifted across the water as Isaint unloaded the second pallet from the back of the Gopher into the hold of the small boat. The fiberglass body had seen better days and if it hadn't been for the discreet and cheap conditions, he would have passed on it. As it was, it would only have to endure one trip. He made sure to tie up everything into one large bundle - just in case he had to levitate it from a sinking ship.
If it wasn't such a relatively slow movement, he would have been tempted to ferry the pallets by themselves through the air.
As it was, he had made sure everything was waterproof wrapped up and sealed.

He closed the hold and locked up. As an added measure he threw the old tarp back over the even older boat.

Satisfied, he mentally opened a chat window: <<@Silk, Rick and Robyn: I've rented a boat to get us to the plane. Do you want me to fetch you from the airport/where ever you are or are you making your own way to the plane?>>

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: obidancer on <03-10-17/0022:58>
[Saturday September 12th, 2076;  Waldorf Astoria Hotel  New York Metroplex]

Robyn listens to Rick as he goes to the bathroom and gets into the shower, smiling when she does not hear him lock the door.  She finishes stripping her own clothes off and walks quietly into the bathroom, greeted by a growing fog of steam.  The man in the shower is standing near the shower head with his face upturned into the water, deep in concentration and does not even realize that he is not alone until Robyn puts her arms about his waist and presses close to him.  She feels his body stiffen and she leans her head closer to his ear and whispers to him.  "Shhhhh.  It is OK, Rick.  It is OK to want this.  Just let it all go and let me be your therapy tonight.  She loved you, Rick, and she would not want you to grieve alone like this for the rest of your life.  Grieve, but live your life."

She holds her breath, hoping that he will turn and take her in his arms and make love to her
Deckard felt the soft touch of Robyn's breast against his back her arms on his waist . He exhaled whatever air he had left. He turned.

Water was pouring over the two bodies. He looked at her and with a gentle gesture, moved some hair strands around her pointy ear and away from her face. He smiled at her, not too sure what she could see and make of it. He kissed her forehead very gently, oblivious to what was happening to him below his waist.

I admire your determination. And you speak the truth. She loved me and would want me to live my life to the fullest.

Robyn was certainly waiting for the embrace now. But Deckard simply asked her: Turn around.

A towel was floating in the air as if held opened by two invisible hands. With a touch of a button the shower stopped, and the towel came wrapping the elf's gorgeous body. The Magician wasn't missing a bit, staring unashamed at her magnificent backside curves. As the "hands" were drying her he grabbed a fluffy bathrobe and wrapped her inside this time.

I need you. You will be my therapy indeed, we may just save the sexual fulfillment for later...

Part of him knew he was just an idiot for wasting the opportunity, but another, the one that felt right, knew that it would make the whole run much easier if feelings didn't interfere, including purely physical ones.   

He grabbed a towel too to cover himself, and led Robyn back into the bedroom as he carried her onto the bed. He snuggled next to her, making sure both were comfortable.
He extended his hand and from the coat on the chair came flying his commlink, stopping neatly in his palm... He pulled out a datacable that he offered to Robyn.

Here, plug yourself in. I want to show you something.

While Rick going through his file swiping on the tactile screen of the commlink seem old aged and slow for a Decker like Robyn, it didn't tale too long to reach the data he wanted.

His face changed at the sight. Here. This is Cara.

Deckard started going through pictures and stories about his defunct wife. He was brief on how they met, but that was still too long. He managed to get Robyn's attention back when he started to talk about who she was... her street name was Noelle. She was a Technomancer.
Noelle had been a notorious name on the London Matrix scene. Robyn didn't know -though could easily suspect- that Noelle was a Technomancer, but the name was indeed very familiar to her.

As he continued his story, he mentioned how she suddenly got really sick. How no Magic was able to cure her, nor traditional medicine. How he had been forced to borrow big money with the Russian Vory, and how, when all hope was lost, EVO stepped in, locked themselves in for four days and when came out she was dead. No even a chance to say goodbye. 
He also mentioned his suspicion about the link between EVO and the Vory. Sasha, his creditor, always had bragged about having info on what happened to Cara. But it could just be a ruse to keep Deckard on the leash. The fact that they were now headed to an EVO complex, on the other side of the world...  well, a coincidence that seemed to only happen in novels.

Deckard fell asleep swiping through images of his wife, with a hot half naked keeb in his arm next to him...
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <03-10-17/0144:52>
In the shower, Robyn's mind flashed.  **Another failed seduction. Might be time to retire.  All of the men I am really interested in are interested in me, but not enough to sleep with me.  This is not an ego boost.**  It is different to have the magic hands dry her off and Her heart patters a bit when Rick picks her up and carries her to the bed.  By this time, she has already resigned herself to not getting laid tonight.  **Why is it that Rick and Al both share the idea that sex with team members is taboo.  Frag, I bet ISaint feels the same way.  I just need to get all three of them in a room after this is over and shag all of them.**

Still, she appreciates that Rick is willing to open up about his wife and settles with him on the bed as he goes all stoneage on her with a swipe device.  Then her heart stops beating.  She has to force herself to breathe as Rick moves through the pictures and tells stories about his wife.  **Noelle.  Why the frag did it have to be her?  Poor Rick.**  He did not appear to notice anything amiss and kept talking about her.  Robyn is pretty sure by the tone of his voice and the the way his pulse and breathing were going that this was something he had not done much since his wife died.  She closes her eyes for a few moments when he discusses his suspicions about EVO and the Vory.  When Rick fell asleep, Robyn takes the device and continues swiping, looking at every image he has of her, and there were many.  It is obvious that they were very much in love.  When she is done, she scrolls back up to the one he had paused the longest on and places the 'link beside him on the bed as she quietly slips out of it.

Robyn dresses swiftly and sits in the chair across from the bed, dropping into her real world.  On the matrix, she flits back to London as fast as thought and burrows into several hosts for which she has special privileges.  She uses her access rights to gather information not normally available.  When her presence is ultimately detected by the spiders, her avatar flashes one security badge or another and is left alone.  One file is kept behind a door even she does not have direct access to and she wastes no time waking up the man who does have it, dragging him to the data banks and coercing the file from him.  All is done and she is back in her meat body in less than an hour.

She leaves the room and goes down to the main floor lobby to sit in the lounge, taking coffee from the pretty waitress, barely noticing the look of desire the woman gives her.  Her mind is gathering the information she had gathered and putting it into what she hopes in a cogent form.  Once it is all together, she hesitates at the trigger point then hits the internal transmit button, sending a text message to Rick.

>>Rick [Robyn]:  I am down in the lounge.  I have arranged for you to be awakened in a bit and for our cases to be brought down by the porter staff.  Please read all of the below message and look at the attachments, especially the second one, before coming down.  I hope that you will still want to travel with me, but I will understand if the pain is too great.

Rick, I knew your wife.  I was with her when she died.  I am a skilled surgeon and have assisted in many operations that have saved lives.  And a handful where I was unable to do just that.  The first attachment is the official death certificate for Noelle, for Cara.  You can see that the presiding physician was Dr. Carl Greenway, one of the greatest doctors I have ever had the privilege of working beside.  I signed as the attending neurosurgeon.  Rick, EVO brought both of us in to see if we could save your wife.  I am not sure why they went to the expense of having Dr. Greenway and myself drawn from where we were.  Carl was in Berlin at the time.  We did everything we could, but everything failed.  I failed your wife and I failed you.  Whatever disease she had was already claiming her by the time we arrived.  We did stabilize her for a bit and even had some hope that we could reverse the effects, but that was in vain.  I did the very best I could, but............fuck..........but it was not enough.  It was just not enough.  However, she was stable and conscious for about an hour.  In that time she made a short video for you.  You did not mention receiving it so I went looking for it while you were sleeping.  The video file had been lost in a box and never delivered.  The way it was stored implied to me that it was there by accident, not design.  I convinced the man who controls the files now to let you have this.  The second attachment to this message is that video.  The third attachment is the video in a format that I modified to last much longer than the original.  Please download both and hear your wife tell you how much she loved you and see the truth of that in her eyes.

I have a couple more comments that might help explain why I left the room.  You saw me naked, yet did not comment on the tattoos I have that circle my upper arms.  Rick, these are Vory tats and are given out only to members held in high esteem.  I have been Vory since shortly after I was born.  I swore a loyalty oath to the Vory and recite the words on my arms every day of my life.  There are indeed some very bad men in the Vory, hard and cruel men.  But not everyone is hard and cruel.  It gets worse, well, worse depending on your point of view, I guess.  I am also EVO and have been since I was born.  My father worked for the company that eventually became EVO and I have been the recipient of the love, protection, and guidance provided by EVO over the years.  I could tell that your opinion of both EVO and the Vory is not high and wanted to give you a chance to digest this information about me before you come down.  I hope that you can still see me as a partner and team member, despite my shortcomings.  It might be silly of me, but I also hope that I can collect on that raincheck you gave me earlier.  Your friend, Robyn Lysander.<<
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <03-10-17/1715:59>
[Friday September 11th, 2076; Hat Island, Salish waters, of coast of Snohomish, Seattle Metroplex]

Al had finished wrapping the plane in radar-absorbing film, installing the aural baffles, and calibrating the thermal dampers. It was a bit after eight. Waves were lapping gently at the rocks below the picnic table that sat on a slab of concrete outside the giant hangar he was borrowing. All around was dark, and the Amerinds took their air quality seriously, so the stars were bright and plentiful in ways most Seattleites went their whole lives never dreaming of. In front of him was a huge pile of Alaskan king crab legs his host had flown in fresh from corp-protected waters off the Tsimshian coast. Reminded Al not to generalize regarding the natives' love for the land, which in turn gave him  the opportunity to congratulate himself on his own enlightened understanding of human nature. He cracked a shell and eased the white meat out, dipped it in the dish of butter sauce held in a metal frame above a candle to keep it warm. Thought about what he could still do with his new toy if he had more time when, as if the Good Lord had heard his thoughts, his comm chirped. Alyce would be another day, held up in New York.

He supposed he'd better acknowledge the message, just to be professional. Big mistake. Seemed someone was worried about surviving in the ocean if they crashed. First of all, they woudn't crash. Second, if they did, they wouldn't have much cause to worry about maritime survival. All of which arguments were met with inarguable common sense. Yeah, they should have something in place in case they got shot down by the Papua New Guinea Air Force or some shit. But it was just so boring. And here he'd been thinking about beefing up the ECM or souping up the engines.

He ended the brief exchange with a final <<You sure you should even be on this job?>>

Then he got his brain back on task, and by the time he'd finished mentally complimenting Ducky's chef, he was texting his host with another rush parts order.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: obidancer on <03-11-17/0157:27>
Deckard came down to the Lounge  of the Waldorf. He was wearing his black turtleneck and his coat, just like Robyn had last saw him two months ago, on their last run together. The glasses he was wearing did gave him a more sophisticated look now that the lenses were clear. He approached Robyn typing on his commlink and as it happened, his lenses were darkening. It was to hide the redness of his eyes, sign he had been crying not long ago.

He rubbed Robyn's shoulder to notify her of his presence, and let himself fall in the comfortable looking lounging chair left in front of the Blind Keeb. He was looking away, taking in the decor, the mood, the moment. In his hand, he was flipping a silver coin in between his fingers, maybe a sign of anxiousness.

Though I usually bash luxurious living, I must say I slept quite well and deeply. That bed was good! He said casually.  He finally turned to look at her. Morning was a little rougher emotionally, but I can't thank you enough for the recording. He leaned over the small table to get closer to Robyn and, as he lowered his voice, continued: As for your personal message, I apologize for not recognizing the Tattoo, I guess my eyes were directed at different part of your body, and I need to look at perfecting my underworld knowledge. But look we all got our baggage and demons. We wouldn't be doing what we do without them. But let's get this straight. Under other circumstances, you could have been dead by now. Most of us runners ain't fans of Corp SINners, even less those embracing it. But don't worry, I've seen you in action, I know what you are capable of and where you loyalty lies in the Team. Let's just pretend I know nothing about it ok?

He stopped a second to order an espresso.

New York has always been special. It's is funny what destiny does when it has something in mind for you...  That layover was a turning point in my life, I thank you for being a part of it. Now, forgive me if your connections wont change my doubts about EVO and the Vories, but rest assured you, Robyn Lysander, have my full confidence and approval.    He gave her his most sincere smile and welcomed the arrival of his order.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <03-11-17/0748:09>
Having received a positive reply from Rick, Isaint made his way to the airport, paid the exorbitant fee to park his car and then got on to the waiting lounge. He was two hours to early, but since everything was prepared on his end and he already had checked out of the hotel, he really didn't have anywhere else to be. So instead he took one of the traveler cabins to go full VR and continue his pilot training.
Helped by the expensive software and his natural ability to quickly soak up new skills, he felt confident to soon be able to act as back-up pilot.

Tutorsoft: Instruction Tutorsoft R4 ( 8d6t5 3
Reducing training time by 3 days for Rating 1 skill = 0 (-2) days and 1 Karma

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <03-11-17/1226:17>
[Saturday September 12th, 2076;  Waldorf Astoria Hotel  New York Metroplex]

Robyn laughed.  "Some things you do not have to worry about.  I do not have a SIN attached to either EVO or the Vory.  I am a highly valued asset to both organizations, but I work independently of their direct control.  I do, however,  owe them loyalty for what they have done for me and our relationship remains strong and if it were not, I could not have brought you that vid of Cara.  On that, I am sorry that I failed to save her life, but I am glad that I was able to stabilize her long enough to tell you goodbye.  She loved you very much and you are a lucky man to have had even a bit of that sort of love."  In a softer voice not necessarily meant to be heard, but probably was, she says, "And she was a lucky woman to have had your love."

She feels herself misting up and rises.  "Excuse me for a minutes, please.  I need to use the loo.  I will be back soon.  Our ride to the airport will be here in thirty minutes."

Thirty-two minutes later, Alyce and Rick are in a limousine, headed back to airport.  They receive ISaint's message and Rick responds to it and soon they are back in the air, headed for Seattle.  Once seated and the aircraft in the air, she turns to face Rick.  "You might be tired of my playing after yesterday, but if not, four lines below the recording you heard yesterday is another one of mine.  I composed it after we returned from Below and I named it "Requiem for Below.  It is the finest work I have ever done, which might be crap to you if you hate cello music, but there are also some vocals in it and my singing voice is quite good, believe it or not.  It is a long piece, ostensibly about our foray Below and the defeat of the demon, but you could say that it really is about life, love, loss, and eventual triumph of spirit over adversity.  I do not think that I shall ever write something as good or play it and sing it as well.  The recording is from an impromptu concert I gave in the park across from my book shop.  Listen if you like and let me know what you think."

She jacks in and settles back after dialing up the selection and listens to her opus magnus.  The song has never failed to bring tears to her eyes and this time is no different from any other.  She makes no attempt to wipe at the tears, knowing that more will follow , until the piece is over.  She smiles to herself as she finishes.  She had really made that old wooden cello sing..

On arrival, the two contact ISaint and make their way to where he is waiting.  Alyce excuses herself and leaves Rick to go meet ISaint alone as she makes a stop at the baggage counter and picks up a large case that has been waiting here for her.  She snaps the carrying handle up and rolls the advanced medkit out of the area and to the airport lounge to meet the guys.  "Hello, ISaint.  Long time, you are a sight for sore eyes.  I hope that you have room for the medkit."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <03-11-17/1624:09>
[Saturday September 12th, 2076; Hat Island, Salish waters, of coast of Snohomish, Seattle Metroplex]

The crates were outside the hangar by the time Al woke up on Saturday. He'd ordered some reference materials and it was going to be a big job. One ejection seat, installation was rated at four hours. He wanted to put in six in ten or less. Sweat of your brow, that's what it said in the Good Book.

Each one - pilot, co-pilot, and two each port and starboard in the passenger area - had a parachute, natch, plus a one-man survival bubble set to self-deploy on contact with any more water than a wading pool.

Normally, he liked to work with a beer in one hand and a cigarette between his teeth. And with most jobs that wasn't a problem. This one, though, well, man worked for a living, he guessed. Besides, after this it was blue skies and sandy beaches. Little diving. Easiest job ever, so he supposed he could skip lunch for one day.

When the staff from the house brought his apple-glazed pork roast and mashed potatoes, they tasted especially good as he sat in the cargo bay looking at his handiwork.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: obidancer on <03-11-17/2034:02>
Deckard gladly listened to Robyn "masterpiece", curious about her high review of it. And damn she was right. It hit him even more than he had lived those events and each piece brought back some every specific memories. Was it on purpose or not he couldn't tell, but she had definitely managed to bring the essence of their adventure and turn it into an epic tale, that, through her art, would live forever. A tear came down as well. The second the today, and both time the Blind Elf had been responsible. He grabbed her hand, and remained silent for the rest of the ride, sharing with her his appreciation of the beautiful piece of music. A Masterpiece.

The flight to Seattle was uneventful, and the arcane bounty hunter made a note to self to travel first class whenever he would have the chance now!

Upon arrival Robyn excused herself and Rick went on to meet with ISaint. Knowing too well recognizing him could be tricky, nature of the man, he switched to Astral Sight entering the waiting area, and scanned around. Here he was, in all his might. He revert back to normal sight and went to greet the way too human looking Ork, his friend.

It has been a while, friend. Glad to see in good shape. He said as he extended his arms open, ready to grab on his hand or arm, whatever would come first. Of course Deckard had decided to not mention anything about the dark shade he saw in ISaint's Aura.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <03-12-17/0812:10>
Isaint grinned behind his bushy beard that he had grown for the occasion - looking like a mixture between Santa and a ZZ-Top member.
"Great to see you both whole and sound - that Otherworld business really did a number on me. But for now I'm on top of my game. Get your gear and follow me, I've rented a large pick-up and a small boat, so we are ready to join Al directly."
Without missing a beat, Isaint picked up once of Alice heavier pieces of luggage and led towards the parking garage.

Once they were underway he said: "I hope you had a refreshing time and as much holidays as you could cram in. Because I've got a feeling that we won't get much of that on this mission.
Silk hasn't called back, so I assume she makes her own way to our new airplane. It will need a name, any suggestions?
Personally, I'm partial to "Seraphim". Or maybe, since it's a Catalina, we'll simply call it "Cat"... or "Lina"..."

He trailed off.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: obidancer on <03-12-17/1251:30>
The Otherworld did a number on everyone it seemed. Deckard had seen the mark on ISaint's aura. The Mage had also had some side effect following their ordeal... He had occasional uncontrollable episodes of shaking of his hands. He couldn't tell if that was just a stress issue, or some side effect to channeling spirits inside of him. Of course the sight of  a powerful horror capable of destroying his world could have some impact on his mental health, the unsteady hands being just a sign of his failing mental health...

But now was not the time to bother with those concerns. There was no tremors for now and they were gonna head toward some beautiful paradise islands in the middle of the oceans. ISaint ruined it a bit when he mentioned there will be to time for rest there, but in Deckard's chaotic world, everyday had it's own rule and planning.

A name for the plane... let see... Robyn, what was the name of your masterpiece we listen to in the ride to the airport?
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <03-12-17/1919:16>
Robyn had let ISaint be the gentleman and hands him the oversize medkit that she had had shipped to the airport for pickup.  Other than that, she is only carrying one garment bag and an overnight case for other essentials a woman requires for travel.  She climbs into the rear of the large, two-seat truck and settles into the seat.  "Hey, ISaint, do you think we could stop off at a shop on the way?  I need to pick up some cigarettes.  Something about not being allowed to carry more than a couple of packs on an international flight."

Robyn blushes a bit when Rick talks about her music, but is very glad to hear that he liked it.  "I named it Requiem for Below.  That might be a bit too long for the name of an airplane.  Maybe simply Requiem?" 
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: obidancer on <03-12-17/2035:05>
Deckard pondered about it for a second. "Requiem"... an interesting take on it...
Al is putting his heart into that plane; He seems to have been spending the last 48h entirely on the ship, I feel if anyone, he should be the one naming her.

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <03-12-17/2352:36>
Robyn smiles.  "I agree entirely..  Oh, and just so you guys know, I am deathly afraid of being on open water by myself, so please don't leave me all by myself on the boat if we are out of sight of land."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <03-13-17/0836:11>
[Saturday September 12th, 2076; Hat Island, Salish waters, of coast of Snohomish, Seattle Metroplex]

Work complete and dinner done, Al set about repeating his pre-flight check. Everyone was in Seattle now, and apparently heading out to the island tonight. He assumed that meant they also wanted to take off tonight, so he'd be ready. Hopefully they brought enough provisions.

Everything checked out. Of course he'd done the equivalent of this check and more before paying for the plane, but with all the work he'd been doing on it, the inspection needed doing again.

He sent Isaint the docking instructions and then went to his cot. It was a bit of a trip up along the length of the Metroplex to the island, and he outght to catch some zzz's if he could. Of course it was probably a waste of time to try, but it wasn't as if he had anything else to do.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <03-13-17/0913:58>
"Deathly afraid of water? You know, it's a little late for that now - especially once we go down in a bathysphere. But don't worry. We have a new plane, Rick can conjure up spirits that can control the weather, we both can levitate through telekinesis, Al just informed us that he installed top notch safety and rescue systems and on the whole we are to pretty to die." Isaint replied with a smirk.

The truck reached the boat and Isaint demonstrated this improved proficiency with telekinesis by uncovering, loading and finally boarding the little boat purely by magic. He gave the truck's pilot the command to return to the rental place, paid the fare and unlatched the boat.
Al's directions were already in the boat's dog brain and all it took was a simple command to get them going.
By now the boat laid quite low in the water, but thankfully the sea wasn't particularly rough.
"Captain Isaint welcomes you on this pleasure cruise. Keep your appendages inside the boat at all times and enjoy the ride."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <03-13-17/1036:05>
Alyce thanks ISaint for his concern.  "I am fine as long as there are other people on the boat.  It is just being alone that freaks the bloody hell out of me."

At the pier, Alyce goes to the convenience store just around the corner and buys as many cartons of Lucky Strikes as she can before returning in time to see the last of the gear stowed.  She smiles as she boards the boat and takes a seat.  Once seated, she pulls a metal book from her purse and opens it to where a red cloth book mark denotes where she had stopped last.  Her fingers begin to roam across the page, feeling the raised Braille characters.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: obidancer on <03-13-17/1139:43>
ISaint had pretty well summed up what Deckard felt about the security of the trip. Knowing one of his Water Elemental could appear and intervene with a thought was comforting. All Rick said was: Don't worry, we'll be there.

He watched with pride as ISaint demonstrated his increased abilities to levitate objects. He first wanted to help, but seeing how the Ork was handling it, he just stayed on the side and watched.

You'll make your teacher proud! if you continue at this rate you may steal my titles.

I must say you too have inspired me since we left Below. I've never been an expert at illusions outside of creating pure chaos, and pretending I'm smart, but I've been working on it. Look.

The Mage closed his eyes and let the ambient Mana penetrate him. He felt the warmth of his Power Focus on his chest and with his mind molded the magic energies around his Aura.

ISaint could have sworn he heard the croak of raven and when he looked at Deckard, Al was there instead! The rugged face, burnt fingers, and the musky ashy smell of cold cigarettes were all there.

I'd be curious to see how well this will register on Robyn's sensors, he added as Al's face was giving its best smile.  But let's spare the girl some harsh reaction for now.

The magician dropped the spell, and was cleaning the Astral space of traces of the spell when Robyn returned.


Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <03-13-17/1152:25>
Isaint laughed loud and booming. "Rick, you are a genius. That will solve a lot of problems with our infiltration. Promise me you do that trick with Al, pretending to be a mirror."

When Robyn had returned with her coffin nails and started to read her book, he found time to ask her: "You learned Braille? I thought you could read everything with your sensors?
Do you mind teaching me? I try to learn every new language I come across."

With his link he sent a message to Al: "We are on our way, shouldn't be more than an hour now. All supplies are ready."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <03-13-17/1308:03>
[Saturday September 12th, 2076; Hat Island, Salish waters, of coast of Snohomish, Seattle Metroplex]

Al got the message just as he might have almost had a chance at drifting off. He voice-texted back: <<She's all prettied up an' ready ta go. I'll let the marina guy know yer ETA.>>

He got up and walked down to the old marina to shoot the breeze with the old guy that took care of the small facility. As they chatted about the boats Ducky had there, Al tapped in a thank you to his host for the hospitality. He hadn't been expecting a reply, but twenty minutes later Winslow "call me Dukwibol" Flannery was pulling up a third folding deck chair and chatting alongside them.

Al thanked him face to face for all his help, and the men shook hands. "All part of the business, Al. Let me know if you need a permanent home for your plane."

"Will do, kemo sabe," Al had replied with zero sense of irony. He opened another beer and that was where his co-workers saw him as Isaint tossed the mooring line to the old marina guy.

"Well met, gentle squires, an' welcome ta Hat Island."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: obidancer on <03-14-17/0042:06>
Deckard and ISaint shared a good laugh and it was good to be able to do so. For sure the run was going to get more serious, but the team had yet to really brief on the challenges they will really be facing.

While Robyn read, Deckard got busy digging into the bag he had checked in at the airport and take out the various pieces of his Ruger Super Warhawk. He reassembled them easily thanks to the incorporated mechanical breakdown the gun had been enhanced with, and made sure it was all working fine. The weapon - a gift from his dad - was his most prized possession. Though not the most talented shooter around, he had trained for many years with it. And though he could knock down a man with a simple blast of kinetic energy, the gun had the ability to install instant fear or cautious in those on the opposite side of the barrel. Deckard loved just feeling the weight of the weapons in his coat's holster; like a reassuring presence. Almost knowing his dad was by his side in every run.

The uneventful ride brought them to some private pier. He tried to not make a full of himself disembarking - he could be quite clumsy sometimes - and let the old marina guy assist Robyn out of the boat - though he knew she needed none.

The Mage greeted Al and the Tribe business man.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <03-14-17/0153:54>
Robyn looks up from the book and faces in ISaint's direction.  "I learned Braille shortly after I was blinded and I find that it is useful to keep my hand in, so to speak.  Actually, Pride and Prejudice is my favorite story ever and I could recite it from memory, but this particular book was made especially for me by a man I admired very much.  I read it by Braille more to hear his voice in my mind than for any other reason.  I can try to teach you some Braille if you like, when we are finished here.  I was just thinking on the plane coming over here with Rick that we might try to have a party or something after.  Provided we have time, that is.  I am glad that Iris and Jackhammer will be cared for.  Is there any good news on their prognosis?"

Robyn is equally happy to talk to either man or read her book.  The trip is short and God has seen fir to have her arrive safely.  Of course, she had doubled the odds by praying to the Loa totem around her neck as a sort of extra insurance.  Her sensors pick up Al waiting for the boat before it docks and she smiles as her insides turn over just knowing that he is here.  Still, it is business, not pleasure, and she manages to wave at him as a man helps her disembark instead of racing up to hi.  She puts the book away and takes up her garment bag and overnighter in one hand and her medkit in the other and walks up the pier.  "Hello, Al.  I missed you."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <03-14-17/0900:24>
Isaint nodded and replied: "Certainly.
Irris and Jackhammer... there is no way to tell if or when they come out of there state. Jackhammer is still screaming in his sleep and otherwise delusional. Irris is catatonic. Pater Thomas said it could take years just as likely as they could snap out of it from one moment to the other. But there is no way of knowing if they'll ever come back. Despite all our knowledge, the mind is still a deep mystery."

When the boat had finally reached it's destination, Isaint made sure to unload it quickly and sent it on its way.
But not before he greeted Al with a firm handshake. "Hi Al, you look... well, I wanted to say good, but it looks like you pulled an all-nighter. But I see you have put the funds to good use.
Mind giving us a tour? We can move the gear inside and I can dig out the keg so you don't die of thrist."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <03-14-17/0911:24>
"Well, they ain't no percentage in that, though I'll allow it's natural," he replied to Robyn. "But I am always glad ta see ya." He then greeted Rick and Isaint, and turned to indicate Flannery. The guy had taken good care of him, and clearly was interested in all the shadow connections he could get.

"Keg sounds good, though thanks ta this here feller I ain't lacked fer refreshment. Gentlemen, lady," he began, leaving it to his co-workers to mention their names if they wished, "This here's Winslow Flannery." He used the man's public name. "He's been kind enough to let me use his facilities last coupla days, so it's thanks ta him our bird's all ready ta go. Hell, soon's we git 'er loaded we can be floats up."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <03-14-17/1722:45>
"Pleased to meet you Mr. Flannery. My name's Isaint, at your service."

Turning to the supplies he said: "Well, no time like the present, excuse me."
Isaint bent at the knees, gripped the pallet at both sides and began to heave, slowly and carefully, changing his grip and carrying it overhead towards the plane.
For Rick it was quite obvious that Isaint had once again used levitation, but it kind of looked impressive if a bit unrealistic - especially as Isaint began to stop walking after a bit and instead hung under the pallet, dragging his feet.

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <03-14-17/2359:25>
Robyn shakes her head at ISaint's show of prodigious strength.  Falling in beside Al, she asks, "How have you been?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <03-15-17/0559:27>
"Better'n I've any right ta be," Al answered. "Done a lot o' work onna Ferrari. Don't reckon ya seen that one yet."

Situated hard on the marina, their little group came almost immediately to the large sea hangar Al had been using. A quick comm command and the cargo doors rolled up, allowing them to transit their cargo in smoothly. Inside, a cement ramp sloped down one edge of the space directly to a broad, heavy gangplank connecting to the Catalina's wide side doors.

The plane was a large four-engine prop, light in the water at the moment. It was either pale blue, gray, or sea green, depending on how the light caught it before hitting the naked eye - the coatings Al had used defied a static color scheme. Ushering them inside, they walked through the spartan aft cargo space and forward into the equally bare-bones and much smaller passenger compartment, which was just behind the cockpit. The place was all hard and functional - corrugated aluminum alloy flooring with no other interior finish, the space enclosed by the fiberglass hull, adorned only by squarish HVAC ducts and heavy bundles of wiring stapled into place. There had once been plasboard walls, but Al had had to cut it all away to install the exit ports for the four ejection seats that now filled the space, two on each side.

Al quickly ran everyone through the ejection seats - securing, triggering, and water deployment - then went on back to make sure the loads were properly tied down.

"So we waitin' fer Silky, or she gittin' there on 'er own?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <03-15-17/0859:21>
[Saturday September 12th, 2076; Hat Island, Pugget Sound]

Silk exulted in the feel of the nimble high tech craft under her as she bounced through the waves in the sealed bubble of the Wave Strider.  She appreciated the irony of using the target’s own inventions against them…

She was travelling light, intending to pick up additional equipment as needed in Tonga.  One bag contained a couple of changes of summery clothes and her deck, the other some assorted electronics, her staff and the matched pair of machine pistols.  The latter had been rearmed with shock rounds and a cocktail of narc and dmso rounds rather than the normal armour piercing sabots.  Finally she was wearing her stealth suit, the masking electronics currently deactivated.

She messaged the team to warn them of her arrival

<<Sorry I’ve been out of touch, some last minute things had to be resolved…I’ll be with you in ten minutes. S. >>

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <03-15-17/2251:41>
Saturday September 12th, 2076; Hat Island, Pugget Sound

Robyn makes sure that she knows where the buttons are then stows her garment bag and overnighter where All shows her to.  "Oh, Al.  I brought several cartons of fags with me.  I was not sure if you had been able to restock out here."

She looks around.  "Are we taking off as soon as Silk gets here?  If so, I think I need to use the loo before we take off.  Did you leave one on this thing while you were ripping things out?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: obidancer on <03-15-17/2306:52>
Deckard was looking at the plane in awe, not because it was a particularly fancy plane, on the contrary, but because it was theirs to use! Al had kindly returned Rick's money. If the other had put a lot of money into it, it would make sense that Al would end up the owner of the ship. Deckard was very fine with that. He trusted his teammates

The inside of the plane was calling for a tough few days. It was certainly not the BA First class Robyn had treated him with. He threw his duffel bag into one of the seat, and helped securing the rest of the cargo.

So, Al. We've all been wondering... What's going to be her name?
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <03-16-17/0736:39>
Isaint looked around the interior and nodded appreciatively. Say what you want about Al, but the guy knows how to build - and fast at that.

To Robyn he said: "The washroom, or Head as it's called, is back there. Toilet paper is in the small container over there with the other hygiene articles. Use it sparingly. Doing plumber work two kilometers up in the air is no fun at all, or so I've heard."

When Silk finally arrived, he grinned: "Nice to finally meet you in person. Maybe we can get your water moped in too. Could be quite useful to have available."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <03-16-17/0830:46>
Al thanked Alyce warmly for he cigarettes, then answered Rick. "Don't usually christen 'em till they survive they shakeout run, but Snakehandler'll do, less anyone else's got an idear."

He called back: "Silky baby, glad ya can make it. I was about ta git onna horn an' call ya." He was laughing at his own words as he went into the cockpit and started firing the bird up. Headphones on, he called back on the intercom, "Secure the hatch. Floats up in five. We got a long trip ahead."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <03-16-17/1006:20>
Robyn laughs at ISaint's remark.  "Not to worry.  I will be careful."  She uses the bathroom in the hanger then returns to the aircraft and sits in a seat.  She buckles in and pulls out her book.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <03-16-17/1043:34>
Al hit the remote on the hangar doors, nudged the throttle, and felt the weight of the plane surge inexorably toward the open water. It was a great feeling, better than he'd imagined, and certainly superior to anything his brothers' simulator had offered.

Once outside, there were two lines of orange buoys marking the 'runway' and he made for those. The take-off went without a hitch, and even before he reached altitude he was adjusting his course for the free-transit route out of the Sound that Flannery had given him. He'd checked the weather earlier, and nothing had changed.

Inside the plane, it was surprising quiet, as the sound baffles he'd installed worked both ways. Still, it was fun to play captain, and he keyed the intercom again: "Feel free ta move about the cabin. I'll remind y'all that this is a smoking flight, and any attempt ta deactivate anyone's cigarettes is a violation of natural law. Other'n that, enjoy the flight.  An' how 'bout that take off, hey, kemo sabes? Pretty good fer a first try, hey?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <03-16-17/1822:10>
"Good job, but I'll keep the final verdict for when we land again." Isaint had taken place on the co-pilot seat and had logged on the pilot system. Over the intercom he said: <<Alright folks, flight plan is delivered, next stop Hawaii - have a boring flight everyone.>>

That done, Isaint leaned back to watch the plane gain altitude, stretching out in the generous room the aircraft provided.
"Jepp, that's the way to travel alright. Al if you need some shut eye, me and the autopilot can look after things here. I'm sure Robyn can't wait for you to lay down your head in her lap so she can braid your hair." Isaint said with only the mildest trace of mockery in his voice.

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <03-17-17/0105:06>
Robyn settles into her seat and pulls a cigarette from a pack she takes from her purse.  She pulls her cigarette lighter out and flicks it.  Or, rather, tries to flick it.  She shifts it to the other hand and flicks it to light, putting the flame to her cigarette while she flexes her the fingers of her right hand, hoping that the cabin light is dim enough that no one saw what had just happened.  She takes a few drags and laughs at ISaint's joke.  "I rather think that Al might just find fault with that action, my friend.  He might look cute in braids, though, now that you mention it?  What about it, Al?   You up for a make over?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: obidancer on <03-17-17/0238:17>
Deckard took off his coat and sat down in one of the seat, trying to get comfortable for the long ride to come.
The mood was good, and their Johnson was actually riding along.

He opened a bag of chips and carefreely let Al take the plane to cruising altitude. On our way back from Tonga, maybe we should stop by Hawaii again and spend a few days there to enjoy what the islands have to offer! How long is that ride going to be?

He knew he would have plenty of time to practice some of his Magic and rest too, but for now, somebody had to do it: He got up, went to the cargo bay to dig a bit into the containers ISaint had brought, and grabbed five beers. He came back and passed them along. Not that I want to start any sort of festivities, but let's raise one for Captain Al, for getting the Snakehandler up and ready in such a short time.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <03-17-17/0250:08>
Robyn smiles at Rick as he comes up and hands her a beer.  She clinks bottles and takes a swig.  "Indeed, to Cap'n Al.  Let's hope that the landing is as smooth as the takeoff.  Will we be in Hawaii for long or just to refuel?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <03-17-17/0510:25>
"Ideally, we'll only stay two hours to check the plane and refuel. Depending on the wind we'll be there within 24 hours.
And yeah, a little vacation afterwards certainly won't go amiss - although I hear that Hawaii has a little problem with the local vampire variety. Might be an interesting diversion."
He took the beer from Rick with a nod and took a small sip to get rid of the foam before continuing the toast: "And to you all who made this fine ride possible. Cheers."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <03-17-17/0840:00>
Al did nothing to disabuse his comrades of their assumptions about himself and Alyce. She'd be a prize, no question, so if they wanted to jump to conclusions, not really a problem. Nothing new, really. People had always taken his alpha-male status as a given.

He left the autopilot on, went back to join the others, and said, "Well, ya know that bein' a teetotaler at heart I am gen'rally loathe ta imbibe the devil's nectar when operatin' heavy machinery, but I guess this bein' a moment o' great import..." and he joined them in a toast.

A bit later, before returning to the pilot's seat, he spoke briefly to Isaint and anyone that happened to be listening - "If'n Hawaii's no more'n a pit stop, I got no neverminds. But if we's lookin' to pick up toys between here an' the job, Honolulu alone'll be a bigger market than Tonga an' ever'thin' in a thousand miles of it."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: obidancer on <03-18-17/1509:16>
Deckard was all ears when ISaint mentioned the Vampire of Hawai'i. Hunting Undead had been his specialty as a Bounty Hunter, reminding the time he had met iSaint for the first time in Belgium. But he had no bounty, and wasting resources for the sake of it wouldn't smart for the run.
The problem I see, as far as equipment, is we'll really know what we need once we see what it will take getting into the Aqualogy. Unless Silk you have intel that we could use now?
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <03-19-17/0521:44>
"Yeah, I've to the essentials with me although I probably won't take APDS with me into a one atmosphere underwater facility - if we can smuggle anything down there at all..."
Isaint added.

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <03-19-17/1224:16>
Robyn lights another cigarette, this time with no hesitation.  "So, do we have a plan?  Are we extracting this guy or interviewing him on site?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <03-19-17/1259:57>
"Ideally, I'd like to interrogate him somewhere safe - for us that is. But if Silk is satisfied with a quick and dirty rubberhosing, it would be enough to ambush him in his living quarters."
Isaint shrugged.
"Really, without plans, schedules and other background info it's really hard to formulate anything beyond "we'll wing it" I'm afraid."
Isaint had put on his ballistic mask with the respirator to escape the smoke. At that rate the first thing he'd need in Tonga would be a dry cleaner.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <03-19-17/1306:15>
Robyn notices ISaint's discomfort and blushes.  "God, I am sorry.  I was not thinking."  She quickly pinches the cigarette out and puts the remnant back in the pack then stows the pack in her purse.  "Winging it has been an acceptable tactic for a long time.  After all, many plans seem to fall apart when we confront the enemy."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: obidancer on <03-20-17/2340:33>
Deckard lounged on the seat with both hands behind his neck and his feet up on the seat on front of him.

 Yup, now that's my kind of plan!

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <03-21-17/0800:47>
Silk relaxed with the others, accepting a beer despite her natural inclinations, but didn't try and interfere with the group dynamics. This was their team and she was a passing guest, or worse an interfering J along for the ride. There would be time enough for real planning once they saw how the land lay in Tonga...
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <03-21-17/1707:18>
Isaint nodded: "So we'll do this happy go lucky for the moment. In that case let me fast forward a bit."
He stood up to pace a bit through the cabin, enjoying the ability to move freely. He had taken of the coat and now was getting rid of the jacket as well as his shoes. Slowly he sunk down in the Lotus position and began to empty his mind to enter the meditative state his patron had taught him. Although his eyes were closed he still could sense the people around him. His heartbeat began to slow as well as his breathing until they were nearly imperceptible.
By now he had entered this state every day for almost two months and it no longer posed a challenge to come back out of it at a moments notice. It wasn't exactly a meditation - on some level he was still very aware of his surroundings. Somehow all non-essential processes in his body were shut down together with his higher functions, leaving only simple instinct to look after him. In this state time didn't seem to exist - seconds and hours felt the same, no thirst nor sleepiness nor errant thoughts.
Isaint was pretty sure that this was as close to oblivion you could get without dying.

The alert from his commlink made him leave the meditation, as the GPS notified him that they were only minutes away from the Island of Maui.
"Did I miss anything important?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <03-21-17/1847:43>
Up in the pilot's seat, the stubble on Al's face was nearly a day longer.

"Well, them rations ya brought done game ol' Al some historic fuckin' flatulence, so ya missed out on that show. Otherwise just blue below an' blue above. Found us a nice, low-traffic marina offers aviation fuel. Short drive ta Hana, ya wanna do any shoppin'."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <03-21-17/2231:40>
Robyn shakes her head as she stretches.  "No thanks, Al.  I think I will walk about some and stretch my legs, though.  We're only here for a short stay, right?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <03-23-17/1537:47>
"Yeah, fill up the tanks, replace supplies if necessary and then get on with it.
Alright Al, I'll take the co-pilot seat. Together, I'm sure we'll land this bird without ripping off the swimmers and somersault the plane."

Isaint got up and drudged into the cockpit. He felt refreshed - as usual - especially since he didn't have to face any of his usual dreams.

Teamwork Check for Al: Piloting Airplane:
Piloting Teamwork ( 10d6t5 4 [10d6t5=5, 4, 6, 3, 5, 5, 4, 4, 2, 1]

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <03-24-17/1828:08>
"Well damn, kemo sabe, din't know you was a pilot. But teamwork do make the dream work."

Using a stabilized approach, Al had set the trim and speed thirty minutes earlier, so there wasn't much to do but be steady on the descent - he'd been dropping a hundred feet a minute for the past hour, so they were already close to the landing threshold - until the moment they hit the water. Then he gave Isaint the nod to drop the flaps in sequence as he scaled back the power.

"Smooth as a gallon o' buttermilk goin' through a hound dog."

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <03-25-17/1606:01>
Robyn nods as the plane makes the landing.  "Nice job, you two.  As smooth a landing as any I have ever had.  Say, Al, if we are keeping Snakehandler, I could improve the dock at my house in Cornwall to take it.  What do you say?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <03-25-17/1801:18>
"Damnit woman, how many homes do you have anyway?"
Isaint called out in mock outrage.
"Alright, now that we are alive and well after the first landing, you can enjoy the sunshine, while I try to get this gasguzzler filled up."

Isaint stood up, made sure he was dressed again and went out to find the gas station attendant.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <03-25-17/1812:54>
Al thought about Alyce's offer as Isaint talked about gas. He was already planning on using Ducky's place in Seattle - just a matter of working out a fee. But for England - the thing would be a pain in the ass on the Thames for three reasons he could think of off the top of his head. Besides, as far as he knew, none of his companions knew where he currently lived, and he wanted to keep it that way - not for operational security, just for privacy.

"Well, since ya said ya was keepin' yer stake, makes sense. I'll wanna keep 'er outta the weather, have place to work on 'er. I'd pay fer that, but hangar like that'd be a bit of an eyesore off yer front porch."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <03-25-17/1910:33>
Robyn laughs at ISaint.  "A couple.  I would love to have you come down to Cornwall for a visit.  I have several guest rooms there.  The place is right off the moor, overlooking the Channel.  There are some walking paths into the moor and the village is only a few minutes away."

She listens to Al then shakes her head.  "You would not see it from the front porch, Al.  The water is about 200 feet below the house and over the cliff, remember?  I have had the lift repaired and it goes down to that dock and boathouse that are set in the cove below the house.  I am thinking that we could expand the boathouse as there is plenty of room there in the cove.  You should come out some time and give your opinion and I can have some people out to start the work.  I want to expand the garage area to include a helipad and workshop so I can purchase a helicopter to get to and from London faster than the train without needing to charter one each time.  I was thinking of a Hughes Stallion.. I know it seems a bit large for my needs, but if we ever need to lift the team somewhere, along with some cargo, it might be useful. If I bought something with some things installed beyond the basics, would you be able to add some more extras to get it to what I would like?"

Robyn steps gingerly off the plane and walks about a bit to stretch her legs and goes to use the station's bathroom to freshen up a bit.

*** 31***
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <03-25-17/2029:57>
"Well, one step at a time. Like I done told Flannery, fiirst let's see if she's in one piece come the end o' this here vacation. Then, since some o' y'all won't let ol' Al buy ya out, reckon we'll have ta..." and here he paused to swallow down the tedium of it all " about it, make sure ever'one agrees. Damn, startin' ta sound like more work'n it's worth already."

With Isaint arranging the refuel, he got out and did a circuit of the plane, covering the preflight essentials before they took off again.

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <03-25-17/2147:50>
Robyn finishes her tasks in the bathroom and returns to the area of the plane.  She finds a seat far enough away from the refueling operation and sits on a bench, pulling out and lighting a cigarette.  She faces out over the water and lets the time go by as she contemplates how her life is going.  >>Grace [Alyce]:  Hey there.  Miss you like hell.  Trip is good so far and I am well, even if I cannot tell you where I am.  I hope that your classes are going well.  Gem and Lyd tell me they like you a lot, which is a real blessing.  I will come up to Cambridge after I get home and see all three of you.  Ta.<<
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: obidancer on <03-26-17/2307:11>
The team had a long time to kill now. Deckard offered Al to keep eye of the navigation while he gets some shut eye, but the older man refused. So the Magician decided to get started with testing his new abilities. If his learning proved true, he would be able to have his spells sustain themselves. What he needed first was to cast a powerful spell that would prove hard to dispel or weaken.
He shaped the Mana surrounding him, pulling on his strength, but not to his satisfaction. He tried again, building a more powerful spell, one that would make many Magician happy. He was dizzy and his body was aching, but he dropped the spell. It was gonna be a long flight.
He rested a few hours. The process repeated, each time he was able to cast a more powerful spell until he finally shaped the biggest one he reckon he could before hurting himself too seriously.

He kept the spell active and kept manipulating it with his new found technique. And quickly the spell was now sustaining itself, fed by its own power.

Deckard let go a loud yes, excited by what he just did, and looking forward to sharing his prowess with his companions. But ISaint was in his meditation mode. Robyn had been quiet on her seat; he couldn't tell from where he was if she was reading, asleep or jacked online. She was definitely unresponsive though. And Al was in the cockpit. The small place was now fogged by the smoke of his cigarettes. It was better not to go disturb the man.

So he decided to try to Quicken another spell. This time he knew the best way to get the full extend of his power would be to get some help. He called on his newly bound Water Elemental, and asked for his assistance in the casting of the spell. And everything went much more smoothly. He cast a powerful spell, didn't feel its strain and managed to quicken it. 

He thanked his Elemental and stood up. His whole world felt different, slower, controllable. He felt like he was on drugs, but without any side effects. The beauty of Magic.

Satisfied with himself, he went back to his seat. The rest of the flight was mostly spend running the video Robyn gave him of his wife on her death bed. Her last words to him.  He dimmed the shade of his glasses, as tears were filling his eyes. Not that his companions were paying attention, but just in case.

Then he slept, and again, a totally dreamless sleep, like his mind had blocked that feature, maybe to protect itself. He woke up to ISaint offering Al a hand for the landing.


When Deckard stepped out, he took a deep breath, taking in the sun and the fresh air.  He wished they would stay there a bit longer, he could use some tanning.

[spoiler]Increase Reflexes F8 ( 18d6t5 3
Drain DV8 ( 15d6t5 6 2 stun
Increase Reflexes F8 ( 18d6t5 4 re-try
Drain DV8 ( 15d6t5 4 6 stun
Natural healing ( 8d6t5 0 6stun 1h
Natural healing ( 8d6t5 3 3 stun 2h
Natural healing ( 8d6t5 1 2 stun 3h
Increase Reflexes F8 ( 18d6t5 5 re-try
Drain DV8 ( 15d6t5 6 5 stun
Natural healing ( 8d6t5 2 3 stun 4h
Natural healing ( 8d6t5 3 0 stun 5h
Increase Reflexes F8 ( 18d6t5 9 Limit 8
Quicken Spell with 1 karma
Drain DV8 ( 15d6t5 6 2 stun
Natural healing ( 8d6t5 2 0 stun 6h

Deflection F8 + Spirit Aid ( 30d6t5 12 Limit 8
Quicken spell with 1 karma
Drain DV7 ( 15d6t5 7 0 stun
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <03-27-17/0227:17>
After a while on the bench, two of Robyn's flying eyes pick up Rick's movements as he walks about.  She hesitates a moment then rises from her seat and walks over to him.  "Hey, I hope that I am not interrupting?  I might be very presumptuous and please tell me to leave it if you want to, but I was wondering if you want to talk?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <03-27-17/0758:52>
Al cpmpleted his abbreviated walk-around at about the same time the refuel was complete, at which point they were technically ready to go.

But several of his coworkers were still stretching their legs, and he'd never been to Hawaii before. Plus he saw a shack perched at the top of the beach with a sign that said Peanut Bruddah and Jelly's International House of Spam, and his fate was sealed.

The place turned out to be as small on the inside as it had looked from the outside, the interior dimly lit and festooned with wilting leis - minus the pretty girl to put them over your head.

There were no other customers, only a fat, bewhiskered old islander sweating in front of an overworked air conditioner. Of course Al ordered spam and pineapple. With beer.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <03-27-17/0822:24>
It hadn't been a problem to find fuel. It just seemed as if the small ork boy - nominally in charge since there was no sign of his parents or the owner - hadn't been doing this job for too long... or at all before.
The fuel nozzle had to weigh almost as much as the boy and the last time the hose real had been oiled must have been sometime in the early fifties.
Looking on for a minute, Isaint's impatience and pity won over him letting the boy show pride in his work.

Finally, the pump started and by the time the extended range tanks were full, it sounded suspiciously as if the stations underground tank was about to run dry. Transferring the fuel fee likely provided in one hour as much revenue for the small station as it made in a normal week.

Isaint had taken off his clothes to let them air out a bit from the cigarette smoke. But now he couldn't put them on again since he smelled like a small refinery. So he decided to take a short shower in the plane, while his chummers enjoyed the break. After all they could fill up the used freshwater while they were here. 
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: obidancer on <03-27-17/2256:44>
Deckard offered Robyn his best smile even if the elf couldn't directly see it. Interrupting? Oh no! I was gonna get some shaved ice for everyone, to cool down for a second and enjoy the weather. Why don't you come along? What is it you wan to talk about?
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: obidancer on <03-27-17/2322:01>
Robyn Lysander
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <03-27-17/2359:54>
Al didn't know for sure, but he doubted this place had an AR menu. No paper ones either - just a smudged listing of items on an old blackboard hung over the window to what passed for a kitchen but was more like a dusty back room with a hot plate, microwave, piles of dirty pots and pans, and a couple of big coolers. Al's mouth watered.

After the man slapped Al's spam and pineapple onto a tin plate, he returned to the exact same spot he'd started at.

The food was impossibly good. Al congratulated himself on his democratic palate.

"Tell ya what, Tonto, I been livin' on freeze-dried Vitasoy all the way from Seattle, an' this here is some fine cuisine. So whyn't ya gimme that there Pu Pu Burger ta boot, an' I'll jist hope it's nothin' like what it sounds like. Reckon, when in Paradise right?"

The man contemplated a spot on the wall until Al was just about to repeat himself, then rose with a creak and started taking things out of coolers. As he prepared the order, Al tried again. "Helluva place ya got here. You Peanut Brudder or Jelly?"

If the man heard him, he gave no sign. Deaf or surly, it made no difference to Al. He suspected this was not the person that had named the place. Nor the one to lavish it with flowers...a couple of weeks ago, anyway.

Undeterred, Al began to talk about his favorite subject, himself....
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <03-28-17/0259:24>
"Shaved ice?  Sounds bloody delightful.  I will join you, thank you."  Robyn falls in with Rick, walking alongside him as he heads off to the snack shack just off the pier.  She chuckles a bit.  "I am not actually certain what I want to talk about.  I always seem to put my foot in mu mouth whenever I try to talk to Al, so I guess I am afraid of doing the same with you.  But I am a good listener.  Do you wish to talk to me about how you met the woman you would marry?  Some of the good things that you might like to share?  If not, I will understand, but......................."  She lets her voice trail off and walks silently for a bit.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <03-28-17/0639:36>
"So McGillicutty, he looks at the corpse, thinks fer a tick, an' turns ta Chuck - oh, hey, ya know Chuck's a squaw? Short fer N'gozichukwuka. Shoulda started with 'er full name, so ya'd know from the get-go she's a broad - never known many skirts could handle an RPG, but Chuck..."

Al had been regaling his new friend for the last fifteen minutes, but his corpse-in-rusty-chains voice had thus far elicited nary a grunt nor a twitch from his stolid audience. All that was about to change.

"Anyhoo, Mac looks at the stiff, then looks over at Chuck - all frowny an' dour as usual, not completely unlike yerself, Hawaiian kemo sabe - an Mac says in his deep fuckin' Scottish brogue, 'Ya know Chuck lass, thass not a knife...that's a bleedin' banana.'"

Al gave it about two seconds to sink in, and the Peanut Brudder and Jelly's International House of Spam cook erupted into a cataclysm of mirth. Fell off his upturned plastic milk crate and onto the greasy floor. Laughed until his couldn't breathe - just the way Chuck had - and Al joined him, hoots and guffaws echoing off the carnation-laden wood plank walls.

When they finally calmed down, the fat islander got up and came to the counter with two cold beers. Stuck out a meaty hand. "Haoa."

"Well haoa back at ya. That's g'bye an' hello both, right?"

"It's my name, haole."

"Alrighty, then, pleased ta meet ya, Haoa. Alouicious Harlan Guthrie, esquire, at yer service."

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <03-28-17/0843:56>
[Sunday September 13th, 2076; Somewhere over the Pacific, en-route to Tonga]

Thanks to the miracles of satellite communications arrays and a sleep regulator Silk was able to spend most of the flight monitoring her network of informants, data mines, matrix monitors, and runners.  It wasn’t that Gossamer wasn’t quite capable in her absence but she liked to feel the ebb and flow of intel, let it flow over her and allow her geneware enhanced cognitive function and her Gift to highlight any significant patterns or discrepancies that might point to the activities of the foe…and there were a few of the latter which she flagged for further investigation…

It wouldn’t be long now, and so she sent her feelers ahead of them, whispering into the limited Tonga shadow networks…it was obviously too damn sunny to illicit much shadow work…or too small.  This was a long way outside of her normal web of contacts, most of those were in Seattle or Europe,  but the principles were the same, know who to talk to, what they wanted, and let the bargaining begin.  She was the first to admit she was no Face, but she was a damn good listener…
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <03-28-17/0932:11>
"That your big da kine just in, Alouicious?"

"More'n it's anyone's. Jist passin' through."

"So you be passin' back?"

"Man's path's a circle, Tonto. Jist never know the arc. Eventually, yessir, reckon I'll be back."

"Rajah dat, brah. Dat time comes...."

They talked a while longer, and when Al left he had a commcode. "Small world, brah. Whatever da kine you need, put you in touch," Haoa had assured him.

"Aloha, Haoa."

"Shoots den, Al."

Stepping from the ill-lit hut into the tropical sun, Al squinted out of habit again. He still wasn't used to the upgraded eyes taking care of that for him. Down closer to the plane, he saw Alyce and Rick emerge from a small structure carrying what looked suspiciously like snow cones.

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <03-28-17/1012:40>
Isaint left the small bathroom wearing only shorts - and his latest face, short trimmed full beard with slightly pudgy cheeks and a strong chin.
Silk was entranced in whatever activity she pursued and didn't notice him leaving the plane again.

Stepping outside his torso shone like a beacon with it's whiteness - in stark contrast to his tanned neck and forearms. To much time wearing armored clothing and to little time spend lying beside swimming pools. The shadows of the scars on his torso showed up in this light like faint charcoal drawings of a particularly untalented artist.

Seeing Al come back from the little shack further up the hill and Robyn and Rick munching on ice he called out: "Plane's filled up. So anytime you are ready, we can get back up and away."

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <03-29-17/0735:15>
"Born ready, boss. Why lollygag here, when our destination's the white sandy beaches o' Tonga? Floats up in five."

He found his way back onto the plane, strapped in, and donned the headset. The engines kicked over on the first caress of the throttle, and he idled there until he got the all aboard signal.

Fifteen minutes later they were at altitude for the second leg of their long flight. Al was already thinking of azure waters, drinks with little umbrellas in them, and beaches where fit tourist women wore next to nothing on their corporate gym-toned bodies.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <03-29-17/0902:09>
Robyn is as comfortable talking about nothing as anything, or remaining silent.  Long experience with Al has taught her that and she jest walks with Rick to the ice cone shop and back.  He will talk if he wants to and rushing things will not help.  Back at the plane, she steps aboard and opens a small cold pack and offers a cone of shaved ice to Silk then ISaint and Al.  "We got enough for everyone."  Robyn takes her seat and buckles in, ready for the second leg of the trip.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <03-30-17/1810:30>
Al helped himself to a red one with a 'Thank ye kindly." `He liked all the red flavors. Cherry, strawberry, raspberry. He couldn't tell which this was. Basically it was 'red' flavor. Which was just fine with him. It was cold, and that was better than a sharp stick in the eye on a scorcher like today. Hell, Isaint had already stripped to his shorts. But then his kind had less natural dignity. Al did sling his jacket over the back of his seat before putting his booted feet comfortably up on the instrument panel. There was nothing there he needed to pay much attention to anyway.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <03-31-17/1223:37>
[Sunday September 13th, 2076; Somewhere over the Pacific, en-route to Tonga]

Sometime towards the end of the flight Silk got up and disappeared in to the bathroom with her small luggage.  Moments later she returned in a strappy summer dress and a slightly different face, the synthmask making her look like an older, harder version of herself…

“My mother’s face” she muttered tersely to nobody in particular

Settling back into the seat she proceeded to stare out of the window at the azure waters looming towards them…
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <03-31-17/2025:38>
Al was back in the main cabin looking for more beer when Silk 2.0 emerged from the head, and muttered her explanatory comment.

After she shut down any possible questioning by aiming her face out a window, Al did his best to be tactful, and congratulated himself on making it a full thirty-six seconds. Then he said, "Okay Silky baby, that jist a blast from the past? Memorial tribute, like? Or some sorta psych warfare play? I mean, this guy offed yer ma, he knows he done it, right? So if this new look's part o' some Ghost-o'-Christmas-Past master plan, ya thinkin' o' cluin' us in? Cuz someone jist might see us comin' this way...."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <03-31-17/2330:18>
Robyn manages to catch some sleep on the leg out of Hawaii but wakes up when Al comes through the cabin and begins talking to Silk.  She remains quiet, waiting to hear the answer.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <04-01-17/0500:36>
Isaint had refrained from meditating again, he was fresh filled up and could now go for about a week without needing sleep.
Silk's appearance hadn't alarmed him at first - it was subtle enough to fool facial recognition which he approved. Learning that it was her mother's face he couldn't help but feel a bit creeped out.
"Not to be disrespectful, but wouldn't wearing that face tipp off our target? Or do you think that she is no longer listed within the databanks?"

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <04-03-17/1031:36>
Robyn chuckles.  "Someone would have to be very good indeed to completely erase anyone's presence from the data bases on the matrix.  There are many nooks and crannies where information lives on, even after the most effective wipers are used.  It is possible, though, to removes it from the obvious and hard to find spots, just not everywhere."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <04-04-17/0530:42>
[Sunday September 13th, 2076; Somewhere over the Pacific, en-route to Tonga]
Silk frowned “I am not going to deliberately sabotage operational security on a whim…the Pattern isn’t clear but in all my readings, my mother has to be there or this will go badly wrong for everyone, this is the best way I can think of unless you can come up with something else? …I don’t know why this should be the case, but to reassure you somewhat, Balefire’s digital profile was managed by Aria and if anyone can ferret out unwanted data it is her, although the Resonance never forgets... 
Once we approach the target I’ll be in a stealth suit and as far as I know Monarch never met his runners in person, preferring to meet in the matrix, so there’s a significant probability that he has never seen my mum.
I know this all sounds a little vague, and depending on your view on divinations maybe even a little implausible, but they have led me here to this time and place more than any in depth matrix trawling or info from my network…”
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <04-04-17/0711:59>
Isaint shrugged: "Eh, you are paying, you are the boss. As long as your mom wasn't listed with a mugshot as an internationally wanted terrorist we should probably be good.

Right, since we are going to improvise anyway, here are the three steps I see as necessary:
1) Find out everything we can about the operation and a compelling reason for us to legally visit this aquacology
2) Find identities/connections in Tonga that can get us in
3) Have an escape plan and a back up ready. I'm thinking a boat and if necessary hard shell diving suits."

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <04-04-17/1015:55>
[Sunday September 13th, 2076; Somewhere over the Pacific, en-route to Tonga]

Robyn considers what ISaint has said and nods.  "Nice summary.  Perhaps we can use my connections to London General.  I would not need to hide my identity and might either wait for an invitation to visit the medical facility there or could ask for a tour as I happen to be in Tonga on a well deserved holiday?  As I understand, the facility is EVO and I have very good relations with that corporation and might even wrangle a visit through it.  That would take care of the legal invite for me and perhaps a friend, leaving us only needing to get the rest of us there.  Would that work?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <04-04-17/1054:43>
"It could, but it could also land you in very hot water if things go sideways. In general I'd avoid going into a corp facility with anything even resembling my own identity.
I know you are rather cavalier with your ties to the corporate world, but technically we are running here against Evo since they are providing the security here.
That said, if you can use those contacts to get us in unofficially, I'm all for it."
Isaint replied.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <04-05-17/0006:07>
Robyn smiles and chuckles.  "Unless you got some way to disguise a blind woman with a well known face, I am going to have a hard time being inconspicuous here.  I am not going to say everyone knows me, but all it will take is some good facial recog software and there I am.  Of course, I could try and fiddle the security system a bit, I suppose."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <04-05-17/0531:29>
"Actually, I'm quite handy with a disguise kit and do know a thing or two how to foil facial recognition. Even you being blind is no big problem - after all, you don't need a stick to navigate and you didn't bring your hound so that's also no problem. Silk even seems to have access to some really good disguise tec - I'm assuming nano-paste or some such - but if you are CFD conscious I'm sure I can help you out with latex and wigs.
If all else fails there is always Rick with his tricks."

Isaint made one of his pudgy cheeks wobble: "I'm so used to permanently wearing a different face that I actually feel naked if I don't appear somehow disguised in public. It may be paranoid, but on the whole I've had very little trouble over the years with people unexpectedly causing me trouble by recognizing me from a run."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <04-05-17/0954:32>
Robyn smiles again.  "Then I will let someone work their skill on me if you think that is the best option."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: obidancer on <04-06-17/1724:59>
And by that you mean changing your appearence, right?  Deckard asked to remove any innuendo from Robyn's comment, and lighten the mood.
I've developed some new abilities since our last run together. I should be able to magically alter the appearance of a couple of us. Of course it would be useful to check if they have Magical security in place and if so what it is and to what extend.

Deckard had the ability to see the past with his knowledge and mastery of Psychometry. He had heard of talented Diviners, another field of Metamagic studies. But divination through the Matrix was never heard of. He kept a grin on his face though; he liked the randomness of it. She saw it, it must be true. Can't blame the girl for believing.

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <04-07-17/0929:35>
(Dead) mother has to be there for things to go smoothly? Al shrugged. He knew Silk had bought heavily into the whole fortune-telling thing and was tight with the dredlocked Mr. Fate codger. Whatever. Satisfied now that she wasn't going to do anything precipitous, he went back up front with his beer. They were an hour out - it was time to start his descent.

Two blinks and a shake of a stick and it'd be all beaches and beverages. He wondered what sort of bikinis the girls had packed....
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <04-07-17/0956:26>
Robyn looks out the window as Al takes control of the plane.  Still nothing below but water, but that will soon change to sand and lush vegetation.  "Do we have any plans for when we arrive?  I can set up some hotel reservations if we like.  Perhaps we can have a planning session on the beach?
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <04-07-17/1103:06>
"First: Finding a base of operations. Hotel is fine, but I'd prefer a place where we are guaranteed unobserved.
Next we fill up this bird again. It's never a good idea to wait with refueling until you need to leave in a hurry.

Second, we take a look around the island to get a feeling for the place. I don't expect much of a runner scene, but I'm sure they have some kind of organized crime around here.

But before we do all that, I'd ask you to lay back and relax. I'll apply a basic disguise to fool any facial recognition software.

Rick, if you could assist me..."
Isaint began to root through is equipment and produced a small disguise kit.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <04-08-17/0519:59>
Robyn does as requested and tilts the seat back as far as it will go and lets Rick and ISaint work on her features.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <04-08-17/1626:34>
As the girls in the back played make-over, Al leaned into the cockpit's side window and gazed down. It was awfully blue. He'd never been this far south. And while most of his previous flying had also been over water, it was the darker-hued, more restless Gulf of Aztlan that had seen the majority of his flight hours. Cargo choppers. Big, unwieldy, and generally overloaded, those whirlybirds had made this fixed-wing-flying-at-altitude stuff seem like child's play. Sure, landing was a little different, but when the whole damned ocean was your airstrip, as opposed to a stamp-sized, wind-buffeted platform atop an oil rig, well, he'd done harder things.

Not to mention the passengers this time were, by comparison, a rather sedate lot. He remembered his last run out to UO57, packed to the stern with intoxicated tusker and round-eared whores and some foppish technodweeb that ran some sort of virtual casino single-handed. The crew of the rig had paid him handsomely for putting the party together...and then management had terminated his contract. Pussies. It had been for the best though - Hollywood had been beckoning. Too bad the Olamiposi - bound for the Canal - had headed unexpectedly back to West Africa....
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <04-09-17/1527:10>
The job was an ad hoc affair, but Isaint was confident that a casual facial recognition software would not be able to identify Robyn while to the human eye she didn't look particularly different. The trick lay in applying highlights and shadows in such a way that the machine misplaced the relevant markers. As a final measure, Isaint took one of Robyns shoes and glued a piece of cardboard under the left sole.
"There you go. You'll sway a bit more with your hips, but it should throw off any algorithm trying to match your gait to a data bank."

As the plane began it's descent, Isaint went back into cockpit to the co-pilot seat and concentrated on observing the instruments and soaking up details of operation.
The main island wasn't particularly big and the Snakehandler fitted right in with the other air crafts around. The public grid wasn't particularly fast around here, but showed basic functionality, so Isaint wouldn't complain.

He pushed the intercom button and said: "Alright folks, the first part of our journey comes to an end. Get ready for landing. We crossed the international date line, so we just lost a day. Time to get moving."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <04-10-17/0751:31>
No one seemed to have made a final decision on where they were staying, so Al went ahead and requested a berth at the marina of the nicest resort his own matrix search had come up with - the Grand Tongan. The fee had been nominal - they were counting on the fuel sales and hoping for guests - and the landing smooth. Per Isaint's instructions, once they were down he made the refueling his first order of business while the others sorted out the lodging arrangements.

Looking over the marina at the white sands, the beachside restaurants, designer pools, lavish accommodations, and scantily-clad vacationers, Al hoped they took his hint.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <04-11-17/1041:36>
Robyn thanked ISaint and Silk for doing her up.  "So, will this disguise stay good in the sun and heat?"

She watches the landing through her small window and smiles as Al touches down perfectly.  "Thank you for the perfect landing, Cap'n Al."  Once shoreside, she looks at the ARO for the location and nods her head.  "It looks like we have someone's opinion of where to stay.  There are rooms available, even a couple of large suites.  Yes or no?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <04-11-17/1135:27>
[Monday September 14th, 2076; Tonga]
The runners settled comfortably into a nice hotel on the edge of the marina, not the nicest certainly, it wasn’t worth drawing that much attention to themselves, but the air conditioning was working, the drinks equally cold and the security measures discrete.
“Well, we’re here…whilst I have a certain amount of sympathy with winging it there are some options that we need to discuss.  Social engineering is probably the best way in but that puts us in the spotlight when, sorry, if things go sideways.  Aquaologies are notoriously difficult to penetrate, no doubt why that bastard Monarch chose to hide there, and getting the keys handed over would certainly smooth the infiltration but my natural inclination is to get in and out without ever being detected.  Of course that’s easier said than done but it has the advantage of being faster and to the timetable we set rather than what we can wheedle out of some corp drone.  Or we try a combination of both methods…?
But this is your team and your run…I will assist where I can but I intend to follow orders on this one…”
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <04-12-17/0716:19>
Isaint had taken a seat close to the air condition unit and enjoyed a cool bottle of sparkling water. When Silk had spoken he nodded:
"Information is ammunition. And no - "when" is the correct phrase in this context.
Getting an invite into the Aquacology would be my prefered method of entry too. Alternatively we'd have to smuggle us in with supplies. That's both dangerous and uncomfortable.

So the first order should be finding information on who can issue invites, who organizes transport above sea level and then get close to these people and see what they want so that we can give it to them and get a trip into the deep in return.

Me and my agents can support Robyn with the matrix searches necessary. Al and Rick can go outside, enjoy the sunshine, ogle some bikini ladies and get the lay of the land on the Aquacology - so to speak."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <04-12-17/0804:26>
"Heh heh - oglin' one o' the things ol' Al does best."

He got up. Plopped back down on a bed next to Alyce and said, "This here slave driver lets ya outta the gulag, gimme a holler, we'll grab some grub."

Too hot to wear his heavy leather jacket, it dragged along the carpeted floor, hanging limply from two fingertips on his left hand as he made his way out of the big room..

As he left, he said to Rick: "Since yer apparently on oglin' duty as well, they's a bar close by the beach - Diver Pete's - looked popular with the locals onna way in, an' it's got changin' cabanas fer the sun an' swim lovers. Meet me down there in a bit, yer innerested. Thinkin' on some ways ta mix pleasure with a little bizness."

His own small room was nearby - he always made sure he had a bit of space to himself if at all possible - and he stopped there to grab some bits and bobs he thought he might need from his luggage. Then headed out into the blinding sun for Diver Pete's.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <04-13-17/0055:18>
Robyn nods at ISaint.  "Matrix duty it is.  But since I am going to be in VR, is there a reason I can't or should not do that on a lounge chair on the beach?  My ARO for the place indicates that the section of beach near Diver Pete's is clothing optional and I was thinking of working on my tan.  Any problem you can see?  Of course, one of the oglers might want to keep an eye on me once in a while so that they can text me to turn over."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <04-13-17/0431:54>
"Feel free to fry - I prefer the air conditioned hotel room - not least because I hate exposing myself in public and in both senses of the word.
But a fair warning: If strange men tell you that they'd like to invite you to come with them 10 out of 10 won't want to wait for a boat to bring them to a bathysphere to  bring you to an aquacology - you'd be lucky if they wanted to wait long enough to go to their hotel room with you."

Isaint made himself comfortable before he too went into VR. From his last outing his persona still looked like a hooded monk, as did the attending Agents.
Quickly he logged them into the local net and began organizing a Search by setting up a virtual library in which the Agents worked, while he began to scour the trix.

Matrix Search: Local crime
INT 7 + Skill 8 + Hotsim 2 + Teamwork Agents 6 - Obscure and Specialized 3
Browse and Ticker for 75% search time reduction
Matrix Search Hotsim ( 2320d6t5 5 4 [23d6t5=4, 5, 4, 2, 1, 3, 4, 2, 5, 2, 2, 4, 4, 5, 1, 1, 6, 1, 3, 1, 1, 4, 5]

Matrix Search: Aquacology Personal on Tonga
Matrix Search Hotsim ( 20d6t5 6 [20d6t5=4, 3, 3, 5, 2, 6, 1, 3, 6, 4, 3, 1, 2, 1, 2, 5, 3, 2, 5, 5]

It didn't take long to find out about the smugglers - they advertised their services enough that Isaint was sure they had bribed the local police. Or even more probably were one and the same. A local street doc seemed to offer quite high quality bioware, indicating that he had a supplier from the aquacology.
Isaint noted the address and sent it to his team mates: <<Dr. Hatcher, Seadrive 333, Bunker 3>>

From there it was just more tedious work to compare matrix logs and device traffic to identify one Jonathan Wernström who apparently was not only an Evo citizen but also traveled freely between the deep and Tonga as he was head of facility management and sanitation. It had taken three hours when Isaint send to his teammates: <<Potential corrupt link found: Jonathan Wernström might be able to get us in as janitorial help. According to my search he likes to party at the Bunga-Bunga Club.>>
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <04-13-17/0815:02>
Al got down to Diver Pete's to find that his initial quick assessment had, of course, been entirely correct. The clientele was a mix of Tongans and non-natives, but it was all corp. It was easy to see why when the first beer he ordered came complete with a twenty nuyen price tag. Sure-fire way to keep out the riff-raff. Well, it was good beer, and they were spending a fortune keeping the place cool, considering that it had no walls facing the beach. Which was fine with Al, since apparently the section nearest the place was clothing-optional. Most of the ladies kept their bottoms on, but it was still value-added on the view.

So he sipped his beer, ogled as directed by Isaint, and looked for Evo people. They were ridiculously easy to spot. Al didn't spend a lot of time around corp types, but they did love their branding. The ones in business attire all wore little lapel pins, lest their affiliation be in any doubt. The ones in casual wear sported Ts and other beach wear literally flashing neon with corp logos. He didn't want to think how gaudy their AR displays likely were. A lot even wore their photo ID/card keys on lanyards around their necks like badges of honor. Apparently MCT and Shiawase had healthy presences on the island. All human, their reps. The Evo contingent was large, and of course a lot more mixed - virtually all of the metas in the place bore the marks of the Japanese-cum-Russian mega. It was, truly, a target-rich environment.

Al also kept an eye out for Rick. He knew the guy might have other Satanist tasks to complete in preparation for the job, so he wasn't sure if he'd come down. But it was always nice to have a wingman, especially one he trusted. Not to mention the only other round-ear on the squad. Before he caught any sight of Rick, however, he was surprised to see Alyce. He'd thought she was stuck in the room, but of course she could do her matrix thing anywhere - and she rarely missed an opportunity to get naked. Despite Isaint and Rick's ministrations, she looked about the same, unless you knew her as well as Al did. But as she got comfortable in a chair, it was clear that her face was all they'd altered. There were plenty of undressed women around, but few that were unescorted, and her flawless elven figure turned a lot of heads. He could already spot guys getting ready to make their plays.

That was fine, the more distractions the easier his job would be. Once he got to work, he had the ID card off the first guy in about two seconds. Dan Freuhauer, Managing Director, Biodevelopment Systems. Seemed the higher up some douche was, the more eager he was to have his title on display. And judging by the two hotties the guy'd been talking to when Al took the card off of him, it was a tactic that worked around here. Just like everywhere.

Under a table, Al scanned the card's chip into his Fairlight. He'd tried just scanning people's cards from a distance, but they were set to require five seconds direct contact. Smart. The old fashioned way, however, sufficed. Within an hour, three men had approached Alyce and he'd collected, scanned, and safely returned seven managers' access cards. Reviewing the collected data, he saw that he now had access to what looked like some good chunks of the aqualogy, though it was hard to be sure without the schematics. Later he figured he'd compile the access codes' root algorithms into a master that could get into all these places, and maybe extrapolate the beginnings of more codes from that. He figured Alyce would be an ace at something like that.

Next he grabbed a mop - you could hang around anywhere pretty much invisibly if you had a mop - and loitered around the changing cabanas. Lots of people buying time in them, leaving their stuff - ALL their stuff, it being pretty hard to carry a commlink when you were naked - and hitting the beach. Well, to be fair, lots of them took tote bags, and others had their 'links implanted, or they had swim-friendly models. But within a couple of hours of picking locks he'd still managed to find and use a cable to rape and pillage the drives of four Evo-connected 'links. He'd review his booty later.

He was also keeping an eye on Alyce. By now he knew how she worked - even though her meat was senseless, she had all of her sensors feeding into her virtual world, allowing her to emerge from hot sim to interact when guys approached her. He had no doubt she was fine without him, but they were on the job, and he was mindful of her back.

And then Isaint sent him a text and he figured it might be time to move on to the Bunga-Bunga Club.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <04-13-17/1815:19>
Robyn slips into her bikini and puts on the robe provided by the hotel, leaving it untied.  Before leaving her room, she puts lilac colored contacts in to hide the dead white of her eyes, slips her feet into sandals, and puts some tanning oil in a large shoulder bag, along with a scarf in case she wants to tie back her hair later.  She has already checked the amenities provided at various locations around the hotel and the bar pool area provides towels to guests so she does not bother to take one with her.  Her sensors are in full scan mode as she walks to Diver Pete's so she has a pretty good picture of where people are.  At the pool, she notes that there are a number of people present wearing coded pass cards.  Smiling to herself, she finds a lounge chair in the sun and steps out of her sandals before languorously removing first the robe then her bikini top.  She sits on the lounger and digs the tanning oil out of her bag, rubbing it on in a manner pretty much guaranteed to garner some attention.  When done, she lies down and lets the sun do its part of the job and orders a fancy drink from the rather cute waiter that seems to materialize next to her.  Robyn had noted him earlier and determined that he seemed to be circulating mostly among the women at the pool area, which makes good sense for the bar.  He is very personable and Robyn notes that several of the women on the pool deck discreetly slip him something.  His name is Simon and she thanks him sweetly for the drink and sips at it before putting it on the small table next to her lounger.  She relaxes and lets the warm sun do its part of the job and slips into VR to do hers after making sure that her sensors are set to warn her if anyone approaches while she is out.

Hacking the pass cards takes care and time since she is leery of what sort of security might be installed on the chips in the cards and certainly does not want to tip her hand.   Adding to the difficulty are the interruptions by people coming up to her.  Robyn pulls herself out of VR and makes pleasant conversation for a few minutes each time, but is careful to not accept any of the several invitations to accompany one person or another back to their hotel room.  During the next couple of hours, she gets information on twelve EVO employees, four of whom might be useful.  >>Team [Robyn]:  OK, here is what I have so far.  Adam Brodie:  Lead maintenance supervisor on the site.  He is on what they call their surface break and will be returning to work on Monday.  He seems to sit mostly by himself here at the pool, so I do not know if he is approachable.  Greg Samuels:  He is an assistant to the head of the HR section and fancies himself quite the ladies’ man, even though he is married.  He has approached several of the women at the pool, including me.  His method seems to be engaging in small talk before going in for the kill.  Coincidentally, he is one of those that Al has taken advantage of.  I think that you have his pass card.  It would certainly be easy enough to seduce him but I do not know if that would translate to an offer to take one or more of us down to the site.  Dr. Michael Simmons:  Michael is a parazoologist with a specialty in aquamarine species.  He is published in a couple of small, related journals and I have dug up a couple of the things he has written.  Dr. Deena MacKay:  Deena is Dr. Simmons’ assistant and is published in her own right.  By the way they not sitting together, I would think that there is some sort of tension between them.  It might be possible to approach either of them.  I can create a bio that fits my new SIN and would include some experience in parazoology.  I actually can talk quite well on the subject and perhaps use that as an in with one or both of them.  I have bios on eight other employees, but they are weaker prospects, in my opinion.  Let me know if you want the entire dump.  Thoughts?<<
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <04-13-17/1958:14>
Al was sitting in the back of a pedicab halfway to the Bunga-Bunga when he got Alyce's intel dump. It gave him something to do, since he'd already digested all the details Isaint had sent on Wernström.A corrupter of the first order, he was confident Alyce would have no trouble at all wrapping whichever targets she chose around her finger.

<<Sounds like ya got a pretty good handle onna playin' field, toots. Yer the one onna ground there, reckon go with yer gut, choose yer prey, go in fer the kill. Let us know if'n ya need anythin'.>> he voice texted. <<Sendin' y'all my own winnin's now.>> he added as he sent his compilation of access card codes and the contents of the borrowed commlinks to the same data site Alyce had deposted hers. <<Comin' up onna club now - let ya know if'n I spot our guy.>>

The Bunga-Bunga was not in the best part of town, but there was a smattering of upscale vehicles among the mish-mash of old beaters and 50cc scooters parked outside. The location combined with the high-low social mix made Al suspect what he confirmed the moment he slotted the cover and stepped inside the windowless structure - the place was a titty bar. And here he'd been loathe to leave the half naked corpettes in the clothing-optional zone....

Nothing he hadn't seen before though. He ordered beers, feigned poverty for the ladies offering table dances, and sat against a back wall, allowing him to pretend to watch the girls while actually looking for the man he was going to make his new best friend.

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <04-15-17/0319:47>
<<Good work everyone. If the smuggler isn't ready to bring us in, we could try to create a honeytrap for the HR guy and blackmail him into letting us into the Aquacology. He should have the credentials. I imagine a trid of him in bed with the illusion of a 12 year old girl would motivate him to grant us access. Or maybe one of you has a better idea - I'm not really an expert on blackmail.
I'll get ready to go to the club too. Robyn, you are probably best prepared to lead negotiations with an Evo citizen selling blackmarket stuff.>>

Isaint got up, took a short shower and dressed for a visit in the club. He couldn't wear heavy armor, but he had brought an armored jersey shirt that also conveniently covered his camo holster. That done, he changed his face once again into something a little bit younger looking and cought a minicab to the Bunga-Bunga-club.

He wasn't particularly surprised that it was a table dance bar although that meant likely a bouncer who was more aware of his surroundings. Isaint tried to look as non-threatening as possible, while he queued to enter the dive.
<<I'm in. Al, have you spotted our mark already?>>
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <04-15-17/0702:59>
On getting the message, Al looked around and spotted someone younger than he'd have expected, big enough to be a native but not a native. Usual copious armor absent. Watched the gait for a moment to be sure.

<<Hell, din't spot you till ya messaged me. Got ya now. Nope, yer boy ain't....hold on a sec...there he is, jist come in the other entrance. He's close ta me, puttin' somethin' in his pocket...rubbin' his left ring finger....looks like our boy's steppin' out onna missus....>
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <04-15-17/1212:20>
Robyn smiles to herself as she responds to the messages.  >>I think I have what it takes to get the HR guy to a bed and then one of you mojo slingers can create an illusion of a twelve year old.  So do you want me there at the club to talk to this guy or what?  I can throw something on and be there in a few.  I have just checked out the club ARO and there is a strip club next door that just happens to have an Amateur Night event going on later tonight.  Could we take advantage of that to reel this guy in?<<

While waiting for a response, she looks at the data that Al has dumped to the storage site she has created and looks closely at the stuff he got from Mr. HR.  Looking into his 'link, she sees that the guy has been sending messages back home to his wife that indicate that he is being true to her.  She sinks back into VR for a bit to do some research and after a few minutes her avatar is smiling like a wolf looking at some unguarded sheep.  >>Hey, update on the HR guy.  He is really fragged if we want to do this.  His wife is a bit of a puritan and has a bunch of money.  He makes a good salary but he spends a lot of it at a casino here.  She was smart and has his nuts in a wringer with a super tough pre-nup.  Apparently him cheating on her is cause to get a divorce and call in the pre-nup, leaving him with a lot of gambling debts and no money.  It would be easy to get something to wear that is appropriate for the location and meet him there.  Hell, he would probably invite me if I hinted to him that I was interested.  So I guess we have two strong possibles to work on.  What do you want me to do?<<
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <04-15-17/1635:21>
<<I'd say go for it. Can't hurt if we have more than one option lined up. But just to be clear, you are talking about HR Assistant Greg Samuels, right?>>

Isaint had spotted Al and Wernström and casually moved in their direction. Getting to know new contacts without prior introductions was tricky - especially for him if he was honest. Wernström didn't look like the typical black market smuggler - it was very well possible that he was actually working with the full approval of his company in selling bioware to Dr. Hatcher. In that case they were about to alert the officials and heading for a trap.
Isaint communicated his worries to Al and added: "We should approach Wernström carefully to see if he is really a profiteering sleazebag or actually a loyal corporate citizen. If he really is a smuggler, he might be able to get at least our gear down there and maybe even ourselves. But for that, Robyn's HR guy is probably the better candidate."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <04-15-17/2027:21>
>>Yes, Greg Samuels.  Given the pre-nup situation with his wife, I might not even need the illusion of a young girl in his bed.  Any girl in his bed will do, and I think I qualify.  He has already been over to talk to me once.  I turned down an obvious opportunity to go to his room, but I might just meet him in the casino.  I think I will go try to chat him up a bit and see what my chances are.  I will keep the options open in case things change here or at the club with your smuggler guy.  Byt the way, that place is poorly shielded and I can tell that the guy Al is with is armed with a pistol.  I think I can mark it and control it if you want me to try.<<
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <04-16-17/0110:53>
Robyn returns to her body and lays still for a few moments then stands, examining her tan and nodding in appreciation of the effect.  She looks around at the way the sun has moved and smiles at how fate seems to be working in her favor right now.  She bends over to pick up her robe, bikini top, and bag before walking over to the other side of the pool, where the sun is now shining .  She smiles at the man laying on the lounger as she places her bag at the side of the lounger next to him.  "Excuse me, is this one taken?"

The man gives her an obvious ogle and just as obviously nods his approval.  He motions at the lounger and holds out a friendly hand for her to shake.  "I was saving it for you, Miss..............."

Robyn gives her mark one of her most brilliant smiles and takes his hand, gently squeezing it.  "Samantha Scott.  Pleased to meet you.  I think I was a bit rudish to you a bit ago when you came over to where I was sitting.  Sorry about that.  I was on the trix throwing some money at one of my favorite casinos."

The man holds on to Robyn's hand just a bit longer than necessary and motions again to the lounger next to him.  "Greg Samuels.  Pleased to meet you, and don't worry about earlier. I can understand.  I like a flutter myself once in a while.  May I ask if you were winning?"

Robyn shakes her head with a small mue of disappointment then chuckles.  "No, afraid not this time.  I did pretty good on the plane out here, but the sun seems to have sucked my luck away."  She stretches out her freshly tanned arms so she can look at them.  "Seems to have done wonders for my arms, though."

Greg is looking at her, but his attention is on a somewhat different part of her glistening body.  "It certainly has.  So which matrix casino do you use?"

Robyn puts her arms down and swivels a bit to sit facing the man, using her sensors to orient her in the right direction.  Her enhanced ears are picking up familiar signals from Greg's breathing and she smiles again.  "I have two sites I use most often; the Grand Casino at Monte Carlo and Wynn's London.  I usually like Grand better, but lately I have not done so well there so have shifted over to Wynn's for a bit to see if my luck changes.  As of a bit ago it hadn't so I have given up for a bit.  Do you use online services you can recommend?"

Greg gives Robyn a different sort of look, apparently knowing that one has to be a member of the actual Grand Casino to be allowed to use their matrix service.  The woman in front of him has moved from being a pretty fling to a completely different  potential mark, and shakes his head.  "I go to the matrix when I have to, but I prefer the feel of dice and cards in my hands and try to use a physical casino when I can."

Robyn nods.  "I know what you mean.  I looked at the island amenities when I booked the trip here and noticed that there is a nice four-star casino not too far from the hotel.  I just got here today, so have not actually been there, but the AROs make it look promising.  Have you been?"

Greg nods, "Yes, the Palms, and if anything it is better than advertised.  Say, I could not interest you in some dinner and then perhaps a trip to the Palms after?"

Robyn smiles as she nods.  "Sure, that sounds nice and let me pick up the dinner tab.  After all, it is probably the least I can do to say I am sorry for earlier.  Where would you recommend we go?"

Greg's eyes took on a more mercenary look, if that were possible.  "Not sure what you prefer to eat, but there is a very nice place just up the road from the hotel, Jarvin's.  Great seafood cooked by locals and some of the best French cooking I have tasted outside of Paris."

Robyn has been canvassing potential high-end eateries since dinner was mentioned and Jarvin's is high on the list of five-star restaurants on the island.  "I did a little research on the way over and that name did come up as being a good place to eat.  Glad you can recommend it."

Greg is no longer surprised that the woman does not bat an eye over what is certainly a costly restaurant.  He is actually thanking his lucky rabbit's foot charm.  He looks at the 'link next to him and nods.  "OK, I would recommend going back to the hotel to change into something more appropriate, although what you have on now seems appropriate enough to me."  He snaps his fingers.  "Just thought that it might be hard to get reservations with this short notice."

Robyn smiles as she looks down at her body.  "You think so?  Thank you, Greg.  Alright, back to the hotel to change.  Give me an hour.  I will get some reservations set up, don't worry.  I have frequently found that money talks in a place like this."

She bends over to get her bikini top and puts it back on before standing up.  Greg shakes his head and cannot quite hide neither his disappointment at her covering up nor the tent in his shorts.  He casually places a towel across his lap, both to hide his interest and to draw attention to it.  He nods at Robyn and says, "I will be ready in about that time.  There may even be time for a cocktail before heading off to dinner.  I am in room 417.  Come on by and we can go down together."

Robyn nods as she leaves the lounger.  "417, got it.  See you in a bit."

As she is walking away from the bar back to her room, she sends a message out.  >>Alright, I have the mark on the line and will reel him in over dinner and drinks.  He is planning on taking me to Jarvin's for dinner then the Palms for a bit of a flutter afterwards.  I will update the itinerary as I know more.<<  On the way, she accesses the resort's shops and reserves an evening frock that will be appropriate for the restaurant and casino.

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <04-16-17/1911:22>
Robyn knocks on the door of room 417 and smooths her gown down as she waits for Greg to answer.  The young woman in the shop had been more than happy to do a quick fit of the Nightshade cocktail dress for the obviously well-heeled customer and, to be honest, there had been little to fit as the woman and dress were almost made for each other.  The entire dress shimmers with every move and outlines Robyn's figure perfectly while the skirt falls to just above the knee.  The shop had matching strap pumps with five inch heels that did wonders for her already quite nice-looking legs and also carried the clutch and shawl that complete the attire.  Robyn had stood in front of the full length mirror and pretended to examine the effect of the dress but the breathing of the young woman serving her told her all she needed to know.  Robyn is an intensely sensuous woman and this dress allows her to show that to best effect.  She tenders a credstick for the amount owed and leans in close to the girl and pulls her close to kiss her full on the lips when she hands the stick back.  When Robyn leaves the shop, the surprised clerk is left standing; panting and staring after the woman who was leaving.  Robyn had stopped at her room to drop off her beach bag and swimming suit before heading out to Greg's room. 

The reaction of the man who opens the door is precisely what Robyn is expecting and hoping for.  The man stands still for a few moments, almost afraid to say anything that might dispel the vision in front of him but finally realizes that he is leaving Robyn standing in the hallway and steps aside to invite her in.  He is nearly dressed in an evening tux that certainly does nice things to his physique.  Whatever else the man might be, he is definitely good looking and knows how to set off his advantages.  Robyn puts her clutch on the small coffee table in the large room and walks to the bed to push against the cushioned mattress as she looks at Greg in a suggestive manner.  "Our reservation at Jarvin's is not for just over an hour yet.  You had said something about a drink?"

The man gulps and gives Robyn his brilliant smile and motions to the small bar in the room.  "I love a woman who does not make me wait.  We do have enough time, it seems.  What is your poison?"

Robyn walks over to where he stands, draping her shawl across the back of the couch.  She runs a slender hand down the sleeve of Greg's shirt.  "Oh, I think that you will thank me later for making you hold back.  For now, though, I could almost kill for a vodka, neat.  They have anything decent here?  If not, surprise me with something in a whiskey."

Greg looks at Robyn in surprise and shakes his head as he looks in the bar.  "I had put you down for more of a wine girl.  You are full of surprises, aren't you?"

Robyn's voice goes a bit soft and sultry.  "You have no idea, Greg."

The man pulls out a small bottle of a decent vodka and another of whiskey and pours each of them a drink.  She looks at the bottle and gives him a sideways look and he smiles as he adds another couple of fingers to the glass and hands it to her.  She smiles as she takes it and lifts the glass in a toast.  "Na Zdorovie."  Continuing to smile, she tosses the drink back in one gulp and holds out the glass for a refill, thanking him when he pours another few fingers into it.  Taking the drink with her, Robyn moves to the bureau where her internal and drones sensors had picked out some of his things.  Putting her glass down, she picks up a pair of pricey cuff links and moves back to Greg to place them in his cuffs before reaching up to button his top button and expertly tie the bow tie that had been draped at his neck.  She carefully straightens the tie and steps back as if to examine her handiwork, nodding in approval.  Greg turns and moves to look at his reflection in the mirror and smiles before turning to Robyn, who is holding her glass in her hand.

He nods to her.  "Amazing.  You certainly are full of surprises.  I still have trouble doing that right the first time and yet this is perfect.  Thanks, Samantha.."

Robyn raise her glass in acknowledgment and tosses back the second drink.  "You are welcome, Greg, and please call me Sam."  She returns her glass to the top of the bar and collects her shawl and small bag.  "Ready?"

Greg nods and takes his coat off the suit jack near the bed and lets Robyn help him slip into it before he takes her arm and leads her from the room.  A cab is summoned by the doorman and they slip in and head off to the restaurant.  In the cab, Robyn sends a message to the rest of her team.  >>Heading off to dinner and then the casino.  Things are going swimmingly and I expect no trouble for this part of the operation.  I will keep all of you informed if things change.  Hope you boys are enjoying the titty bar; I know I would.<<
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <04-17-17/1012:13>
<<Careful's ol' Al's middle name, kemo sabe. Jist you be careful with this face - gon' be in lights someday.>>

And without further ado, Al walked unsteadily at Wernström but with his face locked on the gangly girl getting gynecological on the stage. When he ran into the man, his beer splashed onto the guy's sports jacket and the guy's whiskey spilled onto Al's Docs.

"Th' fuck, asswipe?" Al shouted up at the much taller man. Scarred fist clenching the front of the man's shirt, button popping off. Much stronger than he looked, Al pulled the man down to his knees. "Ya soil the boots, ya lick 'em clean, bitch."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <04-17-17/1533:33>
Isaint groaned inwardly as Al went for the confrontational approach. But then, this was Al and Al had this weird charisma that made you stay just to see what would happen next. So Isaint just got himself casually into position to interfere should the guy pull a weapon.
Otherwise he'd just wait for a sign to interfere - either on Al's or the mark's behalf.

Wernström surprised Isaint by smiling at the little man's behavior: "Oh boy, careful, you go on like that and I'll get an erection. If you are spoiling for a fight I can assure you I've got something much, much better here." He pulled out a small one pill blister with a little green sphere and put it in Al's front pocket.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <04-18-17/0245:03>
The valet at Jarvin's opens the cab's door and assists Robyn and Greg out onto walkway.  Greg offers his arm to the Keeb and they walk up the covered red carpet to the entryway, which a doorman already has open for them.  His smile and greeting come off far less rehearsed than Robyn believes them to be, which is a good sign of a professional establishment.  The interior of the restaurant is very posh with subdued lighting and carpeted floors.  The maitre d'  opens his arms as if to greet long-time patrons and snaps his fingers to get a hostess to take them to their table after verifying that this is indeed the Samantha Scott party.  Greg follows behind Robyn and his eyes never really leave her butt as she walks to the table.  A waiter is already in place and has Robyn's chair pulled out for her.  She thanks the man and gives Greg a careful look as the wine steward appears from nowhere, but she need not have worried as Greg does everything correctly.  Soon the waiter is back to hand a menu to Greg and the wine steward brings a bottle of some very nice wine.  Meals are ordered and Robyn engages Greg in small talk, mostly about gambling and some of the outrageous things that have happened to either of them, either inside a casino or on the matrix.

Dinner is excellent and Robyn takes the opportunity to slip her leg across to Greg's and rub up and down it a few times, bringing a knowing smile to the man's face.  Robyn is one of the hottest women in the restaurant and he is damned sure getting lucky tonight.  Robyn had made sure to stop at the hotel desk after buying the dress to get some currency nuyen to cover various expenses for the evening and giving very generous tips in cash to the various waiters and stewards is easily covered.  The final bill is discreetly paid by slotting a credstick and the two are back on the street, where the valet tips his hat and offers to summon a cab.  Robyn shakes her head.  "No, thank you very much.  I think it is a very nice evening and I would like to walk to the casino as it is not far."

Greg nods and he escorts Robyn away from the eatery.  The walk is indeed not far and they are at the casino entrance in just a few minutes.  The doorman tips a tall hat and holds the door for them as they enter into a far different and noisier world.  Robyn and Greg look out at the casino floor before walking to the teller's cage to exchange nuyen for chips.  She notices a sign at the teller's cage that indicates that matrix monitoring is ongoing for the security of the patrons.  Robyn smiles to herself and makes sure that her drones are shut down and resting in her hair and reminds herself that hacking the machines is not likely to win her any friends here.  She does not need to have an issue here tonight.  She exchanges 50000 nuyen for chips, an amount that causes Greg's eyes to widen a bit as he takes 20000 against his line of credit.  There are a few moments of unease as the teller hesitates to provide the chips to Greg but then nods her head and does so.  Robyn smiles to herself as they head out to the floor; she had spent a good part of the dinner meal ransacking Greg's 'link and had found a number of messages from the casino about some serious overdrafts on his credit limit.  He is apparently already in debt to the tune of 33000 nuyen and the management is getting a bit antsy about getting their money.  She is not surprised that they have given the teller the green light to give him a bit more rope, after all, his wife is a wealthy woman and can certainly cover his debts. 

She smiles at Greg and pushes close to him as they walk through the crowded main room.  They spend a few minutes walking from table to table, getting a feel for the games then Greg nods to one of the roulette tables.  "That one has a nice feel to it.  I have been fairly successful there over the past week.  Fancy giving it a small whirl?"

Robyn nods.  "Why not?  I prefer craps, but the evening is young.  Lead on."  She knows that he is lying to her, but that will only work in her favor.  They walk over to the long table and find spaces at the rail.  The man at the wheel nods to them, welcoming Greg as if he were an old friend.  Robyn bets carefully and is only down 5000 when she suggests that perhaps they might have better luck at another game.  Greg, already down over 7000 nods his head and ruefully agrees.  They toss chips to the man at the wheel and mover on to one of the craps tables.  The next hour slips by as if in a few minutes.  At the end of that time, Robyn is back up 2000 for the night but Greg is down another 4000.  After ignoring Robyn's advice on betting, he realizes that his own method is not doing well and begins to bet as she does, winning a bit back.  Robyn asks the croupier if there is a table with nigher stakes and he nods, offering to call one of the floor managers over.  She nods and after a short conversation, the two are escorted to a semi private room where the decor is more opulent and the patrons better dressed.  The lighting and the noise are both more subdued and the expressions on the faces of those gathered around the table are serious.  Robyn glides up to the table, followed by Greg, who has a deer in the headlights sort of expression as he realizes that this is a level of gambling he has not seen before.

Quiet voices direct the placement of bets and no one is being annoying by clicking their chips together as is completely common in the main room.  Greg gulps as he looks at the table and realizes that he barely has enough money to make more than a few bets and he seriously considers taking his date's arm and leaving, but she is already ensconced on one of the stools around the table and does not look like she is ready to leave.  He places a bet in one of the places that Robyn does and is gratified when it pays off, extending the time he can remain in the room.  Every toss of the dice is not a winner for them, but slowly the piles of chips in front of each grows to a more than respectable size.  Greg's bets are much smaller that Robyn's so he loses and wins less, but he wins more than he loses.  He gets a bit excited at a large win but calms down when Robyn puts a hand on his arm and smiles at him.  Finally, Robyn signals that she is done and Greg opens his mouth in disbelief.

"We are on a hot streak.  We can't just walk away."

Robyn smiles and shakes her head.  "Of course we can, Greg.  Things have been going too well and the luck is bound to change.  Besides, I have different plans for how I wish to spend the rest of my night."

Greg shakes his head twice then nods.  "Alright, you are the boss.  I don't know how you do it, but that was some sharp betting."

Robyn smiles again.  "Just luck, Greg, just luck."

Greg snorts in disbelief as they tip the croupiers and leave the room as winners.

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <04-18-17/0535:09>
Al grinned and hauled the taller man back up to his feet.

His plan had been to provide an in for Isaint, give the ork a chance to come to the mark's rescue, win some instant trust. But the guy had handled the situation rather smoothly himself. Good news on two fronts - it suggested he may indeed be someone useful, and it meant Al would not have to be punched by his large friend.

"Well, at least ya ain't no pussy." He fished the blister out of his jacket pocket, opened it, and popped the dose without a moment's hesitation, washing it down with a slug of beer. Of course he had, in fact, palmed the drug, but there was little chance of Wernström noticing - Al was very good with his hands. Just a reverse of his usual appearing-cigarette trick, really. "This kicks in, we'll see if it's worth a pass on what ya done ta my boots. What say you an' me scope some poon while we wait fer the jury ta come back?"

It wasn't really a request, and Al steered the man toward some seats at the stage. On the way there, he passed Isaint, discreetly handing the drug on to him. Then, Wernström still in front of him, he tapped a simple message on the 'link in his pocket: <<Find out what that's supposed to be doing to me.>>

Then he sat beside the mark as a young girl named Trixie took the stage wearing nothing but whipped cream. Al watched her with half an eye, the rest of his attention on whether Wernström had any discreet protection hanging about.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <04-19-17/0531:11>
Isaint gave the pill a sniff and a lick before pocketing it.
<<According to the label it's some pain med, morphine based. Never heard oft it. Seems like the head janitor skims more than just bioware from the labs below. And he's not subtle about it. So we can expect that he has some protection from bis Corp. If I hat to guess I'd say he is sanctioned to do that and it's part of their prototype testing. Show him some money and see if he looks greedy. That is likely our best bet to get equipment down there. He doesn't need to know that we are going to travel there through HR.>>
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <04-19-17/0616:28>
Al listened to Isaint on his earbud as he tipped Trixie in a way that gave a whole new meaning to the expression "slotting your credstick." He turned to Wernström to share a chuckle at his antics, then caught his breath and closed his eyes. Leaned back in his chair a little, neck at an odd angle. Then he opened his eyes and shook his head vigorously. "Shee-it, jefe, you got some worthwhile chems goin' on there. Lemme git ya a fresh drink. Name's Al."

An hour later, Al and his mark had moved to a quieter corner of the bar, where Al regaled the corp guy with tales of running guns across the Channel into England. Wernström listened and made an occasional appreciative comment. He seemed to be having a good time, but was not taking the bait to discuss any smuggling exploits of his own. So when the timing was right, Al tossed out the next hook. "Listen Vernie, reckon I could use me some more o' whatever that was ya done give me."

Wernström acted cautious, but Al knew he'd bite this time - drug dealers don't hand out free samples unless they are looking to make a sale. The topic of price came up, the guy starting way too high, but Al just shrugged and said sure, asked for twenty. "Certified cred okay?"

He collected the drugs under the table, conveniently forgot to set his stick to hide the balance as it transferred the funds - typical drunk mistake - and touched it to Wernström's commlink. It spoke well of the man that his expression did not change at the sight of way more zeroes than anyone that looked like Al should have on their account.

"Enjoy those, Al. But go easy, right?"

"Hell, ol' Al ain't no binge partier. Reckon one dose a day keeps the pain at bay. Good shit though. Reckon I know some folks'd like ta git they hands on some - 'ceptin' that ain't the sorta business I'm in. Ya go that route, ya gotta deal with ev'ry two-bit wannabe with a little weight an' a street corner."

"Really, what sort of business is that then, where you don't face that sort of competition?"

"Well, reckon I specialize in gittin' certain products ta folk in, um, traditionally inaccessible environments. Ya take my meanin' there, kemo sabe?"

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <04-19-17/1111:53>
When Greg and Robyn stepped out of the casino they were feeling good about the night.  Greg had won enough to pay a bit down on his debt and Robyn had also come out with a profit, which although not necessary to the plan, is a nice thing nevertheless.  Greg takes Robyn's are and escorts her to a waiting cab.  "You were certainly my lucky charm tonight.  How long are you staying on the island?"

Robyn laughs.  "Not too long, I am afraid.  It is just a short holiday.  My husband will be expecting me back in a couple of weeks when he returns from his own holiday."

Greg's ears perked up at the mention that she was married.  "Husband, eh?  Well, no reason you can't have fun for a couple of weeks, right."  His mind is already working through the possibilities.  Certainly, if her luck held at the casino, he might be able to pay down most or all of his debt and perhaps even come out ahead and Janice would never have to know.  Also, depending on the woman's marital status, there is always the chance that she would pay well to not have her husband find out.

Robyn nods.  "I am up for some action but we will have to be careful.  Michael is OK with me having a bit of fun, but he draws the line at the bed.  It is like I need to be his only."  She looks over to Greg and puts a hand on his arm.  "Not that I feel that way, you understand, but we have to be discrete in that activity."

Greg also nods.  "I understand entirely, Sam.  Dinner, drinks, and some casino time in public, but the nighttime activities need to be quiet."

She laughs.  "I cannot promise too much there, Greg.  I am usually pretty loud, but I was thinking about displaying affection in public."

Greg chuckles and squeezes her hand.  "I understand perfectly, Sam.  You can count on me."

Back at the hotel and in the elevator, Greg is already mentally undressing the woman next to him and thinking of the night ahead...........and the several more he hopes to have with her.   The small camera drone he has used in the past will certainly come in handy in providing enough evidence to get her to pay to keep it from her husband.  And she will pay.  They all pay.  He likes this one, but his heart is already hardened to extracting as much from her as possible.  As they exit the elevator, he slips a hand to her back and slides it down to her ass to give it a squeeze.  The woman gives a throaty hum but does not move away from the slight pressure and he smiles as he realizes that she is already his to pluck.

Once in the room, he pulls her into an embrace, which is returned passionately.  He tries to activate his drone but gets an error message that the feed is not functioning.  He mentally swears at cheap drones and resolves to see about getting a new one with the money he will get from the woman in his arms.  He is blissfully unaware that Robyn had detected the drone on her earlier visit and had marked it and hacked it to give it a problem with its sensors.  The damage is easily repaired and she has already wiped her marks from the device.  Still, he smiles; he might not have pictures from tonight, but she seems pretty much on the hook and he can either repair or replace the damned drone tomorrow and use it tomorrow night. 

Robyn steps back out of the embrace and reaches back to touch the release and the gown falls, pooling at her feet in a shimmering pile of expensive cloth.  It had been obvious all night that she was not wearing any sort of bra and his touch as they left the elevator had led him to believe that she was wearing no underwear, either.  He is glad to find that he still has the touch as he gazes at the naked woman in front of him  She turns and walks to the bed, turning down the sheets and slipping between them.  "Don't wait too long, Greg."

The man needs no further invitation, although it does take longer to get undressed than she had taken.  She is sitting up with her back to the headboard, watching him.  The sheets are gathered at her waist, letting his eyes explore the vision of her breasts.  Finally naked himself, he joins Robyn in the bed and the two go at each other.  He might not have a drone up, but Robyn has three in the room taking pictures from different angles.  She will edit the feeds later to be sure that her face is not in any of the shots she will use.  For now, though, she just sets them to go active and lets herself enjoy the sex.  Greg is a talented lover but he has never met anyone as talented as Robyn is and he is left used up and exhausted by the time she is done with him. 

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <04-23-17/1716:08>
"Enjoy those, Al. But go easy, right?"

"Hell, ol' Al ain't no binge partier. Reckon one dose a day keeps the pain at bay. Good shit though. Reckon I know some folks'd like ta git they hands on some - 'ceptin' that ain't the sorta business I'm in. Ya go that route, ya gotta deal with ev'ry two-bit wannabe with a little weight an' a street corner."

"Really, what sort of business is that then, where you don't face that sort of competition?"

"Well, reckon I specialize in gittin' certain products ta folk in, um, traditionally inaccessible environments. Ya take my meanin' there, kemo sabe?"

Wernström paused with his drink half to his lips and smiled: "You are fucking with me, right? Are you honestly asking what I think you are asking me?" he laughed.
"Gee. You almost had me with that act of yours. Ok, let's talk business - you aren't looking to score some experimental meds. You aren't corp and you aren't gov. Tats don't fit for Yak or Triad. Makes me wonder. So what is it you want and what do you offer?"

Isaint had moved to the side, keeping an eye on trouble and an ear out for the muted conversation between Al and the dealer. Wernström appeared to be a lot sharper than expected.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <04-24-17/0756:52>
Tats, huh?

Al realized that since he'd taken his jacket off he'd been sitting with his right hand palm-down on the table, so apparently the guy hadn't seen the big, colorful Proteus brand on his forearm. At the guy's statement, Al moved his left hand to cover that forearm, almost as if it was a subconscious, protective move. The guy still couldn't see the tatoo, but now he'd be angling for a look at that arm - Al would make sure he caught a quick glimpse later - a little misdirection never hurt anyone.

"Yak or Triad? Amigo, I'd not imagine ye'd have ta look so far as ol' Al's ink ta ascertain I ain't got no part in those enterprises. Shee-it. Whatta I got ta offer? Well, reckon I could git ya a sweet deal on cultured black pearls outta New Caledonia, or the skinny on the best spots ta harvest longtailed red snapper. Or if'n I was feelin' generous I could spend some time, show ya ol' Al's sure-fire pick-up techniques, keep ya in prime poon till yer dyin' day. Smart play'd be ta go fer that. But I'm guessin' yer after cash." This little man shrugged. "That is also somethin' I can do."

There was a cigarette in his mouth where there had been none before. A big Zippo similarly appeared in his left hand, and he lit up, affording the man a brief flash of the Proteus logo. Just for fun.

"As fer what I want...ain't nothin', really. Jist a simple crate. Sealed. Left in a location ta be specified."

"How much cash?"  Hah - had him now, Al thought. "And the sealed part is a problem. My family lives down there. I have to see what's in the crate," the man answered.

Al held the mans gaze. "Reckon I know exactly who lives down there, kemo sabe. An' that's knowledge I hope you'll never make me use." After a tense moment, Al spat out a raw bark of laughter and grinned hugely. "Aww, who'm I tryin' ta kid. Ol' Al'd never hurt a fly. But that's the sort o' thing the bad guys always say on Tales. Ya watch Tales, amigo? Anyhoo. listen, I wanted ta do anythng mass murderey, hell, I'd do it a hell of a lot easier from the outside, wouldn't have to talk ta you, risk ya blowin' no whistles. Now you can walk away an' pass up a big payday on the one in a zillion chance I'm a congenital idiot, or ya can deliver my li'l ol' crate an' take ever'one out ta ice cream after. That my intentions are entirely benign I'll not insult ya by promisin'. But don't think of insultin' me by pretendin' ya care. All ya need ta know is ya make a lotta money an' no one that keeps they trap shut gits hurt."

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <04-24-17/0910:19>
Wernström nodded: "Now we are getting somewhere. I certainly can deliver a sealed box - there are daily supply runs. Getting restricted stuff down there won't be a problem. But the line is drawn at the forbidden stuff only corp sec is allowed. Nothing that can pierce the hull or is contagious. And no pressurized liquids or gasses. But I probably don't have to tell that to a deep sea contractor, do I?

So a fair warning:
I'm operating here on a very fine line with certain authorities turning a blind eye - if anything you carry down there causes them to come after me, they'll also come after you and with a vengeance you wouldn't believe. This is a very small island and unless you've booked a passage on an atomic submarine they will find you. And when that happens you'll wish that you'd heeded my warnings."

He took a little paper napkin and wrote on it with a pen. "Here's the address and the price tag. Leave the specifications where you want it delivered handwritten on the package. I'll take care of the rest."

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <04-24-17/1114:12>
Al decided, based on no knowledge whatsoever, that the price looked fair. "Alrighty then, reckon that's it." He got up, shrugged his jacket back on, and traded the bar's air-conditioned interior to the scorching South Pacific sun. He got into a cab, directed it to a hotel he'd never been to, congratulated himself on his meticulous tradecraft, and voice-texted Isaint the details of the deal, adding: <<Might wanna keep an eye on this feller fer a spell - he'll turn on his own corp, he'll jist as easily play both sides on us'n.>>

Arriving at the new hotel, Al went to the poolside bar to add several beers to those he'd had at his own hotel and then at the tittie bar. Here as well there were a number of well-heeled women spending a lot of money to bake in the sun with very little on. He felt all their eyes undressing him hungrily, but as usual his aura was too intimidating for any of them to approach with the lascivious propositions spinning through their heads.

A few beers later, he was sure that none of his admirers were more than they appeared to be, and got another cab back to his own hotel. He supposed he should look for tails on that leg of the journey as well, but figured he'd already done enough hard work for one day. So he smoked and looked at the ocean, and once back hit the restaurant for dinner.

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <04-24-17/1217:27>
[Monday September 14th, 2076; Tonga]
While the other runners separated to begin prepping their insertion in to the underwater facility Silk settled down to do her own version of recon.  Once, as Balefire’s infiltrator, she would have been studying duct layouts and security schematics, but this was Isaint’s run and it was his right to choose the social engineering route over covert lock breaking…and she was forced to admit was probably more likely to succeed, despite her misgivings.
So instead she began to prepare one last Reading before they took the plunge, literally…
Although Ritual, it wouldn’t be a divination that many mages would recognise, it was closer to the experiences that Summer described when she assessed the Resonance for the ebb and flow of data that determined probabilities.  Silk sat in a sea of AR windows, far more than anyone could read, and let her Gift take over, searching for the Patterns that would aid them or those that could hamper their efforts and so were best avoided, or twisted to a new path…
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <04-26-17/0101:24>
Robyn's internal alarm goes off at 0530 and she wakes to the sound of Greg snoring heavily.  She gently moves his arm from where it is laying across her torso and slips from the bed, slipping her dress on but taking her shoes in her hand.  She sends Greg a text timed to spool to his 'link at 0630 and quietly leaves the room to the sleeping man.  Robyn walks barefoot down the carpeted corridor, looking a bit disheveled and smiles at a young man pushing a room service cart out of the elevator.  Reaching her floor, she steps off the lift and heads to her room, where she quickly undresses and heads to the bathroom to use the toilet and shower.  While soaking under tha hot water she sends a message to her companions.  >>Team [Robyn]:  First phase of the plan is complete.  Do I need to string him along any more or do we lower the hammer on this guy this morning?  How many of us am I arranging passage for and should I go for gear or is that taken care of?<<

After finished with the shower, Robyn dries off and returns to the bedroom to brush her hair and examine the feed footage from Greg's room.  She smiles and begins editing the footage to fir their plans, making sure that there is no doubt that the man is having sex with a woman not his wife while leaving the face concealed.  She even edits out the tats and is rather proud of her work when it is all done.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <04-26-17/0512:13>
Isaint promptly replied: <<Gear is taken care off - it's better if the mark doesn't know we have a shipment waiting for us - makes him less likely to develop a conscience.
And yeah, time to spring the trap on him. But just in case wait until we are in position to back you up - if that guy suddenly gets enraged and his monkey brain thinks violence is the answer to his problems I do want you to have other options than your little monowhip.
As for who: This one will need all of us down there.

Also, to sweeten the deal for him, offer him money too. We need his cooperation to get out again.>>
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <04-26-17/0802:29>
Soft lips tickled playfully at Al's, which was nice, but she seemed not to have shaved this morning. She didn't smell very good either, he realized as wakefulness crept up on him. He opened his eyes to find himself in a filthy alley, overflowing dumpsters billowing reek in the morning sun. His lover was a large sow licking flecks dried vomit from around his mouth. An insistent pressure in his bladder provided happy confirmation he hadn't wet himself again.

Shooing away his porcine paramour, he fished out his link and checked his messages. Seemed Alyce had bagged her mark, so they might be pulling out anytime now. He dragged his ten-pound head off the concrete and staggered back in the direction of his hotel.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <04-26-17/1013:49>
[Tuesday September 15th, 2076; Tonga]
In the early hours of the morning Silk finally dragged herself out of her trance, exhausted, hungry, thirsty and in need of a toilet.  Brushing aside the AROs that still orbited her she sent a message out to the team
<<I hope your preparations are going well…this needs to happen tonight, or early tomorrow at the latest if we are going to succeed…after that the probability of reaching Monarch crashes through the floor at an exponential rate.  I am sorry if this accelerates the programme faster than you might like, but if it makes you feel better I’m tracking a tropical storm inbound and it might be good to use that as cover…it could take a couple of days to pass us by!>>
That done she set about making herself considerably more comfortable
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <04-26-17/1040:58>
Isaint had gone to bed early, doing a bit more of VR work, but removed the trodes before midnight. Well rested and ready for the day he replied: <<@Team: You heard the lady. Let's get that box ready and lean on the HR guy. I'll meet you at breakfast.>>
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <04-26-17/1307:54>
Al felt considerably better after walking an hour or so back to his own hotel. The breakfast buffet was looking - and smelling - mighty inviting as he passed through the lobby and he was about to stake out a big table for himself and his coworkers when he realized they would probably meet for breakfast in one of their rooms - they'd be making plans, and someone was bound to have some fool notion about people listening in on them. It was an island paradise, for pity's sake. Who could possibly be thinking about working against them here?

But he resigned himself to room service, found his way to Isaint's room, and plopped down on the sofa, where he proceeded to order two of everything greasy.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <04-27-17/0035:13>
Robyn walks from her room to ISaint's and knocks on the door.  Her enhanced olfactory sensors give her a pretty good idea who is already in the room.  She walks over to the small table and sits down.  "Good morning to everyone.  I got the message and think we can move on this, but I don't like the rush work.  Still, the storm moving in might make it easier to slip in.  I am monitoring traffic relayed up from the aquacology to the personnel on shore, telling them to cut their stay here short and be ready to return to the transports.  I have blocked Greg's message so far, but it might be time for me to go lay out the situation for him.  I have pics of his amorous activities as well as a recording of some of the quite bloody unkind words he had to say about his wife.  The man is a right turd and I am that glad that we can use him.  So what is my play here?  The man is deep in the loo here on three counts.  He owes a tidy sum to the casino here.  He has been running a line of credit against his wife's name without her knowing it.  He has been seducing women and his wife is the very jealous sort and has a pretty iron-clad prenup that cuts him off with nothing if he strays from the marital bed.  And I have him on tape saying a lot of very unflattering things about his wife.  I think we can pander to all three of his boo-boos by showing him the pics from his amorous adventure with your truly, letting him listen to the tape and threatening to let his wife know about his gambling, unless he plays along with us.  As a reward we destroy the pics, wipe the tape, and give him enough money to clean his debt with the locals.  Sound about right?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <04-27-17/0355:55>
Meditating instead of sleeping carried the added bonus that you didn't have to worry about making your bed or disrobing. But the heat had necessitated a quick shower. Having granted his team mates access to his rooms beforehand, Isaint found Al waiting/eating with Robyn shortly thereafter appearing. For Rick's benefit and for basic security, he kept the conversation online while he also got clothed:

<<Sounds like we have him good and proper by the short and curlies. Make your move Robyn. The rest of us will accompany you - as insurance and so the guy can get our mugshots for our visitor passes. We put our stuff in the crate and make our way down.>>
He stole one of the breakfast sausages from Al and began cutting a Papaya for his breakfast. <<Since we are in a hurry, we'll have to do this by ear. We'll appear to be as respectable as possible and keep a low profile while we are down there. Once that fails we'll try to use maintenance tunnels and airshafts or whatever they use down there. For that Robyn will likely have to do some hacking but for the start we'll rely on the official evacuation maps so that we can hijack an escape pod if we need to.>>
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <04-29-17/1645:47>
"Second that, toots. What say ya dig us up some proper schematics? That or squeeze yer new friend for 'em. All my time in this sorta place's been on Proteus rigs - no tellin' how them Evo hippies done built theirs. Goin' in without a plan's one thing, but we'll improvise a helluva lot better, we got they files at our fingertips. Pre-plan an exfil or to, at any rate."

He picked up his empty bone china plate and began licking the mixture of egg yolk and maple syrup off ot it. Then he lowered it, a spot of the cloudy-golden mixture on the tip of his broken nose, and said, "Hell, now that we's on a first-name basis with Mr. Maintenance, he should have access ta freakin' ever'thin'. Little extra cred might go a long way there..."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <04-29-17/1730:40>
Robyn nods.  "Got it.  I can go there now if we are ready.  Maybe you can wait here or out in the hallway there and let me break the news to him or do you want to actually be in the room with me when I bust him?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <05-02-17/1035:47>
"Whatever lessens the feeling of betrayal for him. Just leave the door open for a quick access in case he isn't deserving of your consideration."
Isaint nodded, made sure the taser was in its holster and got ready to move to the hotel.

As promised he waited outside the room, listening to Robyn's feed.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <05-02-17/1307:16>
With Robyn and Isaint off to put the squeeze on her squeeze for personnel access, Al figuredit was his job  - since it had been his idea - to contact his new best friend Vernie to buy some deep schematics on the aqualogy. The guy was already letting them smuggle weapons into his home for a price, Al didn't figure he'd balk at selling the plans.

Then he realized the guy hadn't given them a commcode, just a drop-off point and an account number. The account was blind, natch - Al didn't even try to backtrack it for contact details. A quick data search turned up several work and home numbers for Vernie, but using those could just get the turncoat arrested, and that wouldn't bode well for their crate.

So it was back to the Bunga Bunga - a nice enough walk that took Al out of the shiny resort area and onto the hot, dry, and dusty roads connecting the patchwork of commerce and habitation that supported the rest of the island's small population. On the way there, Al thought of three other ways to use his commlink to ferret out a private number for the guy, but none of them were as fun as spending the day drinking and looking at ass.

He didn't have to wait this time - Vernie was already there, talking to a trio of natives. Al didn't acknowledge him and the man returned the favor. From across the room, Al waited for the three large men to take their leave, at which point his contact held up his 'link. It took Al a moment to guess that the guy was flashing him a contact ARO. Unwilling to go into the nauseating nightmare that was AR, he picked it up on his own commlink. Gave the guy a call.

On answering, the man was not nearly as convivial as on their first meeting.

<<I overestimated your professionalism, it seems. Why are you here again?>>

<<Folks I work with, they's pros. Me, reckon i jist hang around, keep 'em in line. Need the plans fer yer little sea monkey village. Other guy, he got greedy. Din't work out.>>

<<Afraid that takes things a little further than I'm prepared to go.>>

<<No it don't. In fer a penny, in fer a pound, jefe. Things gon' happen, an' yer already part of it. This jist lets us be a lot more surgical. Better fer ever'one. Flash me the specs when ya git 'em, I'll send the cred fer this an' the other thing.>>

<<The way you've handled this makes me nervous. I don't like dealing with amateurs.>>

<<Who's the amateur - the amateur, or the amateur already done got in bed with the amateur? It's all good, amigo. Yer not sellin' pharmas ta two-bit dealers no more. Whole 'nother league. Now jist send the plans so what happens can happen clean, git' don't be like the other guy we had a deal with.>>

By the time Al got tired of looking at girls and had made his way back to the hotel, the plans were in his 'link. They made good reading over an early surf & turf by the clothing-optional pool.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <05-03-17/0124:36>
Robyn grabs up the shopping bag she had brought with her and pops a slice of chewing gum into her mouth as she and ISaint leave the room, offering him a piece.  Her timed text had been delivered just as specified, and now she follows that message up with another.  >>Greg.  I am heading back to your room.  I have been shopping at the resort shop for a new bikini that I think you might like.  You don't need to get decent if you aren't already.<<  She delays their arrival to give the man time to remove his clothes if had already gotten dressed.  After knocking at the door, she smiles at the peephole and he opens it with a large grin on his face.  She holds up the shopping bag she had gotten from the resort shop the previous evening.  "Been shopping.  It is amazing how it seems that the less there is of something, the more it costs.  Want to have me model it for you?"

Greg's eyes are hungrily scanning up and down her frame already and he is almost drooling at the thought of the payday this woman is going to net him.  He smiles broadly and steps aside, heading off to the bar as Robyn enters the room.  She leans against the door and shuts it after placing a bit of gum in the lock to keep it from engaging.  She moves to the small table in the room and puts her bag on it while shaking her head at his offer of a drink.  without saying a word, she motions for him to go sit on the bed and rummages about in the bag, pretending to be looking for something there.  When he is sitting on the bed, she sends him a prepared message.  He looks at the caller ID and frowns before putting the 'link back in the pocket of his mostly open robe.  Robyn shakes her head.  "You really should answer that call, Greg.  It is from me and it could be the answer to your prayers or something else entirely.  I recommend looking at the attachments, too, as they give a story more completely than I can tell you."

Greg has an expression on his face that says he is not really amused at the change in tone from the woman he is planning on blackmailing for a ton of money..  She seems a bit more sure of herself this morning, and that is not normally a good sign in this sort of transaction, but he is pretty sure that will change soon and in the meantime he can humor her.  He opens the first attachment and his eyes widen as he is treated to several stills and a couple of short videos of the two of them having sex.  The time stamp on the pics indicates that they were indeed taken earlier in the morning.  The stupid part of him smiles at the sight; after all, the stupid bitch has played right into his hands by sending stills and even video of her marital infidelity.  Then the somewhat smarter part of him begins to wonder how she got the photos and he finally notices that her face is never visible but his is.  His heart begins to grow cold as he.....almost.....puts it all together.  But his mind is moving too slowly for Robyn and she speeds things up a bit.

"I see that you are still on attachment 1.  I have to admit that I like the enthusiasm you displayed in the bed and I do think that you are a talented lover.  However, this is only the beginning so let me help you by pushing on to the second attachment.  This, in case you have not seen it before, is the balance ledger for your account at the casino.  Before you go all ballistic about how dare they make this information available to me, let me assure you that they have no idea that I am in possession of this data."  She notices the look on the man's face and nods.  "Yes, Greg, I stole it.  I am quite sure that they would not want you to see the remark on the final page that indicates that they are about to close your line of credit and call your wife to get payment.  Enough of this for now., let's move on to the third attachment, shall we?  Oh, this one is an audio file.  Let's listen, why don't we?"

Greg sits on the bed as he listens to himself berate his wife for any number of failings.  Belatedly, he comes to the conclusion Robyn is leading him to and he does not know if he should jump up and strangle the woman in front of him or..........................or collapse in defeat.  He knows exactly what he would do with this sort of information, after all he has done this very thing a number of times and was looking forward to doing it again with whatever her name is.  He is certain that the one she gave him is not real.  There is bound to be a copy of everything set to be sent to his wife and perhaps even the authorities if she does not show up somewhere by some time.  His shoulders slump a bit then he looks up at her.  "You said something about the answer to my prayers.  Was that part of the shtick or is there something more than that to this?"

Robyn nods.  "Smart.  I like that.  Just a wee bit not smart enough, though, right?  So here is the rest of it.  Some friends of mine and I need to get onto the aquacology today.  I want you to get us genuine passes onto the site, the kind that do not excite too much attention from security guards or drones.  I promise that we only want to do some industrial espionage and that we are not going to sabotage anything or blow anything up.  I have a real distaste for killing anyone, especially myself.  If you cooperate, I will make sure that attachments 1 and 3 get lost and I will give you enough cash to allow you to pay off the casino debt.  If you are smart, that is exactly what you will do with the money, but that is entirely up to you.  Now, I have a friend out in the hall that I would like to invite in so that he does not attract too much attention from the cleaning staff coming down into your corridor in just about fifteen seconds.  What do you say?"

Greg might be a lot of things, but he knows when someone has him by the short and curlies and he nods but he puts up a hand.  "No one dies and nothing is sabotaged, right?"

Robyn nods.  "Right.  Of course, any precipitate action on your part could change some of that and then where would we all be?  My friend?"

Greg nods and Robyn goes to the door and opens it to let ISaint in.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <05-03-17/0336:31>
Isaint had listened to the feed and prepared: His face resembled that of a professional boxer with a crooked nose, broken and re-healed cheekbones that looked like a troll's dermal plate. In addition he had grown his eye brows giving him a pretty intimidating look, not offset at all by his expensive suit.
"Hello Greg. Pleased to make your acquaintance. My friend already brought you up to speed, so listen carefully:
You organize 10 security badges for five people: Five will be of a high enough clearance to get us into all public and the executive places + the transit areas. The other five will be a reserve that allow us to exit the aquacology smoothly and quietly should the first identity be compromised somehow. It's in your best interest to let nobody know about us having been there. If everything goes right, no-one will ever know that we were there and the money on your account will be the only reminder in existence for you. Should we fail... well, my friend already told you the parts with your wife, but you'll likely also get a visit from a few locals. You blackmailed quite a few women who all would have a motive to see you get hurt. Really, it's a seller's market.
Now get up and get dressed. A storm is coming and you don't want to miss your ship back to work."

<<Team, time to assemble in the marina. Our friend Greg is about to work his magic.>>
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <05-03-17/0848:54>
After finishing up his late lunch, Al noticed a text from Isaint...and that it was several hours old. Well, he couldn't be expected to pay attention to every little thing.

He paid for the meal, re-encrypted the aquacology schematics, and sent the file to each of his coworkers. Then he left the hotel - there was a high-end dive shop next door, and he wanted to pick up a few things to put in their crate. He texted Isaint that he'd be back and ready to top off their shipment for Vernie within an hour.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <05-03-17/1029:55>
Robyn smiles at the defeated man.  "Don't take it too hard, Greg.  I would recommend being a bit more careful next time you pick a mark.  You have our faces for your IDs and I am sending you those of the other three now.  I'll hang out here for a few minutes, just until you send me the IDs we are using.  But my friend is right about one thing; there is a big storm coming and they are already recalling the personnel.  You should be getting that message right"  Indeed, Greg's face turns a bit ashen as his 'link begins to go off with several messages and he is busy for a couple of minutes answering them and explaining to people that his 'link had been accidentally turned off.

After sending his replies, he looks up and nods.  "So who are you, anyway?  I suppose that you even conjured up the convenient storm."  He sighs.  "Alright, I get it.  I am working on your IDs and passes now.  I need to get dressed and be back at the marina to catch one of the barges.  One of you can hang about and I will let you have what I can get done."  His eyes turn a bit calculated.  "How much am I getting paid for this?"

Robyn nods.  "That's the spirit, Greg.  Shall we say enough to cover your debt at the casino and another 20K?"

"How about 50?"

Robyn shakes her head.  "I like you, Greg, but not that much, and my friends would disagree with going so far into the profit for this.  I can authorize as much as 30."

Greg smiles.  "I can do with plus 30."  Robyn nods to ISaint, who leaves the room to finish coordinating other last minute details while Robyn remains to take delivery of the IDs.

The man gets dressed and gets to work on his 'link, eventually getting two IDs and passes for each of the group.  "Alright, sending you the data.  These are as good as they need to be, but please be careful.  I would rather spend the money you are paying me than spend years in jail or worse if you get caught."

Robyn accepts the IDs and does a detailed matrix sniff of them to be sure they are not tainted.  When she is done, she lets the rest of the group know.  >>Team [Robyn]:  I have the IDs and am passing them out now.  I did a check and they should hold up to inspection so I guess our boy is good for this.  I am leaving his room now and will join all of you at the marina in thirty.<<
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <05-03-17/1700:05>
Isaint had prepared the box with his usual thoroughness: He had used a tube of silicone to waterproof all edges and corners, layered it with a sturdy heat-shrink-wrap and greased the seal area. His guns resided inside a hard shell case together with his ammo. His FBA had a filled up air-tank and two spares. The shield was folded up, leaving only a little bit of space for the rest of his smaller gadgets.

With worry he watched the darkening sky and the growing gusts of wind. Silk had been right: Soon there would be a storm and it would be a nasty one...

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <05-03-17/1958:21>
The rain was already pouring down when Al arrived at the marina. The last barge to the aqualogy was about to leave, and that also meant they were pushing the deadline on the crate delivery pretty hard. He discreetly added a canvas bag to the crate's contents, then handed out small, pocket-sized packages to his companions.

"Collapsible face masks. Jist for if the show goes all tits up an' things start gittin' wet fast. Tear off the wrapper and give this baby a hard crack against a wall or somethin', it'll unfold inta its shape. Pull it over yer face, yer good fer five minutes, ya can talk, an' it'll boost yer transceiver signal a bit. Tap the side fer a light, though if'n we's far enough down ta need it, well, ya better get somewhere ya can depressurize rather than try fer the surface."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <05-04-17/1224:44>
[Tuesday September 15th, 2076; Corp Barge headed for CTec Aquaology, Tonga Trench]

Silk pushed down the feelings of exposure on the crowded barge surrounded by worried corpers.  She had no problem with small spaces, hours of crawling though impossibly tight vent ducts had cured her of any claustrophobia, but small spaces full of people had a tendency to overwhelm her with impressions, readings and swirls in the Pattern that could be downright uncomfortable.

She settled in next to a ten year old and his dad who were more interested in their shared computer game than they were in the passengers around them or the increasingly choppy water and Silk was glad of the anonymity they gave her.  The other runners were deliberately separated in to smaller groups to avoid attracting undue attention to themselves…even Al seemed to have made some sort of effort to blend in…

With the aid of a microdrone in the crew compartment over their heads Silk did a little judicious eavesdropping and wasn’t overly surprised to learn that they didn’t seem to be able to raise the aquaology on comms.  The storm overhead would inhibit sat comms and nobody seemed overly concerned for now… at least until they were in los of the surface platform and there was still no response…

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <05-05-17/0226:00>
Robyn had elected to use her new identity as Marion Bradley to sit somewhat apart from the others.  Greg had done his job well and Robyn was considering giving him a nice bonus when this was all done.  Her top identity was as a temp staffer for the secretarial pool, but it was flawed, alerting the dock security staff to a fake ID, but upon further examination, they were able to see that she was in fact an investigation agent for EVO, sent to check on security measures at the aquacology.  She had smiled at the two security men and taken them aside to explain things.  They had passed her onto the barge with promises of keeping her secret, but she knew that they would alert their bosses of her presence.  Her personal knowledge of EVO personnel, reinforced by what she has dug up in her searches during the flight over, give her a good working knowledge of the security personnel at the local office as well as the Office of Security (Pacific).  The other staffers on the barge are sitting away from her, giving her plenty of room and letting her surmise that her presence on the barge is known to others.

The water is choppy and affects several of the returning aquacology in predictable ways, although Robyn handles it well.  After all, she suffers from desertion syndrome, not sea sickness.  Towards the end of the trip, Robyn becomes aware that some of the crew are concerned about something.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <05-05-17/0255:56>
Isaint had frowned at his identity. Greg had made him a member of the SecOps for the installation - that was ok and according to Isaint's wish - but he couldn't shake the feeling that Greg had tried to get in some personal revenge for the whole ordeal by giving him the name Pippin Galadriel Moonchild Myer. The guy had claimed that this was a real employee transfer scheduled to happen anyway in two weeks and was the safest way to get him in with access to sensitive parts of the installation... but still. Although Isaint had to admit that the real PGMM did look a bit like his current face - mainly because of the scars and perpetual scowl. Probably a side effect of growing up with that kind of name.

Isaint needed his concentration power to ignore the choppy sea - until the business with the shadow spirit he never had had any troubles with motion sickness - but now his motion sense had been amplified and the lingering sickness plagued him.

Isaint couldn't help but notice that the ship crew suddenly became nervous when they neared their destination - a small light house in the middle of nowhere - where the transfer to the Bathysphere was supposed to occur. 'I wonder if they do splicing experiments down there...'
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <05-05-17/1244:26>
Mortimer Malachowski (aka Alouicious Harlan Guthrie) sat alone at a table on the edge of the observation deck drinking beer and studying the CTec schematics. With no plan whatsoever, memorizing them (a whole lot better than relying on that mind-softening AR crap) would at least give his team half a shot at formulating a working strategy once they had a twenty on their target.

The chair and table were annoying - he had wanted to perch himself up on the forward gunwale, but he supposed he oughtn't attract attention. Damned pencil-necked corpers'd be all in a hissy thinking he'd fall overboard or something. And Mortimer Malachowski was no thrillseeker. A simple technical consultant - albeit without a remit, unassigned to any work unit in the place. The guards had assumed his cover story without asking - her was there as advisory support for the incognito sec personnel inspecting the aquaology.

Poor seating and crap beer notwithstanding, he was tremendously enjoying the choppy water, and the way the ocean spray mixed refreshingly with the burgeoning rainfall. it was the sailor's life for him - though sadly he not for it.

The surface unit was easily visible now. Something was causing a stir amongst the sheep, but if it was important Isaint would take care of it. Al returned to his study of the schematics.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <05-08-17/0602:29>
Isaint felt a profound unease settle over him as the boat began to unload onto the small artificial island. Something wasn't right - but whatever it was, it was to late: The storm was almost here and measured by the number of lightning strikes in the distance it would be a very bad one.
While they still had matrix contact, he contacted his colleagues:
<<I've got a bad feeling about this. When we get there, be ready for action and have those little breathing apparatuses ready - not necessarily because of water but  bad air. We need to get as quickly as possible to the post office and get our equipment crate. The smuggler avoided the controls, so it should arrive almost simultaneously with us.
God speed.>>

With that Isaint followed the other passengers into the inside of the lighthouse and to massive form of the Bathysphere.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <05-08-17/0916:41>
[Tuesday September 15th, 2076; Surface Platform CTec Aquaology, Tonga Trench]

Silk waited with the nervous corpers while one of the senior types decided what to do.  There was a floating AR message <Host offline. Secondary Protocols in effect> which was obviously causing them distress…at least the lights were on so presumably the life support had fail safe redundancies…but hosts weren’t supposed to go offline!  There was debate about turning the barge around and returning to Tonga but the seas were getting rougher and the pitching of the platform suggested that being out there on a boat would be less than pleasant!

“Right, make yourselves comfortable, maintenance and sec personnel front and centre, you’ll go down in the first shifts and see if you can determine what’s going on…”

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <05-08-17/0936:05>
<<Early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese. Robyn, can you send a spy drone down there with the first crew and have it record everything that happens? Best if you send a second one that stays behind in the BS as a backup relay. If there is something down there that causes a Host Black-Out I'd like to have a bit of forewarning. When the BS resurfaces we can view the recordings and decide what to do next.>>
Isaint sent, while hanging a bit back.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <05-09-17/0025:52>
Robyn laughs to herself as she stands up and moves to the front of the crowd, showing her ID.  >>That would work except that I am supposed to be part of the security team.  I will deploy one of the drones to fly about and another to be with me and and a third in the BS as recommended.  I have also deployed one to Greg to keep tabs on his whereabouts and would also like to deploy one to each of you to sit on your shirt collars.  I will keep them silent and will take responsibility for deploying them as part of my inspection should there be any questions asked.  All you have to say is that you did not know the drone was there but you do remember a woman brushing up against you before you got on the boat.  I am heading down in the first left and will try to keep in touch.  Al, I..................<<  The pause is a few seconds.  >>Never mind.  I will see all of you in a bit and we can drink vodka shots all night.  Ciao.<<
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <05-09-17/0248:33>
There was clearly something wrong down there. And down there was an incredibly vulnerable environment where anything wrong was automatically very very wrong. Isaint was clearly making the right play letting the first batch of corp drones be their scouts, and he was silently congratulating himself on naming the ork their leader, when...yup....again.

There was nothing for it. Robyn, Rick, Isaint - didn't matter - he couldn't let one of their team shoulder the risk alone, even if they were endangering themselves unnecessarily. Stupid Dog would probably think he was doing it for Her, but She didn't understand that he'd do it anyway, but since it happened to be in line with the way She liked things, he'd milk Her for all the juice She had.

He bumped Isaint's shoulder on his way past, muttering, "Stay frosty, Pipster baby," before taking his place not next to but near Robyn in his role as her incognito technical advisor.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <05-09-17/0619:22>
Isaint wanted to curse loudly and vividly but kept his cool. Now he was torn between keeping his teammates safe and watching out for Silk, their employer. His first impulse was to follow the two. Actually his first three impulses where to do just that. But that would mean leaving Rick and Silk up here and potentially walking into the same trap as his other two chummers.
There was no good solution.
<<Stay safe. If there is trouble get into a safe place. We'll come for you armed for bear.>>
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <05-09-17/0658:58>
[Tuesday September 15th, 2076; CTec Aquaology, Tonga Trench]
Silk responded to Alyce’s text <<I’ll go down too, our friend has provided me with a maintenance pass.  We’ll likely go out of comms as soon as we are a few meters down…for whatever reason the link to the aquaology seems to have been severed.  If we can easily re-establish that we’ll assess it once we’re down…the communication blackout might work in our favour but our principle defence from outside interference will be the storm>>
And with that she followed the other designated passengers in to the lift which shortly afterwards pulled away from the surface platform and began a gently arced descent along massive cables down towards the aquaology below.
Silk ignored the small pressure pings as the pod descended into the stygian depths, pressing her face to one of the thick portholes.  The whole trip took just under thirty minutes but at five minutes out the lights from the base below them became visible, reaching up out of the gloom and flashing off the flanks of the sea life that flitted at this depth.  Moments later AR displays lit up with the CTec logo… <<Well somebody’s home>> she texted to Alyce…but a Mark query via her deck indicated that her ID didn’t give her access privileges to the host…at first she thought that Greg had stiffed them, but from the glances to her fellow passengers it seems that they were also having similar issues in logging on to the very active host…
Moments later the pod settled with a gentle hiss in to its cradle on the station itself and various mechanical noises and AR displays indicated that life support seals had been established. The circular hatch retracted in to its recess and one by one the passengers stepped out in to the bay beyond.
“Welcome back, please step this way in to processing” as they are greeted by two CTec uniformed sec officers…
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <05-09-17/0749:13>
Remembering Isaint's advice, Al switched his air supply, just until they got through this processing business.

He looked around at the others from the BS to gauge whether this processing thing was routine or out-of-the-ordinary...
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <05-09-17/0842:14>
[Tuesday September 15th, 2076; CTec Aquaology, Tonga Trench]

The passengers react much like the corporate sheep they are, but one of the senior managers, Derek Coker from his AR badge, pushes to the front

“What the hell is going on?  Why have our host access privileges been revoked?  Come on Daniels, what is happening?”

“I’m sorry sir, please proceed to processing…”

“Frag that, I want to talk to Cooper now”

The sec guard remains impassive but he draws the holstered taser at his side and with a gesture activates two Colossus anthroforms from their charging bays, presumably there for cargo hauling, to begin to shepherd the corpers in to processing

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <05-09-17/0925:48>
Helplessly, Isaint saw the team's client slip in with the rest of the first group just as the heavy door was locked and secured.
Isaint couldn't help it: He uttered a string of German profanities that made the rather English looking gentleman next to him look up with a mildly vexed expression and said: "Now, now. Surely having to wait up here for the next transport can't be that bad, can it?"

Isaint sighed and remembered the role he had to play: "My apologies, but this is my first visit to the acquacology and at this rate I'm going to be late for my orientation training - a great first impression."
The man's features turned a shade friendlier: "Don't you worry to much about that. They can't very well blame you for the delays and the broken Host, can they?"
"I guess you never worked for a security provider. Being unlucky is just as valid a reason to get yelled at as a real mistake."

Isaint turned away to stare out to sea while the giant steel cable started to unwind, lowering the bathysphere into the depts. Something was going on and the better part of his team headed into danger without him. And all his weapons safe his taser were out of his reach.
He took a look around, searching for Rick - he wasn't sure if it would have been better for his mage friend to be also on the first ride down or not.

Frustrated and a bit anxious he waited for the next haul...
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <05-09-17/1245:49>
Al didn't have a problem with confined spaces. He hadn't been named No. 1 Bilge Rat in Proteus's Troubleshooters for nothing! But he had a serious problem with being kept in confined spaces. And while staying cool and not blowing your cover had its place in the grand scheme of things, his gut was screaming that every step toward "processing" was a step in the wrong direction.

Cargo loaders herding corporate managers and zombie-like responses from sec goons to people they know by way he was getting marched meekly into the showers. Maintaining an outward calm, he stuck to the middle of the crowd while looking around for his best play...
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <05-09-17/1705:30>
Robyn steps forward to the security man as Coker is arguing with him.  She quietly waits until the manager is whisked off, then speaks once it’s clear her ID has been scanned.  "It looks like I have come at a bad time for this inspection.  Please feel free to use me in any capacity you would like.  My primary purpose here is to examine your tech and try to determine what sort of improvements you might be able to take advantage of down here for security purposes.  To that end I have an assistant with me and I am prepared to deploy several small drones to help me gather data and can make a DNI connection to the hardware.  So, may I assist you here or can you give me a place to work from where I will be out of the way?”
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <05-09-17/1716:33>
Al held off on doing anything while Robyn made her try with the guards. He'd learned not to underestimate her. If she could get some traction with these guys, he'd play along.

Fearing, however, that these guys were in a state beyond reason and charm, he kept scanning the room for any possible useful detail - he noted the hand gestures the guards used to direct the drones, marked all exits from the bay, and scanned the sec guys' kit for weapons and electronics. There were only two of them. There were no doubt more in the facility...but that didn't mean they were necessarily all compromised...what if this Cooper guy and some others were somewhere else, doing something else?

All he knew for sure was that everything here and now was balls-out wrong. No organization that cared so much about morale that it went to the tremendous effort to keep a place like this at one atmosphere treated its people like cattle this way. The potential explanations were endless without getting more info to narrow them down...maybe Robyn would talk them into some sort of access, and that would show them more of the picture...or she'd fail and things would go to shit in a shirtwrapper, and that'd sure enough show them more of the picture too.

And getting herded off to processing, that'd show them more of the picture too - but that was one info nugget he figured he could without.

He turned his attention to the guard's expression as Robyn worked her magic on him....
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <05-10-17/0749:38>
It was quickly apparent that Robyn's speech may as well have been directed at a wall. The only response she got was that the more she talked, the more forceful the sec-zombie and his drones got about herding her, along with the rest, toward "processing."

Al had been lingering close enough to be part of her story, but now faded back into the crowd. Positioning himself nearer the other guard, he waited for his moment - there, some manager's wife was asking if her designer-blue chihuahua should go to processing, too - and he lifted what looked like a dedicated-function commlink off the guy's belt and slinked smoothly toward a nearby side room that had its door ajar.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <05-10-17/0930:33>
As usual, Al's execution was flawless. Once he was safely in the storeroom, he split his time between congratulating himself and examining his prize. Sure enough, this would let him control the cargo loaders. Piece of cake, and fun too, but what if someone noticed his tomfoolery? Or tried to intercept his commands? Or saw what was happening and locked him out - and then tracked him with the damned 'link.

He voice-texted the ladies: <<Here's the marks on sec-boy's 'link - it controls the drones. We don't wanna make a fuss till the others git down here, but jist use 'em ta create enough distraction we can git clear, work behind the scenes till we suss this cluster-fuck out.>>
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <05-11-17/0118:17>
Robyn smiles at the guard even though he pretty much ignores her.  She stays to the side and allows the other passengers to go past her while she tries to talk to the guard then tosses her arms up in defeat before following the rest of the group and makes a pretense of moving in the direction of the processing room.  She reaches out and pulls Silk closer to her as she places her marks on the device Al takes off the guard.  She is not quite certain how he has done it, but she has learned that Al can pretty much do anything.  At least almost anything except talk to her about love and happiness.  Still, this is not the time to get caught up in that sort of thinking and she focuses on getting to a room.  She also does not want to create a situation that might get Rick or ISaint in trouble or delayed in arriving.  No one has said anything about her drones so she keeps them deployed, which allows her to know that she is approaching a maintenance room on her right.  Her last act before making her move is to drop one of her two flying drones on to the lapel of Derek Coker.

Robyn sends out some feelers and unlocks the door then sends commands to the drones herding the people to push a couple of them and create a very small disturbance ahead of her, giving her the chance and the time to slip into the room, pulling Silk with her if she wants to come.  Once Inside the room, Robyn locks the door and uses her remaining drone to locate the fuse box some of the electrical circuits.  Smiling, Robyn pulls a small cable from the side of her neck and makes a direct connection into the power grid of the base.  Sitting down on the floor, she puts her back against the wall and lets her consciousness roam the system, trying to see what she can.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <05-11-17/0700:19>
Al cracked the storeroom door to make sure the ladies got away safely.

As he watched, he also recorded the scene on his eyes - showing his coworkers what awaited them would be better than any text message he could send.

He also slaved the captured commlink's text and voice traffic as a second channel on his earbud - just in case zombie guards talked to each other. Even if they didn't, someone was giving them their marching orders...

Robyn's execution with the drones was more subtle than he'd have managed, and he congratulated himself on delegating the task to her. Once he confrmed that she and Silk were safe (for the moment) from processing, he cracked the back of the captured 'link and disabled the tracking function.

Then as he looked around the room for anything useful, he put the images of what had happened in the bay in a message for Rick and Isaint from his own Fairlight and set a timer for it to start sending on repeat starting fifty-five minutes from now, right about when he figured they'd be coming into range.

<<Alrighty ladies, we lie low an' we look an' we listen, figure out all we can while we wait fer the others. Any trouble give a shout - I'm a hop, skip, an' a jump away.>>
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <05-11-17/0929:40>
As always the voodoo gods were with Al (and why wouldn't they be?), as a quick scan of the room confirmed that Vernie had done his job - there was their crate.

He broke the seals and grabbed his shotgun and the various tools he'd stowed, then edited the message he'd be sending the incoming team with a marker for the crate's location.

He voice texted the ladies - <<Got our toys here, bring yours at such time as I break cover.>> - then continued to monitor comm traffic. Not only the channel the guard had been on, but also setting the device to scan through all the unit's pre-set frequencies in case they'd gone to a different channel on discovering the guard was missing his 'link. He was pretty sure they'd gone unnoticed, but if he was wrong they could be staging a breach, and he'd want to know if that was happening.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <05-12-17/0141:11>
Robyn settles in on the floor of the room with her back to the wall under the junction box and smiles to herself.  She has recently undergone a couple of painful and expensive surgeries to upgrade some of her hardware and add something new and she is glad of the chance to put the new gear through its paces.  She sinks into her Transys Graygul and enters the matrix of the site.  If the drones and guards are still being controlled wirelessly, it stands to reason that she can access that capability here.

She slips into HOT SIM VR and begins her assault on the Host.  The first step is to gain a mark on the device she is connected to, which will give her a mark on the host as well as anything slaved to the host.  The attempt succeeds but she wants a bit of extra insurance and takes the time to get a second mark.  Once she has both marks, she enters the Host and sends a note to the team that she is in.  She uses Wrapper to make sure that her icon on the Host is consistent with the others she sees there and continues to run silently as she begins to explore the environment.  It looks like many of the icons are relaxing on the beach with laptop devices allowing them access to the Host's files so she puts on a very nice bikini to match the other women she sees and creates a small laptop device.  She walks to an empty beach chair and takes a seat before plugging her device into the system and looking around.  She makes sure that her baby monitor software is running so she can clear out before convergence happens.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <05-12-17/0831:19>
[Tuesday September 15th, 2076; CTec Aquaology, Tonga Trench]

The moments go by in tense anticipation of Isaint and Deckard’s arrival and the hope that someone doesn’t do a head count.  Robyn’s drone feeds suggest that ‘Processing’ mostly involves locking the personnel up in the side room and waiting around outside.  There are some muted demands to know what is going on, and then a little later for some water but the guards remain impassive, and the drones even more so…

In the host everything seems to similarly be moving slowly.  Robyn can’t see any other metahuman avatars and is glad of the wrapper program enabling her to blend in to the scenery.  Probe IC, in the form of whispy zephyrs, move past periodically but until she starts anything less legal they don’t appear to be hunting for her…

On the comms there is some chatter between the security forces, a brief instruction to wait for the next lift before bringing everyone down.  The impression is that there aren’t many voices so whatever is going on hasn’t involved all of the twenty strong sec forces, or they are really really untalkative…

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <05-12-17/1351:16>
As Al sat in his hidey-hole sharing information with Silk and Robyn - relaying his overheard comm chatter to them, and getting infobits from Robyn in return - he was pretty sure he was being watched. He'd slipped the meat guards easily enough, but the panopticon he'd found on his return to the "world" was a grating reality he seldom overlooked. He had little doubt there were micro cams here in the room with him, but he was too lazy to look for them. Let 'em look.

The fact that he was almost certainly being observed yet no one was coming to kill him combined with the small number of guards, the limited comm chatter, and the fact that the new arrivals were merely being shunted aside to paint a picture that lent weight to his theory that there was more than one faction at work in this place. If that was true, they could probably use it. Well, they could if they had a lot more data, anyway.

He cogitated the situation and reached out to Silk and Robyn on his transceiver. <<Listen, seein' as how all they doin' with this processin' is stickin' folk inna holdin' room, reckon we let 'em do the same with the next batch. All them corp sheep'll be collateral damage at best, an' pains inna ass at worst. Guards doin' us a damned favor gittin' 'em out the way for us. Once they's all locked away, then Robyn disables the drones an' we take out the two lousy guards quiet as we can. Take things from there with one foot inna door, so ta speak.>>

He edited his video message to Isaint and Rick, adding the instruction to find a way to slip into one of two marked rooms during the processing, with the aim of taking the guards out once the corpers were out of the way. Then he settled in to watch, wait, and listen.

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <05-13-17/1755:11>
Robyn feels pretty sure that as long as she does nothing illegal her overwatch score will not increase too much more than it is.  She looks around and sees the drone icons and notes that they are slaved to the host.  >>I already have some control over the drones and can either try to disable them or use then as tools and weapons when the time comes to do something.  I think that I can isolate the icons of the guards' weapons and communications devices so could certainly toss some data spike around.<<
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <05-13-17/2122:36>
Robyn's bikini clad avatar notices that she is the only person on the beach at this time who is relaxing, although a couple of whispy forms that she believes to be patrol IC have come by and moved on.  They seemed to ignore her presence other than to nod at her, but she feels like she is standing out by being here, and standing out in front of patrol IC is never a good thing, so she heads off to one of the beach cabanas and changes her clothing to be more professional looking.  Emerging from the small structure, she walks towards the nearest of the taller buildings, in appearance nothing more than another wage slave carrying a tablet in her hand.  Entering the building, she takes a look at the board listing what offices are on which floor.

She is wary of IC, but has done nothing illegal since jumping into the host and feels pretty good right now about her overwatch score.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <05-14-17/1126:47>
It took ages until finally the next BS surfaced - again without anyone exiting. The storm had gotten worse and the crew had decided to securely tow the boat to the artificial Island and weather the storm within the aquacology, even though they couldn't contact the below. Not even on the hardwired lines anyone picked up - Isaint had overheard a frustrated crew member complaining to his peer that only a friendly computer voice answered, talking about "technical difficulties with the communication equipment."

Still, they had to get of this platform, so Isaint pulled Rick aside and led him away from the masses, steering him and himself to the small bathroom section so they could return under the shield of a Physical Mask spell and his Spirits Concealment Power to enter the BS unseen while no prying camera eyes from below were able to notice them. As a bunch of unremarkable maintenance drones they joined the assembly.

The ride down was an exercise in self control and avoiding being stepped on. The sphere was large but also quite packed. Luckily the noise level was high and the light was dim, so they didn't have to be too careful.

As promised, they found a drone with messages from Al and Robyn. Reviewing them confirmed his suspicions - something fishy was going on down there and it was high time that someone with astral sight took a closer look at those guards. From nanobots, spirit possession, enchantement up to shapechangers the sixth world had no shortage of possible ways to explain this sort of behavior.

Finally, they arrived. The sphere was secured and people began to flood out of it with Isaint and Rick waiting to go out last and making a beeline for the hiding place of the crate.
Over microtransceiver he explained: <<Alright folks - first order of the day: Finding out what the frag is happening here. Rick get some spirit support online and see what the astral is like here. I'll take a closer look on those guards to see if they are themselves or someone else.>>

Assensing ( 9d6t5 5[9d6t5=6, 2, 1, 6, 5, 5, 2, 1, 5]
Woohoo, that should show even nanite infestations  ;D

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <05-15-17/0730:19>
When the door to his storeroom opened, Al nodded in the direction of what he assumed were his invisible coworkers. He was reclined in a corner against the wall, his the butt of his upright shotgun resting on his knee, an unlit Lucky Strike dangling from between his lips, and his big stainless steel Zippo twitching restlessly in his scarred hand.

As they retrieved their gear, he got to his feet. He figured everything they didn't take belonged to the girls, so he gathered all that up to take to them once they broke cover to link up.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <05-15-17/1201:05>
[Tuesday September 15th, 2076; CTec Aquaology, Tonga Trench]
To Isaint’s astral view the atmosphere here is generally a bit nicer than your average wageslave sinkhole without the miasma of low grade despair that often accompanies the poor souls that have sold theirs to the corporations.  The anxiety of the corpers being herded in to Processing is evident but of more interest is the sec guards.  Although difficult to get a clear view of them through the crowds, once those thin it is possible to glimpse their worryingly impassive auras.  The level of health and polluting cyber is about what you’d expect from a sec officer and there is no obvious signs of magical cohersion.  Peering closer it is possible to get a feel at least for the nanite load that is far far higher than you might expect and the fears of CFD suddenly become all too real!
Over the captured comm line Al hears what he has been waiting for, instruction to lock down the entrance bay and for the two officers to return to the job in hand, whatever the hell that may be and frustratingly with no further discussion…
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <05-15-17/1225:17>
<<Bad news my friends, it seems like those guards aren't magically possessed, but rather by nanites. I can't be sure of course, but avoid getting any bodily fluids from anyone on you. Keep those breathing apparatuses handy. We probably should get a move on since they are about to close the gates to this area and I don't feel confident cutting my way through. Rick, can you manage another three invisibility spells?>>

Isaint reported back, while getting into position to move through the barrier before it closed.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <05-15-17/1317:44>
Having patched Isaint and Rick into his eavesdropping channel as soon as they'd arrived, Al now sighed at the bad news and switched back to internal air supply - it was bad enough they had a bunch of robo-cooties to contend with, but now he wouldn't be able to smoke, either.

He reminded himself that God loved even the sinner as he prepared himself for Rick's witchcraft.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <05-16-17/0135:30>
Robyn grimaces and her avatar does the same as she looks at the "you Are Here" board in the lobby.  >>Nanites?  You mean CFD?  Bloody hell, guys.  You seem to know all the worst places to take a girl on a date.  Can't even come to a peaceful tropical island without something bad happening.  And to think I had such high hopes that I could sit in the sun on the beach and work on my tan.  I am inside the host and I have marks.  Do you need me to pull out now?<<
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <05-16-17/0246:53>
<<Tanning was never an option as soon as the target was called an aquacology. And yes, either CFD or something like it. Hard to tell from aura alone - just a lot of nanites polluting and a very subdued sense of self.
And unless you have found a killswitch for all the nanites in their it would be better to leave the host and virtual reality. You don't want to tangle with data spikes slung by enemy AIs.
We need to hurry or we'll be locked out.>>

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <05-16-17/1231:46>
[Tuesday September 15th, 2076; CTec Aquaology, Tonga Trench]

Aware that it is going to be extremely tight the team gather themselves and bolt for the exit as it begins to close, thankfully the submarine style door moves sufficiently ponderously.  Slipping through on the heels of the two sec officers they seem momentarily confused by the anti-clash sensor that detects the last of the team through and halts the door’s smooth and inexorable locking, but they clearly dismiss the problem and move off down the corridor to the main dome.

Not so the four Evo Castellan drones that raise themselves from their reclining positions and move to intercept the runners weapons raised…

Evo Castellan [H 4 SP 4G Ac 2 B 4 A 3 Pi 4 Sn 4] w. Smartsoft, Screech 'soft [4], Evasion 'soft [4], Clearsight [4], Cyberarm Gyromount [3], Ares Screech Sonic Rifle [A6, 7S, *, SS, 10(c)]w. smartlink

Corridor is approx. 2m wide x 2m high and about 10m long, and given the nature of the weapons they are using they will struggle to miss you even with only 10D to hit![/spoiler]


Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <05-16-17/1412:14>
Than lets better not give them the chance ;)
Their Ini is 8+4d6= Ini ( 2#8+4d6 24 19
Isaint's Ini: Ini ( 16+4d6 32

Free Action: Rapid draw two tasers
Rapid Draw ( 17d6t5 5
Dual wield Defiance Ex Shocker (Ambidextrous)
Free Action: Multiattaack
Complex Action: Multiattack
Splitting Dice Pool
Multiattack ( 14d6t5 5 [14d6t5=6, 2, 1, 1, 5, 1, 6, 6, 2, 3, 6, 3, 3, 3]
Since the drones are likely using echolocation/ultrasound they might be aware of attack:
Defense ( 2#8d6t5 3 2
Since it's an electric attack they still get the base damage of 10 S(e) AP-5 (Custom Taser Ammo for +1 damage)
Soak ( 2#4d6t5 1 2
Taking 9 and 8 damage
Both drones are out of commission

Isaint realized that he had in all that haste forgotten of activating his ultrasound jammer - consequently two security drones had recognized their mismatched appearance.
He didn't have much time for conscious thought: His hands found the grips of his two Defiance-Ex tasers and brought them up in a seamless motion, centering their infrared laser dots on each of the two drones, pulling the trigger in a reflexive simultaneous action.
The shots where sloppy and barely contacted with the two moving targets - but the beauty of these weapons lay in the fact that this was more than enough: Aided by the extra capacitors the current was enough to short circuit the guardians before they had a chance to shoot or narc on them.
<<Don't stop, we need to keep moving and find cover.>>
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <05-16-17/1825:19>
Al didn't stop.

Even as the first robot dropped he was bounding over its twitching hulk towards the surprised guards, who literally never saw him coming. Hesitant to shoot lest he kill the poor suckers or, worse, hit his own people since they were invisible, he launched an unseen foot at the first sec man's crotch and then shot his elbow toward the nose as the guy doubled over....
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <05-17-17/0302:22>
Robyn slips back to the meat world and disconnects from the host before following Silk out to the main room.  Expecting trouble, she unspools her whip from her finger after letting Rick cast his spell on her.  She follows after ISaint and Al in time for her sensors to see four drones rise up from hidden locations and turn their weapons in the direction of the group.  ISaint doesn't hesitate and draws a pair of tasers, sending two of the drones sparking to the ground while Al barreled through the carnage to attack one of the guards.  Stealing an opportunity, Robyn steps forward and sends her whip arcing in against one of the remaining drones.  The invisible line wraps about the drone and a gentle pull brings it back in Robyn's direction, neatly slicing the thing in half.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <05-17-17/0746:41>
[Tuesday September 15th, 2076; CTec Aquaology, Tonga Trench]

Blissfully unaware of the lethal monowhip in the hands of the technically blind woman whistling over her head Silk sent a rapid command to the willow thin stick in her hand which elongated with a barely audible rustle as the smart metals reformed in to the light combat staff.  Conscious of the comparably tight confines of the corridor she ducked low and used the staff like a spear, knocking the barrel of the sonic blaster to one side and sliding the tip up to the junction between the anthro drone’s head and shoulders.  With a jolt the tip delivered its charge sending sparks cascading down the drone and it crumpling to a heap on the deck…

Ini 10+4D6 = 29 so will also edge to beat the drone fire

Personalised Telescoping Stun Staff (yes I know it doesn’t technically exist!) [A5, R2, 9S(e), -5AP]
Ready weapon: Free (wifi)
Attack: 16D = 6 (limited to 5)
Defence: 8D -2D reach = 3
Soak: 4D = 0 and sparky mess on the deck

Edge remaining 3/4


Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <05-17-17/2005:51>
Al's elbow flattened the guy's nose nicely, but then he and his friend tried to dogpile him. Which was when Al discovered how fun it was to fight while invisible as he watched them flailing in his general direction - the first guy tripped over the second one, and Al grabbed him by the collar and helped his momentum carry his head into a wall. The little see-through man then took a swing at the second guard, but the uniformed man miraculously blocked the blow, both arms up in front of his face like a boxer....
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <05-18-17/0703:57>
Isaint's second pass at Ini 22
AGI Boost: Agi Boost ( 8d6t5 3
Fire Called Shot w/Adept centering
Shoot (Vitals) ( 17d6t5 5

Defense Guard (Melee, second attack -4)
Defense ( 6d6t5 2

DV 15S(e) AP-5
Soak: Soak ( 11d6t5 2
DV 13

Isaint didn't stop in his stride, but sent a short prayer to his patron and received the familiar buzzing of power flowing through his muscles.
Only two meters away from the guard he pressed the trigger and was satisfied to see the man fall unconscious to the ground.
<<We need to get out of this corridor. The concealment makes us harder to track, but whatever is going on here it certainly will have control over the cctv.
Robyn, please try to find the suite where our target resides. Since we are already in this deathtrap, we can as well do our jobs properly. The faster we are done, the faster we can get away again>>
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <05-18-17/0748:46>
[Tuesday September 15th, 2076; CTec Aquaology, Tonga Trench]

The boxer can clearly feel his opponent but recognises that he can’t fight something he can’t see…scanning around whilst attempting to ward off blows he lights on the sonic rifle clutched in the hands of the dismembered drone and lunges for it…only to be shot by Isaint and fall twitching to the deck after his compatriot

The other unfortunate crumpled against the bulkhead impossibly begins to stir…

And at the end of the corridor a plasteel door begins to close from its ceiling recess…rather worryingly the team can see the dried on remains of a bloody handprint on the transparent surface at about knee height, almost as if the door had crushed someone…

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <05-18-17/0849:31>
"Fuck. They are getting up again. Get through that door now!"
Isaint had noticed the readout from his taser indicating that the nanites where overriding the body's shut down. Another trigger squeeze would kill the man for sure.
While still running on, Isaint concentrated on the lessons Rick had given him. Letting the mana flow through his feather pendant he called up invisible force to counteract the closing door. Isaint was under no illusion how much pressure a closing security shot in an 1 atmosphere aquacology would need to operate safely in case of a breach. But maybe he would be able to slow the door down for a second or two...
Casting F6 Levitate on closing door
Levitate F6 ( 8d6t5 2
Counter act with 400kg worth of upwards force
Drain: Drain resist ( 11d6t5 8
Yeah. No drain

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <05-19-17/0756:24>
The guy with a dent in his skull starting to get up off the floor was the final confirmation of Al's suspicions. "Damned nanite zombies," he muttered under his breath. But the guy was small potatoes, and Isaint was saying what Al was thinking.

Without further ado, he scurried forward and ducked under the quivering plasteel door, one eye looking for threats and the other for a way to send the door back up....
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <05-19-17/1013:00>
Robyn uses the opportunity provided her to glide under the door..  She notices a small panel near the door and holds her hand next to it, placing the edge of her whip near her finger against the outer cover and slicing down.  When the interior of the box is revealed, she slips her cable in and reenters the host, looking for the blueprints of the base.

[spoiler]Search for blueprints:  Matrix Search ( 13d6t5 4[/spoiler]

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <05-20-17/1049:17>
Isaint was the last to cross under the door. The last half meter slammed shut as Isaint let go of the spell, slightly panting. Once again his chest reminded him that he wasn't in prime condition any more.
Curious, he looked around. They had entered a kind of public transit area - according to Al's floor plans, little self contained tubes were used to traverse the underwater city. Currently there was no sign of any activity around here. Wherever processing was, it wasn't done at the platform of a train station.
"It seems we have to cross almost the whole city to get to our targets living quarters. I'm pretty sure we have been noticed, so we need to keep moving - and I need a place where I can change into my FBA. This is will become a lot worse before it gets better.
Let's keep to the emergency tunnels - those should have hand operated bulkheads if Evo learned anything from the Renraku Arcology Incident."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <05-20-17/1306:56>
Robyn's avatar grins as it pulls in the data she is looking for.  >>Got the location.  I am marking the path on you schematics Al got us.  Coming out now.<<

She glides back out of the host and her body moves again as she turns to look at her companions.  "Ready.  Did everyone get the path?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <05-23-17/1608:26>
The service/emergency tunnels turned out to be both damp and barely lit by red emergency lights. Condensation dripped from every possible surface as the whole area was barely heated. Keeping the illusion under these conditions going required every ounce of concentration Rick could spare as Isaint only knew too well. So it fell to him to open the heavy doors, slowing their progress significantly. After the first two, Isaint felt the need to change his attire. Being invisible didn't make the job any easier to put on a FBA, but long routine allowed him to do so with relatively little trouble. Now, properly armed and armored, he felt more confident - especially with the ultrasound jammer running
Looking at the map he realized that they still were more than half an hour away from the habitat.
<<I wonder how long it will take until they start messing with our matrix enabled gear. Probably best to leave most of it off as long as we don't need it. I've got a few spare micro transceivers if anyone of you needs one>>
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <05-23-17/1707:46>
Al carried precious little that was wifi-active as it was, and took advantage of the pause to double check the manual cut-outs on what he did have. Yup, al good and dead. The exception was his commlink, and he happily turned that off and then pulled the battery just for fun. Didn't need it for anything down here anyway, as long as they had the transceivers....of course, they pretty much needed point-to-point down here - he wasn't going to trust them much past LOS as long as the passages they were in were mostly surrounded by water.

He'd gone back to normal breathing once they were clear of the guards - his internal supply was hardly infinite - but he was poised to go back to it at the first sign of, well, anything.

One thing he would miss the 'link for was the place's schematics, so he risked a half-second of wifi to flash the data to the image link in his eyes. Now he could see it without any signal, and if he kept it in a window he wouldn't have to deal with AR. For fine work he'd have to blow it up to fill his vision, but as long as he didn't mind being blind, that wouldn't be a problem. Yeah, an AR overlay and he'd have the data and be able to see.

But that'd be too easy.

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <05-24-17/0117:20>
Robyn nods and begins shutting off her PAN items, one after the other.  She calls back her drones and turns them off so they do not give the group's position away.  Pretty soon, all of her devices are wireless dark.  She is not completely useless, but nearly so and feels it.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <05-24-17/0557:30>
Isaint had turned all his gadgets wireless off. He missed the telemetry but didn't have time to worry to much about it. Attaching the microfiber cables to connect his guns with his glasses turned out to be too much hassle for a quick draw. At least the laser sights were operational.

But he didn't have much time to dwell on that, as the next heavy door had to be opened, secured, crossed and closed again.
<<For our way back, we'll probably have to entertain the option of stealing a submarine. Are you all up for a little detour to get the lay of the land there, or would you prefer we go straight to our target and don't risk the chance of forewarning anyone that we took a look at their garage?>>
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <05-24-17/0805:00>
[Tuesday September 15th, 2076; CTec Aquaology, Tonga Trench]

Silk considers Isaint’s question “We would probably need to disable their perimeter defences to get out in one of their subs, I had hoped to return to the surface and get a pickup from there but I guess that is looking increasingly more difficult and the storm isn’t going to help matters as I doubt we have the time to wait for it to blow over.  Damn it, the path was so clear, now I am having trouble concentrating on it with you and Al so close…”

As the team pick their way through the tunnels to the next dome their remaining activated commlinks and decks simultaneously receive a voice message along with some speakers from whatever address system is still  active down here, the eerie sound of the same female voice saying

>>Why are you here? What do you want?

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <05-24-17/1015:38>
'Oh, great. Just what we need.'
<<Keep moving>>
Isaint thought for a split second what to say, but if in doubt always say the truth - although not necessarily the whole truth:
"Hi there, creepy speaker voice. We are here for a meeting and don't want to be late. We have no interest in tangling with you body snatching AIs. Keep out of our way and you won't even notice that we were here. Try to fight us... well, we won't go down without taking you with us."

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <05-24-17/1035:21>
Robyn remains silent for these exchanges.  She has nothing much to add at this time.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <05-24-17/1104:55>
[Tuesday September 15th, 2076; CTec Aquaology, Tonga Trench]
The voice(s) responds
>>All the inhabitants have temporarily been restricted to their quarters for their own safety, there is nobody left to meet.  If you interfere with my plans I will be forced to detain you.  If you pass beyond my AROs I will consider you to be a threat and deal with you appropriately.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <05-24-17/1332:57>
Al moved along with the group, taking up the rear guard position.

This could be a good thing, he thought. As long as they didn't have to go through anywhere She-HAL didn't want them, maybe they could snatch their mother-killer from where he was restricted to his quarters and be gone without a hitch.

And leave all the other men, women, and children down here to be infested with soul-killing techno-bugs.

For the moment he held his peace and kept his eyes open, gathering all the data he could.

And mostly wondering whether it was best to stay behind and take this thing on himself, or drag his coworkers along with him.

He also flicked his 'link back on, called up the schematics of the place, and tried to see whether he could access all of She-HAL's AROs on the map instead of having to locate them in real-space.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <05-24-17/1814:23>
Sadly, the downside of being invisitble was that he couldn't see his commlink's screen, though he noticed that when he concentrated the mists cleared a bit. Not good enough. He risked another split second of connectivity to flash the data to his image link, and there it all was. He shut all his wireless down again, double-checking it was good and dead.

The news was not good. The place was a damned maze, of course, but there was no way (using conventional access, anyway) to reach their target's quarters without passing one of She-HAL's do-not-disturb signs.

Well, if that meant they had to tangle with much the simpler, really, since there was no way he could leave all these poor saps down here with her anyway.

He spent a few minutes looking for any alternative ways to bypass the AROs, then gave a low whistle. Once he was pretty sure he had his transparent companions' attention, he spoke. "Pulled down the locations of all the AROs. Looks like She-HAL done marked her territory real good, but we can reach our meetin' without crossin' any of her no-fly zones. Jist stay on course, we won't have ta lock horns with her."

Under cover of Rick's illusion, however, he unspooled his link's fiberoptic cable from its housing and, concentrating on piercing the Satanic veil blocking his vision, he found each of his companions and one by one put a steadying hand on their shoulder as they walked and transferred the data showing their predicament to their own 'links.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <05-25-17/0120:39>
Robyn feels the pressure of Al's hand on her shoulder and reaches up to touch it, finding the direct cable link in his hand.  She takes it and slots it into her neck and receives his data.  She nods her thanks and........and nothing.  Now is not the time.  She disconnects the cable and lets him go to the next person as she reviews the data he had given her.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <05-25-17/1010:05>
[Tuesday September 15th, 2076; CTec Aquaology, Tonga Trench]
After what feels like hours, but what amounts to about fifty minutes, of ferreting about in crawl spaces, maintenance tunnels and at one point a roasting hot air filtration unit, the team finally make their way to a grating outside the quarters that Alyce identified as belonging to Monarch…all without crossing any of the pesky AROs thanks to Al’s careful navigation.
With the assistance of one of Alyce’s microdrones you rapidly reach the conclusion that whatever quarters your target has been detained in they are not his own!  The place is empty, with nowhere inside to hide, there isn’t any sign of struggle or evidence of any particular hurried depature…just no Monarch!
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <05-26-17/1713:58>
Relying on Al's excellent navigation, Isaint had concentrated on getting there without triggering a response.
Seeing the empty living quarters he sighed. Using the matrix independent micro transceiver he called the team:
<<Seems like we aren't going to get out of this without confronting the wider conspiracy.
I see the following options:
1.) Giving up. Yes I know, it sounds cruel, but we are actually faced with a whole city that may or may not be infected with CFD. As soon one of the Big Ten gets wind of this - including Evo - chances are they are going to just poke a hole into the acquacology and let the pressure of the deep take care of the problem. Boston told us quite drastically what we should expect.
2.) Negotiate. It stands to reason that whoever has control of the city also could give us Monarch - or at the very least the answers we are looking for. We could do this by getting to safety in a sub and threaten them with destruction - either through our hand or the Big Ten. Morally reprehensible, but possibly the safest option for us.
Alternatively we could inquire what it is they want down here and try to find something to bargain - information for example.
3.) Go to war. This is the hardest and most dangerous option: We use our skills and resources to fight our way to monarch. We will be forced to kill as our opponents will shrug off anything less than absolutely lethal. The odds for this are overwhelmingly against us and we may end as just another husk for the collective.

So, what do you think? Any more options? Any preferences? I think I know pretty exactly what my patron want's me to do...>>
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <05-26-17/2345:05>
Robyn looks at Silk.  "It is your mission.  What do you think?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <05-27-17/0334:59>
Before Silk could answer, Al said his piece, making sure to follow Isaint's example by subvocalizing into his microtransceiver.

<<One's out. Natch. Two's no good - soft way or the hard way, leaves all these poor folk down here fer they souls ta be sucked - an' a fair lot might not be infected yet. We go three. But I say we don't fight our way ta Monarch. We fight our way ta whatever server hosts She-HAL. Lotta her kind, they's distributed all over hell an' creation. But down here, not bein' able ta git a signal out, she's good an' isolated. We got a chance ta git 'er by the short hairs, from there we can demand Monarch, a sub, an' the uninfected ta boot. Once we's away we can let Evo or whoever nuke the site from orbit. But I agree on one sad reality - we gotta write off the infected - which is ta say anyone fights us. Gloves all the way off. Prob'ly can't be helped anyway. Hell, any of 'em got kids down here, they'd want ta be sacrificed fer the sake o' they uninfected kin.>>
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <05-27-17/2223:51>
Robyn nods at Al's words.  It cuts her to the soul to have to agree with him, but in this case he is pretty much spot on.  Not trusting herself to say something silly or stupid, she leaves her response to just nodding.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <06-11-17/0501:46>
Isaint nodded, but kept silent for the moment.
Rick replied laconically: "I don't care either way. But I might have to call an Air Spirit into me for an electricity aura - that should take care of any nanites coming close.
And no, sorry, that trick only works on me without frying your brains. If I'd known about this CFD shit beforehand I could have learned a spell that does something similar."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <06-12-17/0806:30>
[Tuesday September 15th, 2076; CTec Aquaology, Tonga Trench]

Silk considered the options set out by Isaint very briefly, recognising that though he was notionally in charge of the mission, and she would respect his wishes to call it, she knew that she had a responsibility to these people, dragging them here to the depths of the ocean.  Not every Johnson felt that way certainly but then she wasn’t the typical corp shadow dealer.

“Right now I’m not sure giving up is an easy option with the storm overhead and our route to the sub bay blocked by her AROs.  Negotiation may be an option but I sympathise with Al’s view about letting CFD loose down here if there is still a chance to contain it.  I have seen what it can do in a closed community and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.  So that leaves war… which I would normally never advocate but our hand seems to be forced.  Robyn, can you identify the physical location or locations of the host?  She will protect them obviously and that will mean engaging the infected.  All my research says there’s no known cure and that they are technically no longer human.  I’m not sure that justifies us killing them but if that is really the only way to restrain them then with a heavy heart I will bear that burden.”

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <06-12-17/0904:03>
"It's war, then. Good. Time to drop the charade and take action. Our biggest trouble will be those screamer rifles on the drones. In these small corridors we can't really avoid to be hit. Those must therefore be our priority targets in any confrontation.

Rick, we'll need one of your bound spirits as a scout, so we can get the drop on any roadblocks. Stay in the back to secure our rear. Al and I will form the front .
Silk, you keep close to Robyn and make sure she has someone at her side if she has to go VR. Have your weapons ready. As soon as we have the direction we have to move fast and preferably again through a route where they can't just lock us out with a few well placed bulkheads."
For a moment, Isaint's cestus blazed in silver white light, highlighting the small engraved crosses.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <06-12-17/1751:36>
Considering Isaint's warning about the drone-mounted weapons, Al just about kicked himself. He'd brought a supply of just the thing they needed, and then left it in the hotel, worrying it might raise eyebrows if they were searched on entering. Well, the Good Lord gave men mistakes so they could learn to fix them. He congratulated himself on his resilience and spiritual outlook.

<<Listen, y'all>> he subvocalized <<while this one's markin' our targets, note the three medical substations. Yeah, the main sickbay's ARO'd off, but these three spots ain't, an' they should stock ondansetron. We swing by there on our way to whichever nerve center toots here points us at, we pick up some o' that stuff, it'll take the edge right off anyone gits hit by them screecher doohickies.>>
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <06-13-17/0604:42>
<<Good thinking. That could make a huge difference. Although we have to make sure there aren't any nanites lurking in the supplies. Better zap and sterilize them in the microwave before we take them.>>
Isaint replied.
Not for the first time he wondered what he would do if they did in fact become infected. He quickly suppressed the thought that came next - what about his chummers...
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <06-14-17/0036:18>
Robyn nods, her mind already reeling with the thought of what being infected would mean.  She pushes them to the side and forces herself to concentrate on the task at hand.  "Listen, two things, alright?  One, I recommend that we get to this med bay I am marking for us.  There is an ARO on your  We get this stuff and I go into the host while someone nukes them to be sure they are nanite free.  I will find the location while in VR inside the host.  And two, I hope that you kill me quick if I get infected."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <06-14-17/0355:05>
<<Hopefully it won't come to that. And if it does... there are spells to change the body that makes the nanites vanish for the duration. If the worst comes to the worst, we'll have to try that before we kill anyone in our ranks.>>
Isaint knew that he was likely talking about a vain hope - although he had studied new techniques to apply his magic through katas and other martial arts movements, he was far from confident that he could apply them in an emergency yet.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <06-14-17/1900:19>
As they made their way purposefully for the medical substation they'd marked outside the ARO cordon, Al reflected on the people he'd crossed paths with just over a year earlier at the Sound Mental Health facility in Bellevue. Women, old men, teenage kids - they'd all forced him to kill them. Zombie-eyed and nearly impossible to put down. That was the first he'd heard of CFD, and he still wasn't sure if they'd been a regular manifestation or some weird technowitch/transhumanist variant. But he'd later learned Winter was involved in that fiasco, and the same was apparently true down here, so he was braced for more of the same ugliness. 

If only that little girl LeFey hadn't been so damned close-mouthed - she'd known a helluva lot more about all this crap than she'd been willing to tell, despite Al's best prodding.

Winter - he still had more questions than answers about that asshole, but he/she/it kept popping up on Al's jobs with an alarming regularity....maybe if they caught half a moment he could get Silky to open up....he had a feeling she knew more even than LeFey had, but no one was talking....
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <06-15-17/1028:32>
When they reach the medical bay, Robyn lets ISaint and Al make sure that it is clear then goes inside with Rick.  She takes a bit of time to grab up a top notch medkit and make sure it is well stocked then moves to where one of the monitors is hooked into the wall and sits down next to it.  Looking around, she nods that she is ready.  >>OK.  I can get in from here.  What exactly do you need me to look for?"
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <06-15-17/1510:46>
As Isaint explained what he wanted to Alyce, Al picked the lock on the pharma cabinet and proceeded to load ten syringes with ondansetron, two for each of their number, with varying doses based on his estimation of their body weight.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <06-16-17/1115:34>
Isaint had waited for everyone to get into position before speaking to Robyn some more:
<<Ok, as I understand Silk this facility has still some kind of server set up to simulate the matrix down here that the hosts depend upon. I assume they are using the heat from the server cooling to keep the city warm. We need you to look for the highest ranking devices down here. Hacking them for a tracking action is probably to dangerous so instead you might be able to identify the cooling system connected to the servers and get their location - specifically the emergency back up pumps. Those are usually not slaved or directly connected to the servers. If we find them there is a good chance we can extrapolate the location of the servers. If we take out the main matrix infrastructure, the CFD carriers will be forced to rely on a spotty mesh network. For one thing that will force them to congregate to communicate and also hamper their efforts to control the infrastructure down here, since the secondary systems are usually not directly integrated into the network.

Mind you, I don't know much about the system architecture down here, but as far as my experiences with security design go it's at least how I'd set this place up.>>
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <06-16-17/1756:16>
Everything Isaint said about the place's design made perfect sense. Sadly, even though their schematics had been accurate so far, and even though they'd gotten them from a senior manager with pretty high clearance, the guy was not in a role where he was need-to-know about infrastructure and core system specs. They had all the place's major atmosphered spaces, and excellent detail on living and administrative usage, but there were still large areas that were blank or only vaguely detailed. Their targets were in those areas, and as Isaint spoke Al hardwired himself to Robyn again to point out the highest probability locations for the backbone system based on Isaint's logic and a number of other infrastructural considerations.

<<Fire safety protocols'll be our friend in this. Fire in a place like this, even a relatively small one, can suck the oxygen out of a whole bloc in no time flat. So yeah, they got flame-resistant materials and a nice little halon delivery system. But they's also an emergency system ta seal an' flood any given space. No doubt She-HAL is all over lockin' those permissions up tight, but nothin' she can touch can't be hacked, in theory. An' git me close, I can hotwire anything manually. Few metric tons a seawater gon' ruin any server-based entity's day, so we find her, we can put a gun to her head real nice......Other side o' that coin is....we git all uppity an' cross her red line in the AROs, she can play the same tricks on us. So listen up close, toots....>> And Al, knowing he had nothing to teach Robyn about hacking, set about showing her the telltales in the system that would telegraph any hardware/mechanical moves to seal a given area in preparation for flooding. <<Keep half an eye on that sorta thing while we're in here, we might have enough warnin' ta do something, she turns the environmentals against us. Even while mobile, might be a good idear ta stay in - it don't have ta be full-VR hot sim ever second, ya know....>>

Of course he was just thinking of how to make sure she stayed on top of any threats to the team. Never occurred to him that hot sim was faster but also much more vulnerable, and she'd be in there with an AI - like a bleeding diver versus a damned great white. Nope, that wasn't what he was thinking about with the cold sim suggestion. Not at all.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <06-18-17/1242:06>
Robyn nods.  >>OK, I can do this.<<  She grins.  >>I can at least try to do this, anyway.  Al, you are correct that I do not need to be in VR all the time, but it certainly helps.  I can access the host again from this room as some of these instruments and monitors have to be slaved to it.  Would it be better to have me hook up here and then you four lock me in the room when you leave?  That way I can maintain my contact with the host in VR and try to deal with the AI when and if she finds me?<<
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <06-19-17/0433:50>
Al shook his head. Continuing to subvocalize, he said: "However we go about this, ain't no one gittin' locked up alone nowhere. Splittin' up always leads us deeper into the shit. Ever' single damned time. Me, I think our best bet against She-HAL is inna meat world, go at her server like we done discussed. All of us can work together on that, with you Robyn providin' matrix support as an' when feasible. Matrix guerrlla for us, if ya will. Much better plan than havin' jist one of us go mano-a-mano with the AI alone on its own turf. Hell, if that was a realistic option, we could jist hole up in here, let ya do yer thing, an' go home five minutes from now."
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <06-19-17/0455:37>
<<Agreed. No splitting the group down here. And be careful what you plug into your head. Run the tag eraser over every plug first.
And actually: Killing the cooling system is out best bet to shut down the servers without resorting to explosives - which as we know might cause a catastrophic failure in the sphere's structure.

So first thing is finding and plotting a course to the cooling systems.>>
Isaint added.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <06-19-17/1231:05>
[Tuesday September 15th, 2076; CTec Aquaology, Tonga Trench]

Silk had been expecting it for the last few minutes of their trek through the labyrinthine back of house areas of the aquaology but when the voice of she HAL spoke to them again in the med bay it was nevertheless unnerving

>>You are meddling, crawling around like mice in a maze.  I will ask you one more time what you are doing here.  If I do not like the answer I will be forced to contain you where you are until my task here is done.

Silk shivered slightly and she realised that the internal temperature had indeed begun to drop…it would seem that perhaps the AI had already decided to take measures

>>Robyn, I, or my agent, can assist you in the matrix if that would help.  If nothing else I could run interference for you

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <06-19-17/1404:07>
Robyn snickers as she sub-vocalizes.  >>I will be the last person to turn down any help.  I take it we are not going to answer Hal-ette?  Hmmm, you asked about the highest ranking devices down here and in my experience, medical equipment ranks just lower than site defense and life support.  So far the defenses seem to be drones, which does not let me do much, but we do have some really good medical systems right here.<<
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <06-22-17/0321:19>
Isaint debated answering the creepy KI and decided to risk a little bit of diplomacy. Using one of his lesser commlinks with the agent keeping watch for intrusion attempts he replied before shutting wireless off again:
<<We have kept away from the areas you called off-limits. We are here to retrieve Information from a local resident. I repeat: We have not come here with the  intention to meddle in your plans - whoever you are.>>
'Of course, just because we didn't come here with the intention doesn't mean we didn't change our opinion with your shitty behavior...'

To the others he sent on the microtransceiver: <<We have to keep moving. It's getting pretty chilly around here. Rick please have one of your spirits carry Robyn while she is in VR.>>
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <06-22-17/0848:58>
[Tuesday September 15th, 2076; CTec Aquaology, Tonga Trench]

She HAL didn’t sound wildly impressed with Isaint’s response but nonetheless her reply was measured and calm.

>>Very well.  If you tell me the name of the resident that you wish to speak to I will have them brought to you.  For now you are restricted to your current location but you have my word that I will not attempt any harm to you if you remain where you are.  As a gesture of good will I have corrected the environmental conditions in the module you are in.

And the temperature did begin to rise once more

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Jack_Spade on <06-22-17/0937:05>
Isaint turned to their employer: <<Well Silk, it's your decision, but we probably won't get a better offer at this junction. We can still go to war after you got your info - unless you think it's to much of a risk to trust whoever this is arranging a meeting.>>

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <06-22-17/1135:35>
Al didn't say anything.

It couldn't hurt to achieve Silky's objective before unleashing hell on the She-HAL. And talking to the guy could provide one heap big load of intel on what was going on down here.

But Al knew what'd he'd be doing once they had what they wanted. The knowledge that there were children down here....
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Mercy Merchant on <06-25-17/2249:49>
Robyn remains quiet as the others discuss the options.  She moves to where she can access one of the high-end medical monitors and carefully opens part of the device so that she can directly access the host from here if and when that is a go.  Once done, she slides along the floor to where Al is sitting down.  Her heightened senses are picking up decided changes in his breathing but he would probably not appreciate being reminded of how she can read people and she leaves him to his planning, hoping that he will include her in it at some point.  Even with wireless off, her sensors can detect movement and she will smile at him if he looks up at her.
Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: Aria on <06-26-17/1232:07>
[Tuesday September 15th, 2076; CTec Aquaology, Tonga Trench]

Silk considered, this was rightly her risk to take and shouldn’t be Isaint’s responsibility…but she was glad he had acknowledged that.  In this instance honesty felt right and she hoped it wouldn’t come back to bite them.

Speaking out loud and knowing that the AI could hear them Silk said

“We are looking for someone calling himself Monarch… I can give you an ARO to…”

The response is visceral and the team can almost feel the aquaology quake with the force of the anger in She HAL’s voice that bombarded them from physical speakers as well as via their matrix interfaces

>>NO!  He was promised to me!  You cannot have him…

and then the voice goes as cold as the sudden rush of frigid air that accompanies it

>>I give you two choices.  Return to the surface or remain where you are until I am done here.  I will brook no more interference from you.  Monarch will not wriggle away again.

Title: Re: [5e IC] Storm Force Whisper [2076 Game Thread]
Post by: adamu on <06-26-17/1242:24>
Al was by now accustomed to the dizzying elation he felt in heart, mind, and loins wherever Alyce drew near, so it no longer interfered with his thinking.

And thinking was what he was doing now. He didn't have any crazy memory powers, but he'd studiied the schematics so many times now they were scratched bloodily across his brain. But what he really needed right now...he smiled at the irony...they'd gotten these plans from the place's personnel director. Should definitely have asked for more....

He spoke almost inaudibly, hands over his lips as if wiping sweat from his unshaven face. "Listen toots, can you access the residential registry from here, or maybe entry/exit logs? Be real nice ta know how many folks precisely's meant ta be down here, how many are kids, an' where they'd most likely be kept.

He was formulating priorties in his mind, and wished it was easier to talk to the others.

First, get their guy. Box ticked, and loads of intel.

Second, kill She-HAL.

But if that wasn't possible, then third would be to give up on saving everyone and just save as many uninfected children as they could find and then flood the whole place. Better to save the kids than lose everyone, and it's what their lost-soul parents would want too.

If, that was, they couldn't kill She-HAL. Just because some computer had started mimicking self-awareness didn't make it all-powerful or invulnerable. Whether it was cold or water or whatever, there was an off-switch somewhere....

And then, whoa Nelly!  Silky made their play and the resident Fake Intelligence didn't take it too well.

<<Heh heh - sounds like she's got as much of a mad-on fer this feller as you do, Silky baby. Could be some common ground ta find there....maybe they's a way this don't have ta git ugly right away....>>