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Jialong Data Haven

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Jan Schaefer

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« Reply #150 on: (13:52:06/04-23-18) »
ATLANTEAN FOUNDATION, 3:19 AM.

"Getting sloppy.  Took it for granted.  Gonna pay."  Jan had been working with English speaking teammates for long enough that he was starting to berate himself in their language.  But he was wrong- he didn't pay.  One splinter of the frag grenade worked its way between his gauntlet of armor sleeve, causing a painful bleeding wound, but that was all.  Damn lucky, once again, but Jan knew better than to rely too heavily on luck.

*******  CLIVE EXPEDITION, 2:30 AM.

The interrogation of suspects was making lurching, halting progress at the Clive expedition dig. Jan was trying every angle he could think of to get Clive to talk- the previous two interrogations had him in an uncharacteristically optimistic mood. 

First, extracting Winfield had been the easiest task in months.  Wyt’s natural stealth, levitation ability, and the invisibility spell had gotten him into and out without an alarm being raised.  And even though Winfield had quickly suicided, the team had learned some vital facts:  Winters was with the cult, Winters had participated in stealing the Nitocris mummy, and there was no additional security at the site to speak of.   The second abduction was just as smooth, if a little less fruitful- Garner was as innocent as driven snow, an honest archeologist who liked playing in the dirt and digging up his pathetic historical trinkets. 

Extracting Clive had been slightly trickier, since he was a mage, who had raised his own wards and spirits.  But the choice of Wyt to do the extraction proved inspired.  He made a tough call- keep his buffing spells up or drop them to sneak into the ward?- and gambled successfully, using his active defenses to quickly dispatch the spirit that appeared to guard his sleeping master.  Interrogating Clive was trickier, but at least partial progress was happening.  Tag teaming all the questioning revealed a few facts:  Clive wasn’t surprised by human sacrifice and sex cults, but was surprised that it was Gavigan doing them in England (perhaps Clive was used to Africans doing it in Africa?).   Clive didn’t know much about specific cultists, but routinely flinched at the mention of certain names (Black Pharoah, Nodens).  Ten minutes of threatening and cajoling  eventually reduced Clive to a babbling mess, but he genuinely didn’t seem to know anything.  Olof, who had no compunctions about killing a foe in hand-to-hand combat, was reluctant to put the screws onto him.  Clive was able to figure out that the threats of kneecapping him or breaking his fingers were not about to be carried out.  Jan made a mental note:  “Since Olof can’t conceal his emotions from an awakened person, he is no credible threat in these circumstances unless he’s genuinely pissed off.  Looks like I’ll nee to get my own hands dirty.”  Clive successfully fooled or resisted every one of Jan’s spells and conversational gambits.  He kept a consistent tone- I’m just an archaeologist, maybe I’m jaded to death and exploitation, but that doesn’t make me a member of the cult- both before and after being “broken”. 

Until the dramatic transformation.  Jan had been desperate, so he started naming every eldritch name.  “If you can’t help us, then unfortunately, I have strict instructions to dispose of you.”  “Help you with what?”  “Information about the Bloody Tongue God, Black Pharoah, Nephrin-Ka, Nyarlathotep, God of the Black Wind, Xatogua, Sathojue…”  Somewhere in the recitation of dark nomenclature, Clive transformed utterly.  Gone was the stuffy, condescending Oxford don.  In its place was a quasi-familiar rant.  It wasn’t as vile or threatening as typical cultist babble- apparently, no one’s organs were going to be raped- but it had other familiar themes.  “You are too late, you are all going to die, he will be reborn!” ranted Clive.  “His power is close at hand, you cannot stop him now!”  And, referring apparently to a different him:  “His knowledge is beyond you know, forces are in place to conceal his discoveries from you even as we speak!  He is dead, and you will never find out what he learned!” 

Just as Jan was starting to wonder if that was referring to Ali Khafour, Bloodhound’s voice rang out over the tac net. Instead of his usual “too tired for this shit” tone, BH sounded excited.  “Police traffic at the Atlantean Foundation.  A minor alarm.  The cops think it’s probably nothing.  But I think it’s more than a coincidence.”  And the team snapped into action, unanimously deciding to put the interrogation of Sprech and Broadmoor on hold.  Wyt agreed to drop off Clive back in his bunk where he would sleep off the toxic cocktail of stunpatch, stimpatch, and Laes.  Wyt would catch up in the second car while Icenark showed off his skills at the wheel of the rented van.  The suspension groaned and rattled, the tires squealed, the van lurched alarmingly around corners.  But Icenark drove like a champ, getting the team to the Atlantean Foundation in far less time than Gridguide said was possible.

Jan Schaefer

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« Reply #151 on: (13:53:19/04-23-18) »
ATLANTEAN FOUNDATION, 3:15 AM. 

Astral and mechanical recon were smooth and successful on approach.  Wyt spotted an awakened figure on board the vehicle on the Foundation’s roof, and Noizsquitoes confirmed it was an unmarked black chopper on the ground with rotors swirling.  The cops at the front gate were deterred by a fast-talking receptionist droid, leaving the scene clear for the team to attempt to insert.

“Looks like they’re already inside”, rumbled Olof in the dark.  “Nobody is picking up artifacts at 3 in the morning.  That’s got to be a team in there.”  The whole group almost finished each other’s sentences:  the enemy was inside, trying to steal or destroy Ali Khafour’s notes.  There was no way to get to the roof quickly, and mechanically following the chopper would be dicey:  noizquitoes might not be able to get close enough to anchor due to the propowash, and the Pelican wouldn’t have the speed to keep up after the chopper took off.  With only Wyt’s astral projectons and spirits, astral pursuit of the chopper might end badly.   So, the only way up to the roof was to start by going inside.

DEM had a surprisingly easy time cracking the host.  Jan had been worried, due to his earlier fumbling when attempting to steal a bread truck. But he was warmed up and ready this time.  He was into the host and spoofing cameras in less than five seconds, and the team swarmed the door.  Oddly, though, no one bothered to suggest using the Foundation’s cameras to look for resistance.  The whole team just sort of assumed that there would not be any meat on the ground floor. 

Jan and Wyt, with a quick nod, made their first bad call of the night.  They both dropped their spells in order to penetrate the building’s ward without delay or chance of tripping any alarm.  But literally five feet away from the back door of the foundation was a heavily armed and armored guard, noshing on a peach.  Olof was the first to react- like a bolt of cyberlightning, he had bowled his own team aside and grappled the defender.  Jan followed up, grabbing the gun and putting eyes on the doors into the kitchen while trying to get his magic back online.  The rest of the team piled in, while Olof played “Hulk vs. Loki” with the disarmed guard.  His armor was obviously first rate, which allowed him to survive the pounding for about two more seconds than most folks would have. 

But that was not the only defender on the ground floor.  Due to uncoordinated advances (the tac net kept blinking on and off- BH was doing his best to keep some enemy hacker away from the team’s net), Icenark got lit up hard by a blast of gunfire when a heqvily armed troll popped out of a siide door.  DEM, having beendropped like a sack of potateoes, went back into meatspace and quickly hacked another attacker’s assault rifle.  This attacker, a heavily cybered Orc, got in a lucky hit on Wyt with his arm spurs.  Wyt was having a really bad night, trying to split his attention between hasty casts of his buffs and the urgent need to slice up the three opposing runners.   Bleeding from his ears and nose revealed to the team that his attempts to control mystic energy were not going well.   

The team downed all their foes quickly, but not before Wyt got rattled hard by a flashbank that detonated litearlly in his face. Being caught flat-footed was rare for the preternaturally graceful elf.  But when dodging failed, his lightweight armor was unfortunately unable to absorb enough of the blast, and he flopped to the ground as gracelessly as DEM had done seconds before.

Jan felt good about three things, however.  First, a stimpatch brought the elf assassin back to combat effectiveness in just a few seconds, as Icenark’s first aid kit patched him up.  Jan’s own stunbolts had been effective (along with a quick smack in the face from Blue Fang) in downing the massive troll.   And, best of all, DEM was now able to sit at the controls of the Foundation’s security apparatus, giving the team a massive advantage. 

ATLANTEAN FOUNDATION, 17TH FLOOR, 3:19 AM. 

But that overconfidence proved VERY costly.   With the tacnet flickering on and off, with some heavy resistance out of the way, and with the natural miscommunications of bringing on board a newbie, the group failed to do a thorough recon of the 17th floor.  They had spotted a sneaky, strange dwarf in Khafour’s office, but failed to check for bodyguards.  So, like sitting ducks, they were ambushed hard at the elevator exit. 

“Fucking amateurish” was Jan’s first thought.  Rather than blaming himself for assuming things, he chose to get mad at DEM for not looking at other cameras.  The two mechs at the elevator doors went down fast, but they surved their function- slow down the group’s exit and leave them in position for heavy fire from the six-limbed shotgun wielding merc around the corner.

Even that would have been survivable if Olof had been the only target, but Icenark howled as lead penetrated his armor for the second time.  Olof’s answering hail of gunfire knocked Spider-man off his feet, but the infiltrating enemy dwarf took perfect advantage of the friction and delays.

The incoming munition swelled in Jan’s vision until it looked more like the Death Star than a hand grenade.  Diving for cover behind a cubicle, hoping to hell that there was enough distance and enough office furniture to keep him alive, Jan started mentally swearing.  Another part of his mind observed with dry amusement that he was berating himself in English.

“If we survive this”, Jan promised himself, “I will have words with this DEM about proper battlefield communication and recon.” 
« Last Edit: (15:53:11/05-03-18) by Jan Schaefer »

adzling

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« Reply #152 on: (11:57:15/04-24-18) »
xclnt aar! +2 karma!
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adzling

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« Reply #153 on: (10:14:36/05-16-18) »
Another nightmare. He sat up in bed, drenched in sweat, heart pounding and the room swimming into focus. Where was he again? Who was he?

After a short while he gave up and looked at the AR feed in the upper right corner if his vision. It read "Cando Lolrissian" right next to today's date. Well at least that answered his question of who he was for today.

More troubling was a small flashing icon right next to today's identity. That was the team's tac-net, and it was offline, which was troubling. It never went offline.

He pinged Jan to see what the sit-rep was, on the off-chance something had gone wrong. No response. That wasn't like Jan. So Tog/Cando (Tondo?) pinged Wyt, when he got no response he knew something was up.

Shit, the entire team was not responding and checking their GPS history they had all gone offline at the same time just south of Cairo. The tac-net's video feed stopped recording right after they enter some minor Pyramid (it certainly wasn't one of the big 3 on the main plateau).

"Maybe he should do something" he thought to himself as he remembered Cando would certainly help out his friends, if he could. At least that's how Tog remembered him acting in Cloud City, yeah Cando would help Han so Tog should help Jan, that makes perfect sense!

Swinging a furred kaftan around his shoulders Tondo strapped on his kata slides and various and sundry other concealed weapons before pulling up an AR flight feed from Ataturk airport and booking the earliest flight to Cairo. Tondo would figure it out, he always did. And if he couldn't, well he'd be someone else tomorrow, and he'd certainly figure it out.
Live in the SF Bay Area and looking for a group? PM me we have a slot open!