Spacecraft & Spycraft

Pekka's Notes Entry 10\13
Entering into Edgars

<decoded>

A plan was formed.
To execute justice we were to forcibly lower the stock value of Edgar Corp and allow the King of Jupiter to buy it up.
To do this we will need physical evidence of wrong doing. Such proof would allow Cathay Media to make a pariah out of Edgars, and they would loose the support of the Martians.

To begin this we made observations. Patterson met with some aspiring technicians and gathers our first Intel of the security systems before we infiltrate Edgars.

The technicians couldn’t provide us much so we arranged to steal biometrics and a password from a Manager. We arranged to meet at an Al-Pacinos the next city over.

Getting there and brining the power suit along required me to buy three large suitcases to store all of my arms and armor.

We took a train and thus risked encountering security. Before we even arrived Leonie was hit by a psychological attack by a ghost of Nathanial. Leonie was unnerved by this and to make matters worse she was later flagged by security as a murder suspect.

Although I was able to block the security message as to the precise nature of her crimes, only the direct intervention of McCoy, posing as a superior law enforcement officer, saved her from apprehension.

Patterson and I made it through security without difficulty, and we even managed to remain armed.

At our second hotel Leonie explains her doubts and how the ghost of Nathaniel made contact with her, twice! My only suggestion was that Leonie get drunk, but McCoy explained how this psychological attack was performed and by explaining its affect he disarmed it.

<_d.>

Eventually we made it to Al-Pacinos, and taking a glass from the manager was easy. Before we could get him to slip up and share a password, he was dragged away by Edgar’s security who obviously knew we were after him.

As their car sped away, Leonie and Patterson stole a motorcycle while McCoy and I stowed into a taxi.

The chase was difficult as the Security expected us, and our taxi was driven by a robot. I had managed to fire a few shots to little effect. For the other two their chase was complicated by Leonie panicking when near gunfire. She was able to steady herself for a while but ultimately tossed the bike and gave Patterson a tumble. His body armor saved his life.

We could no longer pursue.

Returning to the hotel we instead plan to break into Edgars. We have Biometrics that can get one of us inside, and Patterson and McCoy can enter under pretense.

I would enter as an electrician, with my 3 suitcases as my toolboxes.

Leonie entered the facility invisibly and shorted out power to a sector. I was called into repair.

After disposing of a security guard, I changed into the Sola armor. Leonie and I split up to explore the area and to regroup when we found something of import.

Sarah from orbit discovered several rings of security, increasing in magnitudes of protection as they became more and more central to the complex.

Figuring that we needed to get past these rings, we aimed to secure labs.

On the way Leonie spotted and narrowly evaded J Morden and likely more of those horrid insects.

Eventually Leonie meets me again this time dressed as a Security guard. She calls to open the first ring of security and attempts to explain why she needs to enter to the man on the other side. After getting bored of waiting I kicked this man in the back and he slammed into the opposite wall.

I crush a few cameras with my hands and proceed further in,. We entered into some labs that had been emptied, no indication that anyone had been working there in recent days. We soon come on a heavier ore secure door. This one I breach with my rail-gun. Alarms blare as it is penetrated.

McCoy and Patterson are escorted out when the breach is known. Leonie remained at the security door to distract guards. I probed deeper.

By that time the team had lost radio contact.

I was met my five armed guards who were destroyed. I come across other empty labs, but ones that were left with work in progress. I give chase to a scientist who informs where I can find William Brown’s resting place and the hand of T. Crowne.

I took the hand and ruin the absurd coffin of W. Brown, one that I assume was keeping him alive. I begin to leave with the physical evidence we need.

Leonie on her way out grew more a more a target and was stopped by three well armed guards. She was able to disable two of them with a combination of her nudity and that venomous touch she has.

As I approached her the third guard was targeting her with his rifle, but his weapon was useless against me. He was killed.

I picked up Leonie and began to run, she informing me of a secret exit.

By now the only guards left to challenge me are the heavy power armor, and a squad begins to give chase.

I was not used to the light gravity on mars and couldn’t simply outrun them as I was slamming into walls every several yards.

My weapons and explosives had no effect on them. We reach the secret escape and I dodged fire while I carried Leonie out, up the ladder.

The Heavy armor couldn’t follow me up and soon only the outer wall was left between us and escape. My weapon failed when I needed it most, but I did bring spares.

<_need>

Outside I disperse the last attempt to bring me down.

Patterson brought his car around, and we all made out get away.

I present them with the physical evidence.
Something I am now convinces should not be given to Morden.

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Thomas Crown Affair Part 2

Despite thousands of years of evolution in the area of digital security, not much has really changed in the philosophy behind those security systems. It starts with a healthy dose of preventative measures. Compartmentalization, verification, keep your servers and staff up to date on tech trends, investment intellectual property insurance, and make sure you have a competent incident response plan. Each company handles their response a little differently. In banking and finance, this means informing your investors, filing an insurance claim, and deferring any action to notify their customers and authorities until someone in the company gets suspicious of Cathay Media. The SJG takes a much more aggressive stance. With the enemies their operatives accrue, they have to.

McCoy makes everyone burn another set of computers and comm units after learning what actually happened to the other half of their team. McCoy, Patterson, Leonie, and Pekka meet in secret and plot to cause intrigue enough to tank Edgars Industries’ stock values. With their contacts within the police and media, they hope to simultaneously stir up legal costs and damage the company’s public image, hoping that it would be enough to help the King of Jupiter buy a significant share of the company. McCoy asserts that the easiest element to exploit is the human one, which is where our adventure really begins.

They begin by scouting for tech support locally. Patterson approaches as a recruiter offering them dream jobs and the illusion of success. While these techies are young and interested to buy in, it appears that the company is aware of the security risk these low level employees provide and allow them no back door access to their private emails or data.

The team refocuses their sights on a moderately high level manager who likes to carouse. They quickly find their mark, but he is at the Martian Capitol. Everyone makes arrangements to travel via train. While on board the train, Leonie see’s a picture of NE-1’s human face up on the hologram, amidst advertisements. A message scrolls across the screen, asking Leonie if she feels guilty for committing murder. To her surprise, Leonie finds herself answering that of course she does. She trembles and barely keeps it together through the conversation. The next message orders her to turn herself in before bad things happen. Leonie completely loses it and spends the rest of the trip alone in her room.

When they are passing through security at the capitol, Leonie’s travel visa is flagged. Security asks her to accompany them. Not wanting to make a scene, Leonie agrees and is politely escorted away. She attempts to talk them into letting her use the bathroom on their way to security, but the guards are not so easily fooled.

Pekka, who needed three extra large suitcases to pack his suit had to wait at baggage claim. While waiting, he notices a message on the security terminal, displaying a wanted poster with Leonie’s face. The message claims the woman is wanted for murder and considered extremely dangerous. Pekka shorts out the communications terminal. Security is unable to access the message. One of his cases comes barreling down the ramp and crushes a little old lady’s make up case.

Patterson distances himself from the group, calling for an Uber. McCoy shadows the security detail, waiting until they are relatively isolated. He approaches them, claiming higher clearance and flashing his badge in their face. With a quick fast talk, McCoy convinces him that he’s been following this woman for some time. The security guards see that he outranks them. Not wanting trouble, they let him escort Leonie out, warning McCoy that she is wanted for murder. An Uber is conveniently waiting for them when they get outside.

After arriving at their hotel, Pekka immediately takes stock of his suit of armor, carefully going through each piece. He is relieves to find that his suit isn’t damaged. Leonie admits to the group that she believes herself to have been compromised. When Patterson and McCoy ask for clarification, she recalls being forced to kill NE-1 in the sub-basement with the bugs. She tells them about the messages, accusing her of murder. Leonie thinks they are right. That night, she gets a message from a Jane Doe account. It reads, “You need to be careful for I have become your Content Not Found: nm-e.” After some calming down, she shows Patterson the email. Leonie decides to change her face for the remainder of the mission, concerned about security. Pekka agrees, remaining armed himself. To Pekka, everyone is a suspect, but he offers to share a drink with her. ‘McCoy’ uses a little psychology, saying that this was an obvious psychological attack, and Patterson helps calms her down.

The next day, the team shadows a moderately high level executive to an Al Pacino’s where he orders the double rack of ribs. Leonie manages to steal a glass with very clear fingerprints on it, but the executive is rushed out by Edgar’s Security, who rush him to a car. Leonie pretends to be a valet, doing a fast talk to steal a motorcycle. Patterson cannot resist the chance to jump on behind, but insists Leonie should wear the bike’s only helmet. McCoy and Pekka follow in a cab, but the robotaxi is frustratingly lawful, which makes progress slow. One of the teams is spotted at a stoplight and the shadowed car peels out of there. Pekka attempts to shoot out their tires, but the vehicle is heavily armored. As shots fly past Leonie, she bolts forward, but manages to fight past her instinct to run and follows the fleeing car. The robotaxi reminds Pekka to keep all extremities inside the vehicle, while they wait for a long light.

The security detail from Edgar’s continues to speed up and drive more erratically, taking sharp turns and driving down narrow alleys. At one such turn, Patterson lines up a shot with his laser pistol. This freaks out Leonie who slams on the breaks. In a one in a million, she manages to keep control of the bike, but Patterson is unable to hold on and goes flying off. With lightning reflexes, she grabs him, lessening his fall to a skid across stone and pavement–unpleasant, but a lot less lethal. While Patterson’s shot melted the window, he was unable to take out the car’s driver, and the vehicle get’s away.

Leonie wipes down the bike, returns it to the restaurant, and rendezvous with the rest of SJG back at the hotel. The Black Adder has no trouble getting the team fake ID’s and covers in order to break into the Edgars Industries’ headquarters. The building is shaped like a pyramid, and in the old Mar’s tradition, spans at least as far below the ground as it does above.

Leonie breaks in first, using her chameleon skin. Sticking to low security areas, she pours herself a cup of coffee in the break room, drinks the first few delectable sips, and then pours the rest on the electrical systems. Power goes out in that section of the building. This is why no one looks twice when a white panel van drives up, and a Finish looking man, claiming to be Douglas Fir, electrician, is let past security. The officer accompanies Pekka to the source of the problem, suspecting sabotage. He will not let Pekka alone. Thinking quick on his feet, Pekka begins to open up the maintenance access, and asks the security guard to open his tool box. The tool box is really Pekka’s armored helmet and visor unit, and it is heavily secured with shock traps. To Pekka’s surprise, the guard remains conscious. Leonie steps in to help, but the guard resists her paralysis agent. In the confusion, Pekka subdues him with judo and shocks him with a taser. They find a janitor’s closet where they can stuff the body. Leonie keeps watch while Pekka suits up. Before he can get on his helmet, the security guard begins to wake up, groaning. Paranoid and half dressed, Pekka kills the man in order to protect his identity. With his Sola suit on, he makes quick and quiet work of the killing.

Meanwhile, McCoy and Patterson make first contact with their mid level business executive. He doesn’t give them any concrete details, and they both get the suspicion that this man just wants to use them for free meals and drinks. Patterson agrees to take him out, but asks the manager to make the reservation. The man refuses. The pair stall just long enough for McCoy to get his password. They cut their losses and leave.

Leonie heads towards the elevators. The doors open as she approaches and she quickly hides behind a corner. Spotting James Morden exiting the elevator, Leonie knows the bugs are likely nearby. She hides herself as best she can. She can hear the clicking of chitinous feet scurrying close by, but she manages to remain unseen. She listens in long enough to hear Morden talking, but the other converser remains unknown. Morden says, “I don’t think they’re being very cooperative… [silence] … Yes, we’ll have to consider that.” That is as close to the bugs as Leonie cares to be.

Leonie arrives to her meeting with Pekka late and out of breath. She warns the crew that Modern and his associates are here. Pekka activates the suit’s hyperspectral vision, which can see in ultraviolet. They proceed deeper into the higher security areas. Pekka suggests overloading their cameras, but Leonie prefers a more subtle approach. She asks for a few minutes as she transforms into the dead security personnel from earlier, and approaches the door. His security clearance just barely gets them into the red area. The security guard on duty seems confused and asks what Leonie is doing there, believing that he is the security officer. Leonie pretends to be there on a surprise inspection, claiming that if they knew, they would have had time to make everything look tidy. She then gets the security guard to turn around, asking about the systems. Pekka sneaks up behind the officer and knocks his head into the security monitors.

McCoy gets Sarah the passwords. She uses the information to hack into their systems and they discover that the Edgar’s Headquarters has a cavern nearly 1/4 mile below the surface. These levels appear to contain labs. Security is laid down in a series of bands, ranging from yellow, to red, into black, and finally double crossbones. Sola heads deeper into the labs while Leonie remains behind to run interference. As Pekka heads into the red zone, he notices that all of the labs have been hastily abandoned. Plenty of stuff remains behind, but there are no people to be had at first. Finding little of value, Pekka shoots through security to head into the black area. Using his railgun, he completely destroys the door. Alarms begin to ring.

McCoy and Patterson make it safely away from the building. Sarah accesses the security schematics and locates a couple of exits through the air vents. Unfortunately, they are covered with space rated steel, from the times before atmosphere. It will be difficult to cut through. She warns them that the security systems she hacked into went down. McCoy discovers that communications with his team are down and expends a lot of energy to telesend the schematics to the rest of his team. Fortunately, Leonie is close enough to the surface to understand his message. It is unknown whether the message never reached Pekka due to distance or if he heard the message and dismissed it as just another voice in his head. Patterson notices that McCoy is looking very fatigued and suggests they get out of there.

Sola encounters a team of armored security guards. These 5 men take cover as they buckle down into the maze of hallways beneath Edgar’s. He takes them out with his grenade launcher. Pekka, in his Sola suit, explores more hastily abandoned labs before he finally finds a scientist. Through his conversation, he discovers the location of crown’s body. When asked about William Brown, the dead man who had been seen stumbling out of an elevator with Crown’s hand, the scientist says he is out on a mission. The man shows him a casket, presumably where Brown’s body is kept. Sola quickly finds Crown’s Hand.

Leonie hears the explosions as she monitors security. For a while, she is able to misdirect them to other parts the building before her comm channel is shut off. Before she can do much, three security officers arrives wearing large blasters. Leonie begins to panic, claiming that she cannot think because Sola came through here. She is unable to give them a password and when one man goes to handcuff her, she paralyzes him. This freaks the other two out. They start shooting. Leonie yells to Sola that they have company. She manages to dodge out of the way and dive for cover, stripping out of her disguise to go chameleon. The men round the corner behind her, and pause for a moment. They were expecting a man in Edgar’s Security uniform, not a naked and attractive young woman. She pretends to be modest, claiming that Sola took her clothes. As one gets closer, claiming they have to restrain her for security, she knocks him out. The last one shoots her, and she falls unconscious.

Men begin to fire at them and the pair falls back, searching for the air ducts. Pekka throws down some explosives, setting them off as the guards pass over, but these men are in full battle suits, and the explosions do not pierce their armor. They advance on the SJG agents. Leonie cuts open the air vent as Sola holds them off. He grabs the woman, holding her like a football as he begins to climb up the vents. Security opens fire with plasma weapons, but Pekka is able to climb to safety, while Leonie holds on for dear life. They quickly outpace the heavy battle suits, which cannot pursue them up an air vent. Unfortunately, they are cut off by the heavy steel seals. It is a solid piece of space rated metal. Leonie’s monowire whip barely scratches the item. Pekka attempts to shoot his way through, but his gun is jammed. In trying to fix it quickly, the barrel becomes bent. He eventually pulls out another firearm and shoots his way out. Leonie and Pekka escape into the light of day and a team of men. One of them shouts, “Oh crap, we aren’t setup yet!” and the group scatters. Pekka recognizes the EMP trap that would have disabled his suit.

Meanwhile, security officers stop Patterson and McCoy. The agents were waiting to help their associates escape, but the guards tell them that they have to leave. Patterson claims that he cannot find his keys and buys some time pretending to look for them. Security runs them off to their vehicle, and Patterson is about to leave when Leonie calls. She tells him that she’s naked and she needs him. Patterson pulls the car around to pick up the team, providing additional medical attention to the badly burned Leonie.

The SJG Team finds a new place to hide out, and Pekka reveals the hand he managed to retrieve. They inspect the hand and discover that their is a ring fused to the bones in Thomas Crown’s finger. The ring appears to be made out of some sort of chiton and looks like a key; though what lock it opens remains a mystery.

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Suspicion

It wasn’t until after they had already left where Shu found out that part of their team received a message and went on a mission without him. Shu began to reach out to his superior in the SJG to figure out what happened and why wasn’t he notified of the fact that half his team suddenly disappeared without his permission, but received a “We’ll get back to you!!” message. Eventually someones does reply to his question – a simple message that contains a single word – “Betrayal”. Not even moments later, the captain of the Black Adder contacts Shu on comm, letting him know that he has visitors with the police department.

One of the men introduced himself as Investigator Cluseau, claiming to be part of the Martian Federal Bureau of Investigation. He says with a heavy French accent that he is here with a warrant for Shu, Danny and Drew – the three of them are being charged with murder of a SJG team, with the plaintiff being the SJG. The second man with him, a large and lean athletic type by the name of Sargent Callahan, suggests to them that it would be good for their health if they cooperate, cracking his fingers as Cluseau waits for their response.

Shu and the team quickly discuss and come to the conclusion that they would be able to get more done if they cooperate with the law for the time being instead of being on the run, so they agree to accompany the pair of them to the station for further questioning. Right before he was able to leave, Shu contacted his hacker friends to have them find a competent lawyer for him as well as if they could dig up any dirt on any other lawyers that may possibly be put against them in a court of law. Callahan looked rather disappointed that they agreed to come with, putting a tracking device on their ankles so that they could be found in case they decide to run later. He especially looks at Danny and tells him that he knows he will be trouble – the latter responds that he’ll stay out of trouble as long as there’s no trouble to be had. The three of them are told that they are unable to go back to the ship as long as they are under investigation, though will be allowed to stay at a hotel until their names are cleared.

When they were brought in, they were sat down and shown the surveillance footage of the murder. They watched as a group of four people turned the corner, blasters drawn, and then suddenly got gunned down by security measures. Through the police’s investigation, they found out that those murdered were not part of the FBI as their identities claimed – they were actually SJG members that were in that building on a mission. The building was the Federal Reserve of Mars, and while they had managed to take security down, a signal from the Black Adder reactivated the gun at that precise time they turned the corner and murdered the entire squadron. The SJG is bringing charges against Shu and his two accomplices for the activation of that signal which came at a surprise to all three of them.

They kept the fact that they were SJG members themselves shut, demanded that they are innocent and would be able to prove it if they were able to help out with the investigation. The judge presiding over the case allowed them 10 days for investigation before their trial would begin in proper. They were quickly able to prove Drew’s innocence though by showing he was in a different location at the time of the event, though both Shu and Danny were on the ship and are unable to prove the same. As Callahan removes the tracker from Drew’s ankle, he looks him dead in the eye and says that he’s keeping an eye on him and that he better stay out of trouble.

A lawyer meets up with them on their way out, saying that he was sent from the hacker group and that he is able to represent them if they are willing. They agree, and soon were pulled into his car. The lawyer then pulls out an anti-bug device and says that he has some information for them, though they must speak quickly as to not draw suspicion.

He delivered the news that the King of Jupiter’s son, Thomas Crown, was killed and that two SJG teams were sent to investigate. The first team was supposed to take the task to recover some “goods” – that, he does not know, but it is related to the case – these ones were the ones that were murdered on the video that they just watched. The other team was supposed to find the murderer, though it was a rush job and the leader of that investigation team was murdered – he had a computer that he was keeping information in his head, but had his head completely blown off. A third team was soon hired to investigate who murdered the prince and why – quickly revealed to be the other half of Shu’s team.

The lawyer then tells them that there are two surviving members of the original team that went to investigate the murder, and while they are hiding he will try to find them for an interview. There are also three important SJG contact here on Mars as well, who go by the names of Abel, Baker and Foxtrot. He doesn’t know much about them, except that Foxtrot, an old SJG operative, is known to be a bit of an oddball while Alpha and Baker are investors that are interested in finding out who did this to the SJG. He also notes that SJG communications have been compromised, so they will need to do all interviews and contacting through more primitive means.

When Drew gets back to the ship, he finds Kit has been redecorating his room with posters of male rockstars. She sighs, saying that she thought it would take him longer before he was completely freed. She lets him know that he has a message delivered by a carrier pigeon. He looks at her sternly, asking her if she knows what it says. While she initially presumes innocence, she eventually does admit to looking at it and describes that it is from a “crazy prospector looking dude” which Drew assumes is Foxtrot. The message tells him to meet at a local bar, and that the message should be destroyed once read.

After contacting Danny about following him as a guard, Drew drives out to his hotel with Tawny and Sabin. Once he arrived there, Drew took some time to disguise himself before heading out to the bar properly with Tawny in tow. Danny and Sabin head out separately on motorcycles, teasing each other about racing, though Sabin has superior skill in the area. The two of them soon realized that Drew was being tailed by none other than Callahan, who managed to recognize him and kept pace all the way to the bar.

Once Drew went inside, Danny went over to talk to Callahan to try and distract him a little, saying it was a coincidence that they met up at the same bar and that they should go get a drink. Callahan saw through him and told him that he’s not going to go inside at all, he’s on security detail. When Danny pressed him on it, he said that he’s following Drew to protect him. Even though he’s not part of the case anymore, as Danny pointed out, Callahan feels like Drew will be targeted and he’s there to protect him. Danny says that he would be able to protect him as well, and bids Callahan adieu as he follows Sabin into the bar.

Inside the bar, once dropping Tawny off with Danny and Sabin, Drew had no troubles finding Foxtrot who seemed to be several drinks deep. The bartender let out a sigh of relief as he took Drew’s order – it seems that Foxtrot had been there several hours already and is clearly on his way to drinking himself under the table. As he orders himself a drink, Drew whispers to the bartender to close the tab after a hundred more credits, and then turns to Foxtrot.

After introductions, Foxtrot tells Drew that there is someone targeting Shu for some reason and he doesn’t know why – there’s clearly a mole or something in the SJG though, and if he was in his prime with his old buddies Whiskey and Tango alive, they would have been able to solve it already. He especially praises Whiskey, who was an extremely skilled hacker in his time, though was nothing compared to Evil Stevie. Foxtrot drunkenly mutters something about the password being “Release the Kraken” before turning back to the subject at hand. He tells Drew that while Abel and Baker are also SJG contacts, they’re not to be trusted. He drinks deep into his glass again before sliding under the table in a drunken stupor.

Drew tells the other three at the bar what he had learned, then they take their exit. Seconds after they left the bar, a group of bikers drew near and pulled out their weapons. Callahan shouted for everyone to get down immediately as the bikers started to fire their blasters. Drew ducked behind a car and was spared most of the bullets that rained down in his direction, though he did take three and was gravely injured.

As the bikers passed by, Callahan took out his modified pistol and shot down two of the bikers, leaving gaping holes in their backs before their motorcycles exploded. As Tawny rushed to Drew’s side to provide medical aid, Danny thanked Callahan for some real impressive shooting and wanted to look at his gun. Callahan chided Danny for not protecting Drew – in fact, if he wasn’t here, Drew would have been even more dead. Danny insisted he was fine, and the reason why he wasn’t able to do his job to the fullest degree was because he didn’t have his equipment on him due to being banned from the ship. He tells Callahan that he’s actually a very good shot, and after some back and forth banter the two of them agree to a contest later at the range. Callahan then tells him that he should go back to tending to Drew while he goes to find out more about the gang.

Shu manages to convince the investigators that he should be allowed to board the ship with supervision, to see if he could find any traces of the code used in the case. After a little bit of digging, he discovered that the signal actually came from somewhere else in the space port, and it was disguised to look like the Black Adder. Armed with this information, he goes to Spaceport Security and explains the situation after introducing himself. They are shocked that their security systems were hacked and they say that they will look into the matter immediately. He then asks them a favor – if they find anything, they should let him know, and they agree to the terms.

Shu then gets to work on his computer and suddenly feels a sense of dread. He immediately unplugs himself and finds only seconds later that his computer was bricked with a ransomware program, causing black ice. After backing up his data, he tried to factory reset his computer several times to no avail – the virus was still there. A little annoyed, he shoves his computer into a pile of interesting issues to poke at later and then goes to buy a temporary computer to continue his work.

After checking in with the police and finding out that he’s actually ahead of them in terms of what they know about the case so far, Shu goes to tinker with the computer again. He finds that whatever malware is sitting on his old computer has managed to make it 50% faster, which he finds extremely suspicious. He tinkers with it a little bit with the help of the second computer and finds that the malware cannot be removed at all – it is part of what is making the computer process information in this fashion. The malware program also wants to constantly reach out to the internet, in which Shu put a quick halt to that.

Danny met up with Callahan at the shooting range – the latter looking much worse for the wear. Danny asked what had happened to him before they met, in which he responded that it was the usual day at the job, and while related to the investigation, Danny would need to beat him at the range to find out what it was. While Danny performed well, Callahan performed amazingly, which truly impressed Danny. After cheering him and giving him a pat on the back, Callahan invited him to the bar and said that they would discussed what had happened to him after all.

They go to a local police dive, which Danny was surprised to see that it was also named Callahan’s. The Sargent pointed out that it’s actually his uncle that owns it – the man lost his ability to walk due to his time in the service, so he decided to open a bar when he was forced to retire. The security scanners stopped Callahan and forced him to reveal and take out the many guns that he had on his person, before letting him through. When the two of them sat down, he whispers to Danny that while they had taken all of his guns, they still haven’t managed to find the brass knuckles that he keeps on his person.

Then, Callahan reveals that he did run into that gang from earlier – they are a small time group that basically are for hire, and do not work for any particular people. What’s interesting about this particular case though is that the gang is not able to remember anything about who paid them and why, just that they had a target that they needed to go after. Callahan says that he believes, due to their collective memory losses, that Psycorps is behind the whole thing. The whole organization makes his blood boil, and for his safety and theirs, he tries to stay away from them as much as possible. He then goes on to deliver a short lecture about justified killing, as long as it’s for a good cause then it shouldn’t be a problem.

After finishing off his drink Callahan wishes him farewell, and Danny shakes his hand and pats him on the back before he takes off. Once Callahan left, the rest of the bar looked at Danny stunned, and he was told that he must be a brave soul to have a rapport with Callahan like that. The man has a reputation for being a psychopath and a killer while working cases, though he’s usually able to squeeze out a “good enough for the court” justification on what he has done while doing so. They also tell him that Callahan wasn’t always so violent, though rumor has it that a run in with the Psycorps a few years ago scrambled his brain, resulting in the man today, and that there may be a time where he just goes off without any warning. Committing that to memory, Danny thinks to tread a little lighter with Callahan in the future, and takes leave of the bar.

Drew reaches Abel and arranges a time to meet with him, in a very public place. Drew recognizes him as a corporate man with millions of dollars, then the two of them depart to a more private area. Abel asks what is going on, and if there is any information. Drew says that he’s trying to figure it out – someone is trying to target them and he has no idea why. Abel says that he has faith – he has watched Shu for awhile and has no doubt that they’ll be able to dig themselves out of this pickle. Abel then offers some help, though he says that he’s unfortunately unable to give to the fullest extent – someone has hacked into his information and communications, cutting him off from the SJG. This person, Abel says, seems to be going out of their way and putting a lot of effort into this project and he’s curious as to why.

Drew returns to the ship to find his sister in a fitful dream, screaming bloody murder. Drew grabbed Tawny and then woke Kit up. It took a lot of comforting and some medicine before she calmed down enough to say what had happened. She said she had a dream of spaceship that came across the horizon, screaming in horrendous pain. It was made of flesh and pulsing, and she could feel that the ship had its eye on her especially. Tawny confirmed that the rest of the crew on the ship also described dreaming something intense, though she seems to be the only one that remembered what it was. Kit then turned to Drew and thanked him for being her brother. He says that he returns the sentiment, and Kit asked if that was true all the time, even after the trouble she gives him. After he confirms, she makes him promise that he will not let the “living ships” get a hold of her – he says that he holds her to it.

Shu receives a message from Spaceport Security – they found that the signal came from the landing pads next to their ship. What they find scary about the situation is that there was no ship at the time at that station, and that the dock should have been completely deactivated. Shu then goes to the judge with the information, saying that they were framed for this crime and the judge was able to drop all charges. The judge agrees and releases both Shu and Danny from the investigation. When Shu goes back to Spaceport to see if he could use their systems to look further into the mysterious event, they immediately tell him that the case is dropped and it was just an anomaly.

Shu takes Drew with him to try and talk to security staff to see what happened. The guy that Shu talked to says that it doesn’t involve him, he doesn’t want to get involved and that it was just an accident. Drew had much better luck – the lady that he schmoozes whispers that a Psycorps ship landed next to their ship around that time. There’s something in the computers that rewrites itself whenever a Psycorps ship docks, so that’s why they’re supposed to drop this investigation. Upon hearing that Psycorps is deeply involved in this matter, Shu tries to contact Bester to get any further information, though was unable to get through – he only got a busy signal.

The group then goes to meet with Baker, senior leader of Edgars Industries – a company held responsible for terraforming Mars. He greets the team very cordially – congratulating them for beating the charges, and believes that it’s gotta be an inside job. He also offers whatever assistance that Edgars Industries is able to deliver, which includes parts of MarsGov. When Shu asks about the Federal Reserve, Baker says their contacts with them were cut off unfortunately.

After their meeting with Baker, Shu decided to look further into the “Evil Stevie” person that Foxtrot had mentioned earlier. It turns out that Evil Stevie is a legendary hacker, extremely crazy, and rumored to be the one that started the SJG over 200 years ago. People believe that he may still be out there because nobody has been able to confirm his death or found his body.

What “Evil Stevie” is most known for, it seems, is his hacking signature – a highly sophisticated code that was left behind after each hack, that when it was isolated, revealed to be a virtual reality fantasy game. Since it was over a century and a half old, the game itself was available to tap into directly from the internet, so Shu gave it a try. He found himself in a highly detailed fantasy town, and immediately started going up to various NPCs repeating the words that Foxtrot muttered earlier – “Release the Kraken”. It was mere moments before he found himself kicked out of the world, and Shu put it aside to try again another time.

The lawyer got in contact with them shortly after with more information. It appears that one of the members of the initial investigation into the murder of Thomas Crown was killed with an Indian push dagger. He had the team review the available footage – there was a man at the victims door who staggered inside of the room, and then walked out again moments later. There was no footage of the building inside unfortunately, nor were they able to get a clear shot of his face.

Shu and Co also started getting reports back from the other half of their team – the victim was suspiciously murdered in the same manner as Thomas Crown, and it seems that “Edgars Industries” gave them some trouble. Shu, Danny and Drew decided it would be best at this time to treat Edgars Industries with suspicion, and instead contact Abel to see what he knows about Baker and who he works for.

The three of them set up a meeting with Abel in a secret room behind a laundromat, though discovered quickly once they had arrived that it has been ransacked. It was apparent that there has been blaster fire, though no bodies were left behind. A hand reaches for Drew’s shoulder and pulls him around, revealing to Drew’s surprise to be Callahan. He asked Drew what he was doing here, which Drew said that he had to do laundry.

Drew then asks the same of Callahan, which he replied that he simply came when he heard shots ringing out. He asks Drew if he knows who owns it – he was unable to find any name. When Drew denied it, Callahan pointed out that whoever it was must have had bodyguards on him, there were two different types of blasts in the room. Seeing that there was no blood, it must have been the kidnappers that were using the PPG guns, in order to avoid damage. The bodyguards must have been using regular blasters, but were taken down before they managed to do any bodily harm.

Then, the group are taken to review a security tape from the building. It showed a group of people with white suits and surgical gear jumping out of a white panel truck. A few minutes later, they were back outside – clothes shredded to the point where it revealed tactical vests underneath. They were also carrying something large wrapped up in linen. They throw it in the back of their truck and then peel out of the area. Shu tries to track the truck with cameras but is unable to follow them very far before losing it.

Shu first tries to contact Abel’s company, but they tell him that he is out of the office for the next few days. Then they believe the next best contact is Foxtrot, and after walking backwards in a circle three times with a bandanna on his head, a pigeon lands with a message to meet him at a bar.

Once they arrived, Foxtrot tells them about a strange event that just happened to him – that there was a guy that staggered up to him, saying he was from Edgars Industries and tried to shake his hand. Foxtrot ran immediately in the other direction screaming – it didn’t feel right at all. In fact, he tells them, he believes that it might have been an assassination attempt.

Shu asks if he knows anything about Edgars Industries. Foxtrot knows that while the original Edgars was a genius businessman and philanthropist, his son was not and lost the company to a board of investors. Bakers is part of the most recent board of the company, a greedy group of people which he believes is slowly trying to turn Mars into a large corporation and that the original Edgars is probably rolling in his grave. There is a clause in the ownership contract though, where a full blooded Edgars could buy back the company if they were able to raise the funds. Shu asks if he knows where the most recent full-blooded Edgars is – it appears the most recent descendant, Lisa Edgars, disappeared a week ago. Foxtrot found it curious that they would want her, since he heard that she doesn’t have a lot of business sense.

When asked about Abel, Foxtrot says that he never trusted him – while he acted like he was one of the guys, he never trusted Abel’s “sense of justice”. Foxtrot then tells them that Edgars and Psycorps are the two major centers of powers on Mars outside of the official government. When Shu mentions Psycorps involvement in this case, Foxtrot says that those Psycorps and Bureau 13 are scary and that they should avoid them at all costs. Either way he believes that, Edgars or Psycorps had something to do with Abel’s disappearance and possibly Lisa’s as well.

When Shu dug further into Lisa’s background, it was revealed that she actually has good business sense but is easily misled. He discovered her private email account, which was tied to Edgars Industries – it seems she was able to fake her ID and go work for them. It also seems that she discovered something – the emails are not quite clear what – and the correspondence led all the way to the king of Jupiter, asking for assistance to buy back Edgars. Thomas Crown was to be a contact for the two of them, who touched down on Mars. She suddenly disappeared before he was killed, apparently her boyfriend that worked Spaceport security also disappeared around the same time. No bodies have been found yet at this time, and its up to the team to figure out what has possibly happened to them.

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Thomas Crown Affair Part I
Leonie's Notes

Welcome to Thorsis Palainum(sp?), capitol of Mars and postcard city for terraform technology. Most SJG Operatives like working on Mars. You won’t find any official data to confirm this; however, what’s not to like? The elected officials ignore people who don’t bother them, it boasts one of the most diverse man-made ecosystems in the solar system, meat and other animal products are common place, and the air is crystal clear. Sure, every other seventh man is named John Carter and they keep the air thin enough to make a couple flights of stairs feel like ascending Machu Picchu, but a operatives can accept that when she sees how a motorcycle handles in 0.38 g.

In order to avoid legal retribution, the SJG team was hurried off earth. Parts of the group split up for a time. The human replica android, known as Jess, retired and perished shortly after, meeting her early expiration date. Leonie took time to grieve the loss of her partner, NE-1. Six months pass before the SJG receives another major project. Two new operative has been assigned to the group. The first answers to the name Pekka–a lean man of Swedish decent; though a spacefarer by birth. He has some experience with the SJG before, and promises to be capable in a fight. Sarah, the second is a digital security expert who offers technical support to the team remotely.

Our story opens when McCoy receives a coded message from the SJG, setting up the meeting. He straightens his tie before heading into the Augmented Reality meeting. He opened his virtual eyes to light being shown into his face. Two men are in the room. One is bald and wearing a suit. The other is obscured and gives no name. McCoy remains calm. He asks how the SJG can help.

Thomas Crown is dead. It has not yet reached Martian News that the eldest son and playboy heir to the Throne of Jupiter was found murdered in his hotel suite last night. The King of Jupiter has contacted the SJG. The hotel room was swept of valuables later in the night. The King has hired a second team to retrieve stolen items.

The mission for McCoy, Patterson,Leonie, and Pekka: find the murderer and administer justice.

McCoy discovers that the murder took place at the Ritz Hotel in Pavoni’s Portal, one of the last domed cities on Mars. The body is in police custody under the care of Lieutenant Blake, who is not a fan of the SJG. Patterson uses connections to get the team hotel rooms at the Ritz and discovers that all the suits have been quarantined off by the police, who are trying to keep this all under wraps. Sarah finally gets them each hotel rooms. The Ritz is a high end hotel that towers over the surroundings, even a futuristic city. Built in an era that feared asteroids and catastrophe, the entire building is space rated.

Pekka hits the hotel’s casino while McCoy and Leonie head up to the penthouse with falsified papers, saying they are Jupiter Special Agents Rosewood and Sandal. They are stopped by police security, who doesn’t see their names on the list. McCoy threatens to make Mars’ Police look complicit in a coverup if the team is not allowed access the the crime scene and body. Not wanting to be murdered by the press, the police let the operatives inside. The room is at once ostentatious and unsettling. With all the fineries of high class in disarray and a floor covered in blood. The team tours the multi-room suit, to find little left behind. The wine is gone. The safe was cracked. Papers are missing. The only things left are the sordid disarray of a party. McCoy gets records of wine inventory, and discovers that Thomas Crown was known to beat the staff with wine bottles during some of his parties. He was known for having every sort of people here for his parties. The prince insisted on privacy, disabling the cameras in the private elevator that serviced his room. Guests needed a new card from the front desk each time they wanted to use that elevator.

An old officer overseeing the crime scene informs McCoy that the prince died opening the front door. There couldn’t have been much of a struggle. All the blood belonged to the prince. The Prince was stabbed by an Indian punching dagger. Police speculate that the blade was very sharp. The prince’s hand was removed less than a minute after he was stabbed. His clothes were shredded with a force knife. Rumor among the officers is they already know who committed the robbery, naming a local street gang, known for low level robberies; though no one knows where they got the gear. Strangely, the FBI swooped in to take over that part of the case right away. The FBI Team is quickly identified to be the second SJG team when they see their intel.

As the pair leave, the Police Officer says Lt Blake would like to speak with them. They are escorted to the police precinct, an intimidating building built down into the stone. The pair are escorted to sub basement level 9. Blake is a tall woman in a smart business suit. “Jupiter Responds fast.” She informs us that they managed to get speaker from the elevator. A man claiming to be “Big Eddy” stumbled out of the elevator carrying something in linens. He appeared drunk or on some sort of drugs, not being entirely in control of his faculties. As he left, a group posed as the cleaning service entered the elevator, using the front to get in and out with tons of belongings. The police find no trace of anyone by matching Big Eddy’s name or description. His ID at the front desk traced back to Edgar’s Corperation, a popular company famous for terraforming Mars; however, there is no employee by that name and they claim to know nothing about him. McCoy asks for list of party attendants to cross records and discovers that James Morden and a Centauri ambassador were listed among his guests. They also discover that all of the “cleaners” had been murdered execution style. Big Eddy is still at large. Lt Blake lets on that she knows they aren’t Jovians, but she doesn’t care, as long as this doesn’t look bad for her department. She gives McCoy her business card as the team leaves.

The team meets back up and decides to meet with several of Thomas Crown’s guests to see just what happened at these parties. Patterson and Leonie suit up to talk to a banker first. While Patterson sweet talks a banker into looking at some of his investment dealings, a man in sunglasses approaches Leonie. He tells her to leave this alone if she doesn’t want to see any of her team hurt, giving a business card. The man goes by John Carter–Investigator Hunter. He leaves before Patterson returns with their new banker friend, and they drive to a warehouse they use for this setup. Upon entering the facility, Pekka searches the banker, who thinks the treatment is “a little over the top”. Which is when McCoy introduces himself and interrogates the banker about his party. Outside, Leonie sees John Carter again and pulls Patterson behind cover. He takes this as an advance, rather than a sign of trouble, and John Carter leaves with a wave.

Since they can find no information on any Centauri in residence, Patterson sets up a meeting with a politician who attended these parties to see if they can find another angle. He offers to make a small donation. The politician is happy to help for a small profit and takes the meeting. McCoy discovers that the King of Jupiter was looking for a large loan, and he needed it fast. He was also looking into having certain privileges revoked for the Edgar’s Corporation, in relation to a boarder dispute they were having with the king. Both Jupiter and Edgar’s believe that possession is 10/10ths of the law outside the asteroid belt. The politician also remembers the Centauri Lord Cuiro being at the party. He brought his own special brew with a hangover like a kick in the head, but the drink went down so smooth that it was worth every sip.

As he leaves, the politician bumps into John Carter and greets him with reverence. Apparently this man is one of the best known attorneys on Mars, known for defending people’s privacy against investigators. Pekka follows John Carter, noticing several suits tailing behind them in formation. He tags Leonie in and seeks to distract security during this changeover by asking for the time. It turns out John Carter has booked 20 of the cheapest rooms on the ground floor of the Ritz Hotel.

McCoy gets a drink with Mr Carter at the hotel bar, one mastermind to another, where he discovers that Carter was hired to get in our way. McCoy offers to pay him off, but there doesn’t appear to be enough money in the galaxy to do so. It becomes clear that there is no way they can reach a resolution, but they part on amicable terms. Carter even offers his services if the team needs help cleaning up their image later. McCoy goes to shake his hand, but Carter refuses, “Psi Cops you know”, revealing that he had a nasty run in with Bester a few years before. Sarah looks up Carter’s business, and discovers that he has become bored with legal practice, and has attempted to start a reality tv series. Meanwhile, in the casino, Pekka is approached with a business proposition of his own.

After some investigation, Sarah has cleaned up the camera footage of Big Eddy and discovered his real identity. His real name was William Brown, an Earth Force pilot, who died near Mars nearly 20 years ago. The SJG team visits the cemetery and find his grave. Through some super science, they determine that there is no body buried at his marker. It is discovered that Edgar’s Cooperation, which also deals in pharmaceuticals, purchased this body after death due to the unique means by which is was preserved. The team speculates that something could have been controlling a dead body.

It occurs to McCoy that it is Bester’s job to prevent exactly this sort of situation. The investigator excuses himself to give the Psi Cop a call, filling him in on only the bare minimum. McCoy agrees to fly to Earth and meet with him in a few days, but McCoy says they are much closer than that. They meet at a coffee shop in a busy sector of the city. Pekka remains near McCoy to act as a bodyguard, while Patterson and Leonie are nearby to be called in as support. While passing a tv screen playing the news, Leonie sees a message broadcast at the bottom of the screen, saying “I know what you did, and you will pay.”

Bester comes to the meeting openly wearing his PPG, and stuns a 3 man security detail Carter sent after the team before wandering into the coffeeshop. Everyone feels the psionic influence telling them to leave–except Pekka who resisted and the barista who made him a coffee first. McCoy informs Bester of the situation, reintroducing Bester to John Carter and Morton, and discovers that only about 3 people on the bureau could possess bodies to Bester’s knowledge. When another team of armed security heads towards the coffeeshop, Bester offers to take care of it. He leaves and walks towards the leader, knocking him out.

The team returns to the hotel where they receive a message from Sarah. She informs the group that Edgar industries is run by a board determined to advance pharmaceuticals faster than morality can keep up. Gunfire is heard downstairs, cutting that meeting short.

The party hears a knock at the door. Leonie suits down, hiding behind the door as Patterson answers. The man asks to see the brains of the operation, but settles for Patterson, pulling him out of the room Patterson demands to be unhanded and makes a spectacle as Leonie quietly follows the party down to the first floor. John Carter, looking significantly worse for wear with bruises on his neck, pulls Patterson into the room, demanding to know how he did that, letting slip that a loyal employee attacked him. McCoy steps in to diffuse the situation and negotiate for Patterson. Carter is spooked and speculates that he’s dealing with someone bigger than he thought. As he lists off everyone’s first guess, the SJG, Leonie paralyses Mr Carter. The situation escalated with guns pointed at Patterson, but McCoy uses the fear to make the group seem more influential than they actually are. Carter folds, and lets them know that he was hired to protect Edgar Industries. He never met with anyone face to face, and has no idea who actually hired him. McCoy suggests that the Southern Spain is nice this time of year and suggests he try harder to get into show business, putting Carter in contact with Cathay Media.

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Pekka's Mission Notes - Entry 10\1- A
Martian Mayhem

<decoded> by 512 bit-bit cypher.

Some time after the team released a Nano-bot bomb in a secret facility beneath Frankfurt, they were whisked away to Mars to begin another mission

The Android Jess dropped dead from zer accelerated life span, having only enjoyed the shortest of retirements. Replacing in the team is new recruit Pekka whose alternate identity of Sola is wanted by the Alliance.

On Mars, the team arrives at the capital, mostly ignored by the locals who have a practical somewhat ignorant personality to the wider universe.

Politicians here kowtow to the voters, as anything can be brought up in normal legislative business. It is brisk here, the air is artificial and thin, sealed away.

Agent McCoy received a message from the SJG, to receive orders just as we were getting settled.
McCoy meets with Mr. X

SJG has been contacted to execute Justice on a murder. Two teams have been hired to investigate cause, and to locale Perp and deliver our variety of retribution.

Victim is Thomas Crown, of Jupiter. Heir to the despotic gasbag throne.
We have been hired by the reining King, to find killer, and to locate numerous valuables also stolen.

Mr. X Advised caution.

The team decides to visit hotel first, with Patterson and myself at the lounge level where we can inspect other guests. Leonie and McCoy will view the crime scene.
At Ritz hotel on Mars, we find that every stolen object was quite valuable. The wealth the Heir ostentatious, decadent, and bourgeois.

McCoy enters crime scene with little fuss, overstepping standard procedure and impersonating Jovian authorities. Too easy. Were even waved down by police who were clueless and allowed their “licensed” arms into the penthouse.

( Dilgar War continues – change in narrative of Alliance victory…)

Police suspect robbery gone wrong, police are bozos, we are to further investigate.
We learn that the body of the heir is with Lt. Blake of the Martian police.

All blood found belonged to victim, the victim opened the front door and was killed in the entry way; Stabbed multiple times and then dis-handed. Clothes then shredded by force knife.
Lethal stab wounds were done by an unusual metallic weapon, space age metal alloy in archaic blade.
Police found DNA of Perp, suspect local street gang (must follow up).
Police inform us the FBI have taken over the case and more evidence is now within their jurisdiction.
McCoy detects Wine cellar was cleaned out, likely as source of valuables by the looting after murder. Everything was taken, liquor, Clothes, Stocks, Bonds, and Art.

Police mention the heir was mentally unstable, blocked cameras into own room (essential but novice move).

McCoy deduces the lobby as only port where the Perp would have been viewable on surveillance towards the Penthouse.

Body discovered 18 hours ago, from our visit to crime scene, TOD was 21 hours before our visit.

McCoy and Leonie leave the Penthouse to visit Lt Blake, who expects them, at the police station.

Blake seemed surprised by this Martian Nutcase. Emphasizing the culpability of it all, a victim who is foreign, a gang who have all been killed after their ID (must investigate), and the case who being in possession of the FBI is now developmentally arrested to her.

Police admit to spying on the Penthouse from outside the front door. Witnessed an official of the Edgar Corp enter and some minutes later leave with a bloody pillowcase. Likely murderer.
Just as this man enters the elevator to leave a cleaning crew (likely street gang who have since been killed) came up to commit robbery.
Now FBI has the case,
FBI revealed to be our parallel SJG team. Who specifically?

Edgars Industries responsible for terraforming mars Mars, untouchable by police by popularity and demagogic politicians.

James Morden mentioned, his relationship to this case unknown.

Lt. Blake confesses doubt of our story of being Jovian, McCoy reveals nothing (smart). Police need us regardless (untrustworthy).

We discover the Prince brought in many guests, and many escorts. Among these were politicians, Bankers, and an unknown Centauri.

Patterson makes ab appointment with one such Banker who visited the Penthouse before the murder. We arrange a meeting where Patterson will lead the Banker to be interrogated by McCoy, with my supervision.

Before the meeting occurs, Leonie is advised by a stranger (issue) not to pursue the investigation. Left card John Carter ( a bogus name if ever I saw one).

<what_do_they_know>?

The Banker was unafraid to meet McCoy and I, said he was well protected. Upon seeing Sola realized the gravity. we did not harm the Banker but demanded to know why he met with the Heir.

Collected info on other guests of the Heir and the intention for a loan. Money to be used for a hostile takeover. Banker also reveals that D. Drumpf intends to run for presidential office. (Contemplate vacation to capital on inauguration day).

McCoy thanked the Banker for a wonderful lunch, and asked me to hand the Banker a caterer’s business card, “Al Pacino’s fine Dinning.”

McCoy is certainly odd, psychic is possible, but illegal. (Need to revisit occlumency training).

After Banker we make similar investigation into local politician, and gather similar info.
Heir wanted to lift privileges from Edgar Corp, which the Politicians could not do as the company is too popular. They own most of Parliament.
Mars and Jupiter have border dispute over many asteroids.

<asteroids_are_and_forever_will_be_free>

Get name for of the unknown Alien, Lord Kiro.
Consider follow up.

As we exit the meeting the politician bumps into J. Carter, who avoids us.
I attempt to follow this Carter but was recognized. I fled to hotel and to dosesesessseeeee,

Later I learned that:
Leonie successfully followed Carter back to the Ritz hotel.
McCoy met with Carter. (dumb move!)
Carter would not budge on his job to obstruct our investigation.
Carter did not admit he was investigating us, but why else would I be recognized, and why would he think we are a threat!?!

I asked when they would like me to kill Carter.
Have not been instructed to do so.
<will_prepare>

<redacted>

Sarah contacted us.
Mysterious Edgar murderer was identified as deceased pilot William Brown.
The cemetery of his burial was disturbed. Body missing.
W. Brown was name given as Edgars Employee when visiting the Heir before murder.

Upon learning these details McCoy excuses himself to make a call. (To whom?)

Sarah called again just as we heard blaster fire in the Hotel.
I immediately aimed to suit up, only just fully arming myself as a knock came to the door.
Patterson, assured by our prepared defenses answered.
He was quickly stolen away by Carter’s thugs.
Leonie followed secretly.
As the door closes behind the thugs I grab a chair and attempt to throw it out the window to escape. Darn hotel had space grade glass. Was left in the Hotel room with McCoy and only one exit with cameras.
McCoy pursues slowly after them informing me to keep Sola hidden unless blaster fire is heard.

Meanwhile on the 3rd floor. Carter was flabbergasted at the psychic trauma his men have been subject to.
He demanded to know who was responsible, asking Patterson who could offer no satisfactory answer.
McCoy arrived just as Leonie used her toxin to paralyze Carter.

McCoy asked for compliance from the thugs who too afraid of out team lowered their weapons. As Carter regained composure we explained the extent of what we have learned, and Carter realizing he was out of his league couldn’t defeat us, and would die if he impeded our investigation of Edgars.

We learned from this trouble that Edgars is the most likely suspect left, they having possession of W. Brown’s body, possible tech to reanimate the dead, and motive to eliminate Jupiter as a regional power.

Carter informed us that his latest wealthy client wanted him to keep all instigations away from Edgar Industries.

Meaning we have a next target.

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Striking Back, Part 2

After a lengthy discussion, the group decided on two ways in order to infiltrate the Abraxis Warehouse – one group will work with the protestors outside along with the Homefront, while the other group will work on getting on the inside and find out information that way.

The group then set up a meeting with the Captain of the Homefront. McCoy contacts the leaders with some difficulty – since the Captain was followed previously, they wanted him to prove his identity. McCoy proves it by telling them about the hotel incident, which they believe it. After divulging their location, McCoy brings Jess disguised as Shu with him to meet the group and win their full devotion.

Once they get to the tin foiled covered room, the guard asks McCoy if he trusts the person with him (Jess), which he nods and they are let in. The captain comes into the room and greets McCoy, then turning to Jess, who is then introduced by McCoy as Shu. The Captain asks him to prove it with some evidence. Jess uses their watch to release new footage of the “bugs”, which impresses the whole room immensely. The Captain immediately downloads it on his thumbdrive before it gets wiped off the internet, so that the Captain can spread the information again later.

The Captain then gives his pager number to Jess, saying it was an honor to be in their presence and if they ever want to summon the forces of the Homefront, please let them know. Then he says that they must depart before the group is found, especially since it does take some time to strip the tinfoil from the walls.

The SJG group then organizes for a bunch of protestors to work outside of Abraxis for the next couple days, while having the more experienced disruptor groups look for various ways to cause chaos around the building. After the group gathers information on the facility, they meet with Parker, McCoy and Leonie (dressed as an old woman) to go over the detail. While their information was sound, some of the persons in the group were less so, after flirting with Old Woman Leonie. After breaking up a small verbal spat over the awkwardness of the situation, the group tells the protestors that they will let them know when they are needed.

Drew and Leonie go in for interviews – Leonie for administrative assistant, Drew for HR. Drew goes in first, and meets with a middle aged woman for his interview. She ends up impressed with him, and says that she will reorganize the staff just to get him on the team. After the interview, Drew successfully gets Shu’s program onto the computer in the room. Shu uses his hacking skills to get into the system, and after some difficulty, gets his program open.

Leonie goes into her interview with an innocent look, the interviewer asks her if she likes games. She says that she likes playing games like hopscotch and cribbage. He then asks if she likes hands on games, she responds with a flirty tone that she’s hands on in all of her work. The interviewer says that he has to leave for a moment, in the meanwhile she slides her program for Shu as well and was sucessful. They finish the interview, now including an older woman who is watching the interviewer like a hawk. She gets the job, and is put to work immediately.

Through Drew, Leonie and Shu’s efforts, they have found out that this particular facility has mysteriously lost between 50 to 100 people a month and have not been filling in those positions at all. Entire sections have been evacuated, and have been locked off with security. By going through Leonie’s boss, Shu was able to find out that they are having a hard time with a drug that gives superhuman strength, and that the security guards were ex-staff that have been genetically modified with this program to be freak beasts. He also found discussions between supervisors that they fear the new management in the basement, and that Research and Development moved down there as well.

Through another information gathering exercise, Leonie goes to get some papers signed by a senior executive. A security guard stops her, where she tells her that her boss needs paper signed. The guard takes the name of her boss, mentioning that he may need some re-education, then suddenly the executive comes out. Without looking up, he signs them, then gets on the elevator. Leonie tries to get on the elevator after him, but she gets stopped by the security guard, with him telling her that she’ll thank him later. As the elevator closes, she hears the executive say “have NE1 take care of that” as the door closes. She was shocked to hear it but managed to stay calm. A system search went out on Leonie’s identity after that incident, but she managed to turn out clean due to Kit’s work. Shu sent out a counter probe to see where the search originated, which revealed that it was from PsyCorps in Germany.

The group then discusses how they are going to get into the basement of the facility to get some evidence of the information they found, especially since a lot of the access points inside are heavily guarded. They first sent a drone that Lincoln built through the sewers that was linked to Jess’ android mind. They discovered that there were lasers everywhere and heavy weaponry built into the wall.

They then discover that the freight elevator may be the best route since it is the least guarded and monitored. Leonie first was able to sneak in and damage it. When the company called a maintenance person, Parker was able to intercept the maintenance truck on the way, beat him up, and place Lincoln and McCoy in his place. When the two get to the building, the guard asks Lincoln if they do it in an hour, since they have a shipment coming in. As Lincoln works on it, he attaches a device on the elevator to have Shu gain control of it.

An hour later, the facility receive their shipment, including giant boxes from “Interstellar Import-Export”. They ask Lincoln if the elevator is prepped, which he gives them the ready in his disturbing voice. The man looks at him strangely and then sends the elevator down. When the guards were not looking, Lincoln hops down on top and rides it down with them. The elevator continued to go down past the four known floors of the facility into the secret fifth floor.

Leonie leaves her “Insterstellar Import-Export” box first to scope out the area and open the door slightly. After giving the green light, the rest of the group were able to come out of their boxes, and Lincoln then tells Shu to move the elevator slightly so it sounds like it went back up to the people on this floor.

Before moving out, they set up a bomb in the room to destroy the bugs as they make their escape. As the group start to move towards the door and peek outside into the hall, Jess was able to see a scientist running out of a door screaming. Behind the scientist was a shimmer scuttering behind him. The shimmer, which was one of the large bugs, tackled the scientist, beheads them and then starts devouring its stomach, laying an egg in its chest.

McCoy does some investigating on his own and finds a bunch of tissue samples with labels, taking photographs of what he found. He sees that there are some folks in this particular lab, and recognizes that the scientists are very focus minded – believing that they are drugged or mind controlled. As he goes to leave, McCoy was able to hid himself as two German PsyCoprs pass by him, chatting telepathically.

Jess was able to sneak up to a security guard in the area and collect a drool sample from them, so that they are able to trace the guard back to one of the missing persons.

Leonie sneaks into an office building and run right into a bug. She successfully sneaks back out, and as she goes out she hears two human scientists say how surprised they are that NE1 was able to survive the torture that he’s going through. She chooses to go after him, and sees a brain in a jar, with a biological device attached to him.

She goes into the room and greets NE1. He says that he must be dreaming. She says that he is not, and he replies that he must be in hell. If so, he says, he wants her to kill him – the device that is attached to him is recording everything so it will alert soon. She asks if there are any other memories he can tell her. He says that she did love roses, and then she takes out her whip and ends him.

As she runs out, sirens start alarming, and she managed to make her way back to the elevator. As the group started to go back up, the bomb with the agent set off below. When the elevator opens, the group was greeted with a riot that was taking place thanks to the work of Homefront and the violent protestors and was able to successfully escape.

All of the information was given directly to Shu, then was released to Cathay Media. As Cathay started pressing Abraxis, several governments in Asia pressed back on Cathay to try and leave them alone. It appears that several governments have now been compromised by the bugs, but Cathay and the SJG chooses to continue to press back.

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Striking Back, Part 1

Shu receives a message to go to the virtual chatroom for the next mission. Greeting him there is the usual balding man with a gravely voice, wishing him well. The man lets Shu know that the SJG is still working on scrubbing their computer systems after his last stunt, and it’s to the point where they may need to consider replacing it completely. In the meantime, the SJG received a request from Cathay Media, who has a mission on Earth.

The company has their eyes on a group called “Homeguard” – a xenophobic group that recently made headlines in Bonn, Germany, after their horrendous assault on a Narn visitor, beating and branding him with their logo. A man with the name Carl Kamfmacht walked into the police station for self arrest. Cathay Media is certain that the man wasn’t actually involved in performing the act, but rather is using this high profile case as a platform for his extremist views – especially since the man is extremely intelligent and an excellent speaker. The case right now is causing a huge stir to the point where lawyers are trying to push it through so that he doesn’t have the ability to deliver polemics, though Kamfmacht’s own representation is just as good at trying to slow the case down.

The SJG is to investigate the Homeguard and find out whatever they can about them – what their involvement is, why this is blowing up so fast, etc. – and as always, deliver justice if needed. Unfortunately, due to the large increase of false media in recent times, they are unable to get any good information from their normal sources. They have until the trial begins to do so, and after the meeting, Shu contacts Lawrence to use his abilities to bog the trial down in bureaucracy even further.

Shu then meets the Cathay Media representative in Bonn, and asks them if they know any information about Kamfmacht already. The representative lets him know that they have very little on him – Kamfmacht appears to be zeroed, and will not give up any of the other men in the attack. PsiCorps has apparently probed him as well and did not find anything of use. A quick and easy hack of Homeguard’s website also revealed very little information – just that they grew extremely fast, a lot of people are using false identities, and that the current best guess on actual members is around half a million. Cathay’s representative lets Shu know that there are protestors that meet every day in front of the courthouse, and that may be a good starting place to get information.

Back on the ship, Kit tells Drew that she found a new boyfriend on the internet and shows him a picture of the young man – which appears to be a young Pierce Brosnan. When Drew tells her this, she tells him that she knows and that’s what excites her – he’s using fake credentials and everything, which means that he must be good. He pinches her nose and tells her to be careful.

After some discussion, the group decides to split up into two different teams to infiltrate the protest gathering – Drew and Jess are put into the press angle while Patterson and Leonie go in as the investor angle. The next day, as Drew and Jess are doing interviews, he hears a whine in his ear from Kit. She tells him that her boyfriend is actually ancient man of 35, and that he’s super creepy especially since they were talking about hotels and such. He pinches his forehead again, asking why she’s doing that, her reply being that it’s like Drew keeps her locked up or something. He warns her to stay away and goes back to doing interviews, though unfortunately were not able to gather any more information than any of the other news organizations there.

When Patterson and Leonie get there, they look for the organizers of the event to speak to. What they notice is that this event has been set up in a military fashion. Leonie notices Bester from PsiCorps in the crowd, and gives everyone a heads up so that they know to avoid him. Leonie and Patterson then make their way to one of the organizers who appears to instantly be smitten with Leonie. He tells her that he’d be very interested in talking with her, and wants to take her to a nearby hotel bar. They exchange business cards – it turns out that he works for a marketing company. The information gets passed on to Shu who does some research, and it turns out that the marketing company is one of the top in Germany.

As the organizer gets drunker, the two of them go up to the presidential suite. Leonie seduces him in the room, then immediately touches him to knocks him out cold. She leaves an embarrassing note for him and then lets Patterson into the room. They rifle through his belongings and find keys to his house as well as his personal computer. They deliver it to Shu, who works on rifling through the company’s internal network. He finds out that the rally is being paid for by one of those pro-humanist’s organization – DFD. When trying to hack the DFD, Shu finds black ice in the lower layer, and immediately avoids it, unfortunately unable to get any further information from that angle. The upper layer simply shows that they are opportunists.

The reporter crew goes to the bar with the rest of the protestors. Jess somehow seemed to be the highlight of the party, and unknowingly got dragged along to what turned out to be an orgy at a nearby hotel. Meanwhile, Drew notices a small group of people hanging out in the back, passing around the picture that Shu released on the internet and whispering furiously about it. Drew goes over there and tries to talk to them, but did not get any success – the group immediately hid the picture and gave him short and curt answers. It wasn’t long until they took their leave, bidding him adieu.

As they leave, Parker and McCoy follow the men out. As McCoy turns a corner, the men grab him and accuse him of being a German investigator. As Parker turns the corner to ask if there’s a problem there, McCoy was able to telepathically administer confusion to the one that has grabbed him and was immediately released. McCoy administered some extremely poor acting, saying that he spotted an alien – which surprisingly worked on the four guys as they turned around and made a beeline for their hideout. McCoy and Parker decided to follow the trail, with McCoy ditching his forged investigator ID in the alleyway in case they get caught and searched again.

When they get into the hideout, which was under a Chinese restaurant with a tin roof, the two men inside were arguing with the rest asking why they brought McCoy and Parker here. They appear very dangerous and ready to kill, though allows one of them to speak before they decide to pull the trigger on them. McCoy says that he spotted an alien, and then points to the picture on the wall that happeend to be the one that Shu released of the Shadow previously. The group was extremely impressed, and it turns out that they actually worship Shu like a messiah, calling him the Founder. McCoy and Parker hype the group up, saying that they have heard grand stories of the Founder and that they have encountered the aliens in the photo previously, which the group ate it up. They tell the group to get them in contact with the Captain so that they can share information that they had learned previously, and gave them contact information for the Captain to reach them.

As Parker and McCoy head back to the ship, Parker suddenly goes flat on his face unconscious and McCoy receives a PPG in the neck. It turns out to be Bester, who tells McCoy that he’s a legend – there are entire teams dedicated to finding out if McCoy actually exists or not. Despite their positions, Bester tells him that they’re on the same team actually – Morden is in the area after all. He wants to exchange numbers to contact McCoy, since they may have valuable information to give to each other. As a gift, he gives McCoy a hint that Abraxis is developing biological weapons in their factory recently – while he personally doesn’t have the resources to investigate, McCoy may have the ability to do so on the other hand. Bester says that it’s good to know that there are other people fighting this thing, then walks away. Parker is suddenly able to get up, doesn’t believe that he tripped on himself, and they make their way back to the ship.

Once the group comes back together, they learn that Carl Kamfmacht was found dead in his jail cell. Contacted Cathay Media with the information they have already, and Cathay Media wants them to dig deeper. On request, Cathay hands over the information they have on Abraxis. As for Kamfmacht, they have no information though they heard that the area of his jail cell is locked down and military access only.

Parker meets with an old military friend who was part of the ordeal – he lets him know that the entire building wing is locked down and all the doors welded except for one, where scientists and doctors are able to enter. The soldiers believe that whatever is in there is completely over since one of the suits torn while inside the area and it’s fine, though Kamfmacht’s body is still in there – some sort of chemical damage, he believes. Later, Shu was able to find pictures and notes of the event showing that Kamfmacht’s foot appears to have been stung and that his blood all coagulated.

As the group were discussing what to do next, a knock happens on Leonie and Patterson’s door in the hotel. While Leonie goes invisible, Patterson opens the door. The man greets himself as the Captain, who comes into the room with a bodyguard that performs a sweep of the whole room. The bodyguard doesn’t notice Leonie, and says that the room is clear. He was dismissed to stand outside, and the Captain says that he was told that his group says that he may know the founder personally. Patterson shows him the video from the Abraxis station in the asteroid belt, which impresses the Captain quite a bit. The Captain wants to know what the Founder wants, and Patterson tells him that they believe that secret aliens had taken the life of Kamfmacht, saying that he was killed because he would expose the aliens to the world. They also tell him that Abraxis Corporation was involved.

A horrible noise was heard outside of the room. Patterson braces the door shut, and then hears a couple thumps against the door. Shu accesses the video cameras in the hotel, and he sees that the bodyguard outside has been completely beheaded. He then sees something invisible hitting the door with immense force. Leonie reveals herself which surprises the Captain, who then offers to pay her double what Patterson was paying for as a bodyguard. Leonie breaks the window to help the others go down – on their way to the ground level, the bug breaks through the door and charges through the window. The force was enough to completely break the frame and shatters glass on top of the group. The bug starts to climb down the wall but the stucco was not strong enough to hold its weight, causing the bug to come crashing down. Leonie goes invisible again once she gets down, collects a sample using a hotel glass, then walks away. Jess took pictures of the bodyguard first, and then goes to hide the body.

The captain says that he must have been followed, and that the aliens are truly dangerous. Patterson says that they must fight back against them, and wants to know if the Captain is willing help. The Captain gives him a burner cell phone where he can be reached instantly if need be. If he is pleased, he will give another one.

Shu talks to his hacker group, gives them all the photos and video that were taken of this event, and say that it needs to be held secret until just the right time to release it. The group then gets back together, and start planning their break in of Abraxis’ Warehouse….

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The Heist of the Century

Shu gets a message on a back channel with the Centauri, which surprised him because they had hightailed it out of the galaxy after Shu released the tapes. They request communications through laser at specific coordinates, which turns out to be in the asteroid belt.

The Centauri ambassador greets him, saying he hope things are doing well. The Centauri have a predicament where they need assistance from a group that are used to working on the down low, so of course Shu and team came to mind. Shu was willing to listen – after discussion of payment, of course. The ambassador tells him that it’s an impressive sum if successful, which Shu accepts.

The Ambassador then tells him that the Centauri were looking to make a beautiful necklace from the Hope Diamond which was to be called “the Centauri Eye”. His group is to provide a security connection for the necklace from Earth until it reaches its destination in deep space. On Earth, they are to be meeting a Mister Jones, who is charging an extraordinary price to finish the product. They need to make sure that it is real and will leave Earth on the correct ship.

After his meeting with the Ambassador, Shu told the SJG that they are accepting a job from the Centauri so that they are not assigned any jobs in the meantime. The group says that they will be the one to decide whether or not it conflicts, though the next day they do approve of the mission, and the group takes off for Earth with no issues at all.

Once they arrive on Earth, Shu leaves for Texas where he will interview a new bodyguard, while the crew of the Adder take off to do their own thing. Leonie was grieving over NE1’s disappearance, and Patterson convinces her to go out to browse the stores with him, since according to him shopping always cures a woman’s heart. She relents, and decides to follow him out. The two head towards the shopping district, where Patterson spots a large beefy guy following him. Patterson and Leonie make their way into a store where it would be easier to keep an eye on the large man. He contacts Shu, who tries to use his equipment to hack into the camera systems into the store, but due to the tools that he has, is unable to get through.

Patterson grabs Leonie and the two of them go through the back door, running into three women in the back of the alley. As Leonie tries to distract them by asking for a smoke, Patterson comes out and and the other women move towards him. They say that he is under arrest – they are bounty hunters and the price for his head has went up to 200,000 dollars. As Patterson starts running, Leonie touches one of the women’s hands to drop to the ground. However, the other two women were much faster than Patterson and were able to grab him rather quickly; the one catching him had retractable claws. Leonie touches the second woman by behind and knocks her out as well. The big beefy guy comes up with his pistol and blasts it at Leonie but misses. As Patterson gets his hands tied behind his back by the woman, Leonie dodges another blast and touches the large guy, paralyzing him. With Patterson completely restrained, the woman pulled out her blaster and shot at Leonie, who managed to survive the shot and put her hand on the woman’s face. While that was not enough, Leonie used Judo to immobilize her and rescue Patterson.

Shu wraps up his interview with the new recruit, Danny Parker, who fits the bill for what they were looking for – someone who knows their way around a weapon. He takes the new recruit with him to San Antonio, in order to parlay with Jones. On their way there, they run into a strange man who seemed to be waiting for them. He was to deliver the two of them to where the necklace is. The man begins to ask Shu some philosophical questions, but Shu says that he is uninterested. The way over to the warehouse was uneventful, and once they arrived they greeted by a very twitchy Mister Jones. Jones says that he was surprised that the project was continuing, but he’s glad that it’s over and that he could be rid of it. Shu asks him about the weird guy that brought them there, Jones says that he didn’t hire anyone at all, and he believes that they are being watched. Parker looks outside for him, but the strange man is no longer there.

Shu orders twenty taxis to all go to completely different places in order to confuse the enemy, choosing to board only one of those and take a convoluted way by train into Dallas. One there, Shu orders more random taxis and monitors the area just in case before delivering the package to the shipping warehouse personally. The two then arrange transportation form themselves to a station in orbit of Earth, where they would then board the Black Adder. As they wait on the station, an older gentleman watches the Adder dock, says that it is a beauty but would be more beautiful if it had a turret on top of it, before leaving.

The package makes it with no trouble to Luna, and then travels peacefully to Ceres. The UPS guys deliver it to the PO Box there with no issues. In order to keep an eye on it, Leonie disguises herself as an old man and goes to the PO Box to inspect the package. It looks like it hasn’t been tampered with , so she then puts it back in the PO Box. McCoy, who was also in the building, hears a skittering behind him and taps Leonie. She notices it as well, and her disguise flickered a bit. As Leonie strips and goes invisible, McCoy tries to pick out its emotion out of a crowd and hears soft nails on a chalkboard.

The courier and his bodyguard, looking nervous, get to the hallway where the box is. The guy who met Shu and Parker is on the station, on the other side of the corridor. He stops the courier, says hello to them both, and walk right past them. Leonie follows the short man into the elevator with him. He turns to her general direction, says that he notices her, she is not wanted and she should stay in the elevator as he leaves it. As she attempts to leave after him, she is stabbed in the back with a needle and is knocked out.

McCoy follows the courier on his way back to the ship Beowulf, to see if anybody else is following them. The courier had spotted him, and confronts McCoy. McCoy plays it cool, says that he doesn’t want the box, and then turns around and walk away. Once he watches the Beowulf take off, he hears that Leonie was picked up by the station police and goes to pick her up. They say that they had a doctor look at her, found it interesting that the blister was filled by synthetic heroin. McCoy was able to get her released along with a sample of the blister’s drainage for 2,000 credits total. As he takes their hands for a handshake, he mindwipes all of them to forget this entire situation.

Once back on the Adder, Dana St. John, communications, tells everyone to get on the bridge. They hear communications from the Beowulf saying that they are being attacked by Pirates – their guns have been knocked out and they are losing air quickly. Once closer, they are able to get vision on the Beowulf, which is dead in space with four ships surrounding it. Shu calls to the Ambassador to let him know that they are not in a position to take on the four ships, the Ambassador has a heart attack and their second in command takes the message. They agree that the Adder will go and investigate the Beowulf as the Centauri get resources to go after the four pirate ships.

Lincoln and Parker go ahead to look at the ship. The Beowulf is completely destroyed within and is stripped of all fuel and goods. They quickly find that all of the hiding places have been checked, and the package is no longer there.

As the Adder comes closer to the four pirate ships, a beam of red light came out of nowhere and knocks power out of the four pirate ships. The group cautiously sends out a drone to check out the ships, and find it curious that the ships are not free tumbling – which suggests that they had been visited. Shu calls the Ambassador who says that a human has contacted them saying that he has a way to get the gem in exchange for a favor and they want Shu’s group to meet with him at Juno Station. They send a picture of the man that they had previously met and the images match. Shu asks for a recording and they see it. Parker and Shu notice something off, and it looks that some of the video is missing. They ask the Ambassador why there is a piece of the video missing, and they respond that it doesn’t concern them, then releases them from the job.

Since the group knows where it is, they run to the meeting and witness the man giving the box to a group of two. As they leave with the box, Leonie goes to grab one of them but is jabbed in the butt again and is knocked out. McCoy notices a flash of scattering legs moving around, shoots at it and misses. Parker takes off for the two guys, one trips and the other one picks up the box and ran with it. The first guy took out his blaster and Parker hit him, killing him instantly. The second guy managed to get away and called the cops, arresting all of them.

The Juno Police Department refuses to give the box to the group – a mysterious donor is outbidding them, and money rules in this system. The mysterious man comes into the room, sits down with McCoy and the two of them have a discussion. The mysterious man introduces himself as Mr. Mordin, who speaks about his associates and how interested they are with him. He does say that all of them have the same goal, and he is impressed with McCoy. Mordin extends an offer, but it was declined by McCoy, though McCoy does want to make sure that the necklace makes it to the Centauri Emperor. Mordin promises, saying that he doesn’t lie, and then makes his leave.

Shu tries to put some tracer on the ship that Mordin is boarding, but that completely bricks the Adder instead. When the system was restored, it was clear that the computers were scanned. Shu contacts the SJG to make them an enemy, and they explain that they already have a file on them – Project Bad Bug and that the group should be very cautious when dealing with them. The group is one of SJG’s better teams, and they would be hurt to lose them, like the three teams before that have run into them. The Adder’s computers need to be completely replaced, and Shu needs a new identity.

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Mission of Mercy

Shu got an update on their next mission – the group wants to meet in person, on Callisto, since they do not want to divulge too much information beforehand. Once there, he brings Leonie and Patterson out with him to meet the representative at a previously established coffee shop.

The weaselly man who was waiting for them introduced himself as Adam West of Gensatech Corporation, each giving them a limp handshake before sitting down. He tells the three of them that the matter at hand is delicate, and would need to be taken with caution. The company, which heads mining operations out of the asteroid belt, is run by a family and one of their members have gone missing. Pulling out a photo, Mr. West states that his name is Jim Segall – while he doesn’t know it yet, his mother and head of the company had changed her will to grant him 20% of the company once she passes. Segall had previously been quite a troublemaker, experimenting with drugs and the law, but recently cleaned up his act and became a humanitarian which pleased the rest of the family.

Segall had last been spotted at Fururi Station, out in the Belt, which was a Gensatech mining facility until it was abandoned. He is believed to have been kidnapped in order to get his credentials to get into the station. Mr. West describes the kidnappers as belonging to the Cult of the Divine Form, a weird group of people who believe that through genetic manipulation, they can reach the divine and learn of the true form that humans are supposed to possess. They have been kicked off of multiple planets previously, and had currently set up in the bet where they ran into Segall. The family believes that the cult took him because they believe that he has the authority to donate the station to the cult, which in reality, he wouldn’t be able to until his mother had passed.

Fururi Station had previously been stripped of many of its items, and the computer systems are completely offline, so the group would have to go over there and try to get Segall back home. Mr. West then hands out a business card in case they need to contact him – unfortunately, he will not be able to get them a contact within the belt itself.

After accepting the mission, the group headed back to the ship on a three week course to the station. In the meantime, they were able to get a legal record on the cult – while they had been previously arrested for petty crimes such as panhandling, they do not have a history of violence nor major supporters. The group decided that the best course of action to go into the station would be under the guise of a charitable company that is looking to support scientific advances.

A week out, Mr West calls. He regrets to inform that the motion has gone through the corporate council to speed up the process a little bit. This is due to the relationship between the various investors – Segall’s mother and Aunt are disagreeing with how they want to handle this, and the investors landed on the decision to speed it up. A military ship is being sent and will arrive the same time that the Adder will, in order to assist with the extraction. The ship is full of Marines, headed by one Captain Garanath. Has a history of following orders to a letter, and is a rather successful person in his endeavors. West is not privy to who is making the decision, and if Shu has any problems, he should speak to Captain Garanath of the Littoral.

Shu tries to speak to the Littoral to tell them of their plan and gets a message back – when the communications gets less than a 5 second lag, then they will speak. Nathan sent off a message to the ship since he thought he knew one of the pilots, got no response. Shu then gets a knock on his door from Kit, who got a message from the station. It said, Epsilon Violation 12, initiating Delta Sanction. She doesn’t like the sound of that, and she said that they should keep themselves from getting killed.

Any research on the code comes back with very little. Leonie goes to asks her contact NE1, who finds the code interesting – he indeed has heard of this one before. Delta Sanction is the highest rating for when biological experimentation gone wrong, and the Violation means that it did not work.

Four days out, the Adder can begin to sense some very low power from the station showing that it is active, but barely. A day out, Shu contacts the Littoral again – he has heard about the SJG mission, and he says that they have 12 hours to get them out of there. Shu discusses with him that they really need to try the safer method in order to get him out first, before they send the marines in.

Lincoln sends a drone out to examine the outside of the ship, which determines that there is a faint life support running through the ship but it’s otherwise dead, including the communications. There is a faint light coming from one of the docks however, suggesting that it is in use, and it is equipped with cameras. Kit says that she has a bad feeling about this.

Lincoln, Leonie and a couple crew members use a shuttle to land at the dock to scope things out. There were four men standing there, with the leader looking serene. The other three immediately burst into question once the crew step out of the shuttle, wondering why their ship is out there and what it’s planning to do. The leader of the crew tries to calm them down, and then introduces themselves, his name being Corposten. He says that they had sensed their coming through the ether, though they could not understand why. Either way, they are no longer the Cult of the Divine Form, but the Harbingers of the Divine Form due to the progress they have made recently and welcomes them to their station.

Leonie introduces the group as the League of Interstellar Actionable Research Scientists, stating that they have heard of their group and are here to give donations for scientific progress. Corposten says that while fantastic, he wonders why the head of the ship is not down here themselves to greet him? Leonie lies to him and tells them that they are sick, though they are willing to make contact with radio. Corposten takes the radio and gets into contact with Patterson who tries to negotiate with him. Corposten apologizes, says that he only deals with people face to face and turns it off. Turning to Leonie, he says that she is very brave, thinking that they do not pay her enough for what she is doing. Corposten then gestures to the station to give them a tour.

As they go down the hall, they pass through the control room and notice that the room has been completely stripped. Many of the former living quarters are now desolate. Lincoln starts talking about the life support and air quality and how bad it is here, Corposten says that it meets their needs but Lincoln is free to take a look at it. A cult member leads him into the room, where everything is duct taped together and not computerized. He states that the ship is run on nuclear fusion, and they manage to make it work.

Leonie continues down the hall, sees some computer terminals with a weird helix on it. NE1 is able to see it via their psyonic link, thinks it’s curious that everyone on this station has managed to survive. As they go further in, they can hear music with unintelligible words. NE1 tells her that it’s in binary code, they are singing to their DNA. As they get further into the core, footprints can be seen outlined in chalk – though the footprints are not quite human. The leader said that was a beautiful dead end. Once they get to the bridge, the wires have been completely stripped from this area as well. Leonie takes some of the syringes and asked about them, the leader said that she could have them since it was a failed experiment, they had to abandon it due to the screaming.

There are ten people in the room total, all of them looking extremely odd with various limbs everywhere. They say that they are peaceful here and that their research has been great as of late – someone was able to breathe vacuum for four minutes straight before a messy fate. Corposten then turns the radio back on, asks if Patterson is willing to meet directly. Patterson refuses, so he turns it back off.

The crew explores the ship and find out through talking with the other cult members that Segall left the ship on the shuttle three weeks ago and has not come back since, leaving a wife and son behind. Leonie talks to her and convinces her to leave with them. As they go back to the ship, Corprsten and the three men are loading boxes onto the ship, and say that they’re going to drive it into the war ship in order for it to explode. As Leonie tries to convince them to stop, Lincoln tries to remove the boxes in the ship. Corposten’s people become aggressive and the group gets into combat.

Leonie defeats one of the men and then goes running after Segall’s wife who took off back into the space shuttle. Lincoln manages to free himself, take out the other guy and then gets into the space shuttle with the Corposten. Leonie convinces the wife that if the space station gets attacked, it’s the last place that she wants to be and for her son’s safety and that the wife should decide to come with her instead. That convinces the wife, who decides to come with them after all, and the crew go back to the Adder.

After the crew were examined, they wake up and talk to Corposten He says that Segall abandoned them previously, and gives them his location. They drop Corposten off back at the station, and gives the Marines the OK to go in. Corposten thanks the Adder for leading them basically to their deaths, then turns the radio off.

The Adder then uses the coordinates to go over to the asteroid where he was supposed to be. They see Segall’s ship docked in there. Lincoln finds interestingly enough, the ship is jury rigged into the space station. Lincoln, Leonie and crew go down to the ship first to see if there are any signs, but it doesn’t look like anyone has been there for awhile.

The crew goes into the building proper. The thing Lincoln finds interesting is that this station was designed differently than someone from Earth would do – it’s not ideally designed for humans. Normally it’s very self evident where things are, in terms of power or plumbing, but not in this particular station. There are pockets of brown goo, in a twisting pattern that reminds him of a snail shell. As they go in further, a screen flickers on with a voice saying “Save Me….” and flickers off again before the group can respond to it. Two bodies were then found by the group, completely destroyed by something. They determine that the bodies had been there for awhile, before Segall could have possibly gotten there.

The group gets to the control section of the station. Lincoln uses his skills to boot the computer up, and the lights come up in the main bridge. Shu hacks into the computer, and asks the computer for a map, as well as where someone inside could send a signal. There were two places, a general one and a high security one. Shu communicates this information to the rest of the team.

Lincoln can feel some vibrations coming from one of the corridors. He throws a stun grenade and goes after it once the grenade goes off. When he turns the corner, he sees something large and cockroach like. As Lincoln took a second for his thoughts, the cockroach creature turned around and ran away. The group continue on towards the research center, the more likely area that Segall could have gone to. The group knocks on a mysterious door with the words “Bad Wolf” on there, but before they left, the door opens. The inside contained beds on the wall, computers on, the brown goo everywhere. Human remains litter the room. Behind the glass isolation room, the beds inside had restraints that had been snapped off and isolation walls have been blown out. They then stumble on to a human chest, missing arms, legs and head with its chest open, heart beating still.

When one of the crew members from the Adder goes in there, he noticed that someone cleaned off the controls to the power plant. He freezes for a couple seconds and calls the rest of the team over. He then points to a woman encased in some translucent goo, dressed like the people in the cult.

The crew suddenly heard a voice saying, “So you’ve come”. Leonie asked the voice where it was. The man replied that he was all around them. As the scene was transmitted back to the Adder, the wife can hear the voice, and recognized it as Segall. His wife calls back, asking what happened to him. Segall said that his crew stumbled onto this room when lost, accidentally touched the brown goo and then it broke out. The crew ask where he is, then suddenly the goo came together with a bunch of human arms and all of them wave at the crew. He said that he tried to save Cheryl, and was wondering if he succeeded. They describe her current situation, trapped in the goo, and he sighs. Segall describes that there’s something in there with him, though they do not know what. As the wife said goodbye to Segall, the rest of the crew ran out of there with the plan to explode the nuclear reactor. The crew manages to get out of there with no troubles and decontaminate themselves before boarding their own shuttle.

The ship took off before the explosion completely destroyed the building. As the blast was tearing the place apart, the crew saw a centipede creature scurry out and then get launched out into space from the force of it all.

NE1 tells Leonie that they should definitely not share this information with anybody, because it would be in danger if it fell into the wrong hands – then goes offline. Shu then takes the video and begins editing it. They radio in for the mission, letting them know the situation with Segall, and the whole family wanted to go meet with the wife and baby. After some discussion, the group decided to give the baby to the aunt and Mr. West on Luna.

NE1 comes back after a week again, very battered sounding and tells Leonie that he prevented people from finding out information on them. He warns Shu that releasing the video will set off a chain of events, which only makes Shu released the video anyway.

NE1 then told Leonie of her back story when they met in a bar in Bolivia – his real name Nathan Edwards I. She fell in love with him and they were an unstoppable team together. He convinced her to sneak into a Psi Corps facility, and she got caught. Instead of deciding to kill her, they used her to get to him. After two weeks, he came for her, and Psi Corps wanted information out of him – especially the information from a heist that he was involved with. They started shooting Leonie until he cracked, and started spilling information. They realized that they can use him for experiments, since he was a zeroed psychic, and operated on them both. NE1 lost his body and made him permanently linked to Leonie, while wiped her memory and handed her to the SJG. They are currently using him as a psychic interrogator, though they are coming for him now because he knows too much. NE1 says, it has occurred to him that these centipede creatures have recently woke up in the last 200 years. He believes that Shu has just started a war, and NE1’s last act is to give Shu a large amount of data before he cuts off contact from Leonie completely.

The group begins to prepare themselves for the upcoming job, along with the dangers that now await.

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Winners and Losers

The crew were getting ready to leave Mars after making an art delivery when Captain Baldric initiated a meeting in the lunch room. Once the crew was gathered, he shows everyone an educational video called “Blasters in Space”, which demonstrated the dangers of using blasters on a ship. He tells everyone that PPGs are available for the crew if needed, and emphasized that they should seriously think of trading in their blasters for them. Kit pipes in, saying that she doesn’t want to die, so everybody should get PPGs whether they want to or not, so that the ship doesn’t get damaged. Captain Baldric was obviously charmed by her concern for his ship.

As the commotion continues in the lunch room, Shu gets a message to meet in yet another virtual chatroom. The same bald man was waiting for him, telling him that the SJG had a new mission for the group. It appears that the target this time is one Donald Drumpf, known for owning slum properties all across human space. He runs it out of Ganymede, where the rules can bend anytime as long as one has enough money. The goal of the mission is to somehow discredit him – rumors have it that he is one of several groups that is trying to overthrow the current rulers of Jupiter, which does pose a problem for some groups.

If the mission is accepted, the group would need to find a hole through his defenses. Drumpf has two kinds of defenses – one physical by the name of Big Joe, a former US Military soldier that is more parts than man at this point; the other, Little Joe, is his electronic defense by being able to outhack anyone. Drumpf is also often accompanied by his number 2, Mike, who is smarter and scarier than Don, as well as his daughter, Ivanna. Rumors have the two dating.

Shu accepts the mission, and begins thinking about how this plan will come to fruition. He tells Baldric to find a cargo for Ganymede, which he does; a load of slot machines for the casinos. Several days later, Baldric notifies Shu that the Earth Alliance has ask the Blackadder to investigate a ship that had gone silent. The ship is currently floating dead in space not far from the Blackadder’s intended course. Since their spaceship is the closest, they were flagged to do initial investigating until EarthForce ships can come and pick it up. All the Blackadder had to do was investigate and offer assistance to the ship as needed.

Once the Blackadder got closer, long-range scanners found that the ship was spinning end over end and that there were able to see little holes all over the ship. Lincoln Lavigne predicted that the holes were made from the inside, and the crew fired blasters at someone or something, causing the damage. Due to smart piloting by Nathan Gill, the Blackadder was able to stop the spin of the ship very easily. Once the ship was still, it was also easy to see that something had scraped against its side, causing additional damage.

Lincoln led a team into the ship, and was met with a ghost town. The crew was dead from blaster fire and there was damage everywhere. Some pieces of the ship, such as the computer core (surrounded by a titanium core and welded into the ship’s frame), were gone. Lincoln found the remains of a very large egg that had hatched in a special cradle behind a wall in the engine room, with two more empty cradles next to it. He messaged the Blackadder about their findings and Shu ordered a few egg shell fragments to be brought back for observation.

Shortly before the Blackadder was going to leave, Kit came to Shu saying that there is a person still alive in there and begs him to go and save her – the person has been talking to Kit and has been trapped in there for days and does not have much time left before the air runs out. Shu said that he will not send anyone in there without proof, and Kit runs away to look for some. She comes back a couple hours later with some logs, showing that this was a smuggler ship, that it may have come in contact with the famed Ghost Ship, Morningstar. She is also able to describe the other ship’s galley, saying that there is a safe room in the galley, and the person is trapped in there. Shu gives Kit a pep talk, saying that while she is very smart and capable, she needs to work on presenting her ideas in a more reasonable manner – that way, more people would take faith in her words.

Shu decides to do just that and orders Lincoln to go back into the ship to investigate, and to set up a quick air lock for the mystery person to come out safely. Lincoln found the safe room and after some repair work to the door, manages to open it. Inside was a small girl and a dead body, the girl was a Quaddie, huddling in the tiny space of the safe room. She was initially too scared to actually leave, so they had to wait until she fell asleep to actually take her out of the room.

She snapped awake once she was out of there and immediately vanished, which surprised Lincoln – nobody else in the crew was able to figure out where she went. It wasn’t until Kit came into the room where the girl randomly appeared again, clinging on to her. It took a lot of force just to get the small girl off of Kit, especially since she was clinging to the point of choking her. After some coaxing, she was able to give some information. The girl, nicknamed Fred, was born on the ship and had lived her whole life there with her father. On the day of the shipwreck, there was a lot of commotion starting in the engine room with crew dying unexpectedly. The remaining crew started to panic and fire their blasters everywhere. Her father was able to get them into the safe room before he died of wounds he had sustained, and she had been in there ever since.

Once everyone was back on the ship, Kit took the girl to wash the filth off and get her some clean clothes. Shu sent an updated report to the SJG about the girl, along with information on the Morningstar, as well as the strange egg that was found. Lincoln came to the conclusion that there was some sort of tripwire that was part of the egg, which was triggered by some unknown entity. The SJG said that they will take the girl off of their hands and give her a place to stay, and to send the egg shells to them as well for further examination. Shu confirmed, then signed off.

The group sat down as the ship continued on course for Ganymede, and began to plot how they were going to take down Drumpf. After some discussion, they decided that the best path would be to publicly humiliate him in a way that would lose him a lot of money. Since Ganymede is known for its many casinos, the group settled on horse betting as a way to do as such. They would find a way to get FTL communication from Earth to place their bets, curry Drumpf’s favor by gaining his attention, and broker a deal with him to win him a lot of money, only to have him lose it at the very last second.

Once they land on Ganymede, Shu and Drew and met with a Centauri embassy member to see if they have FTL communication technology, since the whole plan hinged on it. The spokesperson says that they do, though the technology is under contract with Earth Alliance for several years. However, he says softly, that if they “twist his arm”, he would be able to rent the technology for a “small sum” of 100,000 dollars per day of use. The group agrees to the deal, and work on their plan to start getting Drumpf’s attention.

Kit whips up fake personas for Patterson and Leonie to go to a public event with Mr. Drumpf – the opening of a new underground golf course. He took the very first shot, and the ball landed on the green with the very first shot – miraculously, since the ball appeared to go a very different way when he first hit it. Drumpf’s number two, Pence, comes up to Patterson, asks who he is and if he’s new here. Patterson, going under the name “J.R. Weil” says that he is, and he’s here for vacation – rest and relaxation. Pence says that Drumpf Casino has the finest services, and for a small fee they can set up anything for him. Pence hands him a black card for their limited edition high rollers’ club, saying that he thinks “Mr. Weil” would have a great time at his casino. Afterward, three other casino owners do the same thing.

Drew walks into Drumpf Payday Loan, the sign above with a big smiling Drumpf “It’s on Us or It’s on You!”. Drew found it interesting that Drumpf Security is next door. As Drew walks in, the manager walks out in high heels, telling her employees that she can handle this one. She drags him into the office while the employees whisper to each other on what’s going to happen to him once she’s done. The manager asks what his name is and what he wants. Drew says that he’s here for a loan – she warns him that the interest rates can be high. Drew says that it’s not an issue, she suspects that he must be coming into money. He takes a loan of a few million, and negotiated it down from 180% to 160% interest rate, as well as an offer of a date plus more. As he leaves, Drew hears a bit of bragging from the manager in the background.

As Drew makes his way back, he runs into two large men that ask if he wants “protection” for his new debit card – they don’t want anything to happen to it after all. Not wanting to cause too much trouble, Drew accepts. On his way, they spot a man who is following them. The two bodyguards confront the man, and while they confront him, Drew doesn’t notice the card being stolen from his pocket. The two security guards catch the young woman who stole it and beat her, but she seems to likes it. They also notice an old lady who is packing serious heat and believes that she will open fire on them, so Drew instructs them to go another way. Drew finally makes it to Drumpf Casino and uses the card to start playing.

On the casino floor, the casino manager looks furious – the slot machines seem to be continuously winning. He started playing himself and won ten times before the machines suddenly went back to normal. Drew began to enjoy playing the slots as he waved to Patterson, who just entered the building. Drew gives him the card so that Patterson can begin to make his bets on the horse races.

Patterson first bet 3 to 1, the second bet 5 to 1, the third bet 30 to 1, and managed to rack up millions in winnings. The third bet catches Pence’s attention, who comes up to him and is surprised to see its the same man from earlier. Pence remarks at how well Patterson is doing with the bet, with a raised brow. Patterson simply says that he’s lucky with the horses, and that his youth was spent raising them. Due to the experience, he can tell a good one just by looking at a picture of it. Pence leaves to talk to the “boss”, and Patterson was surprised to see that it was Ivanna that came back, not Drumpf. With a smile on her face, she says that if he wins another bet he’ll have to buy her a drink. Once he does, he is immediately whisked to Ivanna’s penthouse. As he’s leaving, he sees Kit walking out of the general casino.

Drew drops everything to run after Kit, who tells him that during the trip she had switched all of the casino machines in the hold to let people win a lot then start losing, and that it was fun to watch people go nuts. Drew reprimands her and gets Tawny Larsen to escort her back. When he comes back, the security team has already left except for the one who hung back to tell him that the loan has been paid off, and that he says “Remember to use Drumpf next time you want to get screwed!”

When Patterson gets to the penthouse, Ivanna is on the phone with Ambassador Molari, negotiating with him on something. She says, that she’s sorry that he was denied access to the High Roller’s Club, but they only accept winners. After hanging up, she tells Patterson that Drumpf Industries finds it interesting that he cleaned them out for today and she asks if it’s something that he has a talent for. He says while he’s not perfect at it, his background with horses makes him correct a lot of the time. As the two of them speak, Shu’s monitors on Patterson suddenly gets hit with an electronic sledgehammer and he loses contact with him.

Ivanna smiles saying, Drumpf Industries is for winners, and she says that they’re always looking for winners, and sharing information – insider information being the best kind. She wants some information on how Patterson has been accomplishing this. He says, that he doesn’t perform any illegal acts. They have a discussion on the ethics of employees. She mentions that they’ve been trying to get Centauri technology but her father had upset them somehow and the Centauri were unwilling to share. Ivanna asks if Patterson wants to be an even greater winner, and he says that he does. Smirking, she reminds him that ambition is good, but he shouldn’t expect to always win – only Daddy dearest does. She does mention that she thinks sometimes he even cheats.

Ivanna hands him a card with a phone number. If Patterson does decide to share some of his information, please call the number on the card. In return, the Drumpf organization has access to resources that he can’t even imagine. She gives a second card and says that this one has a magnetic strip on it, with her personal address on it – if he wants to make a personal plea, he is free to do so. She wants to make measure of a man’s pleasure. She reminds him that he needs to make sure that she is happy too. Patterson thanks her for her time, she says that it’s her pleasure and looks forward to future pleasure if he goes to that address. On his way back, he notices that he is being followed by Drumpf Security, and a hotel was quickly arranged for him to go to.

Nathan notices on his monitors that a ton of Earth Alliance ships are near Io. Shu looks into it – the SJG contacts saying that they’ve been collecting for about three weeks now, and it’s officially being called a military exercise with nothing else known. Shu looks into various radio messaging. The Jupiter military has no idea, while all the people of Io have been evacuated off Io, with marines on the ground. The people of Earth have been told that these exercises will be good for the folks of Earth and Mars and they should not worry.

One interesting lead is Shu finds a paper published three months ago describing gravitational stability points being researched for hyperspace travel. The day the paper was published, the guy who wrote it vanished. The paper was retracted, apparently by PsiCorps, and is impossible to find. Shu tried to get access to it but found that previous people who have tried do so have hit Black Ice so he decided to stop while he was alive.

Shu then sends message to Cathay Media saying that the group may have information for Cathay Media in a couple weeks, talks about military exercises to them and sends information from blogs. Two hours later, a very polite man from Cathay Media comes in to the ship. He tells them that has not been followed and Mr. Lim sends his regards. Shu’s information has attracted Lim’s attention and that he is here to discuss it. Shu describes that they are on an independent mission, that will interest Cathey Media once they get the information. The Cathay Media representative mentions that he saw Mr. Patterson in a picture at Drumpf’s golf course launch, and wonders if it has anything to do with that. If anything seems to happen to him, he is to report it to Lim immediately. They can’t publish it immediately – he mentions that news seems to shift around Drumpf, and that they have published inaccurate information on him in the past, which damages their credibility. They pride on not being first, but best. Shu promises that they definitely have something to wipe that smile off Drumpf’s face. The representative gives a contact card that can only work for Shu, and would love to hear more once there is more info.

Patterson manages to resist the temptation to call Ivanna’s personal address and call the main number instead. The responder sounds like Drumpf and says that Patterson called him later than he thought he would, and asks to either go to his place or neutral ground. They agree to go to neutral ground, at a high end restaurant. The two of them discuss initial plans in regards to rigging horse betting, with Drumpf saying that Patterson’s part of this will be to give back the 800 of 900 million that he won in his first day at Drumpf’s casino. Patterson says that’s alright, if they’re willing to fund their concept of placing bets around casinos. Drumpf says he knows how they’re doing this, by describing exactly what is happening – using Centauri technology. Patterson butters him up by telling him how smart he is. Drumpf suggests that they go into the Kentucky Derby at the Luxor, a rival casino run by some mobsters from Earth where no bet will be turned down. With his help, Drumpf wants to place a bet at the Derby and has been telling everyone that he has a good feeling on this, including Cathay Media. Patterson is to make the demo bets, and Drumpf is to listen in, so he understands how it all works. Patterson is to win some and lose some, but needs to lose most of that money back to Drumpf so that he can use that money to buy the Luxor. In return, Patterson can have ten percent of what Drumpf is planning to bet – $2 trillion. The two shake on it, and will work on further details before the Derby takes place. Afterward, Patterson went in and blew 800 million at Drumpf’s casino to complete his end of the bargain. Once he was finished, he receives a call from Ivanna, who mentioned that she was disappointed that Patterson didn’t answer her second card. The two of them make an appointment for a time before the Derby.

Shu receives a knock on the door from the shortest man he has ever seen who is not actually a dwarf, from one Admiral Nysmith. He says that he hears that they may have a problem. Behind him is a woman who is nine feet tall, with fur and long hair. Shu thinks that she wouldn’t feel comfortable on the ship, so he suggests that they go out to a bar instead. Once there, Nysmith slides a card across for their mercenary crew, which specializes in daring escapes. Shu and Nysmith hash out details and found out that the mercenary company was secretly hired by a branch of the SJG, so he was much more willing to go through with the plan to use them to get Patterson out after the Derby.

Baldric tells Shu afterward that they got new cargo – chocolate flavored shrimps – that need to go to Titan in a month. Shu gives him the Kentucky Derby date, and tells that the crew needs to be in there that day. Baldric thinks that the crew will want to know why, and would need to be convinced by money. Shu agrees to $50 a person.

Patterson takes advantage of Ivanna’s offer, and meets her at her penthouse for their date. When he gets in there, she commands her rather large contingent of bodyguards to cut his cloth off. Before they do that, he says that he can take his clothing off himself, but she says that this more about her winning. Two hours of abuse later, Patterson fled from the apartment, mostly naked and bleeding – she was about to cut his hand off, but luck managed to save him. Ivanna orders three of her bodyguards to run after him to finish the job. Patterson chooses to run through the main street with underwear is on his head, to better hide his identity.

One of the crew members, Saben, sees Drumpf security run by. He hears that they are chasing a beautiful man, puts two and two together and goes after Patterson and Drumpf Security. Saben has troubles navigating the narrow back streets on his motorcycle and has to take the long route around.

Patterson turns into a separate alleyway, which turns into a dead end. He sees an air vent, and a drunk. He pries off the air vent cover but is stopped from going in bythe drunk, who points out the sewer entrance and helps him into it. The three men come into the alleyway and the drunk points to the air vent. The security person shoots into the air vent several times and are convinced that he is dead. When Patterson comes out of the hole, the drunk is no longer there but Saben and his motorcycle arrive.

The next day, Ivanna calls up the Blackadder. She apologies that “Mr. Weil” came to an accident the previous night. Shu says that he finds that interesting, they had breakfast that morning, and sends a picture of the two of them. She laments that she just can’t hire good help, and hangs up. Patterson calls up Drumpf, who found it rather funny and the fact that Patterson survived is a positive mark of his character. Patterson says that he would prefer that she is not there for the Derby party, and Drumpf agrees for a small sum. Before hanging up, he reminds Patterson to think like a winner.

On the day of the big bet, Patterson arrives before Drumpf and waits for his arrival. When Drumpf finally arrives at the Luxor, he announces that he feels lucky that day. Drumpf takes his seat with the Luxor’s owners, who feel its either the worst or best thing they’ve done. Before the big race, the Luxor announces that they are cutting off communications.

Ten minutes before the last race, the Dendarii security detail believes that Ivanna is in the building and is ready to grab Patterson. Patterson turns to Drumpf and warns him about this – he needs to be here for Drumpf to score big. Drumpf is able to convince her to have her back off, and gives Patterson a two minute head start after the last bet is made. Patterson gets the info on the third horse and its odds, and passes the wrong info on to Drumpf. Drumpf asks him if he’s lying, and Patterson looks him dead in the eye, saying that he’s honest to God. Drumpf then makes the $2 trillion bet, then smiles for the Cathay Media camera. Patterson smiles, tells him to “Think like a Winner!” before running off while the cameras flash.

As Patterson is making his escape, Big Joe grab his shoulder, and says “Not so fast, little man”. Patterson takes out a gun that had been left for him in the Luxor by the Dendarii, and puts it to his belly and smiles. Big Joe takes the gun, and Patterson screams, “Unhand me, this guy has a gun!”. Big Joe looks at him surprised before the Luxor guards pile on top of him, reprimanding him for having yet another gun on him (which apparently has been a problem before).

Drumpf calls out for Patterson, asking why he doesn’t stay to collect his money. Patterson says that he needs to make a call to his wife. Drumpf realizes the mistake and tries to recall his bet, but it’s too late, and the Luxor managers look quite relieved. As Patterson runs out, six men in power armor come out with the symbol of the mercenaries. They give Patterson a flak jacket to put on, to protect him. He suddenly hears a scream of primal rage behind him, and blasters started to fire between Ivanna’s men and the mercenaries. One of the mercenary guards slings Patterson over his shoulder and starts running with him. As Patterson lifted his head and flipped the bird, his head hit a pipe and knocks him out. The guards were able to successfully get him on to their shuttle and take off.

The Blackadder on the other hand was stuck to the spaceport by the docking collar used to get on and off the ship without a spacesuit. Nathan resorted to ripping off the cord in order to take off. The Blackadder was followed by two Drumpf Security ships, who fired missiles at the ship. Nathan used some very uncomfortable tactics to maneuver around and spin in semi random directions. Shu and Drew come losing their lunches and their bodies bang around the ship. Shu was knocked unconscious, with Drew barely hanging on. A spacer saves Shu and takes pictures, laughing, while Drew was saved by Lincoln. The missiles go right past the ship and towards towards the Earth Alliance navy. The Starfuries go right past the Blackadder and towards the security ships who immediately plead for mercy from the Alliance, who laughed in return.

Suddenly a shriek can be heard across the universe, through space, from Drumpf who had lost two trillion dollars. One of the owners of the casinos patted him on the back, saying “This is what it feels like to be a BIG loser.”

A ship pops out from hyperspace near Earth, it is radically different from both Earth and Centauri technology. The commander introduces himself as T’Nari from the Narn Regime, who says that they can do better deals than the Centauri. The head of the Earth Alliance believes that they can broker a great deal.

Shu, once he recovers, receives a message from the usual source, saying that they have their next mission for him. It’s coming from the asteroid belt, and it seems that it is an extraction mission. There is a cult that has kidnapped a scion from a wealthy family and they want him back. What the SJG think is interesting, that during negotiations, the family of the missing person will give a 20 percent bonus if the group make it by a certain date. Shu accepts this, then tells the Captain to set course for the Belt, on their way planning for their next mission.

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