Spacecraft & Spycraft

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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Welcome to a Bigger Universe

The crew was on the ship of the newly refurbished Black Adder, being addressed by Captain Baldric. They were ready to launch it into space for the first time since it was rebuilt, and with the new crew members present, he felt it was appropriate to give a motivational lecture on all the different ways to die in space. Once he is done, he tells Nathan to blast them off – due to his excellent piloting skills, he was able to take off with smooth sailing.

During the speech, Shu was watching VR since he had been forced to listen to it twice before when Baldric practiced it on him. He received a message from HQ, saying that he was needed at a virtual chatroom. Once he arrives, he sees that it’s not the same guy as usual sitting there – the new person was young, had a full head of hair and a normal voice. The man tells Shu that an interesting situation had popped up. Shu needed to go to a particular address and was allowed to bring one person with him.

Once Shu read who it was from, his hair goes on end – the message was from the local Psi-Corps station on the moon, apparently needing some sort of justice done. Shu asks the HQ representative why, and the man shrugs telling him that they don’t really know. What they do know is that the SJG relies on Shu’s judgement to find out what it is, if they think they can take it on then the team should do so, though the SJG should be notified as well. Otherwise, he can feel free to pass it on.

Kit comes out to greet Drew, telling him that “they’re” in her room. Drew follows her, and sees four new origami animals sitting on the ground. Most of them were nonsensical, such as the dolphin that simply said “so long” though one curiously said “Good is the enemy of the Bester”.

Leonie gets a message from NE-1 – he tells her that he has to stay on Earth for now. He has an assignment that keeps him there, and is not really privy to tell her. He doesn’t want her to think less of him. She says that she would never do so, and he says that’s untrue.

The voyage to the moon goes without any trouble which was to be expected – the corridor to the moon is one of the most heavily policed area in human space. Captain Baldric congratulates the crew on succeeding their first passage on the new ship, and that they are now free to do whatever during their time on the moon. Nathan and many of the other crew members took the opportunity to immediately begin re-christening the ship.

Patterson goes out shopping with Leonie and notices that he is being followed. He turns around and notices the man, who appears to be a Hugh Jackman-lookalike. He turns to Leonie and informs her about Wolverine. She notices that there is a second person following them as well, who is wearing a visor. Nudging Patterson, Leonie asks him if he would “help her in the dressing room” saying that she may need to be zipped up.

The two of them make their way to the dressing room, when Patterson calls Shu and lets him know that they’re being followed. Shu pulls up a security feed in his brain, and sees a third one walking to meet the other two, and lets them know that “Colossus” is on his way. Patterson asks Leonie to take her clothes off – to go invisible of course, with no ulterior motive whatsoever.

Patterson hears a knock at the dressing room door, saying that they would like him to open up in the name of the Lunar Authorities. Patterson opens the door and hands over the jacket that Leonie had. The man throws it on the ground, saying that he is a wanted man – the Lunar Authorities allow bounty hunters to operate in this space.

As Patterson is being grabbed by “Wolverine”, Leonie has her phone up and broadcasting the information for Shu. Shu then tries to call the ship to let them know that Patterson needs assistance, but ends up reaching Kit instead of Nathan. She demands a unicorn for her troubles and generally gives Shu a hard time. Instead of dealing with her through a stressful time, he shuts the whole ship down before realizing that he can just text Nathan what’s going on.

Patterson has been looking for any way he can possibly get out of Wolverine’s grasp, demanding a lawyer before he gets down to the station. Leonie sneaks up invisibly to try and touch one of the three men, in order to stun them. They do not seem to notice her touching them at first, but she eventually managed to cause “Colossus” to tip over. “Wolverine” believes that there’s something going on, so he begins to slash at Patterson. Patterson begins to bleed profusely and collapses on the ground. “Cyclops” tries to use his visor to look around, but doesn’t seem to catch Leonie hitting “Wolverine” and taking him down. Freaked out, Cyclops says that Patterson is not worth it, maces him and then runs away. Leonie takes some of the downtime in order to stabilize Patterson’s wounds.

McCoy shows up with Nathan once they got the message, and run into the police as they get to Patterson. McCoy flashes his badge, asking what’s going on. They explain that their “Y Team” managed to get a wanted man. McCoy shakes their hand to gain their trust, then asks to move everyone to the nearest station in the area.

McCoy slaps “Wolverine” awake, asking about the bounty. He tells him that it was apparently placed ten minutes before Patterson arrived to the moon, even going as far as to tell what bay Patterson was going to be docked at. The police wonder if Patterson is going to press charges – after all, the footage supports that Patterson never resisted arrest, yet was still badly injured. McCoy negotiates with the police, saying that Patterson will fall under his charge, and manages to score the $50,000 bounty off of it. Additionally, charges are going to be placed against Wolverine for assault. After he finishes his conversation with the police, he sends a message to Shu to keep him updated, and then goes to look into who placed the bounty in the first place.

Shu takes Lawrence with him to meet the person at the Psi-Corps base. As Shu deals with the issue regarding Patterson, Lawrence goes to tell the security desk that they will be a few minutes late for their meeting. The secretary said that it was alright, they already knew, which freaked Lawrence out a little bit. Once Shu is done receiving updates, she directs the two of them to the director’s room, also points out the bathroom as well since she can sense that it will definitely be needed afterward.

Special Agent Bester shakes their hands, then asks for the two of them to be seated. He promises that he will not be reading their brains, and Lawrence captured the promise in writing. Bester asks that if they take a job in which any damage that is done cannot be linked back to PsyCorps.

Shu asks for more details first, so Bester asks if Shu was familiar with Julian Cressida. After shaking his head, Bester explains in further detail – he is well known for running the solar system’s most famous bar, “Polyhymnia”. It’s only open once every three or four weeks, in a different location each time, and the attendees never know that they’re invited until they after they arrive. Originally, Cressida was a university researcher specializing in social engineering, he had to flee the university over a small matter of not paying his income tax for 20 years. The rumors state that he hid in the asteroid belt and decided to run a bar ever since – slowly becoming the famous person he is today, 47th most famous in fact.

Bester notes that Cressida is quite strange, and pushes a button, causing a screen to come down. Images appear on the screen highlighting a wreckage from over 15 years ago. Dead people are scattered among the ship wreckage, with one of them being the real Julian Cressida. It seems that someone has stolen his identity for some reason, and the Psi-Corps has been trying to find Polyhymnia and this fake Julian Cressida for awhile with no luck, so they went with the SJG instead.

Shu asks if there is a profile to these people. Vector tells them that apparently, all of the guests are renowned in their field. They get invited randomly, are filmed, and handed their favorite drink before being entertained by Cressida. Psi-Corps is interested to know why Cressida is gathering all of this information, and if he is a security threat. Shu isn’t completely convinced initially on why they should look into this, but after some thought, tells him that they will think about it.

They go back to the ship to visit Patterson and also look into how the bounty was placed and who leaked the information of their arrival. Shu then tells Drew that Kit has one more chance to behave or she’s out, and also tells the Captain about the trouble that she caused. Leonie visits with NE-1 to gather some information, and he will keep an eye out for it.

Lawrence does some research regarding Cressida’s parties – he discovers that there is a subgroup dedicated to tracking them down and trying to crash them. Out of those groups, he comes out with three of the most reliable people – one Devon K, who has crashed the party twice; one user named Astart has been once but came close three times, and a German named Kalt who has a database of sightings for a fee. Shu, instead of paying, hacks into Kalt’s database and takes all of the information, then publishes it on the internet.

With the information, Lawrence runs calculations on Devon and Astart’s models and discovers that Devon’s is much better than Astart’s. He and Shu run some of the data, though due to faulty math, ends up in the wrong place in the wrong time. They believe though that due to the model, the next event will happen on the moon, and eventually came to the conclusion that it will be in two days.

The event is to be held near a university that recently lost its chance to host a poets’ event. Their theory is that because of that, poets will be the ones who are invited. Leonie has no luck nabbing a date, but Drew on the other hand gets one that is absolutely smitten with him. She tells him all about the invitation to a poetry slam with a bunch of high class poets, but was told not to bring anyone. Drew uses his skill to charm her, and she says that she sees no reason why not to bring him along – they will love him. Shu does a hack on the security in the place and is utterly convinced that they are correct. He lets Bester know that the party will be there.

Leonie and Patterson sneak their way into the restaurant front as regular dinner goers, and noticed that one of the waiters looked like Cressida. They see the poet that Leonie tried to pick up – Cressida gives him a rose and a drink. Shu, who is in a nearby building, lets the Psi-Corps know that he is in place. As Drew arrives, gunfire explodes from the side door. A man in a black suit comes out and says, “Get the Alien!!” As Drew tends to his date, McCoy calls his contacts at the Lunar Police, telling them Cressida’s location, description and saying that he’s wanted for tax evasion.

Cressida goes on the run, with Leonie and Patterson on the chase. Leonie, due to being more athletic, catches up to him rather quickly and grapples him. As they manage to tie him down, something went off and both she and Patterson went temporarily unconscious. Cressida begins to run again, but is captured by one of Psi-Corp people.

Leonie and Patterson wake up and find three Psi-Corps people above them – one with a gun and the other two looking over Cressida. One of them begin to lecture them on how they should leave the chase to the professionals, though Leonie flirts with him in order to distract them from Patterson.

The Psi-Corps members interrogate Cressida – why does he want to study humans? He replies, his people believe that monsters live here. He wanted to disprove it to them.

They ask how his people were able to manipulate them so well, he says that he has been studying humankind for 30 years. His people, known as the Centauri, have been studying them even longer. Patterson tries to go and help Cressida due to the burn in his back, though the PsyCorps people tell him not to touch him – he is dangerous, after all. As they were distracted with him, Leonie knocks the first guard out, goes invisible, then knocks the other two men out as well.

Cressida looks up and asks what they were going to do with him now? While there are definitely questions, they guarantee that he will be safer with the SJG than with the Psi-Corps. Leonie calls up Shu to explain what happened, and Shu was really baffled by the turn of events – it looks like they are turning their backs on the people that hired them in the first place, after all. He tells them to escape with Cressida. McCoy was given the heads up, then calls off the cops from that area, giving Leonie and company free range to leave the sewers.

The alien wakes up and asks if they are going to be in trouble because of him. He offers to take them to the asteroid belt, where the Psi-Corps would not be able to reach. Shu tells Nathan to take them to a less than optimal route towards Mars since the ship had a package to drop off there, then they will go to the asteroid belt afterward.

They ask his name, in which he introduces himself as a member from the House of Molari. He says that due to rescuing him, the group has saved many from trouble. He says that if he has a radio, he can give a message to his people, telling them “It’s time to Stop Hiding”. Shu asks Molari if he’s familiar with Bad Wolf – he says that he has heard of them but doesn’t really know more than that.

The group secretly meet to decide what to do with Molari, if they should keep him or face the wrath of the Psi-Corps. They figure that the wrath of Molari’s people, since they are an unknown entity, may be worse, so they take his side. Molari eventually reveals that what they will be driving to is a Centauri base in the Asteroid Belt, and the ship heads that way. They reach the belt and are treated as guests. After a few days, a hole opens up near Earth and a ship comes through. They announce to the people that they are in fact, the Centauri, and they wish no harm – they only wish to trade.

Molari was correct, the pandemonium caused everybody to forget about Cressida, probably including the Psi-Corps. The Black Adder was allowed to leave the hidden station and Kit got a very miniaturized Unicorn for a pet from a grateful Molari.

Just before they leave the base, the group hears about the death of Conrad Lang. Apparently he was bitten by an insect two feet in diameter. Shu sent a message through the SJG congratulating the team that was hired to punish Lang on accomplishing their goal. A message was returned that Lang died of a poison that caused people to imagine things that they wanted. Molari is interested to hear this because he has read that the monsters used to keep such creatures to punish people who betrayed them.

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Medusa Sanction, Part 2

After learning about Joan Ness, the group found it important to do a little more research to see if Abraxis has any ties to the ALF. What they found is that Abraxis was hit by the ALF several months after they revealed their Riot Police androids. The ALF attempted to smuggle nerve gas, and got caught in blaster fire, killing everyone involved. The assumption was that the androids involved were part of a splinter cell, but it did the ALF a lot of damage. It also appears that out of the two companies that deal primarily with androids, Abraxis tends to get targeted more than SkyTech. Chatter from the internet suggests that Skytech plans to take over Abraxis soon enough, almost forcefully.

After some discussion, the group found it best to first take the Yakuza angle to see if they can somehow locate the canister – after all, it seems that they are also trying to track it down, and they may have some good information.

Patterson called up his contact in the area, “Ito Hiroshima”, also known as a man that is not worth arguing with. The secretary tried to block him but due to Patterson’s smooth talking, he was able to say the right words to get Hiroshima’s attention. Hiroshima tells Patterson to meet at 6 PM. Patterson brings Nathan as a second, just in case.

Hiroshima greets Patterson at the park, telling him that it’s been awhile. He had seen Patterson’s name come up recently – Excel Corp had raised the bounty on his head, it seems, and bounty hunters may be after him soon. Patterson scoffs, saying that he’s worth much more. When Hiroshima asks what brings him the pleasure, Patterson explains the package from Abraxis and how he is looking for it (while leaving out his previous encounter with Hiroshima’s men at Mycroft’s). Hiroshima explains that one of his extraction teams died rather messily – Patterson and company may face a similar danger if they keep pursuing it. Patterson says that if the package is dangerous to his team, he would need to know about it.

Hiroshima explains that his group attempted to steal something from an organization known as “Bad Wolf”, and it turned out to be a bad decision. Bad Wolf is a rumor of a company that has reportedly made contact with a mysterious alien race and has started disseminating technologies out to the rest of the world – which tends to also have nasty side effects.

He believes that’s where Abraxis originally got the package from, and he doesn’t think that Abraxis knows that the group is bad to steal from as well. Patterson brings up Skytech as a possible player in all of this, the idea which interests Hiroshima. Beyond that, Hiroshima says that his trail has otherwise gone cold. Patterson mentions that he had heard that the ALF has it, and extends an offer to work together for information. Hiroshima says to contact him using the words “Whispering Death”, and that anyone in the Yakuza would know the message is to go immediately to him. Patterson in kind gave his own words – “Angel’s Share”.

Drew receives a phone call from the Black Adder – Kit has escaped the ship. Drew quickly dashes off back to St. Paul to try and find his sister. Unfortunate the GPS tracker that was put on her was found in a pet store on a poodle, so it becomes much more difficult to find her. After thinking about the possible places that she could have gone, Kit was finally found in the local equivalent of a Barnes and Nobles’ security section, pointing out the inaccuracies in the system computers to people.

Drew grabs her by the hand and tells her that they need to get back to the ship. Kit pulls away, saying that she doesn’t want the “messages” to keep appearing – they freak her out, and that’s why she left. After some coaxing, Drew and Kit go back to look at these messages, which appear as different animals made from origami paper. Kit explains that they just randomly appear, and it begun to happen that morning. Curious, Drew opens one and reads the text found inside – “Seek Skytech”. Kit says that many of them say that inside, and she tried doing research on it but doesn’t know what it means or who exactly that is. Kit explains that she didn’t want to tell anyone about this because she was afraid people would think she was weird, including Drew, but he reassures her that he wouldn’t ever think that. As he turns around, he hears a poof and sees a new Praying Mantis origami. He opens it up and it reads just one word – “Hurry.”

Shu sends an email to Abraxis explaining the details he knows so far, including the ALF and Skytech’s involvement. Pure panic explodes on the other end of the line. He then tries to hack into Skytechs’ security, though hits “black ice” on his way into the system, and managed to pull out his plug before passing out. One thing he does learn that there was a former security man from Skytech who did hack into their system, though was not as lucky as Shu and ended up with an addled brain.

Once recovered, Drew and Shu go to Tampa to try to meet with the man, who apparently is in jail. Using fake papers, they manage to pass as the man’s lawyers and get a meeting with him inside of the prison. Once they are alone in the attorney’s room, the man explains that he is in jail because he was set up – he was on his hacking run, passed out from the back ice, and woke up with a package of drugs next to him and a pair of cops hovering above him. Drew and Shu explain that they are not lawyers, but rather, people that want a way into Skytech, and want to know everything the man can remember. He says that something wasn’t quite adding up, which is why he used is credentials to look into it. He passes Shu a piece of paper giving him three master usernames and passwords that he had while he was working in there. If they find out anything, they will let him know.

Shu uses the login information to get into the system and discovers that there are three nodes that are of concern – RnD, Administration, and Horizon which is the division that makes androids. Shu goes after Horizon and was able to get into it. He looks into Abraxis, and finds out that they really were going to do the buyout but backed out. He quickly looks into the ALF folder and backs out before the ice hits him.

From the information that he gathered, it looks like Skytech and ALF were in negotiation for a while – in exchange for leaving them alone, the ALF wanted certain features removed from Skytech androids, their lives expanded and childhoods given to them as well. It also looks like a Skytech employee came up with the idea of feeding information on Abraxis to ALF, such as release dates, information on security compounds, were androids are being released, and so forth. The name of their ALF contact appears to be Neko, a resident of Aquarius, a floating plastic island more than a mile in diameter, in the Gulf of Mexico that is home for many people unusual genetic modifications. This includes a lot of Androids.

Lincoln, Drew and Shu make their way to Aquarius, which can only be rearched by helicopter. The pilot thinks that they’re weird for going to the city, which is entirely made of plastic and houses the strangest people in society. Once they arrive, Drew and Lincoln make their way to a bar, which is apparently the address that they got for Neko. The bar folk tolerate Lincoln, who due to his appearance, blends in rather nicely. Drew on the other hand received weird stares – most folks in there believe that he is either a xenophile or happens to be there to give them a job.

Drew asks around for Neko, and they point him to the stage. A cat girl croons on stage, winning adoration from everyone around her. It appears that she is Brecht’s former girl, singing angst rock about loss and pain, but adds a happy ending to her songs. The bar erupts in applause after she is done. Drew sends a message via a drink, indicating business. Lincoln sends one because she’s hot. A few minutes later, the two of them are invited backstage. Lincoln has a hard time keeping himself in control when he is face to face with her, but Drew manages to stay on point.

Drew asks her about Joan Ness – a name that Neko apparently knows all to well. She came to the ALF a half a year ago, a former detective android. They first thought she would be really good, but it turns out that she has a mean streak, all directed against one man – Conrad Lang. She doesn’t feel comfortable telling why Joan has this issue, but has met with her several times and believes she is scary. Joan started up a splinter cell called Chimera. Drew convinces her that they need to know where she is, because the ALF’s reputation will be damaged. She will take them to her cell leader.

On their way there, there were a few skinheads waiting for them. She looks at Drew and Lincoln, wondering if they led her into a trap, and then motions for them to go first. Drew walks past them, being called “fur lover”, Lincoln being called “fake” as he walks past as well. When Neko goes third, they yell “get her!!” and jump on her, swinging clubs.

Neko jumps out of the way using her reflexes. Lincoln tries to wrestle them but has difficulties, Drew experiences the same. The three men gang up on them, with Lincoln going down in a heap first. Neko jumps in and cuts one of the guys up pretty badly. Drew punches one, which does minimum damage compared to what Neko was able to deal. After disposing of them, the pheromones caused Drew and Neko to have a minute of bliss before betting back to work.

Carrying Lincoln, they make their way down to a gate. The man at the gate remarks about how messed up they look, and ask Lincoln if he can drive a hovercraft. He’s too groggy, so Neko goes and takes care of it. Once they arrive at the base, Neko let the doorman know the reason that she brought these two men along since they have information on Joan Ness and want to know where she is.

The leader, a Russian man, Ivan, states that Lang’s former corporation, Euminidies Corp, was experimenting with detective androids, which Joan was one. She is extremely dangerous and combat and should be avoided in that capacity at all costs. She has two compatriots – Fenris who is a wolf android and Zengi who appears as a normal pleasure model on the outside but is almost just as deadly. He will put out feelers to see if anyone knows her location, but cannot help until their current job is completed – rescuing a mathematician android who has escaped certain jail time. Within that time frame, a feeler had gotten back to Ivan letting them know that there is a pet shop owner in Houston that keeps in contact with Joan – he also finds it interesting that the location of the pet shop is under two different businesses.

Shu gives the password and username information from the inmate to a group of hackers that he hates to try and get into Skytech for him. Afterwards, he contacts SJG to have a small high-powered combat team on standby “just in case” they run into the wrong side of Joan. SJG hired a SWAT team from the Houston police department.

Drew gets a call from his sister, who tells him that there is more origami – one saying “Look for the Highest Tree in Houston”, while the other stating “Look Out for Monsters”. Drew thanks her for the information.

Some research shows that the Skymall, a building in Houston, is a mile high building with a tree on top, donated from Abraxis Corporation. Shu takes a look at some footage from three or four days ago, and saw that there was some movement in the tree, the date matching up from when the canister was stolen.

Patterson and Lawrence go to the pet shop, under the guise of a business audit. Lawrence does an inspection of the store and notices a military grade security system, feeding the information on it to Shu. Shu takes note, and begins to send the SWAT team that way. Patterson, on the other hand, does an interview with the Pet Shop owner, Sarah, to keep her distracted. The SWAT team arrives and runs up the stairs. There was a hail of gunfire, then the building goes silent. Patterson and Lawrence hear thudding coming down the stairs, and then try to make their way out. The security system shoots Lawrence and he falls on the ground, thinking to act dead. Sarah and Patterson try to leave through the door. Patterson was able to make it out, but due to a security measure, Sarah got cut in half. Two people jump out of the second story window – one woman and one wolf man, with helicopters following them from behind.

Lincoln goes to climb the tree to look for the bomb. He uses his bionic eye to locate the canister, as well as six pounds of explosives rigged to it. He uses his skills to diffuse it, then safely tucks it away for his trip back down.

Later, all screens in the area cut off and played footage showing a man going by the name of Electro. He explains that he is an android born in an artificial womb, and works for Chimera. Electro tells everyone what the Medusa Canister is and what it does, saying that both Abraxis and Skytech need to meet the demands of Chimera in regards to Androids or else the Canister will be released on the people of Houston.

It was later discovered that the “Medusa Canister” is no longer a threat, along with the members of Chimera that were at the pet store, and the Houston Police took claim for stopping the terrorist attack.

Patterson meets with the Yakuza. Hiroshima says that they believe that Abraxis has been working with Bad Wolf. Patterson says that it’s unfortunate that the canister fell into the hands of the Houston Police, keeping it a secret that Lincoln still carries it.

Hiroshima says that it would be wonderful if a counter agent could be developed. He also mentions that the Yakuza decided to contract out to a corporation to deal with an individual – one Conrad Lang. They believe that the corporation will be more effective than his group, since they have more reach. They don’t want to kill Lang per se, but rather question him. Patterson curiously asks who this group is, and Hiroshima smiles, saying that he reached out to the SJG – they have a certain flair, after all.

Hiroshima says that war is coming, and a decision needs to be made. Heroes need to be found, ones that are willing to do extraordinary things. Bad Wolf will break out eventually, and the Medusa Canister is the first sign of who they are and what their intentions are as well.

Back at the ship, Kit got another message. Unlike the others, this one was not in origami, but rather an ordinary sheet of paper, with only one phrase – “Seek the Man who looks for Monsters”.

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Medusa Sanction, Part 1

Shu receives a priority message, telling him to come to the virtual room. The bald man with a gravely voice tells him congratulations for the great job done in the last mission, so of course the reward for that would be an even harder mission. He pushes a button to bring up a screen with the details. The message is from one Charlie Manelli who is in dire need of help. She was a courier carrying a package from Berlin to Toronto – as of two days ago, not only was the package lost, but so were both of her legs, bionic eyes as well as her arm. She is getting put back together, but the package is of vital importance. She gives her contact information before ending the call.

They traced the call back to St. Catherines’ Hospital in Toronto. Photo comes up of Charlie, who turns out to be a native of the area, with no relatives. She is believed to be a black market smuggler. The damage done to her must mean that the package she was carrying is worth something. The other intriguing thing is that St. Catherines’ has first class care – someone of her status normally couldn’t afford this, so whoever employed her must have arranged for it. The bald man smiles, and lets Shu know that one member of senior management pushed specifically for Shu to take care of this mission.

Shu looks further into Charlie’s background. She is officially listed as unemployed, however she has an extremely wealthy apartment with expensive tastes and travels a lot. He then gets into her bank account and sees that she receives tens of thousands of dollars a month, most of it in cash deposits, and it tends to go out just as fast due to her fine tastes. She travels to Europe often, as well as Mars and Luna, and one of her last trips had her carrying a couple hundred pounds of goods back from Mars.

The group head over to Toronto to meet with Charlie in the hospital. She let them know her story – she was hired to carry a parcel from Berlin to Toronto and picked up some “fleas” along the way. She thinks that her mistake was to run through North York, Toronto, where she could pick up some muscle to protect her. That’s when she ran into trouble – five men and one woman, decked out in cheap suits and Maori tattoos confronted her. She pulled out her holder blaster and managed to get two of them before they got mean. Fortunately before they got to that stage, she managed to call for an ambulance since she expected the worst. Not only did they end up taking her limbs, but also her beloved leather jacket, bag, gun and of course, the package. Charlie described the package as a small metal canister with the name “Abraxis Corporation”, a group that specializes in extreme biotics, stenciled on the side. There was a computer lock on top that was coded, so she wasn’t sure what was inside. The people that were to pick up the package will be waiting at the Toronto Airport in four days.

Drew and Leonie go down to the police station in the North York area to find out more about the gang that mugged Charlie. Drew uses a fake ID to enter, and the both of them find that the inside of the building looks rather cheap. The desk sergeant motions them forward, and they ask him about the mugging. He sighs, and begins telling them about the Angels of Torment.

This group are followers of a dead Andreas Brecht, former singer of what is known as “death rock” – rock with sounds of torture. The man lived a typical life expectancy of a singer: 10 years relatively unknown, 1 year a rising star, 6 months on top of the world and then was killed by none other than his background singer. Another group known as the Sword of Christ blew up his recording studio sometime afterward. The Angels of Torment were huge fans of his, named after his first album. The gang are huge fans of leather jackets and have exterminated many other gangs in the area known as the “Stumps.”

While the police celebrated at first, they now kind of wish that they had the old gangs due to how much worse the Angels of Torment are. While they don’t know exactly where the group is in the Stumps, they do know that the head of the gang is named Michaelmass, and if they want to get in touch with the group without getting cut up, they need to talk to him first.

Shu established connection with Charlie, and wondered where she was being followed before the Stumps. She let him know her route, and then he uses camera footage to determine who it was. To him, it appears that they were from Abraxis Corporation, and she managed to shake them before she arrived at the Stumps. Charlie also has a clue on who hired her, and while she didn’t expect it, she wants to confirm first before telling him.

Patterson and Leonie go out to try and meet with the Angels, under the guise that they have some leather jackets to sell them. They ask around the Stumps, with the common reply being asked if they had a death wish. They eventually found their way to an old book depository, and immediately knew they were in the right place due to the screams of torture between sounds of rock. They try and knock, they heard the volume turned down and then a skinhead opens the door. Impressed by both of their hotness, he immediately tells them that they both can come in.

Everyone inside is extremely impressed by how hot the two of them are, including the head of the gang. He asks what they want, and Patterson says that they’re here for business. The group becomes even more impressed, saying it is about time people recognize them as the power in the area. The head introduces him as Michaelmass, and asks if they think Andreas Brecht was the best thing ever. Leonie says that he was so forward that he was walking backwards. Mass was so impressed by the answer that he offers to tattoo her ass, but Leonie reminds him that they’re there for business first.

Patterson offers the custom leather jackets idea so that the gang can distinguish themselves from anyone else. Real leather, mind you, imported, for a good deal. Everyone is extremely pleased to the point where a couple of them peed themselves, and wanted to know what the two of them wanted in return. They said that they will take money, as well as anything interesting that the group may have. The gang tells them about what they had gotten from the mugging – unfortunately they already had sold the eyes and gave the canister to a part timer, but at least they still have the jacket that Charlie was wearing!! Patterson and Leonie perk up on mention of the canister and ask where that part timer was – after all, they need to know where they live so they can get their measurements for leather wristbands, the item that part timers will receive. The group gives over that information very willingly. As the two of them are leaving, Mass shouts to the group to pump up the music and party like its 1999.

Shu decides to meet up with Patterson and Leonie when they go over to meet with the part timer. Patterson knocks on the door, and the woman behind it asks who it is. He tells the two of them that he heard that they found a canister and because of it, they won a contest for some money – they need to produce the canister though before they can deliver. The woman behind the door, who introduces herself as Ashley Wong, says that she no longer has it because it’s killing her boyfriend, Bobby Joe. She leads the group to a bathroom where he is sitting barely conscious in a bath of ice water.

Ashley tells them that she gave the tube away to one “Mycroft Soft”, who is a known fence, in exchange for some medication for Bobby but it doesn’t seem to be working. Patterson and Shu look at each other and immediately assume biohazard. Shu says that there is a finders fee, and gives the two of them $2,000. Because of his generosity, Ashley was very willing to let them know how to get in contact with Mycroft and retrieve the tube.

Once the group exchanges information with each other, Drew and McCoy decide to go down and do a little investigating on Abraxis Corporation. Kit was able to develop some Police Detective cards for the two of them, and as she gives them out, she warns the two of them that she feels that the two of them are getting into something dangerous. Drew promises that he will be alright, and reassures that they will be okay. They go to Abraxis the next day, and tells the front desk that they are investigating a mugging. She gets a manager to speak to them, and the describe the mugging as well as the canister, letting them know that they want to return the contents to them. The manager steps out for a moment, loudly whispers for help, then comes back in several minutes later, putting the cameras up. The manager is very fixated on it, and asks for retrieval of the canister in exchange for $2,000,000 dollars. He lets them know that it would be the worst for them if the contents of the canister fell into a different corporation’s hands. They exchange contact information before leaving.

Drew and McCoy decide to go back to the precinct with the hunch that they would be followed, which turned out to be true. They captured the man who was tailing them, who turned out to be from Abraxis Corporation. After some questioning, they find out that the contents of the canister contain some experimental bacteria that is supposed to be able to eat radiation. Handling with gloves should be fine, and they believe that it is alright for humans to handle in general. With that knowledge, they let the man go for now.

Patterson was able to find Mycroft’s private Google Calendar and made an appointment with him later that evening. Patterson and company go to speak with him at his door – after a couple knocks, Mycroft opens it and says that he needs to cancel the meeting. He looks concerned, with damage to his face. Shu was able to see this through the security cameras that a Japanese couple entered an hour before and have not left since. Patterson begins to act offended and demands that he needs to speak to Mycroft immediately – all a ruse to give Leonie enough time to slip unnoticed through the door. The door is suddenly slammed in Patterson’s face before that could happen, so Leonie makes her way to the side of the building and tries to enter it there instead. She gets up on the balcony and can see that the apartment is being thoroughly ransacked. The man is rough handling Mycroft while the woman was very meticulously looking through his stuff.

Leonie managed to get in quietly and used her whip to decapitate the woman without anyone noticing. She listed to the conversation that the Japanese man was having with Mycroft. The Japanese man asked where the Medusa Canister was, and Mycroft tells him that he already sold it to an artifical girl with the name of Joan Ness, a member of the Android Liberation Front. The Japanese man said that information was all that was needed, and before he injects something into Mycroft’s body to end him, Leonie uses her whip to take out his arm.

The man simply looks down at his arm and says, that’s unfortunate, before struggling to get his pistol out. As Patterson breaks into the apartment, Lawrence bars the door behind them. Leonie tries to touch and paralyze the Japanese man, though he dodges. He finally successfully pulls out a needler and fires it at Leonie, but misses because he is not using him primary hand (which is lying on the floor next to him). As Leonie grapples the man, he pulls out a knife and throws it at Patterson. It hits Patterson right in the torso, and he is severely weakened by it. While Lawrence scrambles for a first aid kit, Leonie locks the Japanese man’s arm and manages to subdue him. The poison that Leonie’s weapon had finally kicks in and the man slowly goes unconscious.

After Leonie takes a shower, Lawrence uses the medkit to wake the man up. He says that he has no value for his own life. Leonie takes out the whip, he says to wait a minute, and as he begins to open his mouth to say something, the back of his head softly explodes. The group grabbed Mycroft, set off the sprinklers to destroy evidence, and then left in a hurry before the police arrived. As they were on route to get Mycroft to a safe place, Charlie calls them to let them know that she confirmed who hired her – the Yakuza.

Once Mycroft woke up, he tells the group how he came across the tube, which matched the story that Ashley Wong told earlier. He had a Korean medic scan it and she noticed how dangerous it really was. She tells him if someone were to get their hands on it and crack the computer code, it would destroy everyone within a 10 mile radius. Knowing what a hot deal he had, Mycroft paid the medic some hush money and then went to the net to tell everyone that he had something to sell.

A girl with a soft German accent and cat pupils came by, someone who was a known part of the ALF even though the actual organization fell through a few years back. She took a look at it, says “Lang” but doesn’t say anything further. She opens her bag to reveal 300,000 dollars and Mycroft immediately sells, along with some other goods as well – basically, the makings of a bomb. As he was deciding what to do, whether to skip town or no, the Japanese couple entered the scene.

Some research revealed that “Lang” was probably referring to Conrad Lang of Eumenides Corp. He was associated with a contract to produce police androids that went way over budget and had to “clean it up” afterward. The mess damaged his reputation so severely that he had to go on the lam. As for the woman, Joan Ness, it revealed that she is considered a local hero in Nigeria. She was head of a security unit for a mining corporation, and a dispute with the corporation resulted a micro-nuke being set off which supposedly killed her. Curiously enough, she was seen six months later in Marseilles.

And even more curious is how Ness ended up here, with the makings of a biological bomb with the potential to destroy tens of thousands. The group set off to see if they can track her down.

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The Singapore Sling

The Singapore Sling

In the year 2250, the city of St. Paul has become a hub for rebuilding and refurbishing spaceships. One particular ship, the Blackadder docked itself into the shipyard for repairs. The poor spacecraft had been reduced to a metal pancake after coming into an asteroid belt, though the organization felt that it was just a dollar cheaper to refurbish the old ship than buy a brand new craft. So for the sake of the budget, the passengers of the Blackadder are effectively stuck on Earth for the time being.

Shu Tseng receives a message to report to a virtual conference room. When he opens the door, he sees a chair and a table inside, with an older bald man sitting behind it. With a gravely voice, he tells Shu to take a seat, and hopes that he had no difficulties finding his way here. He tells Shu that they had been contacted by one Catherine Chau, who is looking for justice. The organization has done some brief research and as far as they know, she is telling the truth. They need Shu and his team to investigate and get it done. He gives Shu a key to access the virtual conference with Catherine Chau, and if he accepts the mission after hearing from her, the team will then be considered on mission. As always though, if someone on the team is caught doing something stupid, the organization will kick them out, though they do promise to help if they are caught doing something smart.

Before speaking directly with Catherine Chau, Shu goes into the computer and finds out that she is the owner of Chau Nanotechnic, which is rapidly becoming the leading edge of nanotechnology. The base is in Singapore, and she is known to be quite the capitalist – old form capitalism, anyway, where there is fierce market competition. Shu finds this kind of attitude interesting, given that the Trans-Pacific Federation is becoming much more socialist in recent years.

Shu relays the information to the rest of the team, and brings them all with to the virtual meeting with Catherine. The virtual room that the entered has a beautiful background with an oriental mountain, though upon further inspection, the furniture looks rather cheap. Patterson also notes that she is wearing last years’ clothes as well.

Catherine seems surprised that there is as many people as there is inside the room, then sighs heavily. She tells them that she is trying to gather evidence against a rival nanotechnology company, a Japanese tech organization called “Infinitesimal Systems”. They want to use their nanotechnology for military affairs, which is illegal and she personally believes it will damage the nanotechnology field as a whole. She wants the SJG to discover if they are committing this particular crime, determine what punishment is best to carry out and then do so. Catherine Chau says that while she can help, she doesn’t want to publicly be involved – she needs her own name to be clean.

She lets them know that there will be a showcase conference in a little over a week, with many corporations coming together, one of them being “Infinitesimal Systems” themselves. She believes this may be a good chance to intercept them and find more information, if they can manage to get into the conference. Catherine then bids them adieu, leaving the group to discuss next steps.

It was decided that the group will fly out separately so it will look less suspicious than if they were going to fly together. Tawny used her forgery skills to create press passes for her brother Drew and the others to work out in the open at the conference.

Shu and Lawrence do some investigation work. Lawrence finds out that the stock price suddenly jumped for Infinitesimal Systems within the last six weeks. Further digging finds that government officials have been the ones exclusively buying stock. The company also already has a contract from the Japanese and Korean governments for cybershells, and Chau Nanotech is trying to bid for the same thing the next year.

Shu finds on the “FreeNet” rumor mill that the company is working on robots, that chinese triads have been liked to Infinitesimal Systems due to technology to freely assemble weapons on the go, that Infinitesimal Systems contributed to a dump of low level toxic waste in Osaka, and that they have announced a new office building in Malaysia in order to try and suck everything out of Singapore.

As he was out running some errands, Lawrence gets randomly attacked by two robotic dogs. He runs up a pedestrian car with the dogs chasing and biting him. Shu happened to be in the area and fires his gun. Due to the commotion, the police come into the area and nets everyone, while delivering a shock to the dogs. As the dog is dying, it says “This is your only warning – Leave Infinitesimal Systems alone.”

As Lawrence was being treated for his wounds, Shu managed to get a hold of the dogs and found out that their systems were overridden and their programs were wiped as soon as they were shut down. Investigating further, he hacked the company and found out the CEO is the only one that is attending the conference. When he tried to get a hold of the schedule via the secretary’s computer, he fails the hack and trips the alert. Shu immediately sets the factory reset and gets the heck out of there.

While Drew is on his flight, a man pushes a small lady out of the way and sits next to him, flashing a pistol. He tells Drew not to worry, that he doesn’t want to hurt him but rather talk to him – firmly. The man asks Drew if he will come peacefully or not. Drew uses his tech to send a secret signal to the group that he is in trouble, then the two men make small chat until they reach the airport. Drew manages to use the airport crowd to successfully break away. Shu was watching using security cameras and remotely pulls alarms at the airport, causing panic. The police catch up with Drew and ask if he is alright, and that they need to take him to the station. They ask if the men that they caught were the guys accosting him, he says yes, and then they take them as well as the gun away. The gun that they had was found to be assembled on site of the airplane using nanotechnology, the suitcase in which it was found had IS logo. Shu used the images he collected and posted them online.

Shu then gets a personal message from someone who works in IS Security, who wants to talk with him and will meet in in a MMO called “UltraQuest” to discuss further. He finds out that the contact is a cloned person, which is illegal, and wants a way out of the company. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know where she is, and she is afraid that they may kill her – she’s only 11, and is afraid to die. She things are very strange around Singapore at the moment on the internet. As Shu asked her help, she curls into the fetal position, says that it hurts and logs off. Afterward, Shu drops the information to some friends that IS is keeping clone workers. To less known friends, he drops false rumors.

Lawrence and Shu look for owned assets by IS and find a line from Singapore and Jahor, and are going to monitor the line. They then take off themselves for Singapore.

At the airport, Patterson and Co. go to pick up Drew and try and get the suitcase. N strips down naked to try and get to the suitcase in the police office due to the chameleon skin but is caught before she went in and interrogated. Drew attempts to get the case as well, though the police turn him around as he attempts to grab it. Patterson describes N’s actions to the police as a marketing stunt and manages to convince them to let them go.

A Cathay Media representative comes up to Patterson after they are freed and wants to know more about the marketing stunt. They are ushered in to a senior journalist. He already found information regarding the events that went on and wants to work with the group in finding the truth. Patterson says that they should talk to Shu about this, and he’s not really that privy with the information.

After talking with Shu when he arrives in person, the group decides to go to the media with the gun information, holding the human trafficking information until they discover more information. While Cathay already knows everything about the airport incident, they appreciate that they came to them for info and gave them exclusive press passes to the business event.

Later that day, Sarah comes back online, and Shu was notified due to the programming he put in place. He goes back into the MMO to speak with her and see if she could have any possible information for him to help her out. She says that she has a headache, which prompts him to ask if she has certain things she cannot say and she says yes. She logs off not long after.

Shu then talks to Chau about nanotechnology to plant on the CEO. If the group is daring enough, there is a new tech that could possibly work, though they never were tested before. The group receive 5 bugs the night before the conference. The bugs were split between the people who were going to be on the floor and were the most likely to come into contact with the CEO or anyone assisting him – Drew receives one, Patterson receives one, N receives two, and the driver, receives one.

The next day at the conference, Drew was the first to come into contact with the CEO and attempted to shake his hand but fell on his face from tripping on a chord. Patterson missed his opportunity to shake his hand as well, the CEO completely brushing past him. N manages to snag a drink with him later that evening at the hotel bar and during their conversation, plants the nanotechnology onto his cheek. The bugs started eating the CEO’s skin, he started freaking out and washed it off, then took off in the helicopter. While the driver successfully planted a bug on the helicopter, unfortunately the range made it impossible to tap into once he flies out of it, and the shelf life of the tech makes it impossible to simply wait until the next day for it to be of any use.

The next day, N distracts the CEO long enough for the group get nanobots on his suit. They tap in to his conversations. He complains about Chau Tech creating a solution for their gun tech, and then also complains about the robot rumors popping up on the FreeNet, which was completely unexpected. He then authorized level 3 punishment on “that security tech”.

Patterson and Lawrence goes to Cathay Media to see if they are also privy to some of the rumors surrounding Infinitesimal Systems. The two of them were personally invited to speak with the CEO, and while he brands himself as an ally and says that he is friendly with SJG, the two of them are hesitant to divulge any information about themselves. Nonetheless, Cathay Media believes that they could be valuable to the organization and gives his personal number, saying to contact them if they find any information in the next few days.

Shu goes to talk to Chau Nanotechnology, saying if their competition isn’t making those robots, then they have no reason to continue. One thing Catherine Chau says is that the rumors that caused her to initially set this whole operation up, they all vanished and the owner of the FreeNet servers disappeared as well. Shu mentioned the security tech, saying that she is a kept woman – Chau had a look of horror on her face and says that they must be freed.

After some discussion, the group assumes that they must be held somewhere in Infinitesimal System’s building in Jakarta. This is confirmed when they follow up with Cathay Media, except their people heard it was AI that was being stored in that building, specifically in their basement. Lawrence didn’t divulge that it was actually clones, but simply said that if they can give up the schematics to the building, their own group has the resources to get in there. They promise that in exchange Cathay Media has first digs on the story if they find anything. Cathay agrees that it is a good deal and hands over the map, revealing that there is a single elevator that goes a half a mile down from the building.

The group thinks that the best chance is while Patterson does an interview, the rest of them try to access the elevator in the parking ramp. Shu stays in the car and hacks the system, while N uses her chameleon powers to try and sneak into the basement. She manages to make her way down there undetected, and walks into a putrid room. Over 40 children were squeezed into the room, naked and plugged directly into the network. One of the girls notice N sneeze and questions it. Believing that N is part of the SJG, she invokes Sanctuary and unplugs the chord that was inside of her body. The girl was light enough to carry back to the car, and the group takes off right before the alarms go off.

Due to the driver’s competence, the group avoids the lockdown in Jakarta and the group safely reaches Singapore. They make their way to Cathay Media with the story, and once “kept children” were mentioned, the secretary punches the wall, revealing that she was a kept girl herself.

Cathay Media is glad to use the power of the press to make sure that the rest of the children get rescued and confirms that Infinitesimal Systems will indeed be brought to Justice

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