We learn of an anti-corp group on Callisto, possibly targeting the Galactic Metals corp in specific. Coming from Ganymede, we go to Callisto to meet Aparna.
After getting off the ship we first go to a local parts shop that Raptor knows of.
We learn of an anti-corp group on Callisto, possibly targeting the Galactic Metals corp in specific. Coming from Ganymede, we go to Callisto to meet Aparna.
After getting off the ship we first go to a local parts shop that Raptor knows of.
We see server racks and storage cases, as well as the corpse drawer. The hacker has loaded the data we need on one of the drives. Cam starts to download it. Eve and Raptor stand guard.
No more robots appear. We finish the download and head out the back emergency exit. We ascend 13 stories to the main spaceport level.
We see a security guard ahead of us and he motions for us to get down. We see the signs in the area are all static and some of them are showing cartoons. Suddenly a hail of gunfire comes toward the guards and they return fire. It sounds like sentry guns — is this the AI controlling everything?
Cam tries to message the AI but does not hear back. We try to sneak away amid the fighting. Raptor jetpacks away and Eve does some acrobatics. Cam gets grazed by autofire.
We seem to have reached relative safety. There are security guard, and they escort us to the landing zone, apologizing for the inconvenience. We hurry to the ship.
As we arrive, they tell us that the ship has already left port. In fact Eve, by video, asked for permission to leave. We assume Canti is still on board, but he does not reply. Cam hacks in to the main (inactive) system and sees the ship is outbound at full burn towards Pallas. Next he hacks in to the cameras and sees Canti trying to hack into the system.
Cam tries to get into the engine settings but realizes that may be too overt. He lets Canti know by direct message to switch the hard line in 5 minutes. Cam then locks out all other users.
Eve contacts a taxi so we can get to the ship once it has stopped. Canti switches over the system and Cam gains control. He checks the system and it seems ok, then slows the ship so we can catch up. We will get there in 10 minutes.
We catch up and Cam logs in to the full VR. He sees that the backup is trying to get into the main system. He tells Canti to cut the power on the secondary. It shuts off and everything seems okay all of a sudden.
We dock with the ship and Canti says that he was just sitting there and the ship took off by itself. He was in cyber combat with whoever was controlling it when Cam contacted him. The combatant was an anime-like energy being chick.
We redirect to Ceres to lie low for a while. Eve contacts Yusuf to visit from Luna and help us. Cam tries to pick through the data of the break in and sees that it was an extremely complex AI.
Yusuf arrives and looks at the data we lifted. The whole planet-killer virus was apparently a ruse. The program would never work, it is just a bunch of bullshit. Yusuf looks at the logs of the break-in. He says it seems like a person’s hand and couldn’t possibly be an AI. He asks to see the core data. Cam lets him even though it might be dangerous.
We search the whole ship for intruders and find nothing except one of the tower relay droids downloaded and then uploaded a huge amount of data to the ship. This likely happened on Hektor.
Yusuf says that the AI is extremely close to human, as if the hacking programs had been installed directly into brain cells. We should wipe everything just to be sure. On the logs he sees a set of signature bytes — it was Overclock?!
We decide to load up the AI on a standalone terminal with no wireless access. She says that her name is OC Prime. ZilchCorp activated the AI at their facility after Overclock died. She tried to get away using our ship. We turn her off and decide what to do.
We recall that the job with Overclock was fixed by Bengal. WE have Raptor call him but someone named “Scooter” answers. He says Bengal was hauling precious metals and was jumped by some punks and was killed. Scooter is trying to take over his remaining business. Raptor says that he will never be successful using a name like “Scooter.” Scooter hangs up on him. Raptor adds Scooter to “the list.”
We boot up the AI again and ask her if the lured us to Hektor. She admits that she did. Eve says in exchange for finding info on Artemis we will set her free. We will even give her access to a computer in the drifts (near the manufacturing company we infiltrated) as a safe haven for her code if she needs to hide out.
She agrees to our terms. We decide to put her on a server on Mars and set up a spot on a private message board for her to leave messages for us to let us know of her progress.
We wipe the ship’s core with the AI. Yusuf creates a custom firewall so she can’t get on the ship again.
We head to the the drifts and separate the factory from the local receiving node, so OC Prime can’t take advantage of the factory’s resources while she si there. We create a lead box so she can’t access anything else. Raptor rigs C-4 to the room and gives Eve the remote detonator.
We move to the next mission.
First we stop by the Moon and hook up with Yusuf. He digs up some info on the armored guy who attacked us. He is a mercenary who resurfaces every 10 years or so, named the Avenging Angel. Most likely the armor is passed down from person to person as the Angel has been around for more than 90 years.
We visit Venus and then move on to Hektor. En route we purchase new SINs and gun registrations. We also switch the ship’s computer over to the secondary system so we may not be recognized or traced. There is a lengthy docking process for us to get on to Hektor.
We drop off the legit merchandise and then head toward Vayard to contact the hacker AI via its IP address. Apparently this hacker was caught up in shady business developing one piece of the planet-scale technology virus, and is now trapped in Vayard’s system, undetected. She can take the company’s network and security system off of Hektor’s grid for 20-30 minutes so we can get in and take the data for the planet-killer. From what we understand they are still 6 months away from going live with the program.
We go to a coffee shop to message OC Prime. We check the area for tails and wait 30 minutes before starting. Cam pings the address and gets a response saying “Am at Vayard in Section 22, two floors from the loading dock. Give signal. Will give you schematics once you are inside.”
We go to Vayard via cab (Raptor in his armor and wearing a jetpack). Section 22 is an office space with many businesses. They are currently open. There are scientists and corporate business people inside. We ping OC Prime to let her know that we’ve arrived and move in past the robo receptionist. Cam gets a schematic of the building and we start moving towards the goal. A guard stops us, unsheathing his snap blades, and Eve takes him. Raptor grabs him and fires up his jetpack, slamming the guard against the wall and instantly turning him into chunky salsa. (Raptor does 33p damage to him, taking 2 boxes of damage himself.)
Eve and Cam run after Raptor. Cam gets a message from the AI that the auto defenses have been activated. Security droids come out and start coming towards us. We need to get to the door. Eve uses a maglock strip to get in. Cam hacks in to one of the robots to get it to stop. Raptor flies at another one with his jetpack and rams into it. The last robot turns and leaves the building quickly, we are not sure why.
Breaching the room, we move in and see server racks with a coffin-sized and shaped steel case.
We decide on what mission to do next, since it is the end of January. We have a data pickup on Hektor from a hacker friend of Canti’s. Stitch tells us that Hektor has very high security. The contact’s name is Sarah. We will need some legit cargo.
OC Prime is the name of the hacker, but it is not a person; it is an AI. From what we know the AI is a backup of a hacker’s brain that activated when the hacker died.
Eve searches out a legitimate job that would take us to Hektor. One of Stitch’s contacts hooks us up with a job, Fess Higgins. We will be picking up a shipment from Vanlo Biotech on Venus (San Marcos) and dropping it of on Hektor.
While discussing our options regarding the Nanke situation, we notice that there is currently a protest going on in front of the corporate building. Raptor suggests that we use this to our advantage and incite the crowd to riot, letting us get in to either extract or kill Garignak. We work our way into the crowd and Eve starts yelling and Man-Bot comes into the crowd firing. The crowd breaks into the front door of the building and we follow them in.
Meanwhle Cam and Canti attempt to hack into the system and get a higher level of account access. After a few minutes we are able to get in and deactivate the sentry guns and open the security doors. Cam sees that labs “C” and “E” have containment large enough for a person. The group heads towards lab “E” and the hackers get the door open.
A scientist comes in behind the group and asks what they are doing there, but Eve uses the stun gun on him to bring him down. They release Garignak from his cell and decide to free him. Raptor explains that he came here to get revenge on him but now that he sees him he pities him. The group then escapes; Cam encrypts the door controls so it cannot be locked again. Garignak starts trashing the place and the group quickly gets out of the building. Cam enables the maglocks on all of the exterior doors and then reboots the security system to further cripple them.
Once we go to pick up the group they notice an object attached to the hull, which appears mechanical. Upon getting closer they see that it is a person in heavy armor. Suddenly the armor turns bright white and crystalline wings appear. Attempts to hack into the person’s armor prove unsuccessful. Rex checks the person in astral and they appear to be extremely bright, but an odd color.
The stranger comes down to the ground and Cam starts the shuttle up to escape. Canti sends his drones out to attack the figure and the others shoot and fire magic spells at him. Cam quickly does a search to find out what technology could be creating the wings, and he sees that it is an older but extremely expensive technology. Most likely it is someone from the Artemis Guild.
The group continues to fire on him and Raptor goes down after being sprayed with a flammable liquid. Rex hits him with several spells but he does not seem fazed. The man then turns towards the ship and shoots the flammable liquid inside the ship. Cam pulls the ship up and the man disappears.
We head to Mars and try to find the corporation that bought Garignak, which is called Nanke. Cam is able to hack in and take a look around their system. They are a smallish genetic tech & research lab. There are a lot of stories on the web about protestors for their activities in animal testing and such. Cam sees that they have several active projects.
[log censored by moderator]
We enter the ship, bringing the two girls with us. The other ship has already fled and has a good head start on us. We start things up and begin after them, but decide that they are too far away to follow. We concentrate our efforts on trying to find their shuttle that they landed in so we can figure out more about them. Cam does a sensor sweep but doesn’t find much. We decide to do a much more extensive search and we find a ship buried in the snow about a mile away.
We start digging it out and Canti finds that it is online. He tries to hack it but sees that there is no firmware or anything, so the door cannot even be opened. Raptor sets a charge and blasts open the ship, we climb inside and start searching around for clues to where they came from. We only find a few shell casings and some used food wrappers, so we head back.
We take both ships, Cam flying their ship, and return the girls to Earth. There is a tearful reunion and we get our reward. There are jetpacks for Raptor to choose from and also some flying drones. Stitch gets a stealth glider.
Taking some downtime, Cam and Canti contact Yusuf to purchase some hacking programs. Meanwhile Stitch starts asking around on information on the Artemis Guild people. Cam and Canti also get bioware installed.
We then venture to Callisto and pick up all of the weapons and other equipment that we had on order from the group’s armorer.
Next we head to Mercury and Raptor goes back to the fighting pit to look for Garignak. He asks around and no one has seen him for several months. Raptor goes up to the offices of the place and asks to see Lou, but the security force will not let him in, and then attack him. Raptor manages to lay one out (with the help of Eve’s tranq darts) and a voice comes over the PA and says that he can come in. He gives Raptor a lead as to where Garignak might be and Raptor takes off, warning the other security guy not to mess with him.
We go to an apartment building from the lead and hit the intercom to the room, an old man answers and we offer him 5k to come down and speak with us. He says that Garignak was bought by a biotech company on Mars…!
The visitor seems to be checking out the front door to look for a way in. We decide to let Raptor try and take him from behind, since he is still in the ship, but it will take him almost 45 minutes to make it there. In the meantime we fortify the inside of the entryway with robots and C-12, and Stitch takes up a sniper position. He seems to be talking with himself; Canti tries to tap in to his wireless signal but can’t seem to get anything. Rex tries to check him out in astral and there is similarly nothing there, but something seems wrong.
Raptor finally makes it to the corridor but there is nothing there. We think that someone might be hacking our system, so Canti checks it but can’t find anything. Suddenly an explosion rocks the front corridor and starts collapsing the tunnel. Raptor quickly comes inside and we shut the door behind him. More explosions occur outside the loading bays, which essentially seals the base and us inside.
Canti does a sensor sweep with the ship and finds that there is a reading just inside sensor range. They seem to be hacking our ship as well. As we are trying to organize, we call on Master Exploder (another employee who is a demolitions expert) to come to the loading bays. The Foreman notifies us that the robots in that area are not responding, so the enemy might be trying to come in that way. We come into the loading bay and are attacked by our own security drones.
After a protracted combat Canti is finally able to disable the attacking drones and instruct the diggers to get us out. In the meantime Cam talks with the two girls and asks them if they know of people like this, and they deny any knowledge of these people. Rex checks out the enemy astrally and is pursued back to the base so quickly goes back to his body.
Finally the diggers reach the surface and we all walk out. As we exit, Eve and Raptor lay covering fire while the rest of us make a run for it. Rex takes a burst of machine gun fire in the face and almost buys it. The others try to take down the remaining enemies as they are running away.
Canti plots our course and we start off to the drifts. The trip takes 5 days and we see the ship on an asteroid as we arrive. The asteroid itself is about the size of North America, and is actually a binary dwarf planet. Canti deploys drones down to the asteroid to search for life signs. There is a thin methane atmosphere. The drone comes in closer and sees a man-made structure, in front of which is a metal statue of a bird that is half-finished. We decide to land the ship and take a look around, gearing up for the conditions and Canti brings his drones.
While searching the area we do find what appear to be ATV treads all around the area. We also notice a small surveillance drone by the other ship, which Canti hacks into and sees that they’ve been using it to survey areas around the planet. The ship’s entries are locked but Canti is able to hack in and get us inside. It looks like the occupants hastily grabbed items from inside the ship and took off. The ship’s sensor logs show videos of two women putting up the bird sculpture.
We start searching the outlying areas with the ship’s sensors and notice that there are cave entrances nearby. We trek into one along with Man-Bot and eventually we come to a blast door. Canti tries to hack in but finds that the protocols are quite old; the protocols are over 200 years old. We use a maglock sequencer to open the door, which opens to a warehouse hallway. We see three robots on tank treads ahead of us, which trundle up and stop about 15 feet from the entrance. We notice that they are staring blankly ahead at us. They are making a radio transmission which Cam realizes is analog. It is a synthesized voice that says “Are you here to see the foreman. Are you replacement crew?” We answer yes and they take us into the mine.
It seems that part of the building is used to build the robots that we have seen. The robots take us to a separate area with a teleconference screen and tell us that the foreman will be with us shortly. We see the symbols on the walls that say “Automated Mining Systems” in Chinese characters. Eve searches the company name in one of her databases and sees that it has been out of business for more than 100 years.
A moment later the door closes and a computer generated avatar comes onto the screen and explains that we are the new replacement crew and we must start work immediately. It is able to respond to questions and verifies that the two women are currently working in the mine. We decide to play along for the time being and allow ourselves to be taken in to personal quarters.
We manage to get a communique open to one of the girls and she explains that they’ve been here several months and can’t get out. There was another crew that tried to take them out by force and were cut down by the robots. Cam asks her why they came here and why they decided to build the bird sculpture. She says that it was just a fanciful trip to come here and that the sculpture was just art that they created before they were pressed into service. Cam doesn’t believe her and says that after the group gets them out they need to answer truthfully.
Stitch gets called to repair the video feed to one of the monitors. Meanwhile Canti sends his drones throughout the facility to scope everything out. A short while later, an alert goes out throughout the system that says the facility is being hacked and security is being deployed to take care of the problem. However, Canti is not seeing any activity coming to stop him. Soon he is able to get root control and deactivates the high alert status. However, it seems that the Architect likeness controls many of the main functions. He sets it to Eve’s likeness so she can be in charge of the system. Eve makes all of us admins in the system and lets the AI know that the facility is due to be changed for new products, therefore production quotas are now zero.
We tour the facility and see how incredibly large it is…every time they run out of warehouse space they build a new one (there are 35 warehouses as of now) to house the obsolete fuel cells that the factory creates.
After a while the system notifies us that there is a visitor. We see a visual of him and he seems to be heavily armored. Eve commands that security be put on high alert and we go to see who it is.
Cam uses the ship’s equipment to determine that the metal we found is Ozmium, an extremely dense metal. We have 12 slabs at 300 kilograms each. At 1/4 nuyen per gram, this is likely worth about 900,000 nuyen. Stitch calls one of his contacts, Fess Higgins (on Mars), and he says that he may be able to sell it more easily if it were cut. Higgins would be interested in 3 of the slabs at 72,000 nuyen apiece. We decide to try some of our other contacts to sell them as well. Bengal is offering us 62,000 per slab, and he would buy 4. Bryce Tebbe would buy 1 at 65,000. Erich Schichammer would buy up to 3 for 70,000.
First we will go to Vesta to meet Fess, then Earth to hawk the paintings, the Moon to see Bengal, then Ceres to meet Bryce Tebbe.
We get to Earth and start negotiations with Eve’s buyer, Rina, at an art gallery. The offer needs to go back to “the brass” for a decision, so Eve invites Rina out for dinner in the meantime. Stitch goes along to dinner; Raptor stays with the paintings at the art gallery and the others stay on the ship.
They seem to be making a good impression on Rina, but Stitch notices that someone at the bar has been checking them out. Cam does a search on her likeness but finds nothing. She walks out of the bar soon after, so Cam, Rex and Canti head down to the bar. It takes them about 20 minutes to get there. After searching for a while they don’t see anything.
The evening with Rina ends, and she lets us know that the buy was approved. Eve opts to meet the director of the museum this evening and get the money right away. We get 250,000 nuyen for the paintings.
Eve talks to her doctor, also on Earth, and asks about buying the “creepy” vials that we found on the sub. She says that she will be able to send them out to a lab for analysis. The group lets her know about the possible danger of the vials.
By the time we are done with these runs, it is the end of November. We go to see Yusuf and Eve has lots of sex with him. He can’t seem to find any info on the Artemis guild that is apparently stalking us.
We go to Ceres and sell the last of the Ozmium. From our hauls we get 100,000 nuyen apiece.
Cam lets the others know that he has a lead on a possible job. His friend Kerza Brokk, a parts dealer on Vesta, sent him a message saying that her cousin and her fiancee are lost in the Kuiper Belt. Her cousin’s father is a wealthy individual who works for an aeronautics corporation on Earth. Unfortunately he has already hired several people who either did not follow up with the job or got lost in the process.
We speak with the man and he offers us 250,000 nuyen in equipment from their company plus 100,000 for expenses and extra cash. We start to determine how much it will cost to fit the ship for the conditions and also to buy the equipment we’ll need for the mission. We price out space suits, weatherproofing the ship, modding our weapons and other equipment. The total is about 205,000 nuyen + 16,000 for the ship + 92,700 for upgrading Canti’s drones.
The wasp clearing efforts continue; Cam starts up the bilge pumps to get some of the drenched bees out and Raptor and the robot help to move them towards the drains. The group then goes to the cargo hold to see what is there. There are 6 crates in here. The plans are off-colored seaweed with small flowers. Cam takes a look at them and thinks that they are terrestrial plants that have been colonized by other solar life. They must be providing chlorophyll for the other plants so they do not need sunlight; some kind of symbiotic relationship. In another there are large metal slabs. The next one has a bunch of paintings. The last one has cultured bioware that was to be delivered to a corporation. Man-bot helps take the cargo to our sub.
Rex goes astral into the control room and sees two disgusting corpses and almost vomits. Raptor walks through the other rooms and finds nothing else. The engine room looks heavily broken. The logs say that the crew tried to recover from the hack and reboot the system and regain control, but screwed themselves in the process.
Cam tries to figure out how he could make the sub float again but it seems hopeless as the ballast tanks are certainly leaking. Eve notes that we might have better luck if we sell the salvage rights to someone else who has the means to raise the sub. Raptor grabs the nearest tool he can find for Cam and returns to the ship. Eve looks for any IDs or other personal effects that she might find.
We head back to the sub rental place but the proprieter is not there. Instead there is a mafioso and his thugs who try to shake us down. Raptor charges into the room and shoots the leader and we start popping his buddies. After taking them out we drag the bodies onto the sub and take off. We shut off any non-essential systems so we are camouflaging our signal.
From the corpses we take 4 Zoa Executive Armored Clothing and 1/2 Suit Form-Fitting Armor. 3 Optimum 2 assault rifles, a modified Ceramic Natama Namax pistol (rating 2). Also a credstick with $1500 on it.
We find the other vessel again and put the dead guys on the other sub and made it look like they killed one another. We then return to the rental place and Rex checks it to see that no one is there. Unfortunately it has been ransacked and the money that we put down on the sub is long gone. We scuttle the sub and take the mule, the scrubber drone (from the sub dock) and the loot and head back to the ship.
As we are heading through town on the mule we see a traffic camera that seems to be following our position. We can’t do anything about it so we head onto the ship as soon as possible and leave orbit. We head to Ganymede to talk with Aparna and see if we can find any leads on the group that tried to shake us down. She offers us medical help as well as food and supplies. We give her some weapons for the resistance’s use.
Back on the ship we decide to check on the last of the crates that we hadn’t opened, and Raptor sees small spores coming out. To stop them from spreading, Eve grabs a blowtorch and burns it off of him.
We stay on Ganymede for a while to lay low.
Eve goes down to the mines with Erwin but there is a lot of security, so they decide to do some recon. Rex helps by going astral to scout things out. Canti contacts a hacker who may be able to cut their communications. Ultimately it is decided that it is too much of a risk to break in as we would have to shoot our way in and out.
Another interesting gig is a stranded sub stuck under the ice of Europa with precious metals, biotech and genetically modified plants on board. There was a heist of 6 high class cruisers on Patroclus, put all of the loot in the sub on Europa and disappeared. Stitch’s contact thinks he knows the location of the submarine. Brandon goes astral to try and see the area but he cannot see much since there is no life in that place. Once he reached the sub he thought that he had found something, so the group decides to venture down.
Once the group has reached the sub in a smaller sub, Canti tips the larger sub on its side so the group can gain entry. When inside the group notices noxious fumes and beehives, and the party tries to defend against them with guns, nanomagic and drones. We back out as they start to overwhelm us but Rex, Raptor and the drone are still inside as the door to our sub is sealed. Canti turns on the sub’s sprinkler system which helps the effort.
It is three months later, October, and several of the group members have been busy on side jobs, getting equipment or cyberware, or just laying low. Stitch has been hanging around Chelle’s shop and has met a drone rigger who goes by Canti. He and his brother Rex seem to have some skills that might help us out.
Yusuf contacts us via email and says that he has heard of someone is looking for us. They are called the “Artemis Guild” and are deep underground. He forwards the chatter he came across and it seems to be enough to worry about.
We decide to head to Ceres to lay low a bit. Stitch is continuing to do jobs for his fixer, but the rest of us are kind of spinning our wheels since we don’t know where these Artemis folks are. We keep our eyes open for a few weeks but don’t see anything.
In November, Raptor gets an opportunity from his armorer. A weapons manufacturer called Dynatron is showing their wares to various potential buyers throughout the solar system. Sakura has a buyer lined up for some of their merchandise, so if we can acquire we will get a sale. Depending on where they are going to be we have several opportunities to intercept. We start researching this group.
A professor contact named Fess sends a message to Stitch, with an opportunity for a job harvesting ice cores from Ceres. Fess has a grant for 40,000 to research the ice. The mining company is giving him a hard time about access to the ice in the area and they may need our help to operate the machinery and get the cores without being caught, or bribing them. Stitch tries contacting his fixer to see if there is anyone else who can help. Erwin Patch is a contractor that doesn’t work directly for the mining company, who might be able to help. Eve finds out through a contact that the mining company is afraid that they are going to get hit with environmental regulations due to what they’ve hit in their mining efforts on Ceres. They may have hit some fossils according to the contact.
We head out to Erwin’s favorite watering hole to check him out. Eve starts hitting on him and he responds favorably. They go back to his place and she pumps him for info. He says that he works on a lot of the equipment. We decide to head down to the mines using his info.
The last person we need to find is known as “Wheels” who headed east from Albuquerque. His car is now stopped at the Texas/New Mexico border.
The group splits up; Cam and Raptor stay at the farm while Eve and Stitch go to get the ship. Cam hacks into the farm’s security system and is able to give himself an admin account so he can keep track of any activity here from remove locations.
The others pick Cam and Raptor up in the ship and then go to pursue Wheels. Upon our arrival, his car seems to be vacant; he has obviously abandoned it and gone hiking a few hours ago now. Eve decides that she is going to go hiking and pretend she is lost in order to perhaps get his attention. Stitch sets up a sniper blind on a nearby hill, and Cam is standing by with the ATV.
Eve approaches the car and sees a figure inside. She investigates more closely and sees that it is indeed Wheels, and he is dead. There are no obvious signs of a cause. She grabs a rock and smashes the window open.
At that moment she is fired upon by a stick-n-shock round but manages not to pass out. Stitch spies a man hidden up on a nearby hill and snipes him. Doc reports that his nanobots noticed another person in a position to the north. Cam takes off towards the position, but his tire is blown out by the sniper. Another shot takes him in the chest and he falls off of the ATV, unconscious.
Stitch finally sees the man and takes a shot at him, taking him out. A third man is seen on a hill to the east and Stitch fires on him as well, killing him. Doc and Stitch rush to assist Cam. He is brought back to consciousness and jumps in Doc’s car.
Another sniper round takes out one of the tires on Doc’s car, and Stitch frantically looks for the other man. He sees him to the east, and tries to shoot him from underneath the car. Cam grabs his gun and tries to do the same, managing to take him out. Doc reports that there are no further life signs in the area.
We check Wheels, and it looks like he was killed by having his brain fried. The snipers are also checked and they have no insignias or ID on them; these are ghosts. We collect the bodies and their equipment (Ranger-Arms sniper rifles and thermally sealed camo armor on each).
We pack everything in and take the bodies to Eve’s doc friend. She appraises the tech on all of the bodies and helps us find body matches for us. El Buscador should be able to pin our previous activities on these people for us now.
Afterwards we meet with El Buscador and negotiate for our payment. We discuss the situation with Chelle, since she needs to be cleared of the terrorist charges as well. We decide to try and change the record in the database of her DNA so it does not match her. We also let El Buscador know what has happened. We mention that there was another mole on the terrorist team who was working for the other side of the Cold War. He says that we should watch the evening news to ascertain that he is keeping his word on the deal. That night we do hear on the news that these terrorists have been linked with our previous activities. Eve realizes that El Buscador’s plan was to do a power grab in the Jovian system with their Elysian Counter-Terror unit.
Eve contacts Aparna on the telecom and lets her know that Chelle has been cleared of all charges. Aparna thanks us and says that she is currently working on Ceres as a ship mechanic.
We then take care of our other assets (the cars & abandoned ships). We are able to “grease the wheels” by paying off a DMV employee for 5000 nuyen, and then we sell each for 20,000.
After that is taken care of, we decide to travel to Mercury to get some R&R and lay low for a while.
Our next target is “Doormaker” in Colorado Springs. It is an hour’s drive away, and we take the van and the two cars. We follow the signal to an apartment complex with several units.
Eve and Raptor go to the complex office, posing as police officers. They are able to get a security feed from the rooms and find the person we’re looking for.
Stitch scopes the room and sees two heat signatures. Eve and Raptor go to the room and Eve picks the lock. They run in and ambush the two occupants of the room. Two flash-bangs and a few stick-n-shock’s later, one of them is dead and the other unconscious. They grab some of the personal effects in the room and carry that and the his body (leaving his friend) back to the van. Raptor decides not to open Doormaker’s personal effects in case they are rigged.
We move on to Pueblo to an automated farm where “Bullethead” supposedly resides. We approach the area and a man scanning the grounds with binoculars is seen. Stitch takes a shot at him with his sniper rifle and nearly blows his head clean off. The automated farming equipment is still humming along, but no one else is here.
Cam brings the truck in and looks through the shed and other structures for tools. He spends a good hour picking through and taking tools and parts that may help with the ship. Eve opens the suitcase that Doormaker had and there are foam explosives and detonating caps in it. Raptor takes these for later use.
Leaving the two cars, we go back to the ship and travel to our next target in Utah. His name is “Sonic.” We take the ship about 15 miles ahead of him (we see that he is traveling 200 mph, so we only have a few minutes) and knock down a tree in the road. Stitch hides up in a tree with his sniper rifle and waits until he approaches.
Apparently he has noticed that something was up, so he slows down to 150 mph. Stitch takes his shot, hitting him in the head, and the car leaves the road. It turns over a few times and lands in the forest. We retrieve the carcass and leave the scene.
We assess the situation and see that 10 of the vehicles on locators are now moving due to the cardio alarms on the four we’ve already killed. We see that the nearest vehicle is only about a mile away, and it belongs to the man codenamed “Grumpy.” We cut him off at an intersection and take him out, quickly stashing the body in the van.
Continuing on, we get on the freeway to pursue “Lucky Day” and “Tails.” We decide to pass Lucky Day and go after Tails first, then wait for Lucky Day to catch up to us. Coming behind tails, Doc tries to zap her car with a magical lightning bolt. This doesn’t stop the car so Stitch tries firing with his sniper rifle. He takes out a rear tire and she manages to control the car to get to the side of the road. We stop as well and Eve steps out, asking if she needs any help. Tails says “no thanks,” and when she turns to get the tire Eve strikes her. She throws her in the trunk and slits her throat. Cam fixes the tire and Eve jumps in the driver’s seat.
We see that Lucky Day is coming, so Stitch sets up with his sniper rifle at the side of the road. As she approaches, he takes a shot through her windshield and takes her out. The car is continuing on the road by itself, so Stitch is forced to take out one of the tires. We get the car over to the side of the road and fix the tire.
Moving on again, we see that “Sonic” is moving quickly towards Cheyenne. We go as fast as possible on the freeway to pursue. The car stops on our radar, and we see that it is parked in front of a townhouse. We stop and Doc tries using nano-astral to search the area, and finds a group of 15 people in one of the houses. One person, very angry, seems to be addressing them. There are 18 or so people total in the townhouse.
We decide to raid the townhouse, taking positions on all sides. Stitch blows one of the windows with his sniper rifle, but finds that there is impenetrable material behind it. Flood lights come on and a loudspeaker announces that we are under arrest and not to move. Raptor blows three grenades on the front door, destroying the porch, but the door is not destroyed. The person over the loudspeaker says that if we will give them any information we have, they will not have us killed. We decide to bail and jump in the vehicles, speeding away in different directions.
Reconvening, we find our next closest target is Crasher. Her car is coming into Steamboat Springs. We find her car at a nearby apartment building and we have Raptor go up to find her. He finds three people in the room, Crasher and apparently her parents. Raptor fights and kills her, while her parents flee.
Our next target is “Brick Wall” in Vale. He is one of the bodyguards of the group. The apartment building he is in has many units, so we are not sure how to find him. Eve walks in and pulls the fire alarm. People come pouring out, but we still don’t see him. Doc uses his astral projection to search the building and sees one person with a lot of cyberware, on the third floor. Eve goes over and knocks on the door, but he doesn’t answer. She hears him loading a gun.
Eve picks the back door of the apartment, and rushes in as Raptor is crashing through the window to attack him. After a moment he is dropped and we pull him out.
We travel to the other spaceport where the second “Z” cell member stores his ship. We try the same scheme where Eve lifts the keys off of a guard. She manages to do so but the guard seems to notice that something has happened. Raptor bumps into him roughly at that moment and knocks him off balance. Eve passes the key to Cam and he goes into the dock. After a moment he finds the ship and seems to be able to disable it. Mission accomplished, we leave the spaceport.
Afterwards we discuss our next move with regard to the cell members. We decide to split up and have Eve and Stitch do surveillance on all of the cell members to determine their daily patterns. Eve and Stitch drive around to each area to ascertain what the security measures are at each place. Unfortunately it looks like most of them have at least some security, though some are worse than others.
We reconvene and (using the call schedule) decide the correct timing to attack them to give ourselves the most amount of time before we are caught, and also come to the conclusion that we should all go to each of the locations together to be as effective as possible.
At “Rock’s” we see him through the window and Stitch takes two shots with his sniper rifle. The foe felled, Raptor goes over to take a body part so we have DNA evidence. Once he zip-lines over, he hears Rock’s corpse is beeping. Quickly he slices off the corpse’s hand and pitches him out of the window. It explodes violently in midair. We quickly leave the scene, realizing that this must have alerted the other cell members.
We quickly go to Roll’s apartment building and Raptor, Stitch and Eve rappell up to Roll’s window. Doc says that his nanobots detect 3 figures inside, and the others begin firing though they don’t have much of a solution. The cell members inside fire back, one with a nano attack. Our group members continue into the building through the broken window and engage in a full attack. After a few moments two of the enemies are felled, after which no beeping is detected. Doc sees astrally that the third person is still up, but the others don’t see him — he must be invisible.
Suddenly all three of them feel an invisible nano attack from the hidden nano mage. They attack and manage to disable him as well. Afterwards, identifying the bodies, we have gotten Roll and also Knuckles and Cookie.
Several of us go to see a friend of Eve’s on Earth; her name is Marsia Arseievna, a doctor. Raptor goes in for surgery to make himself less “tweaky” and other procedures are performed. We also unload the corpses that we had in cold storage. It turns out that we had quite a few.
Meanwhile, Cam receives a letter from someone calling himself “El Buscador,” which translates to either “The Prospector” or “The Searcher.” He claims to have knowledge of some of our previous exploits, including our efforts on Ganymede. He says that unless we assist him with a matter, he will reveal our involvement in the Ganymede incident to the military. The party decides that they will play along until we can find out who this person is and how they found out about our involvement.
Before we leave we contact Yusuf and ask him to check on this guy before we show up. We meet with him briefly and Eve explains what we’d like him to do during the meeting. Yusuf will surveil the meeting but not too overtly. He tells us that the signal is most likely coming from Spain, and the node we will meet him at is on the Moon.
We message him and accept the meeting, and he seems pleased. He gives us the exact location of the meet and a passcode for air travel in the area.
We arrive at El Buscador’s villa and he comes to the door to greet us trailed by bodyguards. He is a well-groomed Spanish man and welcomes us warmly, seeming to know most of our names. He takes no notice that we are heavily armed. He invites us in, but Cam remarks that the meeting is very pleasant considering it started with a blackmail letter. El Buscador responds that he is trying to make a deal that is mutually beneficial.
He takes us into a formal living room and introduces a man he calls Doc. El Buscador says that he is an Alysian counter-terrorism specialist who has been concerned with a group named Zarathustra which has been causing panic throughout the solar system. The party recoils a bit at the mention of the Alysian as they were in charge of the base we attacked; however El Buscador assures us that we are not the target of their interests. He says that they have a double agent in the cell already (“Bolts” the mechanic), and we are to infiltrate and replace them.
There are 14 people total in the cell. They do a round-robin style check-in during the day to make sure that everyone is still operating. If they find out that something is going on, their protocol is that everyone should leave town. However Bolt has planted RFID tags in all of the group vehicles if they try to flee. We should not cross paths with Bolt during the operation but to be careful if we do. Also some of the cell members have bio-monitors to notify others in the chain in case they die. All 14 need to be eliminated and this needs to be verified by Doc as he has a DNA register. One of the two co-leaders of the group may be a nano mage.
They are planning on attacking a hospital in Italy in 10 days, and we must intercept and eliminate them before this happens. They are currently residing in Denver. We agree to take the job.
As we leave, Eve contacts an Earth politician she knows and fills him in on the situation. She tells him about the job and lets him know that if we don’t contact him within 14 days, that we have been eliminated and that he should make El Buscador’s life hell in some way or another for us. He agrees.
We decide to head to the spaceport first to take out their ships so they cannot escape. Eve will go in first to distract the guards, and Cam will sneak in behind to disable the ship. Eve manages to distract them and get the key to the area where the ships are held.
Cam slips in and goes to the ship, but a security system goes off with a warning. He figures he has 1 minute to try and do something before the owner is notified. He manages to pull a few wires that will prevent the ship from leaving orbit. After this he books out of there.
After some searching, Stitch sees some tracks on the other side of the river we are following. It is decided to try and cross the river. Raptor tries to swim across to tie up the winch to a tree, but gets caught up in the line and we have to fish him out. Stitch swims across and ties up the winch; Cam activates the winch and pulls the ATV across.
Once across we pick up the trail and it seems to be still following the direction we are going. We continue on. After a while, we see off in the distance a smoke trail that seems to be coming towards us. We decide to take a shot at them to disable their ATV. We stop and both Stitch and Raptor fire at them, taking out 2 of their tires. We continue on.
As we pass by the other ATV, we see that they have no large animal in toe but one of the people is wounded. Also, they appear to be coming back from where the tracks are. Obviously they were attacked by whatever it is we are chasing. We come over a hill and hear a loud bird-like noise. We jump off the ATV and ready our weapons.
As we come over another hill, we see the Savannah Shark coming towards us. Two of us have the super-squirt guns, Eve has the Stick-n-Shock, and Stitch has a sniper rifle. It runs at us and we manage to avoid its attacks and shoot it into submission.
Using the winch cord we tie it up and restrain its arms. We use plastic restraints to keep its jaw closed. As we are doing this we hear the sound of an engine. Stitch and Raptor draw weapons and skulk off to defend from a distance.
The men come up and say “That’s a mighty nice catch you got there.” Cam tries to distract them as the others draw a bead with weapons. The men raise their rifles and the party members start firing. A well-placed grenade kills most of them within the first few seconds, however. We loot their equipment and continue to bind up the creature.
Cam and Stitch decide to go and get the ship; they take the ATV back to Boozy’s and get the ship in only 1:35. They bring the ship and load up the shark and the two ATVs. We see that we can get 100 grand for the shark (it appears to be a female) at the local zoo.
The zoo sends a doctor to check the female and he says that she needs a lot of medical attention so they can only offer us 75 grand. We are able to negotiate for 85.
We head back to the ship and check the news feeds. 4 of the 6 animals have been trapped, so that leaves only 2 males (worth 30 grand or so alive). We take off in the ship and scout around. As we get nearer to Cydonia we see they have deployed people to protect the city in case one of the sharks gets near. We decide to do another sweep a few miles to the southeast. On our second pass we catch a glimse of him.
We land about a mile away and take out the ATV. We come up to him but he sees us and takes off running. We chase it for a few miles and Stitch manages to shoot him in the foot. We close much quicker now and come up along side him. We start firing and manage to take him down.
The shark is loaded up and Cam takes a look at its leg wound. He is able to patch him up pretty well. Cam then takes a look at possible buyers, disregarding the zoo keeper. The other potential buyers are a university professor and two rich folks. We decide to talk with the professor as it is a possibly better cause and a professor might be a good contact.
Eve contacts her and we go to meet the professor, Corrina Schneller, at the school’s nature preserve. She looks over the creature and is impressed at how Cam dressed the creature’s leg wound. She says that it is in very good shape and gives us the 35 grand. The creature will be in a good home. She gives us her card as well.
We return to Boozy and give him 4500 nuyen (a bit short of what we actually owe him) and return his ATV. We then buy some replacement parts to fix the second ATV, which will take Cam about a day to do. We take off from Boozy’s and head towards Earth for our next stop.
We grab Overclock and Speech’s unconscious bodies and get out of the spaceport as quickly as possible. We see that a crowd of people have gathered, curious about the commotion. In the confusion we are able to get through unnoticed. We return to the ship and stow the prisoners in an extra bunk and bind them up. Stitch enacts a wireless jammer that will stop any communications that the hackers attempt. We remove the gear they carry including a Predator IV, a backpack server box and a 5,000 nuyen credstick.
Eve sees that we have received a communication from Bengal; he says that we should not come back to Venus but meet him at a safehouse of his on Mars. We start our trip towards Mars.
En route we begin interrogating Speech. He is not very helpul but says that Overclock was ordered to spread the Shitstorm virus by someone named “Zilch.” Eve and Raptor are frustrated with him and decide that they are going to blow him out the airlock. They tell him that they are going to let him go, and lead him to the airlock.
Once there he begins begging not to be tossed out, though the party is less than sympathetic. They taunt him for quite a long while. Cam comes around, and asks again why we have such a mad-on for the hacker. Eve and Raptor remind him that he was the one who we captured a few weeks earlier and let go, on the promise that he disappear. He later betrayed us to Overclock and we found him running with her. Upon hearing this, Cam becomes angry and opens the airlock. He shoots Speech once in each kneecap, slams the door and punches the button, shooting him out into space. Everyone else is stunned.
We come to Mars and land, meeting Bengal at his safehouse. We turn over Overclock and all her gear and server. Bengal says that we will get an extra tip for bringing in the server, so he gives us 60,000 nuyen. He says that we are welcome to stay for a while if we’d like. The party decides to go shopping while we are staying on Mars. Some weapons, tools and supplies are purchased.
Later we see a news feed that says there is an illegal xeno-zoo on Mars that had several creatures escape. It looks like the bounty for a live male is 30,000 and for the only female it is over 100,000 nuyen. The creatures are called “Savannah Sharks” and are 9 feet in height, resembling velociraptors. The most recent sighting is a farm off to the east.
We go to the farm on a borrowed ATV and see an obvious path of destruction. There are several news agencies here and other hunters on ATV’s. We follow the path but lose the tracks after it goes into the river. We follow the river to the east to see what else we can find.
Kino calls Eve and says that Speech has skipped town with some chick to St. Gregory’s, which is on the other side of Pallas from St. Martinsburg. We suspect that the “chick” is in fact Overclock herself. We decide to head back to the ship and abandon our current effort of chasing the RFID tag.
While back at the ship we take inventory of what we need to bring or get in order to head off Overclock in St. Gregory. We decide to send Stitch to watch ClimaStat in case she heads back there.
We do a search on Yusuf’s people in the area of St. Gregory, and come up with Quantum, another hacker who has supposedly gone legit. He now works in a hardware customization shop with a couple of other guys. There is seemingly no other chatter about him for the past few months. The other is named Twilight; we cannot find out too much about her except she has been more active in the last few months.
We decide to contact Twilight and ask for her help or hire her. She returns our email a short while later and asks if we will need her in town and how much we will be paying. Eve says that we should meet to discuss the terms.
Shortly after, we come to Twilight’s place and meet her in person. We explain that we are looking for a heavy amount of traffic in the area coming from a spammer program called Shitstorm. We explain that Overclock has been operating in the area and we just flushed her back to St. Greg’s from her previous digs. Twilight says that if she is getting mixed up with the corps, potentially, she won’t do anything for less than 10 grand. Eve says that we will speak to our employers about the cash.
Eve emails Yusuf and he responds moments later. He has a key that we can give Twilight that will help her system ignore the incoming spam. This may be valuable to her. Bengal is contacted as well and responds with 5,000 extra nuyen.
Twilight accepts the offer and does an extensive search on Overclock. She finds that the other hacker has gone to the spaceport on the other end of town. She apparently hasn’t left yet so she’s probably waiting for someone.
We leave quickly for the spaceport using the van. About 3 minutes out, we get a message from Twilight showing a video feed of 4 men in three-piece suits trapped in a back room. Apparently we are not the only ones who want Overclock; she has apparently sequestered them in there.
We come into the spaceport with smaller weapons and walk casually through the corridor. We come to the room where the armed men are and Twilight lets them out. They tell us to pass them by as they have no quarrel with us.
The party goes to the next door where Overclock is, and Raptor attempts to set a charge to blow it open. The four men see him doing it and yell “Hey!” and move to attack. All three of us turn tail and run. The men take cover. Raptor clicks the detonator but nothing happens.
Raptor says that Overclock must be jamming his signal. Eve steps up and fires her Stick ‘n’ Shock at it, and it detonates, blowing the door off of its hinges. Eve quickly dashes into the room before the men can take a shot and sees Overclock and Speech. Cam takes a shot at one of the men in suits, and a full-on battle begins.
Raptor goes down after being shot, and Cam runs to him and grabs 2 of his high explosive grenades. Eve shoots Overclock and Speech. The men come towards the room and say that the girl is going with them. Eve disagrees and shoots one of them.
Cam tosses the two grenades towards the guys and they are both luckily close to the mark. They explode, killing two of the guys but the third is still clinging to life. Eve peeks around the corner and shoots him.
Cam revives Raptor and he asks what happened. Cam says that there is still one guy unaccounted for in one of the rooms. Raptor goes over to see what is going on; apparently Twilight has deactivated his guns and cybereyes. Raptor sneaks in and puts a grenade in his pants and blows him to bits.
We bind up Overclock and haul her and the rest of the corpses out of there.
Eve suggests that we do a net search for the hacker since she has as of yet been elusive. We may try looking for other friends or perhaps family members.
In order to make this easier, we decide to purchase some programs and a new operating system for Cam’s comlink. We also purchase new operating system with better firewalls to protect us from the hacker’s attacks.
Cam searches and finds 12 names of active hackers. 7 of them are in a local social network, and 2 are in some other group together. The others are scattered, and two are no longer on Pallas. None of these seem to be directly associated with Overclock. The closest one is a guy named De-Sequence in a local neighborhood.
We drive to De-Sequence’s apartment and see some security measures in place. We all get out and Eve uses her auto-lock picker to get in the front door, and then into his apartment. We surprise De-Sequence and his two friends; they raise their hands in terror and we start asking them questions. De-Sequence says that Overclock is a female, about 5 foot 2, blonde, with glasses. He shows us a photo from a recording he took at the coffee shop of her.
After we leave, Stitch gives Cam the video he took of the business that was being used as a piggyback for the spamming endeavor. Cam searches for an image of Overclock, but he can’t find her in the footage.
Q-bit is the next closest hacker we can find. We go to his apartment, which is a small 6-unit affair. Eve again tries to break in using her auto-picker. The lights are off here, and Q-bit is apparently in bed. Eve and Raptor sneak into his bedroom and crawl into bed with him, one on each side. He is shocked to find them in bed with him, but begins answering questions nonetheless. He says that Overclock is kind of a loner, doing her own thing, and that her real name is Yvonne DuChien. He has a yearbook with her in it, as well.
Cam does a search on her name, though 18 months ago after she left school it pretty much goes cold. Cam surmises that she must be using fake SINs since then.
It is decided that we should visit her apartment again to see if she has returned. We surveil the are for quite a long time. It appears that no security team in the area has been alerted since our visit. Cam notices that the turret that was against one of the windows is now gone. He tells the rest of the group that someone has been in the room since we were last there, but it looks like there is no one now.
Before leaving the scene, we decide to take a look in the apartment to see if there is anything else of use there. Eve sneaks in and sees that the turrets have been deactivated and some other things are missing. The place has pretty much been cleared and she is obviously not coming back.
The group goes back to the ship to reload and change clothes for a few minutes before going back on the search.
Cam searches for “Speech,” the handle of the guy we previously interrogated who has been an acquaintance of Overclock’s. It comes back as a kid named Steven who is a grad student at a nearby university.
Eve and Raptor go to a nearby diner across the street from a store she might visit to get more electronics. Stitch watches the back of the store to see if she is going in there. Cam is parked in the van a few doors down.
Stitch sees a van in the alley behind the shop; a man is loading some boxes into it. Cam runs the plates and it comes up as a sales associate for the shop’s personal vehicle. Stitch comes down from the roof and breaks into the van, planting an RFID tag in the box the man was loading. It appears to have a server box in it, which is possibly promising.
Presently the store opens up. Eve walks in and takes a look around. She does not see anything out of the ordinary and decides not to create any waves, so she leaves. We will follow up if the RFID tag moves.
We decide to track down Speech, who lives in a house full of computer geeks. A stoner lets Eve in and offer her breakfast, but he says that Speech hasn’t been back yet this morning. Eve asks if he can give her his number, and he agrees. He seems interested in “studying” with her.
We leave and go back to near the shop, waiting for the RFID tag to move. The van finally moves and we follow him to a spot in an alley a few blocks away from the spaceport. Stitch goes up on a nearby roof and takes a sniper position. A car comes up from the other side of the alley to meet it.
Cam swings the van around the block behind where the car came in, and Eve jumps out and turns herself completely black. A young latino gets out of the car to meet the guy in the truck. We let the exchange happen and pick up our people. We follow the car using the RFID scanner.
The latino goes to the other side of town to an apartment building and parks inside a parking garage. He takes the package up to a third story apartment. We decide to watch the building and see what happens.
Eve pulls into a dark alley and starts questioning the hacker. He is disoriented and wants to know why he is there and who we are. Eve says that we want to know all the information he has about Overclock, and to ask about us is not in his best interest. Raptor intimidates him as well. The hacker says that she lives down on the Carmine District, but he doesn’t know what she is doing or why. He relates some other info about who she hangs out with and what she’s been doing, but it is not much info.
Raptor says that he is lying, and Eve is skeptical as well. He says that he is telling the truth. Eve throws him out of the van and tells him to get lost, and not to look back. Cam drives off towards the ship.
Back on the ship, we decide that we need to storm Overclock’s residence, an apartment in the downtown area. We park nearby and come towards the front entrance. Stitch is off to the side with his sniper rifle. As the rest of the party approaches the door, a car comes out of the alley straight at us. Stitch aims at the driver but sees that there is no one in the car — a rigger must be driving it from a distance. The group scatters, all except for Raptor, who takes the impact of the car full-on. He is not damaged, however. The door comes off its hinges.
Stitch takes out the camera on the fifth floor with his rifle and the rest of the group files into the building. Graves checks the elevator and it doesn’t seem to be working. Everyone runs up the stairs to the fifth floor and Overclock’s apartment. Graves mule-kicks the door and he and Raptor run in. They see two turrets in the main room and rush past; luckily they are too fast and the turrets don’t go off. They continue to the back of the apartment to see two rooms with closed doors and an overturned desk at the end of the hall.
Eve and Cam stay in the hallway. Suddenly the turrets start going off, firing at the guys inside the room. Two more turrets pop up in the hallway and start firing as well. Graves knocks over one of the turrets and Raptor blows one up with a grenade.
Eve hears footsteps coming from the stairwell. She walks over and takes aim at anyone who might be coming up but doesn’t see anyone. Cam asks why Eve is covering the stairwell, and she says that she still hears footsteps but he does not. Stitch says that he does not see anyone coming up the stairs but that the alarm has been sounded.
Eve goes into the room in the middle of the hallway and sees that it is a laundry room. There is no one in there. Cam peeks into the apartment and shoots one of the remaining turrets. Raptor checks the closet in one of the rooms and finds a bunch of computer parts. He is attempting to set a C-4 charge to blow them all up and suddenly his cybereyes have been hacked and he is seeing a cartoony vision of a forest. He calls for Graves to come in and help him. He sets a bead charge and blows up the computers.
Eve comes in and takes any electronics from the destroyed turrets, and says that everyone should get out. Stitch goes to the van and brings it to the front of the building so we can escape. We peel out and drive back towards the ship. A few minutes after we leave, Raptor gets his vision back.
Eve looks into selling the data from ClimaStat’s servers while the information is still valuable, but the fixer is not able to find a buyer the first day.
Yusuf is working on the servers more and suddenly jumps up and starts tearing things out of one of the server boxes. He doesn’t speak for a few moments but then says that the box had a hidden wireless point on it and also the “Shitstorm” spam virus. It activated and infected his system but he was able to shut everything off before it spread. It will take him a few days to fix the damage.
Stitch asks if he will be safe at his lab, and Yusuf says that he is not sure. We offer him passage on our ship for a while until the situation blows over. He agrees and we load all of his equipment on board. He uses Cam’s workshop as a temporary lab.
Eve’s fixer finds a buyer for the info we have, but we can only get $2500 for it. We agree
Eve contacts Raptor and says that we are going off-world. He asks if Stitch will be on board, and if so there will be violence. Eve says that we will make sure he’s on the other side of the ship. Cam is volunteered to pick up Raptor and takes a shuttle down to Mars to get him.
We continue on to Vesta and meet with Bengal. Eve introduces Yusuf to Bengal and he is pleased to meet the hacker. Bengal suggests that we go to Pallas to look for the hacker behind the attacks. We agree and set off to get some supplies.
In the local area we look for explosives and detonators, in order to stock up before we continue. At the second place we are able to find 5 kilos of rating 10 (very high grade) explosives. After we have stocked up we leave Vesta for Pallas. The trip takes one day.
Stitch takes up surveillance of Domino Systems, the place that we have tracked the current spamming route through. He records everyone that he sees and then gets out.
Eve is asks around about Freewire and Shitstorm to a hacker named One Over Zero, but he says that he left several years ago after he finished his software. Apparently he sold his software to several people and there is no way to know who got the Shitstorm program. There is a hacker named Sliced IC who purchased quite a few of his programs and he went to St. Gregory a while ago, and someone else named Overclock purchased some as well. However One Over Zero does not know much else because he did not like Freewire or his friends.
During this time, Cam is continuing to work on the system core on the ship.
Eve has us visit a coffee shop that is a supposed hangout of Overclock, the female hacker. The barista says that she hasn’t seen her for at least a week, but normally she is there every night. Eve listens around and overhears two people talking about Overclock and that she is working on something. They seem concerned about her.
Raptor suggests that he get as much information as he can from the two guys who were talking about Overclock. He comes over to their table but is angered by the way they are looking at him and decides to attack them. Raptor slams the first guy into the wall and stabs him, killing him almost instantly.
Everyone scatters from the bar, including the guy’s friend. Raptor calls for Eve to stop the other guy from leaving the bar. She shoots the Stick ‘n’ Shock at him and knocks him out. Cam jumps through the crowd and grabs the guy, pushing him against the wall so he doesn’t get trampled.
The crowd is pushing their way out the door and suddenly we hear loud footsteps coming down the stairs in the back. Cam pulls his pistol and hunches down next to the unconscious hacker. Eve jumps under a table. Raptor immediately turns and draws his weapon as two cybed-up spooks run out and start firing. Raptor doesn’t seem damaged by the hits he’s taken and fires back, killing one of them immediately. Cam and Eve fire on the second one and drop him.
Raptor asks what is to be done with the second guy since he is still alive; Eve says just to leave him. Raptor walks up and machine guns him in the face. Cam drags the hacker out to the van and the others take one of the dead thugs each with all of their gear. They take off and go back to the ship.
Eve’s fixer, Erich, lets her know a bit more about this “Core Dump” hacker on Mercury. He lives in a city called Az-Zukhruf in the Arab-controlled area of Mercury. He has been retired for about a year and a half and is now “legit.” Erich says that though he is retired, he’s taken a few jobs since his retirement (ones that he won’t get shot at for).
As we are approaching Mercury, we are notified by Bengal that the spam levels dropped off for about 4 hours then resumed, and now are no longer coming through ClimaStat’s servers.
We arrive at Mercury, and Eve contacts Core Dump on the public access board. She asks for help with some computers and he seems shocked that she found him. He explains that he is no longer in the biz and generally doesn’t do computer work anymore.
Eve mentions that she was referred by Erich and Core Dump says that he could probably do it since Erich is an old friend. He invites Eve to come to a club with him and then go back to his place afterwards to take a look at things. Eve asks if he is still talking about computers.
Raptor inquires about how legal it is to carry weapons openly on Mercury, and finds that firearms especially are restricted almost everywhere. He settles on bringing only 4 guns and 2 knives.
We land and immediately go to a high-end clothing store. Eve negotiates the price on three armored suits for Cam, Stitch and Raptor. They are reluctant to buy and wear them, but Eve’s wiles win them over.
We go to the bar, a place called 39 Thieves, and as we come into the entrance area there are several security guards checking everyone for weapons. As they scan Raptor, he looks very agitated and does not want to give up his guns. He warns the guy that he should take his hands off of him. The guy says that he is just doing his job.
Eve sees that Raptor is about to go crazy and slaps two tranq patches on his neck. He passes out almost immediately. Cam and Stitch catch him with much difficulty so he doesn’t fall to the floor. Stitch explains that he has had too much to drink. The security guard says that he can’t come into the bar if he’s passed out. Eve explains in low tones to the guards that she tranqued him so he wouldn’t go nuts, but he should be okay now. The guards let him come in.
We come into the bar and Eve meets with Core Dump, whose real name is Yusuf. She gives him a kiss in greeting and says that the club looks nice. He says that it will get more exciting later as the place gets busier.
Eve spends most of the night socializing with Yusuf and his crew. Raptor wakes up later and demands to know what happened. Eve says that he was about to get everyone in a lot of trouble and had to tranq him. He asks what happened to his gun and Stitch says (lying) that the gun fell out of his holster when he passed out and he was holding on to it for him.
Raptor goes back and orders something to eat, but finds that everything is too dainty and upscale for him to enjoy. We decide that we should go since none of us really fit in except for Eve. She says that she is fine on her own and will accompany Yusuf to his place. Raptor asks her if she will be okay (if she has guns) and she says that she has 2.
The party, less Eve, comes back to the ship. Raptor complains that he hasn’t been in a fight recently. Cam, intrigued, goes on the internet and finds if there is an underground fight club in the area that Raptor could participate in. In a surprising stroke of luck he finds one in the area and convinces Raptor to go. Stitch goes with them.
They arrive at the fight club and Raptor signs up to fight. They put him in the super-heavyweight class and he is to fight against a big looking dude. The fight lasts for several minutes as it seems that they cannot hurt one another. After a while, the other guy is being worn down and finally puts up his hands and gives up. His friends are at the fence yelling for him to be taken out of the ring, while Cam is yelling for Raptor to kill him. The man tries to get away but Raptor takes him down from behind.
The crowd goes nuts, and start chanting “Garignak! Garignak!” They bring out another guy with shiny dermal plating and a girl on each arm. He is pointing to the crowd and smiling. The announcer asks Raptor if he will fight again, and he agrees. He manages to wound the guy, which surprises him, but soon Garignak overpowers him and lays him out. Cam and Stitch bring him back to the ship and heal him up, as he is near death.
The next morning Eve calls us and asks to know what is going on. We explain about the fight club, and don’t ask for any details about her night. She asks for Cam to bring the laptops to Yusuf and he comes down in a short while. Raptor goes somewhere to get a steak, and wanders aimlessly afterwards. Stitch follows him to make sure he doesn’t get into too much trouble.
Yusuf begins working on the laptops and Eve and Cam go to get groceries. Eve buys a side of beef and Cam gets a bushel of corn. They take them to cold storage on the ship. When they return, Yusuf has cracked the first server and says that he has recovered some company emails and financial information, but nothing incriminating yet.
Raptor eventually stumbles upon a sporting goods store and purchases a paintball gun. He does not buy any paintballs.
Everyone reconvenes for dinner with Eve and Yusuf. Unfortunately Raptor is dissatisfied at the cuisine here and makes a scene, then storms out. Eve is embarrased at the scene but Yusuf seems not to care. Stitch goes to follow him but Raptor says that he is going to kill him if he tries.
Several days pass as Yusuf is working on cracking the servers. He calls Eve one day while we are out and says that he has news. We meet up with him and he says that he recognized a bit of code on one of the boxes. He said that he was working with a guy a long time ago who created the “Shitstorm 3100” which is a terrible spamming software. The guy went by the name “Freewire” and was a notorious hacker. He actually spent some time on Mercury, addicted to BTLs, before he went back to Pallas, and that’s where he probably still is. The program itself took him at least 2 years to write. It is rumored that he sold the code to a chick named Overclock, who Yusuf doesn’t know much about. The code, unfortunately, would take months to pick apart and longer to do anything to stop it.
Meanwhile, Raptor books passage on a shuttle to go to the other side of the planet where he will be more comfortable. Unfortunately they don’t hire there, and he needs to go back. He does so and gets a job as a “laborer.”