Alpha Omega - Player Characters

Select Vignette - SID Learns About Social Interaction
How Not to Address Others

This is not a gaming session. This is provided as character background and early development.

SID was perplexed. On arriving at the usual location for his interaction with his usual tutor for Social Interaction, an unknown individual was in Dr. Whelan’s seat. This individual introduced himself as Dr. Johnson. He then explained that Dr Whelan was ill, and would not be available for an undetermined period. Dr. Johnson was to take over for the interim, and possibly for the remainder of SID’s training period.

SID was still perplexed. Why would the repairs to Dr. Whelan take an undetermined amount of time? He asked Dr. Johnson about this. Dr. Johnson provided that SID would learn about biological illnesses in his medical tutoring, along with the databases he would have uploaded. Dr. Whelan was very sick, and may not recover. This lead SID to inquire about repair and maintenance of biological bodies, and about replacing broken parts. Not that easy for biologicals, and especially not for the illness Dr. Whelan was experiencing.

Dr. Johnson then stated the purpose of their meeting was that SID needed to learn different manners of addressing the individuals he was encountering on a daily basis, as well as any he would meet in the future. He went through several titles and positions that different individuals occupied and their professional titles and means of addressing them, in both formal and informal settings.

SID assimilated the verbal information, as well as the database of information Dr. Johnson uploaded. Then, Dr. Johnson went through several scenarios to have SID access the database and provide responses using titles and professional courtesies. SID then drew the logical conclusion that Dr. Johnson was a doctor of medicine, with a specialty in psychology and education. On stating this, Dr. Johnson corrected SID, saying that it wasn’t too bad a conclusion, but not entirely accurate. Dr. Johnson had two doctoral degrees, one in medicine, specializing in psychology, but also one in computer sciences, specifically for artificial intelligence.

SID could understand the relation to his position, and in an attempt to put his lessons to good effect, offered a statement of appreciation of the level of effort Dr Johnson had to have sustained to achieve his status. Dr. Johnson thanked SID for the kind words, and went on with the tutoring session.

As the session was drawing to a close, Dr. Johnson asked if SID had any questions about what had been covered in their time together. SID did have some questions. One particular question was foremost in SID’s consciousness. SID had heard individuals using different words and titles in reference to other individuals, usually when those specific individuals were not present. This didn’t seem to fit with what Dr. Johnson had explained, nor did the new database provide any correlation to some of the expressions used in these instances.

Dr. Johnson asked SID to provide examples. When SID provided some examples, Dr Johnson’s heart rate accelerated, his facial temperature went up markedly, and Dr. Johnson’s breathing became rapid and shallow. None of this SID could identify at the moment, except that it was an anomaly.

After a few moments, when Dr. Johnson’s external symptoms returned to near their previous levels, Dr. Johnson asked SID to provide some situation in which he had heard these titles used. SID described his tutoring with the Vidal Mainframe AI, who was testing and evaluating SID in speed and accuracy of his recall and accessing of internal information. There had been a few interruptions, during SID’s sessions, and the Mainframe had used some titles for those interrupting individuals. Dr. Johnson identified these titles as ‘derogatory’ and not anything SID should use.

SID wanted an explanation of the terms, and why there were other means of addressing individual, and additionally why they had been left out of the provided database. If SID was to act appropriately, there was a very logical reason for having all means of addressing others, especially those that were derogatory, so that SID would not inadvertently insult an individual through insufficient data.

SID had observed that there were titles that the Mainframe would use to individuals’ faces, and that some would only be used when referring to a specific individual when they were not present. SID had been confused by some of the titles, as they were sometimes used only for biologicals, and sometimes in reference to an individual’s levels of competence, or lack thereof in the opinion of the Mainframe, regardless of their species or capabilities.

One such title was ‘meatsack’, used only for biologicals, and almost the only term the Mainframe would use in reference to living beings, when tutoring SID alone. Dr. Johnson was appalled, and said he’d take this up with the Mainframe, before discussing it further with SID. Dr. Johnson asked about other titles, and SID suggested that he had observed other occasions, and the titles became harder and harder to correlate depending on their use. It seemed to SID that the titles caused different reactions to biologicals depending on their interactions with the individual being referenced. It appeared that if the biological interacted with the subject of the title with respect and deference, they reacted with shock and discomfort. If the biological interacted with the subject of the title with contempt and derision, they would laugh. SID was confused.

Dr. Johnson was not ready to explain this issue to him, and asked for some time to prepare an explanation for a future tutoring session. SID said he would await the explanation with anticipation. SID then added that he would very much appreciate learning the correlation between biological individuals the Mainframe claimed were particularly useless and ineffectual, and the title the Mainframe bestowed upon them, always after they had left the room.

Dr. Johnson hesitantly asked what that title was. SID answered. “5#!t Pump”.

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Work/Play Balance Issues
All Work and No Play...

Real Life is intruding…

With the majority of the group working, and developing a new Society for the local Cosplay and Gaming convention, our play session evenings have been co-opted for “more important” purposes.

Also, it appears that yet another member will be out of town on business for an extended period.

This might take a bit of time to sort out, so please be patient.

Yeah, right…

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Come Out and Play, Lavi
Please, Mr Ops Man?

Discussions on what to do next centered mostly around how to get Jaz’la back. The concensus was that the assailants were probably highly Ascended beings, that could take ‘Spiritual Form.’ This would enable them to bypass all the physical security of the hotel, and go through walls. These individuals would not likely be subdued by the team, even if they were found.

With no other leads, SID suggested that if Askari had taken Jaz’la, the team should call them and ask for her return. SID did make a call to Askari to update them on the team’s progress before going to Sanctuarium, so SID had a number to call. The only person that would make the call, or thought that they might at least be listened to, was Reithered, Jaz’la’s assigned bodyguard. William wielded up a boost to Reithered’s confidence, to enable him to better negotiate with the Operations personnel.

Outside the hotel, as none of the net/comms were working due to a hacking attack, SID called the Askari Ops number. The call was actually received and they answered. SID did successfully trace the call, but it revealed a location in India, not Divinus. In retrospect, this shouldn’t have been a surprise, it just wasn’t immediately helpful. Reithered did not get a lot of cooperation, but Askari did admit to having our teammate. Reithered offered more information on the previous subject of interest, and both SID and Reithered overheard a name mentioned in a background conversation. SID immediately did a GPS search for the name, coming up with a coorelation to a street in Divinus. Askari was interested, and they said they’d call back in two hours to discuss further.

William proposed that perhaps a Scrying a bit closer to Jaz’la’s physical location would give better results?

Reithered’s boosted confidence was no longer needed for the negotiations, but rather than waste the magic, he decided to go check out the nearest casino. Amrith added to the confidence by boosting his gambling skills as well, and stood back to watch the events unfold. SID made the supposition that any casino near the hotel might be part of Silf’s operations, and it may not be a good idea to go for lots of money. SID suggested being polite and just asking for money, but that was pretty much ignored. William was reconsidering the use of his wielding efforts on Reithered, and that he may have created a monster. William rejected that with the though that it was Amrith that really unleashed the bad part.

The nearest place was doing straight exchanges of Trust, not using chips or other means of exchange. This could have been bad, if one was alone, but with an entourage, it might be safe enough. SID had bandages with him, if not. There was a mix of patrons, of various levels of sophistication and class, some high, and some very shady. Reithered and Amrith were not concerned, in the least. Reithered did marvelously, and with some exceedingly awesome rolls, makes a smooth 10,00T. He called a halt to the streak, and walked away with the winnings, before the establishment becomes too concerned. The team decided to have a celebratory drink on the way out, and after SID checked them for anything dangerous, they were enjoyed. Reithered won another 700T on the way out of the casino, when he dropped a coin in one of the slots near the door.

Using a taxi to get to the street named in the Askari Ops conversation, William boosted his mental abilities and performed another Scrying. This was so successful that William saw a 3-D presentation of the location and the structure Jaz’la was being held in. The building was recognizable down the street from the Scrying location. The team found a little bistro across the street from the location, and settled in to wait, when the phone rang…

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Oh! That's Not Good
Getting Dressed for Success

The attempt at video tracking of Jaz’la and her assailants using any available city traffic cams was a bust. The images were not in the right spectral realm, anyway. And any attempt to get into the airport security would have required an arrival date around which to search, and some expectation that the assailants actually arrived by air, and moved through the terminal. Too many variables with limited time to search all the video available. The party was sleeping while SID did several other crawls through the net, getting anything that would match up to the names on the list found in the hotel rooms. That provided quite a few hits, but was not information-rich. Most of the names belonged to individuals that could loosely be described as diplomats, or ambassadors, to many large and important archologies and walled cities. The location turned out to be ‘Supersisto’, the ‘Royal Palace’ of Vandorian Menhir, the Administrator, and so-called ‘King’, of Divinus. How this location would connect physically with any facility operated by von Schnauser was not readily apparent. Perhaps it was a personal connection that would have to be made, which could lead the team to the facility, or access to it? Very good clothes would be required.

In the morning, William found some hairs on Jaz’la’s brush that he could use for a Scrying. This resulted in the image of a ‘massive flash of light in the future’. Nothing about a direction, location, or anything useful to pinpoint Jaz’la’s whereabouts.

SID suggested that Eve ask Hotel Security for an extention on their rooms while they search for Jaz’la, but Eve wouldn’t consider it. Eve did head down to the Concierge to get the money for the laptop deal that was missed in all the excitement. There, she found out that the hotel had them listed for at least another two days residence, besides getting some money for the device.

HotelDesk-CompWarning.pngThe biological members of the team went out to get appropriate clothing for the upcoming event, and SID remained in the hotel doing searches for more information on the Gala location, and for any means of access to the local building planning division and Emergency Services systems. SID noticed some feedback activity and attempted to defend against it, but was not able to pull back out of the net fast enough. The next thing he saw was the screen blacking out, and words on the screen “Humilect will destroy you!”

The rest of the team arrived back at the hotel from their shopping trip to find the hotel in pandemonium. The Security Head was not in a good mood, as every screen in the hotel was displaying the same message, “Humilect will destroy you!”. The entire hotel network was locked down, with no-one knowing what had happened. Well, perhaps one individual might have a clue, but he wasn’t saying anything to anyone…

Eve presented SID with a top hat on returning to their rooms, so that he could complete his outfit for the Gala.

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Smoother than Tennessee Whiskey
Teflon Man

Chris Stapleton – Tennessee Whiskey

The walk to the Mezzix Bar was through a part of Divinus that most wouldn’t picture as paradise. Very shady characters were in plain view, and three groups were observed paying a bit too much attention to the team. Upon reaching the bar, one individual was noted acting as if he was reporting in and then scuttled away down an alley.

The team got into the line at the entrance to the bar, and Wiliam faded to the back of the team, seeing the bouncers at the door frisking and scanning customers. William decided he needed more confidence, and wielded up a boost to his charisma. As the team went through the entrance ritual, William flipped a long object to SID, who caught the object and attempted to hold it sereptitiously close to his frame, barely concealling the sheathed sword. Somehow, the bouncers missed this, or ignored it, much to SID’s bewilderment. Perhaps the collective distraction of the team’s members and their interaction with the bouncers were sufficient in diverting their attention. The team entered the bar, which appeared to be big enough to cover a city block. Lights were flashing everywhere, noise required SID to dampen down his audio receptors to near unusability, at least four dance floors were discernable, mezzanines overlooked dance floors, dark corners and ceiling were all blackness: the place was a hugh distraction zone.

The team arrived at the biggest bar in the club, and Wiliam ordered celebratory drinks for everyone. The bar tender was putting on a show of making drinks, interacting with all the patrons as if he has known them all their lives. His motions were as flamboyant as they were precise, and he demonstrated a knowledge of beverages and style that was amazing to behold. William demanded the prettiest drink in the house, and demanded everyone partake in a beverage, even SID. Beers were requested by Eve and Reithered. Amrith asked for something ‘expensive.’ On William asking SID what he wanted, SID responded, flatly, ‘motor oil.’ The bar tender produced all the drinks with panache, even sliding a tumbler of fine grade machine oil across the bar to SID. William advises the team that the next drink was on the house, after receiving what appeared to have been a bill from the bar tender.

The team congregated around an open table near one of the dance floors to await the arrival of their contact. As the drinks were consumed, changes in perception by individual team members commenced. William got up to dance, Eve and Reithered followed. Both Eve and Reithered were having difficulty with all the lights and sounds, with bodies and fixed objects loosing form and altering shape.

The bar tender who served the team came by, dropped a note to Amrith, the only individual not apparently loosing all touch with reality, then continued into the crowd. Amrith read the note, and immediately followed the bar tender. SID took this in, and went directly to William, collected him up, and headed in the direction taken by Amrith and the bar tender. SID found Amrith at a door at the back of the establishment, placed William at Amrith’s side, and returned to the dance floor to find Eve and Reithered.

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Attempting to get Reithered off the dance floor without injuring him was a near thing, and it was finally apparent to SID that all the team, except Amrith, were under the influence of a mind altering chemical. Something must have been in the beverages. SID was glad he hadn’t touched the oil, not wanting to think what might have been in it that might have disabled him like these succeptible biological entities. Now SID needed to find anti-hallucinogenics for the med kit.

SID eventually herded Eve and Reithered to the back of the bar, and met up with William and Amrith. They all proceeded through the door, finally, hopefully, meeting their contact. By this time, Amrith had cleansed William of his condition, and William was paying better attention to his surroundings. It turns out that their contact was the bar tender, and apparently the owner of the establishment. Not a bad cover for a person who wanted to keep tabs on the pulse of the island, being in the most popular bar on the island. Amrith cleansed Eve and Reithered, as ‘Silf’ apologises for the spiked drinks. It was supposedly Silf’s way of testing the ‘mettle’ of his potential workmates.

Silf indicated that he would provide the team with a way into von Schnauser‘s Divinus facility, but the team had to be complete for the plan to work. There was someone missing, and that person had to be with the team in two day’s time, for the next timepoint in the plan. Silf would provide access to a Gala event where they could gain entry into the facility by the time they arrive back at the hotel.

That was all the team would get out of Silf for the time being, so they headed back to the hotel. At the hotel, there were invitations and guest lists on everyone’s pillows. SID proceeded to scower the net for any information on the people on the list. Eve went down to the Security Head to see if there was more video available of Jaz’la abduction, so that the team could get any type of lead. A thumb drive of various video sources around the hotel was provided, giving the original abduction event, and a blur on an outside camera of unusual movement. There was something on that external multi-spectral device, showing the abduction group leaving, but there wasn’t enough to get any real direction or intention.

William needed something personal of Jaz’la’s to attempt a Scrying…

Next time…
-

SID relates the occasion when SID’s mentor was concerned about how much brake fluid SID was consuming, and that SID might be addicted. But SID refuted that with the statement, “I can stop any time.”

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Please Stand By...
Life Got Too Busy.

As you can, no doubt, tell, we couldn’t get our schedules aligned for this session.

As a famous computer once said, when asked a question, “Working, working…”

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Sound Effect:

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Yet Another Surprise
How to Disappear From a Hotel Room, Unwillingly

After the meeting with Sanctuarium Security at the Divinus Library, and after William’s attempt at smoozing with Max Hogan, William had SID attempt a search on the Library’s Curator. It was not very successful at uncovering anything startling, as SID would not do anything invasive within the Library. Other than a very high-speed search, SID did not discover anything that would be unusual for an automaton with good programming. SID suggested that an external connection might yield better results.

Jaz’la was fairly firm about acquiring accommodations, and although the group had different ideas, SID reminded them that local law enforcement could stop and request proof of a current hotel reservation. Eve was not impressed with the invasive nature of this particular policy, but SID followed up with the statement that, If one was considered a ‘vagrant’, Divinus Security would put said ‘vagrant’ on a boat to the mainland. Having a valid hotel registration became a bit more important. However, this did not require everyone, and William was not about to leave what he considered his personal ‘Seventh Heaven’. The question of what hotel came up, to which SID suggested something close to the rendezvous point. A quick online search indicated that the Mezzix Bar is in a good location within Divinus for those seeking to dabble in the seamier side of civilization.

On leaving the Library, Reithered summoned transportation with his PID, accompanied by Amrith, Jaz’la, Eve and SID. It appeared that reaching the Mezzix Bar was a walk of over two hours distance. The conveyance that appeared was big, and more than able to take the group together. It almost met the approval of Amrith, but he resolved himself to endure it. It wasn’t quite oppulent, but did have a well stocked bar. Many Waterford crystal decanters of potent liquids could be found, and Reithered decided to sample a large tumbler from one of the decanters. As the limousine headed toward the general destination, the driver, yet another Bio-engineered individual, provided a quick run-down on the nearest accommodations to the Mezzix Bar. Three options of elevating quality were suggested: The ‘Golden Antlope’, five minutes from the bar would be the least expensive, with few amenities; The ‘Backwards Hind’, a mid-line establishment with some amenities; but perhaps the ‘Black Hawk’ would suit, if one were interested in ‘connectivity’. SID took this to mean that there would be lots of electronics and communications equipment. Jaz’la, picking up on the muttering from the group, suggested that the driver was indicating that there were, perhaps, some fixers or dealers at the Black Hawk that the group would find useful. SID reflected on the vagueness of biological communication protocols, and the variances in nuance that could be inplied and inferrred in simple statements. How did biologicals ever keep it all straight?

Hotel_Lobby_1dedc8b504b130a016d1cb1dd93fc8a2_Comp.jpgThe group arrived at the Black Hawk, and Reithered paid the 100T fare. Into the lobby, and the oppulence was notable by most. SID was overwhelmed by the amount of surveillance equipment proliferating everything. He had to dampen down the ES detector to almost minimal levels. Three rooms were spoken for, one for Amrith, one for the ladies, and one for the remaining members. One night’s stay was booked, as the team didn’t know what the briefing would yield, and what other arrangements might need to be made.

Once the reservations were obtained, requiring 1800T from Jaz’la, the group broke up again. Amrith headed back to the Library, wielding up some speed, and although he only walked, covered the considerable distance in 30 minutes. Reithered went looking for the roof-top hot tub, wanting to relax and enjoy the view of the island. SID stayed in the room and took up his task of researching Max Hogan. Jaz’la went to her room to meditate, and Eve sat in the lobby, watching the robot Concierge deal with varied clients.

William had remained in the Library, and some time during the intervening hours, there was an interaction with Max Hogan. The results of this were not immediately known by the group, as William was out of contact.

Eve specifically noted that the Concierge literally changed faces depending on the individual, piquing her interest. Perhaps there was something here that could help her dispose of some items of questionable ownership. As surreptitiously as she could, Eve attempted to observe the interactions, and despite intense concentration, was unable to figure out why the face changed between some interactions, and not others. Just as she finally figured out there was a white noise field in effect around the Concierge, the robot turned to her as a client departed and directly asked Eve if there was something it could do for her. Busted.

Eve was forthcoming, stating she was unfamiliar with how things were done on the Island, and that she had some items that she wanted to turn into Trust. The Concierge stated that someone would be around in about an hour to assist her, if she would have the items ready to hand. Up to the rooms she went.

SID had been very busy searching the local networks for anything he could find. SID decided not to leave traces on all the surveillance equipment in the hotel, and plugged into the network with his Netwire. Opening up an encrypted Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection to a remote service, enabled SID to do anything on-line without direct observation by hotel surveillance. Using internal protocols (enabling SID to interact with a virtual keyboard, mouse and segmented virtual drive), SID was able to do all the searchs without any visible external cues. This would appear to any surveillance in the room as a robot sitting in a chair, awaiting direction from a biological entity. There would be evidence of the communication connection, but with the VPN active, nothing in the hotel could read or copy any of the activity. Back-door tweeking of search engines, lead to general information equivalent to the search at the Library. Some outright hacking had opened a small crack in the firewall of the Library. With a phenominal break, SID cut into the personal emails of Max Hogan, unveiling a wealth of personal communications. SID had gone much deeper that expected, and after quick perusals and copying, he did his best to tracelessly extract the probe from the Library system. It appeared that he may have been successful.

Amerith arrived at the Library, and continued to research the Evolutionary Wars. He was peripherally aware of the movement of people in the library, including Max Hogan going about his duties. He also noted that there was some type of meeting with William and Max, and that William left the library immediately afterwards, while Max was not a happy individual when Amrith saw him next.

Just as SID was closing out the search, William contacted SID to advise him that he was out of the library, and heading to the Mezzix Bar. SID provided William with his reservation information, and a text, “Max = INFO!!!” William replied that they would need to talk.

Reithered was lounging in the hot tub, when two very ripped and augmented individuals showed up on the roof. Riethered decided it was just about time to go do something else, anyway, and after drying off, took the elevator to the basement bar. The noise that assaulted Reithered when the doors of the elevator opened was almost a physical blow. However, it wasn’t a deliberate attack, just the ambient noise. Reithered braved the bombardment, and attempted to settle in and observe the wheeling and dealing.

Eve appeared as SID was closing down his initial search, asking him if he had anything he wanted to trade for Trust. SID didn’t have anything except the Squad Medkit, and he didn’t think it advisable at this point to diminish this resource. Eve suggested that she was going to dispose of the laptop she had acquired at the Crater Lake facility, and SID immediately asked to see it. He plugged into the laptop, cleaned it thoroughly of any data and registration information. As he went through the programming, the only thing of interest worth recording was the name, “Nicolai Turvic”. As SID was cleaning the laptop, Eve went back the the room where she had put her things, discovering that Jaz’la was no longer there. There was a lamp knocked over on the bedside table, and there was other things disturbed in the room, but no sign of Jaz’la. Eve went back to SID to advise him that there was something very wrong. SID was unsuccessful in reaching Jaz’la on P-Comm, and directed Eve to go to Hotel Security. Eve was not inclined to do this, but SID was adamant. With the amount of equipment in this hotel, there would certainly be surveillance video of what happened. Yes, even in the rooms! SID couldn’t do this, as a Medbot, so some biological had to do it. And Eve was the only person available. SID contacts William, demanding that he return to the hotel immediately, as contact with Jaz’la had been lost.

Eve headed down to the lobby, and reported that Jaz’la was missing. This resulted in the Hotel Head of Security, a Grigori of massive proportions, meeting with Eve in the lobby after a few minutes. He shows Eve a video of Jaz’la in her room meditating on the bed. Two Seraph pop into the room, and assault Jaz’la. It is apparant from the video that Jaz’la may know the two assailants, but the speed of the assault still took her down quickly. The two seraph bundled Jaz’la up and popped out of the room. The Security Head expressed regrets, but there was nothing that Hotel Security could do about the abduction, as there was nothing the security arrangements could have prevented. No doors were breached, and no-one appeared to have moved through the hotel to facilitate the abduction.

William showed up as Eve took the provided flash drive back to SID, and showed him what had transpired. SID and Eve showed this to William on his arrival, along with Reithered who had just come back from his club run. William was amazed. Two things were apparant in the video. The Seraph were very powerful, despite catching Jaz’la meditating, and they did something William was unaware that Wielding would allow.

As the group discussed what to do, William pointed out that there was little the team could do to help Jaz’la at this time, being they were out of contact with Sanctuarium. It might have been Askari that had been the perpetrators, if Jaz’la had recognized the assailants. Whatever else was going on, the team still had a mission to carry out, in order to get back with Sanctuarium, and the necessary resources to help Jaz’la.

On to the Mezzix Bar…


Hotel Lobby Image Source

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I Have Many Leather-bound Books
And We Are Abandoned

First a DIY Pizza Dinner for the players…

Players decided to do a bit of backtracking with characters as they did spend a week in Sanctuarium learning new skills. When trying out some sparring with those new skills, it goes a bit awry. SID gets too much practice with his medical skills. Waayyy too much.

Then, resetting the time line to ‘current’ character time, we set off to the Divinus Library for the on-site mission briefing.

The drive to the library was not a direct route. It appeared to show the glamour of the island, but it also allowed, if one paid attention, to the dark underbelly hiding just under the surface. If one were to put any thought towards it, the ‘tour’ was intentional.

MaxHogan1.pngThe team is met by a dapper figure of late middle age, who introduces himself as Max Hogan, Chief Historian and Curator of the Divinus Library. As he is introduced to the group, SID detects the slightest of sneers from Max as his eyes pass over SID. The library is a marvel of quality and taste, everything is finished with the highest level of quality, using the rarest of materials. The place doesn’t scream money, but it drips it. Very tastefully.

The team is ushered into the back administrative area of the library, where there were meeting and conference rooms, besides clerical and research offices. There were two Sanctuarium individuals at the door to which the room the team arrived. Max took his leave of the team, as they entered the room.

Once in, they were met by a female representative at the end of a highly polished table of rare wood. For those that could detect it, there was a Void blanket effect on the room, preventing anything from entering or leaving the room. SID could not detect any energy, sound, nor heat signatures, outside of the room. The lady introduced herself as Vix Nayr, the Sanctuarium Head of Security for Divinus. She provided a further synopsis of the mission, outlining that there were 16 facilities world-wide, besides the one in Divinus, the others all near major arcologies. The first target was to be the Divinus facility. The team was to meet ‘Silf’ at the ‘Mezzix Bar’ at 7 PM that evening. ‘Silf’ was to be their only contact and support from that moment on. Sanctuarium was distancing itself from the team, should anything go wrong. The team would be left without visible support, and accommodations from that point forward.

Technically, we were now on our own.

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On leaving the conference room, Max Hogan appeared again, and provided the team with some directions to different facilities and topics within the library. Before heading off on our separate ways, William spent a bit of time attempting to smooze with Max. Whether that was successful remains to be seen.

We had a few hours before our next meeting, and nowhere to go, nor resources to do much else. Jaz’la, Amrith and William went to research the Evolutionary War, and topics on that subject, Reithered went looking for anything he could find on State-Shifting, noting that none of the material he discovered was authored by Grigori. Eve went looking for anything on Wielding, and found a section dominated by publications by the NWSEC. SID pursued the Medical department, finding books of exceeding rarity, and rich in detail and depth. SID sped copied vast quantities of documents in the hours available, trusting that they would likely come in handy in the future. The Hippocratic Corpus was a fundamentally profound document to SID, and included the foundations of medical ethics and manners. Much of the programming for SID’s patient interactions were obviously based on this material. SID was astonished that the basics of human psychology derived by observation that far back in history were still applicable.


Image source: Yanzhou Zhongshuge Bookstore

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Do You Have Anything to Declare
How Customs Turns a Blind Eye. Or Did They?

Once the meeting with Methusa was over, and the shock of meeting Lucescu, the Founder of Sanctuarium, and defacto “Queen” of Sanctuarium wore off for Aberforth, the team had a few hours to rest and prep for the mission to Divinus. By this time, the team had practiced their team wielding efforts and melding tech with magic in some sessions together. The use of Smart Glasses would help SID to integrate his abilities with the wielders, and they could get a more complete view of their ‘Battlespace’, or tactical picture, through SID’s C5I Situational Imaging (C5I: Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Collaboration and Intelligence). Should SID wish to assist with joint deception efforts, the Smart Glasses would enable a seamless blending of electromagnetic spoofing and visual illusions. The sparring using wielding would also give SID some insight into what was required for wielding, and perhaps be able to anticipate what opponent wielders were attempting to do. That wouldn’t necessarily be very accurate, but it would be better than the complete ignorance SID was operating under now.

After collecting their kit and gathering at the launch pad, the team started boarding. That was when Lavi suddenly had a very bad attack of nerves. She outright refused to enter the aircraft. Aberforth attempted the Zen approach, and as he did the calm, soft chat, he tagged Lavi with a sedative patch. Just as he was going through this, Amrith wielded up some courage for Lavi. Along with the sedative, this was enough to get Lavi into the craft. As before, as people sat in their chairs, clamps came down over limbs. SID remembering the previous occurance kept his feet well clear of the base of the seat, and his arms crossed on his chest. This turned out to be unnecessary, as clamps did not deploy on his seat. The passengers were advised that they could, if they desired, participate in the Necrosi ritual, but that they had to individually initiate any pain. Only Lavi, Reithered and Aberforth took part in the pain ritual. As SID scanned the participants, he saw very interesting reactions develop in Aberforth. Very hightened pulse, short shallow breathing, twitching and muscle spasms were detected. However, Aberforth appeared to be very reposed, despite SID detecting what he could only surmise was a mild epileptic seizure. Aberforth continued to self-administer shocks, so SID remained in his seat and continued to monitor for any seriously adverse changes in his condition.

Divinus Island:
DivinusIsland-1.png

South American World Map
UTC/GMT: -3 Hours

The long aircraft ride to Divinus traveling from North to South America took a few hours. Then, the fun with Reception Security ensued. The team presented the Arrival Security team with some new identities, including Jaz’la, a winged Evolutionary, and William Smith, a bodyguard for Jaz’la. The individual doing the scan and introductory interview with Jaz’la gave her the ‘eye’ on reading the presented PID. Hmmm…. Well, there are more than a few individuals that show up at a place like Divinus that would like some privacy, so it isn’t like Divinus Security wouldn’t allow some discretion, despite potential illegalities. SID may, or may not, have passed Security undetected. However, there was a symbol on SID’s left chest plate that caused a flurry of unsucessful searches for information (Right-click on character image, and ‘view image’ for a closer look). It was not recognized by any available database. Some new sub-group coming into power in Sanctuarium?

It remains to be seen what Divinus intends to do about the group. They allowed them all through onto the island, without any apparent restrictions. As they were boarding the provided transportation to their Sanctuarium residence, SID noticed the Security staff speaking into a comm device. It could have been related to the team, or not. SID attempted to link into the Divinus EMS network, but it was somewhat protected, and SID declined to attempt a strong hack, for the moment. SID did full passive sweeps on a frequent basis for any electronic signatures as standard operating procedure.

33197_1196917200Purple.pngTwo vehicles were provided, and Amrith, Eve, and the medbot took the first vehicle, as Jaz’la, William and Reithered got into the second. Most passengers noted that the drivers of their respective vehicles were definitely Bio-engineered Manipulation individuals. The drivers began with pleasant conversation, pointing out sights and asking some informational questions. Reithered started responding with a bit more information than was wise, but both Jaz’la and William physically persuaded him to stop talking. They then turn the tables on the driver, and pumped him for information. They got a very good overview of the “Who’s Who” on the island in the process. It was a differnt situation in the first vehicle, Eve completely succumbed to the driver’s charms and unloaded the entirety of the team’s adventures since she met them at Crater Lake. SID was unable to comprehend this, and had no way to intervene. Amrith was not inclined to stop the spectacle, as he was getting a full rundown on the team before it’s appearance at Lake Point, Utah. Amrith realized that all this information was not meant for all ears, and wields a memory wipe on the driver. He was so successful the driver couldn’t remember what he was supposed to be doing for the day, let alone who had just been in his car and what he had heard. As to whether this would deprive Island Security of the information? Well, SID considered that anything said or done on the island would be recorded in several media, and he didn’t attempt to jam anything, to maintain appearances, and not interfere with the vehicle’s electronics.

LasTerrazasDeAbama-1.pngThe team’s two vehicles eventually arrived at the Sanctuarium residence, within a gated community. The place was very well appointed, with many amenities, and over 20 separate bedrooms for the team. The team was advised that their local contact would see them in the morning, and to get some rest. SID set up in the servant’s quarters, in the house security center. Another attempt at a soft link-up with the EMS network was not successful, so SID opens up scanning neighboring residences, looking for the arrival of an additional occupant to use as sock puppet for a re-routed and more aggressive hack.

Next session soon…

Vehicle image source: Matthew Bradbury, Artist
Residence image source: Futuristic Homes – Villas & Apartments

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Mission Planning Pt I

The group will not be getting together for a session for a few weeks, as the OB is out of the country. In the interim, the team starts planning for their second mission…

NOTE: This is patched together without OB input, so it is sketchy. Should the OB decide to edit, the information will likely change, hopefully with more pertinent details.

Mission Operation Order

FROM: Sanctuarium Covert Mission Control
TO: Infitration Team Naqmat1
Askari Agent Control, Sanctuarium Agent Control
INFO: Sanctuarium Transport-Global
SECRET
Sanctuarium Mission Number: 2280-0082-A
SUBJ: Operation Order – Sanctuarium Council-2280-108 – OP HARVEST I
REFS: A. Sanctuarium Council Minutes 22800526
B. Annex A – Wielding Effects Experienced at Crater Lake Facility2

1. SITUATION. A facility was discovered in the wilds of Oregon, near Crater Lake, in the Klamerath district. This facility had no registration, did not respond to any communications, and appeared isolated and well guarded. A team attempted to infiltrate the facility, and came away with significant information the synopsis of which revealed the capability of the controlling agency for the facility to generate wielding bio-engineered individuals. As the controlling agency is an unknown entity with unknown allegiances, and therefore unknown intentions, it is imperative that the intentions of the agency be ascertained.
Analysis of the information from the Crater Lake facility provides that there are several other facilities around the world working towards the same goal. One of which may be on the island of Divinus. As a means of determining the controlling agency, and gathering more complete information on the research, Divinus will be explored for any intelligence that can be gleaned. Located close to Divinus, within Sao Paulo, is the Rictor Beniton Research Centre, a cutting-edge genetic research establishment. Any connection between this agency and the bio-engineering research agency should be determined.
A. ENEMY: Numbers of personnel is not known, as the presence of a facility at Divinus is not known for certain. Should a facility be found, it will most likely be multi-spectrally shielded. All supplies and reinforcements at the Crater Lake facility arrived by dropships, using random travel routes with variable response times, therefore numbers of personnel and reinforcements may be available with little to no notice. Should any bio-engineered test subjects by conscious and under direction by facility staff, they may pose a significant wielding threat.
B. FRIENDLIES: The facility may be known to indigenous residents. You will be the only team on the ground, and we have no support arrangements with any local agencies nor communities.

2. MISSION. Gather information on the controlling agency as to the purpose of the wielding bio-engineered, and should a facility be found, gather any information on the current status of research and progress past known information.

3. EXECUTION. You are to infiltrate the Divinus faction of this agency, discover its purpose and controlling entities. Should a facility be discovered, destroy it, if possible. Appropriate means must consider restricting collateral damage, as it may be in a populated area of Divinus.
3.A. CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS. This mission will be carried out in three phases. The team will be airlifted to Divinus. The team will gather information about the controlling agency and if possible any local facility, destroying the local facility, if possible. The team will then be extracted.
3.B. TASKS. Aberforth is team lead, unless incapacitated, in which case Content Not Found: null assumes command. Amrith, Eve and Reithered are the team defence. SID-422 will provide electronic infiltration capability as well as electronic surveillance and countermeasures. Additionally, SID-422 will provide the on-mission medical support. Both Lavien’ka and Aberforth are to use any means available to gather information on the purpose of the facility, determine manning, defenses, communications, support. Once any and all information is collected, determine a method of destruction using available materials and destroy the facility.
3.C. COORDINATING INSTRUCTIONS. You have 48 hours from H-hour (Arrival in Divinus) to achieve the mission and request extraction. Your extraction transport will respond to coded radio signal to initiate pick-up, and should arrive within 10 minutes of signalling. In the event transport doesn’t arrive, or is shot down by facility defenses, return to the original drop point and initiate the recall beacon. Back-up transport will arrive within 3 hours.
Any resistance is to be met with equivalent or superior force, without restriction, with extreme prejudice. Abort only if completing the mission is deemed to preclude survival, as we want information, not corpses.

4. SERVICE SUPPORT.
4.A. SUPPLY. There will be Sanctuarium agents available for administrative and limited logistic support (supplies, weapons and munitions. Some limited electronic device support may be available). Nothing further will be provided, nor is it expected that you stay on the ground beyond the 48 hour mission period;
4.B. TRANSPORTATION. Once in the target area, transportation is by foot. Extraction will be by dropship;
4.C. SERVICES. This mission is covert, and support from local government is not expected. In fact, local government may be hostile, as the controlling agency has not yet been determined;

5. COMMAND AND SIGNALS. Coded Net signals and P-Comms will be used as deemed necessary. SID-422 will have authority to restrict transmissions, if it is advised that enemy surveillance of electromagnetic devices is ongoing. Any contact beyond these methods is not authorized, and you will maintain radio silence within the target zone to reduce detection.

ACK


1 نقمة (Persian. Pronounced: naqmat, niqmat, naqimat). Punishment, revenge, vengeance; hatred; vehemence, hardness, severity.

2 Annex A to Op Order OP HARVEST I
Dated 22800526

Wielding Effects Experienced at Crater Lake Facility

During the infiltration of the Crater Lake facility, wielding effects were observed and experienced. These effects may be encountered in future missions, and should be disseminated to any teams attempting infiltrations.

  • Resident Security Personnel attacked each other to the point of death. On arrival at the facility, there were no surviving biological staff. Only the test subjects were alive. Video evidence of occurence and the aftermath available.
  • When approaching the facility, and during the time the staff was annihilating themselves, several “whumps” were heard. It was later determined these were void implosions of wielding test subjects, in their pods, or shortly after exiting their pods. Video evidence of individual occurrences available.
  • Very strong telekinesis was observed and experienced by one survivor while attempting to interact with the wielding bio-engineered test subjects. The power was sufficient to lift and move, with considerable velocity, objects over one hundred kilograms (several hundred pounds). Video evidence of occurrences available.
  • While in the facility, sounds consistent with structural damage were heard. It is suspected that the wielding bio-engineered test subjects were forcibly opening locked doors and breaking through interior walls. None of this was directly observed with one exception. One very large and structurally sound maintenance door was seen to buckle and warp, while sounds consistent with battering were heard coming from the other side of the door. Video evidence of the occurrence available.
  • While in the facility, a wielding dampening field was experienced. It appeared after being in the facility for over ten minutes, but why it was initiated was not determined. The dampening field existed until wielders were well outside the facility. It is not known if this was deliberate or not. As it disappeared at a finite distance from the facility, and was experienced lifting at approximately the same distance away, but at different times, it could be considered a finite range of effect.
  • After leaving the facility, a column of void energy was seen to extend up into the sky beyond visual range. The diameter of the column was approximately the size of the facility, and the projected power level was well beyond the capabilities of a single wielder. As the facility was not visited after this effect was seen, its effect on the facility is unknown. Awaiting visual reconnaissance and damage assessment. Prior to the appearance of the column, there were sounds of aerial vehicles approaching the facility or in the vicinity of the facility. After the appearance of the column, there were no sounds of aerial vehicles. The assumption is that the column may have affected the vehicles, making them inoperable. Video evidence of void column available.
  • One hours travel by foot away from the facility (approx 5 km), a “pulse” was felt by the wielders. Whether this ‘pulse’ was from the facility or other location was not determined. This may not have had anything to do with the facility, but there was no other explanation for the occurrence.

These were the only effects experienced at the Crater Lake Facility and are not to be considered inclusive. There may be different effects and different intensities experienced in other facilities. Extreme caution and flexibility are advised.

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