Setting: AIF - special subset: a near-utopian republic
Player(s): Dave - playing GORBY, a fledgeling member of the Tenebrae...
- 1 SETTING: planet Sarooj
- 2 CIRCUMSTANCES: the Tenebrae
- 3 CHARACTER ORIGIN...
- 4 2019.12.06 - Initiating Initiation
- 5 PLOT 01 - You OK Little Fella?
- 6 2019.12.12 - Making Friends and Influencing People
- 7 PLOT 02 - What Have We Here?
- 8 2020.01.09 - Running Around
- 9 PLOT 03 - That started from this tropic port, aboard this tiny ship
- 10 2020.01.17 - Hold Still While I Stab You
- 11 PLOT 04 - The mate was a mighty sailing man, the skipper brave and sure
- 12 2020.01.23 - Amusing Title Here
- 13 PLOT 05 - Five passengers set sail that day, on a three-hour tour
- 14 2020-01-30 - Well That Escalated... Literally
- 15 PLOT 06 - The weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed
- 16 2020-02-07 & 2020-02-13 - I Don't Like You. Or You. Or you and you and you.
- 17 PLOT 07 - If not for the courage of the fearless crew the Minnow would be lost
- 18 2020.02.28 - Mentally Based Instability
- 19 PLOT 08 - The ship set ground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle
- 20 God Gets Bored
- 21 2020.03.27 - ELDRITCH HORROR
- 22 PLOT 09 - Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn
SETTING: planet Sarooj
Sarooj is a special class of city planet the locals like to call a "park planet". Park planets have managed to cultivate large segments of their original biosphere back into a flourishing state, usually by removing large sections of global urban sprawl to accommodate the parks. These efforts are often criticized as being cosmetic, as the capability of those biospheres to remain stable has been long lost and therefore are intensively curated - usually erring on the side of being picturesque over bio-diversely functional. Proponents point to improved sense of general wellbeing instinctively felt by evolved biological beings, which is reinforced by the tourism elements associated with the parks. Critics cite the difficulty of policing the wild areas as being potential for dangerous activity. The critics are usually dismissed as being anti-fun, and the sort of people who never get invited to parties in the park anyway.
More than just a "park planet", Sarooj has managed to relocate the majority of its urban volume off-surface to a lattice of habitat encaging the entire planet, anchored by thousands of space elevators. This leaves the vast continents of the surface of Sarooj itself to be almost all quasi-park status, with only historically significant sites remaining with permanent residences and un-park reservations.
The tourist flux for Sarooj is enormous. Consequently, the Saroojian Police force is continuously busy dealing with the various bullshit that a high volume of strangers coming and going entails.
Things to keep in mind:
- Sarooj is technically lawful - most citizens are non-combatant, and weapons are not legal for civilians.
- Police response time is typically 5-10 minutes in most inhabited areas. Other areas may vary.
- Police response is typically non-lethal - to start. Escalation to intermediate scale support changes that.
- Most information is sourced from civilians, which means that there is highly variable levels of awareness distributed around.
CIRCUMSTANCES: the Tenebrae
As an advanced society and being a natural nexus of travel has allowed Sarooj to flourish. One of the paradoxical aspects of Sarooj's circumstance is that the success is too tempting a target for less-scrupulous types, of many kinds and scales. Because the success is a by-product of the vast majority of people having confidence in the systemic integrity of the republic's structure and mechanisms, which has to be done by being open and transparent, which in turn makes those structures and mechanisms vulnerable to gamification and manipulation by less-scrupulous types.
This paradox has been meticulously tended by a secret self-appointed society for centuries - the Tenebrae.
The Tenebrae function as a sort of anti-Illuminati. Their intent is to hunt down and eliminate any organization that attempts to secretly subvert or control Sarooj's republic, to let the natural distributed will of the majority maintain its self-correcting mode. More than that, they must do so in a manner that never belies their collective existence, such that the majority of the populace has reason to believe in the apparent corruption-resistant nature of the republic - thereby continuing Sarooj's intrinsic success.
Standard character generation: 30 points.
2nd stage: 1 stage combat, 1 stage science/tech
Tenebrae fledgelings are orphans, raised in standard republic creches. They are modified at a very young age to have non-standard nanoscopic robots. These have two main traits:
- Alternate Ether communications - initially 10m range. Fledgelings are generally unaware of this function until/unless they are contacted by another Tenebrea via that alternate etheric channel.
- Cosmetic modifications are difficult to accomplish. Thus most Tenebrae tend to have some "odd" feature or features. Please have something interesting and not-obviously beneficial as a physical aspect of the character.
As an upside of being a contacted Tenebrae during training, the initial combat stage is at maximum bonuses, and the initial science/tech stage has and additional +1 to the main feats.
2019.12.06 - Initiating Initiation
- FLACK, Gorby's Tenebrae sponsor, sends xim to a bar called the Ugly Pigeon in the unsecured section of Spaceport 7.
- Instructions are to verify that a Trop police officer named BRODY is participating in a new illegal organization, and if the being he is conspiring with comes through into the secured sections of Sarooj to intercept it and question it. And silence it.
- Gorby has a nutmeg cappuccino - everything after this point might be a caffeine hallucination.
- BRODY meets with two beings - one human and a zygroten.
- The zygroten has sufficient awareness to spot Gorby's skulking about.
- Based on observation, Gorby is worried that the human might be a mentalist manipulating the trop's mind.
- BRODY leaves the bar with the zygroten.
- Gorby followd the pair to the nearest docking ring, and briefly lost them when they boarded a docked vessel. When the Trop cop re-emerged, Gorby decided to flank around the port structure - at a dead run.
- Stalking the Trop back in the atrium area towards the security checkpoint, the Trop becomes paranoid and looking in Gorby's direction without spotting him.
- While hiding from the Trop, the Zygroten snuck up on Gorby and tried to skewer him with a force blade.
- The Zygroten is surprised at how difficult it is to kill Gorby.
- The Trop Cop is conflicted about what to do, but eventually flees.
- Gorby takes a horrifying hit to the vitals, and retreats towards the security checkpoint.
- The Zygroten breaks off the attack and flees as well.
PLOT 01 - You OK Little Fella?
Gorby makes it through the security check point. The hulking intermediate scale battle robot mentions in a surprisingly kindly voice, "You are a lot tougher than you look. Is there anything that you would like to report?"
Flack pings Gorby after he shambles through the security check and back into the periphery of the space port. "That was a very unexpected development. The human was the known element, and they are pure poser-class as a combatant, with some diplomat and medic. The zygroten was a surprise, and indicates that there might be more going on than originally surmised. There is a medical facility nearby with a very helpful medic/biologist that could fix you up quietly. Or there is a potential mathematician contact we could attempt to establish a rapport with if you want to try chasing that police officer."
"Oh, I'm totally down for chasing after that cop. And that Zygroten needs to face me when I'm actually armed."
Flack: "Tally-ho! The potential mathematician resource is a groten named Sheffald, but there are a few caveats about cultivating him. The reason why we are considering associating with him is that he's extremely secure, information-wise. But that's because he's incredibly paranoid. He's worried about the existence of secret societies, so maybe don't lead with that angle. Just mention that you are concerned about a police officer, and aren't sure you can actually go to the police about it. It's at coordinates [i,j,k]."
2019.12.12 - Making Friends and Influencing People
- goes to visit TIM - halamite medic/bioligist (janitor)
- hospital segment
- illegal floating nanoscopic robot tech
- gets healed
- makes friends? well, at least agree to cooperate on future hijinks
- goes to visit SHEFFALD - groten mathematician
- university segment
- reviews the previous bar encounter
- gets a secure communications rig - integrates into clothes
- intercepts BRODY - trop cop
- heads to police station barracks
- beats him to his apartment
- sneaks past some drunken police officers, tampers into the apartment, and hides
- BRODY arrives at his apartment
- GORBY jumps down to startle and talk with the trop cop
- door explodes!
- familiar-looking zygroten and a shield robot
PLOT 02 - What Have We Here?
In the bloodied and debris-strewn aftermath of Officer Brody's apartment, the trop's eyestalks swing methodically from the pwned robot to the dis-armed zygroten to the general chaos. He absentmindedly pats his chest, then focuses both eyestalks at Gorby.
"We should get out of here!"
The jamming is continuing, though the smoke has largely already been scrubbed by the section's air systems. Sounds of chaotic movements echo down the barracks halls. Very distantly, there is an audible alarm - probably a backup in case of connectivity failure, and so uncommon an occurrence that it almost sounds ironic.
2020.01.09 - Running Around
- running away
- summon a robo-lyft
- officer BRODY wants the illegal implants out
- contact TIM
- plan to head that way to get it removed
- determine a possibility of being tracked
- Gorby makes a localized jammer to counter the possible effect
- arrive at hospital
- Tim erects a field of jamming with flying nanobots
- a chainsaw is not used
- array of very very illegal gear
- Gorby mentions the tactical uses of "cutting bits off"
- implanted goodies
- force blade
- parry shield
- thug beam
- Brody gets an implanted intermediate scale shield
- Tim keeps the disruptor
- turns the rest into illegal weapon sausages
- hail SHEFFALD
- proves mathematician-ness by disclosing nephew Hupp
- determines that at least captain-level corruption in the Sarooj police
- officer BRODY deputizes GORBY
- deputy Mikhail (groan)
- to the SHIP! to chase the smuggling ring
PLOT 03 - That started from this tropic port, aboard this tiny ship
BRODY: "Can you tap your mathematician contact to verify that the ship is still there, and any information about it we could use?"
MEANWHILE: Gorby's employer, Sultan Robotics, adds a couple maintenance calls to his work queue. The metadata for them indicate that they're basic robotic fitment items, and probably assigned to Gorby less for his technical capability and more for his willingness to venture into less-savory zones.
2020.01.17 - Hold Still While I Stab You
- SHEFFALD informs the officer and his deputy that the ship is no longer there
- go to check it out anyway
- defer the Sultan Robotics work items
- enter the spaceport
- bad feeling approaching
- charged by a Groten (fluffy)
- assisted by reptiloid (not helpful, got implants)
- carry the reptiloid back to the Ugly Pigeon to see who reacts
- pause by the equipment store (STUFF STORE) to pick up STUFF
- creates LOAD NODES
- rides the reptiloid zen-like flying carpet style (#stylepoints)
PLOT 04 - The mate was a mighty sailing man, the skipper brave and sure
There's really no time for a whole lot of plot, but I suppose that we could have this space for answering questions. Possibly explainable as GORBY further pinging SHEFFALD while he hover-surfs on the reptiloid through the gawking crowds, before arriving at the Ugly Pigeon.
2020.01.23 - Amusing Title Here
- Ugly Pegeon
- familiar Zygroten
- familiar Human
- scary the bajeezus out of the poor little human - make him sit beside the zygroten
- dangling all: reptiloid / zygroten / human
- dangerous-looking massetin…
- interrogate the human to determine the location of the smuggler ship
- go to leave, and the massetin tries to stop them
- bribe? YEP - 50 credites
- heading towards the smuggler ship
- run past a smuggler goon/guard
PLOT 05 - Five passengers set sail that day, on a three-hour tour
[dance party until next Thursday?]
2020-01-30 - Well That Escalated... Literally
- onward toward the smuggling ship
- docking port
- hack in using SHEFFALD
- ship leaves!
- BRODY doesn't quite make it…
- SHEFFALD hacks in
- turns off jamming - records some secret tightbeam comms
- reptiloid again
- SHEFFALD hacks in
- negotiate with the smuggler ship
- nearby system = Eera Vizhi
- hylosus stumbles back in
- nearby system = Eera Vizhi
- arrive at Eera Vizhi
- array of troopers waiting
PLOT 06 - The weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed
The spread of goons with blasters and blast rifles pointed at Gorby have a clear tactical statement: you're zarked.
The ship sends a last ping, "Good luck!" The interior bulkhead for the airlock locks with a decidedly wary mechanical CLUNK. Meanwhile, the exterior hatch panel releases its hinges and falls heavily on the cracked plascrete of the spaceport.
2020-02-07 & 2020-02-13 - I Don't Like You. Or You. Or you and you and you.
- array of goons = 8
- use the load node to shiedify the door
- takes transit and stops in a gross bar (on a gross planet)
- dirty fighter snake-person
- leaves the gross bar (vimren-BILL is sad)
- looks for shower
- finds shower - next to a brothel
- looks for a shuttle to hire to go to Sarooj
- Shuttle Férolles
- robot adventurer
- gets a bounty warning
- things turn awkward
- back on Sarooj
- fix up the robot
- catch up with BRODY
- debrief with FLACK
- head back to work on his "real job"
PLOT 07 - If not for the courage of the fearless crew the Minnow would be lost
The item at the top of Gorby's work queue is in one of the less-pleasant neighborhoods of Sarooj - marked with graffiti and pocked with crumbling private structures in need of maintenance. Willingness to work in these unsavory segments is what gives Gorby his job security. But after the exposure to Eera Vizhi, it's a comparative paradise. A customer's maintenance robot needs a modification to let it accomplish a new kind of work, which is easy enough with the right tools.
SHEFFALD pings Gorby with a partial report.
"Hey there. I was able to strip down the basic encryption on the conversation, but the vectors for the supposed tightbeam don't make sense. So I can't pinpoint who the local end of the connection was."
He transmits the transcript of the conversation, and the conversation is a brusque exchange of demands to know how the smugglers were identified, and insistence on capturing the "uncle-zarking bald Takolee" for "information extraction". Countered with plaintive requests for help on the Sarooj side, and strong suggestions that the UZBT would be easier to just kill.
2020.02.28 - Mentally Based Instability
- contemplate finding BRODY's nephew: HUGO
- while working in the slum, moves on to fix the lights
- "youths" remark on their displeasure with GORBY
- assasinated last
- splintered ribs
- one kick to the balls
- "youths" remark on their displeasure with GORBY
- GORBY goes back to his apartment
- SHEFFALD offers a "known camera angles" HUD visualization
- does the "difficult client" repair work
- HOSNI MUBARAK
- asks for his yacht to get "alternate etherics"
- goes terribly awry after HOSNI tries to probe GORBY's mind
- sets yacht to fly into a star to hide the bodies
PLOT 08 - The ship set ground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle
God Gets Bored
It's never a good thing.
2020.03.27 - ELDRITCH HORROR
Leaving the murder scene on the train, GORBY is wracked with a feeling of conducting some sort of energy. He spasms and collapses, returning to his senses a few moments later with his existence having fundamentally changed.
- His Tenebrae alternate ether connection now is a conduit for a mystical sense - and it gives him a crackling sensation of the direction and distances to... others.
- He realizes that his alternate ether communication range has sprang up from a few meters to tens of meters - no biggie.
- He is now a first stage Mentalist (special test type).
Reaching out to his Tenebrae handler, FLACK, he discovers that the other Tenebrae seem to have all experienced the same thing. More disturbingly, it seems to have made some of the other Tenebrae violent - FLACK reports having to fend off one of his other Tenebrae contacts. FLACK mentions that he is considering destroying an artifact that allows him to contact other Tenebrae more remotely, because it now can be used to track and find other Tenebrae, and he fears that this could be problematic.
Before much more can be conversed between GORBY and FLACK, GORBY's eldritch sense flares as the train he is riding passes by another eldritch source in a hopper. It flashes past the window to fast for a good look, but he can sense it move to chase the train. GORBY jumps off the train at the next stop, and makes his way hastily through the crowds to a nearby service corridor. As he goes, he can feel a distant disturbance in the eldritch energies followed by a loss of locational fidelity of his sense of the nearby eldritch source. Nevertheless, a lumpy-headed humanoid follows him to the out-of-public-view hallway, and proceeds to attack in a less-than-sane manner. The fight is brief, but pitched. GORBY manages to assassinate the lumpy human - and resists drinking its blood... which is apparently a thing he feels driven to do now. Then the lumpy human spontaneously heals, and attacks with berserker intensity. GORBY staves it off, then re-subdues it - but this time cannot resist drinking its blood.
In a biologically improbable manner, the blood seems eager to escape the lumpy human's body. While GORBY gorges on the blood in a fugue state, arterial gouts of blood paints the immediate surroundings - including GORBY. When GORBY shakes off the fugue, he is now a 2nd-stage Mentalist - and a horrible realization about how bad things might become floods through him.
After cleaning up the (latest) murder scene, and himself, GORBY verifies that he no longer has access to FLACK, then calls BRODY to warn him to flee the planet.
PLOT 09 - Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn
GORBY gets on a train. But where does he go?