[UW] The Cavalry [Al 3.0, Xu 3.0, Bi 3.0, Jk 3.0)

edited June 2016 in Uncharted Worlds
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The new Imani Biomedical facility is on the edge of the city. It hasn't even been scheduled for full occupancy for some months yet, but this is where, as far as you can tell, they have Robynne and Terci.

According to intel it's primarily a research facility with some corporate and administrative space as well. A very secure research facility, with high end defensive sensors. What traffic you've seen enters and leaves from one of landing pads on the roof. You know that there are at least 19 combatants on site.

Allevard gathered all of you either with him directly or over comms. And you've had a brief time to plan. Xuan if you call in your favor with the Countess you have resources at your disposal. Vehicles, nearby properties, extra personnel, equipment.

The sun is below the horizon, and the light is dying fast.

Your operation has begun. Where are all of you you exactly and what are you doing?

Comments

  • image
    I'm clinging to the side of Imani Biomedical facility, hidden in the shadow cast by the facility's east tower. I'm sheathed in a fully customized stealth outfit, designed using cutting edge imperial schematics, that I refer to as my darksuit. If I listen close, I can still hear the whine of Allevard's shuttle as it peels away. With any luck, the scanner bafflers installed on my darksuit will prevent me from showing up on the facility's sensors.

    This section of the tower appears to be a featureless expanse of clear plasteel, but according to the schematic I have suspended over my vision, procured as part of a multipage request to Duchess Soyinka, there should be a ventilation access panel riiiiiight here. Once inside, all I had to do was drop through the ventilation shaft into a server access point and get Jek into the mainframe. Allevard and Bai would do the rest.

    First though, I had to find this panel.

    "You seeing something I'm not, Bezier?" He should have access to my full visual feed throughout the op.
  • image

    It’s not an altogether unsatisfying plan. In truth, I’d wanted to visit the new Imani Biomedical facility for some time, but just had never had the opportunity. I made the request through discreet channels, of course. An interesting emergent quality of personal assistant AIs is a sort tradespeak through which they negotiate calendar priorities as well as interruption of their clients. One of my AI’s–Jun’s–many charms is its ability to… I would almost say “hypnotize” lesser AIs through exploiting its knowledge of that tradespeak. It is through Jun that I found myself on the calendar of the administrator of the facility. The administrator’s other appointments were bumped, and it was made clear that the emperor’s aunt, was paying a visit, not merely to check on her sizable investment in the facility, but to discuss a new, greater investment contingent upon “matters most appropriately discussed in person”. If AIs could be made to feel bad about themselves, Jun certainly would have achieved that when dealing with the administrator’s personal AI.

    All of Jun’s machinations have me walking into the glittering foyer of the Imani Biomedical facility with Captain Allevard and a retinue of the Rei’s best, handpicked for their ability to blend in with less military-inclined people. It has not escaped my notice–well, Jun’s notice–that Mixter Archebelloch’s own prime has a controlling interest this facility. While that hardly makes it unique, it does strike me as quite a coincidence that Mixter Archebelloch should taken to such a place and not be released immediately upon their realizing just who they’ve captured.

    I look at Allevard as we breeze in, Jun has already announced our arrival to the administrator’s AI.

    “We look rather more like a group of auditors than a strike force, don’t you think?” I say with a hint of pride. “I can’t wait to see what your plan is for freeing Mixter Archebelloch,” I whisper with a wink.

  • imageI've got my shuttle, a brand spanking new, top-of-the-line, ITC SSV-06, at the ready just outside. That pretty little thing came from my signing bonus to my TXR commission. Most people buy houses, and the like — me, I crave freedom. It was worth every penny if you ask me... You couldn't ask for a better getaway vehicle — not that I ever intended to use it for that.

    In the moment, though, this is looking good. We've got Xuan infiltrating their security systems, Jek (fingers crossed) pulling their strings, and Bai getting us VIP access to the facility. I stay close to Bai for the moment, trying to look as nonchalant as I can — if I'm going to pass of being her chauffeur, then I need to look the part of hired help. I smile at her comment. Wedo look more like a team of accountants... I suppose that's for the best though."We tax them to death," I quip, "if they're anything like the TXR management I know, they'll be begging us to take them back at the mere mention of paying the government a dime."

    I look over the group the Duchess gave us one more time before slipping into character. We can do this... I think. I send a quick ping to Xuan:
    Tell me we're good.
  • Xuan

    Jek doesn't respond. Either he's run into trouble, or the signals suppression technology is cutting you or him off. Either way it looks like you're on your own for the moment. Speaking of which, is there a plan B?

    As for the panel, well the Intel on the building said it was smart materials right? You locate a 5 cm square with a white outline, the materials 'key' has to be placed there and its sequence transmitted for the panel itself to physically separate from the building and show you the seam you're looking for. What sort of thing do you have to get past that?

    The ping from Allevard comes through.

    What do you do?

    Allevard and Bai

    A sharply dressed man with ice chips for eyes approaches both of you and the entourage.

    photo 0CA64436-8C6A-4973-B5BE-045040F013F3_zpsy7wtolj6.jpg

    He bows to you Bai, with a fake smile, and straightens again. "Your Grace, I am Bel Anolies, Administrator of this facility. How may I be of service?" He looks over the entire group, dispassionately except for you Allevard. His eyebrow goes up slightly on looking at you.

    This was Melanie's boss. The one she cheated on you with.

  • edited July 2016

    image

    "Jun?" I say, sub-vocalizing to my AI companion. We have worked together long enough that it knows I want a rundown on Bel Anolies.

    I stop one step short of the sweep of inner surveillance cameras and extend one bejeweled hand, palm down. I wonder if he will kiss my ring or my hand, or turn it into an awkward handshake like the rustics often do.

    "Thank you for meeting with me on short notice," I say, knowing he had absolutely no choice in the matter. "I sincerely hope you are able to be of service, though I must say, one might have hoped for a bit more discretion," I say, gesturing at the security cameras.

    I turn to Captain King, saying, "It reminds me of that outpost where we refueled--the one where you procured 'tea', which I am quite sure was not 'tea' in any meaningful sense. Remember, it was served in some sort of disposable cup?" I survey my surroundings with amused disdain. "I half expect to see height charts on the doorways."

    I turn back to the administrator and return his false smile with one so patronizing that I might well be dealing with a small child or house pet. "Administrator," I say, clearly having not bothered to remember his name. "When a member of the Imperial Family visits your facility on short notice, it is never with the intent of having our visit chronicled. Kindly turn off your surveillance for the duration of our time here. I can assure you, you are not being robbed."

  • image

    I cuss into my comm when there isn't any word from Bezier. Did something happen or is there just a signal issue? No matter, no time to delay. I find the keystone, no help from anyone, then pry off the adjacent cm of plasteel so that I can attach the little signal relay (attuned to the Booty Call's cowbird signal) to the root cable. All I have to do is tweak the program.Allevard's ping comes through. I'll tell you in five, I type back.

  • Facing adversity with tech presumably.

    (Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 6, 6. Total: 13)

  • imageYou've got to be fucking kidding me.

    I make a point of standing up a little straighter when Anolies, the bastard, eyes me up and down. I have to admit that I'm confused as to how he got here, given how much prostitution he must have done to climb the TXR ladder... My eyes narrow, and I smile and nod for Lady Bai's joke.

    Something's not right here. What's he doing here? Fuck. I shouldn't be here... I'm going to wait for a moment when he isn't paying attention then send Rajani a ping, asking:

    WTF IS BEL ANOLIES DOING HERE?

  • edited July 2016

    Bai

    Anolies takes your offhanded criticism with serenity and bends over your hand kissing the exactly appropriate spot with smooth and elegant manners so painstakingly correct they reveal themselves to be utterly bourgeois. He straightens again.

    "While I am relieved to hear it, I regret, your Grace, that shutting down our surveillance is an extraordinarily long and difficult procedure which we would have no doubt accomplished with enough notice. If your Grace would care to wait for an hour I'm sure we can accommodate you. We will of course offer you and your... attendants, refreshment in the meantime. Or if your Grace would care to schedule another visit I'm sure we can accommodate your request at that time as well."

    His voice is appropriately apologetic.

    image

    "Mistress" Jun says. "Anoleis resigned his post at TXR one year ago immediately transferring to Imani as its Chief Operations Officer. The rest of the information he conveys is that of a rather adept and ruthless corporate climber. "According to the Captian's personal log," Jun finishes, "Melania King divorced the Captain in order to promote her own career in a relationship with Anoleis."

  • Xuan

    The seam appears in the surface, the rectangular outline liquefying and melting out of the way as if an invisible hot knife were cutting through a surface made of butter.

    Moving that out of the way shows you the ventilation shaft, it's but a moment before you're out of the wind and traversing the narrow space to your first target. What security measure concerns you most?

  • Allevard

    image

    Anolies? That void-sucking pig? He left the company a year ago. Took an offer somewhere else. It was all unexpected. I thought you knew, after Mel.

  • edited July 2016

    image

    I have to stop myself from humming in satisfaction after the panel lifts up so cleanly. I slide through the dark enclosed space with a half-earnest prayer to my elders. I had to leave my katana behind, considering the space issues, so I'm most concerned about any automated wire-rats or cage-lions fail safes that they might have installed. There isn't a lot of maneuverability in this system and robotics aren't my strong suit. Easy to not include something so small in the plans we bought.

    Still, I try not to worry over much and hurry towards my destination.

    I tap a quick message to Allevard. I'm in.

  • edited July 2016

    image

    I manage to not look at the Captain upon Jun's revelation about the connection between him and Mr. Anoleis. I feel only a slight tightening at the corners of my eyes in response, and I cover this by favoring Anoleis with a gracious smile as he kisses my hand.

    In response to his assertion about the difficulty and delay in shutting down the system, I continue to smile at Anoleis. "Come now, Mr. Anoleis, disabling your surveillance cannot be so difficult. I believe we both know that it is immeasurably easier to tear something down than to build it." My eyes are hard as I wait a single heartbeat. I stiffen as if resolving on an unfortunate, but necessary course of action. "I am afraid that my schedule cannot accommodate your delays. Perhaps you can use the hour explaining to my nephew why you were unable to safeguard the privacy of a discussion of Imperial genetics and matters of succession."

    I begin to walk forward, toward the sweep of the surveillance cameras.

  • Are you pushing him to turn off the surveillance, Bai? It seems like you are. If so then it's a face Adversity +Influence roll.

  • edited July 2016

    imageYou know, I probably should know, given all the shit him and Mel put me through, but I've been trying really hard not to pry into her personal life since the divorce... It's bad enough she's my boss now. I send Rajani a message back:

    I thought he moved up, and promoted Melanoma 
    to take his place — son of a bitch.

    I may still be a little bitter... And my "Captain-with-a-capital-C" firewall tends to slip when I get nervous.

    Xuan's ping comes in on my hud, and I fall into a terrible old habit from my time in the void... I ping her back without thinking.

    That's what he said.

    Fuck...

    Bai is working on getting video turned off. Stand by.
  • image

    Indeed. I very much intend to force him to turn off his surveillance.

    *Facing adversity with influence: *

    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 2, 6. Total: 10)

  • Xuan

    You worm your way as silently as you can through the shaft, and I do mean worm, anyone bigger around or less flexible than you could not have made the tight turns inside the ventilation system. The designers probably thought this sort of infiltration impossible.

    You're above the access point relatively quickly, just as you're opening the grate though, you hear voices. You can see two rough looking characters below you and third person who looks like a technician, working at the access point.

    "Trouble downstairs" Says the female ruffian. "You stay with xir and join us when xie's done.

    What do you do?

  • image

    Xir, I repeat to myself in my head. Are they talking about Robynne or another?

    My muscles ache from pushing myself through this awful system. I consider my options. My darksuit comes prepared with a number of chloroform applications, but that isn't helpful against more than one assailant. And even if that tough broad with the lisp leaves the room, that still leaves two.

    I'll listen a bit more, see what I can learn. But I expect I'll have to take this one by force.

  • edited July 2016

    Bai

    "Very well, My Lady, my apologies." Anolies cannot hide the undertone of irritation. He taps into his hand terminal. "Cres, yes, do an emergency shutdown of the surveillance grid, authorization beta two red persimmon. Yes, I know. Do it, please, then start prepping procedures for bringing it back online."

    He looks at you again.

    "There you are my lady. Now shall we go to my office and you can tell me why you are here?"

    Alllevard

    Rajani replies

    He did. Tried to take her with him when he left too, but she turned him down flat. Guess it wasn't love.

  • Xuan,

    It could be either I suppose. Or the tech working on the access point could be xir. Looks like a spacer even if they aren't crippled by gravity. Thin and probably over 6 feet standing.

    The lisp woman stomps out of view and you hear the almost silent automatic doors woosh shut. The remaining merc, or whatever he is, shifts uneasily, looking about him. Maybe feeling hairs on his neck stand up.

    "Hurry up, would ya? The boss wants to get that spacy in the lab for xir vooodoo soon as, get me?"

  • image

    "I'm so pleased you were able to accommodate us." Accommodate us by having fewer prying eyes on whatever Xuan has planned--not to mention no news footage of Her Imperial Highness sneaking around, should things go badly, I think.

    "By all means, Administrator," I say with gracious smile. "Lead the way."

    As soon as his back is turned, I subvocalize to Jun. "Note that code. P1: Find Mixter A when the system comes back up--or while it's on its way down. Feed info to HIH and myself."

  • imageWouldn't be the first time she dumped someone for her own gain — not that I particularly care about Anolies, or any degree of solidarity that might imply between us. All of that is moot at this point, though...

    I turn to Lady Bai, and in my best "chauffeur" impression, I ask, "Shall I keep your shuttle ready, my lady?"

  • Bai,

    How many of Rei's security people do you have with you? Is everyone coming with you?

    Anolies bows, turns and leads you to the glass elevator, almost a room in itself. It's maybe 3 meters in diameter, circular and perfectly transparent on all sides. There are lesser elevators of course but they are for normal people. What catches your eye about what you're seeing?

    Anoleis says "My office." And the lift chimes an acknowledgment before silently beginning to rise. The lobby was something of an atrium going up a good 30 meters, so you have the pleasure of watching the floor fall away before the elevator enters something more confined.

  • image
    Screw it, I think.

    I release the catches on the vent cover so that the only thing holding it up is me. As soon as the merc is below me, I'm going to let go and jump down with it. With any luck, it will take him out and break my fall in one go.
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