Week 90 Debrief: Damn it Dani, I wanted that to shoot me!

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Week 90 Debrief: Damn it Dani, I wanted that to shoot me!

Post  James Fletcher on Sat Apr 18, 2015 12:28 am

The Mission:  To enter a potential Cult of Machina lair in order to investigate attacks on Tu-Chin nanofactories in the Ning Bo area of China.

The Team:  Karishma, Dani, Fenris, Silvia, Dulce.

Report:  The team gathered together at Oracle HQ for the briefing; Silvia, Fenris, Dani, Karishma, and the new agent Dulce who began the proceedings by introducing himself.  The mission, as Karishma roughly explained, was to head to Ning Bo in China, a traditional Ai-Jinn factory city, in order to investigate the recent high levels of Cult of Machina activity in the area, which included multiple large scale attacks on nearby Tu-Chin nanofactories.  What appeared to be the cultists’ base of operations had already been identified; a large trapdoor in a disused, derelict factory which appeared to lead to some kind of tunnel system.  It was decided at this point that it would be a good idea to bring along an Eroz Freeze Thrower just in case the team encountered any nanoswarms (a judicious decision, as it turned out) and Dani was quite happily placed in charge of this.  The team agreed to drive to Ning Bo using their own transport, and Karishma gave Dulce a million credits to cover a new vehicle (sense of monetary value out the window) which was used to buy a cheap-ish van and allowed a prototype cyberframe to be transported along with them.

On arrival at the mission area, two hornet drones were deployed to search the nearby vicinity for other potential points of access to the tunnels.  However none were found, so the team stealthily entered through the main trap door and found themselves in a concrete-lined hole with a very rickety cobbled together ladder that lead down for about 60 feet.  This was well below the foundations of the factory above, and was in pitch darkness.  It was discovered at this point that Dulce did not have the sweeping vision upgrades the rest of the team were so used to (who knew new agents needed time to get these things; oops) and so had to resort to a light on his PDA since no other light sources had been brought along.

Silvia and Fenris moved a little ahead of the rest of the group to act as scouts, and robot seeking scout powder was released to limited effect.  The tunnels they were now in were difficult to distinguish from a simple cavern, but appeared to have once been the ruins of the old city that stood here before the AI-Jinn built over it; there were no intact buildings, just occasional doorways that lead to what now looked like caves.  Curiously, the tunnels had the appearance of having been inhabited for a very long time, and yet could be found nowhere on the Black Map.  Silvia attempted to use the WF motion sensor, but it unfortunately failed to function correctly for unknown reasons ((OOC:  Awful GM roll)).

As they advanced, Fenris and Silvia encountered a series of crude, simple traps such as spike pits, rock falls, etc, which were easily avoided, and the team eventually reached what appeared to have once been a large shopping mall.  This was about 100 feet below the surface, and had long been looted and burnt out.  Those with geo-sonic sonar arrays installed detected a very large amount of activity coming from within the mall, along with multiple seismic shockwaves of some kind.

Since they were the best suited to stealth, Silvia and Fenris were once again sent ahead to investigate, but they did not get far before spotting sudden movement in a window ahead of them; it was some kind of animalistic cultist monstrosity, horribly altered with a giant sharpened hook for a hand.  It immediately gave the impression of being highly agile and predatory in nature, and appeared to be well suited to detecting hidden enemies, yet the pair of stealth agents slipped past it with relative ease, and continued to press forward.  Meanwhile, the rest of the team held back to avoid detection until they had a better understanding of the situation.

As they advanced, Fenris and Silvia began to hear sounds of battle ahead, and the rear group prepared to ambush the hook-cultist so they could move up to support if needed. Once the advance pair of agents got closer to the source of the fighting, the noise escalated quickly to what sounded like full scale war, until at last they rounded a corner and came upon a large hall, roughly 70 feet high with a balcony level above, brightly illuminated by multiple flood-lights; directly ahead of them, flanked by several more hook-cultists, stood a ten foot tall, heavily armoured Chimera.  On one of its shoulders was what appeared to be a version of an ‘all-seeing eye’, one of its hands was replaced with a large industrial claw, and the other arm was replaced with a massive heavy beam laser.  Using vision sharing, Karishma was able to recognise this nightmare from the mission records she’d studied in preparation for facing the cult, and so was able to warn the team that it could vomit nanoswarms (to general mutterings of ‘oh shit’, except for Karishma who was thrilled at the idea of it shooting her prototype).  It appeared that the chimera and the hook-cultists were attacking someone on the level above at the far end of the area, though there was far more noise and explosions than only they could account for.

It was decided at this point that the team should regroup in preparation for assaulting the chimera and its allies.  To this end, Silvia and Fenris pulled back from the battle to where the first hook-cultist was encountered in order to ambush and assassinate it; a hornet drone was left behind to observe the progress of the battle.  Once more with surprising ease, Fenris managed to sneak up on the cultist and killed it with a single blow, instantly beheading it.  As the rest of the team then moved forward towards the battle, Karishma remained behind for a short while to analyse the corpse while Dulce guarded her, however this produced no conclusive results.

On returning to the area of battle, Silvia and Fenris quickly climbed up the walls on either side of the hall.  Their higher vantage point now meant that they could see two heavily armoured gun emplacements ahead, a grenade launcher and a plasma machine gun situated on either side of the hall, being attacked in close quarters by multiple hook-cultists and fired upon by the chimera.  Unfortunately, just as they made this observation, one of the hook-cultists de-cloaked behind Fenris and attempted to assassinate her; luckily, she spotted her assailant just in time, and managed to avoid lethal damage.  The rest of the team, having gathered at the entrance to the area, immediately begin to engage the hostile cultists.

Activating her cyberframe’s new nanite armour system, Karishma took aim at the chimera with her mass-driver while Dulce also aimed at it with his EMP rifle.  Having analysed the chimera’s shield and found it to be on par with a tac-ass, Dani proceeded to unload a shot from her plasma cannon into it, bringing it low enough that Dulce’s subsequent EMP shot was enough to shut it down completely, along with the shields of the other nearby hook-cultists.  The chimera then deigned to turn around, and it was immediately perfectly clear how very, very angry it was at the team’s existence.

Meanwhile, Fenris continued to engage her would-be assassin in close combat, having quickly moved to a nearby balcony for better footing.  The fight was somewhat even, and Fenris was hampered in her attempts to stab the cultist by the need to protect her face from being clawed off, though she did manage to draw blood.

At the same time, Silvia, who was still undetected, continued her spider-like advance along the ceiling/wall until she had placed herself above the grenade launcher emplacement, with its ammo store in full view.  Another general ‘oh shit’ was uttered when she relayed the information that this store was packed full of Kac Shim grenades.  Noticing that more hook-cultists were trying to cut into the grenade launcher emplacement, Silvia attempted to assassinate one, dropping onto it from the ceiling.  Unfortunately, the cultist noticed her falling just in time, and avoided the killing blow, turning to engage her in close combat.

Back at the entrance, in its haste to deal with its assailants the chimera had fired its beam laser wildly, only just grazing their shields.  In response, Dani placed a full-power plasma cannon shot square in the centre of the chimera’s chest, melting a huge crater into it; the chimera instantly toppled, apparently dead, to the sound of Karishma shouting “Damn it Dani, I wanted that to shoot me!”.  Dani and Karishma then proceeded to fire upon the hook-cultists attacking the gun emplacements, taking out one each.  It was at this moment that the grenade emplacement switched its attention from the cultists climbing the far wall and began to fire upon Karishma, Dani and Dulce, the latter of which decided it would be a good idea to get out of the line of fire and so retreated a short distance back down the corridor.  This was a prudent decision, as the very next volley ripped straight through both Karishma and Dani’s shields (one upshot of which being that Karishma finally got to test out her cyberframe’s self-repair abilities).

Silvia and Fenris on the other hand continued to fight their individual opponents, with differing degrees of success; after weathering the hook-cultist’s ferocious attacks, Fenris finally managed to bring it down after repeatedly stabbing it in the chest.  Silvia and her opponent meanwhile had much more difficulty landing blows on each other, with Silvia eventually resorting to a volley of her spines.  This proved especially effective, hitting the cultist six times out of eight, and causing its flesh to immediately necrotise and dissolve; it didn’t get back up.  Fenris had by this point proceeded to pulp the head of another cultist using a penny-mine arrow, and so managed to advance unhindered to the plasma emplacement.

Thinking that their adversaries were defeated, the team proceeded to attempt to persuade the people who were defending against the cultists that they meant them no harm: Fenris and Silvia shouted at the people in each turret; Karishma advanced into the hall to stand next to the chimera’s body, raised her cyberframe’s arms and shouted for the defenders to stand down; Dani lowered her plasma cannon; Dulce continued to wait out of the line of fire, possibly thinking that his team mates were all insane as they continued to be shot at.

Suddenly, the chimera fired on Karishma from the floor in a sneak attack, only to have its head vaporised moments later by Dani’s plasma cannon.  Although this meant that the chimera was really dead this time, the downside was that a nanoswarm then proceeded to pour out of the gaping wound.  Not wanting to find out the result of a nanoswarm interacting with her nanotech prototype, Karishma hurriedly retreated back to the entrance to the hall, while Dani in much calmer fashion hosed down the swarm with the Freeze Thrower she’d been given ‘just in case’.  Seeing that the invading agents appeared to be helping, the weapon emplacements ceased firing, and a representative of the defenders came out to talk with the team.

While Karishma analysed the nanoswarm and prepared a jury-rigged container for samples of the frozen nanites, Silvia attempted to negotiate with the representative of what turned out to be another Cult of Machina cell.  It emerged during the conversation that the attacking cultists were creations of Auspex, the chimera that had just been dispatched, and another cultist called Development, and had been ruthlessly attacking cult cells in the nearby area; apparently the two chimeras were doing something to their fellow cultists that involved nanites and xenotech, though the details were unknown.  There were also suggestions that these nano-cultists had been working in secret with Tu-Chin and Tracer Li, although no evidence was given to back up these claims.  Unfortunately no clue was gained as to where the nano-cultists were operating from, but Silvia did manage to persuade the ‘friendly’ cultists to send word if they found out any more information about Development and the nano-cultists.

In addition, due to a request from former Oracle agent Darya Demeter, Karishma smeakered Silvia to ask whether the cultists had ever heard of the name “Altruism”; it was learned that he is highly respected among the cells of the Cult of Machina, providing them with some of their best cybernetic equipment, and definitely has no association whatsoever with the nano-cultists.

Deciding that they had no more reason to stay, the team secured Auspex’s body, a sample of the frozen nanoswarm, data acquired while analysing the swarm (including some kind of control signal), and the body of one of the hook-cultists and peacefully retreated from the tunnel system.

Items/Information Recovered

Corpse of chimera Auspex + corpse of hook-cultist:  to be analysed by Karishma in downtime, potentially to go in the room depending on results of said analysis.

Frozen nanoswarm sample + data from nanoswarm scans:  to be kept by Karishma for research purposes.

Heavy beam laser from Auspex’s corpse:  to be adapted for normal use and given to Dani.

The map of the underground tunnels will be withheld from sale to the black market for at least one week; this was agreed with the cultists to give them time to evacuate since they had co-operated with the team and had agreed to supply them with information in the future.

Karishma’s comments:

An excellently executed and successful mission all round, with some very interesting items collected, a couple of rumours to chase and new contacts established; pretty good going, I’d say.  I would also like to thank my colleagues for their help in field testing my prototype cyberframe systems; I’m sure the data I acquired will accelerate the development process immensely!
James Fletcher

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Comments from CEO Lee

Post  Admin on Sat Apr 18, 2015 4:17 pm

Comments from CEO Lee
It sounds like y'all had a productive mission, even if it didn't bring home any saleable data on this occasion. I look forwards to getting some dirt on Tracer Li and Tu Chin in the future; they can't afford to let details of working with the Cult leak out, so I'll add a zero or two to their bills when the time comes.

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