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Subject: Dead Man Walking - IC thread...let the games begin rss

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Alex Nguyen
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Floating through Locus, hanging loosely onto a grab-loop, brought back a lot of memories for Isaac. It was here he first engaged in mekking with his old crew of young vagabonds on countless asteroids.

Once settled into the apartment, Isaac gazed at the view admiringly - a view he'd never dreamed existed in his younger days - and listened to Shayna's spiel. He perked up at the mention of a resleeve, but decided before even hearing or contributing to a plan that he'd stick with 'ol reliable.

Finally he spoke up, "Research. Lots of research. We need some more intel on all the players before we can even decide on a course of action. Maybe our first move should be to research and scout. Agree?" He glanced at Shayna, "... not that we don't doubt your intel but hands-on knowledge is usually preferred."
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Yohann
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Locus... Such a long time since my last job here...

I agree with Isaac, we need to know who the players are and make sure we're one step ahead our buyer. Perhaps if we managed to find out who our mysterious person is, we could study her or his weaknesses.

Another lead would be to know where exactly the exchange will take place. The area needs to be secure but not blatantly so. I guess that neither party will want to be disadvantaged and feel like a trapped animal.

So, where would a band of ex-mercenaries turned terrorists go to avoid (a) being spotted by DA, (b) taking the risk to be overrun by the triad, (c) being left without any fallback positions... And all that somewhere on the port?

Oh! And for the resleeve, thanks! I may well jump on this offer once we've determined who my next identity and gender will be.
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Dan Schaeffer
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Vargr looks at Shayna with his best "Who, me?" face when she singles him out, but says nothing. Finally, he shrugs and follows her.

As he settles into his seat in the shuttle, he blips his Muse. Huginn, see what you can get on her. Or more to the point, see what you can't get. Ping me if you find anything interesting. Then he closes his eyes and sleeps, or meditates, or something quiet.

When they reach Benedict's apartment, he takes it all in, identifying - as an academic exercise - the most likely places for gear caches and other hidden storage, as well as security measures. Out of habit, he mentally maps the electric flows in the walls and accommodations.

Finally, he sits down and joins the conversation.

I'm not too concerned about the mystery buyer, if we can get to the stack before it changes hands. If we miss that window, then we'll need to know so we can go after it, but I'd rather focus on not even letting that happen.

I think a two or three pronged attack would be best. They'll obviously be on guard for something, but I'm betting they aren't prepared for everything. The immediate possibilities I see are -
he ticks off on his fingers - a scam to buy the stack, a frontal assault on the exchange, and/or infiltration and acquisition before the exchange. I think we can combine all three, as long as we know a few things.

If we can find out where the stack is being held prior to the sale, we can grab it and replace it with a fake. If we can find out who the buyer is, we can sidetrack him or her and substitute one of us as the buyer. And once we know where the sale is happening, we can send an assault team. If we do it right, the assault can "fail," the "buyer" can purchase the "stack," and nobody's the wiser. And if one of the options doesn't come together, we have the others as backups.

I volunteer to do the acquisition, assuming we can locate the stack. In which case, we'll need to fabricate a fake.
He winds down. Other ideas?
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As he listens to the others, Sarin meticulously strips, cleans and double checks his weapons, equipment and gear. He then stands up and says

Yeah, we're shooting in the dark. Let's get to work.

Sarin agrees with the others as they outline a plan to covertly start searching, carefully asking questions and doublechecking all their combined networks and associates to gain ground on all of the clues that have been offered so far.

Questions already raised by others including
Is Gris out of the DA fold?
Was a weapon system really stolen from DA?
More intel on Shayna, Urven, Ndugu, Maendeleo
How can we track down Urven and the stack?
Where is the buy going to go down?


I'm assuming that given a week, the team can 'take 20' on these things to gather the next clues. Then decide which (or all) of the team's approaches should be followed.
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Alex Nguyen
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Isaac stared out at all the civilians floating through the habitat and reflected that this was the highest concentration of morphs who had more appendages than was natural he'd ever seen. Eventually he also concluded that most were probably not innocent civilians.

Mumbling to himself that he'd need to make tonight a short sleep-cycle, he knew that Kiki was already setting an internal alarm without the need for a prompt. Out loud he replied to some of the concerns already raised, "I agree, there's probably more to it than we've been told. Do we as a team care at all about Ndugu's reason for bolting from DA in the first place? Of course we're supposed to believe he's a plain 'ol traitorous scum but when is the story ever that simple? Let me rephrase that: would it add to our success vector to find out more about him? If we think it's important I'd like to be part of the effort that uncovers that. Hopefully it won't take more than a little digging. We can get started after sleepy time."

Is there "morning" and "night" in a habitat? I'm just replacing "night" with "sleep-cycle" cuz I don't know any better.
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Yohann
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Luthar thinks for a brief moment and replies.

"Vargr, although I completely see eye to eye with you regarding the mystery buyer, suddenly introducing a new player on the market will look suspicious, unless we build a very solid backstory with easily and less easily identifiable credentials.

In any case, let's go with the three-pronged attack as you suggested, one is never too cautious.

Isaac, I think you've got a good suggestion here, having a look at Ndugu's activities might well tell us what's the next part of the plan, what's so important in that cortical stack, which may well give us an edge in our mission, but also over Gris."
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Alex Nguyen
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"I do like the idea of covering our bases with the three prongs. I'd like to clarify what we think infiltration might mean. Are we talkin' infiltration of one of the stakeholders? Or physical infiltration of the drop-location?"
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Dan Schaeffer
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"I was thinking more along the lines of infiltration of wherever the stack is currently being stored before the sale. Ideally, replacing it with a duplicate."
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Yohann
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So we might need a double infiltration, one to switch the stack, the other one to distract their attention.
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Jean-Christophe Cubertafon
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Benedict releases his thoughts.


I agree with the fact that we need more intel on several subjects, and accurate intel, including the buyer. The Triads should not be taken lightly in this story. I bet we discover why they're interested in buying this stack. I will fall for a sponsor who does not want to dirty their hands.

Anyway, we have to plan the three-ponged attack and the double infiltration. I think we must take hold of the mesh, making them blind and deaf at the right time. Intelligence, hacking, misdirection, sabotage.

A point remains essential. We'll have to plan and provide an opportunity for Urven and Mandeleo to retrieve the stack.

Oh, about the resleeve, we'll see when we will agreed with the course of action, if you could provide a ghost or two in good shape.
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Dan Schaeffer
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Well, one thing I want is a convincing physical replica of the stack. I don't know if the target stack has any specific markers (other than the contents) that we will need to duplicate, but if so, we need to get the specs from Gris.

And once we know the locations in question, we'll need full schematics of the premises, Ideally, we'll also be able to scope it out in person beforehand.


Vargr goes back to his contemplation.
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Yohann
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"So perhaps we could list up:

- The opposition: strengths, skills, numbers?

- The score: the cortical stack, but also determining its actual value.

- The mark: who's the buyer, and who their aides are?

- The box: what kind of security are we facing?

We've also decided for a three-pronged approach: a heist, a con and a frontal assault.

The heist to open the box and retrieve the score, the assault to distract the mark and the opposition, and the con to secure the box and ensure its delivery.

By the way, we shouldn't overlook two factors that may cover our backs: we need mobility and a good bleacher:

All three prongs will need to get in an out very rapidly, so we need vehicles but also and excellent lay of the land. Besides, we should ensure that no interference comes and delays each part of the operation.

As for the bleacher, we should ideally ensure that one of us stays behind and clean all tracks to avoid any future backfire. I wouldn't want to see any of us being compromised during our operation or after, not just because I'm starting to like you [and you've all got a very creepy feeling at those words] but also because a compromise operative is always a bit of a liability.

So, let's review our list now..."
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Dave G
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Here comes a bunch of info. Hold on to your hats.

Three-pronged approach. I like it. We get in and get the goods before they know we're coming. Then we "fail" to assault the buy, so the seller thinks they foiled us coming in. Then we impersonate the buyer as well, get back our fake, and let Mandeleo and this Urven person chase the Triads all over the galaxy trying to recover it. Take a bit for further research, then we'll head over to the port to get a handle on the op from the start. I'm working my own contacts to see if I can locate Gramby and his crew here.

Shayna nods approvingly, then her face takes on the slightly distant demeanor of someone who is focusing their attention primarily on the Mesh. You all do the same, sharing your information over your private comm network.

More to come, stay tuned...breaking this into a few posts so I can stay organized with your questions.




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Dave G
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Steinn wrote:


Another lead would be to know where exactly the exchange will take place. The area needs to be secure but not blatantly so. I guess that neither party will want to be disadvantaged and feel like a trapped animal.

So, where would a band of ex-mercenaries turned terrorists go to avoid (a) being spotted by DA, (b) taking the risk to be overrun by the triad, (c) being left without any fallback positions... And all that somewhere on the port?

With a little collaboration, Steinn and Benedict nail down three probable sites in the port that are a) suitably defensible for the mercs to be comfortable, b) public enough to keep the buyer honest or risk drawing unwanted attention, and c) still private enough for the exchange to take place. With the option narrowed to those three, they show the plan to Sarin. He grunts and your mental image of the three locations zooms in on one building, a brothel run by a respected local madam. "This one. It's damn near perfect for this kind of exchange. Busy downstairs, existing security measures in place, plenty of back doors out of the place if things go sideways, and the workers there already know how to keep their mouths shut." Vargr confirms through his network that a "private party" is already on the books there for the date in question, and a quick trace leads to a known associate of Cael Gramby as the reservation holder. Shayna tags a link to the security feed for the surrounding area to your mission dashboard.
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Dave G
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Vargr wrote:
Well, one thing I want is a convincing physical replica of the stack. I don't know if the target stack has any specific markers (other than the contents) that we will need to duplicate, but if so, we need to get the specs from Gris.

Shayna butts in to your flurry of downloading and exchanging information with specs for the make and model of cortical stack in question. Standard retail unit, nothing special about it. Isaac has the most experience with this from his work as a bounty hunter. "So you can't do a full scan of a simple stack to 100% verify the identity without loading it up in a morph or AI. Checking Ndugu's back trail, he's never been in anything but a mentor morph. Since it's pretty obvious they want something from his memory, dumping him into a new type of sleeve might be dangerous. There's some software that'll do cursory scans, though. We'll need to make sure our replacement stack can at least pass for Ndugu in case we don't get to the buyer in time or if Gramby decides to double check it before the sale. I have a contact who can take care of that." With Shayna's approval the specs are off to Isaac's man. The stack will arrive within a day or two.
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Dave G
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Sarin wrote:

Is Gris out of the DA fold?
Was a weapon system really stolen from DA?

Rolling hypercorp networking of 50, adding +10 for your established contacts in the DA network. 1d100 = (67) = 67 These dice hate you, but you only missed by a little, so the information you get will be vague and unreliable rather than getting nothing at all.

Even as you're communicating on your private net with Shayna, a new message pops up on another private net--the one Benedict set up back on the ship, without Shayna's inclusion. Sarin begins streaming up some very interesting information. One of his past associates, a mid-level player at DA, has some information. Sarin advises you take it with a grain of salt, because he knows this guy isn't far enough up the food chain to say anything for sure. It looks like the rumors about Gris going rogue are getting stronger, though. His contact says there was a weapon system missing, but the story inside is that Gris stole it. Some kind of experimental shit, and it reportedly went missing quite a bit before Ndugu's defection. Gris is definitely on the outs, supposedly not even able to pull DA resources.
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  • 538255. djgutierrez77
  • 1d100 =
  • (67) =
  • 67
  • Rolling hypercorp networking of 50, adding +10 for your established contacts in the DA network.
  • Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:52 pm
Dave G
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Your research into Maendeleo and the various persons of interest continues on the mesh, but while you wait for your contacts to turn up a lead it's time to move on and check out the physical location for the meeting. Shayna clears her throat.

I have a meeting and some other business I need to attend to, but I suggest you go scout the location for the drop and maybe ask some questions in the neighborhood. We can't have you tossing around Direct Action rep, but Gris has authorized a untraceable credit line for general Hypercorp rep if you need to jog someone's memory. Of course you're more than welcome to use your own methods for gathering information first--throwing around rep like a couple of rich inner system idiots won't help you stay under the radar here.

She pushes away from the table and heads out. For the first time since your abduction, the five of you are alone and unmonitored--this is your safe house, after all, and Vargr's scanned the place for unexpected electronics and come up clean. You can continue your conversation here, take Shayna's recommendation and head out to the brothel, or literally whatever else you want to do.

I'm not going to "run the clock out" on you here, so don't worry about how you spend your time as it relates to the mission, you'll have all the time you need to make your plan. I can tell you that you're not going to turn up anymore information on anything just sitting here working your nets, though. Time to get out in the world and see what's what in one way or another.

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