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Subject: Port of Call [IC] rss

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Jeff Fournier
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For the record, editing a post doesn't trigger the subscription feed... blush

A hall of vice? Sounds like my kind of place. And we can easily blend in as thrill tourists. Lead on, Locke. Looks like it can't be too far. Shall we get our void legs under us by going the scenic route? It's been awhile since I've been in Zero-G


Chung begins a visual recording of the route to overlay atop the station map his own Muse-6 has provided. Never know when you might need to know your escape route well.

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Karl Larsson
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Looking at the map, you take a closer look at the Stem. The habitat you are in is at the top of the Cluster. The exit is one of the upper branches, and the opening is very close to the exit into the Stem. There are many areas in the Stem, but they are usually places of business and transport. The upper part of it, has little to do with the port, but is still controlled by the KPA. This part is mostly frequented by people that live in the Cluster.

The bottom half of the Stem is the port, it can roughly be divided into four sections. The first on, is the trade and business area. Here the tourists and visitors go to shop. The adjoining habitats are usually very safe, offerings hotels and other attractions. The second section is the leisure port, used by small time traders, scum barges and yachts. These two sections, the business area and leisure port blend into each other, and it is hard to say where one stops, and the other begins. The third segment is the passenger terminal. Here the ships carrying people dock. And finally, at the bottom, is the dock used by traders carrying heavy goods.

The casino Rex has found is called “Lokehula” (Loki's cave). And is located between the business area and the leisure port.

The Stem is very wide, so travel up and down is easy. Into the branches and the habitats, things quickly get crowded. One problem is that there are no alternative routes. You go up and down the stem, and in and out of branches and habitats. There are no other ways.
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Matt H
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Gavin opens the door, floats outside, and examines his surroundings. Once he decides that they aren't being watched, he signals the group to follow as he makes his way towards the gaming room.
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Internet rage goon
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Rex gives Gavin a thumbs up and a big smile as he floats out. He's not as out of sorts as one would expect for someone with almost no experience in zero-g - Mars' low gravity means he's at least used to the languid movements of that kind of environment. But his unfamiliarity doesn't stop him from chattering on about casino games as he travels....
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Karl Larsson
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The Habitat
Floating out of the resleeving chamber, you enter into a large cavernous room. It is forty meters tall and thirty meters wide, the slight curving of the ceiling betrays that the room is perhaps a quarter of a larger bubble. You think ceiling, but you realize that doesn't really make sense. There are six walls, or six floors, depending on what you want to call it. All sides have construction on them, except for the one you just came out off. The wall you just came out off is filled with similar looking doors, port holes, as the one you left. The other five walls have light weight constructed dwellings on them. Some are clearly residential, while the neon-lights of others betray shops. The port holes of the wall you are all filled with neon-signs. Above the door you just left – FarCastix.

Criss-crossing the room in all possible directions are metal beams, they are the easiest way of transportation from one side of the chamber to the other, unless you want to go along the walls. Heading for the closes wall you are approached by two Reaper combat drones. They are heavily armed, but on their heads are red fezzes. The sight would be humerus, if it wasn't for their weapons. They take a look at you, then fly off.

You start pulling yourself along the beam when you are approached from another direction by a young boy. There is a possibility that Neotenic morph, but since his body doesn't seem to be designed, you are guessing this is actually a real child. His clothes a made of smart-cloth, but there are patches of it that has malfunctioned, and now just hang there in a strange grey color. As he glides up to you he says in Turkish (Gavin understands this language, and his muse translates for the rest of you) “Guide mister, you need guide?”
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Matt H
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Gavin looks towards the others, wanting their opinion as to how to answer the question.
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Jeff Fournier
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Chung sends a quick Mesh response to the group...

"I see no reason to antagonize our currently friendly hosts and this boy could have some useful info for a few measly creds.
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Rex replies quickly. "Yes indeed - and if it helps us look more like unassuming and incompetent tourists, all the better!"
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Matt H
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"The boy will expect payment. What do we have to give him? Owing anyone here would be a mistake."
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Karl Larsson
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Both money and rep are good here. If you have high enough rep, he will come along if asked, only because of that.

Today or tomorrow I will also send you your special side quests. They are just a bit of fun for your characters, something you might have the opportunity to do. They are linked to your characters reputation and faction,
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Matt H
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I have 50 c-rep, which I dont think is that useful here (correct?) Does anyone else have anything that would be more useful? Or we can just offer to pay the kid for his trouble and any information we might get from him. Tourists would have money, so that shouldnt look uncommon. Anyone can feel free to take the lead and interacting with this kid if you like.
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Rex has 40 @-Rep, which I assume is what is useful here, and I'm happy to (try to) use it. However, I presume that would require revealing Rex's identity, and the plan for the moment was to stay on the down-low. Should we stick with creds for now?
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Jeff Fournier
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Chung has 30 @-Rep, and 70 g-rep which I wouldn't mind using (though that's for the illegal rep). We do all have credits, so we could indeed pay off the Young Turk.
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Matt H
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Sounds like a plan, we can just pay him. We should come up with things to ask him about. Maybe this kid can help us find Mr. Anderson if we ask the right questions.

Gavin looks back at the kid and says (in Turkish) "We are looking for the gambling room at the bottom of the stem. Can you guide us there, boy?"
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Karl Larsson
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I'll get to the story tomorrow. I just want to say that in the game, how the rep-economy works, is kind of vague. But I think that, like any economy, there are ways to pay something in rep, and be subtle about it. Like bribes and so on. So paying in rep, doesn't mean anyone will know who you are.

But, as I said, I will continue the story tomorrow.
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Internet rage goon
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Given what Karl said, let's try this...seems more fun!

I guess I need somebody/something to translate, however.

Also, I assume I test @-Rep like a normal skill, please disregard the roll otherwise.


Rex steps up beside Gavin and wiggles his eyebrows plugging into Babelfish for a translation. "It's best to say yes, my boy - you may not recognize us, but you've certainly heard of us. You know that saying "The pinnacle of anarchy is organized anarchy"? Well, you're looking at its writer. People listen to me - tourists like our friends back home and even the power players in this nice little cluster of yours. A pleasant journey down to the casino, with no trouble from any of the...groups...here will be well-rewarded, and you'll find visitors hammering down your door looking for the best guide in the Kronos Cluster!"

@-Rep 1d100 = (64) = 64

Doh!
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  • 211268. vestige
  • 1d100 =
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  • Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:25 pm
Karl Larsson
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I was going to let you do it without a roll. You're rep is good enough.

With a happy smile the boy, Gizem is his name, leads you on. He quickly takes you out of the habitat, and into the first branch, from there you enter into the Stem. You are in the upper parts of the Stem, it seem poor, and almost dangerous, but somehow it seems plastered on. Gizem confirms your suspicion, This is prime realestate, but it is far away from the ports. The tourists who come here want to feel like they are doing something dangerous. Looking down at a trade booth, you see two locals haggling heatedly, while two tourists from the Commonwealth watch.

While the Upper Stem is crowded by light weight structures, the Lower Stem has more sturdy constructions and open spaces. It seems to have been a conscious choice to place to buildings in such a way, that it isn't possible to see from one end of the Stem to the other (after all, it is a several kilometres long cylinder).

Gizem leads you into the third quadrant of the Lower Stem, here most of the tourist industry is going on, and most of the shops cater to that crowd. Lokehula is located here, its light show being visible from quite a way up. When you pull yourself closer, you see it proudly shows of the colours of the Titanian Commonwealth. Several beams intersect at this point, making it easily accessible from the entire terminal.

Further down the Stem, into the commercial port sections of it, you see that the light weight structures give way to more permanent and monolithic buildings. Gizem explains that the centre of the lower bottom of the Stem is the centre of Ultimate control – their fortress, their temple.


Does this map make sense to you?
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Matt H
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Great idea, Steve! That was much more fun than just throwing some credits at the kid. Who knows, maybe we can keep him around. Also, fantastic job with the map and description Karl. Everything makes sense to me.

Mr. Locke watches his surroundings as they travel, scanning faces and listening for any interesting information.

"Gizem, tell me more about the Ultimate's Fortress. What happens there?"
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Karl Larsson
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“No one knows, but everyone has theories. Only Ultimates can enter, and some trusted employees. I think they spend a lot of time practising and meditating. Also, there must be an outer and an inner part of it. The outer parts parts of it that is used for storage, the more valuable cargo is stored there. The inner parts is a different matter. The KPA has their own Mesh and security systems, it must be controlled from there. Still, it is better not to ask such questions.”

Gavin sees there are four different kinds of people here. Locals, traders from other parts of Saturn, tourists and officials.
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Jeff Fournier
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Chung follows along a beam, fully used to the Zero-G once again. The chaotic design of the stem might help the group disappear quickly, but it will definitely put them at a disadvantage if they stray from the main artery of traffic.

"We don't want to be antagonizing the ultimates unless we really need to. How much direct control do they exert over the KPA facilities? Will we be stepping on their toes if we are doing legitimate business in the port?"

"We should also consider our return route -- we may be in a rush, or we may need to take our time carefully to maintain some anonymity,and I expect this main route is more closely observed by those who might disagree with our aims. Gizem, how easy is it to travel quietly in these areas? Are there other gangs that control the lower sections we should be wary of? We can hold our own against some desperate thugs, but if we anger a group as powerful as the Ottomans, we're not gonna enjoy the visit. Aren't these gangs mainly in the exterior clusters? Who really onctrols the Stem?"



There are those foot references again...
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Matt H
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Gavin listens to Chung and says "I do agree that we must be prepared to leave quickly should things go bad here during our mission.

Concerning the Ultimates, I may be able to gather some information from them. Should we not make any progress in finding Mr. Anderson, I do recommend that we see what they can offer us."
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Rex spends part of the journey asking Gizem where he should tell his readers to find him, whenever they need a guide in the Kronos Cluster. He tries to extract some tips for tourists as well - where the best eating holes are, the best deals in the shops, etc.

Can't hurt to keep up the cover.

As you descend, Rex stares hard at Lokehula, wondering how easy it will be to find anyone within that monstrosity. "Tell me, Gizem, do the locals ever frequent casinos like this? Or are they just traps for the poor silly tourists?"

At the discussion of the fortress, "Oh, the Ultimates always know more than they let on. I suspect this mission may take us there before long...."
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Karl Larsson
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Haven't seen Samuel in a while.

As you travel, Gizem answers all questions with in his most sincere tone of voice. “I usually hang out in the Kamal habitat. People traveling with FarCastix are my usual costumers, they often require – special directions. You can get everything here in the bazaar. That is what we locals call it. While everything is legal, some choose to sell there merchandise out in the habitats, but we are talking highly specialized services.

You should get one thing straight Extropian, if you want to survive here. The Ulimates are the KPA. They hire friendly people to be their representatives, and they hire the enslaved to do their labour. But they have the violence. True power comes out of the barrel of a gun, Atatürk said that I think.
Only the KPA operate in the Stem. Gangs that have tried to even get the tiniest slice of it, has been wiped out over night. The Ottomans aren't that though, they are just three guys, but they have does Reaver morphs. There are many much larger and dangerous gangs, but noone dares screw around with the KPA, even if they'd manage to unite.

There is a lot of surveillance here, but little is acted upon. It is mostly used to find the culprit after the fact – or after the act I should say. ”


The boy seems quite fond of ol' Rex. “No, locals that gamble usually do that out in the Clusters. There is an intense gambling scene in the scum barges that dock here. Lokehula attracts tourists from the Commonwealth. It is run by one from there.”

Just a question of time before I call them Ultramarines.
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Matt H
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Gavin sends a message through to mesh to the others:

"Perhaps Lokehula isnt a place we should worry about, if only tourists from the Commonwealth visit. Should we ask Gizem about Mr. Anderson directly? Or if he is aware of someone who once worked as a scientist on the Titan project?"
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Jeff Fournier
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++ I'm willing to use Gizem for item procurement, or to find Mr. Anderson, but I doubt the target is being very vocal about his past vocation. Nor do I think we want the KPA getting any whiff of his special knowledge. Let's focus on the basic details -- name, morph, serial number -- and see what that gets us first. KPA controlling the stem is unfortunate. If we don't have a quiet operation, we will have some difficulty moving back to the Ottoman Cluster. ++
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