Place ya bets folks!
A few days after heading out of the caravansery the team makes their way to the C3 Circular bound for Svalarheima. That isn’t their final destination though and the team makes their way from the circular to the ever flying Bakunin mothership, currently rocketing its way from C3 to C2 and from there to Varuna. The ship flying at 1 G thrust to maintain gravity aboad ship for the duration of the flight.
As you approach the lower landing docks of Bakunin, the true scale of the ship finally becomes apparent. The circulars are truly massive ships, but it’s shocking to believe something as big as bakunin can still attach. The three drive columns trail massive jets of superhot plasma, behind the two primary domes. As you get closer you can see the small city that lies beneath each dome… Small is a relative term though as some of the skyscrapers in that dome are over 100 floors…then there’s the Megascrapers close to the city center. Just below the domes and covering the drive columns in an Amoeba like blob are the individual environment modules that the various Bakunin sects call home. As you approach Bakunin a message pops up on your ship.
The message is just voice, no image, which is unusual, but the voice says: “FINALLY! You’re here! Oh man, I can’t wait to meet you guys. Unfortunately I am just super duper busy right now [you hear some very unsettling noises in the background], but see my assistant in Vaudeville! She’ll get you all set up! I sure hope you guys do a great job on this. I was just oh so disappointed when I had to airlock the last crew that failed me! Anyhoo! Have fun! See a show! Get some tail! Get A tail! Welcome to Bakunin! Just remember this old adage and you’ll do just fine: “Man is much like something something something you’re mom”
As the players approach they’re hailed by the Bakunin landing system and Doctor-Pilot-Engineer Aziz (the paranoid paramedic) manages to pull off an excellent roll and neatly dock the as yet unnamed ship to Bakunin. As the docking clamps clip in and the umbilicles connect a happy little Lesser AI named Archie pops up in their AR to welcome them to Bakunin! And also remember we have a no weapons policy!
Just kidding! This is Bakunin! Bring whatever sounds fun! And don’t miss Aristeia!
Ken the Dandy in Space, comms his old frenemy Miyoshi Nanami. She’s happy he finally managed to drop by and tells him about a race getting set up for tomorrow night! He should come if he’s got the guts! Therefore Ken take’s a break from the group to tune up (and completely spotlessly polish) his motorcycle. After all, he’s got to win this in style!
The rest of the team heads on to Bakunin and starts walking up to the location mentioned in the message. Taking in the sights and sounds of Vaudeville as they go along. The location from the message turns out to be a small time talent agency that appears to be doing some work with Aristeia! Artem gets a ‘secret message.’ (that the GM managed to paste right into the all group chat) from an old friend.
The group continues to scout out the location of the meeting a bit, getting a read on the lady at the front desk. She’s a younger woman with green eyes, white facepaint, and good sized floppy beagle looking ears…Par for the course and perhaps a bit under modified for Vaudeville. As they scout and try to figure out what this contract could mean, Kirk draws his sword…and is immediately spotted by 2 Moderators! Who start jogging their way over. Luckily it’s a crowded street and he manages to blend into the crowd along with a few other PCs… Dr. Aziz though…not so much, in being so surprised by the moderators running towards them manages to lose the gun in his belt and it falls through his pant leg. Luckily in the commotion he’s able to recover it. Sayid and Tkazi head in towards the building acting like nothing’s wrong, the mod’s approach, but between Sayid and Tkazi they manage to convince them that they have “no idea who could possibly be running around with a sword!” Meanwhile a “survive” echoes in the wind from Kirk.
The PCs enter the talent agency and start talking to the front desk receptionist. She speaks with a (fairly terrible) Boston accent, because I’m not so good at accents. Luckily she doesn’t have too much to say, she hands them a packet about the job and basically says ‘you can leave now.’ Kotsya authenticates the packets and checks for any viruses, nothing to be seen so he distributes it to the group.
So I’d planned most of this, but I forgot a few key details at the time, so I’ll put what I was SUPPOSED to tell all the PCs about this packet, some they found out later…you know… when I remembered…
Data packet: Pretty light on details. Small corporation by the name of Pelc Security Services. They appear to be a single company, but have some ties to organized crime. They’re located nearby. They have a vault and the contract specifically states, that the PC’s need to open the door so that the Client can collect Box 39B. Anything else in the vault is theirs and the client will provide protection against retaliation from the owners of the vault.
Now at this point my memory becomes a bit fuzzy. The PCs did a number of investigations to try to learn more about Pelc Security as well as this vault and how things are set up. I’ll highlight a few of the scenes then add a summary with most everything they learned.
First they visited Pelc, Sayid posed as a potential client, but completely flubbed his lifestyle roll to act like the rich and famous, luckily just then Ken the most dandiest of space dandies walked in and rocked out an assist…changing the reception people’s focus to him. He was brought to see the elevator that transits to the vault. Where the wonderfully friendly reception people explained that the elevator went down to a vault secured in the machineries areas of the ship where it would be hard to access, then only 2 people Borislaw Pelc and his son Wislaw Pelc had access to the vault which was time locked, so it could only be accessed at short durations of the day.
Kotsya attempted a hack with his newly acquired Hacking Device Plus, but unfortunately the dice were not in his favor. He managed just to alert the security team there of an infowar presence without doing much of anything in his ‘driveby hacking.’ There was also a thievery roll from Sayid where he looked into some underground contacts and found that Wislaw is a bit of a tool, but his father has set up 3 Lesser AI’s his ‘Sirens’ to keep him protected, so that he doesn’t leak any more Pelc secrets.
Meanwhile since their main racer, Ken has rejoined the party.
He notes that…Oh! Wislaw! My friend Miyoshi mentioned she’s working for him. He texts her and she responds, Yes I’m his bodyguard…why are you asking. Then Ken managed a perfect (for the GM) roll on his knowledge of motorcycle street racing. Which gave the PCs a true and false fact set… On the one hand he knew that some motorcycle racers add a lot of infowar techniques so that they can’t be affected by enemy hackers, meanwhile other motorcycle racers shut their infowar systems off so that they can be in full control of the bike…One or maybe both of those statements is true.
Once they’ve found out Miyoshi, Shadow finds her and tails her to see what bike shops she and Wislaw are using. Then the PCs come up with an ingenious idea. They’ll use an explosive they found in a previous mission to blow up one of the bikes before the race! After some discussion, we all come back to the conclusion that actually blowing up a bike might win the race it doesn’t… actually… you know… get you into the vault… It just either kills one of the only two people that can access it…or it kills that guys bodyguard.
The party then split up for a brief spot of time to go interrogate various bookies! One group went to talk to bike racing bookies and another went off to discuss with Aristeia! bookies. The rough summary is that the Pelcs have been taking a further interest in Aristeia! matches and have placed several winning bets, they’ve also placed a few losing bets. More wins than losses though. The racing bookies have Wislaw favored to win and Miyoshi favored as second place (can’t one up the boss right?).
Lastly the Tkazi does a stake out of the bank and figures out the hours that are clearly when these vault/safe deposit boxes are open. After a bit more discussion the PCs also learn that while the vault will be timelocked during the race, a few days from now there’s a scheduled service to commemorate the day of the loss of the 100 and the founding of the moderator core. There’s expected to be a protest, so the PCs debate about using that as a cover…and maybe using their explosive their to cause a riot! After a bit more debate and planning the PCs get set up for the race.
Ken swoops in with his favorite racing suit and says a fond hello to Miyoshi at the races, who is clearly surprised he actually showed up. Ken then gets ready to race with a helmet that’s perfectly cut out for his massive pompadour. The racer’s get set and the team sets up all over the potential racecourse to alternately watch and or shoot/hack/sabotage/throw swords/etc.
Aziz sets up on top of a building with his rifle ready and shadow acts as his lookout. Sayid sets up his massive sniper rifle on top of another building along the route and switches into TO Camo. Tkazi the Submondo detective/rich ass Maya star in the making, sets up his camera on a small platform underneath the raised public transit rail. Lastly Artem, Kotsya, and Kirk blend into the crowd near the start finish. Ken’s got a repeater on him, so as long as he keeps pace with Wislaw the others can attempt hacking.
We decided to spice things up just a bit with dice rolls. I do like the Infinity RPG system, but for both observation/analysis and things like driving, I’ve started doing it as a scale. For example if you do an observation and roll 3 successes you just get much more info than if you just rolled one success. So for the race, 0 success is a complete fail, off the track probably a turn length behind. 1 success is he’s mostly kept pace, but he’s a bit behind. 2 successes right on pace, maintained position. 3 successes, he’s in the lead or even farther in the lead! So for the first round Ken manages 2 successes and stays right up with Wislaw and Miyoshi.
Meanwhile the team mainly gets set up for their shots as the riders haven’t made it close enough. That said, the hacking team does get to work, they manage to crack into Wislaw’s database, but they alerted Miyoshi! Unfortunately for her a complication prevents her from doing anything, but riding to keep up this round. A couple of the other team members brace, and Shadow spots some moderators approaching this illegal race!
Next round things got a lot more exciting. As the racer’s looped around the building, they were in for a bit of a surprise. Ken managed to speed ahead of Wislaw, but after a complication came up he had to jam on the brakes to avoid crashing right into the last place rider. Sayid took aim with his massive sniper rifle and pulled off a called shot on Miyoshi! He managed a STAGGERING amount of damage and decided that he wasn’t targetting her tires…he was aiming for her leg, which disintegrated with a flash from his DT Sniper rifle. Unfortunately for him, one of those mods approaching Shadow and Dr. Aziz just so happened to be looking at the wrong place at the wrong time, and spotted Sayid’s muzzle flash. The mods just called in illegal street racing… and a sniper! Unfortunately for Sayid he’d rolled a pair of complications, so his massive rifle also jammed!
Now Tkazi…on an earlier roll to find his observation post where he could get some really good video of the race had rolled 2 complications. I’d used one of them, but I’d decided to save on right until now. He rolled…and failed a tough disclipline check… So to set the scene, there’s a street race with three motorcycles desperately vying for position. Suddenly the biker in third place… her leg vanishes in a flash of heat and light and her bike careens out of control, then bouncing at high speed towards the camera, and unfortunately recognizable a foot flies up and clearly hits the cameraman… then just a stream of vomit over the camera lense…
Tkazi’s staggered for a bit…cleaning himself up. He assured us though it’s not a live feed so he can edit all that out. 🙂
Kotsya then spends his turn setting himself up for better hacking protection and taking a look at Wislaw’s network. He knows the two things he needs to find are what credentials the vault will be looking for and where those credentials are stored. He gets his defenses set up on the network and since the threat of Miyoshi’s been removed, he’s confident he can find the info next round.
Lastly the NPCs get their turn and Wislaw rolls spectacularly and pulls into the lead ahead of Ken!
Unfortunately it was getting late and we had to call it a night. We’d made it about 2/3rds around the first of 3 laps…Although based on the mod core calling in a sniper… well… reinforcements are on the way!