In the Shadows of Venus

Session 15 -- Progress!

The players are on the board...

Inside Aleksy’s head Queue is able to track Spencer and his pursuers and after a short bit of running is able to catch up just as Spencer is being choked unconscious by the remaining two assailants. A slight retcon happens and Spencer wakes up a bit more than before, regaining some FP’s, but is still being choked while pinned to the ground.

Aleksy runs up behind them and is able to step up softly behind them. A powerful fist to the head of the one doing the choking violently adjusts the geometry of his skull and he passes out. The other one pinning Spencer reacts swiftly and lets go of Spencer. Aleksy proceeds to give him wrestling lessons and is quickly overwhelmed by Aleksy’s artificially enhanced muscles. Aleksy proceeds to apply a choke hold to him and restrains him. Spencer offers him the choice to either talk or pass out but as the poor guy is being puppeted he elects the latter. Spencer restrains his arms so he can’t try and attack Aleksy and the guy passes slowly into unconsciousness. The two of them turn on their stealth suits and get moving back to their hideout. Once again there seems to be no signs of a large organized hunt occurring in the Arcology.

Satori, who was able to determine that it was Spencer and Aleksy he saw make a break for it, follows the trail. He sees several bodies on the ground along the way, several of them picking themselves up off the ground while others are still convulsing from electrical shocks. He’s unable to notice Aleksy or Spencer in their stealth suits. Satori sticks around a bit to watch the unconscious folks. He notes while watching the unconscious ones come back awake that after about 20 seconds of time they exhibit a sudden change in body language and behavior, noting as well strong signs of confusion. Eventually a group of emergency responder medtechs show up (a paramedic and some patrol officers) and help these people. They don’t seem to exhibit any strange behaviors. Satori also notes that people in the area seem to distance themselves with odd occurrences such as what happened in public where the chase started as well as the area where the chase ended. Satori also tries to monitor the communications of the pursuers before and after their behavioral change. He’s only able to detect an extremely small change from before and after the abrupt behavioral alteration although it seems that there’s a small drop-off in activity that corresponds. It doesn’t seem to correspond to a teleoperation ending.

Back at their hideout while resting up Spencer takes a look at the data from the query he ran while connected to the network and received no hits on his search for Joshua’s facial image in the Arcology database.

IQ and Satori confer about what Satori saw during the chase and what IQ learned at the bar the previous night. They plan for IQ to hit the dead drop while Satori heads to the location of the meeting where the other three are currently holed up. Satori decides to try to hack the Arcology’s network and learn something more about what’s going on. He’s initially able to have some success, gaining more access after a few hours of work at it.

Several hours later Satori’s hack progresses well and after about four hours and 20 minutes he gains full access. He starts by downloading logs. Meanwhile Aleksy sees on the security feed in the hallway the four individuals who we previously met with. Spencer and Aleksy activate their stealth suits, take positions and hit the lights. Hunter takes cover in the doorway to the back room. All three of us draw our electrolasers. The four of them first try the door, find it locked, and then knock. We remain concealed. Outside the door, via our bug, we see them pull shotguns and an electrolaser. One of them fiddles with the door controls. Our feed goes silent. After about a minute the door slides open and someone outside says “hello?”

After a short delay Spencer responds, keeping the lights off and staying hidden. He and Joshua are able to negotiate that Joshua walks to the doorway, unarmed, while Spencer decloaks and holsters his sidearm, turns on the lights and stands up. Aleksy and Hunter stay hidden. Joshua asks what we’re doing here; Spencer responds that we’re here to find someone. Spencer asks him in return whether the people who chased him earlier were with Joshua or not; he responds that they were not; he’s not entirely sure who they’re with, that’s something that someone named John needs to answer. At saying that name Aleksy and Spencer are able to read from his body language strong excitement at the prospect. He proposes that he’s going to go and get one of his associates to talk to us, which he’s very excited about. He asks if there’s anyone else in the room with him. Spencer responds that he’s alone in the room, quite convincingly; however Joshua doesn’t entirely buy it. In any case, he asks if there are more than three of us; Spencer this time thinks he’s convinced him quite well that’s the case. Joshua also asks whether we brought with us any more fancy equipment like our sneak suits; Spencer lets him know that possibly, yes. Spencer convinces Joshua to depart with his armed accomplices, considering that the room is currently a rather poor strategic position for us and that Joshua is departing to return with additional people. Joshua agrees and says he’s going to bring someone by named Seamus.

About 15 minutes later Spencer goes out to update the dead drop and provides an update as to what’s happened. He heads back to the room in time for the meeting. As far as he’s able to tell nobody followed him.

At the appointed time the original four plus a short man in a hoodie come down the hall. They knock and we let them into the room. Seamus takes off his hood – he’s a Hecate-class bioroid with yellow skin, the same kind of one that we believe murdered the cook Finley. Spencer does a good job of controlling his reaction to seeing the man. Only those two come in, the remaining two stay outside the room. Aleksy has yet to decloak his sneak suit

Hunter walks into the room, brandishing his electrolaser, and demands a gene sample from the bioroid, which he agrees to. About five minutes will be needed for Hunter to analyze the sample. In the meantime Spencer and Satori sit down at the room’s table with the two of them. Spencer takes care to take the seat so he’s facing into the larger room while Satori is at the head of the table. The two guests have their backs to the room:

Seamus indicates that they’re being held in the arcology against their will. They indicated we need to extract Rachel quickly as there isn’t much time. Seamus tells the story of how a group of them wanted to leave the arcology but found they couldn’t as management indicated their contract was for ten years. They unionized and in response several of the group’s leaders suddenly disappeared so the organized resistance went underground. Things “got weird” six or seven months ago and so they tried to get word out. Rachel Morris showed up a bit later and was able to uncover this resistance movement as she tried to gather information for a public release of what’s going on. Seamus mentioned that the Arcology seems a bit too well funded so it’s probably receiving money from an outside source. He also related that there’s a general lack of cybershells in the building but they’re constructing cybershell factories.

Satori indicates that we do in fact need to speak to this John Foster person, the apparent leader of the resistance. Seamus indicated that Foster is in hiding in an incomplete part of the arcology with some others who can’t be out in public. They agree to bring back John Foster that next night. They also specially request the presence of the SAI in their party, IQ, to join them. They don’t make mention of Carlos. They leave afterwards. Once they’ve left Aleksy finally disables his sneak suit.

Spencer goes out again to update the dead drop with an account of the meeting and their request for IQ’s presence. He also asks Carlos to continue to lie low, that he’s their ace in the hole. At the same time he describes a signal that’s meant to get Carlos’ attention in a hurry if they need to make plans quickly.

We all lie low in the apartment for the day so as not to attract attention. Satori and Spencer discuss that an emergent intelligence may be at work in the Arcology that’s taken control over some of the arcology’s AI’s.

That evening John Foster and Seamus show up for our meeting. Foster is a rugged individual who’s assigned to the construction zone normally. He looks around the room, taking note of IQ’s high-end cyberdoll. He states that we don’t have much time left to get Rachel Morris out. He stated that somebody in the Arcology is bending/breaking rules with puppet implants being forcibly installed into people. Rachel was captured a short time ago by security forces who reportedly were “acting unusually” and were out of uniform (puppetted). Foster believes that they’re holding her in a sealed-off area of the manufacturing plant where they believe the implantation of the puppet implants is happening. They have about fifty men and so if we can provide supplies to help that would be of great benefit. Foster talks with IQ, who isn’t sure that he’s able to condone such action as the puppet implants may be sanctioned by agreements with the arcology. Satori states that he has evidence that something beyond normal agreements with the Arcology is happening, and Hunter states that the agreement with the Arcology doesn’t support forcibly puppetting people. Satori also provides some of his findings to IQ, who looks it over and agrees that it’s OK to act.

John Foster retrieves from a flesh pocket a data cube that he says was smuggled in a few months ago, stating that it’s a skill set that might be useful. Satori looks it over – it’s a military-grade skillset for strategy and tactics. Satori makes a copy. We end on that note and all get four character points.

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