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Re: Jade Imperium - Came To Make A Bang

punkey updated in Jade Imperium - Came To Make A Bang on 2019-12-05 09:18:47
Ibash is a textbook example of what happens when you let greedy people with zero morals play unsupervised. Corruption and graft rule the planet, which presents its own benefits and problems for the Bashakra'i.

First, this might be the first time since the original Whiirr expedition that the 815 won't need disguises, elaborate false identification, and a pre-planted Cortex drop of forged ident codes. One of the first things the cabal did was take over Gateway security - all the better to move their mercenaries in and out undetected and keep their beatings and murders under the radar - which means all you need to get in is forged paperwork from one of the industria and you're through. The Bashakra'i have operatives and recruited agents in four of the five members of the cabal, so entry into the system is handled, and anything short of a Manta can come along for the ride.

Once you're on the ground, though, shit gets difficult in a hurry. On top of the normal Kansatai and Turai presence a planet of 2 billion has, the main city of Aelpa is crawling with mercenaries, all hired guns of the five industria. They're the main reason the Bashakra'i haven't been able to crack Ibash yet - they're tapped into the Kansatai feeds, and while the mercs don't respond to crime, anyone they flag for "addressing" better avoid the sconces because their capture/kill teams have response times under 5 minutes. It's a very effective system of brutal oppression, and that combines with the casual brutality and utter ruthlessness the industria use to dominate any businesses on Ibash. The Bashakra'i file notes a scrofa skewer place outside Aelpa that was getting known for being better than one of the favorites of Zaakon Quaj that turned down an "offer" to relocate to Aelpa, and a week later, the owner was found in his kitchen dead, shot multiple times by beamers. If that's how they handle not having the best skewers 10 minutes by skimmer away, imagine how they handle actual threats to their power.

And that power is balanced in a very delicate structure. When the cabal first took over, they were all shipbuilders, but once the graft truly set in, the horizontal conspiracy flipped on its side, with each of the original shipbuilding industria taking over a different part of the process. At the top of the balancing act is Nana Voath, matriarch of Kini Aerospace. Kini are the makers of space-faring vessels from intra-planet short hoppers to luxo-yachts to bulk freighters. They're the only one of the five industria still making actual spare-faring ships anymore, and it's no coincidence that the mastermind of the entire operation put herself in the most prestigious and powerful position. All the lats and power flows through Kini, and the Bashakra'i have little doubt that the other four members are less than totally thrilled about it, but they're both making more than enough lats and afraid of what a woman who has ordered the execution of at least one, probably two of her children will do to them.

Zaakon Quaj heads up Quaj Astrotech, formerly Quaj Vessels. He started in his father's company (which was his father's and so on for at least four or five generations) in the cogitator design and coding department, and when the cabal restructured Ibash's economy to suit their needs, it was that experience that lead him to agree to handle cogitators and code for the newly-formed illegal trust. This seems like it would be a fairly simple and lightweight gig, but that would be a very deadly mistake. Quaj's expertise for the cabal is less in outfitting ships with the latest and greatest computational equipment, and instead is in the maintenance of their dominance of the Ibash system. Quaj and his teams are responsible for their penetration into legitimate Imperial Kansatai and Turai systems, their extensive network of spies, and the dispatch and control of the cabal's combined mercenary forces. When any of the cabal want someone dead, it's Zaakon Quaj that makes sure it happens. He approaches his current work of "chief of secret corporate terror police" with the same methodical tertiary academy training that put him in charge of Quaj Vessels in the first place, and if "like if a Harvard MBA ran the Stasi" doesn't give you pause, it should.

Arlomai Teon is far and away the youngest member of the cabal, having been appointed by Iloa Osaon, the previous head of Getkesa Combine, via his last will and testament after his death shortly before the industria cabal’s plans were set in motion. The circumstances surrounding Osaon’s death are still a common source of gossip on Ibash, with “one of the other industria heads did it”, “Arlomai did it”, and “he was an old man who just died” all about even in people’s estimation. Either way, the industria she inherited has settled into the role of skimmer manufacturing. It’s not as glamorous as making space vessels, but the profit margins are still killer and it’s a prestigious enough position to keep her one of the public faces of the industria cabal, debuting new skimmer models across her product lines. Recently, Getkesa has taken to making a new line of high-end ultra-luxe skimmers with limited exo-atmospheric abilities. How Nana Voath feels about this intrusion into her domain is still unknown.

Ralon Toa’s position at the top of Arsa Production was also…”inherited”, one could say, but unlike the former head of Getkesa, there’s no mystery to be solved here. Koaj Arsa, the original head of Arsa Production, didn’t appreciate his family business being turned into nothing more than a raw materials refinery and heavy industrial production facility, both of which go to either the other cabal industria or shipped off-world at a significant markup, and refused to play along with Nana Voath’s plans. So, one day there was a meeting at his offices, and the next day his bodyguard, Ralon Toa, was announced as the head of Arsa Production following a tragic slip-and-fall accident in the shower that broke Koaj Arsa’s neck. Toa was a Kansatai in a previous life, and as far as the Bashakra’i can tell, is mostly just a rubber stamp for the rest of the cabal.

Which brings us to Hoa Yarruis. He was the other member of the cabal that wasn’t originally particularly interested in his industria, Duwalon Shipyards, leaving shipbuilding for the considerably less prestigious position of running mining in the Ibash system. After Koaj Arsa had his tragic accident, however, he had a sudden change of heart about the future direction of Duwalon, and they suddenly started buying up controlling interest in every mining industria in the system. Duwalon still makes a few small skimmers and ships, all purely inexpensive runabouts working off of more inefficient and older designs, and the Bashakra’i figure Nana Voath lets him keep them to soothe his pride, as long as the mining keeps on rolling.

Re: Jade Imperium - Came To Make A Bang

punkey posted in Jade Imperium - Came To Make A Bang on 2019-11-26 07:12:27
Front Toward Enemy gets their intel first by dint of their vox "inbox" being a part of their consciousness, rather than the rest of the team's inefficient process of actually needing to read something before it enters their minds.

Aikoro has undergone a lot of changes since the 815 visited more than a year ago. Firstly, they've rebuilt that plaza that they tore up in the firefight. It's now also got a memorial to "the innocents lost during the heinous act of Narsai'i terrorism" off to one side, despite all of the sixteen names on the memorial having Kansatai and Turai rank before them. Not exactly "innocent" when you were the ones doing much of the shooting, but one must take your propaganda efforts where you find them. That extra attention has come with an increased Turai presence - above and beyond the standard replacement of Kansat and stinger drones with Turai patrols that most Gateports have undergone, the city on Aikoro has had an entire Turai garrison added nearby the Steward's palace.

Oh, that's right, the Steward's palace, which brings us to Steward Aksa Olona himself, who commissioned the garish domicile/fortress when he arrived. Previous Stewards have been chosen from the native Aikoro population, and were more interested in encouraging tourism, promoting conservation efforts and local small business, and getting a little extra from the Imperium's coffers than anything else. After the 815 attack, it was decided that someone with more...experience should be brought in to manage the new Turai garrison. Aksa Olona had very successfully run colonies on three Expansion worlds, and his record of profits and stability spoke for themselves to the Imperium. To the Bashakra'i, his significantly higher than normal fatality rate among indentured workers, brutal crackdowns by both Turai and mercenaries alike on any workers that spoke out, and the string of destroyed ecosystems and toxic waste dumps he leaves behind also speak for themselves. The Bashakra'i have a very sore spot when it comes to beautiful forest worlds turned into scarred hellscapes by the greed of the Imperium, and have stepped up their efforts on the planet.

Most of those efforts have been directed against Steward Olona's pride and joy - a Skeksis Combine H-232 Processing Array, a very boring name for a very large and intimidating machine. Spanning more than half a kilometer per side, the Array is designed to take any raw material you want - rocks, trees, dirt - and process it down into anything from structural wooden beams to sawdust or gravel to raw metal sponge sorted by element. The fleet of 25 rovers at its command fly out up to a mile away, deploy their plasma cutters to cut off and scoop up whatever it is they're being sent for, and transport it back for processing. And the whole damn thing moves - slowly, but it does move under impeller lift. Olona had to lobby hard and leverage most of his wealth to get Skeksis to agree to bring one to Aikoro, but in the six months or so it's been processing, it's already burned a path through the Aikoro'i wilderness visible from space.

Obviously, the focus of the Bashakra'i efforts has been stopping the Array, but that's easier said than done. The Array might be automated, but that doesn't mean it's exposed. The Bashakra'i have tasked one of their best slicer teams on the job, but Olona was smart enough to bring top-of-the-line cogitator security with him, and the behemoth itself is basically a Turai garrison on its own. Hacking the controls from Olona's palace is the best bet, but the Bashakra'i sent slicers, not soldiers, and they need someone who can do both to make the magic happen. Leading the Bashakra'i team is Anoni Hoim, someone with a history with the 815 - or rather, her boyfriend Jonnoperest did when he volunteered for the strike on the Repository of Benevolent Spirits on Napai and didn't come back. Bello's notes don't indicate her feelings towards the team either way, but it does stand out right away to anyone on the team that this might be a bit of a delicate situation.

Re: Shadow Warriors

Gatac updated in Shadow Warriors on 2019-11-21 19:42:57
The years have not been kind to Takao's station. Without a master to turn to, he was living as a sellsword before he made a fateful encounter in Kargbeck - but even working for bowls of rice was better than carrying jars of paint through a palace basement. But Takao does not dream of complaining. Laboring though he might be, he retains his dignity. There are no low jobs, only low men.

It is quite the surprise, then, to turn the corner of a storeroom and stand in a field of silvergrass, with a field of clouds hiding the setting sun. Gazing wistfully at the horizon is Tatsuyuki-sensei, his old master. No, his current master, as this is...this is the evening. This is that evening, just hours before the assassin will come and murder Tatsuyuki-sensei and turn Takao from promising young samurai to wandering, disillusioned ronin. But if it is, if it truly is, how does Takao know this? As he squints, the image before him wavers. An illusion! But the enemy is nowhere in sight.

"Ah, Takao-kun!" Tatsuyuki-sensei says, turning and favoring his best student with a warm smile. "You surprised me."

Play along, Takao thinks, keeping his eyes open for signs of danger. "I hope I am not disturbing you, teacher," Takao says. The same words as all those years ago come from his mouth almost unbidden. No matter how steeled his mind might have gotten, his heart well remembers this moment. "I have come to you with a question that I...did not think prudent to ask among the company of the others."

"I have not known you to be circumspect, Takao," Tatsuyuki-sensei says with a nod. "Tell me, what is the question that could trouble you so?"

"Honor is the sword that never dulls," Takao says. "Yet loyalty is the iron which cannot be cut. Suppose then that they meet. Which will falter?"

Tatsuyuki-sensei considers this. "You ask several questions," he says. "If we look through history, Takao-kun, we find that all too often, honor and loyalty falter together. I hope my instruction will lead you to correct thought, which - with correct heart - will lead to a perfect, correct action. Yet I cannot change your fate or mine. If you are to live this life, you must find your way in the great order." He turns back to the setting sun. "The ultimate answer is that neither can falter because they will never meet. The honor that thinks itself above loyalty is arrogance. The loyalty that pays no heed to honor is thoughtlessness. Both arrogance and thoughtlessness are false and must be destroyed."

"Yes," Takao says. Tatsuyuki-sensei, for all his skill with the sword, was long on the sentimental. "So if my lord gives an unwise order -"

"Never betray yourself," Tatsuyuki-sensei says. "Death before dishonor."

"Yes," Takao repeats, "but what if somebody else would then be ordered -"

"I do not speak of your death," Tatsuyuki-sensei says, and finally turns to face Takao completely. Takao squints again. This...this is wrong. "Protect your lord's honor. If that means opposing him, do so. Such is the true loyalty."

"You...would counsel me to turn against my master?" Takao asks.

"If it serves bushido," Tatsuyuki-sensei(?) says. "And thereafter, protect your honor. Face your true destiny ready to die. You have done what you have done to be true to bushido; the judgment of your lessers need not burden your soul in the next world."

"This is wrong, master," Takao says. "No samurai would do such a thing."

"But this is what you would have liked to do, isn't it?" Tatsuyuki-sensei(?) says, and finally Takao hears the true voice behind it. The yokai. "When you finally learned that our liege played a part in my death, you wished so fondly that you had killed him before he could sign away my life for coin...and damn the consequences. You would have gladly died a traitor and murderer to save me, wouldn't you?"

"That...I would have done everything for you, master," Takao says. Where is the yokai hiding? His eyes sweep beyond the silvergrass, the glint of the evening sun on it, to search the cellar's shadows.

"What if you could simply tell me, now, of the plot?" the yokai-as-Tatsuyuki says. "You look up to me and my wisdom. Surely I would have found a wise way of dealing with this. Perhaps if I had done the deed, we could have fled together? Or if I had confronted our lord, he would have thought better of his scheme?" The yokai-as-Tatsuyuki smiles again. "Takao-kun, you have spent years searching for the right way to avenge me and haven't found it. You had your suspicions this evening, but you knew nothing of the plot and there was nothing you could have done to stop it, then. If you did not fail, then you had no cause to kill yourself. And you never considered killing our lord - you have forgotten his name, have you not? That is how little he matters to you now."

Takao gulped. Could the yokai be reading his heart? "What are you saying?" he asks.

"I am saying you have been stuck for years trying to figure out what to do about your pain," the yokai-as-Tatsuyuki says. "You must know by now that there is no logical response to your feelings. But I can offer an illogical one." He reaches out his hand. "Come with me. Stay in this moment. Dwell with me here, that I might not go to my death, and maybe tomorrow the sun shall rise on a better world. A world without your pain in it."

Takao snorts as he catches the glint of a polished stone in the middle of the shadows beyond the illusion. Be it ever so small, there is light shining in the darkness beyond. "What touching melodrama, shadow-creature," Takao says coolly. "Would that this theater had a flute player to accompany our earnestness. Have you visited such honeyed words upon the others yet or have I earned the honor of being tempted first?"

The yokai grins through Tatsuyuki. The illusion does not disappear, but twists on itself, becoming poorer and less clear without the attendant focus on its magicks. "YOU ARE AN ANNOYANCE TO MY PLANS AT BEST, APE," the yokai says. "YET YOU HAVE NOT DEALT ME SUCH INJURY AS YOUR FRIENDS HAVE. AM I THE FIRST TO MEET YOU WITH KINDNESS? NO WONDER IT IRRITATES YOU SO."

"I've heard plenty of sweet lies," Takao says. "You're not very good at them, by the way. I am actually feeling substantially less respect for Lady Ikishi now that I know she fell for your act."

"SPEAKING OF SUMIKO AND KINDNESS," the yokai replies, "I WAS QUITE FASCINATED TO LEARN OF HIMIKO -"

Takao's reply is swift; he draws the repeating handgonne from his belt and fires at what he can make out of the stone. It's a glancing hit, sadly, as the stone whirls away in the moment between the trigger pull and the powder charge igniting, but it is enough to make it spark in the shadow - and shatter the illusion immediately. Takao blinks to push himself free of the false image and fans the gonne for another shot and another, chasing the stone through the cellar until it disappears. He looks around, tries to spot the yokai around, but that seems to have done the trick of chasing it off. Still gripping the gonne, Takao advances on the shadow across the room, then feels the wall behind where the yokai was a few seconds ago. The stone is slick with a spatter of fresh blood - human blood. Takao frowns. Whatever else that might mean, it does reveal one thing - the rotbeast can be hurt.

"Takao! Takao!" comes the shouting of High Lord Nikochi, strutting into the room behind him. "What are you doing? I need that paint delivered, not you setting off your...your toy down here! My ears are still ringing! Now come, we have to finish the sigils!"

"...you can handle it," Takao comments, breaking open the gonne to reload. "I have to go check on someone." He strides past the stunned Nikochi to make for the stairs up to the palace. Is the creature really after Himiko, or was that a ruse? It's a chance he can't take.

"Pft!" Nikochi calls after him. "Rude and disobedient! Some samurai you are."

Takao snorts again. "I'm no samurai," he says. "Not anymore."

Re: Jade Imperium - Came To Make A Bang

punkey updated in Jade Imperium - Came To Make A Bang on 2019-11-14 10:08:05
"Conspiracies with businesses usually are about making money," Garrett says. "Everyone makes money, everyone's happy. People stop making money, people start making more money than others think they should, conspiracy gets a lot more shaky and it'll just take one good push to get everyone at each other's throats. And by that, I mean killing each other." He nods to Luis. "Thinking some kind of less-than-legal business opportunity comes their way, so I'll need some help backing that up on the tech side..." And then Garrett's eyes turn to Hale. "And we're going to need a tough guy." Garrett nods to Swims-the-Black. "Two tough guys."
Hale shakes his head. "If you're looking for a con artist, you are looking in the wrong place."
"Think you can manage to look like you've cracked a head or two in your time?" Garrett asks.
"I have cracked a head or two in my time," Hale says.
"Perfect, then you'll do just fine," Garrett says. "We'll coach you."

Garrett looks back to Hug'sh. "So, that's me, Luis, Swims-the-Black and Hale on Ibash, you, Zaef, Angel and Arketta on Grinacanne, and FTE having fun on Aikoro." He turns to Paul and Onas. "Got any better ideas?"
Onas shrugs. "Sounds solid to me."
Onas looks to Paul, who looks like he's either standing on a tack, suffering severe GI distress, or contemplating signing off on Garrett's plan. "Fine. I'll get the intel packages sent over, just give me a half-hour."
Bello stands up and walks over to Paul before putting a hand on his shoulder. "Now you know what it is like to work with the 815."

Re: Jade Imperium - Came To Make A Bang

Gatac posted in Jade Imperium - Came To Make A Bang on 2019-11-13 17:44:21
Hug'sh considers the issue. "I think you're most needed on Ibash," he says. He looks over to Garrett. "You will be running an elaborate con there, yes?"

Re: Jade Imperium - Came To Make A Bang

punkey posted in Jade Imperium - Came To Make A Bang on 2019-11-08 20:58:08
"And I'm the best tactician," Arketta pipes up from her seat.
Hug'sh says nothing and just smirks with a green and red ripple through his fur.
Arketta shrugs and stands up. "I'm just saying, Hale would probably know current Turai field tactics better than me. Why not him?" Hale puts his hands up and leaned back, obviously wanting nothing to do with this discussion.

Arketta looks Hug'sh in the eyes. "Say it."
Hug'sh stands up and ruffles his fur. "Truly, you stand tallest among the giants of fieldcraft."
Arketta smirks as Hug'sh's smirk grows. "Nice try."
Hug'sh returns the smile. "Do we need to start the count again?"
"It's cute you think it ever stopped," Arketta says.
"I did handicap myself by getting promoted to General. What was I thinking?" Hug'sh grunts.
"It's okay to admit you've lost a step and best serve in a leadership role," Arketta says. "It's a sign of maturity."
Hug'sh lumbers over to stand over Arketta. "Well, it did get me the chance to talk to your mother. Maybe next time we'll look at baby pictures."
Arketta crosses her arms. "Good, I was adorable."
Hug'sh's fur ruffles again, green and yellow this time. "...loser cooks dinner for the team?"
Arketta smiles. "You know it."
Hug'sh nods. "Then I hope one camp will be enough to break any ties."

Re: Jade Imperium - Came To Make A Bang

Gatac posted in Jade Imperium - Came To Make A Bang on 2019-11-08 20:11:14
"If it is all the same to you, Angel, I want you with me on Grinacanne as overwatch," Hug'sh says, his eyes sweeping over Zaef and Arketta. "I would also like you two with me. Zaef, your instincts and your prowess at close range could be decisive. Swims may have kicked me up and down the training sands for a good while already but chances are, there'll be some call for...finesse...before I start throwing people around. And Arketta - well, I'm not quite sure yet how you'll end up saving our humps but I am quite sure we'll need you to do it. And you would be the best judge of what goes on in the camp. We'll need that insight to plan our final approach."

Re: Jade Imperium - Came To Make A Bang

CrazyIvan posted in Jade Imperium - Came To Make A Bang on 2019-11-06 21:33:03
Angel grins slightly. "Madcap plans by the spook always seem to work out decently enough. I can go wherever I'm needed - all of these will eventually need someone shot. Just have that feeling."