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Re: Empire

Gatac posted in Empire on 2019-03-18 19:58:03
It takes a while yet for the thunderstorm to fully pass; enough for everyone to sort themselves out. But when you do exit the mill, there is still preciously little trace of Hiro Homi. There is, however, Lord Shira, arm in arm with his daughter Himiko, who steadies him on the way back to the carriages. The wetness on their faces must be the last few drops of rain. Just after them, the shaken Kichirou is helped along by Lady Ishikawa's men, to be escorted back to Lord Hetechi's mansion. Takao, having now twice met the young man at his lowest, can finally guess at why the dancer has so captured Hetechi's heart: there is a gentle lightness to his laugh, and he steals a laugh from one of the policemen with a well-timed joke.

Let us not forget - there's hope.

And yet...yet the cost has been considerable. Only one glance at the burned figure of Copperhead is needed to drive it home. Wondrous that he survived at all, but the fight for his life seems hardly over. Yu fusses over him while Sidewinder and a cop carry him forward on an improvised stretcher. As they do, the old mill groans behind you, like the last gasp of a titanic beast finally succumbing to the laws of nature.

Should it remain standing, a monument to the scope of Ikishi's cruelties, or be wiped from the lands and rightfully forgotten? A choice for another day, perhaps. For now, you make haste towards the factory.


Arriving at the former site of the clocktower, Yukio and Kirika are greeted by a big pile of rubble. It's a big pile that grows slightly less big by the hour as people pick through it and carry parts of it onto carts for reuse and disposal, but this is clearly going to be a while yet before the plaza is clear. However, a cozy little public house next door has had its sign taken down, replaced by a sign reading "High Office of Trade". A hastily erected wooden board displays notices about currency conversions, regulated trade good prices and new import regulations.

"Well, that's more than Itanu ever did..." Kirika says to Yukio as she surveys the scene.

Punctuating Kirika's comment is the sound of footsteps from inside. The door slides open and a positively tiny clerk sticks her head out.

"Number 103! 103, please!" she shouts.
Across the plaza, one man rises from the gaggle of sailors seated outside another public house - this one very much still operating as such - and makes his way over.
The clerk sees Kirika and Yukio, then offers them a tired smile. "I'm so sorry," she says, "we're booked for the day. If you could come back tomorrow...we don't have much of a wait in the morning."
"We are not here for clearances," Kirika says with a smile and a bow. "If you could let Shintaro-sama know that Lady Kamura is here to see how he is doing?"
"Oh!" the clerk says. Somehow her smile stays locked on Kirika while her eyes snap to the sailor on approach. "Stop!" she shouts. "So sorry, it'll just be a minute."
"Now you wait just a damn minute -" the sailor starts.
"JUST A MINUTE!" the clerk shouts. Somehow it's still technically shouting, not screaming, even if it leaves your ears ringing.
With a wince, the sailor about-faces and trundles back to the waiting area.
"Thank you for your understanding!" the clerk calls after him, then turns back to Kirika. "Right this way, please, Lady Kamura!"
"Yes, of course," Kirika says, slightly stunned. "Is it me or was that very attractive?" she whispers to Yukio.
"Oh, please," Yukio whispers back. "Sharp wind would blow her away."
"Such a commanding tone, though," Kirika says. "Physical strength can be trained, but inner strength -"
"Are you coming or not?" the clerk calls from inside.
"Not interested," Yukio whispers.
"What?" the clerk asks.
"Yes, we're -" Yukio says. "Lady Kamura is coming."
"In my defense, it was very nice swordplay," Yukio says.

Under the clerk's withering glare, you are led inside. Most of the pub tables have been converted to desks, where other clerks slave away over paperwork and apply big red stamps or wax seals as needed. Shintaro waves them through from the door to the back, where a storage room has been converted to his office. The barrel he's using for a desk is, apparently, still full of sake.

"Yes, hello, can we get to the point quickly, please?" Shintaro says. "This shipping license backlog will not clear itself."
"Yes, just checking in to see how your recovery is going, Shintaro-sama," Kirika says with a bow. "I see you up Itanu's backlog."
Shintaro sighs. "And then some. The reward for competence is more work. And it takes quite a bit longer to go through these applications when one tries to follow the rules. I would need twice as many clerks to make a dent in the paperwork alone. Thrice, even." He runs his hand through his hair. "But I can't exactly pull more funding and more people from my arse, can I."
"You can petition the council for just that," Kirika points out. "You are acting High Lord of Trade, after all. I'm sure they will find your appeals compelling."
"Already done," Shintaro says. "I even attached a report with some basic calculations as to total workload and required staffing levels considering various tasks, personnel availability, trade seasons and last but definitely not least the completely unsuitable offices we occupy now..." He scoffs. "Say, you're a gifted orator and you have at least a basic understanding of these considerations - unlike some High Lords I could name - so maybe if you could lend your weight to it and speak on my behalf, that might actually do some good. Not that I'm advocating we bypass the regular channels but I know when a kind word can help and, well, your words tend to be kinder than mine particularly when dealing with the...obstinate."
"I would be happy to, but I would also be glad to help you improve your oratory skills," Kirika says. "High Lord."
"I appreciate the offer in the abstract but the simplest calculation will show that the current issue is best resolved by your direct involvement over the effort it will take to teach me nevermind the opportunity cost of doing so, considering all the work I would be missing when we're already behind and not to toot my own horn, but the clerks out there do need rather a lot of my supervision so I'm not currently expendable."
"I will simply remind you that I am not going to be available much longer," Kirika says. Her eyes drift back to the clerk that introduced them. "But someone else might be suitable." Kirika gives her a slight bow and beckons her forward. "What is your name?"
"Seta, Lady Kamura," the clerk answers.
"Seta, what is the status of trade licensing?" Kirika asks.
"Um, begging your pardon, Lady Kamura -"
"Oh, out with it," Shintaro says. "The Lady is no stranger to the truth."
"We're fucked," Seta says matter-of-factly. "We started with a one month backlog, we're up to two and we're about to get hit with appeals that we'll have to start over with because so many records burned with the tower. And if we can't unfuck this before tax season, well..."
"Well?" Yukio asks.
"We'll be super-fucked," Seta summarizes.
"You know who this is?" Kirika asks, hand on Yukio's shoulder.
"Girlfriend," Seta blurts out. As Yukio looks at her, Seta blushes and looks away. "I...was at Lord Hetechi's party."
"Lady Yukio Matsumoto," Yukio says.
"Pretend we are the High Lords," Kirika says. "Update us."
"And tell us why we should fund you further," Yukio says.
"Ahem," Seta coughs. "Esteemed High Lords," she begins, then grabs a scroll from Shintaro's desk. "This is a declaration of custom for a small barge. It contains twelve items covering its various cargoes. Between receipt, reading, lookup and calculation, this form may about an hour to process. If a Captain has made a mistake or left out a piece of information, that can easily double. Call it five per day for each of our twenty clerks. So, one hundred declarations a day pass through our offices, if we do nothing else." She pauses for effect. "We currently have about two-thousand six-hundred declarations to work on. Every day we add about one-hundred and fifty. While these declarations lie unprocessed, untaxed grain rots and fruits spoil in ship's holds." Another pause. "In conclusion, we need more money and more people. Please."
"However did Itanu manage to keep this office running?" Yukio asks.
"Easy," Shintaro says. "It only takes a few minutes to count a bribe before you stamp a declaration."
"I recommend Seta represent you on the High Lord's Council - for the time being, until the backlog is cleared," Kirika says. "She makes fine arguments and has a...clear and distinct speaking voice."
"I'm glad we're all agreed on that, then," Shintaro says.
"We're all not!" Seta says. "Not all - I'm not agreed with you!" She looks at Shintaro. "Damn it, what I mean is I don't agree with you."
"It's an order," Shintaro says.
"You can't!" Seta counters.
"Yes I can," Shintaro says.
"But you wouldn't!" Seta cries.
"I just did," Shintaro says.
"...well!" Seta says. "Seems like I have a lot of preparing to do, then! If you'll excuse me, Lord, Ladies!"

She stomps out, while Shintaro smiles.

"Oh, don't worry," he says. "She loves a good challenge."
"Hey, miss," the sailor number 103 asks outside, "when do you think -"
"I DIDN'T CALL YOUR NUMBER! GO SIT ON A CACTUS!" Seta shouts, loud enough to rattle the walls.
"...was there anything else you needed?" Shintaro asks, quieter now.
"Prince Toshiro?" Kirika asks.
"Might you support his claim to the throne?" Yukio continues.
"I'll hear him out, at least," Shintaro says. "But I can't prejudice my decision before I have all the facts."
"Of course," Kirika says. "Wouldn't expect otherwise."
Shintaro keeps looking at her.
"In the meantime...I might ask a friend of mine you're familiar with about ways to simplify your work," Kirika says. "He understands your office very well."
"That makes the third time Silent Eye has offered his help," Shintaro says with a sigh. "Don't pretend he didn't put you up to this. Anyway, as I've told him before, he's free to come work for us, we'd love to have him, but I can't just deliver him a cartload of confidential documents and receive them back processed by Gods know what methods. I'm sure he'd do superlative work but he's not what I should call transparent about his methods."
"He's...not very much of a people person, but I will ask," Kirika replies. "In any case, I will let you know." She bows to Shintaro. "Good luck - High Lord."
"And to you, Ladies," Shintaro says, returning the bow. "Oh, and if you want a souvenir, we're happy for every brick removed from the rubble."
"I think Yukio might take a bundle to put in my pack," Kirika says with a hip bump.
"Why would I?" Yukio says. "We left a perfectly good set of stone weights at your farm."
"Maybe I miss you sneaking them into my pack every morning," Kirika teases.
"Maybe you miss something else," Yukio teases back.
"Maybe you'll want to talk about this outside," Shintaro offers.
"Yes, of course," Kirika says with another bow. "Good day, High Lord."
"Good day," Shintaro says.


Arriving back at the factory, you don't even have time to properly park the carriages before Ueki comes running, waving his arms wildly.

"I did it!" he shouts. "It's done!"

The question of what, exactly, is done is swiftly answered by a look at the docked Gungnir. Following the repairs to her hull and the various upgrades Ueki installed on it, the already formidable ship now sports iron plating above the waterline, glistening softly in the afternoon sun. Some of the plates seem movable, no doubt hiding Hanse-style cannons. Large metal pipes emerge from the side of the quarterdeck, apparently the exhausts of a metal engine installed in the cargo hold. The aft mounts a rotating platform mounting Ueki's catapult, the platform being covered in a light wooden frame hung with tanned leather to provide some protection against enemy archers. And just in front of that, the quarterdeck extends with a new forward protrusion with the relocated ship's wheel, surrounded on three sides by more iron armor with narrow viewing slits. In comparison to these flashy upgrades, the potentially much bigger feat of moving and re-rigging the masts seems almost...mundane.

"Eh? Eh?" Ueki says, openly much too proud of himself. That lasts for a few seconds, up to when the stretcher with Copperhead is carried out. "Oh no," Ueki mutters. "What happened?"
"Nevermind that!" Sidewinder barks. "We need a darn room and all the high-test booze we got!"
"Don't forget honey," Yu adds.
"...right!" Ueki says, turning to the confused workers and waving them over to come help. "Hot water! Clean rags!" he shouts to them. "Move it, people!"

As Copperhead is taken care of, the nobility emerges: Himiko at Lady Ishikawa's side, then Shira and Toshi.

"He didn't deserve this," Himiko whispers.
"Deserve rarely has anything to do with it," Shira says somberly. "Much as I do not deserve the lengths you went to to save me. If there is anything I can do..."
"There is, Lord Shira," Toshi says. "When the matter of my confirmation to the throne comes to the your conscience."
Shira nods. "My liege," he says, "that is not a favor that needed asking for."
"I meant no insult," Toshi says. "But I will not be handed the throne as a favor, either."
"You are without a doubt the biggest fool I've yet laid eyes on," Lady Ishikawa says. "I must say, I disagree with Lord Shira."
"...what are you getting at?" Toshi says.
"I think 'deserve' has a lot to do with this," Ishikawa says. "My liege."

Re: Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3

punkey updated in Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3 on 2019-03-18 12:34:51
Johnan grunts in annoyance, but drops two fist-sized couplers on the counter. "Grease these up, then we'll talk."

(Zaef Repair: 2d8 vs. 1d6 = 7 vs. 5)

Electoconductive grease serves many functions in ships - the nano-scale variations in surface that provide the nearly infinitely variable conductivity gradients across their surfaces also require a medium to ensure optimal connection, a function that the silvery paste fulfills very nicely. It also serves as heat transfer medium, siphoning off heat into the conduit surrounding the joint, shock absorber, and vacuum sealant. At least, it normally does - in what is obvious schmuck bait, the salty maintenance Rav-Turai has dropped two dissimilar couplers in front of Zaef. If you didn't know your ass from a impeller feed, you'd miss it, but while Zaef might not have memorized the Manta maintenance holos, he's turned a spanner a time or two.


Garrett throws in a short sign of the Akwhela. "Where were the impact sites?"
Odun Iawrosa cracks a little smile. "Very good," she says. "The first question I asked after our allies stopped cheering the fireworks." She walks to a smaller holodisplay and quickly reconfigures it to show a topo-map of the northern Chinese-Russian border, in faux color overlays that show both debris fields and the radiation dispersed by the destroyed warheads in the wind. "Most of them are on the other side of the border - not that the Narsai'i are eager to approach the fire arcs of our Rah'pahs and come collect the debris. A few came down within the perimeter in a whole lot of nothing. Thank the Masters for that. Our outposts are safe."

"What are these?" Ngawai asks, standing by the "China" portion of the big holo and pointing at a string of impacts around the border, especially the southeast portion.
"Civilians," Iawrosa says, the smile disappearing just as fast. "The Narsai'i flying machines are not very fast. It would have cost them nothing to give five or even ten minutes warning before activating the perimeter. But our Narsai'i 'partners' wanted a show, and Vidas Lam they got one." It's clear only military decorum is keeping her from spitting on the ground. "These people are capable of anything, Rav-Turai. They lack the technology and the strategic thought...but they also lack scruples." She turns back to the big globe. "Just what the Bashakra'i terrorists need to swell their ranks."
Angel's fist tightens. "How many dead?" he growls through the helm.
"If the reported manifests, there are a total of 1670 people missing, presumed dead," Iawrosa says. "If even three of them survived, I would call it a miracle. Right now, the only word for it is slaughter."

Angel's hand twitches - a twitch that Ngawai and Garrett both recognize and tense up in anticipation - but he draws in a deep breath and holds it before stomping out out of the room.
"My reaction exactly," Iawrosa says. "But they are our allies, I am told, and the Emperor's First brings the Emperor's peace in any way that the Throne wills it. If it is handing our finest defensive weapons to these barbarians and watching them kill each other with them, then that is what we are going to do - until we get new orders."
"So, we are here to sample the debris of...ineffective drones and pick though the debris of civilian transports?" Garrett asks.
"Yes, you are," Iawrosa says. "And you will do a First-damned great job of it. I already have too many Turai who think the Rah'pah have won the battle for them. But I look at the Narsai'i across the border and I see that they are still dangerous. If not to us or our allies, then to this very planet. Narsai is an Imperial protectorate and our homeworld, and I intend to treat it as such. If we are to end this war and leave Narsai as intact as possible, it will be on a foundation of discipline and knowledge of our enemy, not with laziness and arrogance. Don't you agree, Samal?"

"Couldn't agree more, Odun," Garrett says, his jaw tight behind the helm. He motions to the smaller display. "May I?"
"You're welcome to the atmospheric data we have," Iawrosa says, stepping aside. "Make sure you keep carapace sealed up at the crash sites. You don't want any of that particulate in your system. I'll have decon set up for you when you return."
"Thank you, Odun," Garrett replies, and flicks the display open. Iawrosa hasn't given him the crown jewels, but maybe he can at least find out how many Turai there are out there.

(Garrett Wits: 2d10 vs. 2d8 = 10 vs. 7)

Okay, well, atmospheric data and logs aren't exactly the treasure trove Garrett was hoping for, but it's at least a start. He flicks open the data records and - Vidas fucking Lam that's a lot of data. Thousands of points of atmo data from all over the territory, each reported daily at exactly regimented time stamps. It looks to Garrett to be some kind of automated process, but from where? He picks a file at random and opens it up: particulate measurements, oxygen, nitrogen compounds, hydrocarbon, exotic and radioactive elements, toxin screens, and a unique ID code that seems to be date, time, location that a quad ID? 4/50 of the 2nd Division of the Third of the Emperor's First - well Masters smite Garrett on the spot, it's a quad ID.

A few furious waggles of his fingers later, and Garrett has the whole batch of data sorted by quad, then collapsed down under each quad, and finally mapped to the geographic coordinates attached to each log. It won't be 100% accurate based on some quads being short-handed or other quads not having to report atmo data, but based on this, there's...just over 6,500 Imperial Turai Narsai'i-side. They're mostly spread out around the borders, but there's at least a few quads in every city over 50k people, and what looks like a couple hundred in Beijing. Any idea of stopping this invasion before it starts is over - the invasion has not only already begun, it's finished. The Imperium has come to Narsai.

Re: Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3

skullandscythe posted in Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3 on 2019-03-17 21:58:23
Zaef makes an exasperated noise. A few hours is not very good turn-around, and frankly Zaef wants to be on the next Gate out of here.

"I can't help speed that up in any way? I've helped service a Manta before - rather do that than catch an earful from the Samal."

Re: IC 7 - Marrakech - Day 1

Gatac posted in IC 7 - Marrakech - Day 1 on 2019-03-17 15:37:19
Mason turns the screen off on the Fractalphone. "Meeting's at 1700. Let's roll."


(insert lock-and-load montage here)


It's kind of redundant to call them Menara gardens and direct you to the pavilion in particular because "menara" means "pavilion" and anyway, they're quite pretty with the sun low and reflecting off the central basin. What few tourists were here have gently fucked off to the souks which are only now really coming alive, leaving you mostly alone here. Laith stays on exfil duty with a rental van while Blake takes the perimeter to watch out for surprises. First observation: there are no good perches around the pavilion for snipers or snoopers. That reduces the problem space to just the interior. Ops, Alira and Mason enter through the unlocked front door and make their way inside to the dimly-lit main room, hands near their guns in case this turns kinetic. Inside, there's a hastily erected folding table, with the recruiter sitting behind it on a folding chair. As he beckons you in and offers you your pick of folding chair from a stack leaned against the far wall, you notice that you're alone with him - and a teleconference box sat on the table, its futuristic aluminum and glass housing somewhat marred by the power cable trailing off it, over the table and towards another wall to a nearby socket.

"Welcome," the recruiter says. "I trust you had no problems on your way here?"
"Traffic was light," Mason replies. "deSilva is on lookout?"
The recruiter smiles. "We're here to discuss bigger questions, Major," he says.
"Indeed," a distorted voice echoes from the teleconference doodad. "I am Control. Sorry I could not attend the meeting in person. This will have to suffice."
"Couldn't get off the beach?" Alira asks.

Operations leans back against a wall, folding her arms in the universal gesture of "Let's see what you got first".

"Something like that," Control says. "Samuel, if you would give us the room."
"Certainly," the recruiter says. He nods his head towards you, then gets up from his chair and walks out.
"Issue one," Control says. "You have had a chance to look at the data that was stolen from us. What did you learn from it?"
"Mostly that you've been chasing RoI longer than we have, but haven't been able to even slow them down," Mason replies.
"That statement is not as inaccurate as I would like it to be," Control says. "We have been fighting a delaying actions against various arms of the Renewal of Islam for several months now, but with a very light touch. I did not know the scope of the threat until it was too late and therefore prioritized discretion over effect. The outcome was unacceptable, so I ordered a change in tactics. As a result, you became aware of us."
"Amsterdam?" Mason asks.
"The primary objective was preventing the terror attacks," Control says. "Although we would still prefer to take custody of Edil Varajev's laptop, that was a target of opportunity." Control pauses. "You destroyed the tank drone. What did you learn from it?"
"Looks Russian, but the sticker underneath said 'Made in China'," Alira replies. "Explosives were all knockoffs, so were the control systems."
"MSS was poking around, as you know, and the shipping papers for the tank had it moving out of Shenzhen," Mason adds. "And if you want a knock-off smartphone or smart tank, there's no better place."
"Problematic," Control says.
"Yeah, I got a question," Operations pipes up. "How the hell did you get that project file from WILDCHILD?"
"That is information I am not willing to divulge freely," Control says.
"Horseshit," Operations says.
"I can hear an inflection in your voice that simulates anger," Control says, "but I am aware that it is just a simulation. Never mind how I got that file. There is a more general question you should be asking me."
"What's your agenda in all this?" Operations says.
"Exactly," Control says.
"RoI first," Mason says. "What do you want with them?"
"Eliminate them," Control says. "My usual approach with malformed factors is more subtle but in this case I see no alternative to a complete eradication of their organization and everyone in it."
"Odd way of showing it," Mason says.
"I am not sure I take your meaning, Major," Control says. "If you mean to say that we have not engaged any known RoI operatives in the field -"
"I mean helping out the Bulgarians in Hamburg," Mason says. "We know you had a guy cleaning up after them."

(Mason spends Interrogation to put Control off balance.)

There are a few seconds of silence from the line. "Yes," Control says. "It is pointless to deny that."
"So?" Operations asks.
"I gambled," Control says. "I saw first-hand what you could do in Amsterdam. Frankly, you could put more capabilities into the field than I could. After you made a beeline for Hamburg, I had to make an unorthodox decision in order to delay your access to the stolen data. I tasked an operative with replacing the contractor that RoI had hired to help the Bulgarians achieve their goals. They would not have kept you long otherwise and their various plots would surely have failed without my operative's abilities in masking their trail. By the time you were ready to hit the vault, my assets were in place to intercept you on the way out. Even then, I clearly underestimated your...tenacity."
"I got two words for you, then," Operations says. "Fuck. You. You aided and abetted terrorists and your man murdered at least one innocent civilian doing it."
"That is accurate," Control says. "But rest assured the Bulgarians will not live long to celebrate their narrow escape. They remain our targets and will be dealt with at an opportune time."
"So, you directly aided RoI's terror attacks, in order to stop RoI's terror attacks," Mason says. "That sounds like the kind of shit that, no offense, Operations, the CIA would do."
"Yeah, and we're talking vintage CIA," Operations says. "Southeast Asia in the 60s CIA."
"I had a backup plan in place to ensure that they would have been stopped even if you had failed to do so," Control says. "I understand your anger -"
"No," Alira says. "Don't think you do, you bloody drongo."
"No wonder you're recruiting from FARC leftovers," Operations says.

Control stays quiet.

"So," Mason says. "You need our help with Renewal of Islam. Or rather, you need us to take over your RoI efforts."
"...yes, I suppose I do," Control says. "Permit me to ask, then, what your agenda in regards to RoI is. Do you also wish to destroy them utterly?"
"We were thinking about having them 'round for beers, but that works too," Alira replies.
"Utter destruction sounds lovely," Operations says.
"That brings me to the CIA, then," Control says. "I take it you are no longer on the best of terms with them in regards to WILDCHILD?"

Mason and Alira both look to Operations.

"How about this," Operations says. "You said you're not gonna part with your information freely, so let's trade. You tell me what you know about WILDCHILD."
"...and?" Control asks.
"And I don't call Langley and tell them to blow up the portion of your assets we have by the short and curlies, right now," Operations says. "Because I'm this close to just throwing you on the target list and letting another team sort you out while we refocus on our primary objective, instead of wasting time jumping through your hoops." She clears her throat. "Deal?"
"I think you have made your position very clear," Control says. "I will compile what we have and send it to the device." A pause. "I hope you understand that we have the same ultimate goal here, even if our methods -"
"Spare me the equivocation bullshit," Operations says. "Everything you know about WILDCHILD, within the hour, or all bets are off."

Mason raises his eyebrows while Alira suddenly has to cough and look away.

"So," Mason says, clearing his throat. "What's the overview of it?"
"What's the overview of all secret programs to create better people?" Control says portentously. "It's a failure. You will receive an excruciatingly detailed account of its failure. There have been renewed attempts to reproduce Kilo, but to my knowledge it hasn't worked."
"So, wait," Alira says. "They're building those regulators just for Operations here?"
"No," Control says. "There are other subjects who require them. But even with them, they're not capable of field duty."
"What about Bravo?" Operations says. She looks to Mason. "I listened to the recording from Jessica. She seemed hung up on him."
"The records I have indicate he is still being held," Control says.
"So, new question," Mason says. "With all of the weird bio-tech shit that Fractal is up to, can Fractal break the implanted suggestions and commands, fuck up whatever controls they have in the regulator?"
"Yes, we can do that," Control says.
"I don't suppose you'll want to tell me how it is you can do that?" Operations asks.
"I employ some smart people," Control says. "They worked backwards from the project data."
"And you had them do that just for fun?" Operations asks.
"Oh, no," Control says. "Contingency planning, in case the CIA did ever figure out mass production."
"Fascinating," Operations says.
"But we will need to fly in both the equipment and the experts," Control says. "I'm afraid it'll be about 32 hours before we are set up to attempt the procedure here."
"I've got nowhere to be," Mason says.
"I'll cancel my plans," Alira adds.
"I will make the arrangements," Control says. "...and I would like to conclude the conversation on that note."
"I'm all out of questions," Operations says.
"Looking forward to meeting the team," Mason says. "We'll just wait here while they pack their rifles away."

The line goes quiet as the teleconference doodad powers down.

"Remember when I told you I don't get emotional?" Operations says. "No longer quite sure that's true."
"How are you feeling?" Alira asks.
"Like I'm getting real tired of being yanked around," Operations says. "I didn't expect them to be secret saints, but..."
"There are no saints in this business," Alira opines. "But we can do better than these dicklicks."
"Leadership's always playing the long game and fucking over the people in the field," Mason says. "If they give us the latitude to do what we need to, then we'll see."

At that point, the recruiter walks back into the room. Giving you a curt nod, he unplugs the teleconference doodad and begins packaging it up in a hardcase. "I don't mean to throw you out," he says, "but I can't sanitize the room around you."

You make your way outside and to the waiting van, where Blake ushers you inside before climbing in himself. Laith drives off and takes a few corners until he's sure you're not being followed.

"Nothing on the perimeter," Blake says. "Either deSilva was in a really good palm tree costume or she wasn't there at all."
"Then let's head back," Mason says. "Eyes up."


Gatac updated in Wiki on 2019-03-17 15:33:13




  • Human Terrain 2
  • Languages 3
  • Law 1
  • Military Science 2

  • Bullshit Detector 3
  • Flattery 2
  • Flirting 3
  • Interrogation 1/2
  • Negotiation 1
  • Tradecraft 2
  • Streetwise 2

  • Notice 3
  • Outdoor Survival 2

  • Athletics 8
  • Conceal 4
  • Cover 13
  • Disguise 2
  • Driving 4
  • Explosive Devices 2
  • Hand-to-Hand 4
  • Health 8
  • Infiltration 6
  • Mechanics 2
  • Medic 4
  • Network 7
  • Piloting 2
  • Preparedness 8 (MOS)
  • Sense Trouble 8
  • Shooting 8
  • Stability 4
  • Surveillance 4
  • Weapons 8

Cover Identities
Stef Heimans, ABP - BURNED

  • Alira Holden, ex-ASIS agent and fiancé (8 points left)


Mason also brings with him 4 points of Extra Heat: 2 points in Colombia and 2 in Chechnya. But surely, the hateboner of two major groups of organized crime are not gonna create any problems for you at all.


Drive: Altruism. Mason's all about doing the right thing. He just lives in a world where the Right Thing usually is to kill bad guys.
Symbol: A family on their knees with guns to their heads. The names, the faces, the blurs together for Mason, who's seen this too often. The people just outside that neat little picture, the ones holding those guns? Mason's gonna bury them, bury them all, so he never has to see this picture again.
Solace: Alira Holden, ASIS. Mason and Alira have crossed paths before, both professionally and...less professionally. And unlike the rest of Mason's conquests, Alira was a good choice. Would be a great choice, even, now that she's got a medical retirement and is out of the game for good.
Safety: A farm deep in the outback. Breed ostriches, drive a fuck-off big ute, keep an arsenal of "hunting" weapons large enough to repel an invading army. What could be safer than that?
Trust: Tim 1, Luc 0, Blake 0

Re: Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3

punkey posted in Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3 on 2019-03-16 02:05:33
"You'll have to talk to operations, Rav-Turai," Magreol says. "I'm just a lowly supply specialist. If it doesn't pass through this building, they don't let me know about it."


skullandscythe updated in Wiki on 2019-03-15 19:53:36

Summary: Chief Petty Officer Leonard Weldon Blake (you don't want to call him by that, trust me) is a man of many hats. He's served the Navy as a munitions technician. He's resolved hostage situations and removed warlords, both with extreme prejudice, as a SEAL. His work with ONI has involved deep cover infiltration and discreet surveillance with very thorough reports. With commendations, letters, and a few medals to show for all of the above, it is safe to say that Blake's greatest talent is being whatever we need him to be - as long as he can be a little reckless, too.



  • Architecture 1
  • Human Terrain 2
  • Languages 2
  • Military Science 0/1

  • Bullshit Detector 2
  • Cop Talk 1
  • Flirt 1
  • Interrogate 1
  • Intimidate 1
  • Negotiate 1
  • Reassure 1
  • Streetwise 2
  • Tradecraft 1

  • Chemistry 2
  • Data Recovery 1
  • Electronic Surveillance 2
  • Notice 2
  • Outdoor Survival 1
  • Photography 1
  • Urban Survival 2

  • Athletics 8
  • Conceal 2
  • Cover 10
  • Disguise 3
  • Driving 2
  • Explosive Devices 8 (MOS)
  • Hand-to-Hand 8
  • Health 8
  • Infiltration 5
  • Mechanics 2
  • Network 15
  • Pilot 5
  • Sense Trouble 9
  • Shooting 8
  • Shrink 2
  • Stability 6
  • Surveillance 8
  • Weapons 5

1 Build point in reserve


Drive: Mystery. Why go to all the trouble to set up the bombings? Blake needs to get to the bottom of this, no matter what.
Symbol: Poetry, the only way to express what's behind Blake and what's ahead of him still.
Solace: Mama. Still keeping a light on for the son who's going everywhere but home.
Safety: Tibetan Monastery. One summer in college, Blake found something he didn't even know he was looking for up in Tibet. If he had to run...really run, it seems like the only place it could end.
Trust: Tim 3, Luc 3, Mason 1

Re: IC 7 - Marrakech - Day 1

Gatac updated in IC 7 - Marrakech - Day 1 on 2019-03-13 17:08:23
"Discreet, exactly," Alira says. "Until we get this Fractal party over with, I'm not stepping into any bloody crosshairs."
"Especially Sotelo's," Mason weighs in.
"Mind sharing with the class, Mason?" Operations says.
"He doesn't like open accounts and I'm one of those," Mason says. "He favors poison, but he'll use bombs or guns if he has to. Money, ideology, adrenaline, it's all the same to him - he just likes killing." Mason shrugs. "When even FARC tells you to knock it off, you know you've come too far."
"So, he knows you," Operations says.
"Which means he knows me," Alira says. "Don't it, Masie."
"That's my guess," Mason says. "We go after him, we're gonna have to take him out."
"Okay, then we skip that complication for the moment and wait for the call from Fractal," Operations says. "Blake, if you can snoop on Khoury without leaving this house -"

Blake just nods. It's like they don't even know him.


(Blake uses Human Terrain to get a bead on Khoury's plans)

Blake does a quick browse of the Marrakech scene on the laptop to see what Prince Khoury's itenerary might look like. Some things can be inferred from the public details of his last visit: He's liable to do most business at the hotel, so if you're gonna see him, you're gonna see him there, on his terms and surrounded by his bodyguards. However, there is one glaring exception to this rule. Prince Khoury holds a commission in the Royal Saudi Air Force and is a qualified pilot of several types of fighter aircraft, so he surely wouldn't miss this year's Marrakech Air Show, the highlight of which is gonna be the combined Spanish-US demonstration flight pitting Eurofighter against F-35B. Last year, he spent most of the time in his VIP box but ventured onto the airfield in his own flightsuit to get pictures with the planes and their pilots. Other than that, the obvious point of contact for Khoury is Hadir Mernissi, yet another Imam of yet another suspiciously well-funded mosque. However, Mernissi has been doing God's work for the last half-century. Funny that a man who's already been preaching his own way the whole time would suddenly accept funding from foreigners.


Finally, towards 3 PM, the Fractalphone goes off with a simple message: "The pavillon at the Menara gardens. 5 PM."

Re: Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3

e of pi updated in Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3 on 2019-03-13 02:49:39
"The First is always where things get hot, Turai," Luis says, trying to project confidence. "You'll be ready for it, we're just here to find out if the Narsai'i have any tricks up their sleeve. I'm sure there's nothing here we can't handle once we get a read on what they can throw at us. Fusion drones though...those could be nasty if you're not ready. Did the Rah’pahs have any trouble taking care of them ?"

Re: Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3

punkey posted in Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3 on 2019-03-12 09:31:29
(FTE Hide vs. Turai Notice: 1d8 vs. 1d6 = 6 vs. 5)

"I have no idea what a 'prom' or 'tux' are," Hale replies as he keeps a lookout, as the stack of crates is just short enough to not give a Turai cover to crouch down behind them and remain unseen. Fortunately, FTE is only a Sheen in a shell that looks like a Turai. Its legs slide up its torso just enough to lower the shell down to where its robutt is touching the ground and cranes its head over to an angle that would clearly be deeply uncomfortable even as broken necks go, but it's now entirely hidden by the crates as the interface jack clicks into the cogitator.

And just like that, FTE's mind expands to encompass the base's dispatching and maintenance system. Obviously not the most high-priority of systems, not even rudimentary security internally, but it definitely feels a much stronger security system off in the direction of a bidirectional data uplink, probably the Turai's operations center. Still, this is enough to have tasking and status of the First's fleet on Narsai, and big sigh of relief number one - none of them are exoatmospheric. The system doesn't even have entries for the bulk freighters required to haul a orbital Gatekeg up to space, so that's a big sign that there's probably no orbital under construction. Most of the Mantas are tasked out to various locations close to the borders of China; forward operating posts for the Rah'pah systems, most likely, but there's eight that are in cities - five of them are marked similarly to the border FOB taskings, meaning they're likely supporting Rah'pah as well, but three of them departed a few days ago and have bounced all around Shanghai and Beijing. What could those be?