Jade Imperium - Came To Make A Bang

e of pi 2020-02-18 03:45:38
"I'd certainly like the chance to make sure something happens by being responsible for it ourselves, and not in the middle of a convention," Luis says. "It means all we need to do is get them worried, not actually on the edge of anything. Do we know where they'd have a summit like that? Or even better--can we make them go anywhere in particular we'd have a better chance of getting around security?"
Admiral Duck Sauce 2020-02-28 17:40:38
FTE nods, and notes with relief how much simpler that was now that it wasn't inside a transport shell.

"Hoim, I think the best thing to do would be to work backwards from your best-case scenario with this harvester. Let's say we can gain control of it, so flat-out destruction is on the table, sure, but if you didn't need to blow it up, what would you want to do with it? We go from there and build back to what we'll need to make that happen, accounting for pitfalls as we go."
punkey 2020-03-01 20:01:04
"Depends on who's hosting, but whatever side Baroness Voath is talking with will be meeting at her headquarters," Viaweph says. "Her headquarters has a spire on the northwest corner that houses her office, secure conference room, and living quarters."
Manloni shakes his head. "Nobles. All work, no life."
"That spire is a fortress," Ilnu adds. "Armored glass, a small army of mercenaries guarding the lift up."
"No such thing as an impenetrable fortress," Garrett says. "But we'll worry about that when we know where they're going. Where might the others go?"
"Orbit, most likely," Viaweph says. "If it's gonna break, it's gonna be between the makers and the miners, and the miners all have their headquarters in orbit."
"What about Quaj?" Hale asks.
"He's not a leader, but if it's down to him on their side...who fucking knows where they'll go to ground," Viaweph says. "We have a hard enough time keeping tabs on what his 'industrium' is doing, let alone their secrets. Let's...try to avoid that eventuality."
punkey 2020-03-01 21:07:17
Arketta nods. "I'll be at the helm, just let me know when we're ready to go." She turns and hustles up the ladder back to the shipmaster's seat.

Ten minutes after that, Hug'sh punches the comms. "Galley's secure, see you guys at the crashers. Also, just a quick reminder, there are still cookies. I'm not saving them for after landing. You want one, you better tell me now."
"I'll take one," Zaef says. "Just one."
"Same," Arketta says.
"Wouldn't want to be left out," Angel says.
Hug'sh harrumphs his understanding, collects three cookies from the tray, but then thinks better of it and gathers all that remain into a metal box, carrying that with him instead. Shame to waste all that effort.


The spaceport on Grinacanne exemplifies the "rugged colony world" aesthetic of the world. A bare metal grid over surplus industrial piping, the grid is just thick enough to keep boots from falling through and give impellers something to push against. The surrounding "support infrastructure" consists of pressurized react mass tanks and stacks of storage containers for whatever supplies and equipment freighters have kicked out the door before departing for less sulfurous and friendlier climes.

A whole phalanx of support crew await the Crimson Akwhela as it settles down on the landing grid. The loadmaster doesn't address Arketta - instead, she looks to Angel. "Sir," she nods to Angel. "The Grinacanne Combine welcomes you to their world."
punkey 2020-03-02 04:09:12
"What would we do with control of a massive machine designed to take a square kilometer of whatever is in its path and turn it into pre-packed raw materials?" Hoim asks. "Well, there's the new Turai garrison that's been enforcing the strip-mining of Aikoro at beamer-point. And Olona's palace is very ugly."
Gatac 2020-03-02 05:44:18
Hug'sh stays well clear of the greeting committee, busying himself as an additional crew hand for the post-landing procedures. His gaze casually drifts over the ground crew and the surroundings, not looking for anything in particular but trusting his instincts to report in if anything seems...hinky. He also takes a deep breath through his nose - probably ill-advised given the chemical smells, but Rhea's always telling him what he's missing not using his nose and he needs to get a "baseline" of the odors around the port anyway if he's gonna be able to tell new, potentially more interesting smells later.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2020-03-03 03:17:37
"Cool. Grand Theft Harvester it is. I'm thinking that we only get one surprise shot, if that - and the garrison makes more sense. If they're out of the picture there'll be less to deal with on the way to the palace." FTE shrugs. "Olona himself will have time to bail if we go that route, though. I figure we either let his failure lead to his own punishment -" at this, the Sheen gives a thumbs down - "or we introduce some separate malicious code to the palace to keep him bottled up until we can get the harvester there. Maybe we can handle that part when we introduce the routines to override the palace override for the harvester."
e of pi 2020-03-10 02:04:04
"Sounds like we've got some places to scout, then," Luis says. "I should see what I can turn up on their digital presence. Orbital headquarters might be harder to get into that the Spspire, but we might have more options once we're there, and there's always blunt options. it sounds like Quaj is the one we need to ensure doesn't end up in charge of any of the factions, if we can help it when we split them up."
punkey 2020-03-28 06:34:03
Angel looks around, sniffs the sulfurous air, and scowls. "Where's my skimmer?" he asks plainly, as if it not already being parked and ready puts the loadmaster's job at risk.
"Ah, well, the industrium temporary lodgings are just down the road -" the loadmaster stammers.
"So that's what kind of planet this is," Angel sniffs.
"Errr," the loadmaster says.
"Good," Angel says. "This is a working planet, they shouldn't be wasting skimmers on me. We're a survey team, we can carry our own bags." Amusingly enough, his own bags hover at his hip, more than able to carry themselves. "Tell the skimmer pool that we'll need work sleds - private ones."
The loadmaster bows. "Right, yes, sir," she says, and scurries off.
punkey 2020-03-28 06:36:22
The notion of mulching Steward Olona in the disassembly forges of his own monstrosity gets appreciative nods from the rebels. "Sounds like a fucking plan. First thing tomorrow, we'll suit up and start scouting," Hoim says.
punkey 2020-03-28 06:39:58
Viaweph nods. "We hit the floor in a few hours for some intro coverage," he says. "I figure that's as good a time as any to press the flesh with the cabal leadership. What's your cover?"
"Industrium looking to start a related industrium here, with some very exciting Turai and high security contracts," Garrett says. "Mantas and high security skimmers and ships, just the thing this dangerous galaxy needs. It's Ibash's time to branch out from pleasurecraft into where the real money is. Luis is the tech, Hale here is our Turai contact-slash-bodyguard, and I am, of course, the brains of the operation."
Viaweph grins. "Dangling some fat Turai contracts plus whatever off-the-books work for the criminals and well-heeled? I just might take you up on that."
Gatac 2020-03-28 09:25:46
What Angel meant by "we carry our own bags" is, of course, that Hug'sh carries the bags. What's a survey team without survey gear, after all, and it won't walk itself over to the skimmer pool by itself - Angel's luggage excepted, of course. The sulfur and trace metals in the air linger in Hug'sh's sinuses, and you better believe his sinuses are huge, so there's a lot of room to linger. What did he expect? Better breathe through his mouth here.

"Let's hope they don't have a Wherren warrior-slave in the camp," he comments to the team as they walk casual, literally humping the gear on his back. The tufts on his ears stand up a bit. "Ten minutes in this place and you could smell the oil and metal shavings on us from half a klick out. On the plus side, we already made some friends. Turai scanner overhead, that's SOP. IDs should hold up. The other trin walking with us the next street over, that's...not." He snorts. "Let's see what their next move is."
punkey 2020-03-29 07:55:57
Arketta hangs back. "I've got to get the ship sewn up and secured," she says. "Za - Second? You're with me."
Zaef looks back to Arketta, then to Angel and Hug'sh and shrugs. "Guess boss lady's still got ahold of my balls. See you at the hotel later."
Gatac 2020-03-29 08:04:31
"Zee you," Hug'sh barks to Zaef and Arketta. Kind of a balancing act - simple Naranai for when he's acting, Whirrsign for when he's not, should be fine as long as he doesn't overdo it and the others don't answer in it. In any event, he's got the gear and his two left hands wouldn't be much use on the ship. He sticks with Angel, then, accompanying the noble on his way to the temporary lodgings.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2020-03-31 15:18:42
"That'll work," FTE says. "I get the big picture here, but you'll have to catch me up with what's going on outside too. Just the walking-around stuff. Until then, y'all need to know about this thing called Netflix."
e of pi 2020-04-01 00:19:16
Luis grins. "That's the general idea--offer them something difficult to resist, and hope it makes them come to us"
punkey 2020-04-17 10:09:32
Angel and Hug’sh’s stroll down the dusty road towards the “business” hotel garners little other attention than the two Turai trins. The mining colony of Grinacanne is one of the bigger exporters of raw materials in the galaxy, and so there’s always some industrium looking to start a mining concern on the planet, or monitoring something going on with their operations on-world, so a noble in a suit and his security escort don’t really rate much attention. As such, it gives you a good look at what life on Grinacanne is like: hot, smelly, and dangerous.

Even here, on the main drag where it’s mostly corporate offices and shops, people are still wearing their protective gear from their jobs out in the lava fields. The “mining” on Grinacanne isn’t like what the Narsai’i on the team expect from Narsai: what’s mined here is heavy metals and rare earths, dense elements that normally only exist deep in a planet. But here, Grinacanne’s heavy volcanism, a product of a young planet in a new star system, brings those elements right to the surface in the lava fountains. It’s not as good as asteroid farming, but asteroids don’t have atmosphere, even as gross-smelling as this one is. Tungsten carbide pumps pull lava out of the beds for processing and separation into base elements, with the workers here mostly to maintain the facilities and handle the less hot parts of the work.

Each plant requires a couple hundred to a thousand workers, given a few hundred plants scattered across the roughly two to three thousand kilometer radius that the Turai can reach for rapid response evac, plus another few thousand permanent staff at the Grinacanne “city”, makes for just over 200,000 people living on Grinacanne. Small enough not to warrant real attention, just big enough to cause trouble, which is why the Bashakra’i are here. Which, in turn, are why the Turai are here in force.


Angel leads the way into the lobby of the hotel. Both Hug’sh and Angel have been on enough shitty Army “training events” to know an inexpensive business hotel when they see one, even if it’s more than halfway across the galactic disc from Narsai. Prefab furniture paired with prefab art, nice-but-not-too-nice fixtures and decor, and perfunctory rather than elaborate uniforms on the staff, as well as a distinct lack of attendants rushing to Angel’s side as soon as he walked in the doors. After a moment’s pause just in case, Angel strolls to the front desk, followed by Hug’sh.

“I have the third floor reserved,” Angel says, swiping his forged vox ident to the...concierge is too nice of a term, so let’s go with front desk.
“Ah, what room?” the worker asks.
“The whole third floor,” Angel says.
The worker’s cheeks turn a slightly lighter tan as he realizes that this is, in fact, that customer the hotel has been buzzing about. “Yes, uh, wait one second, the Samal on duty asked to speak with you.” He motions to a set of double doors, behind which is the seating area that probably doubles as where the complimentary breakfast bar is set up every morning. “Please, wait in there and she will be right with you.”
Gatac 2020-04-17 15:33:05
Hug'sh stays quiet throughout. Nothing to talk about and it would look off, anyway. Instead, he draws up the various flavors of what a chat with the Samal might mean:
  • Angel is Important and this is exactly what it looks like: a courtesy visit. Then again, not very courteous to make a noble wait on you, even if only for a moment.
  • What's Naranai'i for baksheesh again? There might be a nominal fee for unspecified services. Still not Hug'sh's problem, though.
  • Cover already blown? Yeah, nope. They've had plenty of opportunity to ambush you already. Focus.
  • Samal has a "business proposal". That can only end in tears and/or gunfire but it would be most impolite not to hear them out.

As Hug'sh turns the matter around in his head, he idly clocks the locations of staircases, elevators, closets and emergency exits from the lobby. Third floor, huh? Window exit seems doable, in a pinch, but running through unfamiliar streets with turai drones overhead is not a winning exit strategy. Well, surely there's more stuff to get from the ship - nobles do tend to be forgetful like that - and that would be a good excuse for walking the neighborhood and memorizing at least two routes back to the landing pad.
punkey 2020-04-24 10:48:25
It doesn’t take long for the Samal to show up with a trin in tow. Two of the Turai take up spots in the lobby, while the third joins the Samal in the breakfast seating area. I’m not an interplanetary shipping magnate...but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express, Angel thinks. After a brief flash from the static red-and-brown semi-camo the Turai on Grinacanne wear on their armor to save energy relative to the true active camouflage back to chrome, the Samal’s armor goes to a more friendly gold-and-chrome look, complete with rank, campaign tags, and nameplate - Samal Ihan. With a twist, her helm comes off to reveal a dark-skinned woman, even for a Naranai’i, in her late 30s. She’s got the piercing yet weary glare of a career Turai from her one natural brown eye and one replacement gold ocular implant, complete with a gnarly looking scar that speaks to a very close call with a chamakana beam. So, not a career spent bouncing between cushy barracks.

She doesn’t wait for Angel or Hug’sh to stand up to greet her, and instead drops into the seat across the table from Angel. “Your travel documents from the...IK Concern? They list your name as Jonmai, is that correct?”
Angel takes note of the two taking up position in the lobby - not looking for trouble, but also not at all afraid of the mental footprint they were leaving on the community. Angel gently nudges a plate of...honestly he isn’t really sure...aside, his eyes going unfocused for a moment as he accesses the information, sending the information to Samal Ihan. Her presence wasn’t exactly surprising - after all, Angel wasn’t exactly trying to keep a low profile here. He motions toward the buffet. “Breakfast?”
“Already ate, thank you,” Ihan says. “So, your name?”
Angel shrugs. “You’re not missing much to be honest. Qualhan. The name is Qualhan. What can I do for you Samal?”
“Well, as you should know, we’ve had quite a problem with terrorists on Grinacanne,” Ihan says. “Normally these kind of interviews would be handled by some Steward’s functionary, but on Grinacanne, security concerns take precedence. So!” She leans forward and looks Angel in the eye. “What are your intentions on Grinacanne, sir?”

Angel meets her gaze, even and calm but not challenging. “Placed like Grinacanne...places with problems...are also places with considerable growth potential. I prefer my investments in places that aren’t crowded. That lack a certain polish. It suits me. My intentions are to find out if Grinacanne suits me.”

(Angel Talk: 2d8 vs. 1d8 = 8 vs 8)

Ihan eyes Angel stoically. She’s putting on a friendly face - at least, for a Turai - but Angel can’t help but feel like his every word or expression is being dissected and examined for a reason to call a Manta or two down on his head. It’s not random chance that Samal Ihan is the one here questioning him, that’s for damn sure. Still, she looks “who are you and what do you want” suspicious, not “I’m buying time for the accelerator shot” suspicious.
“Usually nobles like you have people for that,” Ihan says. “And those people have other people for going to places like this. Why come all the way out to a dirty, dangerous planet yourself?”
You have to give her points for actually doing her job. Angel files away Samal Ihan as A Problem For Later - assuming they’re not reduced to vapor in the next few minutes. “Because other nobles dabble.” She can almost hear the disdain in his voice. “They have people like that, who send their people to places like this, and they do...an 80% job. It’s probably fine. Most of the time. And that’s what matters, because whatever holdings they end up buying in a place like this are...baubles.” He takes a sip from the glass of water sitting beside him. “Their value as stories to impress their friends, to add a little grit to the investment portfolio, is worth more than their actual return.”

He meets Ihan’s gaze again. “I am not in the habit of doing an 80% job. By the looks of it, neither are you.”

(Angel Talk + a bit of flattery: 1d8+1d6 vs. 1d8 = 5 vs. 8)

Ihan’s eyes narrow. “If you want to prove to your friends that you’re some holoserial adventurer, do a Expansion support drop, Mr. Jonmai. We have enough problems on Grinacanne with terrorists and keeping the workers alive without needing to babysit a noble who fancies themselves a grounded working man.”
Angel’s tone turns more than a little flat. “What gives you the impression you’ll need to babysit me?”
On cue, Hug’sh straightens up just a bit, with a ripple of orange running down his neck.

(Hug’sh Might Roll to look tough: 1d12+1d10 vs. 1d8 = 9 vs. 2)
(Angel Talk: 2d8+1d10 vs. 1d8 = 6, 9 vs. 1)

It’s not hard to rep that you’ve been in the shit if you’ve been in it as deep and as often as Angel and Hug’sh have. Ihan looks Hug’sh over as he grunts and looks down at her - he’s not the biggest Wherren she’s ever seen, but looking like you know how to handle yourself crosses species barriers just fine. And Angel might be wearing the same gear as a noble dilettante on a prepaid adventure trip, but between the miles he’s put on it and the fact that it’s only now that his sidearm shows through his jacket is a good resume.
Ihan gives Hug’sh one last look before settling back into her seat. “Fair enough. And these opportunities you’re looking for, they would be…where, exactly?”

Angel’s at least slightly more approachable demeanor returns as he shifts his stance in his chair. “Not in the hospitality sector.” He taps his fingers a few times on the table, as if mentally drawing a map. “Largely speculative at this point Samal Ihan. There’s not much data on your world save for some very bright flags reading ‘Elevated Threat of Terrorism’.” He shrugs. “That being said, for a start the space port is badly underdeveloped. When you and yours restore order, there’s going to be a rush by those with slightly less appetite for risk to shove more tubes into the lava fields. What they pump out has to go into orbit. The concern that controls that…gets a slice of everyone’s profits.”
“So you’ll be sticking around town, then?” Ihan asks.
“I said to start,” Angel says. “I imagine a number of those platforms you're protecting have owners who...have people who sent people...and are now looking to offload their distressed investments. If you’d like to provide me with a map of places you’d prefer I not go, I will take that into consideration. I’m not looking to create work for you.”
“Hmph,” Ihan grunts. “That’s uncharacteristically considerate for a noble. I’ll have something sent your way today.” She stands up. “Well, Mr. Jonmai, you stay out of our way, we’ll stay out of yours.”

Angel nods. “Have a good day Samal. I’ll look forward to it.”
Ihan nods to Angel, picks up her helm, and walks back into the lobby. “All right, back on patrol,” she says to the trin, and they follow her out the environment doors as she snaps her helm back into place.
Hug’sh’s ears rise back to normal from their lowered ‘ready for the dance’ position. ”If you don’t need me to impress any more Turai,” he grunts, ”I’m going back to the ship. Need to get a feel for the neighborhood.”
Angel grins. “In my defense, my first plan was to introduce you as my chef.”
Hug’sh smiles. ”Well, I am that, too,” he says. ”Don’t box me in.”
“You contain multitudes.”
Admiral Duck Sauce 2020-04-25 13:54:41
Front Toward Enemy tries to explain it again, but it's not much help.

"No, no, the show's not really about freeing the tigers, it's about the big personalities and the... the spectacle of it all. No, the meat on that truck was from real animals, not vats. No, it's not tiger meat, it's expired- what? They can't grow his legs back, not yet. Fuck, I should've started with the Great British Baking Show."

The Sheen lets out a fairly good approximation of a sigh. "Maybe we should just get started."