Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

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Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

Hello all,

I'm long time lurker on the forums and fanatical fan of EP. I just thought I'd let people know that my group over at Role Playing Public Radio has posted the first actual play of our Eclipse Phase campaign, entitled Know Evil (homophone confusion intended). I know actual plays are somewhat an acquired taste, but for those interested in that sort of thing, we should have many more games rolling out in the upcoming months; the group just finished up something like its twentieth game.

I'd be eager to hear any constructive criticism or advice the esteemed members of this forum might have. Though we've been running the game for some time now, I still feel as if I barely have the setting and game under control. A creative writing degree does not a hard sci-fi author make, I suppose. I'd love to hear what anyone has to think.

Here is the link:

http://actualplay.roleplayingpublicradio.com/2011/09/genre/horror/eclipse-phase-know-evil-episode-1/

P.S. At one point later in the campaign, I shamelessly rip off an idea from Mr. Anders Sandburg, so that part, at least, is guaranteed not to suck.

Jay Dugger Jay Dugger's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

Still listening to the recording.

You sure have a lot of weird table talk. My group tends to discuss cats and children.

More to follow...

Sometimes the delete key serves best.

clockworkjoe clockworkjoe's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

Yeah, our table talk gets a bit...unusual at times.

I play Bartleby the Lost Brinker in this campaign. It's fun but I think my character has a mild phobia of isolated space stations/habitats at this point. They tend to explode shortly after I get on one.

Azathoth Azathoth's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

I've listened to your other EP actual play, and I'm in the middle of listening to this one. It's always cool to see the game through someone else's eyes, especially with such a complex setting as this! Thanks for posting!

clockworkjoe clockworkjoe's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

For this first episode, I combined the first sessions of the campaign, which is why it's nearly 6 hours long. Would you prefer single sessions (2-3 hours on average) or the double length episodes?

Clunker Clunker's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

For myself, I'd prefer whichever option gets them out more often! HEH!

I find the double-length ones just fine - I listen to them while on the latter part of my workshift at the office (only one in my dept at that time of night).

Still, I can see why others might want the shorter option, just to get more 'bite-sized' portions.

Quincey Forder Quincey Forder's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

if you could post the description of the PCs here, I'd really appreciate it.

I truly enjoy listening your your APcast, it's like an EP set radio version of The Guild.
One (or more) of your spouses should be invited, so RPPR would have their own Codex!
or invite Felicia Day? (yeah right! but then again, who knows?)

Q U I N C E Y ^_*_^ F O R D E R

Remember The Cant!

clockworkjoe clockworkjoe's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

The players of Know Evil:

Bartleby: Team leader and my PC. A Lost generation brinker. Sleeves in Futura morphs whenever possible for the Willpower bonus. Skilled in kinetic weapons, simulspace design, stealth (infiltration, security ops and smuggling) , psychotherapy and psychosurgery. Level 2 psi. Maintains a loose network of allies - either patients for his experimental psychotherapy treatments that involve complex simulspace environments or followers of his cutting edge simulspace design work (has the psionic power of enhanced creativity so his work is unique to say the least)

Has a complex delusion/personal conspiracy that forms the center of his madness - he believes that his sister Alice was kidnapped by an entity he knows only as the Red Queen while they both were in the Lost simulspace. He wants to find the Red Queen and rescue his sister. Of course there may or may not be a Red Queen in reality. His sister may not be real either. He has no qualms about violence or treachery but feels sympathy for other 'lost' souls - especially those tortured or mistreated in simulspaces. I previously played Bartleby in the one shot "Think before asking". Devoted Firewall agent - they saved him from a mob in the rim.

Preston Crowley: Played by Tom. An uplifted socialite (got the advantage to buy a restricted morph so he could be sleeved in an octomorph). Preston is an experimental project by a hypercorp to develop a more socially engaging media personality. He has recently started an XP show called "Release the Kraken" which mixes politics with stunts - think a combination of the Daily Show and Jackass. Maxed out social skills. Uses monofilament blades in combat (extra levels of ambidexterity to wield up to 4 blades at once). He provides cover for the group. Not sure how Firewall recruited him.

Fayun: Played by Thad. A criminal from Luna with a varied mix of underworld skills and abilities. Proficient in spray weapons. Has a sordid background on Luna but doesn't want to go into it. Sleeved in exalt morph I believe.

SAIRAC: Played by Aaron. AGI engineer sleeved in arachnoid morph at start of campaign. Argonaut background. Idealistic and helpful, SAIRAC is a skilled hacker and programmer. Full time Firewall agent. Uses beam weapons and seekers. Prefers non-lethal solutions. Advocate of AGI rights.

Gerrad: Played by Jason. Fall evacuee, anarchist and reclaimer. Military background - worked for Direct Action on Earth during the Fall. Abandoned post to save as many lives as possible. Has edited memories so he isn't sure exactly what happened but he made an enemy during the Fall. An enemy that's highly placed in Direct Action now. Gerrad is highly suspicious of technology, especially AI technology. Skilled in hand to hand combat and beam weapons. Saved an important anarchist during the Fall. The anarchist is his patron now.

We recently got a new player but we've only played 1 session with him so I don't know his PC too well - some kind of ultimate Cognite security guard sleeved in a remade morph.

Re-Laborat Re-Laborat's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

Just started listening to this in bits and snatches during my daily bike ride. Favorite moment so far:

"So you go in, and...it's a construction site, there's neo-tablesaws and space lumber everywhere..."

I think I almost caused an accident laughing.

Jay Dugger Jay Dugger's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

Neo tablesaws name a brand of power tool. I admit to a little unfamiliarity with them, but they haven't appeared in my game.

Space lumber comes in two main kinds. First, there exist those GMO plants whose wood grows valuable structures such as pipes, conductors, ducts, or space-filling frames. Of that last, a pre-grown octahedral truss commonly sees use. Second, other plants have valuable minerals accumulated in their tissues. These see use in terraforming, resource extraction, and in bio-remediation of brown-field construction sites. They can provide valuable feedstock for later fabrication.

What did you think he meant?

Sometimes the delete key serves best.

Re-Laborat Re-Laborat's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

Jay Dugger wrote:
Neo tablesaws name a brand of power tool. I admit to a little unfamiliarity with them, but they haven't appeared in my game.

Space lumber comes in two main kinds. First, there exist those GMO plants whose wood grows valuable structures such as pipes, conductors, ducts, or space-filling frames. Of that last, a pre-grown octahedral truss commonly sees use. Second, other plants have valuable minerals accumulated in their tissues. These see use in terraforming, resource extraction, and in bio-remediation of brown-field construction sites. They can provide valuable feedstock for later fabrication.

What did you think he meant?

Awesome sir, and I salute your creativity, but my mental image was MUCH funnier.

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

That is totally what I was going for, Jay. Thanks for explaining it to the noobs :-P

FYI: Neo-tablesaws use sawblades to make sure the alignment is straight and LASERS to make the actual cut. It's all very complicated. I haven't the time to go into it now.

In all seriousness though, I've found that the tone of my game tends to waffle between something like a Dead Space death animation and an episode of Futurama. Anybody else have that problem?

fellowhoodlum fellowhoodlum's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

not really. my games are more Futurama than anything. keep getting the feeling I am doing it wrong :P

Jay Dugger Jay Dugger's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

"In all seriousness though, I've found that the tone of my game tends to waffle between something like a Dead Space death animation and an episode of Futurama. Anybody else have that problem?"

Ah, no. When my group actually plays Eclipse Phase instead of discussing kids or cats, or making jokes about uplifted kangaroos raving with didgeridoos in the Martian Outback, I get different impressions from each player in the game.

Sometimes the delete key serves best.

TheSnark TheSnark's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

Just finished listening to it and I have to say it's a really useful resource for anyone running a game of EP. The setting is fairly dense and if you don't play in any other games its incredibly reassuring to confirm that your getting a similar atmosphere and interpreting the rules in the same way as someone else. Amazing stuff, thanks.
Any idea when the next episode will be up?

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

TheSnark--A couple of weeks probably. Ross (the guy playing Bartelby) runs the website. Right now, we have an EP campaign and a Wild Talents campaign running. Both only have the first episodes posted so far, but there are at least twenty episodes of EP after that and a lot more for WT. Additionally, we play a lot of Call of Cthulhu one-shots and mini-campaigns. So if Ross sticks to the once a week posting schedule, these things will trickle out very slowly. He's been considering upping the release schedule though, so if you don't want to wait that long you can post on the comments your support of a faster schedule.

Either way, it will all hit the mesh eventually. Thanks for your support!

Jay Dugger Jay Dugger's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

What ages do the egos of each character have?

Sometimes the delete key serves best.

clockworkjoe clockworkjoe's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

Bartleby is either 25 or 7 years old depending on how you look at it.

UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

Cthuluzord wrote:

In all seriousness though, I've found that the tone of my game tends to waffle between something like a Dead Space death animation and an episode of Futurama. Anybody else have that problem?

Yeah pretty much. Other than the times when someone rolls really well to do something awesome. Those are usually animeesque. Like the time on PC took a flying power-armored leap at a TITAN Warmachine with his spear and finished it off.

H-Rep: An EP Homebrew Blog
http://ephrep.blogspot.com/

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

Jay--SAIROC is 2, and, as such, he is role-played quite well.

Gerard is in his 50's and represents his age primarily though his longing for Earth and fear of all things Fall related. He is the only Fall survivor on the team so far.

Preston is barely in his 20's, or whatever the equivalent is for uplifted octopi. Outside a minor internship, hosting the show is his first job.

Faiyun is in her twenties I believe and a born-and-bred Lunar.

All in all, it is a very young group of characters. No hyperelites or anything yet.

clockworkjoe clockworkjoe's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil
Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

Episode 3 of the Know Evil campaign is up at RPPR:

The Firewall agents have learned where the Nine Lives Syndicate operative is and how to get to her, but she won’t be there long. The team rushes forward to defeat her guards and capture her before she escapes. Once captured, she reveals her destination, a hidden aerostat on Venus called Cloud Nine. The team decides to venture to the aerostat in hopes of learning more about the conspiracy. What secrets are hidden on the station?

http://actualplay.roleplayingpublicradio.com/2011/11/genre/horror/eclipse-phase-know-evil-episode-3/

Zheng Zheng's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

I just wanted to say that I have been having a blast listening to this actual play! I hadn't actually heard of Eclipse Phase until RPPR started doing episodes of it and I fell in love with the whole system because of it. The whole group is simply awesome and story as its unfolding so far is interesting as hell!




[IMG]http://img

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

Know Evil Episode 4

The PC's land in the midst of a Yojimbo-esque standoff between Nine Lives and the Pax Familia. Can they negotiate the deadly traps, psychotically-narcissistic gangsters, and ego trafficking horrors that stand between them and the information Firewall needs? Find out in this episode.

http://actualplay.roleplayingpublicradio.com/2011/12/genre/horror/eclipse-phase-know-evil-episode-4/

Azathoth Azathoth's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

Sweet! I have been keeping an eye out for the next episode!

clockworkjoe clockworkjoe's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

More hijnks on Venus including a great free running chase scene in an aerostat! http://actualplay.roleplayingpublicradio.com/2011/12/genre/horror/eclipse-phase-know-evil-episode-5/

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

The main podcast (commentary and comedy rather than Actual Plays) is switching from GM/PC advice over to analysis, review, and discussion over specific game systems. And our first episode is about Eclipse Phase. We gear the conversation towards those that have yet to try out the game, but it might still be of interest to the forums. Give it a listen and tell us what you think!

http://slangdesign.com/rppr/2011/12/podcast-episode/rppr-episode-68-phases-that-are-eclipsed/

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

Know Evil: Episode 6

The Firewall team must rescue a kidnapped hacker currently held prisoner by the sky pirates of Venus. In order to find the pirates’ hidden base, they must lure in one of their raiding ships, take out the pirates and capture the ship. The best bait happens to be a luxury zeppelin filled with the idle rich. What better place could there be for a gunfight? Of course, there will be more than a few complications, including smuggling weapons on board, dealing with the ship’s security and the other guests themselves…

http://actualplay.roleplayingpublicradio.com/2012/01/genre/horror/eclipse-phase-know-evil-episode-6/

Azathoth Azathoth's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

Mmmmmm, cake. :P

Quincey Forder Quincey Forder's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

Azathoth wrote:
Mmmmmm, cake. :P

Azaroth, dude, don't you know the meme about the cake?
IT'S A LIE!! A LIE!!

more seriously know, Know Evil is awesome!
can't help imagining Augustine speaking with the voice of Sigorney Weaver!

Q U I N C E Y ^_*_^ F O R D E R

Remember The Cant!

Azathoth Azathoth's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

That explains why nobody brings me cake when I GM. ;_;

Quincey Forder Quincey Forder's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

do they give you lemons, instead?
the normal or the house-burning ones?

Portal jokes aside, I'm pondering at something

Spoiler: Highlight to view

why the team wouldn't put at test to Augustine in the form of saying that Thought was destroyed by Cognite's own fault, true or not?

Q U I N C E Y ^_*_^ F O R D E R

Remember The Cant!

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

Episode 7 of the Know Evil campaign is up on RPPR. This episode is the climax of the Venus tier of the campaign.

The Firewall team has found the secret base of the sky pirates but now comes the most dangerous part of their mission – infiltration. They must pose as the real sky pirates they killed and find the captured hacker they need to rescue. Of course, between them and their target lie dozens of armed and paranoid pirates. To make matters worse, the hacker turns out to be more than they initially thought…

http://actualplay.roleplayingpublicradio.com/2012/01/genre/horror/eclipse-phase-know-evil-episode-7/

BTW, this episode is where the idea I shamelessly ripped off from Anders Sandburg is finally revealed. Everyone come listen to my lack of originality! Yay!

Quote of the game: "The sky pirates had a bad...altitude." (cue "YEAHHHHHHHHH" from CSI theme song).

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

@ Quincy

Augustine wouldn't know. Cognite was rewriting her on a air-gapped hard drive every time the experiment did something they didn't like or her programming tripped her suicide switch. Augustine didn't exist, at least in her current form, until the players (SAIROC, her first "god") hit the "start" button on Thought, which was long after the station had been wiped out. Augustine wouldn't be able to answer the question because it wouldn't have any way to know.

Of course, Firewall could just attach the hard drive to the mesh and let Augustine find the answer itself, but my players are a bunch of fraidy-cat wimps that refuse to do that no matter how many times I wring my hands and laugh maniacally at them.

clockworkjoe clockworkjoe's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

Cthuluzord wrote:
@ Quincy
Of course, Firewall could just attach the hard drive to the mesh and let Augustine find the answer itself, but my players are a bunch of fraidy-cat wimps that refuse to do that no matter how many times I wring my hands and laugh maniacally at them.

THAT ISN'T HELPING

Pyrite Pyrite's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

Listening to the campaign has been fantastic, and this actual play is actually also what got me into Eclipse Phase. I'd been intrigued when I'd heard it described (I think also by the podcast) as the roleplaying game for stuff like in Dresden Codak, but I wasn't really sold until I heard you guys actually play it. You make it fun while staying true to the cool things in the setting and consistently not getting bogged down in all the complexities.

And the crowning moment of awesome with the reveal at the end was a perfect twist. It really made that combat interesting to listen to and seem like the balls-to-the-wall insanity that it should be.

I am really glad to know that I can expect at least another thirteen games coming down the pipeline.

'No language is justly studied merely as an aid to other purposes. It will in fact better serve other purposes, philological or historical, when it is studied for love, for itself.' --J.R.R. Tolkien

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

Thanks for the kind words, Pyrite!

At this point, I think you can expect far more than thirteen games coming down the pipe. We finished a Luna tier that was slightly longer than Venus, and now we've detoured to the scum swarm described in The Stars Our Destination for at least 2-3 sessions before starting up the Earth orbit plot. As I currently envision it, there will be at least one more setting change after Earth before we hit the endgame.

So...at the rate we post games, we'll probably finish the campaign around the time my cat gets uplifted and I sleeve into a flexbot centipede.

Quincey Forder Quincey Forder's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

When can we hope for the new episode?
we're on the edge of our seat, here!

you know, you could novelize Know Evil. it would make one hell of a great book!

Q U I N C E Y ^_*_^ F O R D E R

Remember The Cant!

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

@Quincy

Episode #8--which is the start of Luna, I believe--should be up in a week or two. The AP site alternates weekly between our Wild Talents Campaign, a one-shot random system, and Know Evil. A Cthulhu Invictus game and a WT session have gone up since #7 got posted, so I'm guessing the next one will come out soon.

Things will probably keep up that schedule for quite some time, with the exception of the month of April; Clockworkjoe is going out of the country for a month, and he's the one that makes the podcast magic happen. For running a transhuman game, I'm a pretty remarkable luddite and have no idea how to do that stuff.

I would love to novelize Know Evil, or turn it into a campaign book, or really do anything EP related! Posthuman Studios, you have my number (fingers crossed).

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

Episode 8 of Know Evil is up at RPPR. This episode begins the Luna stage of the campaign.

http://actualplay.roleplayingpublicradio.com/2012/02/genre/horror/eclipse-phase-know-evil-episode-8/

The intrepid band of Firewall agents have learned that trail of Know Evil leads to the Moon. In order to continue their investigation, they must farcast – that is to transmit their digitized minds into a new body waiting for them on Luna. This process is disconcerting for many but also provides a new opportunity to pick a better morph. As they acclimate to their new bodies and the restrictive policies of Luna, the agents must pick up the trail and figure out where to go next. However, they also have some personal time to explore their new surroundings. What do Firewall agents do to maintain their cover? Find out in this episode!

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

Episode 9 of Know Evil is up on RPPR. Things get real when the gang gets their first taste of Exsurgents.

http://actualplay.roleplayingpublicradio.com/2012/03/genre/horror/eclipse-phase-know-evil-episode-9/

The Firewall team has taken one step closer to the machinations of the organization behind Know Evil. On the Argonaut station Mitre, the team uncovers a plot to ruin the reputation of an important media personality and put to a stop to it. They also find a link to research into TITANs, including a mission to retrieve new specimens from an active TITAN site. The team tracks down the researcher but isn’t prepared for what they find…

Lilith Lilith's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

Never have I wanted to play EP more than after listening to this campaign so far. :(

Seriously, I rarely get this excited just listening to APs, but this was fantastic stuff. I can only hope that, when and if I can get my own group to take the EP plunge, that our game is nearly this awesome.

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

Awww! Thanks so much, Lilith! I hope you find a group soon.

Azathoth Azathoth's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

Best episode yet! Good roleplay, epic combat AND a robot dance party! :P

Hate to be the one to point it out, but a roll of 100 is a crit success (it counts as 00, evening out the low and high crits). ;)

Pyrite Pyrite's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

Just finished listening to last episode. Poor Preston: too bad he merged with that fork or he'd have a backup of himself on hand, one who still had the memories of what may well be his greatest moment.

You'd normally think everyone would be backing up more often, but with Know Evil out there you never know when you'd be dooming yourself by doing so.

Also, "I can see Earth from my house" was hilarious.

'No language is justly studied merely as an aid to other purposes. It will in fact better serve other purposes, philological or historical, when it is studied for love, for itself.' --J.R.R. Tolkien

nerdnumber1 nerdnumber1's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

When Preston's arm unnaturally regenerated and he got the derangement that it was some abberant "thing" grafted onto him, not "his" tentacle, I was just thinking "Cut it off!" to myself over and over again. It almost certainly wouldn't help, but you have the vibroblades, logically the thing is infected with something, illogically (reasoned from a derangement) it is an alien graft whose removal would be missed as little as an excised tumor, and baseline octopuses are known to sacrifice arms in case of emergency (or sex or starvation). That's what I would have done and it would probably cause more stress to his companions than to him since, in his mind, he is cutting off something that is more foreign to his body than a cancerous tumor. It would still hurt like hell, but so would tearing off a graft or turning into a monster and having to be killed by your friends.

I can't wait for another episode.

edit: When do you plan to next release an episode and do you have anyplace that I can find information about the adventures so far like the handouts you gave or other campaign notes. Would it be ok if I stole some of this for a group of my own?

CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

They tend towards a three week cycle. 1 Wild Talents game, then an Eclipse Phase game, and a random/non campaign game.

So I think this week coming is an EP week?

-

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

CodeBreaker wrote:
They tend towards a three week cycle. 1 Wild Talents game, then an Eclipse Phase game, and a random/non campaign game.

So I think this week coming is an EP week?

Yeah, EP is up this week. If I recall, this session starts right after the last one; Faiun and Bartelby are barely alive and fleeing via the Lunar hopper towards Nectar. Gerard and a new player also join the group in this game.

It should be up today or tomorrow, depending on the whims of Clockworkjoe.

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

I almost forgot. We had a slew of In-Character writing take place on the RPPR forums after the last game that got posted. I'll copy them here for the sake of posterity.

*SPOILERS* If you haven't listened to the latest episode.

(This one describes what ClockworkJoe's character was doing after the escape)

Bartleby sat down, hunkered against the wall of the craft. His back itched. The Yakuza tattoos of his new morph still irritated him. It was female, which he insisted on because he wanted to minimize his profile while they were on Luna. At least it was a futura. It was the only morph he felt truly stable in. He had tried a splicer once. He jumped at the littlest thing. Nothing seemed as real. Never again, if he could help it.

He looked at the AGI's cortical stack, still in his left hand. The poor thing had sacrificed its morph to guarantee that the explosion would happen. Its plaintive cries still bounced around in his head. It felt responsible for Preston's death. When they had time to recover, he would ask what it wanted. He could try to treat it, to speak the soothing words he had learned, but he wondered if it would want to carry on. It might demand it be restored from a backup - a backup not scarred by the trauma of losing a comrade, of encountering the exsurgents, of death. Are the exsurgents worse for an AGI to see? To know that the same AI technology that created it could also create a new TITAN? The AGI could also ask to press on, despite its guilt or perhaps because of it. It might even ask for death - to be deleted or to retire so that Firewall could send them a new, less damaged agent. It deserved whatever it wanted - whatever he was in a position to grant, he would do so. It deserved that much at least.

Preston had no decision to make. He was dead of course. One of the digging drones had bitten through his vac suit and infected him. After they had slain the exsurgents, he had turned on them. He had no choice but to empty a clip into his friend. His friend. How could he call him his friend after that.

Bartleby looked at the pistol in his right hand. Loaded.

It was easy to rationalize the murder. That Preston would have wanted to die rather than face life as an exsurgent. That there was no choice. That Preston was better off this way - his backup would be as jovial and entertaining as ever. If he had survived, his audience would surely notice the difference. They would see the horror in his eyes. But that's not what concerned Bartleby now. With his eidetic memory, he remembered every detail, including how he felt when he pulled the trigger. Nothing. No fear, no regret, no guilt. Bartleby only reduced to Preston to an abstraction - an obstacle to survival. Survival meant everything.

He couldn't trust anyone. If he failed, then the Red Queen won. Alice depended on him and him alone. He had to survive to find her.

He closed his eyes, putting his hands to his face. The cool metal of the gun and diamond armor of the stack pressed against his cheeks. He didn't even realize he was crying.

After escaping Luna, he had fled into deep space. Became a brinker. Did whatever it took to survive. Trusted no one. He would have died as a paranoid recluse but Firewall saved him. Made him realize that trust was the real key to survival. Belief in a greater cause.

That's why he didn't space Fayen. She had been exposed to the exsurgent virus as well. She didn't react like Preston though. After hauling her to the craft, he had given her a sedative to make her sleep. As they reached orbit, every instinct in him screamed to space her. But he couldn't. He didn't want to be a monster. He didn't want to be a soulless killer, the freak like everyone else in the LOST project. They were friends and comrades in the fight to save everyone. If Bartleby couldn't control himself, how could he save anyone?

The opposing desires to trust and to survive raged within him. The emotional dampeners had already overloaded from the fight with the exsurgents. The war abated as he thought of a compromise.

He watched her as she slept and realized there was only one way to know for sure if she was infected or not. He placed the cortical stack down and commanded the vac suit to remove itself around his hand. He felt her forehead and concentrated. His other hand aimed the pistol at her head. A few moments later the capillaries in his eyes hemorrhaged. A thin trail of blood ran down his nose.

OOC: Bartleby will use deep scan on Thad's character in order to make sure she's not infected.

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

*SPOILERS* (If you haven't listened to the latest episode)

(I posted this on the forums to kind of catch up the players who weren't in on the subshuttle battle)

BREAKING NEWS: LUNA

Explosions collapsed a section of subshuttle tunnel just minutes ago, report LLA-government sources. The unfinished track, which was being constructed to complete the Translunar Subshuttle (expected completion AF14), registered a brief period of seismic disturbance and temperature irregularities before all safety spimes suddenly ceased transmission. Other security measures had yet to be installed on the line.

Repositioned surveillance satellites confirm that roughly 300-meters of tunnel have collapsed. Thermal imaging and radiation scans from repositioned satellites indicate that the cause of the damage was likely an extremely low-yield thermonuclear explosion.

No official casualty reports are available at this time, but Subshuttle authorities have released a statement assuring families that construction crews were located at least 30 kilometers ahead of ground zero. The synthmorph workers remain undamaged and are currently being evacuated.

In the same press release, Full Moon Transportation’s CEO, Edith Wipff, assured the public that standard safety protocols would have prevented any disaster of the explosion’s magnitude. Wipff went on to suggest sabotage as “the only possible explanation for the extent of the damage.” Though no group has yet to claim responsibility, militant factions of the Steel Liberators and other Industrialist ideologies have a history of subshuttle terrorism dating back to before The Fall.

LLA Security Chief Ord Brown has stated, “The full resources of LLA law enforcement will come to bear on this senseless attack.” LLA President Arva Don was in the process of reintegration after an interview and was unavailable for comment.

Any investigation will be complicated by the necessary removal of debris and the unlikelihood of surviving evidence; the heat of the blast was intense enough to warp the meta-material supports for kilometers around the origin point. It is unclear how long the damage will delay completion of the Translunar Subshuttle, but preliminary estimates already suggest that this incident may become the most costly act of terrorism in LLA history.

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Re: Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

Finally, I wrote a piece of short fiction shortly after the subshuttle game and sent it to all the players. It didn't contain any actionable information, but it does detail what "the opposition" is up to. A violation of narrative perspective? Yeah. But I wanted to freak them out :-)

******START SPOILERS********

ERRAND

Kyler glided past the dank conduits of the maintenance tunnel, swimming through zero-G with the practiced ease of a born brinker. He was full-burn down the pipe, in serious danger of a bang up if he missed one of the handholds his muse was highlighting in his entropics. Mom had programmed Tilda for maximum physical safety, but the personality matrix was developing a narrow reading of the command and often allowed Kyler off-mesh for jaunts such as this.

He was excited to get back to his hideout. He’d been forbidden from going to the disused storage capsule in the old cluster ever since Vera was forced off-station. But Mom was doing her tenth-day duties on EVA maintenance, a 16-hour shift if you added in the decompression time, and Kyler had plenty of time to get back to the sleeper pod before she got wise.

Kyler booted up Parabola Coaster before he even reached the hatch. He’d gotten sick good at mapping vertexes since Vera had tutored him, and he loved to ride down the curves he’d made on his entropics, feeling the nanos simulate wind on his face and coming so close to yakking as the inner-ear mod Pavlov-ed him with that crazy, gut-dropping sensation he imagined kids with gravity got all the time. Mom would totally red alert if she found out he was logging extra credit hours on Parabola instead of Word Sensation, but that game vac-ed without the dedicated drug gland and Hackops hadn’t cracked DRM on the bluies yet.

Kyler cycled the hatch and nestled into his favorite corner, the one near the hot water pipes. Entrhalled as he was mapping a mad-queasy ride of high-frequency waves, he almost didn’t see the man. He appeared as little more than an outline lit by the glow of LED’s.

Kyler was kicking for the door when the man spoke. “No need to run. I’m not maintenance.”

Kyler snagged some cable and looked back at the shadow. “Who you blowing up my spot then, morph?”

“My?” said the man, floating closer but never leaving the shadow. “Possessive pronouns? Such profiteering language for so young a ladka.”

Kyler blushed for having cussed in front of an adult. He was in for it now.

“Besides,” the man smiled, his teeth glowing dull blue in the haze, “it isn’t as if your name is on it.”

“Is too, morph!” Kyler said, unwilling to go down without a fight. “Spec it, low-rez, gots a tag right there.” Kyler pointed to the place where he and Vera had burnt their names in some ceramic with a hacked laser communicator.

“Are you Kyler?” asked the man.

“True”

“And who is Vera?”

Kyler looked down, uncomfortable with the man’s questions and slow drift towards him. “Vera was m…a friend. We came here to play school. It was quieter and she knew how to get admin on the levels. More fun.”

The dark shape nodded as he slowly adjusted course, thankfully veering towards the hatch rather than the boy. He looked damn tall up close, those long limbs of his not so much drawn shadow as they first appeared. “And why isn’t Vera here today?”

Kyler went back to his game’s entropics, trying to drool the guy out. “Mom said we could co-op no more. Said Vera weren’t no kid, but like an adult sleeving a kid, spec it? She was a Neolithic or something.”

“Neotecnic?” asked the man.

“Yeah. That one.”

“Shame,” he whispered, drifting past within inches. “It is the dharma of the old to train the new.”

Kyler squirmed, “Whatever. You gonna post or should I find another spot? I’m going for high scores, here.”

“Oh, by all means,” the man was halfway out the hatch already, “stay here. I wouldn’t want to interrupt your studies.”

“Like. Tetyell.”

Kyler hit play on the game. He was part way down the first parabola when his vids flicked off. He wanted to say something, but for some reason the words wouldn’t come. The weightless feeling, that one that came before you hit the bottom of the conic and that fabled gravity took hold again, that feeling he’d felt his entire life, took on a new intensity. He looked down, down, down until he could see his feet, until he could see the fronts of his knees. He could see himself, upside down, with the dark shape behind him and shrouded in a red sheet, and then the world went dark.

* * *

The monowire cut clean before snapping. The boy’s stack glistened at the base of the exposed spinal column. He wrenched it free with a gloved hand and kicked the body across the room, leaving a comet trail of blood frozen in the half-light.

"Sir," Shiva entreated, her do-not-disturb parameters no longer active, "message waiting from the inner system."

He commanded it play while fishing for the case slung behind his back.

"Cypher: Octopus and the rest made me. No idea how. He and the courier just fucking rezzed into the room as I was assuming Hoffman. One of them was coordinating security as I bailed with the beta-forks, I assume. Had to Ctrl-Alt the shapers and most of the tour group. Opsec maintained but the objective was not achieved. Luna is blown."

“Interesting.” He removed the scour ring from its containment field, careful to only touch the outer rim. “Of all the variables…hmmm….” He placed Kyler’s stack atop the ring’s center cavity and watched it slowly sink, somehow not coming out the other side.

"Shiva," he commanded, "dictation. Maximum encrypt."

"Go."

He placed the ring back in its container, unable to resist a hand wave through the space where the non-stack was violating the Conservation of Matter. @ cypher: Will be casting into the theater by the time you receive this. Prep a clone and call a conference simulspace for immediate debrief. Signature.

"@ operations.oversight.pc.mars: Operation complete. Confirm body bank operative’s orders to space my morph after casting. Set operative’s memory lock countdown to thirty minutes at receiving of this message. Engage countdown. Signature."

"@ intel.oversight.pc.mars: Keep me briefed on any further farcasts scheduled by Vera Dax. She may enjoy slumming with the Brinkers, but demographic testing of unapproved software mods is clear a breach of Intellectual Property Act 745CA9 of the PC charter and I’d rather not be distracted with any more of these errands. Signature."

"@ e-feeder.mesh: Purchase a season pass of “Release the Kraken.” Identity L confirmation code. Identity L Signature."

"End dictation. Send."

The hive at his belt hummed as it fed nanos across his body. The tiny machines licked blood from their master’s hands like a loyal hunting dogs. The man held on to the hatch’s handle and looked back at the tiny, gore-strewn capsule.

“Soana, Kyler. I release you from Samsara.”

Manjappa closed the door.

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