Adventure: A story of politics and economics

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Sepherim Sepherim's picture
Adventure: A story of politics and economics

Ok, this story starts anywhere you want to. It's not made for Firewall, but I'm sure it can be adapted quickly. Players hear there are conflicts in a mining station where Fa Jing is a major investor, which turns out to be a good chance to earn some money as some kind of consultants or security. My players got a contract for working in mesh security (the hacker player) and as a bodyguard of the negotiator (the spy/social character).

The arrival is as expected. The miners are reduced to a small section of the mining station, and have barred themselves the best they can, allowing only for the Fa Jing negotiator to access them. Fa Jing troops have started to take positions around them, but it looks like there is time and so they want to do it carefully so not to damage the structure. And, also, because many of the miners are flats, too poor to pay for anything better with the salary of the second-grade run down mining station.

Problems start when Direct Action sends a squad in, brought in by Fa Jing to take care of the physical side of the problem now that Fa Jing troops are far or indisposable. Players will soon see that Direct Action is much more willing to intervene militarily, and strats to put pressure on the negotiating team. If they go with the negotiating team or with can spy the meeting, they'll realize a couple things: first, the miners have a very small real fighting capacity, equipped only with low grade torches and other hand-to-hand combat equipment, they are no match for Direct Action troops. But, second, the syndicate negotiator is clearly not from the station, and probably hasn't been in it for long, though he knows the situation well. Third, and most important, a good investigation roll or interpretation can get the characters to realize that the negotiation isn't really about worker's rights or wages, and though the vocabulary used does referr to those things, the issue being discussed is another entirely different.

Problem is that Fa Jing troops finally arrive in the locale, and put some pressure on Direct Action, which remains in the station even though they are no longer needed. On the contrary, they seem to take positions and are ready to intervene, cutting the time for negotiations shorter even. Meanwhile, a good hacker tries to take control of the mesh and access some sort of systems. If the players have access to the Mesh and intercept him (which requires a good hacker), he is scouting and investigating the situation outside. If they locate him, he works out of the miner section of the station. Investigating the workers in the station proves them that none should have the skills to try something like that.

A group of Direct Action mercenaries arrive in the scene, some sort of Ego Hunters, and it would be great if the players know them from before. They'll try to contact the players to find out how the situation is rolling (if they don't know from before, they'll call in a favor, or similar) and are specially interested in the security around the miners. If players get a good roll or role-play and investigate him, or if they are previously friends, they will tell them that they are here to retrieve two terrorists who tried an attack on the Hexagon (Direct Action's main base). He has two photos of them: the hacker and a man who is close to the syndicate negotiator.

Situation heats up even more when, seeing that issues seem not to be advancing, the rest of the mining investors in the station call in Gorgon. Which, as we all know, doesn't get along well with Direct Action. If they investigate, it seems like Gorgon offered a really cheap deal to the miners, unusally cheap, and has sent their own negotiator to solve the situation.

(continues bellow)

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Sepherim Sepherim's picture
Re: A story of politics and economics

Situation is very hot, and Fa Jing's negotiator (who they probably work for in one way or another) is now on the losing end, as it looks like Fa Jing is not willing to pay as much as Gorgon is to the "new salaries of the workers". If they have been investigating meanwhile via egocasting their forks, or calling in favors, they will know that eight men attacked the Hexagon, and six died while doing so. The other two were able to capture a renown military scientist, who is also a good hacker; on the way out, one of the two was nearly killed and probably died shortly after, and the scientist was wounded.

Meanwhile, the situation is heating up, and it looks like the Gorgon troops are ready to strike a deal... and neither Direct Action nor Fa Jing seem willing to accept that and may be willing to use the force they have mustered. An Extropia ship docks, and a news reporter comes from it, willing to investigate the whole issue, adding tension to the whole situation.

If they are really close to the Ego Hunters, they'll tell them that they have to retrieve the scientist alive or his whole data files, for there is something he is hiding there that is very valuable to all parties involved. That is what all of them are negotiating, while they pretend they are negotiating wages and work hours... and the miners are caught in the middle, really believing it all has to do with their wellbeing. If they are really good investigating and use both their ressources and role-playing, they should know by now that what the man was working on was a canister capable of holding nuclear material without leaking radiation... thus making it undetectable to normal scans. A terrible danger to a society where a small nuclear bomb can compromise the security of a whole habitat. Thus, all corporations are bidding to get such a technology into their hands, even if it is in beta-phase and they are not sure wether it would work or not.

In the end, how they solve the situation is up to them. My players teamed up with the egocasters and aided them to run in, and take the scientist out... and handled it all to get some hours of psychosurgerie to erase those memories from him, and erasing the technology as well effectively destroyed it to all parties involved. Of course, other solutions are probably possible, and surely all corps would pay very handsomely for that techonology if the players could get their hands on it... but, what would the consequences be?

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Sepherim Sepherim's picture
Re: A story of politics and economics

Adapting this to Firewall:

Since many GMs and players are playing the default Firewall campaign, here are some small guidelines to adapt the same story to the organization.

a) Firewall knows that a potential threat has reached the station originated in the Hexagon. They are not sure what it is about, but they activate a nearby cell to investigate and neutralize the threat. Still, since the Fa Jing negotiator is a good expert in lies detecting, their usual agent sends them in without telling them what to do, and expecting that their "Firewall problem detector" shall in the end guide them where the menace is and they can neutralize it.

b) Instead of a team of egocasters sent by Direct Action to get the ball rolling without waiting any more, the team sent in to capture the two terrorists and the bomb was actually Firewall's. They'll have to deal with the hot situation in quite a short time, but to their advantage they already know a good deal of the reasons for the mission (if their agent is good enough to tell them and not send them in blindly), and they at least have a clear objective. This would be a good approach for a more action-oriented player group, instead of the more investigative kind.

c) Actually, Firewall knows nothing, and the players do get inside due to their need to get ressources and working inside Fa Jing seems like a good way of doing so (or maybe they are preparing a long-term infiltration inside Fa Jing for deeper reasons?). They just end up facing the situation, and have to act thinking on the best interests of all Humankind without direct contact with their superiors, which are in another station with an appropriate lag (and, maybe busy with other issues?).

I'm sure there are other options, these three just came to my mind as I was writing the game-story.

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Sepherim Sepherim's picture
Re: Game Module - A story of politics and economics

Hm, now that I think of it, it could be more interesting if actually the "terrorists" were members of Firewall. Firewall could have the ressources to pull off an operation of the size of an assault on a segment of the Hexagon, and certainly is interested in making sure the technology gets lost.

It could work both with players being Firewall (operation rescue! or maybe make sure the tech gets lost with an outside intervention?) or being independant. And could open an scenario where Firewall aparently may look like bad guys before the truth is discovered.

The mind is information... hack it!
+4
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