Jovians and Titanians working together

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Noble Pigeon Noble Pigeon's picture
Jovians and Titanians working together

Instead of beating the sub-atomic particles that was once a dead horse about Jovians and depictions of them or what not, I wanted to see if we can flesh out a scenario for Firewall PCs that involves cooperation between factions that you would never expect cooperation between.

The solar system is fractured between different ideologies and ways of thinking. Transhumanity as a species is fractured. However, while EP is all about clashing ideologies and horror and extinction being threatened everywhere, there /is/ hope: it's not Delta Green, after all. (Unless you run your game that way.) People can find themselves working with other people that they never expected to.

Gatecrashing does a scenario like this: where Oversight and Firewall create a tentative alliance to bring down whatever Ozma's doing in a facility near a neutron star.

One of the scenarios I really wanted to do was to have PCs intentionally (or unintentionally) having Jovians and Titanians work together towards some common goal. Have the scenario start off with them as enemies, but eventually have them face down a threat that forces them to work together---and come away, if not as friends, then at least as people who have a little more understanding of each other, even if they disagree on ideological points.

So what is this scenario? Where would it take place? Should the two start off as official allies, and simply have that alliance be tested along the way, or should it be fire-forged in some common tragedy between the two?

P.S.: I refuse to hear the "this will never happen" route. I don't care how ideologically entrenched you might depict one or both of these factions' populations in your games; I want to recreate the spirit of the WWI Christmas Truce, except it's not just a truce, it's legit cooperation against a much larger threat.

"Don't believe everything you read on the Internet.”
-Abraham Lincoln, State of the Union address

NotActuallyTim NotActuallyTim's picture
The Outbreak

The Discord Gate has gone to hell.

An unknown incursion has destroyed the Go-nin facilities and Ultimate mercenaries guarding the Eris based compound. A quick Anarchist response force saw this as an opportunity, hacked whatever they could find, and egocast in from across the system. So far, they haven't made contact. Strange objects are showing up in telescopes near the dwarf planet, and everybody is panicking at least a little.

The Titanian Commonwealth and the Jovian Republic, both believing their territories and citizens to to be in immediate danger from this unknown threat, have launched significant portions of their fleets to meet the danger head on, hoping to beat it back through the Discord Gate before it can affect their homes.

The two polities have worked out a quickly made and poorly worded treaty, resulting in an uneasy alliance between the ships, as long as no personnel are shared. If ground forces make it to the surface of Eris, however, no one is quite sure what will happen between the factions troops. Some cooperation must be necessary to push back the offensive, but afterwards, with the Discord Gate up for grabs and two millitaries from ideologically opposed societies, anything might happen.

The tension rises as ships fly towards their possible demise. The invaders are unknown, the alliances are forced and the prize is access to interstellar travel. On your marks, ready, set, go!

Edit: Changed 'reliance' to 'alliance'. My bad.

Kojak Kojak's picture
I like this idea, of

I like this idea, of disparate factions in a state of temporary cooperation, especially since I'm eventually going to use that specific Oversight-and-Firewall-team-up-against-OZMA thread from Gatecrashing as one of the late-stage bits of my current campaign.

The Discord Gate notion is certainly an interesting one, and I like how you've laid it out, NotActuallyTim. The Gates certainly seem like obvious loci of inter-factional conflict and cooperation both; hell, along similar lines there are a ton of possibilities around what would happen if any of the theorized "sixth gates" happen to be real.

"I wonder if in some weird Freudian way, Kojak was sucking on his own head."
- Steve Webster on Kojak's lollipop

CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
Factors being outed as

Factors being outed as hostile and/or much more malevolent towards transhumanity than it now seems, could stimulate major political factions to develop an united front in that matter.
This alliance would be tenuous at best and wouldn't mean much for the overall politics, but it would be a possibility for what you describe.
As long as one faction doesn't think that they can survive betraying the rest to the Factors.

Coincidentally in that matter Jovians could be involved as faction most accepted by factors (they don't dabble in Advanced AI tech, of it matters at all) and Titan due to its extensive xenology studies on TAU.

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NotActuallyTim NotActuallyTim's picture
Free Willy!

A Firewall Sentinel has been captured by a shadowy organization. Your cell has been assembled to find them, and either extract them or eliminate them.

The twist, however, is in the details. The Sentinel that was captured as an ego was Titanian, and that polities intelligence agencies are on the trail. Beating them to the punch is necessary to maintain Firewall's deniability. For this reason your cell is tapping Jovian Friendlies near the target site. They're mostly flats, but they have powered armor, plasma, antimatter and all sorts of fun stuff.

But what's in for the Jovians? Are they in it just for the opportunity to put one over on the Commonwealth? It can't be that simple, right?

Firewall isn't getting about to be outplayed, right?

Baribal Baribal's picture
NotActuallyTim wrote:For this

NotActuallyTim wrote:
For this reason your cell is tapping Jovian Friendlies near the target site. They're mostly flats, but they have powered armor, plasma, antimatter and all sorts of fun stuff.

Does that fun stuff include an ego bridge and a handful of spare morphs? Or are we talking about "tapping them" in the sense of asking them to perform a smash-and-grab for you?

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NotActuallyTim NotActuallyTim's picture
Baribal wrote:NotActuallyTim

Baribal wrote:
NotActuallyTim wrote:
For this reason your cell is tapping Jovian Friendlies near the target site. They're mostly flats, but they have powered armor, plasma, antimatter and all sorts of fun stuff.

Does that fun stuff include an ego bridge and a handful of spare morphs? Or are we talking about "tapping them" in the sense of asking them to perform a smash-and-grab for you?

Jovian Friendlies. Not big on Ego Bridges or spare morphs, those Jovians.

Noble Pigeon Noble Pigeon's picture
Good ideas so far y'all! :D

Good ideas so far y'all! :D

By the way, feel free to throw out any similar ideas between other factions. Martian Rangers with Barsoomians is another one I've been considering (involving Nine Lives, because nothing unites groups together like one of the solar system's most hated factions), but anything works!

"Don't believe everything you read on the Internet.”
-Abraham Lincoln, State of the Union address

kigmatzomat kigmatzomat's picture
The Jovians will have a

The Jovians will have a foreign intelligence service. Some of these spies will have pragmatic views that say if the Jovians forces available are insufficent to a specific threat that allying with others is the lesser of two evils. Firewall will know some of those pragmatic agents.

One nonTITAN option is a group of extreme brinkers who have decided the core system is lost. They are heading to the Oort cloud using a mass driver. The mass driver is firing stealth weapon platforms in long orbits intended to wipe out every hab simultaneously. Each weapon platform is a missile pod, carrying an array of kiloton nukes to pop habs.

Not a spoiler

Spoiler: Highlight to view

My tweak to EP is that the Jovians accidentally caused Firewall. Anarchists self assembling into an information isolating structure with a top-down hierarchy? With mandatory memory editing? Seems rather unlikely.

But small teams of Jovian spies that run into X threats that they have to address quickly and are forced to leverage the local populace since, after all, they are more expendable than untainted Jovians? I can see them reusing these non-jovian assets (being even more tainted from previous X-threat exposure) and putting the cell structure in place as a infosec. Only an Xthreat is enough to make that logical and reasonable, no matter how antithetical, to anarchists. Only an Xthreat is sufficient for Jovians to team up with a Promethean. Those early Jovians exposed to the Xthreat are too dangerous to come back to the junta, so they remain as founding members of firewall.

To infiltrate the rank and file of Firewall the Jovians have a base called DMZ3 where Jovian born agents live while their memory edited forks (who have no knowledge of life in the Junta) operate in the rest of the system as firewall agents. The agents periodically merge with those forks' backups (provided by those Founding Firewall members) to interpret the events. Everyone on the base is a volunteer. No one who goes to DMZ is allowed to leave. Ever. They have the highest level of tech available to the junta populace to make then comfortable for their probably short life. DMZ 1 and 2 were both destroyed by the redundant, independent destruct systems when potential infection was detected.

DMZ is their blackest of black espionage. They still run the more conventional intelligence service where Jovian born agents actually travel to other polities because everyone would be suspicious if they didn't. Naturally those agents have zero knowledge of the DMZ project. Although they too are volunteers that are never be allowed back into the core Jovian society due to exposure and live in a similar form of quarantine when in jovian space.

I'm not rules lawyer, I'm a rules engineer.

uwtartarus uwtartarus's picture
Europa x-risks

Europa is in the Jovian sphere, but is a technosocialist polity, so would definitely have Titanians present. Firewall grabs as many assets as they can in the area, who are a mix of Europans, Titanians, and Jovians, and when the operation spirals out of control because the x-risk is big deal, they end up drawing in more assets. Bonus if the players are not Firewall, but part of either sides "Friendlies" so they aren't already briefed on the "play nice with your ideological rivals in order to save transhumanity" so it feels like a Man from U.N.C.L.E. with KGB/CIA teaming up to stop x-risk. Not knowimg that both of their bosses are already moonlighting as Firewall Sentinels/Proxies.

Now I got to write this up. Cold War but under the Ice!

Exhuman, and Humanitarian.

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
The Jovian Security Council

The Jovian Security Council is convinced that creating a self sustaining extrasolar colony through the Pandora gates is a prudent idea for preserving the human race, so long as everyone sent doesn't know any critical classified information which could damage the republic.

With only five gates the SC avoids the Discord gate, wanting to avoid placing their colony anywhere near the ongoing Go-Nin-Ultimate-Exhuman/Rorty conflict out there.

The Vulcanoid Gate is considered, but is very politically dicey, as everything which touches Venus is. Not willing to make a strong move against the Planetary Consortium by aligning with Venus, and more importantly, against the Factors by operating near their Egg-object in Mercury orbit it's rejected.

The JSC has basically negative rep with the anarchists, and isn't willing to wait years for a slot of a gate used by one of their primary enemies, so the Fissure Gate is out.

That leaves the Martian Gate, and the Pandora Gate. Both are decent options, but the SC wants this far away from the expansionistic extrasolar ambitions of the Planetary Consortium, and decides to work with Gatekeeper, The Argonauts, and the Titanian Republic, buying access for a survey of habitable worlds which do not easily connect with other solar system gates. Titan sees this as a cheap diplomatic victory in tense outer system politics, and agrees to work with this fairly ambitious plan.

So how is Firewall involved? Viable Extrasolar colonies are a vital component of the Backups faction, so the safety and security of the colony is a vested interest for Firewall and the Jovians, and they still have enough contacts in the Titanian government and intelligence orgs to get their operatives placed in the survey crew.

The mission isn't completely safe, because once you leave the safety of solar interplanetary law the factions can become a lot toothier. What kind of nasties to find out during the survey (and likely the beginnings of the colony) are pretty open ended.

Predatory Exhumans? Planetary Consortium trying to secure their place as the primary extrasolar empire? Ultimates conducting the the preliminary steps in their plan to seize extrasolar space? TITAN/ETI/alien ruins, war machines, or threats? Simple equipment failure? Internal problems between the Titanians and Jovians on the mission?

NotActuallyTim NotActuallyTim's picture
Colony Lost

Trappedinwikipedia's idea sounds like an EP adventure book waiting to be written, especially if the PC's head to the Colony on Firewall business, only to have the gate not let them back through for some reason, trapping them with massive number of easily breakable xenophobes as their only potential allies against hostile semi-sentient psychic space aliens.

Good job!

Axel the Chimeric Axel the Chimeric's picture
I must admit, the idea of a

I must admit, the idea of a shared Titanian-Jovian extrasolar colony really interests me. The ideologies at work are so disparate, it's intriguing to wonder how they might interact. It's also interesting to wonder what kind of political demands each faction may put on the other. The Commonwealth wants this as a diplomatic coup - they're probably reaping some other benefit back home in the solar system - which means they'd ultimately be willing to make concessions to the Jovians, but what does that mean for the colonists? What is the shape and structure of the colony that follows?

Honestly, given the Jovian demand for limitations on certain technology, that alone might make the adventure interesting and challenging. Technologies characters take for granted - like nanofabbers and healing vats - might simply not be allowed through the Gate. The simple truth is that something as "mundane" as a hurricane could devastate the nascent colony and leave it struggling to repair itself, especially if, say, it cuts off connection between the colonists and the home gate for any length of time.

The Firewall team might not be there just to monitor the situation temporarily. They might be there to ensure the place doesn't break down under the stresses of ideologies so disparate that open war could break out between the member factions at any time. It'd be fun to explore those tensions.

Transhumanism vs. Bioconservatism. Preservationism vs. Exploitation. Socialism vs. Capitalism. All such fun topics.

I may honestly just use this in future. Thanks, Wik.




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