Fastball Express Inc.

Session #42 - Cloud 9's Filling

By Ina’s and Danai’s players:

The team’s 2 in 1 combo managed to grab hold of security during the sleep cycle and did some digging and tracking of guard movements. A bold plan was soon hatched..dun,dun,dun. Wandering Ina switched some cameras to loop replay footage showing nothing going on and suppressed alarms as Billy Cable manoeuvred the new dirigible below Cloud Nine. A quick, but tense climb later, Hokusai and a bag of tools was on board the station as well, courtesy of an airlock. All members on the station then headed to a relatively safe section of the station to plan their next move, while being gently warmed by the rays from the station reactor.

Wandering Ina and Hokusai – the new intrusion team, managed to make their way undetected to an out of the way manufacturing lot and after some probing around, managed to disable the lock and sneak into the lot. The intrusion team then found crate after crate on that floor, all containing pistols of many types, but sadly, devoid of any ammunition. A closer look also reveals that the weapons are devoid of any factory identification marks. Perhaps the team had stumbled upon a weapons smuggling operation?

In the course of their investigations, the intrusion team stumbles upon a goods elevator capable of going to the upper floors, and wanting to avoid any unnecessary noise, the Wandering Ina and Hokusai climbed the shaft with gripper pads and electronic rope. On the second floor, the team found disassembled robot parts and un-powered security drones in the many crates on that floor.

As they looked around, the intrusion trio detected signs of activity on the higher floors and moved 2 floors up to investigate. There, they found factory drones and cornucopia machines manufacturing illegal goods. Not sure if the robots are piloted by sentients, the team sniffed around for a bit first before deciding the drones were probably run automatically by AI. Hokusai was send one floor down to investigate the skipped floor, while Wandering Ina hid on the manufacturing floor to observe the situation, using a chameleon cloak. A while later, Hokusai returned after only finding more crates of disassembled components on the floor below. The team decided that Hokusai would go up to the next floor to see what was there, while Wandering Ina poked around the current floor for information.

The next floor was also abuzz with manufacturing activity, and Hokusai had an accidental run in when he blocked a drone’s path while under his chameleon cloak. He was able to escape undetected while the drone blared an alert alarm. Interestingly, this brought him into a close encounter with an old ego smuggling suspect from his missions on Mars. Finding nothing wrong, the unaware suspect sent the droid on its way and went back into his control booth further along the facility with Hokusai closing in shortly after.

Meanwhile, Wandering Ina had also spotted a booth on the first manufacturing floor and crept forward under her chameleon cloak to investigate. They find a Slitheroid, lounging about at the booth, preoccupied with a VR game of World of Dirigibles. Not sure to kill or attempt capture of this synth, they decide instead to take advantage of the distracted Slitheroid and jacked into the terminal in front of it using a fiber optic cable. Some tense hacking later, they gain access and discover shipping dates. Narrowly avoiding the sudden swishing of the Slitheroid’s tail, Wandering Ina moves further away and a quick cross check with the station records coincides some dates with station records of Egonomix shipments. However, some dates are unaccounted for and are believed to be for goods secretly moved off the station somehow. Browsing further in the terminal, Wandering Ina discovers an interface showing a tripped silent alaem from the door broken through for the intrusion and terminates the alarm. Checking the users logged in reveals just a list of names for Wandering Ina. However Hokusai recognizes a name belonging to a lady the core team had an explosive encounter with in one of their previous missions on Mars and she as well as one other user were logged in on terminals one floor above Hokusai. A last bit of looking around the system reveals a farcaster located on the same floor as that lady.

The intrusion team agrees that although taking out the workers was an appealing idea, it would be carried out as a last action. Seeing an opportunity to rearm the team, Wandering Ina sneaks around the cornucopia machine, hacks it and copies its blueprints and OS before reuniting with Hokusai. The team now moves a floor upwards and discovers a server farm which probably houses the necessary AIs. Additionally, a lounge is visible and further inside, a secure room, presumably containing the 2 people as well as the farcaster. Finding the room armored and locked with biometrics, the intrusion team decides to call for the cavalry.

Hokusai was given all the data gathered so far and is able to make it back to the air lock. However when climbing down, the Slitheroid almost takes a one way skydiving trip and barely manages to latch on to the surface of the dirigible. Cable and Hokusai then take off stealthily to a safe distance before contacting Kage Musha, the person who gave the job in the first place. Making sure to omit the involvement of the Pax Familie, the dirigible team reports what they have discovered so far. After listening, Kage Musha asked if the team was willing to engage the enemy but being lightly armed and armored to take on station security, Kage was given a negative. Kage then posed an odd question, asking Cable and Hokusai if anyone else was told about this. Fearing an impending silencing, a “No” reply was given while all the information and instructions was copied to another member of the Fastball Express for insurance. Kage Musha then advises that remaining team members on board the Cloud Nine station extract immediately and that they would not want to be there when the cavalry arrived.

Meanwhile, Wandering Ina, who was left in the highest floor, was still contemplating ways to get into the room and on the farcaster for its records. Lightly armed, it was unlikely that Wandering Ina would be able to forcefully enter and successfully engage both possible hostiles….

The clock is now counting down for this phase of the mission! Will the farcaster records be obtained? What help did Kage Musha send – sentients or express delivery? Will everyone on the team escape unscathed? Find out more in the next session of Eclipse Phase – Clouds of a Morning Star!


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