Yay fifty sessions!
Cable, DANAI and Ina were alerted to new activity in the lair of the Cobra when Shelby activated the laser signalling device hidden in his home. The speck planted to monitor him reported that Shelby had sent a coded beam up through the window toward…Gerlach.
Springing into action to trace the beam to its destination (and hopefully the next link in the Free Fall Network), our team took a shuttle up to Gerlach to examine one of its solar mirrors, which the laser signal had been aimed at. Where was the beam reflected to? That would depend on the angle of the individual mirror panels.
Ina and DANAI were also eager to test out another one of Ina’s new toys: tripod walker turret designed to allow DANAI to use its gunnery skills with a variety of personal weapons, from rifles and railguns to seeker launchers and sprays. The man-portable but menacing walker was dubbed “Paul” and came with enhanced senses and a single manipulator arm.
Out on the hull of Gerlach, an odd pair of figures emerged: an adult humanoid and a child, both in combat vacsuits, carrying an egg-shaped device (DANAI in a sheldon) and a rifle on a tripod (the Paul).
The patch of mirror panels up ahead was overlaid with AR notices indicating that it was out of order pending maintenance – and had been for some time, as the maintenance priority was set to “lowest.” The patch of mirrors was angled in many crazy directions, tilted up and away. It made for a great hiding place for any dubious equipment. After creeping as close as they dared, our team decided to toss DANAI in a sheldon at the end of a smart rope over the mirror patch to scout it out. A horrid throw landed DANAI right in an expensive mirror (seven years’ bad luck), after which we pulled it back through the under-maintenance patch. There was a receiver here that wasn’t supposed to be here, a relay for the FFN that was redirecting the laser signals on to whatever the next destination was. It could have been anywhere in the polar region.
After carefully uninstalling it from the mirror patch, our team brought the relay back inside the airlock. But what luck – a scan found explosives, rigged to blow up at the sign of any tampering. After racking their heads and casting around for any explosives skill within the organisation, they were forced to call station security, whose bomb squad promptly stuck the relay back outside to dispose of safely. So much for hacking inside the relay.
The FFN would soon notice that the signals were no longer being relayed. Cable, Ina and DANAI had to take proactive steps. They had to bring in Shelby Cobra. After conferring with Kage, the team set up an ambush.
Shelby would receive a call from management consultants conducting a series of in-person interviews with Aphrodite civil service staff at a local office building. Said meeting room would be rigged with Paul turrets, armed with nonlethal takedown weaponry, including an EMP micro-seeker launcher to keep Shelby from signalling his allies.
A very detailed breakdown of the ambush commenced. DANAI and Ina were very concerned with comprehensive coverage of the rented office so that they could ensure no chance of escape or calling for help for the poor unarmed civil servant. Cable went for a coffee to allow the others to resolve the ambush themselves. At one point, the idea was mooted to have a Paul turret in a chair at the head of the table, sinisterly rotating the chair to face Shelby like in some Bond movie. Sigh, the mad ideas we come up with.
In the end, Shelby walked into a room covered with no less than three stealth-cloaked Paul turrets, to be hammered by immobilising foam spray, EMP and a neural agonizer, all while DANAI lurked invisibly nearby to cut off any escape for our doomed Shelby.
The prisoner was jacked into simspace for interrogation.
Cable, who was several blocks away, was having coffee. He was completely out of touch with his team due to the EMP, so he either panicked, had a coffee, or flirted with the robo-waitress. Or all three.
In simspace, the interrogators found to their surprise that Shelby was entirely cooperative, if a little confused. He admitted to having been given this job by certain contacts such as Robari, but did not remember anything about sending suspicious signals or other nefarious activity.
Not wanting to tip off anybody to their interest in Shelby, DANAI and Ina decided to psychosurgery to wipe memories of the past four hours and send Shelby back to work, while retaining a forked copy to further question…