Fastball Express Inc.

Eclipse Phase #16 - Mother of Battles

Report by Kai

Themes: Repression. Bioconservatism vs transhuman freedom. Scars of the Fall. Broken families. The pros and cons of celebrity.
Elements: Mothers and Daughters. Prison. Old people. Old people sex. Cheerleaders yay!

NPCs of interest:
Judah Boch, environmental engineer on Pushing Ice, organizer for the Jovian People’s Transhumanist Committee.
Elias Boch, poet and dissident, political prisoner, uncle of Judah Boch.
Boomer, Human Liberation Front terrorist.
Lee, HLF terrorist.
Helo, HLF terrorist.
Dr Susan Keller, former Deputy Minister of Education of the Jovian Republic, political prisoner.
Chief Tyrell, petty officer aboard the Umm al-Ma’arik, rebel sympathiser.
Major Kate Stackhoff, executive officer aboard the Umm al-Ma’arik, terrorist hunter.
Colonel Noah Mannheim/Marui Saeko, captain of the Umm al-Ma’arik, war hero, former transhuman mercenary.

Also, the POTUS Club:
Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Adams, Jackson, Van Buren, Harrison, Tyler, Polk, Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce, Buchanan, Lincoln, Johnson, Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Cleveland, Harrison, Cleveland (same as before), McKinley, Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama.

The Fastball Special docked at Pushing Ice in orbit around Europa for refueling and to meet with the local Jovian People’s Transhumanist Committee contact, Judah Boch, who contacted Mitsuba to get her to free his uncle from a prison ship around Ganymede. Elias Boch had fought alongside Mitsuba’s long-lost mother, Saeko the “Lioness”, during the Fall, and now he was an internationally renowned dissident poet who spoke out against the bioconservative military dictatorship ruling Jupiter.

Sunlamps. Rack after rack of vegetables and plants. Mist. Sudden violence with electric shocks, agonizer, vibro-shears and garrote. After a brief brawl in Pushing Ice’s hydroponics module, the Fastball Express team recovered Judah from a cell of Human Liberation Front terrorists and put the captured terrorists on ice on board the Fastball Special. Maybe for future use as spare sleeves, maybe as residual human resources, we don’t know yet.

Judah presented the offer: Fully paid fuel and expenses plus 50,000 credits of miscellaneous fees, great rep with media and autonomist factions, plus a portable ego bridge for downloading Elias. The target was kept along with many other political prisoners aboard the decommissioned warship Umm al-Ma’arik (Mother of Battles), which was also a militarily symbolic port of call for Ganymede. Since the Fastball Express was already bringing the POTUS refugees home to the Republic, they had an excuse to visit umm al-Ma’arik. Judah would arrange for his contacts in the Planetary Consortium to designate the Fastball Express as a human rights delegation making the annual visit to see the political prisoners…and since Mitsuba was now a major media star, she would fit the profile of a celebrity ambassador. An inside agent, Chief Petty Officer Tyrell, would help the team to smuggle the ego bridge on board. If everything went as planned, there would be no need for violence at all.

A week later, the Fastball Special docked with the venerable warship Umm al-Ma’arik, delivering the POTUS Club. Although Kay and Hokusai were confined to the ship due to their transhuman status, the others were able to step on board the prison ship, and things seemed to go as planned…at first.

The crew met Colonel Noah Mannheim, warden of the prison, a war hero from the Fall. Elias and Saeko had been involved in the risky rescue mission to retrieve him from the wreck of his ship, and we learned that Mannheim was revered for his part in the war, but that he had been initially suspected of being compromised by the Titans. The Colonel seemed to be quite taken by Mitsuba, and wanted to get to know her better.

They also got to meet Major Kate Stackhoff, a young and stern executive officer who had risen to fame in a ruthless and brutal crackdown on rebels around Europa. She’d just been acquitted of blame in the deaths of 12 captured “terrorists” and this new posting at the prison ship was a step up the ladder for her.

After a big welcoming ceremony for the geriatrics of the POTUS Club, the officers of the ship feted the guests and Colonel Mannheim immediately started asking Mitsuba all kinds of personal questions, something she did not discourage, as she wished to develop him as a potential ally.

Quill seemed to strike a nerve in Major Stackhoff, who kept asking why Quill insisted on acting like a little girl. “But I AM a little girl,” said Quill, which only made Stackhoff more upset. Stackhoff took Quill, Bishop and Harriet on a tour of the prison ship, during which time the local Jovian media started taking an interest in Bishop, who had acquired some infamy while fighting on various missions for the Fastball Express. A journalist tried to portray Bishop as a remorseless and inhuman killer in an interview.

In Colonel Mannheim’s private quarters Mitsuba was shocked to see his extensive media folder of new articles and imagery of Mitsuba’s public life as a celebrity. He seemed anxious for her to explain everything about herself…especially her rumoured “marriage” to the flexbot-morph Kay. “Did you have a relationship with that…dog-thing?!?” he asked angrily. Mitsuba was quick to mollify him, and he seemed to cool down…while stroking her hand creepily. Then the topic moved to Mitsuba’s mother, the “Lioness,” a mercenary who had saved the Colonel from a shipwreck during the Fall. He admitted to only having hazy memories at first. But after thinking about it, he revealed more. He opened a safe and gave Mitsuba a pendant that had belonged to Saeko, a pendant with a picture of Mitsuba and her two sisters as kids.

Could the Colonel be her true…father? Harriet’s fears of “ewww old people sex!” soon turned into fears of “ewww old people incest!” But mercifully, Mitsuba’s visit ended and she went back to her quarters to ponder the mystery of Mannheim.

Meanwhile, Quill ran a background check on Stackhoff, looking for something she could use to manipulate the Major. She found out that Stackhoff lost her husband and young daughter in a terrorist attack five years ago, and pursued a private vendetta against all dissident groups ever since.

The next day, Quill, Mitsuba, Bishop and Harriet followed Stackhoff on another official tour of the ship. Most importantly, this tour would end with their visit to Elias Boch, their one chance to rescue him.

A large crowd of civilian contractors and media had gathered in the hangar to gawk at the outlander mercenaries. Quill saw Stackhoff and offered her a lollipop, which just made the Major angry and disturbed.

Harriet spotted a figure on a gantry above the group, climbing into position and then leaping down (slowly) to ambush Bishop with a spanner. Fortunately, Bishop was able to avoid the blow with ease, taking the attacker down quickly. Other attackers rushed forward, and it seemed that Major Stackhoff’s guards were intentionally letting the visitors get attacked. The crowd seemed to cheer the “home team” against the despised foreigners. Harriet sidestepped and tripped a second attacker with a knife, but a third thug came at Bishop, swinging a wooden bat. Mitsuba leaped in front of Bishop to take the blow on her forehead.

Even as Mitsuba slumped down and the rest of the team got ready to fight, Colonel Mannheim arrived in the hangar, firing his sidearm in the air to get the crowd to back off. Clearly upset at this turn of events, he picked up Mitsuba in his arms and rushed her to the sickbay.

In the wake of the chaos, the rest of the team discovered that their inside man, the Chief, had been stabbed to death – possibly by Stackhoff’s own men. As the dead crewman was taken to the morgue, Harriet, Quill and Bishop determined that they needed to recover his stack, before it disappeared along with other evidence of the murder.

Meanwhile, in Sickbay, the Colonel apologized for what had happened, telling Mitsuba that he was glad to see she was all right. Mitsuba finally made the breakthrough to get the Colonel to open up, possibly because of her injury. She finally got him to tell her that “Your mother would be so proud of you.”

When the others called Mitsuba to ask her to retrieve the Chief’s stack, she was able to get the Colonel to help right away. He walked over to the body in the morgue and just chopped the stack out with a knife, handing the bloody diamond chip to Mitsuba. “You’d better get on with that visit to Elias, and hurry, before they lock down the ship and keep you from leaving.”

Guards escorted the team to the cellblock where Elias Boch had lived for the past five years. The room was luxuriously furnished, and the famous poet was tinkering with a piano when his visitors arrived. First they tried subterfuge, asking him to “sleep on this pillow” which contained the ego bridge.

Eventually they just bluntly confronted him with the truth, that they had been hired to upload him so that he could escape. But to their surprise, he had not been informed of this mission, and what was more, he didn’t want to leave! Despite all his brave poems about freedom of uploading, he realised at the last minute that he really didn’t want to be uploaded and lose his uniqueness. He also couldn’t bear the idea of himself being out there, while he was still inside the prison at the same time. And he really didn’t want his original self to die.

The team’s consensus was that Elias was a wimp and a coward. He tried to come up with a poem on the spot to explain to Judah why he wouldn’t go, but he failed miserably. Harriet declared that it was his choice, and they shouldn’t force him into it, so the team decided to pull out and cut their losses. But first, Mitsuba asked Elias if he know where Saeko was.

“I believe the Jovian Republic allowed her to retire here under an assumed identity. They let her download into the brain-dead body of one of their war heroes. Colonel Noah Mannheim. Have you met him?”

Mitsuba was stunned. It also took Bishop a moment to understand what Elias was telling Mitsuba: “He’s not your father, he’s your MOTHER.”

There was no time to lose, though. They left the cellblock and headed back to the ship, hoping to avoid being searched. But they found their path blocked by a suspicious Major Stackhoff. In an effort to keep her from finding the ego bridge, Quill tried to influence the Major’s mind. When that failed, she fell back on old fashioned persuasion and blinking her eyes adorably. Somehow, perhaps because she reminded the Major of her lost daughter, Quill succeeded, and the Major shooed them off her ship, telling them that they were no longer welcome.

Mitsuba had hoped to reach the Colonel one last time, but there just wasn’t enough time. As their ship decoupled and began the trip back to Europa to meet Judah, she sent a message to her…mother. Hoping to someday understand.

5 Rez Points for each character involved in this adventure.
+5 c-rep, for publicly bringing the POTUS refugees home.
-4 @-rep, due to the failed mission (although it technically wasn’t your fault). The autonomists will be asking YOU a favour to make up for the wasted resources put into this rescue attempt.
+2 f-rep for Quill and Harriet, the Fastball Cheerleading Squad.
+5 f-rep for Bishop Six, for his interview on Jovian news.

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Eclipse Phase #15 - No Country for Old Men

This episode, FbEx was hired by Mlle. Mitsuba of the Night Cartel to
assist in evacuating forty-four(43?) members of a Jovian gentleman’s
club known as the POTUS Society, from an aborted meeting on Progress,
Deimos (due to sudden potentially dangerous planetary phenomenon)

Cue cramming of many geriatric bio-cons into a mini-bus that is the
Eagle Transporter.

Cue many accusations upon Bishop by Mssrs. Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley
and Kennedy. Sometime along the line, “You shot me, you bastard!”

Cue refueling stop at Extropia and visit to many stripper joins.

Cue kidnapping of Mssrs. Reagan, Bush and Bush by Jovian freedom
fighters.

Cue FbEx rescue operation (and three-second gunfight, through walls)

Cue shortest interrogation session via Vulcan Mind Meld.

The journey continues…

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Eclipse Phase #14 - Spiraling Shape

Down, down, down you go
No way to stop
As you fall, hear me call
No, no, no
Listen to this warning and
Consider these
Simple words of advice
Stop, stop, stop

Fogging the view, cupping face to the window
In darkness you make out a spiraling shape
Putting all reason aside you exchange
What you’ve got for a thing that’s hypnotic and strange

The spiraling shape will make you go insane
(Everyone wants to see that groovy thing)
But everyone wants to see that groovy thing
(Everyone wants to see that thing)

And nobody knows what it’s really like
But everyone says it’s great
And they heard it from the spiral in their eyes

This could lead to excellence
Or serious injury
Only one way to know
Go, go, go
Go ahead, wreck your life
That might be good
Who can say what’s wrong or right?
Nobody can

Put out your hands and you fall through the window
And clawing at nothing you drop through the void
Your terrified screams are inaudible drowned
In the spiral ahead and consumed in the shape

The spiraling shape will make you go insane
(Everyone wants to see that groovy thing)
But everyone wants to see that groovy thing
(Everyone wants to see that thing)

And now that you’ve tried it, you’re back to report
That the spiraling shape was a fraud and a fake
You didn’t enjoy it, you never believed it
There won’t be a refund, you’ll never go back

The spiraling shape will make you go insane
(Everyone wants to see that groovy thing)
But everyone wants to see that groovy thing
(Everyone wants to see that thing)

And nobody knows what it’s really like
But everyone says it’s great
And they heard it from the spiral in their eyes
(Spiral in their eyes)

Fogging the view, cupping face to the window
In darkness you make out a spiraling shape
Putting all reason aside you exchange
What you got for a thing that’s hypnotic and strange

The spiraling shape will make you go insane
(Everyone wants to see that groovy thing)
But everyone wants to see that groovy thing
(Everyone wants to see that thing)

Don’t spend the rest of your life wondering
(Everyone wants to see that thing)

Don’t spend the rest of your life wondering
(Everyone wants to see that groovy thing)
Don’t spend the rest of your life wondering
(Everyone wants to see that thing)

To summarise, and stealing my own post on the EP fora:

1) the Bracewell probe actually does not exist in our universe pre se,
but it was deployed by a civilisation that inhabits in what
theoretical physicists refer to as a “Dark Matter” universe.

2) My limited understanding of Superstring/Brane theory tells me that
while matter cannot cross between universes, data may be transmitted
via gravity waves.

3) Prior to the fall, the TITANs detected this gravity fluctuation in
the core of Mars. They mounted a secret mining expedition to explore
this anomaly.

4) TITANs constructed a gravitronic interface around the anomaly
(pretty much prototype Pandora gate) to interface with what they
discovered later to be a Bracewell probe from another universe.
Contact was initiated and that’s where a series of unfortunate events
began.

5) Unfortunately, the creators of of the Bracewell probe were on the
brink of annihilation by a race of machines (which I humourously
referred to as the Reapers, but unfortunately no one my in group
played Mass Effect and the joke was lost) and the probe was sent as a
distress beacon to other organic races in their own universe.

6) Probe misinterpreted TITAN contact attempt as an attack by an
synthetic species, initiated violent electronic countermeasures
through the gravitronic interface (which I shall now refer to as the
Proto-Gate).

7) Due to the TITANs’ alien nature (from the Bracewellers’s point of
view) and different protocols of the proto-gate, the attack was
unsuccessful. But the TITANs were corrupted somehow by the botched
hacking attempt and this led to their rampage agaist humanity.

8) Using knowledge gained from the initial contact with the probe,
they constructed the known Pandora gates and (apparently) left through
them to parts unknown, perhaps (correctly or otherwise) taking
humanity to “safety” beyond the influence of the Bracewell probe.

9) Years later, the Argonauts discovered this anomaly in the centre of
Mars and hired the player characters (who make up the Fastball Express
hypercorp, or FbEx for short) to escort them on the trail to discover
this mystery.

10) FbEx eventually found the gate (along with the remains of a
Firewall cell scattered around the structure) and the resident Async
managed to interface with the Bracewell probe with the powers of her
mind >.> From “talking” to it, they pieced together some of the
background above.

11) However due to the attempts of some YGBM-basilisk-hacked members
of the Argonaut NPC team, the Proto-gate became unstable and FbEx had
to flee back to the surface.

12) Energy from the unstable proto-gate reacted with the iron core of
Mars, eventually leading to a magnetic field being spun up around the
planet.

And that was yesterday’s session so I am trying to figure out the
consequences of such a device.

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Eclipse Phase #13 - Weekend at Mitsuba's 2

The thing they used on you guys today, taken from
http://eclipsephase.com/firewall-guide-unconventional-weapons

Rather than just firing off an EMP blast in all directions, a beamer
produces a focused beam of high-intensity microwaves . Less useful
against nanoswarms, it is ideal for wrecking particular robots and
equipment, and can be tuned to attack particular kinds of electronics.
Just have it ramp frequency up and down to find the frequencies that
set up nasty resonances or get in through small holes in the chassis.
Remember that the beam can be reflected back from conductive surfaces.

It can also be used to heat food. Badly.


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Eclipse Phase #12 - "Don't touch my baboons!"

Summary:
Photobucket

Yes.

Notes/commentary/report pending

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Eclipse Phase #11 - PLANET DOES NOT PROVIDE COVER SAVE

Summary:

Photobucket

Yes.

GM’s Notes:
Man, that ship was filled with orcs. By the boatload, literally.

Also, bullet vs missile. WTF.

Also, surprise cameo by BJ & the Bear.

Kai’s Notes:
’Twas a good game!

The missile sniping thing happened in my Gunslinger Girl PBP once -
Cyborg with sniper rifle vs UAV-launched missile. Cyborg won.

Adrian’s new Nerf gun provided pew pew!

What, a full report? Hold on, pls.

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Eclipse Phase #10 - Sons of Ten Thousand Orcs

Kai’s Notes:
We visited the recreational disease club and asked around about Nene’s death. We got imagery of a suspicious man who had been seen with her, so Billy called upon his autonomist friends on @-list to find the man. All he had to offer was a rep prize and “an evening with Marina Sirtis’ last surviving beta fork.” Worked like a charm.

Quill’s former sibling Solo was staying in a bad part of town, in a sort of “walled city” where even a simple hacked janitor robot can’t survive very long. We took the stolen Barsoomian truck to the Walled City, and Adrian’s flexbot options came in handy again as Kay transformed into Rosie The Maidbot.

Quill and Billy went in to talk to Solo, and he managed to keep them off guard and completely clueless all the way until his buddy the sniper started firing from the next building with FREAKING HOMING ROUNDS. Quill got shot and Solo also managed to psychically blast us pretty badly. Outside, “Angela” called for help from the truck and the local SWAT, and Kay went roof jumping in order to battle the sniper. Despite getting gunned to within an inch of his mechanical life, Kay managed to decapitate the sniper, while Billy and Quill managed to keep getting themselves hurt again and again. Fun stuff. We were lucky to make it out of there intact, and with very little to show for it, except for what Solo himself had told us: It all goes back to the Cognite hypercorp…

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Eclipse Phase #9 - Ten Thousand Orcs

Quill’s Notes:

Quill’s Diary, Day 1500 AE [AE – Quill’s personal time-keeping, meaning classified]

Zora called, y’know the one with the snake fetish? I like her! She’s cool in a freakish kinda way and I mean it’s just reptiles! Unlike some of the others. Don’t ask. She’s like “omg Quill!!! I was like so TALKING to Roy (omg phonesexors?!) when he suddenly just went like
‘…’ and when I called again like he won’t pick up and it seems like he just went poof and I’m like worried and stuff and like Priss isn’t picking up my calls either (maybe she’s a jealous b*tch coz of the phone stuff) but like just in case, go check it out, kthxbai!” Or something along those lines. I think.

<folds>

<steals>

<folds>

Oh, what? Oh yeah, she said she’ll pay too. Like, one way. Look, she dances with snakes for a living, she isn’t making that much. Is she?

<folds>

<folds>

<blinks> Oh, is this thing still on? <clears> So we went to Mars, and then Doggy says he can’t go the normal way coz he’s like, the weapon of mass destruction, so we found some people to take us down to Barsoom. Baaaaaaaarsooooooooooooommew? Oh, I’m Parker now. Say ‘Hi PARKER!!!!’ Hehehehehehe… Anyways we tried talking to people and stuff but little boy ends up pissing up his @-friends and I was laughing SOOOO hard. But then I tried talking to my big bad g-friends and they don’t like me either! So mean… :รพ I called the police and they told us THREE people were killed and had their brains fried. o_O So scawy!!! I wonder…

Then doggy wants to go swimming, and said he knows someone who lives by the river. We went and there was this big fancy house and a crazy chick who was suntanning (omg, like, RADIATION!?!) and said her name’s Mitsuba. Then she like, omg, said she’s Doggy’s wife… (ex-wife?) and
they have 10 kids! Wow!!! Like, I wanted to ask doggy about it, but he went swimming and all you could see was one eye. So Doggy’s wife says she’ll ask the HEAD OF POLICE (OMG!!! she has him on SPEED DIAL!?!) and like, we gots the info and I got so sad… coz it was really Roy And Priss too. And Nene!!!

<folds>

We got access to 3D crime scenes and I tried to like, do a CSI thing, but other than the fact that they all died at home (except Nene, who died at the club where she worked) and had their brains and cortical stacks fried, there doesn’t seem to be any other clues. Oh, and whoever did it must be known to them, or is like, a ghost who snuck in and zapped them… I feel so sad. All my friends!!! So we decided to go to the club and ask questions, coz like, Nene was working when she died.

Doggy’s wife said she’s send her secretary/assistant/whoever called Angela to take us to this club. So like, we went to the club, and like uhm… I’m sleepy…
ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz………..

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Eclipse Phase #8 - Darkwing Duck and the Case of the Colonel's Secret of Eleven Herbs & Spices

Kai’s Notes:
After the unprofitable fiasco on Qing Long, which the crew barely got out of with their skins intact, it was time to get away from it all…in the Outer System. The Fastball Special docked at Extropia, the free haven where hypercorps could rub shoulders with anarcho-capitalists, where a new body or a microgravity steak dinner could be had…for the right price.

First things first: the team refreshed their backups. Just in case. Then Billy treated his teammates to said steak dinner in a restaurant where the cows came floating in giant tanks like the fishtanks in seafood restaurants back on Qing Long. After dinner, he turned to the business of finding new business for Fastball Express.

Billy’s old autonomist contact Dave hadn’t changed much. Dave had a proposition for the crew: steal a secret recipe from a neo-avian colony called Lexington, located on the asteroid Mr Spock. Said colony was guarded by the infamous mercenaries known only as the Iron Chefs, who were led by the enigmatic Colonel. The prize was a recipe dating back to Pre-Fall Earth: The Secret of Eleven Herbs and Spices for a fried chicken dish.

The team did some research on the matter and dug up an eyewitness report of the Iron Chefs’ attack on some Barsoomian moisture farmers on Mars. The witness excitedly related how “cool” and “awesome” the armor-suited Iron Chefs were as they destroyed his home and killed him and his family (his stack was later recovered, of course).

Asteroid Spock looked like a daunting target, since it would be hard to blend in with the neo-avian locals. However, once the team found out about the colony’s supply schedule, Billy toyed with the idea of sending in a single operative to perform reconnaissance. If they just got a single neo-avian sleeve for the infiltrating team member, the operation would be a “Go.”

Billy tried to get Dave to cover the costs of the neo-avian body by appealing to his most cherished fantasies. Went something like this: “Dave, you’re still wearing that Wesley Crusher sleeve, I see. I happen to have found a long-lost beta fork of Marina Sirtis in a salvaged data core…I’ll have her sleeved in a hot body and give you an evening with her if you can provide us that neo-avian sleeve.”

Then, to Quill: “I’ve got a mission for you…” (explains)

Quill: “Who’s Deanna Troi???”

Billy: “A pre-Fall science fiction character also known as Counselor Cleavage.”

Quill, masquerading as the fork of Marina Sirtis, met Dave at the steakhouse, both of them in Star Trek costumes. Dave wanted to indulge in his snuff fantasy of slowly throttling the life out of -

- then Quill turned on the psychic mojo. She hacked his brain pretty thoroughly leaving only a hypnotic desire to give us what we wanted and to forget the horrific mental trauma she had just inflicted upon him.

Now, the team had a raven-feathered neo-avian sleeve. But who would wear it on this dangerous solo mission? Bishop-Six, with his infiltration specializations, would seem to be the logical candidate. “It’s just a reconnaissance misson,” they told him, as he underwent the mentally strenuous resleeving process…

Some time later, the neo-avian tourist arrived at Lexington, armed with only his wits and a number of entirely legal devices and tools. After a quick tour of the colony, using his new ability to fly in low gravity, Bishop learned that most of the colony was perfectly normal and open to tourists, with the exception of the facility at the very far end of the cylinder, which was guarded by a contingent of Iron Chefs, as one might expect.

After looking into the best possible infiltration route, Bishop recontacted us and asked for further instructions. Cable naturally betrayed all of Bishop’s trust by ordering him to move in for immediate infiltration of the Iron Chef facility. Meanwhile, the Fastball Special approached Mr Spock, launching Kay as an independent flying object designed to distract Iron Chef patrols and draw them away. Kay went to his duties with great relish, ejecting from the ship with a metallic “GERONIMO!”

Bishop stood before the guarded door, feeling more vulnerable than he had in a long time. After all, he was in a new body, without any neurachem or other combat enhancements, and he was supposed to snatch the two guards’ guns and use them to blast his way through all resistance. He had the element of surprise, but not much else. His new feathered body seemed to move in slow motion compared to his regular Ghost form. He launched his ambush with deadly bursts of submachine gun fire…ripping into the Iron Chefs…and somehow, despite the odds, he succeeded!

(interlude: Somewhere, the duckling son of the dead merc asks his mom “where’s Dad? He promised he’d be here for my birthday. He promised…”)

By now the rest of the team had arrived, dispatched from the Fastball Special to help Bishop once he had gained access to the vault. With Kay’s distraction and the customary brilliant hacking skills of Cable, nothing could stop the team, as they prepared to open the vault lock…

…which was, amazingly, non-electronic. In fact, it was made of dumb matter. An old-fashioned combination lock. “But how do we hack it?” wondered Cable, dumbfounded. Quill tapped once more into her psi power, using Pattern Recognition to understand the inner workings of the lock. She just barely managed to open the vault, which swung open to reveal an old-fashioned piece of paper with the Eleven Secret Herbs And Spices recipe! Mission Accomplished, and so we buggered off out of there!

Back safe and sound in his main sleeve, Bishop would not let Cable forget. “Just a recon mission? You call that just a recon mission?!?” We all had a good laugh.

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Eclipse Phase #7 - (How Do You Solve A Problem Like) Maria

Eclipse phase trio vacsuit

Kai’s Notes:
This was a great session even with only 3 players. Fastball Express saved out of the men’s room in Qinglong thanks to Hansel and his partner, deadly killers of the Kinder Kartel.

The Von Trapp family of the Kartel hired us to recover their fabled mentor Maria, in exchange for help getting off Qinglong safely. While Quill, Kay, Verlian and Diz had their own tasks, Bishop, Hokusai and Billy (cosplaying as Super Deformed Char’s Gelgoog) went for a walk on the outside of the colony cylinder and snuck into an Ochre Society cryo facility, where they battled a crew of guards with blazing neurochem-enhanced gunplay, or in the case of Billy, harsh words and a Dazzler.

Billy got shot something nasty and does not remember much of what happened next but they did get out alive. With Maria.

Someone else should do a more datailed report.

GM’s Notes:
She climbs a tree and scrapes her knee
Her dress has got a tear
She waltzes on her way to Mass
And whistles on the stair
And underneath her wimple
She has curlers in her hair
I even heard her singing in the abbey

She’s always late for chapel
But her penitence is real
She’s always late for everything
Except for every meal
I hate to have to say it
But I very firmly feel
Maria’s not an asset to the abbey

I’d like to say a word in her behalf
Maria makes me laugh

How do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find a word that means Maria?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o’-the wisp! A clown!

Many a thing you know you’d like to tell her
Many a thing she ought to understand
But how do you make her stay
And listen to all you say
How do you keep a wave upon the sand

Oh, how do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

When I’m with her I’m confused
Out of focus and bemused
And I never know exactly where I am
Unpredictable as weather
She’s as flighty as a feather
She’s a darling! She’s a demon! She’s a lamb!

She’d outpester any pest
Drive a hornet from its nest
She could throw a whirling dervish out of whirl
She is gentle! She is wild!
She’s a riddle! She’s a child!
She’s a headache! She’s an angel!
She’s a girl!

How do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find a word that means Maria?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o’-the wisp! A clown!

Many a thing you know you’d like to tell her
Many a thing she ought to understand
But how do you make her stay
And listen to all you say
How do you keep a wave upon the sand

Oh, how do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

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