Many cultures across the galaxy have recognized a peculiar tendency of unwanted events to accumulate. Often these were cited as proof of a frivolous higher power, sometimes they were elevated to status of natural laws. Skeptics would decry them as delusions, product of confirmation and perception biases.Such opinions are of little comfort when you find yourself in one such situation, be it that of a factory supervisor facing a surprise inspection moments after learning a bottleneck line has malfunctioned and the maintenance team is still recovering from a teambuilding exercise, or that of a young man whose car inexplicably breaks down on the same day his alarm clock’s batteries give out, the day in question being that of a credit exam as well as day when he was supposed to take his crush to the cinema......or your own situation as Henri Ford, captain of MSV Chariot, special consultant of the Citadel Institute of Xenoarchaeology as you stand between Lea’Fari nar Namek, Quarian pilgrim currently serving on your crew, and commander Jean-Baptiste Kang, Alliance officer currently in charge of the Kourou spaceport.Presently you have no reason to suspect imminent trouble. After Kang made good on his promise to supply eezo for the prototype drone you helped Lea manufacture one (with the design more or less completed there were Stil dome routine operations to carry out in assembling). Satisfied with the results you decided to let the day’s Jetlag catch up with you and headed to your respective sleep pods. Now you stand refreshed in the prefab office building, watching Lea present her creation and how she intends to deploy it.
“Beautiful.” Commander says, watching the model where string of drones deployed along the orbit intercept and reorient incoming objects, gradually reducing the monitored indicator of intersecting debris orbits. “And you’re saying this baby is ready for test deployment?”And around that point your omnitool beeps forcefully. You check it with a start, suspecting a glitch. It turns out you’ve received two messages simultaneously, and as you’re about to open them, it beeps for the third time.The messages are short and quickly read, but after doing so you decide that this is definitely not a good sign.First message reads:“They’re after me. I don’t know who else to trust. Please, help.”There is no signature, but the message header places its origin in NSD, London branch.Then there’s second message, this one without a doubt from Kris.“Ford, you might want to see this. I’m not sure if we’ll be able to help to be honest.”And lastly, the third beep brings you message that’s potentially even more concerning than the two previous one. Only thing you can make out is the address of the Sender: Libella Tefar.The rest is unintelligible.“Doctor? Somethings wrong? I was just wondering when it would be possible to field the prototype for testing?”“Sorry, Commander. I just got distraught. Personal issues. Are you asking when we’re going to space with the model?”“Yes, indeed.”“Well...”>right away - the sooner we get this over with, the better>we’re leaving, alright... but I’m afraid we have to delay the trial, I have personal matter that requires my immediate attention (select destination: London, Africa, Rouen...)>I need to place a call first (contact someone)>ask something>other response
I withdraw for the night. Good fortune, friends.
>>3505383>I need to place a call first (contact someone)Call the salarian, tell him to hole up somewhere and give us the location. We can pick him up after we get in touch with Kris and see what's up.
>>3505383>>3505419Yes, that. Then, on the way there Lea can look at the scrambled mess.
>>3505419This, call the salarian and see what's up, then call Kris
>>3505524The scrambled mess is probably a code, let Lea give it a crack, if she can't solve it we can send it to Eve
>>3505419Yes, in this order of priority.I finally caught up with the quest. This is honestly what the continuation of ME should've been like. Great work, QM!
It doesn’t take you long to determine which matter is the most urgent now. Kris didn’t seem under imminent duress, and Libella’s message could be anything - you couldn’t do much until you deciphered it, and she could probably handle herself. You don’t become recognized as Spectre by collecting hockey stickers.“I’m sorry, commander, but it seems a friend of mine is in trouble. I need to see what i can do for him first.”“Very well, I understand.” Kang says. “Please tell me when you’ll know more.”With that you take your leave and bring up Eji Maroon’s contact data.“What’s up, gloomdrinker. Meet up at usual place?” you type, hoping that the Salarian will pick up. You grimaced a bit at the message. Anyone listening in would likely not have much difficulty at deciphering it and trace it to you, but time was...“No can do, BT stole my ride. Grounded af. And weather sux cloaca”...definitely not on your side“Null sweat. Will pick u up. Just pick ur psn.” You type out and raise your gaze to meet that of Kang. “I’m afraid I need to pick my friend out of trouble, right now.” You say.“What sort of trouble? With Alliance, or...?”“The former probably not. The latter... I don’t know.”The officer nods.“Go. The space is not going anywhere. In fact, can I offer you some help?”>ask if he has a shuttle to spare>don’t, you’ll fly the Chariot>ask for something else
>>3506761>ask if he has a shuttle to spareIf we are trying to not be noticed by whoever is after the salarian we better not get our ride involved
>>3506761>ask if he has a shuttle to spare
>>3506761>ask if he has a shuttle to spareCall Kris on the way and ask Lea to take a look at the coded messageTell her that everything chose to come crashing down at the same time apparently, we are going to be in for a ride I suspect.
>>3506761>>ask if he has a shuttle to spare
“Actually... could you spare a shuttle?”Commander’s concerned frown deepens further. You know that spaceworthy vessels are in short supply as is, and lending one out to a civilian personage might look bad on his record in any case. After a while though his features soften.“Bring it back in one piece, Doctor.” Kang says, bringing up his omnitool. “It’s on landing pod three, just behind this building.”This is not the time to point out how generous the term is to describe this array of prefab pieces, so you don’t. Instead you turn to Lea with a question but she’s already bolting out last you. Hurrying up past the secretary (you don’t think she moved from her spreadsheet adorned perch since you first saw her) you struggle to catch up and only do so just as you round the building.The shuttle recognizes you as you approach, opening its hatches. You board it, activate the engines, run the bare minimum of checks and punch it. Shudder of the strained inertial dampener coming up alongside the kinetic barrier almost drowns out the next message you receive.“You done with ur work?”You look at the time estimate shuttle’s computer showed you.“~1 hr”“Coincides w/my smoke then”Well, that narrowed down the location. There was only one place for a corporate slave to smoke and that was a rooftop.Wait, did Salarians even smoke? You push away a mental image of a Salarian suffering nicotine withdrawal and wonder how good an excuse this was.Eji was still sending messages, which meant “they” either weren’t onto him personally quite yet, or that “they” took over his comm and were luring you into a trap.“Hey, this is awesome.” Lea speaks up. “This is one of the stealth Kodiaks. Should I put it on?”>yes, stealth drive will automatically disable transponder and render you undetectable by electronic means. Military will take interest in the ufo if someone notices shuttle where it doesn’t belong>don’t, we’re a perfectly normal shuttle with perfectly normal business, if a bit in a hurry>yes, but not yet. First we’re placing some calls.If 3, Who you gonna call? >Kris>Eve>Libella>someone elseWhere do you wish to disembark?>directly on top of the office building (whatever passes for one)>in front of the front gate>a block away, approach on foot
>>3507000>don’t, we’re a perfectly normal shuttle with perfectly normal business, if a bit in a hurry>directly on top of the office building (whatever passes for one)It's an alliance vessel so keeping the transponder on lends more credence to us landing on their rooftop without warning. I doubt they're eager to start shit with the military but we might not wanna show our faces on this one.
>>3507000>yes, but not yet. First we’re placing some calls>Kris>a block away, approach on foot
>>3507000>don’t, we’re a perfectly normal shuttle with perfectly normal business, if a bit in a hurry>KrisIs it common for shuttles to land on roofs? If it is just land on top of it, if it isn't that common we land nearby and walk there
>>3507000>yes, but not yet. First we’re placing some calls.>kris>roof
“Don’t, at least not yet.” You reply. Lea gives you a good impression of puppy eyes, which is remarkable since you can only see the two glowing green orbs. How are they doing it? Regardless, back to the matter at hand... “We’re a perfectly normal Alliance shuttle hurrying from the spaceport to a spaceship company.”“Alright.” She acquiesces.You meantime get to work on Comms.“Kris, do you hear me?”“Loud and clear. Huh, you weren’t kidding about being ready to drop at moment’s notice.”You chuckle weakly. “Yeah, about that... I kinda probably am going to need your backup instead.”“Hah! I knew it. So, what is it, you found a working reaper up there?”“Nothing of the sorts. Remember that guy at Robinson’s?”“The saddened salamander? Yeah. You got news from him?”“He begged for help. We’re on route to extract him now. You got Eve and the car nearby?”“Yeah. How do you want to play it?”“Well...” You give it a pause. “...do you remember the...”>...Illium? (bluffing your way in)>...Bekenstein? (infiltration)>...Helyme? (raid)>...Omega? (solo entry with backup)>other (specify plan)
With this I retire. Safe travels, friends.
>>3507183>>...Illium? (bluffing your way in)
>>3507183>...Illium? (bluffing your way in)The krogan can be backup, don't know if he is a good bluffer, Lea can hamdle fast talk for what we saw from her
One more thing, please roll some 1d100s for how much Lea is able to glean from the cryptic message.With that I truly recede.
Rolled 24 (1d100)>>3507234
Rolled 5 (1d100)>>3507183>>...Illium? (bluffing your way in)they are a space ship company, our quarian friend can have a good reason to visit since they are spaceship based.we can play Good Corp exec and Bad corp execshe plays the bad one just to throw them off kekshe is the demanding, strick and rather cruel admiral's daughter and Ford is the well intentioned and sympathetic human escortrolling for decript>>3507234
Rolled 16 (1d100)>>3507234Shit, it's a difficult message, next time tell that asari to just call instead of going all secretive about stuff
>>3507235>>3507240>>3507244Specter encryption is quite something.
>>3507561well, tell her not to worry about it, if the spectre was in real trouble she would make sure we know about it
“...Illium?”“Why yes, Ford, I do indeed remember Illium. Especially the new paint job expense I filed for the car because you had to hide in sewers until the customs caught up with its bureaucracy.”“In fairness they didn’t start shooting until after I actually brought the artifact out of the building.”“Yeah, Yeah. Alright. I guess I’m the backup, then. We’ll be there. And then I’m going to tell you about the mess down here.”“Will do.”With that you terminate connection and turn to Lea who was poring over the cryptic message.“Found anything?”“Hmmm...” she hums. “I’m not really sure, but... this looks like a sound track, if garbled... And this...”The quarian fiddles with her omnitool for a while before pumping her arm to the air. “Yes. Got something. It looks like...”She brings a playback screen up on shuttle’s controls and the two of you watch on the scene unfolding itself on it.“That’s a lot of blue.” You comment.“Huh.” She adds.“By my honor, you will be begging goddess herself for forgiveness by dawn’s break.” The recording says.“Now hold on a moment, this is the history slash fantasy Libella was watching on the way.”“You’re on first name basis already?”“That’s beside the point. Why would she send us this?”“Maybe she sent it to you because she’s friendly with you?”“Why would she send it so garbled you had to decipher it?”“Maybe to challenge your wit?”“Well, in that case I’m glad I have you with me because I’m at its end.” You shake your head. “I suppose it could be the case. Thank you, Lea.”“No problem.”With one mystery unraveled you decided to switch back to the more pressing issue.“Anyway, back to the Salarian rescue. I’ve had an idea. How good is your mean face?”“Slight me, Ford, and you’re going to find out sooner than you can count what’s left of your salary.”“That will do.” You nod. “I think it’s time for you to perform some due diligence with a prospective client, mistress.”“I don’t recall having asked your opinion, Ford. Just make sure we get there before it’s time for luncheon.”“As you command, ma’am.” You grin. Checking the timer it seems you still have some time before you reach your destination. Lea is now busy collecting facts for her role. What will you do?>Call someone (specify)>the Salarian was mentioning his colleague uncovered something about meddling with elections, maybe you should read up some more about that?>check shuttle’s cargo for something helpful? (Specify What you’re looking for. You have your kit, Lea has her suit and a pistol)>something else
>>3508932>the Salarian was mentioning his colleague uncovered something about meddling with elections, maybe you should read up some more about that?
>>3508932>>check shuttle’s cargo for something helpful? (Specify What you’re looking for. You have your kit, Lea has her suit and a pistol)An alliance uniform if there is any.
Deciding to look at the possible context if this mess you are flying into you open up the news feed once again and pull up information on the upcoming elections the Nashan Stellar Dynamics apparently wanted to influence.You were not very surprised to see that on top of the polls for the time being was a military man, commodore Wolfgang Bärli, Captain of the carrier SSV Illustrious. This ambitious gentleman seemed to inspire confidence or outright loyalty of enough of his peers to be able to form a faction promising order and security for the new world in spirit of the duty he felt for the old one. Given both Shepard’s origin as an alliance commando and Alliance’s role in fighting the Reaper threat it was really not surprising that he would end up well ahead. Skimming over his policies they were fairly centrist and moderate across the board, presumably partly to avoid alienating any voter, partly because of the military’s conservative attitude.More surprising was how quickly the runner up was gaining. The next entity in polls, only single digit figures behind the military man, was one Alexander Jones, an industrialist that earned himself respect running a surprisingly effective resistance movement up in northern reaches of Noram. He gave impression of a charismatic leader and touted freedom of enterprise above all else.
Lagging a good bit behind the two was Maria King, a journalist serving aboard a SSV Verdun as part of the Alliance’s “battlescape” program where she gained some notoriety. Currently she presented herself as faction espousing closer relationship between the nations, on Earth as well as within the galaxy. Driver of her campaigns seemed to be naive idealism with which she presented her hopes for better future through cooperation.Remaining three factions did not cross ten percent of support, a psychological barrier separating fringe aspirants from big players. Strongest of them was, interestingly enough, an Asari matriarch who found herself fighting on foot during the crisis and now decided to take advantage of opportunity to participate in the elections to spread her wisdom with the younger races. In this case it meant her proposed policies would have likened Sol to one of Asari republics, perhaps most markedly in introducing more direct flavor of democracy Asari were used to. You wondered if that would even work as she intended with the shorter lived species.Next up was Terra Firma, a known refuge of human supremacists or, as they liked to call themselves, galactic pragmatics. Their stances were known well enough - earth for the earthlings with a helping of free beer for everyone. You note that the party has been previously involved with NSD, which made them obvious suspect. Maybe even too much so.Final faction that made its way past the one percent cutoff was the Voice of Gaia led by one Li O’Connell. The faction posited that Reapers were what All thinking machines would eventually reach and returning to one’s roots with only minimum of technology to get by.As you’ve finished reading, you sit back in chair and watch the shuttle make its final approach. Broken skyline of London was approaching on the horizon and your communicator crackled to life, green zone traffic controller’s voice inquiring about your business.You exchange glances with Lea and the two of you trade nods. It was time to get to work.
With this I retire. May Starlight of hope stay with you all.
>>3509446Thanks for running
>>3509446I’m loving the world building. The depth you give the situation is probably enough to make a video game off of given time. And it would have been better than the ME3 endings we got.
“This is Personal shuttle of the spaceport commander Jean-Baptiste Kang. I bring a foreign representative for high value trade mission.” You state to the traffic controller.“Acknowledged, shuttle 2003-1, but we received no word of your arrival.”“Good. We didn’t let any slip because of magnitude of the deal. Do our credentials check out, or not?” “Um, yes, but...”“Then feel free to take your procedural issues up with the Alliance command. I’m sure they’ll be happier about a redundant procedure than they would be about planet-scope business.” You press.“But I... oh, to hell with it. You’re cleared to enter.”“Thank you.” *click*“Not bad, Ford. Not bad.” Lea said with slightly condescending tone.You suppress your grin as you guide the shuttle among the burnt skeletons and lower structures in varying state of repair until spotting the one you were looking for - a slightly stockier structure than its neighbors and sporting a logo that identified it past any doubts as NSD headquarters. With a movement as smooth as you possibly can manage you arc your flight so that you end up softly landing on the improvised executive landing pad painted on its roof.“Permission to disembark first, ma’am?”“Of course, meatshield.”The two of you lock the shuttle down and leave it through the hatch, with you taking point. It’s probably a good thing as you come to face muzzles of several avengers held by corporate goons. Look you’re used to a bit more than you care to admit, which Lea probably isn’t.“What is the meaning of this?” You ask before the only unarmed person standing against you, a middle aged human woman in a civilian outfit that probably passes for formal these days, can get a word in.She blinks before replying. “Took those words straight out of my mouth, sir. This is a private property and we don’t expect any visitors today.”“Incompetence of Council bureaucrats never ceases to amaze me. Portent, handle the pleasantries, would you.”“Certainly, ma’am.” You nod and regard the woman with what you hope comes across as slightly-confident-but-still-humble smile without going into the clueless-idiot smile territory. “My name is Nodd Marcel Portent and It’s my honor to accompany miss Kee’Cass vas Kalahan, representative of the Migrant Fleet, on her trade mission to Earth. She has designed to grace NSD with a business offer related to the company’s proprietary patterns.”
“Well, that may be interesting under normal circumstances, but the company has put its business operations on hold and is only serving the Alliance military.”“I’m sure we can come to an agreement that benefits every stakeholder.” You say.“That seems unlikely, considering unstable monetary environment.”“Barter.” Lea shoots.“Excuse me?”“We can trade in commodities you will find supremely appealing. But I’m not going to be discussing the details in the open.”“I... see.” The corporate woman looks away in quiet contemplation. “Okay. Let’s see what you have. Please, follow me. Squad dismissed.”There’s a round of salutes and the security breaks up resuming whatever they were doing beforehand. The woman motions for you to follow and you comply, stealing a glance at Lea to admire the haughty posture she adopted, Quarian anatomy further enhancing impact of her stately strides.The corporate woman leads you down a flight of stairs onto a corridor lined on one side with a plexiglass wall through which you could see a cubicle/open space maze that seemed to go forever thanks to the mirror wall on the far side of the hall. You cast innocent glances around, trying to spot a familiar Salarian, but without luck. Either he worked elsewhere... or he was already taken away.You hardly manage to get superficial overview of the layout by the time the office lady opens door before you and ushers you into a guest lounge. The door looks remarkably solid, you note. Maybe they had problems with their guests before? Or the other way around.“I apologize, madam, sir, but the director is presently in a meeting and cannot meet you,” the secretary? explains. “So please, wait for him here.”“I suppose I can endure some of that.” Lea nods and takes a seat in the middle of a couch.The secretary gives a small, practiced smile and takes a spot behind a nearby desk.You begin to wonder what your options are when a new set of them reveals itself to you in form of Eve’s whisper in your comlink.“Ford, we’re in position nearby and ready to deploy on your word. Please, keep your comlink in passive mode until you want us to, as your outbound signals are virtually guaranteed to be monitored. I’m working on more secure line of communications. If you could manually access a system on their internal network it could be a great help.”You resist urge to reply and instead look over the room.>address the secretary (with what)>Talk with Lea, That is, Kee>make up an excuse to leave (specify targe5vlocation>Is that a coffee machine? There don’t seem to be any controls though.>signal Kris and Eve now despite the risk, try to keep it down>signal Kris and Lea, go loud.>something else.
>>3511375>Is that a coffee machine? There don’t seem to be any controls though.
These are the sole posts for today. Safe travels, friends.
>>3511384Thanks for running
>>3511375>Is that a coffee machine? There don’t seem to be any controls though.They hacked into us THROUGH THE COFFEE MAKER?!?
>>3511375>Quarian anatomy further enhancing impact of her stately strides.Henri you dog, kek>Talk with Lea, That is, Keetease her about she liking this too much>Is that a coffee machine? There don’t seem to be any controls though.
>>3511375>>Is that a coffee machine? There don’t seem to be any controls though.
Looking around the lounge, one particular item attracts your attention. It’s a coffee dispenser, an essential element of any white collar workplace, shrine to the overtime evenings and silent witness to interdepartmental communication.This one had no visible controls, suggesting that it was in fact controlled over the network. Thinking this could be just the break you need you take a gander towards the sacred machine and activate your omnitool in an innocent attempt to access its interface. Sure enough the machine inquires for your worker’s credentials which you lack.“I’m sorry, the dispenser is for use by workers only.” The Secretary says. “I can get you some coffee if you’d like though.”“Thank you, Ford.” You hear Eve whisper. “This will do for now. I’m still kept away from most sensitive data by a few layers of Ice, and in case of one room apparently by physical detachment off network, but I’ll be able to help you considerably more now.”“That would be wonderful.” You say aloud. The secretary nods and does something on her interface that animates the caffeine contributor into producing a cup of dark liquid that is probably as close to real coffe as you’re going to get for some time.“Her input gave an access pass phrase sample. If you can get her to access the network again, I may be able to work out the hash, or at least work towards it.” Eve informs you.Do you wish to try and ask the secretary something?>ask when boss’s meeting is due to end>ask something about the company (specify)>ask something regarding the news (in general, or related to a specific topic?)>ask something else>don’t ask anything, go back to Kee>make up an excuse and go somewhere else (specify both)>something else
>>3513465>ask something else"Is there something you could get for miss Kee’Cass vas Kalahan, representative of the Migrant Fleet? Maybe some [Quarian Coffee]" Make her access the network again, get full access. Maybe the machine makes Quarian digestible Coffee too? They are a big Business after all and Turians can handle the same stuff and if not she'll most likely order something, still having to access the Network.
>>3513476James Bond ain't got shit on us.
“Do you also have a stock of Quarian compatible refreshments for miss Kee’Cass?”“Full Name, Portent. You can only get by without ship part among peers.” Lea says from her perch.“Certainly, ma’am.” You turn to “Kee”. You get a feeling she’s enjoying herself more than she thought. Returning your attention to the secretary you give her a pleading look. “I meant to ask for refreshments for miss Kee’Cass vas Kalahan, of course.”The woman looks down at you with a mixture of pity and contempt and nods. “I’ll see what I can do.” She says eventually and begins running her fingers through the interface. “Would a sampler of Turian beverages serve, madam?”“It will have to do. I understand our delicacies are rather exclusive stock planetside so I didn’t even expect to find any here.”“Very well, I’ll make sure to have some refreshments brought as soon as possible.” The Secretary nods and, after a few moments, gets back to work.“Well done, Ford. It seems they’re using a universal credential system. I’ll have unprivileged access soon, privileged one will take slightly longer.”You incline your head in a grateful bow and withdraw back to your Quarian superior, sipping at your coffee.“Did you receive the updates, ma’am?” You ask quietly, unsure how good surveillance you are in.“Indeed I do. It seems we will have adequate room for maneuvering.” Lea picks up without hesitation. “I just hope the goods will be in good shape.”“I have gotten past first layer of ice and can provide you with access to most of the offices. My readings don’t show anything worth risking exposure over in them though. Working on next layers.”>just sit by and wait for next communication from Eve.>chat up the secretary again>make up an excuse to leave and explore (specify location you’d like to scout)>signal Kris to do something>something else
>>3513758>just sit by and wait for next communication from Eve.
>>3513758so it's not safe to talk with Lea since they can be listening right?>just sit by and wait for next communication from Eve.
Deciding to give your synthetic friend more time to process the data you helped collect you take a seat near Lea and wait.The momentary lull in action allows you to let your thoughts wander. Looking around you you find it almost feasible to imagine that Reapers never came. A cynical notion crosses your mind putting into question whether this particular setting would be missed but you chase it away. There were much worse ways to live one's life, and you've seen some up close during your travels through terminus systems. As stifling as you would find life of an office clerk, you've seen fates considerably bleaker and with much less recourse to change their direction.However, that didn't mean this setting was free of peril, as evidenced by your presence here in the first place. Once more you took to scanning over your surroundings, both the lounge and the office space outside, past the fake mirror wall, skimming past a variety of individuals engrossed in their work, struggling to bring order into chaos, difficult enough under standard business environment, but considerably more so when many assumptions and points of reference previously taken for granted were gone, either because they or the institutions providing them got eyebeamed out of existence, or otherwise rendered unreachable, or merely lost their credibility - which more or less equated to nonexistence.Most of the clerks were human, with a rare turian, asari or salarian mixed in. Once again you hoped to spot the Eji busily typing away in his terminal but were once again denied the satisfaction."I've unlocked access to surveillance in unrestricted areas, the restricted ones are still beyond my grasp and some have no surveillance whatsoever. I can confirm your friend, as described by doctor Tufferson, is not present anywhere where his standard routine would put him." Eve reported.Well, considering you didn't meet him when you arrived, this was likely to mean one of the two things: either Eji has been taken away to secure area, or that this was a setup to begin with. Considering your position you were inclined to believe the former.
There is a change in posture of the secretary as she receives a call, followed by her speaking up:"Madam Cass...""Kee'Cass vas Kalahan.""I beg your pardon. Madam Kee'Cass vas Kalahan, the sales representative is available to speak with you.""You mean to say the executive manager, sales manager, engineering manager, logistics manager and finance manager. I didn't come all this way just to speak to an underling and wait for several rounds of messages that will distort fundaments of the deal into a caricature of itself.""Erm..." The secretary seems at loss and looks back to her terminal. You can't hear what she softly says into her comlink, but it doesn't take long for her to collect her response. "...very well. Madam, the management is currently in session of a meeting, and they agreed to hear you out while they're gathered."You can spot a flicker of surprise at this outcome in Lea's eyes, but only because you anticipated it could come up. Nevertheless, she recoups quickly. "Excellent. That will do. Portent?""They wanted to see only you, madam...">Insist that you come along. Alliance assigned you as her aide and you're not leaving her out of her sight. If they got problem with that they can take it up with the brass.>Take the opportunity when Secretary takes Lea with to explore the office building on your own, maybe you'll be able to find some clues. Besides, what is a bunch of corporates going to do to her? Confuse her with fabricated figures?>Call Kris to run interference outside>Call Eve to try and sabotage some system (risk of blowing cover)>something else
>>3514008>>Insist that you come along. Alliance assigned you as her aide and you're not leaving her out of her sight. If they got problem with that they can take it up with the brass.it's kinda risky to leave her alone
With this I take my leave to withdraw.Solar winds in your sails, friends.>>3511444He was merely noticing how digitgrade legs gave impression of the haughty high heel gait, my friend ;)
>>3514008>Insist that you come along. Alliance assigned you as her aide and you're not leaving her out of her sight. If they got problem with that they can take it up with the brass."Legally speaking I HAVE to be with her at all possible times. I can't even leave to use the bathroom without risking my career and criminal charges if anything happens."
>>3514008>Insist that you come along. Alliance assigned you as her aide and you're not leaving her out of her sight. If they got problem with that they can take it up with the brass.
"That is out of question." You say resolutely. "I've been tasked by the Alliance as miss Kee'Cass vas Kalahan's aide and I'm not leaving her side until I'm relieved by my superiors."The secretary fixes you with a stare for a moment, then nods."Very well, please, go on in." She says, indicating a door next to her desk. You step forward to open it and let Lea pass through, following right after.The two of you find yourselves in a boardroom designed for functionality with a dash of pretense. Walls, other than the transparent side of the fake mirror, were lined with panels of artificial wood with displays showing a variety of economic indicators and diagrams mixed in among them. A lot of them, you noticed, showed "n/a", "nan" or blank rows where reference figures were supposed to go. In the middle of the room was a table made of an imitation wood as well, adorned with a simple decorative pattern and dominated by a holoprojector, currently deactivated. Around the table, sitting in chairs made in style consistent with that of the table, were several men and one woman, their eyes focused on you and Lea. To her credit, she didn't break her stance even a bit, although you wondered how long the two of you can keep the charade up."I'm working on penetrating final layers of ICE. If you can get the users with elevated privileges exercise their access, it may help speed up the process." You hear Eve's whisper. "I probably don't need to warn you to be careful not to guide them towards disrupting your cover prematurely."
"Well met." Kee says. "I'm Kee'Cass vas Kalahan and I'm here on behalf of my people to learn whether your corporation would be interested in making a trade.""Welcome to Nashan Stellar Dynamics, madam. I'm George Fernandez, CEO. This is my management team and we'd like to hear your proposal." A man at the head of the table, a man of average, perhaps slightly overweight build clad in a set of unassuming formal clothes."Of course. May I take advantage of your projector?" Kee asks."Certainly. Miss Tipps?" The CEO glances at the secretary who was just withdrawing from the room. "At once." She says and brings up her omnitool, activating the display device and opening it to guest access. You could almost swear that you heard someone lick their lips into your communicator."Excellent. Now, I'm sure you're all aware of the state of infrastructure in the universe." Kee says as the lights grow dim and an image of the galaxy appears above the table. "as well as presence of my people's fleet in this system, with a long distance to cover back home." A line of light appears, connecting the Local cluster with the Perseus veil along known relays. "These two factors together have created a demand to refit our vessels for high endurance and created need to make a stock of replacement parts for the journey. Parts your corporation is likely capable of producing."There's a snort from the table. Another of the men, a lanky blonde with clothing bordering on casual outfit that probably stretched company's dresscode to its limits, speaks up. "Fat chance. We're unlikely to have capacity to refit a squadron, much less a whole of migrant fleet."
The CEO gives the man a smoldering glare but Kee is quick to pick up.“Is that so? Well, I suppose we could settle for having multiple contractors, assuming we don’t find one that can satisfy our needs entirely.”“Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.” A brown haired man with a pointedly relaxed posture and a chiseled grin on his face says. “What Steve from Engineering meant was that our capacities are impacted by the crisis as well. But we’ve never shrunk away from a challenge. Enrico Chu, Sales Manager, delighted to meet you. Liz, what do you think?”The sole woman at the table, a diminutive figure with black ponytail and massive glasses, took vote. “Elisabeth Kincaid, logistics manager.” She introduced herself. “I don’t yet know enough figures to make a reliable assessment.”Tat left two men at the table who had yet to speak, a suit that happened to have a nondescript man wrapped in itself and a powerfully built man with an impassive visage clad in clothing that seemed to lean slightly away from formal to an outdoor overalls.>Stay quiet, let Lea do her “business”>ask one of the managers something (specify)>try to stealthily probe the room with your omnitool’s scanners>contact Kris, initiate a distraction>other plan
>>3515099>>Stay quiet, let Lea do her “business”at some point ask EXACLY what are their production capabilities so we can evaluate it, that may get the engiee to use his omnitool
>>3515099>Stay quiet, let Lea do her “business”Trust the quarian, when she makes an order up they'll probably have to access their network to give her a probable delivery date
>>3515099>>Stay quiet, let Lea do her “business”
Seeing as Lea seems to be on the roll you decide to roll with it yourself, keeping peace for the time being."Very well, I obviously cannot give you exact figures until later phases of negotiation but approximate volumes are this: we're talking about approximately three hundred vessels, five of which are of capital class. I'm excluding shuttle-class vessels until we know capacities we can work with."The blonde engineer brings up his omnitool to look through his files. "That's still awfully vague, but still is way out of our-""What mister Gronfalt means to say we'd need to carry out some investment actions before we're fully able to satisfy your request. That naturally lies within our capacity, assuming we can arrive at agreement regarding ramp up and terms of payment." The Suit speaks up."Bernd is right." Elisabeth says, pulling up her own omnitool. "I believe we'll be able to expand our capacities significantly... if certain conditions are met. Our most important restriction is-""Hold on. Miss Kee'Cass, I believe you can tell that we're more than eager to do business with your people. However, one matter needs to be settled before we get to the details, considering the state of galactic exchange, or rather lack thereof. Miss Tipps has mentioned you're willing to barter. What is it that you can offer in return for our products and know-how?" CEO says, interrupting the logistician and reclaiming the flow of conversation."Ships and Eezo." Kee says curtly.The corporates exchange glances, except for Steve who keeps picking through his files."Can you be more specific?" CEO asks."Not at this juncture, but the bottom line is that the admiralty has agreed to decommission a part of the fleet, transferring crew to the larger ships, so that the rest has better odds making it to the homeworld. Workable component would be salvaged, hull stripped for scrap and eezo recovered from the drive cores. All of this, including whole ships, will be available as trade in for new components, depending on agreed upon rates."This gets the Suit, presumably with a Bernd in it, to pick up its own omnitool and project a spreadsheet in front of it.George and Enrico fall silent for a moment, partly waiting for result of their colleagues' analyses, partly running their own in parallel. After a while the CEO himself also activates his omnitool.
"I'm in. I have complete command of their internal network. Another stepping stone on my road to global domination." Eve says to your ear. You can see Lea twitch ever so slightly. Maybe you'll have to discuss with Eve some cultural sensitivity issues."Apologies, miss Fari, that was probably in poor taste of me." Or maybe not."Well then. What do you think of the offer?" Kee asks, returning to her role."I believe..." the CEO draws out. "...that we find this opportunity to be worthy of consideration. There are issues..."In the meantime, Eve informs you privately, forcing you to split your attention:"Ford, miss Fari, there are still sections of the building that are on physically separate circuits. I cannot find your acquaintance in areas I can see. If he is present in the structure, he must be in there. I can navigate you towards them and hide your traces, but after that you'll be on your own unless we'll be able to join up."...and finally the issue of workers. I believe you understand this is quite a large business decision for our company.""I understand." Kee says. "Portent, did you catch anything that could affect this deal from Alliance standpoint?" your Quarian companion hands the initiative to you."In case you didn't catch it, Ford, the CEO was talking about raw material, eezo handling, unsteady subcontractors, military regulations and availability of labour." Eve helpfully comments.What do you say?>You've nothing. Maybe we could let the corporates deliberate on this once in a lifetime chance>point something out>suggest something>something else
>>3515441>You've nothing. Maybe we could let the corporates deliberate on this once in a lifetime chance
>>3515441>point something outTo make it nore believable that the alliance would let this shit fly we could tell them that our dpaceports are a fucking mesd and we need those things too, the alliance would provide support for a slice of the pie and be more lax on the regulations, after that we can let them deliberate and try to get the salarian back.If that makes sense at all, I don't know shit about it I just think it would be strange for the alliance to not have a stake on thisAsk for Eve to search around their archives anything that suggests they may be tempering with the elections
>>3515441>>3515479This is a good point here.
"Not as long as both sides reach an agreement and adhere to the spirit of it, madam. It is to be expected that whichever company ends up participating in this enterprise will be under scrutiny proportionate to amount of regulated material involved." You say, reasoning that if this hypothetical deal ever did take place the Alliance would sure as hell not ignore movement of eezo on the suggested scale.Your words finally elicit a reaction in the heretofore stoic hulk sitting next to the CEO. The man leans in to whisper range. You are unable to hear the words; Eve, fortunately, is. And she helpfully relays the conversation into your earpiece."Our patron will not be happy about attracting attention of the military this way. I suggest you let this job pass. Just say you can't afford the risks.""Fuck the risks, Gerrard, this could put us into leading position on the market for decades unless we stagnate off the fat of it! We could fucking own this planet in several years with the jump start this could give us.""You are running off assumptions from pre-war times and forget that if we play our cards right our patron can own this planet by the end of the month. You know how generous he is to his supporters... and how ruthless when dealing with those in his way.""Noted."The two peel off each other and the CEO speaks up."Thank you for your offer, madam, and for your input, mister Portent. We are very intrigued by the opportunity you present us with, but we'd like to discuss the risks involved more privately. Would you mind, please, taking advantage of our hospitality in the lounge for a while longer?"It seems you're being asked to leave the boardroom.>Say something to someone.>Leave. It's not like they're going to get any privacy anyway.>Something else.
>>3515548>>Leave. It's not like they're going to get any privacy anyway.
>>3515548>Leave. It's not like they're going to get any privacy anyway.Oh we are going to blow their shady operation to hell
>>3515548>Leave. It's not like they're going to get any privacy anyway.I like that patron talk, I hope Eve is recording all of this, good thing we scared them a little
>>3515548>Leave. It's not like they're going to get any privacy anyway.Very well, might we take a tour of the building while this discussion takes place?
You and Kee exchange glances and come to unspoken agreement."Certainly. You have what information I can disclose at this stage, you are welcome to take your time weighing it." Kee nods.With a slight bow you turn to the door and open it for Kee to go through ahead of you.Returning to the lounge you find a table set up with a few packages arranged on it, presumably the Quarian-friendly refreshments you asked for earlier. Kee saunters towards them and inspects them."Courier brought these while you were talking. They were not tampered with and are safe to sample." Eve informs you. The disembodied guardian angel in your ear makes you feel...>reassured>creeped out>something else>combinationRegardless, Kee takes advantage of the service and tastes some of the offered products, never breaking her facade."I have them committed to memory should you wish to seek these products out at later time, miss Fari." Eve says. Is she trying to make up for the joke earlier?"So, what now?" Lea whispers between the sips as you approach her. You realize that now that you don't have to worry about electronic surveillance you can speak relatively freely, with only the secretary being there to watch you, and she seemed busy enough with her own work."Well, I assume you heard them. Something sinister is going on and we're going to get to the bottom to it. Our first order of business should be to - ">Get to the restricted areas and see if we can break Eji out, if he's even still alive.>Walk out of here while we can. With free access to their systems we can come back in the night when no people are around.>Get Kris and Eve over here, we may need their help with whatever is in the off limit areas.>Alerting the Alliance authorities and leaving the rest to them. This will also be our last order of business. Technically we broke some laws on our way here but the information we've got should be actionable enough and in our favour.>Something else
>>3515703>>something else>Get to the restricted areas and see if we can break Eji out, if he's even still alive.
>>3515703>confidentback up and overwatch are very useful>Get to the restricted areas and see if we can break Eji out, if he's even still alive.ask her if that character is based in anyone in particular or if she can just turn into that person when we're not looking
This is likely to be the last post for today.Safe travels, friends, and don't let your light grow dim.
>>3515703>confident even if a little creeped out>Get to the restricted areas and see if we can break Eji out, if he's even still alive.
>>3515703>confident>Get to the restricted areas and see if we can break Eji out, if he's even still alive.
>>3515703>confident even if a little creeped out>Get to the restricted areas and see if we can break Eji out, if he's even still alive.Make up an excuse to take a tour around the building
>>3515703>Confident>Get to the restricted areas and see if we can break Eji out, if he's even still alive.Eva is fucking excellent at overwatch. Pointing the Alliance here at this stage will do nothing but put Eji in more danger and shunt further investigation. I'm in favor of finding an excuse to tour the building.
>>3515703>confident>Get to the restricted areas and see if we can break Eji out, if he's even still alive.just caught up, great world-building.also MaleShep or FemShep?
" -to get to the restricted area and try to find Eji, if he's even still alive." You say. "We'll need an excuse to leave the lounge.""Got it." Lea says. "Give me a sec."You step away from her and raise your omnitool to check on things. You issue a query to Eve whether she found anything interesting in the databanks."Mister Maroon's story checks out. He was and still is an accountant in the office here, and occasionally exchanged words with another man whose contract was terminated. Justification for action are deliberately vague and some of his presence on surveillance feeds has been scrambled, presumably related to his confrontation with the management.Also scrambled are tracks of mister Maroon, his last recorded presence is at the desk today."Could he have left the building?"That is unlikely. Trails to exit don't show easily discernible signs of tampering. Trails to the restricted area do."At least you knew you were on the right track. What about this presumed political meddling?"Mostly erased. Records of private meetings among the directors have been mostly purged or are missing to begin with. They also attempted to disable the surveillance feeds when you left."You can sort of hear the smug in Eve's voice."They are currently debating various risks and opportunities related to miss Fari's offer, pointedly avoiding involvement of the one dubbed 'Gerrard', filed as a special consultant in company roster. He makes occasional remark but mostly stays quiet, waiting for others to present their stances. Unless someone exercises some strong authority to cut off the debate, I estimate you have about half an hour to make your move before they ask for your presence."Well, seems like the time to move was now, and Lea/Kee got that as well, doubling over and breaking into coughing. You quickly hurry to her side with concern, but she raises her hand to keep you away as she calms down."I'm fine, Portent." She says. Then she turns to miss Tipps. "However, I'm going to tend to my suit. Do you have some isolable rooms and sterilizers?""Well... I suppose we have some chemicals and the bathrooms... I will summon the cleanup crew.""No need. Portent can handle the menial part. Where do we go?"The secretary gives you a look you're not sure whether it contains more amusement or pity but gives you some directions to the bathroom and the cleanup chemicals store. With a neutral thank you the two of you leave the lounge.
"It's now safe to take the lift down to the basement. I'm cleaning up the electronic trail as you go."Taking the suggestion it doesn't take long for you to descend the few floors of the provisional HQ. The coridor down here has markedly less cosmetic furnishing, as one would expect of a place mostly meant to only be accessed by janitorial and maintenance crews. With Eve's guidance you walk alongside it, occasionally taking shelter in one of the store- and machine- rooms on the side to avoid contact with an engineer or a janitor running their errands.Eventually you find yourself concealed in a storeroom holding several crates of more or less outdated office electronics and spare parts. You were unsure whether these belonged to NSD or whoever the previous owner of the structure was and at the moment you didn't really care."Once you pass through that door I'll be unable to assist you until you find an access point I can take advantage of. If there are active comm scramblers inside, you'll have to disable them first or find some other way to bypass them." Eve warns you."Thank you, Eve. Great job so far." You say, grateful for your synthetic friend's support, even as you feel faint prickling on the back of your neck at the ease with which she took command of the building's neural system.>Enter the restricted area now.>Ask Kris to make a distraction outside.>Ask Kris to take Eve and join up with you down here.>Ask/Talk to Lea about something>other course of action
>>3517105>>Enter the restricted area now.
>>3517105>Ask/Talk to Lea about somethingCompliment her acting, she's a great haughty quarian.Ask if anything she said there is true, will they brave the distance or wait for the Relay?
>>3517105>Enter the restricted area now.Assuming there are comm scramblers in there, tell Eve to keep an eye on the board and tell Kris that if we take longer than 30 minutes without checking in with Eve or if the board starts searching/asking for us, he should make a distraction outside and/or get ready to bail us out of a jam.
"And good job you too, Lea. That haughty act you pulled was quite impressive. I knew I could count on you.""Who told you it was an act, Ford? Maybe I was just living out my hidden desires.""Either way it served us well, mistress." You grin. "I didn't expect the corporates would eat out of your hand quite so readily." Then you look around. "Anyway, time's a-wasting. Eve, Kris, we're going in. If we don't make contact within twenty minutes or the corps begin to look for us, assume we need your backup. We'll find a way to contact you. Right now we have little time while surprise is on our side. Lea, let's go.""Break a leg." you hear a Krogan voice over the comm.The two of you ready yourself for violence. You have your Javelin and the Mattock you appropriated from a cerberus trooper during Eve's liberation, Lea has a Phalanx given to her by her father. It is unlikely the guards you will meet from now on will be anything but hostile.You weigh the weapon in your hand. Was this the world you all fought to preserve? Perhaps the struggle just didn't end. But was this the way to carry it out?You shake off any doubt. You were committed to your path now, and there was, you hoped, still a Salarian counting on you. Emerging from the storeroom you take the lead as you quickly round the corner into the armored door and access its lock, Eve bypassing it for you as a final favour before you cross into the dark.The dark turns out to be a security checkpoint with a grim faced guard immediately turning to face you.You do not hesitate and...>Shoot first>Walk up to him like you own the place>Ask where the restroom is>Demand surrender>other plan
>>3517766>>Ask where the restroom is
>>3517766>Walk up to him like you own the place
>>3517766>>Walk up to him like you own the place
Taking several cocksure strides you approach the guard station, trusting that Lea would mimic your stance."We're here to see the Salarian." You say."I wasn't told you were coming." The guard responds hesitantly."Neither was the management here. Open up.""I can't let you in without authorisation.""I wouldn't fucking be here if I didn't have authorisation. Open up or I'm going up and drag Gerrard here by his fucking neck to vouch for me. He was quite busy when I left him, mind." You gamble."R-right. Of course. Sorry, sir. Um. Madam. He's in cell 4." The guard says, opening the armored door and watching you and Lea go by. You give him an absent nod of someone who's had enough of this shit.Well, that went better than expected. You continue down the corridor until you're out of line of sight of the guard station, then pause to take a look around. The underground seems larger than the building's floor plan would suggest. This could not have been built since the battle for Earth, it must've been in place beforehands. Whoever owned this structure, likely NSD itself, was probably up to something sinister even before, although it didn't necessarily have to involve abduction of own employees. Regardless, at least now you had something to go on.You chance activating your omnitool and confirm that it can't create connection with outside world, cutting you off your friends, at least for the time being. A pulse of your sensors gives you a very vague layout of the underground. You determine that the corridor that you're about to enter in a T-junction short way ahead curves away into a ring, interrupted at one side by a cave-in confirming your suspicions of structure's age, but went out of your omnitool's scanning range on the other one. Multiple side corridors led out as well as inside of the ring. On one such nearby branch you could see a pattern reminiscent of another security checkpoint followed by several similarly sized rooms. Further in you could read several larger halls surrounded by some smaller ones.Finally there was inside of the ring. Unfortunately, the interference was strong enough in that direction that even your scanner's readouts became an indecipherable mess. If you wanted to find out more, you'd have to do it personally.>You said you were here for the Salarian, go get him. If you break him out he'll be (initially) unarmed and vulnerable, but no longer at mercy of his captors.>You could try exploring the outer ring before going to the cell block, at risk of encountering corporate(?) goons>You could head out directly to the center of the facility. Judging by the interference the scrambler is likely to be there as well.You have some freedom of movement and alarm hasn't been sounded yet. You're not sure what locals will do once they find out their security has been compromised but you have a feeling you'll be finding out before long.
>>3518179With that I retire.Also, feel free to come up with a plan of your own, forgot to put in the >different plan option, but mostly you can assume it's available to you.Also, because it came up and is more or less common knowledge, Sheploo, Earthborn, War hero and a boy scout through and through. In relationship with Ashley
>>3518179>>You could head out directly to the center of the facility. Judging by the interference the scrambler is likely to be there as well.
>>3518179>You could head out directly to the center of the facility. Judging by the interference the scrambler is likely to be there as well.If we can take out the scrambler Eve can get all the evidence fron here
>>3518211Shep fucked up by not picking Tali, shame for her tharlt we already have a quarian qt
Deciding that your first priority is allowing Eve to expand her domain over the protected area you nod at Lea and head bravely into the heart of the subterranean compound. You pass a pair of goons clad in nondescript, unmarked uniforms. They don't challenge you, put at ease by your confident stride and lack of blaring alarms. They do pay slightly more attention to your Quarian companion, but from what you can glean from their body language they are only checking her out.Does that mean they're not unaccustomed to working with aliens?Rounding a corner you enter a corridor leading into the central chamber. It's rather short and dotted with hatches allowing access to whatever infrastructure runs along it. You wonder if interrupting these flows would play in your favour, but decide to first see for yourself what's in the middle before resorting to more invasive actions.The blast door at the end of the corridor opens before you, revealing, as you expected, a circular chamber. What you didn't quite expect was its contents. From your position on a ledge that lined the inner walls you could overlook entire surface of the workshop dotted with various pieces of technology. Most of it gave impression of Terran or Council origin, even though some more exotic pieces were mixed in - you didn't see them clearly enough to determine whether they were unfamiliar prototypes or of precursor origin. The largest piece was without a doubt a Geth fighter, seemingly intact. Some of the pieces were in state of disassembly or under analytical instruments, tended to by a few engineers milling around.This eclectic and most certainly illegal collection was troubling enough on its own, but a fraction of the floor was littered with trophies of even more ominous nature."Keelah. They're working on Reaper tech. Could they be indoctrinated?""I have no idea." You hum. "But there were no known signs of indoctrinations since the Reapers' defeat. There were on the other hand many reports of people breaking out of reaper control. Such would not just calmly work on this tech like nothing happened. They must've collected these recently."Taking your sights off the collected technology you notice structure suspended above the shop floor. There was scaffolding holding numerous security elements, from fire sprinklers to gun turrets, all presumably controlled from a security station you could reach by climbing a stairway that coiled around the wall to your left hand side. You could see armored viewports, more weapon blisters and some other systems, including a dome housing what you could only assume to be the scrambler poking down from its belly. A quick look at your omnitool accompanied by making a few steps in either direction confirmed your suspicion.You're not sure if the security crew noticed you yet, but you were pretty sure the time you had until the "Gerrard" realizes what's up is coming to an end.
>Walk up to the security station, try to talk with those inside.>Shoot the scrambler dome from a distance>Jump to the scrambler dome and access it directly>Do something else>Maybe you still have time to go elsewhere?
>>3520549>Walk up to the security station, try to talk with those inside.If we can't trick them into disabling the scrambler we could hold them up and maintain some element of surprise.
>>3520549>>Walk up to the security station, try to talk with those inside.might as well, the cover is about to ble blown and then we'll go loud
>>3520762The question here is what will be happening when the alarm is sounded and what your options will be to respond to it when that happens.
>>3520872>>Jump to the scrambler dome and access it directlyin that case we try to access it and give its control to Eve
>>3520549>Jump to the scrambler dome and access it directly
Deciding to make the most of your final moments before the base goes on alert you nonchalantly navigate beneath the elevated bunker. The engineers continue to work without paying you any heed and you hope whatever guard is sitting up there is also having his cup with donuts as you reach the incriminated spot, look up and, sending a silent prayer to whoever would listen, release a burst from your jump pack.The maneuver is successful. You catch yourself on some conveniently placed railing nearby, probably used by the maintenance crews to affix their safety harnesses."The fuck are you doing?" An engineer finally notices you."Emergency maintenance." You reply. Lea just stands slightly off to the side, watching your antics with hand unconspicuously close to her pistol. "Why don't you use the platform like a normal person?""I always wanted to try it this way. It's way cooler, no?"The engineer just shakes his head and goes back to his work, muttering something unintelligible.Without wasting any more time you raise your tool to the dome. Unsurprisingly the access panel does not respond to your kind word. Normally you'd have to spend some time and effort on bypassing the security by electronical means or alternatively apply some physical force. As it stands now, another option is available to you and you take full advantage of it. Your new cutting beam lives up to its name and goes through the shell like knife through butter - it takes three bursts at just the right spots and the access panel drops open revealing the juicy electronics beneath.Having secured the physical access to the scrambler it is now time to handle the control of it. Your tool does not have configuration needed to access the paramaters of its operation directly but with readouts of individual components you're able to compensate for its effects to some degree.Or, at least, Lea is. You sent her the readouts and within a few moments your comms crackle to life"Got it." you hear through your earpiece.
"...Ford? We were about to depart." You can only barely make out. Corrupted, but intelligible."Got the scrambler here, able to bypass it slightly. Gonna need your help rest of the way.""Certainly. This may take a while...""No -"You are interrupted by the blaring of alarm sirens finally coming to life. The engineer that called out to you earlier looks at you, then at the sirens, then back at you and covers his face with his palm while his colleagues scurry away to what's presumably their evacuation location. The turrets in the room swivel around, looking for a target. Lea has wisely taken cover behind a piece of salvage while you try to flatten yourself against the surface, hoping that minimising your profile will at least give turrets some seconds of confusion. And maybe they'll be unwilling to shoot towards the bunker you're now attached to."Intruder alert. Intruder alert." A calm voice repeats from the station intercom."-rush." You finish anyway."...Done." Eve says in a clear voice. "I'm in."The closest turret aims directly at you and moves barrels of its guns up and down in a sort of wave gesture."Good Job, Eve. Can you disable the alarm?""There's not much point in that, containment protocols have already been initiated.""What... sort of protocols?""The sort that locks down storage, evacuates VIPs and burns evidence."Shit.>Proceed systematically, eliminate any armed opposition>Make a break for the cell blocks>Make a break for the storage>Something else"I'm currently using networked systems to inhibit enemy movement. Do you want me to employ the turrets as well?" Eve asks.>Yes. Don't hold back.>No. I don't want you to have human blood on your hands if I can help it.>other
>>3521051>>Make a break for the cell blocks>otherUse the turrets to keep their heads down. No direct fire unless it's us or them.
>>3521051>Make a break for the cell blocks>>3521054This for the turretsAnd tell her to grab every bit of data she can before they purge
>>3521051>>Make a break for the cell blocks>Yes. Don't hold back.
>>3521051>>Make a break for the cell blocks
>>3521051>Make a break for the cell blocks>Yes. Don't hold back.
>>3521051>Make a break for the cell blocks>Yes. Don't hold back.shitshitshitshitshitshitshit also >>3521140
Your mind is immediately taken back to the reason you came here in the first place - prisoner or prisoners would likely count as evidence that needs to be neutralized. With a curse on your lips you let go of the watchpost's underside and dash for Lea's hiding place."Use the turrets to suppress the goons. Use your discretion. And save what data you can." You reply to your AI friend as you come to a halt next to Lea and address her. "Hold on." You say, pointing at your jump pack. "Gotta run for the cells."She nods and the two of you lock in an embrace of necessity. As you feel her grip and her muscles tense you assess that her build is tougher than the lithe frame would suggest. Probably a perception error on your part by subconsciously basing your assumptions on human physique. However, you don't have time to dwell on this as you lock in the trajectory and fire thrusters, learning that she's heavier than her build would suggest to you, too. Fortunately the feedback from sensors allow the jump pack to compensate even as it's strained past its usual load.As soon as you land you separate and break into a run, dashing through the corridor. Emerging into the main ring you almost bump into the duo you saw earlier."He's on the shop floor!" You shout before they have time to think. They nod and run past you the way you came.Going on you round a corner into the detention section. The doors open for you while a guard locked in the checkpoint guard post that was until now trying to bypass the controls from inside gets up when he notices you and treats you with a stream of threats and insults.You ignore him and continue on, entering a corridor with row of four armored doors on either side, leading to the cells if your earlier reading of the layout was accurate. Two guards were in process of trying to force one of them open as you arrive. They immediately turn your attention to you and reach for their weapons.And that's about as much as they manage before a shot from the Mattock and one from the Phalanx pierce their hearts."Impressive shot." You nod."Uh... I was aiming for the weapon." Lea says.Unsure what to reply to that and with other things going on you fall silent and head to the door they were trying to open. It was numbered with a "1"."Eve... how many prisoners are there?" You ask."Three." comes the answer. "One is mister Maroon in cell 4, another is his colleague in cell 3, third is a Turian engineer caught accessing restricted databanks.""We're going to get them all out, right?" Lea asks.
Right. You managed to keep the prisoners safe for now. But what are you going to do next?>Gather the prisoners and arm them. You have two kits from defeated guards, if damaged, and potentially third one from the helplessly raging one trapped in the checkpoint.>Keep the prisoners where they are for now, now that the immediate threat is dealt with this is probably the safest place for them.>Stay in the detention block, let the enemies come to you>Head out to a different part of base>Ask Kris and/or Eve to come back you up personally>Contact the Alliance, describe the situation to them.>Contact Libella (involve Spectre and, potentially, the council)>Contact someone else>something else
>>3521995>Gather the prisoners and arm them. You have two kits from defeated guards, if damaged, and potentially third one from the helplessly raging one trapped in the checkpoint.>Head out to a different part of baseTell eve to guide us to the nearest exit, whatever it is>Ask Kris and/or Eve to come back you up personallyCreate a distraction to diverge some of the enemies
>>3521995>>Gather the prisoners and arm them. You have two kits from defeated guards, if damaged, and potentially third one from the helplessly raging one trapped in the checkpoint.>Head out to a different part of base>Ask Kris and/or Eve to come back you up personally
>>3522066ThisIf it's too much for Eve to control everything and still be combat ready let just Kris provide distraction while she keeps on overwatch, she can probably do it but I bet her capabilities would be reduced.>holding tight on Lea's toned body...purely for mobility reasons of course.As said earlier, Ford you dog lol.
“Of course.” You say. “Whatever is going on here, we’re putting a stop to it. Kris, Eve, get yourselves over here. I get the feeling we’ll be needing every pair of hands down here.”“Gotcha.” Kris says.Next you approach the bodies. Cursory inspection confirms that weapons and even personal shields will be salvageable. Moving on to the cell door you ask Eve to open up.“Aren’t you a little tall for an NSD Merc?” A Turian man standing inside asks. You’re not very knowledgeable of their physiology but something, perhaps it was an array of out of place irregularities or a slightly off balance posture, gave you impression he was not having a good time in here.“You’re welcome ” you say neutrally. “Why are you here?”“Got too curious for my own good. Thanks, human.”You nod. “Do you know, how to handle a weapon?”“It’s not a skill I put on my resume, but yes.”“Then arm yourself.” You indicate the fallen guards and moved on to the next cell door as the Turian moves unsteadily to do his looting.Opening the next door reveals Eji, sitting despondently at his bunk. He perks up immediately at the movement, standing up excitedly.“Ford! You actually came! I can’t believe it, I thought it was all over for me when they began to talk about “cleaning up”.”“Well, we’re here now. But we’re not out of woods yet. Can you handle a gun?”“A bit. Tried it once during a holiday. We don’t forget easily so it should come back to me quickly enough.”“Good, help yourself to a piece from a dead guard.” You say, turning to leave.“Wait, wait. Is Charlie alright?”“Who’s that? The friend if yours you were talking about?”“Yeah.”“About to open his cell now.”Eji springs up and follows you to the final cell. Opening it indeed reveals a bruised human man, huddled in a far corner of the cell, his eyes darting from one side to another.“Eji? Is that... is that you? Are you one of them now?”The Salarian hurries to his friend’s side.“No, no, it’s fine. We’re safe now. This human broke us out.”“Good God, Eji. I don’t believe it. I don’t... I don’t believe it any more. I just... I just want to... to wake up.”“Don’t worry, Charlie. It’s fine now. You can make it. We’re all going to make it.”Well, you guess you aren’t going to ask this one if he can handle a weapon.“Alright, human, what’s the next part of your plan?” The Turian asks, checking a rifle he looted and adjusting some pieces of scavenged armor.“We’re leaving. Eve, can you point us to another exit?”
“There are three I am aware of, one of them currently inaccessible and the second one very exposed. Main exit is the way you took to enter. The inaccessible one is old secondary entrance to the underground facility, presently blocked by a cave-in. Finally there is a freight lift in the central chamber for handling of larger items without necessity of breaking them up. It leads to a ruined warehouse in adjoining red zone.”“Hmm... doesn’t sound like an easy escape either way. Okay, what are we up against?”“I counted forty two armed personnel, twenty eight of which I am still aware of. Twenty of this number has been effectively neutralized, like the guard insulting your lineage from the detention checkpoint. Remaining eight are converging on barracks. Apart of this, Twelve of the troopers previously in barracks have correctly surmised automated defenses are no longer on their side and have begun disabling their elements as they make their way to the computer room. Remaining two were at the main entrance checkpoint, expecting arrival of topside security teams and instructed to cut surveillance feeds.Regarding armaments you can expect small arms and personal shields. Some guards also have flash grenades. Stock register of armory shows presence of heavy ordnance but I made these unavailable until they can bring a suitable cutting tool from the outside.”“Phew. You got a good hacker on your team, human.”“The best.” You nod absently as you weigh your options. “Are you going to make it before the reinforcements?” You ask into your comm.“Yes. However, I’m likely to begin losing access to topside surveillance as well as they begin deactivating its systems.”“The data?”“I’m transmitting to extranet clouds for a while now.”“Very good. Now...”>make a push for the main entrance, if you’re quick enough you’ll be able to break through before the enemy backup arrives, with risk of getting pinned between two enemy groups.>make a push for the central chamber, trying to reach the freight lift, Kris and Eve should be able to hold up the topside security.>Full murder hobo. Begin systematically clearing out the installation. Kris and Eve will join up.>broadcast a surrender demand.>other plan
>>3522241first give them a chance as always, they don't need to die for this shit>broadcast a surrender demand.they accepting or not, we make a push for the>make a push for the central chamber, trying to reach the freight lift, Kris and Eve should be able to hold up the topside security.while Eve or Kris take our alliance rental away from here after pulling attention to the main entrancequestion: did Lea just accidentally popped her murder cherry?
>>3522241>>broadcast a surrender demand.I mean our cover was that we were Alliance. Tell them that we've found illegal Reaper tech and that that no harm will come to them if they throw down their arms and surrender to us before the Alliance shock troops get here.
Rolled 86, 71, 53 = 210 (3d100)“Eve, please, give me access to the intercom. I want to give these people a chance.”“Speak, I will relay.”“Attention, defending personnel. Your fight here is futile. This operation has already been compromised and those who run it have begun cleaning up. Surrender now and the Alliance will treat you fairly. If you persist, your employer is likely going to dispose of you anyway because you know too much. Lay down your weapons and surrender. This is your only chance.”You finish to sound if your voice repeating your last sentence.“Are you finished?”“Yes, thank you Eve. What’s the status on the central chamber, and what’s yours?”“The machine shop is momentarily free of armed hostiles. Some engineers are discussing their fate, now joined with some soldiers that have laid down their weapons. Access clear for now. I’m currently impersonating a representative of their ally, coming to warn them of an enemy raid.”“Awesome. Any chance you could get to the Alliance shuttle on rooftop?”“Possibly, but doing so would prevent us from joining up.”“Alright, nevermind then. I’m going to take the prisoners to the lift, can you make sure we don’t get their reinforcements on our ass?”“Acknowledged. Good luck, Ford. Miss Fari.”“You too, Eve, Kris.”“Alright, gentlemen, I believe we’ve outstayed our welcome. Follow Lea, I’ll take up the rear.” You address the three liberated men. Lea nods and heads out, followed closely by the Turian who holds his borrowed weapon with experience not expected from an engineer, next goes Charlie, with Eji supporting him and you go after them, making sure nobody emerges from either side of the main corridor. The imprisoned guardsman has given up and was just sitting there as you left the cell block behind.Your group makes it to the central chamber without an incident, the watch post still locked down and a group of unarmed men keeping distance from you when they notice you enter. You also notice a loud “clang” as portion of the ceiling recedes and rails emerge from the opening and the floor, accompanied by blaring of warning sirens and screech of metal as the Geth fighter, possibly one of last items to be carried by the lift, is displaced.>please, roll some 2d100s to see how well your allies did in their surprise melee.Also, next action should be...>just take position on the lift, get away ASAP.>take some time to set up some makeshift cover on the lift>pillage>burn>contact the Alliance to send up cleanup squads>something else
Rolled 50, 42 = 92 (2d100)>>3522463>take some time to set up some makeshift cover on the liftJust to be sure if someone tries to be a hero
Rolled 1, 3 = 4 (2d100)>>3522463>just take position on the lift, get away ASAP.Better get there before they take our transport out. Use our shield if cover is needed and get the others down>contact the Alliance to send up cleanup squadsThey should recieve an anonimous tip about reaper tech in the private secs hands
>>3522463>take some time to set up some makeshift cover on the lift>contact the Alliance to send up cleanup squads>>3522477oofit looks like Lea and Ford will be the cavalry, not the other way around
Rolled 9, 73 = 82 (2d100)>>3522503forgot my roll>>3522492when you said allies did you refer to the ones with us or Kris and Eve?
Rolled 34, 96 = 130 (2d100)>>3522463>get away ASAP>contact Alliance Ffffffffffuck.
As you make your way across the shop floor you decide it’s high time you invited the Alliance for this party. It wouldn’t be very nice of you to leave the surrendered soldiers back down only to let whatever mafia organized this clean them up for treason. You send the report to several places hoping that at least one will act on it soon.Upon reaching the lift you begin moving some of the sturdy looking boxes around to avoid being completely exposed when it begins its ascent. You decide it would also be prudent to move the Geth craft further out of the way so it doesn’t get caught between the lift and the ceiling. You could swear it blinks at you as you and the liberated prisoners shove it away.You don’t get time to ponder the mystery - a call from Eve interrupts you.“Ford, there’s a complication. We attempted to surprise the team of security on its way to reinforce you, but their leader, the “Gerrard”, seems to have been anticipating treachery. Kris has been injured and they have us at gunpoint. They have not yet seen through my disguise. We can try to fight them off, but we’re at a disadvantage now and unable to gracefully retreat.”Well. You had a feeling this was going a bit too smoothly.“I suggest escorting the prisoners out and requesting Alliance support. They will want to interrogate us, giving you an opening.”>follow her advice, take the prisoners out of here. You’ll have to hope nothing terrible befalls your crew and that you’re able to track them down in time if the “Gerrard” manages to spirit them away.>absolutely not, you’re not leaving your crew behind. You head out to the entrance to their aid. Prisoners stay on the lift. (Lea goes with you or the lift?)>as above, bud don’t split the party any more than it already is. You all head towards the exit.>do something elseBonus roll:>I can bring relief, I can drive a man mad>When granted unwanted I can make a man sad>Those who seek me may leave behind a lot>But no two can find me on the very same spot>I’m harder to reach by a well travelled way>I’d sooner stay with one who stays hidden away
>>3522711With that I retire. Safe travels friends, and thanks for sharing them with me.>>3522252Yes, this was first time she killed someone.
>>3522711>as above, bud don’t split the party any more than it already is. You all head towards the exit.Eve is being absurd, we will not leave our bro Kris injured.Tell Lea the new development, tell the prisioners to stay behind until we have dealt with themI,ll give the riddle some thought
>>3522711>as above, bud don’t split the party any more than it already is. You all head towards the exit.Truth?
>>3522711>>as above, bud don’t split the party any more than it already is. You all head towards the exit.A friend of mine helped me and send the following answerSolitude
>>3522711>as above, bud don’t split the party any more than it already is. You all head towards the exit.
>>3523303Your friend is correct, good sir.
>>3522711>as above, bud don’t split the party any more than it already is. You all head towards the exit.Shit, I don't have any better ideals, so if a better case is made/write up happens I'll switch to it.The riddle's answer is Enlightenment, I think.
“Yeah, that’s not gonna happen. Hang in there, you two.” You say to the intercom. “Alright, change of plans. We’re going through the main gate.”“That’s madness!” Eji says. “They will have reinforcements coming that way, and more goons will get at us from behind!”“If they try, we’ll take care of them. I’m not leaving anyone behind. Not you and not my friends. Lea, um... what’s your name, anyway?” You turn to the Turian.“Nulius Alto, at your service.” He responds.“Pleased to meet you. I’m trusting you and Lea to bring up the rear.”“Certainly. However...” he begins to talk over Lea’s affirmative.“However can wait.” You say, jumping into air and having a burst of your jump pack carry you onto the ledge. “Come on, let’s move!” You say as Eji reluctantly guides his compatriot towards the exit you took perch at.In the brief time as you watch them approach your gaze falls once more upon the Geth Strike craft. Just when did the company recover it? As far as you know, the Geth had no presence in Sol until battle for Earth, which would put the likely window of opportunity briefly after Reaper’s defeat. Maybe Hackett’s superweapon affected them as it did with Eve? But you were impression that the Geth are already lucid enough, even though you didn’t get to interact with any since then...Then it hits you. The communication scrambler must have prevented the fighter from communication with its peers. When and if it even woke up, it probably decided to bide its time rather than go on a rampage, at very least until the scrambler was gone.But you already made that happen.Suddenly it made sense.“Eve, have you tried poking the Geth interceptor in here? I think it’s active.”“My bandwidth is severely restricted to maintain my disguise, but I’ll do what I can.”
You nod silently. Watching Lea and the liberated men approach you judge the time to be right to move up to the junction with the ring corridor. You dash towards it and peek out. Clear, for now.“You were correct, Ford.” Eve notifies. “The fighter houses about two thousand Geth processes, it was passively observing its surroundings trying to understand its situation. I gave it a rundown and it agreed to help.”“Neat.” You say. “I guess you can open the lift shaft for it. It will want to leave by it eventually.”“Done. The fighter promised to distract any enemy force that would want to pursue you through the shop floor.”“Sweet. Thank you, Eve. Hang in there, Help is on the way.”“Be careful, Ford. We are approaching the entry checkpoint. Seven armed men, the Gerrard seems to have superior training.”“Noted.” You say as you hear Lea and the prisoners catch up.“So, what’s the plan?”>ambush the enemy group as it enters the ring corridor you’re on. They may opt to withdraw back the way they came - up into the green zone or upstairs>let them pass through. They may join up with forces still in the underground but are unlikely to be expecting the Geth fighter guarding the lift.>ambush them as they pass by corridor you’re in - they can choose to withdraw in either way if you engage at range, or you’ll be exposing the prisoners to danger if you ambush in melee“Non-lethal” attack?>javelin to the Gerrard - shoot to kill>mattock - shoot to kill>mattock - shoot to disable>other plan
>>3524333>>let them pass through. They may join up with forces still in the underground but are unlikely to be expecting the Geth fighter guarding the lift.>mattock - shoot to disablethey didn't kill our guys so....
>>3524333>>let them pass through. They may join up with forces still in the underground but are unlikely to be expecting the Geth fighter guarding the lift.
>>3524514that feel when you forgot to actually hit submit 4 hours ago...
The time has advanced so I will leave the vote open overnight rather than ending it with rolls. See you in the future, friends.
>>3524333>let them pass through. They may join up with forces still in the underground but are unlikely to be expecting the Geth fighter guarding the lift.>mattock - shoot to disable
Rolled 63, 99, 82, 25, 36, 93, 88, 9, 24 = 519 (9d100)Please, roll some 5d100s.In order, Ford, Lea, Nulius, Kris, EveMy rolls for Gerard, goons and the Geth.
Rolled 1, 64, 53, 21, 64 = 203 (5d100)>>3525998Well shit
>>3526013Save us Lea, kek
Rolled 17, 41, 51, 15, 22 = 146 (5d100)>>3525998Lets try to have a good number so our failure is not complete
We are off to a great start, let's hope the following turn we can do better, we are having real bad luck in combat, I hope we don't get embarrassed like in the chandelier
Rolled 98, 1, 4, 37, 84 = 224 (5d100)>>3525998
>>3526035Looks like we are back at saving Lea now
“Take cover. We’re going to let them pass by, then jump them from behind.” You say. “Eji, you and Charlie keep your heads down. Lea, Nulius, get ready. Oh and don’t worry about the Geth, he’s on our side, I hope.”“Wait, what?”After a while Salarian and his friend, muttering something to himself, withdraws further back while you and your more combat ready companions take cover behind some protruding machinery lining the corridor around the maintenance access hatches. Then you settle in and watch mouth of the corridor you’re in.You don’t have to wait for long. First one, then second and third security trooper walks past, followed by Eve in her human disguise and Kris, disarmed and with a barely discernible limp. Following them were another three troopers and the silent man from the boardroom.You did not waste any time. As soon as Gerrard walked past your line of sight you got out of your concealment and rushed quietly forward intending to get to position from which you’d launch your ambush.Unfortunately you miscalculated your momentum and had to awkwardly skid to a halt before you would emerge from your corridor into plain sight of the goon squad. And because misery loves company, Lea who was following right behind you is surprised by your maneuver and fails to replicate it in time.You have scant fraction of second of relief that you managed to stop yourself when a Quarian collides into you. Already off balance, the two of you fall into the corridor in a tangled mess, the noise distinct enough to prompt the goon squad to stop and all of them, along with their prisoners, turning to stare at you.
“Well, well, we-“ Gerrard begins, a thin smile spreading on man’s lips. You don’t wait for him to finish, partly because you didn’t want to hear him and Kris sharing a chuckle at this ambush, and open fire with your Mattock, aiming low.Gerrard effortlessly moves out of the line of Fire as soon as he sees your movement. The guards are only slightly less ready, or maybe just unlucky, because the shot being aimed at their leader at least incapacitated one of them. Neither the Gerrard nor his men hesitated in counterattack. You felt your stomach sink as remaining six combatants raised their weapons and......and one of them received a solid punch to the gut, dropping him like a ragdoll. Before his comrades could rethink how secure and harmless their “hostage” was Kris struck another one with his head, resulting in both him and his target clutching heads and cursing audibly. Probably not the outcome he was looking for but you were hardly in position to judge.It was about that time that Nulius caught up and fired a burst from the looted rifle, forcing your enemies to take cover long enough for you and Lea to regain you composure and withdraw into a more defensible position.“What an unorthodox diversionary tactic.” Eve remarks by your comm, It seems Kris is bad influence on her.“At least someone thinks so.” You growl.Peeking out from behind the corner you can spot the thug leader in whispered exchange.“Gerrard is ordering some of his men to flank you through the shoploor.”You grin despite embarrassing entry. At least something went bettered than expected. But still, across you stands the enemy leader with two of his minions, one locked in combat with Kris, the other about to engage in melee with Eve.Another troubling issue was a sound of echoing footfalls you noticed in lull between bursts of fire.>press the attack. Keep trying to disable the enemy and get them off Kris and Eve.>withdraw to the central room, maybe you’ll lure some in?>withdraw past where the enemy came from, maybe help us already here?>something else
With this I retire. Solar winds in your sails, friends.
>>3526236>>press the attack. Keep trying to disable the enemy and get them off Kris and Eve.
>>3526236>press the attack. Keep trying to disable the enemy and get them off Kris and Eve.Get Lea to cover and tell the turian to cover our backs since those steps migjt not be friendlies
>>3526236>press the attack. Keep trying to disable the enemy and get them off Kris and Eve.
Rolled 1, 11, 85, 24, 31, 98, 50, 26, 45 = 371 (9d100)Please, roll some 5d100s
Rolled 34, 21, 77, 13, 87 = 232 (5d100)>>3528080at least one of the enemies fucked up
Rolled 33, 35, 16, 51, 11 = 146 (5d100)>>3528080
Rolled 87, 30, 65, 12, 95 = 289 (5d100)>>3528080
Rolled 43, 98, 13, 38, 42 = 234 (5d100)>>3528080
Rolled 52, 8, 63, 12, 3 = 138 (5d100)>>3528080
You give some more fire from your rifle as you move to cover, while positioning yourself to provide support for Lea as well, seeing how unsteady she still seemed as she stumbled out of the way.Gerrard, in attempt to capitalize on your disorderly ambush, made a reckless move in advancing towards you. Focusing too much on your movement and confident in his ability to navigate his home terrain he seems to have lost sight of his footing and stumbled over the groaning trooper Eve dropped moment ago.On her part your synthetic friend was on a roll today. The soldier that hoped to reassert his dominance over the “hostages” was humbled by several jabs that first deprived him of his weapon, his balance and finally his footing, sending him on the floor. With the immediate threats neutralized she proceeded to grab Kris by his wrist and head towards you and your allies.Nulius took position at the opposing wall. Seeing the lull in fighting he took it upon himself to watch the other side of the corridor for reinforcements.Those did begin to approach, but not from the surface. Rather the remaining soldiers from further in the subterranean installation finally decided to make appearance, and judging by sounds of gunfire from the central chamber also learned how dire their situation is.As you look over the field of battle you weigh your options. Eve and Kris were free and more or less within you reach, the enemy had no exits available to you that you knew of... he did however have some confirmed, some potential reinforcements - but so had you. Surely the Alliance was coming to investigate by now.>charge into melee, try to capture the enemy leader - hopefully the enemy backup won’t fire on their boss>Take your crew and the Prisoners and Head to the main exit - some risk of getting sandwiched between enemy reinforcements, but exit leads onto known terrain>take your crew and the prisoners and head to the freight lift - you have an ally there, but exit leads to unknown area.>other plan
>>3528561>take your crew and the prisoners and head to the freight lift - you have an ally there, but exit leads to unknown area.Not that I want to have the opportunity to stash some things they might have already loaded on the freighter or anything...baka
>>3528561>>take your crew and the prisoners and head to the freight lift - you have an ally there, but exit leads to unknown area.
>>3528561>take your crew and the prisoners and head to the freight lift - you have an ally there, but exit leads to unknown area.
>>3528591this, stealing artefacts from corps is what we do best
You decide to not push your luck with a risky charge. You wait for Eve and Kris to reach you and then you motion for Nulius and Lea to head back to the central chamber with you. Your shield deflects one more ricochet off a shot Gerrard angrily fires in your general direction as you vanish behind a corner.“You Alright, buddy?” You ask Kris as you catch up.“Just a scratch. Would’ve probably taken them.”“Well, main thing’s we made it. Good job, and nice moves, Eve.”“With one fist of iron and the other of steel, if the right one don’t get you then the left one will.” The valiant gynoid says with a smile.“Be advised that two Alliance shuttles have arrived to investigate the building. I’ll make sure their progress is as unimpeded as possible before covering up traces of my presence.” She adds privately to your comlink, reminding you she’s technically undercover. “The enemy leader has been made aware of that and is fleeing the scene.”Returning to the central chamber shows that the Geth strike craft has been busy. Entrances to the corridors have been dotted with impacts of its cannons, the floor littered with mauled bodies of several troopers.“Some of the enemy troops took note that the Geth are not trying to kill them and decided to exploit this. The fighter platform decided to make good on its implicit threat past certain threshold.You nodded solemnly, inspecting the scene and then giving the fighter, hovering near the middle of the chamber, a grateful nod for the support. It bobbed in return.Meanwhile the group of surrendered personnel down on the shopfloor was huddled together as far from it as possible, united in silent wish that it would sod off already.>hold out until Alliance arrives to seize control, then hand them over the liberated prisoners.>browse the available items, see if you can find something useful. If you do you’ll have to make a choice to smuggle it out or let Alliance confiscate it for safekeeping.>board the lift and leave. Better to move on before your adversaries organize a welcoming committee if they haven’t already.>something else
>>3528863>browse the available items, see if you can find something useful. If you do you’ll have to make a choice to smuggle it out or let Alliance confiscate it for safekeeping.
>>3528863>>hold out until Alliance arrives to seize control, then hand them over the liberated prisoners.>>browse the available items, see if you can find something useful. If you do you’ll have to make a choice to smuggle it out or let Alliance confiscate it for safekeeping.
>>3528898also, the geth strike craft count as a liberated prisoner as far as I'm concerned, not an item
>>3528863It would seem that looting is ahead. Please, roll some 2d100s, first for quantity, second for quality of discovered items (if any).In the meantime I retire.
Rolled 42, 59 = 101 (2d100)>>3529188
Rolled 29, 81 = 110 (2d100)>>3529188
Rolled 72, 6 = 78 (2d100)>>3529188
Rolled 86, 44 = 130 (2d100)>>3529188
"Alright then," You say, "Let's hold out here - the Alliance will take care of the rest and ensure a safe passage when they're done." Eji exhales with relief at not having to brave risk of another hostile encounter. Well, assuming the goons won't make another foolish attempt to get past your Geth support."Ford," Eve speaks to you privately. "The Geth platform is asking what the Alliance will do with it. Formally the Artificial intelligence, Geth included, is treated as illegal property at best but in practice it's recognized as a threat. However, in spirit of the coalition the platform could be recognized as an entity belonging to an allied force. I've shared my information with it but we'd both appreciate human perspective.""Right... well, it's as you said." You reply quietly. "I guess it depends on integrity of the officer whose desk it ends on. But I don't think there will be many alliance officers around that would want to start trouble with the Geth, for many I reckon it would feel wrong to turn on former comrades while others would reason that they're not secure enough position to allow themselves such aggression.""That's fair. Thank you, Ford. Our new friend has consented to watch over us until help arrives and then submit its own readings to the authorities to corroborate our testimonies.""Thank you." You say towards the fighter. Again, it bobs in acknowledgment of... your acknowledgment."Well, given that we're as safe here as we can be it can't hurt to take a look around." You say, rubbing your hands. It was quite a collection the corps - or whoever it was they put their lot in with - have amassed, there was bound to be something of professional interest to you, even if only collected by accident.First though you head towards Kris and check on the wound on his leg. "So, nice diversion." The Krogan says as you approach him. "Was that your idea or Lea's?""Shut up." You reply, recovering some medigel from your pouch and examining the damage."Don't bother with it. Better save the nanopaste for when we need it. Thanks for the thought though."Fortunately it indeed seemed the worst of it was borne by his pride and his species' resilient physiology already worked around it to the point when even the limp you spotted earlier was barely noticeable. With the matter settled you two split out and head out to browse available items.
Most of them were ship components in varying states of disrepair and of diverse origins. Large part of that was salvaged reaper tech. You kept your distance from that, even if it should be inert and harmless, by the same token it was likely useless to you and while technically they were quite important parts of history now, you doubted anyone will be interested in starting a reaper museum right away, or find it difficult to collect artifacts for it when they do.Instead you walk among the various prototypes that, upon closer inspection, bear hallmark traits of Council species' designs - Salarian sophistication, Turian regularity and standardised components, Asari touch in the design. Some of them even exhibit combination, suggesting the item might have been developed jointly, or at least heavily inspired by designs of the other party.Maybe, given time, NSD products would show similar synthesis of design strategies. Assuming that corporate espionage and own business development was all this was about.You put those thought aside as you spot something potentially interesting - an elongated crate with a simple code lock that's easily bypassed even without Eve's intervention. Or it would be if it was actually locked. There was a post-it note slapped on the side: "Priority analysis requested. Keep in secure storage at all time, including during analysis. GT"Once more you are grateful that practical concerns won over adherence to meticulously crafted corporate standard as you raise lid of the crate revealing an elongated item of vaguely cylindrical shape, irregularities granting it an organic look even though regular, hexagonal, mechanical plating covering some sections of its surface tinted this look into something more cybernetic. A jagged groove ran along one side of the object, splitting in two much shorter ones near both ends. The item was clearly alien to Council standards and as such warranted investigation.You activate your omnitool's scanner suite and get to work...>Many pictures, one sight.>Many shapes, one strain.>Many beings, one mind.
>>3530541SpeciesDestinyI'm just putting things out there but I think the other anon already got it, didn't he?https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ftjEcrrf7r0
>>3530609It was meant to be "swarm", but I'll take it as fitting as well
As usual, you begin with more or less (because you're still running an active electronic device in close proximity) passive scans of the device. They don't tell you much except confirming that the material is not consistent with any industrial standard in your databanks; what's more, it does not directly correspond with other precursor materials in your databases, although its characteristics bear some semblance to Prothean alloys, albeit with uncategorised organic compound.It doesn't take you long to come across a hypothesis that connects the two while explaining absence of matches with database by other means with inventing a completely new category.Collectors.The degenerated, reaperified Protheans did use an arcane mix of technologies that, upon inspecting, showed readings too inconsistent to yield a reliable pattern, thus it's unlikely for even VI aided analytics to identify them. By extension that of course meant you couldn't be sure either, but given other clues like the vaguely organic appearance and presence on Earth where some collector units have also been deployed it seemed like a reasonably solid guess.Feeling confident you've correctly assessed the artifact's origins you switch over to more active probing, reassured by there being no reported cases of collector tech responding violently to scanning. Although, a thought does cross your mind that perhaps that was because people vaporised in antimatter explosions didn't live long enough to report what they were scanning at the time of their death.Shaking off such silly musings you return your attention to the cylinder before you. Some of your scans actually penetrate its surface and give you some idea of its internal layout. You're not terribly surprised to learn that the seam running along most of the item's length hides behind it a compartment. What captures your imagination is the form of distinct objects showing up underneath, arranged into a pattern and resting wrapped into compact pods were several rows of..."Seeker drones?"
You twitch unvoluntarily, leaning back to put some more distance between yourself and the object. Were seeker drones sufficiently reaper tech to have been neutralized by the Crucible? Or were they some sort of Prothean-biotech amalgamation still active enough to be functioning? Active swarms have been dispersed and dropped dead, that much you know and suggested that at least their guidance systems, or instincts, must have been wiped by the weapon.Be that as it may, you could see why this artifact could be worthwhile to investigate. Emboldened by its continuing dormancy you cycle through several settings of your omnitools, gathering multiple readings and committing them to your databanks for study and reference. After you're done, left with feeling of job well done, you realize you have a choice to make.>The Alliance is almost here, but you still have time to board the lift and flee the scene, along with the seeker... pod? You have no immediate use for the device and don't know to what extent it's still operational, but who knows what future brings?>The artifact should be safe enough in Alliance hands and you want to be here to participate in debriefing with the officer in charge, fleeing now would be suspicious when your involvement becomes known.>Try to open the pod and pocket one or few of the drones. Be gentle. (may fail to succeed)>Try to open the pod and pocket one or few of the drones. Use force. (may cause damage to the device, or...)>Something else.
>>3530729>Try to open the pod and pocket one or few of the drones. Be gentle. (may fail to succeed)Gently
>>3530729>>Try to open the pod and pocket one or few of the drones. Be gentle. (may fail to succeed)than wait for the alliance
>>3530729>>Try to open the pod and pocket one or few of the drones. Be gentle. (may fail to succeed)
>>3530729>Try to open the pod and pocket one or few of the drones. Be gentle. (may fail to succeed)For science.
Please, roll some 1d100s.Optionally feel free to submit suggestions on what to attempt
Rolled 49 (1d100)>>3530869I would suggest to get mr. Geth on it since he may be the most familiar with the stuff
Rolled 69 (1d100)>>3530869Try using our omni-tool to replicate radio signals associated with previously known collector artifacts. Hopefully our archives contain that data.
Rolled 44 (1d100)>>3530869
>>3530886Prothean artifacts are likely more standardized, so we can start at those signal styles, then vary it out from there.
Reasonably confident in Alliance’s ability to handle the artifact but unwilling to not take the opportunity to tinker with it further.“Good eye.” Nulius remarks over your shoulder. “I think this might be what was in the shipment that got me curious enough to land me where you found me.”“I guess you didn’t expect how serious they are about their internal controls?” You reply conversationally as you bring up an array of what little you have in collector signals and begin to cycle through various protocols.“Truth be told I had an inkling. What I didn’t expect was getting caught.”“Not a model employee, then?”“Not for NSD, anyway. But I’m just leading up to what I wanted to say to express my gratitude. It may not count for much, but I’ll make sure that the Shadow Broker is aware that my continued service to him is due to your service.You almost skip a beat. You’ve so far avoided any interactions with the mysterious spymaster. That you now stood to be called to his attention would be a mixed blessing, if that. Oh well, there was nothing to be done about that now.How do you keep doing this to yourself? You shake your head and resume your work. As you collect your thoughts from the liberated captive they pass by a silent witness.“So, did you maybe see the technicians play with this?” You ask the interceptor. It bobs thoughtfully on its thrusters.“The Geth say the technicians have only run some superficial tests so far. At this point you likely know more than they do.” Eve helpfully translates.Sighing at lack of easy solutions you resume your systematic approach and after several more moments are rewarded for your persistence by a soft click as the groove in the object’s side widens and unfolds into revealing the several rows of dormant collector seeker drones that you saw earlier.Pouring some omnigel through your omnitool’s fabber unit you produce a few packaging packs and pick a few drones inside, stowing the samples away until you can examine them in greater detail.Just In time, too. You barely finish closing your pockets when one the door opens and a bunch of marines following a familiar officer file in.“Wells well. What an... interesting reunion. You’ve been... busy, I see, misty Ford. And subsequently giving me as well issues to be... busy about” The officer says.
With this I recede. Safe travels friends.
>>3531316Thanks for running
“I must confess, Doctor Ford, I find it very difficult to... compound my feelings about your... activities.” Colonel Graves drawled, his eyes running over a data sheet, partially composed by his own analysts and partially submitted by Eve alongside with wealth of evidence, some of it still encrypted that the corporates wanted to destroy.You were not sure how reliable the Alliance regarded data contributed by an AI, but you were sure it was all valuable intel. And you were still curious what exactly was in it. The colonel was rather insistent that you accompanied him straight to the Alliance compound, something you went along with without issue considering it included safe passage for the liberated prisoners and more professional medical checkup for Kris. As for the Geth fighter handed its data over as promised and left, presumably for his kin at Uranus. Graves didn’t object, at least not in your presence.Rest of the liberated prisoners were being interviewed separately. You were not worried, even if you were curious. You still hadn’t learned what the political connection of this case was. Terra Firma seemed like the most obvious suspects considering its past connections, but you didn’t really see any evidence either way.“I’m sure you can imagine my... dilemma.” The officer says, locking eyes with you and interrupting you pondering. “Your vigilantism was a violation of laws of any civilized society. Had you been under my jurisdiction as an alliance soldier, you would be facing a court martial. That’s not even touching on subject of miss Ferrum’s involvement.”You consider your options at the time and the ultimate outcome. Even under best of circumstances, assuming Alliance was able to infiltrate the installation, with or without an AI, it would not have been before Eji and others have undergone more tortures, and with quite high risk of getting executed during the raid.Consequently, you don’t flinch. The colonel seems to appreciate that as corners of his lips turn up ever so slightly before he goes on. “However... you’ve also recovered wealth of intel my men are still busy... processing. Make no mistake, you’ve stumbled across some high profile... mess.” The colonel leans back, not dropping his gaze. You could see Kris next to you shift as if he was going to say something, but the colonel was not yet finished.“Say, Doctor Ford, between us... friends. Elections are coming. Who do you consider voting for?”
>”I’d rather not say.”>answer truthfully (list one or more)> tell him what you think he wants to hear (list one or more)>other responseAvailable parties:>Old Guard (commodore Bärli’s conservative centrists)>Ambition (Jones’s liberals)>The League (King’s federalists)>New Way (matriarch Viitala)>Terra Firma (human chauvinists)>Gaia’s Voice (green spiritualists)See >>3509435
>>3532949>>” I’d rather not say.”I'd say King as we are somewhat hopelessly idealistic like her, but we should not divulge that to the general, he probably has a preference for the Commodore.Jones is just going to create strife and divide between the people here in a moment where we need union, and I'm very suspicious that it's him behind this operation judging for the blatant disregard for regulations and laws displayed
>>3532949>”I’d rather not say.”"I just hope that whoever is elected doesn't squander this opportunity for closer relations between the peoples of the galaxy because of paranoia or selfish reasons"
>>3532949>>”I’d rather not say.”
>>3532944>”I’d rather not say.”The League (King’s federalists) is the one I liked I think, but that's probably not something we should talk about with anyone anyway.
>>3532991The league is probably shepard's prefered too since is from the boy scout route, that or tge Commodore.But being a boy scout, i don't know if he'll get involved in politics
“No offense, colonel, but I’d rather keep that to myself.”“None taken, Doctor. It is after all the prudent answer I expected, even though I am indeed rather... curious, considering the... circumstances.”You have half mind of explaining to him your stances on how you’d rather not see the hard won cooperation between galactic sapients disintegrate so rapidly but decide to not needlessly get into political debate with the officer.“The reason I’m asking is because as you’ve no doubt learned by now, possibly before, the corporation you’ve raided to liberate your acquaintance from has had ambition to impact the upcoming election, mostly through material support and allowing access to its green zoned properties to the campaigning teams.”“Sounds tame.” Kris remarks.“Indeed. There were some concerns regarding transparency of the... support and expected... concessions in case of victory, but these are relatively... mundane issues and ones journalists should be capable of... addressing.”Graves shakes his head. “No, what gives this affair undertone serious enough for Alliance to consider... intervening is something else. Data contributed by miss Ferrum show that the company has taken... unusual amount of interest in daily routines of individual campaigners and their staffs. Well, most of them. Tracking data of Terra Firma supporters and candidates remains... conspicuously absent.”The officer gives you a moment to let his words sink in, then goes on before anyone speaks up. “Furthermore, the good lady’s retrievals contained an amount of material that can be linked to some less than... flattering facts, factoids along with... fabrications being presented on the extranet pertaining to most of the political players. Principal narrative seems to be focused on... corruption of the old establishment and... neglecting interests of the humanity among the various programmes. Once again, Terra Firma is not represented in this... collection.”Lea speaks up. “Does that mean you’re suspecting them?”Graves turns to face the Quarian fully. She shrinks back at the movement, if slightly. “What do you think, miss Fari?”
“Well, it seems an obvious conclusion to make. Which makes me wary of making it. I mean, it’s not as if those guys have any chance to win anyway, not so soon after coalition victory.”Graves smiles widely and Lea leans back further. “Very good, miss Fari.” The officer says and turns to you. “You’ve got eye for... talent, Doctor. Yes, it is as you say. We don’t have evidence enough to directly implicate anyone. Absence of files on Terra Firma could be due to a number of other... reasons, from final front of defense against successful... data theft you accomplished to an element deeper in... the game than what we can currently discern.”“What about this Gerrard character?” Kris asks. “He seemed to know quite a lot.”The smile disappears. “Unfortunately the most interesting person in this affair is eluding us for the time being. He slipped by us as we were advancing into the structure, posing as a frightened technician, and is currently at large.” Graves says levelly. “Depending on resources he has available to him he might be... difficult to track by his biometrics, unless caught quickly.”“Well, fuck.”“My sentiments exactly, Doctor Tufferson.” Graves nods. “Regardless, as you can see, the affair is rather... sensitive and while I’m under no obligation to... divulge as much as I did, I decided so for several reasons, one of them being that you are considered to be an agent with... sympathies... towards principles my superiors... espouse and a... reliable character. I’d like to express my and my superiors’... hopes that you would exercise... discretion in your activities... and disclosures.”“Naturally.” You nod. It’s not like you could say anything else here even if you thought otherwise. And technically the wording was so vague you had no reason to defy it save for flippancy.“I am... delighted to hear that, Doctor Ford. It makes it easier for me to inform you that Alliance will not seek to act against you over your... adventure in the green zone.”It would seem the debriefing is coming to an end. Is there something you wish to talk about with the colonel? Your crew is present.>yes, ask a question>yes, suggest something>no
>>3533161>yes, ask a questionThe prisioners, Eiji's friend seemed to know more about the election involvement, have he said anything? And if yes, what?What is to be done with them.>>3533161
>>3533161>yes, ask a questionask about the prisoners and what will be made to protect them>yes, suggest somethingsuggest that if he has any leads or information that could lead to the Gerrard or the ones behind the election conspiracy they could be directed to us so we could look into it and leave Alliance official involvement out of something as sensible as the council election
“What about Eji... mister Maroon and the others? What’s going to happen to them?”“As You’re aware, their testimonies are being collected as we speak. They will be naturally offered protective... custody, should they choose to accept it. Although mister Alto has already expressed his desire to... mingle among his people instead. He will be free to do so as soon as the medics confirm his... ability to take care of himself, but he did seem quite... capable from what I’ve seen.” Graves says.“Did the, ah, mister Charlie say anything of interest in the topic? I understand he’s been vanished precisely be abuse he found something.”Graves once again fixes you with a glare.“You’re already sort of... invested, Aren’t you, Doctor? Well, for now I’m not able, or at... liberty, to share more details with you. But I’m sure you’ll have enough to... examine and go on when you walk out of here alongside miss Ferrum.”You look towards Eve who returns your gaze with a faint smile and nod slowly in acknowledgment.>volunteer to help as a free agent (ask for assignment, or make a vague commitment?)>ask/talk about something else>you’re done here, leaveAlso, what would you like to do next?>Head back to Kourou>Head to Robinson’s>contact someone>split the party>Something elseWould you like to talk with someone of your crew about something on your way there?>yes (specify)>no
>>3533390>be abuseBecause.And on that note, I recede. Safe travels, friends.
>>3533395Thanks for running OP
>>3533390>volunteer to help as a free agent (ask for assignment, or make a vague commitment?)Not in any official capacity, but we would be willing to help take down those guys and unvovering this conspiracy.>Something elseKris had sonething to say or show us about the krogan didn't he? If is nothing he hasn't handled or can't handle we go back to our space cleanup assigment.>yes (specify)Congratulate Eve about the overwatch and hacking.Congratulate Lea about the amazing acting, we hope it was acting, ask her if she wasn't enjoying too much bossing us around.Congratulate Kris in......getting his ass kicked to serve as a distraction for everyone else lol.Ask Lea where that presentation came from, that was a nice touch.
>>3533390Thanks for running.I'm not sure what this would fall under, but reminder that we need to talk to Eve about the message from Libella and let her have a crack at it.
>>3533395Thanks for running.>>3533430SupportRemind Lea that if she wants to bump into us next time she can wait for after the firefight>>3533442This too if Eve will not be too busy decoding the data from the Corp. I don't know if we can have another look at it since I think Ford though it was nothing.
>>3533390>>3533430>>3533442>>3533668>>3533668Eve can fiddle with the encryption while we go look at the Krogan thing, or talk about it. Unless the Alliance are taking us up on the offer.
“Alright then, colonel. Thank you for consideration. We’ll be sure to pass any further clues we’ll come across to you.”“That would be... helpful, Doctor Ford. Although I advise to be more... subtle about obtaining them. Regardless of... intentions, excessive disturbances may be... counterproductive. As you’re certain to learn soon enough.”With that you nod and stand to leave, your crew following in kind. As you’re about to depart colonel Graves offers one more remark:“In case you are curious, we’ve... arranged that commander Kang’s personal shuttle is returned to him. I trust you have your own... conveyance in place.”“Yes, thank you, colonel.”After that you depart and make your way out of the Alliance compound towards where Kris and Eve left the skycar. You take the opportunity to chat with your crew.“Well done, people. You all gave stellar performance.” You say. “Well, except for Kris.”“That’s rich coming from someone whose idea of diversion is molesting the new girl in front of audience.” The Krogan growls.“Now hold your tongue, big boy. If anyone’s doing any molesting here it’s going to be me, understood?” Lea objects.“And so my plans of sowing discord among the mortals come to fruition.” Eve narrates.“That’s not funny, my grandfather died that way. He got electrocuted by a toaster.”Eve flinches. “I apologize, miss Fari. That was...”“Hah! Gotcha.” Lea says. “He actually died repelling a pirate raid on a scavenging team.”“Alright, children.” You decide to step in. “Anyway, I mean it. I decided to charge in to help some stranger we barely met, but it was you, all of you, that made it happen. I just want you to know how I appreciate you having my back.”Your crew absorbs this for a moment in silence, to the point where you almost begin to worry you said something silly.“Don’t mention it, Ford. What else are friends for if not for taking into depth of some deadly galactic conspiracies?” Kris says.“Yup. This is exactly what I signed up for.” Lea says cheerily.“I’m just happy to help and learn the tenets of global domination.” Eve shrugs.“You guys.” You shake your head with a grin plastered on your face.
Before long you make it to the skycar. You take your seats and punch it, ascending and arcing off towards the west. No matter what you decided to do next you’d have to get back to you ship first. The trip itself did offer a chance to deliberate on what your next move would be, however.“Eve, if you don’t mind, I’ve something I’d like you to take a look at. It seems like our Spectre friend sent us something encrypted. Lea uncovered that it was a movie clip from Asari historical fantasy, but I wonder if...” shit. How to put this diplomatically? “...I could get a second opinion.”“Because you think I messed up and missed something, don’t you?” Lea was not fooled this easily.“That’s right. Spirit may be willing but the flesh is weak. Steel, on the other hand...” Eve doesn’t let up.“Oh, is that right? You’re on, Iron Maiden.” Lea says, bringing up her omnitool.>please, roll some 2d100s, first for Lea, second for Eve.
Rolled 23, 19 = 42 (2d100)>>3535468
Rolled 9, 19 = 28 (2d100)>>3535468>molesting the new girlKris knows us too well, but if anything, she was the one doing the molesting let's hope our quarian friend can at least keep up>Rolls a 1, everything gets deleted
>>3535523>>3535515Nope, its still just a movie kek
Rolled 10, 83 = 93 (2d100)>>3535468
>>3535538Shame, was rooting for Lea, she'll not feel that good after a second time.Oh well, at least we get to see what it is, and I guess it's pretty hard to beat an A.I. at hacking
“Ladies, please, play nice.”“Of course.” Lea says, tapping away at her tool.“Certainly, Ford. Would you be so kind and send me the sample that you need analyzed?”Right. Lea seems to be reveling in the head start as evidenced by soft giggling from behind. You activate the autopilot and access your own omnitool to send the mysterious package to Eve.For several moments the only sound in the car becomes the hum of its engines, both ladies submerged deep in their work. It doesn’t last for long though, after a while You begin to notice frustrated groans from the young Quarian.As if on cue, or perhaps actually on cue, Eve announces:“I’ve got it.”“Lay it on me.” You say.“Miss Fari has correctly identified the pattern that takes majority of the package’s volume, the vid track you mentioned. This information incidentally gave me a great advantage.”“No need to be patronizing.” Lea huffs, arms crossed.“Certainly. However, this knowledge allowed me to focus on the remaining area that could easily pass for a noise used to scramble the vid, which was likely to be a diversion. The actual message is hidden behind several layers of scrambling. It took not only assumption that there is something more but a degree of persistence in deciphering it. It’s likely miss-““Oh okay, fine, give it a rest. I get it. You were playing me like a fiddle.” Lea says.Eve takes on remorseful expression, prompting you to silently ponder how much of her emotions are calculated.“I apologize, Miss Fari. I miscalculated.”Talk about irony. You feel hair on the back of your neck standing up.“What?” Lea asks, confused.“I have hoped to support your motivation by engendering a measure of rivalry. I estimated there was about 45,7 percent chance of me failing to discover the pattern, forcing me to devote time on brute force exploratory analysis, while I estimated you have about 31,14 percent chance of figuring it out on your own. However, it turns out that my strategy caused you to get impatient and nervous.”Silence descends on the car and Lea fixes the gynoid with a stare you suspect would make Graves flinch.“I’m honestly at a loss at where to begin describing how wrong this is.” She says softly, then looks away.Well, it seems you have a situation on your hands. How do you handle it?>Stay quiet.>Say something in support of Lea. Eve should not resort to this sort of manipulation even if her intentions are good.>Say something in support of Eve. She was just putting her skills she was built with for best use she could think.>Say something reconciliatory. (writein suggested)>Switch topics - contents of the package>switch topics - Krogan issue>something else
>>3535678At first>Say something in support of Lea. Eve should not resort to this sort of manipulation even if her intentions are good.Because that was not niceBut then>Say something reconciliatory. (writein suggested)She did it to try and befriend her but explain that trying to manipulate how we would feel towards something does not really translate that well into friendship
>>3535678>>3535729>Say something in support of Lea. Eve should not resort to this sort of manipulation even if her intentions are good."So you were trying to motivate her with a friendly rivalry? That's usually started by someone outside of the situation, and even then can escalate negatively if it's found out.">Say something reconciliatory. (writein suggested)"If you want to make friends then try talking about hobbies, or boys, or work, anything that holds your interests."
>>3535678>Say something in support of Lea. Eve should not resort to this sort of manipulation even if her intentions are good.
You sigh. It’s a bit of a mystery to you that Eve can make such a mistake considering her primary programming. She should be able to read emotions well enough, and be sufficiently aware of social context, to avoid situations such as this.On the other hand, her primary programming would be unlikely to tell her to reveal her intentions under any circumstances. When you looked at it from this perspective, her naive, if brutal, honesty could seem almost endearing.Nevertheless, you could not afford this sort of tactics on your team.“Eve, That was very not cool.” You say. “I can see you mean well, and I welcome your openness about it ex post, but us meatbags don’t appreciate being manipulated, no matter the intention. And we especially don’t expect or want it from our friends, who we prefer to trust implicitly.”There is no response, which you take for a good sign.“Can I rely on you to not try this on any of us again? Please?”“Of... course, Ford.”“Thank you.”“And Miss Fari, please, forgive me. I haven’t realized my... efforts could be this harmful to you.” Eve turns to Lea.Lea doesn’t reply. You hope that means she’s at least considering it. A dark thought crosses your mind that you’re in a way being the manipulative one now with your intervention. Nonsense, you chide yourself. Are you going to treat your e dry interaction as a game now? Is this how some people actually do think? You decide to not pursue this train of thought further. There will be enough time before the sleep envelops you, later.“I’m honestly kind of surprised.” You say, trying to distract yourself. “Didn’t you read, well, process enough prose and poetry to understand how we feel about trickery, or how friendship is supposed to work?”“It would seem the lessons I’ve derived from these were inadequate, incomplete and perhaps corrupt. I’ll endeavour to re-analyze.”“Okay. In the meantime, though, I’m still curious on what hidden in the message.”“Oh. Sorry, Ford. Transmitting it to your omnitool now.”“Very well, let’s see what we have here...”
With this I retire. Thank you for bearing with me, friends.
>>3535881thanks for running
Rolled 33, 88 = 121 (2d100)>>3535468Let's see what they got.
>>3536903Shit, disregard. The page didn't update past that post for some reason.
“And you’re saying that the notebook was the only related item you found?”A soft feminine voice speaks when you initiate playback of the data packet.“The data only contained audio recording, I’m afraid.” Eve explains. You nod in acknowledgment and listen on.“Indeed. It was hidden away from rest of the equipment. I believe it to be a personal project of the base commander, one others were not privy to.”You recognized Libella’s voice, although this was the first time you heard it speak with intonation like this. It sounded almost deferential, but also with very little warmth to it.“That is reassuring.”There is a crackling sound in the background.“Matriarch, this could’ve been an important piece of evidence and hiding additional clues. It was slated for further analysis.” Libella objects.“Believe me, child, there would be little value to examining it further.”“If you say so, Matriarch.”“I do. And you said the commander this belonged to is in Alliance custody? Could you get him transferred here for ‘interrogation’?”Yes, you could actually hear the quotes. Not literally, but the distinction was pronounced.“Out of question.” Libella replied.“Oh?”“He is Alliance citizen apprehended on Alliance territory while acting against Alliance. I will not abuse over a fool’s errand.”“Excuse me? Care to explain what exactly you mean by that?”“Certainly. I have very little justification to demand such a transfer and making such a request would immediately alert Alliance that either the Council or our people have another angle in this affair. Furthermore such a request would undermine my relationships with them and hurt our image, potentially making them less cooperative and more suspicious down the line.”“I... see. But what if he’ll talk?”“He has no evidence to back his claims, and making them would only color him as a raving lunatic. Alliance doesn’t have any reason to take such outrageous claim at face value.”There’s a period of silence.“Don’t they?” Libella is actually first to break it.“Hm? Oh... no, of course they... don’t. Very well, then. Have it your way, Libella.”“Thank you, Matriarch Basheera.”“Sometimes I wonder... becoming Spectre has changed you. You used to be more... enthusiastic about serving your people. It feels like you’ve been growing more distant recently.”“It saddens me that you see it that way, Matriarch.”“Oh well. At least I can still count in your discretion. Isn’t that right?”“Certainly, Matriarch. I appreciate the faith you place in me and I assure you it’s reciprocated in full.“...good, very good. Then I shall take my leave. Until we meet again.”“Until then.”With that the recording ends.
“Heavy.” Kris comments.“That was like something straight outta vid.” Lea said. “But... why did she send it to us? Does she want us to make this public?”“I doubt it,” You say, “she could send it to a number of journalists or even broadcasted it. Instead she chose to confide this to us.”“What does that mean?” Lea asks.“I suspect she wanted me to be one a dead man’s switch of sorts, that if she ended up on wrong side of a purge, we could learn and maybe demonstrate what happened to her.“Or die with her.” Kris remarks.“I think they need more than that to send out death squads. Risk is too high, especially against target theoretically possible to put up a fight.” Yeah I shake your head.“Well, I hope you’re right. Anyway, what are we gonna do now? Seems like this Matriarch doesn’t mess around.”>just fly to Kourou as planned. Libella didn’t seem to be in an imminent danger and you still had a job to finish.>turn around, pay the Rouen vase a visit to check on her.>ask Kris about the Krogan.>something else.
Those will be the sole posts for today. Good night, friends.
>mfw all those typos and unfixed autocorrectsI am sorry and tyred and exhausted. Like that man running on either side of the bus.
>>3538291>ask Kris about the KroganWhile>just fly to Kourou as planned. Libella didn’t seem to be in an imminent danger and you still had a job to finish.I didn't understand anything about what was said, she wanted the cerberus commander? And the laptop, did it have stuff about the statue?We can have a look at the statue when we are in orbit waiting for the drones to finish its job, we can get the others to help us.
>>3538291>just fly to Kourou as planned. Libella didn’t seem to be in an imminent danger and you still had a job to finish.
>>3538514Fairly sure the crackling sound heard on the recording was the cunt matriarch breaking the statue.
>>3539897Nah, the statue is with usShe probably broke that laptop they were talking about,it was probably from the cerberus commander that had the statue, it seems the matriarch wants to bury that story and libella was just letting us know, in case we decide to tell someone, the matriarch may hear about it and come for us
>>3539902Ah yep, your right, I derped.
“Well, for now we’re going on as planned. It didnt seem like that Matriarch, whatever her agenda, was going after either us or Libella, but now we’re forewarned.”“I get the impression you have knowledge of context that is not known to me.” Eve pipes up.“Ah, right. You weren’t with us when we discussed it.” You nod and spend a few whiles getting her up to speed on possible significance of the figurine recovered from Cerberus base. It would seem the notepad you found as well has ended up in Libella’s custody and has now met its end.“I see. That was your reason for secrecy then. Your assessment of political threat seems to me as not underestimated.”“And now we have that confirmed. Anyway,” you decide to move onto a safer topic, “For now, though, we still have some drones to prepare and deliver for the spaceport commander.”“Cool, I’m looking forward to seeing them in action.” Lea said.“But until we get there... Kris, what did you find out? You seemed pretty down when we talked.”The Krogan sighs.“Yeah, well. The short of it is that my people are bored out of their minds. Some of them wanted to set up war games between the clans, but Alliance and Wrex put a stop to that. So they moved to off limits areas on a less extensive but, apparently, still suitably thrilling big game hunting. Apparently some of the creatures here put up a bit of a fight, at least when approached bare handed.”“So they’re hunting. How bad is it?”“Well, miraculously it seems most of the guys actually stopped when the warlord put his boot down, but still enough participate that they may be running out of targets within the year. The rest are merely growing increasingly frustrated.You groan. The specimens in preserves were mostly product of bioscience after the great green renaissance of previous century, of course, but you were not sure at all that the biologist would have varied enough samples to replace whole populations of endangered species if Krogan were to wipe them out.“Well, that’s not reassuring.” You say aloud. “What can we, of all people, do about it?”“By figuring out an alternative way of letting the My people work off their lust for fighting.”“Huh. Sounds like a tall order.”“No kidding.”
“Well, What do you think might help?”“Well, live fire battle sports would, but I don’t think your people would appreciate the things Krogan athletes would do to the surface.”“What about holding the war games in a more controlled environment? Like an arena?” Lea asks.“You’d need a very big and sturdy one for that. Might be tricky getting the engineering to spare enough fabber time and the bureaucrats to approve zoning.” Kris says.“Maybe they would if they realized alternative to this is a generous helping of violence.” You point out.“You make it sound almost like extortion.” Kris frowns. Then grins. “Yeah, sounds about right.”“What about replacing the live fire exercises with a virtual arcade?” Eve speaks up. “I believe the simulation technology has advanced since already passable iteration of the Pinnacle Station?”“Hmmm... more conservative geezers would be unlikely to accept this, but it would definitely offer more variety with less extensive zoning to those who would. Problem is with the tech which is either proprietary or otherwise classified and the installation would need to be set up by the book in order to be useable en masse. And then there’s eezo this would need fir all the mass effect fields.”>propose something else>support one of the variants proposed>let this topic drop for now, drive on in silence.>let this topic drop for now, switch to another one.
Those were the sole posts for tonigh, good night friends.
>>3540346>let this topic drop for now, drive on in silence.>>3540349Thanks OP, great writing as always
>>3540346What about joint wargames with the Geth? The loss of platforms is at worst an inconvenience, and they likely would have some way to inform the Krogan of their "death." The Krogan might have to Reimburse some material losses though.Or they could go with wrestling. Getting naked and grabbing at each other while oiled up is the ancient traditional Greek way to wrestle. Feel free to turn that into a joke from someone.I'd say the final option is probably to drop them on Cerberus whenever we need an assault force.
>>3540346I support the arena war games, the krogan can pay for it with service and desolated areas are in no shortage to set it up.While that gets ready they can use the simulators to practice
>>3540346>propose something elseIs there any way we could repurpose some of the gathered orbital waste to use as building materials for an arena, utilizing a fabber to recycle what we can (non-reaper tech)? That might be a way to take some of the supply load off of normal material gathering as well as probably get some good heavy orbital clean up efforts. If the Krogans can directly see how their efforts will pay off, maybe they'd be willing to chip in some. I don't know if we're in a position to be cutting deals like that, but the Krogans need something to do that won't wreck the planet and there's orbital debris that could be put to some use or will otherwise wreck the planet. Thoughts?
>>3541111a team of fabbers*
>>3540346>>let this topic drop for now, drive on in silence.
You offer no reply for the time being, silently mulling the possible scenarios over in your head. Securing a place where the Krogan could run their war games seems like a simplest answer, but one whose realization hits quite a number of pickles.“Who would’ve thought that free space will become such a rare thing with all the devastation.” Lea remarks.“Yeah, well, Problem is most of that freed space used to belong to someone.” Kris shrugs.“Didn’t stop them for setting up bases and camps all around the planet.”“Most of them designed with ease of packing up, except for those set up at green zones confirmed to belong to the military. Not much candidates to house a necessarily robust arena, or even multiple of those.” You point out.You resume pondering further issues. Would the Krogan be satisfied fighting each other? Hell, maybe they could be persuaded to forgo weapons and handle their needs by a more hands on approach? Or perhaps other species would like to participate as well. An outlet for aggression could well be needed by more than just Krogan in time.And then there was the issue of resources, from common alloys to eezo and fabricator time. Although you were reasonably sure these would come if a feasible alternative were put forward and it’s benefits properly extolled.For the time being you let the debate die down and activate the radio to have some background as the skycar speeds after the sun to catch up with Latin America’s afternoon, the many more or less grave issues that managed to surface so soon after defeat of the Reapers beginning to fade into the wide blue above and the fluff of white below.https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FscIgtDJFXg
>>3542056fine human tune for a time like thisFord has quite an ancient taste for music
The Episode 5 has been committed to Citadel Archives:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/3505381/Henri Ford and his gallant crew shall return in Episode 6!
>>3542080thanks for running
>>3542080Thanks for running, great thread.
>>3542080when are we resuming dear qm?
The Episode 6 will be available here: >>3544140>>3544126 #Sooner than you think. However, at my usual relaxed pace.
>>3544150thanks, wouldn't have it another way