Delivery centers are like the District’s vital organs: in here, the myriad miscellaneous commodities that comprise Freeland’s lifeblood are filtered and packaged and passed and shuttled and exchanged by all manners of machinery. Goods are delivered, fast as goods can be requested, to precise locations by fulfillment drones that serve as the corporate body’s circulatory system and as the conveyor belts of this citywide machine. Corporate security professionals—trained, augmented, unyielding—are as a rigid diaphragm that divides the upper body from the undesirables. And Excelsis’s lowest ranking interns, you think, must be the blood cells, or perhaps the muscle filaments that...Yeah, okay. You don’t actually know enough about anatomy to keep this metaphor rolling much further. But you do know there’s something you want in here, and you know every second you spend admiring the scenery and waxing poetic about blood and guts is a second closer to overstaying your welcome. Employees this low down the ladder tend to fade into the background, though, which is something you can use to your advantage. All you have to do is dress up like one of the collars, walk with a little purpose, and carry a datapad, and nobody who doesn’t recognize your face as one that doesn’t belong will recognize your presence as one that doesn’t belong. Maneuvering through the center’s front office, though, you glimpse another security camera in the corner of the ceiling. You need to move fast; they won’t stay off forever.The shipping facility is almost entirely automated—unmanned vehicles and fulfillment drones do the work—but the loading and unloading areas are otherwise heavily monitored, which is why you’ve entered through the office. There’s a warehouse entrance up ahead, but a desk intervenes with a brown-haired, four-eyed collar behind it, mindlessly entering inventory and shipping data into Excelsis’s databases. He looks younger than you: just a kid, but even a kid can call security, and they’ll absolutely come running. There’s no good way through but past, and you can’t tolerate an error now.Luckily, you’re the sharpest mind you know. But just because you’re smart doesn’t mean the solution is going to be pretty.(The problem-solving strategies you choose will inform the main character’s attributes and skills.)You…> Bludgeon the kid before he sees your face. It’s not like anyone’s watching.> Slip a little something you brought into his coffee as you pass. He’ll be napping by the time you’re gone.> Walk right by, face-down in your datapad. He should be minding his own business anyway.> Convince him he’s got a call from upstairs. A collar is so named because a master holds the leash.
>>4711824>Slip a little something you brought into his coffee as you pass. He’ll be napping by the time you’re gone.
>>4711824>> Bludgeon the kid before he sees your face. It’s not like anyone’s watching.
>>4711824>Convince him he’s got a call from upstairs. A collar is so named because a master holds the leash.We need more social engineering in our cyberpunk.
>>4711824>Slip a little something you brought into his coffee as you pass. He’ll be napping by the time you’re gone.Breaking the tie.
>>4711825>>4711885As you walk, your hand drifts surreptitiously into a pocket in search of a gift a former contact afforded. You never imagined yourself fooling around with things like this, but despite the greasy sort of feeling you get from just carrying it, even you can't deny its utility. The chalky pill is made to dissolve quickly and cut with additives to mask any off flavors. You know a lot about a good number of things, and while medicines and drugs don't constitute your sharpest subjects you wouldn't say you're without curiosities. To get what you want out of the Districts, you have to consider what you're willing to do; everything's gotta be on the table.Glimpsing the kid's tired eyes, strangely enough, rationalizes your actions more than it humanizes your enemy. You're not poisoning him. You're just helping him get some much-needed sleep. It's done in passing, with skillful sleight of hand that discredits the thought behind the action; the quickness of it does no justice to the way you walked with purpose, angled your approach appropriately in advance, and arrived to catch the collar distracted, embroiled in a long stretch of data entries. You pass by, looking over your shoulder at Alex—or so his nametag says. He’s already taking another sip, which means you now have one fewer thing to worry about in this building.The warehouse entrance, you think, should be left unlocked as long as there's people on the premises. You find that's the case, and pass inside, surreptitiously closing the door behind you. You aren't sure how the scents of packaging and industrial lubricant manage to be distinct, but they linger in the air nevertheless; facilities that are run primarily by mechanical operators allow corporations to cut corners on heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Sturdy quad-rotor fulfillment drones buzz overhead, and the back-up beeper of some self-driving bulk delivery vehicle in the shipping area pulses incessantly through rows of shelves like a factory heartbeat—fuck, just when you thought the anatomy metaphors were through. What you’re looking for should be out for delivery soon, and you imagine it’ll have some sort of advanced security to go along with that; maybe a secure container, an armored transport, a secret route or a personal pickup. But few engineered security measures can really protect the package if you’ve got physical access to it before it gets out. All you have to do is intercept and go.
>>4712309“Hey.” A man’s voice says, as he peeks around a row of shelves. You try not to freeze up, but are slow to reply.“...Hey,” You say, after a pause. You stay looking like you’re not the puzzle piece that’s out of place, convincingly looking around the shelves and comparing what’s going on in the workplace to the list of meaningless sample text that’s making your datapad screen look populated. Shit. You should have cleared the place first. Mama once told you mail services didn’t staff folks on Sunday, but anything can change when everything’s automated; the federal postal service itself, which is also powered primarily by drone tech, is pretty much a corporate contractor these days anyway. You turn to face the guy to get an idea of what you’re dealing with. He doesn’t have the security look, thankfully; just a roughneck, a warehouse foreman with a baton and pepper spray for assurance on a solo shift.Still, you suppose you couldn’t get away with this being easy.“I’ve never seen you around here before,” The foreman says, walking towards you with his brow furrowed in uncertainty. “Could I see some ID?”> Flash your fancy fake ID, praying the hologram tech was worth the tag. If this works, you’ll be free to move about the premises.> Subvert the drones. The exploit was originally a backup strategy, but it’ll cause a ruckus and you can grab what you need in the chaos.> Play the race card. To the corporates, he’s disposable; if he’s afraid of causing them some kind of scandal, he won’t force the issue.> Give him the runaround. You might be able to tire him out, trip him up, or just find the package on the move.
>>4712313>Flash your fancy fake ID, praying the hologram tech was worth the tag. If this works, you’ll be free to move about the premises.
>>4712313>> Play the race card. To the corporates, he’s disposable; if he’s afraid of causing them some kind of scandal, he won’t force the issue.
>>4712313> Flash your fancy fake ID, praying the hologram tech was worth the tag. If this works, you’ll be free to move about the premises."You MAY!"
>>4712355>>4712331“For sure,” You reply, reaching back into your pocket while the foreman eyes you up.Machinery so thin as to be practically translucent works in the background. Your location is catalogued via GPS. Context is gathered from the conversation via nano-scaled microphones. Images are pulled from databases public and private: your personal photos, Excelsis’s websites and public-facing headers, and random images of company IDs from online search engines. Hidden layers of a model designed by some government cyberwarfare specialist some time ago process diverse data into a convincing alibi, and photoreactive cells in the wafer-thin material shift to match the image and mimic the texture and optics of a laminated resin. You’re a little nervous, but you don’t let it show, until you actually get the fake card—really a tiny marvel of nanotechnology—out and into your hand.For a second, you mistake yourself for an Excelsis employee. You have to stop yourself from commenting on the simulacrum’s quality. It works perfectly. This is the kind of shit the Spectres must have been capable of, and with tech that weighs less than a milligram. You need more—you have to have it, and have to figure out how it works for yourself.You display the card in hand, ready to hand it over. The foreman quirks a brow, inspecting; it’s all there, from your identifier to your name...> Victor> Tyrell> Antoine> Other (Write-in.)
>>4712655>>4712666“Antoine,” He says, looking over the image. You don’t know how well it’d hold up under true scrutiny, or if the ID numbers and response codes map to anything if scanned, but just the look of it is convincing and everyday enough that the foreman doesn’t even consider distrusting his eyes. You knew computer systems could be hacked, but until now you never thought a person could work the same way. “Looks good. Sorry to hassle ya, and all—there’s been a lot of employee turnover the last couple of months and I can’t keep track of who’s who. I didn’t even want to be in here on a Sunday, ya know, but I got a call from upstairs to come keep an eye on things. No idea why I gotta be the one stickin’ his goddamned neck out. The fulfillment center basically runs herself, and I ain’t a maintenance man.”“That’s how they do you,” You reply, with an impassive nod. You elect to indulge in his small talk rather than overexplain why you’re here; a valid ID is all you need to be in the warehouse, so you ration going out of your way to push him off would just make you look more suspicious. “They payin’ you a good bonus, at least?”“Good enough,” The foreman sighs. “But not gettin’ fired seems to qualify as a bonus nowadays according to corporate.”“I see you.” You let your gaze drift back up to the packages and drones, then back down to your datapad; keeping the facts and figures out of his sight, you tap to fill some meaningless checkboxes and sign with a fingertip on an imaginary line before addressing the foreman. “We good?”“Yep, looks good.” The foreman grins, handing the priceless tool back to you. “Would it kill ya to smile, though?”“Man,” You shake your head. “You know they can’t stand that.”The foreman chuckles; seemingly placated, he heads back out to the loading zone. You tuck the ID back into your pocket and head into the warehouse, listening carefully for any more outside footsteps over the buzzing of quadcopters overhead.
>>4712751Your informant did you right: for once, you know exactly what you’re looking for going in, and you find it in a remote area of the warehouse after perusing package numbers and shipping dates to narrow things down. You’re not sure why this isn’t being transported securely. Maybe the brains are getting complacent, or maybe they thought the best security was to try and be inconspicuous and conceal the container among countless other similar packages. Truthfully, it would have worked, if the attacker in question didn’t have access to the package’s exact details down to its weight in grams. Concealed between the facility’s shelves, you run your fingers over packaging tape as if an artifact of power lies beneath. Extraction is usually the most difficult part.> The secure container should be the size of a small briefcase. Grab it and try to sneak out unnoticed.> Try to crack the container with intelligent application of brute force and conceal the contents on your person.> Why bother doing the work? Order an object of similar weight sent to your pad by drone, then swap the packages.> Fire your backup strategy: subvert the drones to crash the warehouse, and escape with the bag while others fix the problem.
>>4712756>Try to crack the container with intelligent application of brute force and conceal the contents on your person.
>>4712756> Fire your backup strategy: subvert the drones to crash the warehouse, and escape with the bag while others fix the problem.Smash & grab.
>>4712756>Why bother doing the work? Order an object of similar weight sent to your pad by drone, then swap the packages.
>>4712756> Try to crack the container with intelligent application of brute force and conceal the contents on your person.
>>4712760>>4712808Physically circumventing countermeasures is, for you, yet another delicate act of deception. When you seize the container, you deceive the observer into believing that the tools of destruction are your hands rather than your mind. A pocket knife cuts smoothly through packaging tape, following the seam neatly so as not to leave a conspicuous scar. Padlocks can be subverted trivially with a couple of wrenches salvaged from the maintenance area and a fair amount of elbow grease. Torsional strain breaks the shackle into pieces; never there, you pocket the broken lock body, checking over your shoulder to make sure no foreman comes to investigate the source of the ping of the metal surrendering. A code lock is undone by exposing the electronics and briefly crossing wires that aren’t supposed to be crossed; clever, percussive application of a small magnet forces an internal metal latch to yield. The secure container, laser-etched with Excelsis’s logo, is riddled with redundant security measures that shelter the world from its contents like some latter-day Pandora’s box. One by one, they are broken by your capable hands. You cautiously open the metal container, expecting it to alarm or explode as a last reward for everything you’ve done——but instead, it opens without fanfare of a celebratory or a deleterious variety. Your prize is within: delicate electronics encased in protective foam and sealed in an insulative plastic that protects the contents from electrostatic discharge. Carefully, you extract the device, storing it in your jacket pocket. Beneath lies a sealed envelope, and though you aren’t curious about the particulars now that you’ve got what you came for, you tuck it away in your jacket as well. And beneath this, you spy an icon that makes your eyes widen: that of the Spectres. The protective foam covers nanoelectronic components, wafer-thin material samples of novel plastics and ceramics, and data drives presumably containing their research, their technology. You stuff your jacket pockets with as much as you can carry and move as soon as you hear the foreman’s footsteps rounding the corner without stopping to make small talk or see if he notices what you’ve done.
>>4712884Cutting power to the surveillance system was an obvious play before entering the facility, but it can’t be much longer until backup power kicks on if it hasn’t yet. You make your way back into the front office, moving quickly but quietly. Alex, the warehouse intern, is sleeping soundly. He’s face-down and drooling on his keyboard, empty coffee cup on the desk beside him. The exit is just ahead and down the hall, but your gaze drifts to the snoring kid and his computer.Your eye twitches. This is greed, the emotion that tells you that you and the corporates are running on the same human software. Everyone in the Districts wants more. Everybody wants to be rich.> You got your haul. Get the hell out of here before the foreman catches up.> Loot Excelsis data. Take a few minutes and download anything remotely useful onto a drive.> Take anything of value off Alex’s person: money, company cards, or keys to the warehouse, for example.> Other. (Write-in.)
>>4712895>You got your haul. Get the hell out of here before the foreman catches up.
>>4712902>>4712911> [ Gained: Nanofilament Printhead ]> [ Gained: Spectre Tech x1 ]Industrial haze clouds Freeland’s streets. After the sun descends behind a shroud of gold-trimmed smog, the street lights come on, illuminating the city in eerie hues that wash over you through the fog. The sound of it is an constant industrial hum of distant machinery working, engines revving, and drones passing overhead; horns are seldom blown except for in emergencies and as the sirens of emergency vehicles, as the pace of traffic is set by self-driving transportation rather than by human operators or the occasional passing motorbike. You keep pace by the sound of advertisements and music from billboards and storefronts that glow brighter than the lights and pulse louder than the citywide machine. There’s more surveillance the closer you get to the corporate heart of the District, but that doesn’t mean it’s any safer; even here, you think you’d rather take your chances in an emergency than fuck with Civil Patrol. You imagine the badges would be as likely to stop-and-listen as they would to stop-and-frisk as they would to stop-and-merc-you.That’s—before you take into account the fact that your pockets are fat with priceless stolen corporate and federal technology.Luckily, these streets have something in common with the Excelsis warehouse: you can get around by just looking like you belong. You can bump shoulders with pedestrians passing through the streets, make small talk, chat up vendors and pretend, if just for a moment, that you’ve got something in common. It’s almost comforting, in a vexing sort of way, to be just another worn-down face in the crowd. You’re heading home, though, to Avenue 25, where your strategy will have to change. There, you know best to keep your head down, mind your own business, and never let anyone know what you’ve got. That last bit, you think, is more important than ever right this second. You spend the whole walk out of the corporate sector checking every corner, every alley, every car out of the corner of your eye. That roughneck back at the warehouse probably knows something’s up, but the particulars of what’s missing are most certainly well above his pay grade.This route back to Avenue 25 takes you past where Mama was buried. Your feet need a moment of rest. You stop to observe.
>>4713055The empty lot, formerly the District’s last real graveyard, has been the site of an urban development for many months now. Property values nosedive sharply the further you travel from the heart of the machine, but every day the execs put more and more numbers on the board. For you, this was one of Freeland’s last bastions of spirituality—now, it’s concrete and steel and disrespect. You look upon the sign that stands sentinel in the middle of the set.Future Site of Excelsis Industries Neighborhood Fulfillment Center 25Chairman Augustus Cohen Promises A Better Future Through A United DistrictYou stretch, nervously. You exhale sharply and work your jaw around a little bit. When you first heard about this, it took a while to unpack, and even longer when you first saw it. In the end, there was nothing you could do. You decided, then, that you wanted...> …to become as they are, amass great wealth and power, and live as a king with no master. The best revenge is to live better than them.> ...to oppose the corporate developments, protecting your home and culture in the Avenue 25 slums from the encroaching machine.> ...Augustus Cohen’s head on a pike.
>>4713061>...to oppose the corporate developments, protecting your home and culture in the Avenue 25 slums from the encroaching machine.
> ...to oppose the corporate developments, protecting your home and culture in the Avenue 25 slums from the encroaching machine.
>>4713061> ...Augustus Cohen’s head on a pike.
>>4713071>>4713095The machine is like a parasite. It feeds off people and their culture; it promises unity, but divides them further. You saw it growing and blossoming around you and even had this very lesson taught to you by those that considered you family, but until the day it became personal you never felt the teeth digging into your underbelly and drinking you dry. You imagine others are the same way. They don’t know what they have until it’s gone; they don’t recognize what’s killing them until they’re already dead.You decided to fight, then. The enemy you’re fighting is as much an ideology as a physical presence. You don’t know if what you have in mind is even possible, but if you can stem the tide, hold the line, and just maybe encourage others to do the same—you can preserve what you have on the ‘Ave and keep Excelsis off your door. When nobody else is getting their fuckin’ parents exhumed to make space for a drone hangar, you think, that’ll be a job well done.On the streets you love, you keep your head low. The place you call home is a subterranean hideaway on some forgotten corner of the Ave. As an unfortunate crime of opportunity, you make the inner district your shield: when the development comes, they’ll buy out and demolish the outermost buildings before they get to the one on top of yours. You check first to see if you’ve been followed, then to see if anyone you know is lingering around the ‘Ave. Once your corners are clear, you enter the complex, which is derelict bar the homeless folks making dwellings on the ventilated upper floors, and head downstairs to the steel door that protects your belongings from the overly curious. Cool air washes over you as you cross the threshold into your cramped home, your hive, your secret sanctuary.Immediately, you unload your haul. You dump the contents of a drawer of cannibalized electronics onto the floor to make room for the valuable Spectre tech. The experimental printhead, the piece you risked your neck for, goes onto your desk beside the envelope from the secure container. You toss your jacket onto your chair and grab your tools, prepared to get to work. A quarter of the space in the hive is taken up by the nanofabricator, salvaged from scrap and rebuilt by hand. It’s a dated model—once upon a time you could trust Eastern hardware, but you don’t think Ma-Tsi Global Evolved Systems is still in business—mostly lifted from a building midway through a radical change in corporate ownership, but there’s enough stock and junk parts under the hood to call it a Ship of Theseus situation. Whatever the case, it’s all yours, and once you install the Excelsis printhead, the fucker will be potent enough to outfit an army: to win a war.
>>4713211You’re about to cut into the insulated plastic bag, when you notice something. Your TV is on; as usual there’s some celebrity presenting the daily news in a gaudy outfit that more closely resembles royal ceremonial regalia.You didn’t leave your TV on when you left. Even when you slipped into the cool of your secret sanctuary, you knew something off was on the wind. You smell a rat.You grab a length of rebar from the shelf and whirl around to face the sofa, stomping the plated floor as hard as you can. “QUAY.”The kid gives a girlish squeal, scrambling out from under your futon—if he pissed himself under there, you swear on your Mama’s grave you’re gonna slap his head off—and running, flailing, for the door. You catch him by the back of his shirt with your free hand and throw him to the ground; he smacks his back into your table with a subdued sort of ‘oof’, looking up at you with wide, frightened eyes.“O-ow! Bruh! Antoine! Antoine! Holy crap, I’m sorry! Jesus, don’t kill me!” Quay says, lifting his hands to brace himself from further blows.“What the fuck are you doing in here, Quay?” You exhale like a bull snorting, letting your posture slowly relax before putting your improvised weapon back on the rack. “And how’d you get in?”“Chill out, man. I was hungry, okay?” He replies, and you quirk a brow, spotting the candy bar wrapper left under your bed. He continues. “And I told you last time, I fit through the vents!”You make a note to turn the heat all the way up next time. Folding your arms, you leer back down at the kid. “You ain’t got food at home?”“Nope,” Quay frowns. He dusts himself off, struggling to his feet. “And Mom’s back on the bottle.”You roll your eyes. Kid’s probably makin’ shit up.> [ inventory ]> cash: $500> scrap: 100> circuits: 20> nanofilaments: 10> spectre technology: 1You...> Give Quay some noodles. (-$5)> Tell Quay to kick rocks.
>>4713216>Give Quay some noodles. (-$5)Having someone who can fit through vents is good.
>>4713223Maybe a little sympathy will get him out of your hair.You’re lying to yourself, but at least you’ll be able to shake a favor out of him later. Having help that can squeeze into small places will probably come in handy before so long.With a sigh, you go to work, boiling some water in an electric kettle and filling a cup of instant noodles for the kid, who’s since gathered himself up and relocated to your couch. If he’s telling a lie, he’s definitely selling the act; as soon as you present the noodles, the kid snaps up the disposable chopsticks and goes for ‘em like he’s starving, delayed promptly by burning his tongue. Quay blows steam off the cup, demonstrating poor patience in waiting for the contents to cool while you get back to work on the nanofabricator. You take a seat in your chair—one of those rolling office chairs, also looted from a building left temporarily unoccupied during a transfer of power—and roll over to the nanofab, reaching up and bringing the objective down to eye level. Using a small hand drill with a screwdriver attachment, you begin removing the secure screws that keep the plating sealed. Quay leans over to investigate your work, or just bother you, now that the sound of your tools is interrupting his sucking up a news broadcast that he probably isn’t old enough to understand the implications of.“Oh, uh, Antoine!” Quay says. “Obi was here earlier. I guess he was lookin’ for you.”“For real?” You ask. You haven’t heard that name in a while, but it spells trouble: a childhood friend you grew apart from. He went military, came back with a chip on his shoulder, and then went corporate security; now, he’s a gang enforcer. “He ain’t still around the ‘Ave, is he?”“Nawh.” Quay replies, between slurping noodles. “He left some kinda box, though. I brought it inside for ya.”“You opened my fuckin’ door?” You leer. “Never open my fuckin’ door while I’m not here, or I’ll twist your head off, Quay. Never let anybody know what I have—”“Okay, alright!” Quay huffs, lifting his hands defensively. “I get it!”“—and for that matter, never let anybody know what you have.” You sigh, looking back up at the hanging objective. You swing it out to see the other side, loosen another screw, then catch it as it falls. “Where’s the box?”“I put it under your bed,” Quay says.“Mmn.” You nod. “I know Obi’s got a lot of friends on the ‘Ave, but you gotta remember he’s not always bringing good news. He and I have history, and now he’s running with the Quarters.”
>>4713343“Didn’t you used to be one of them?” The kid asks, tottering over to marvel at the nanofab. “Why do they call themselves the Quarters, anyway?”“I used to. Lowkey made ‘em what they are today, but that ain’t me anymore. I was a kid then. I’m not about bangin’ with gangs now. I got bigger shit to do, but don’t get it twisted: those fuckers run the streets.” You set down your drill and go back for a wrench, pausing when your gaze settles between the nanofab and your toolkit to look Quay in the eyes. “And they’re called the Quarters because they’re from the 25 and because they’ll break you in four pieces if you fuck with ‘em. So don’t fuck with ‘em.”“Okay.” Quay says, putting his hand on the worn-out logo on the nanofabricator’s baseplate. “Are you still working on this thing?”“I have been for years, and I’m almost done. You ask too many questions,” You reply. “This ‘thing’ is my entire fuckin’ life, kid. So get your candy bar fingers off of it.”“You built this thing yourself? Geez. Man, I wish I was smart.” Quay grumbles. “Antoine, you’re like a super-genius. You know that, right? How’d you learn to do all this tech stuff if you didn’t go to school?”“Long story, Quay. I’ll tell you some other day,” You say, sighing. The wrench makes a satisfying noise; once you loosen all the bolts on the upper plating of the objective, all you’ll have left to do is install the experimental printhead.“You went to a secret club thing, right? That’s where you learned how to do all this stuff?” Quay asks. “Is that why they call you a ‘phreak’?”“Only dudes that want us behind bars call us that, Quay.” You frown, pausing from your work to look flatly over at him.“Obi calls you that,” Quay replies, smirking. “And the Quarters guys. And Luna too. And my Mom.”“Fuck off, Quay.” You sigh, shaking your head. You loosen the last bolt, carefully reaching up to remove the plating and the shielding from the objective; you gently set the heavy metal parts down on the stage beneath, then swivel around to grab the experimental printhead from your desk. With a small hand screwdriver in hand, and a pair of magnifying glasses donned, you go to work. Affixing the head, while nerve-wracking, is the quickest part of the process. You have it done in a flash, with another moment spent making sure the screws are properly tight and the device well-aligned before you begin replacing the shielding and plating on the fixture.“You said ‘us’.” Quay says, pushing right through your disapproval. You’re starting to get sick of kids and their curiosity. “How many Phreaks are there?”
>>4713344“I’ll tell you that later too,” You reply. With a grunt, you push the heavy plating back into place, giving the bolt a twist with your hand to secure it before bringing the wrench back up to fix it in place. You plug the dusty nanofabricator into the wall outlet and flip the power switch, then throw the lever to turn it on. The device rattles and groans as some ancient engine stirs. The lights in the hive flicker on and off; presumably, the micro-surge radiates across all of the 25 before the grid stabilizes to accommodate the machine’s massive power-drain. On your workdesk, your computer screen blinks to life, recognizing the hardware. Modeling, blueprinting, and drafting software suites install themselves automatically; the modern software will accommodate for the slightly dated hardware, and with the experimental printhead affixed, there’s little you won’t be able to accomplish.It fucking works. Your hands are shaking. It took you years to get here. It works; it’s done.“Geez,” Quay says, admiring the machine and its gentle humming. “What are you gonna do with it?”You don’t know. You’ve built a machine to fight the machine; your first moves have to be decisive. The thought occurs to strap up: to arm yourself in case you need to protect yourself and what belongs to you. Then, there’s the District. Most of the families living here, without even mentioning the homeless, are too poor to afford computers or datapads. The experimental nanofabricator has fine enough resolution to build cutting-edge circuitboards with enough filaments and materials. Running off a few low-end tablets would be trivial, and it’d afford a population deprived of communication access to the Internet. They could seek and share opportunities, organize, and begin to rise up—and it’d be easier for you to exploit them, if you needed to. And then, there’s the Spectre tech. You need to learn more: to make more. You could put the kid to bed and get to work on another project; outside of the nanofabricator, there’s still a lot on your plate.> Print low-end datapads for Quay and the families on Avenue 25. [ -70 Scrap, -7 Circuits, -3 Nanofilaments ]> Browse some open-source weapon blueprints. [ Material Cost Variable ]> Send Quay home and get started on projects. You can queue the nanofab to run while you sleep anyway.> Other. (Write-in.)
>>4713346>Browse some open-source weapon blueprints. [ Material Cost Variable ]
>>4713362You swivel to face your computer screen and begin browsing: patterns and blueprints cascade across your monitors. Three-dimensional models of everything you can imagine from handguns to telescopic batons to shockprods to crossbows—some sourced from industrial designs, others homemade—are visible to view and customize. But the nanofabricator can model and print these, too, fully functional. There’s a difference between this and the weapons held by the badges, though: these are off the grid. They aren’t part of the system; they’re coming from your machine rather than the machine. Unserialized firearms are like gold to the unscrupulous. If you wanted to, you could sell at a premium and spend the overhead on more materials. You could run a brilliant racket if you could find a way to prevent it from being traced back to you. You suppose that’s the problem: right now, there isn’t a thing you can do if the roughnecks kick down your door.“I’m thinking about strapping up,” You reply.“You really worked on this for years just so you could make a gun?” Quay asks.You stare blankly at the screen, blue light washing over your face as you click absentmindedly through patterns. Weapons put power in the hands of individuals, but when the economics of defense technology and the regulations of weapon ownership are tightly controlled by powerful corporations, the defense of one’s own rights becomes a privilege. Badges and society’s elite become empowered by the law to deprive others of their own rights; thus, social inequality is perpetuated, and the corporate line marches closer to domination. With the click of a button and a handful of scraps, you can create a self-defense tool, upending the District’s entire power structure.“I can make anything I want,” You reply. “Having the tools to protect my own self-interest just makes sense as a first move.”
>>4713450The ZBI Stinger is the foremost pattern that appeals. The simple tool consists of a retractable length of polycarbonate-coated steel cable attached to a tactical grip; a glass-breaking tip affixed to the bottom of the handle affords utility as well as deniability. Comments on the weapon note it inflicts significantly more pain than a baton with similar reach, and is a measure more durable and hard to disarm while requiring almost no practical skill to use. The weapon would likely maintain its utility if forced to engage multiple targets, but would be practically useless against an armored enemy. Regardless, there’s something that feels uncomfortably poetic about the idea of showing those that disobey you the sting of the lash.The Onuris PDW is a popular choice among ghost gun aficionados and conspiracy theorists, groups that you aren’t surprised to find have significant overlap as you explore comments on the most downloaded and shared designs. This 9mm handgun design and its derivatives are well known; consumer-grade 3D printers are capable of running off most of the parts, including the magazine, though most who’ve assembled the gun have used cannibalized or purchased firearm components to replace those in the design that absorb significant stress and heat or are excessively complex. Your nanofabricator could assemble more durable duplicates out of these complex parts, building a functional firearm out of polycarbonates and nanoceramics; thus, the complaints about weapons melting after a few magazines wouldn’t apply to yours.Finally, you could just assemble an aftermarket Excelsis or Mars heavy pistol design. You’d need some practice with recoil control, and carrying a weapon like this one invites a certain attitude—but where handguns are concerned you can’t get much bigger than this with regard to stopping power.> Print a ZBI Stinger. [ -50 Scrap, -1 Nanofilament ]> Print an Onuris PDW. [ -50 Scrap, -2 Nanofilaments ]> Print a heavy pistol. [ -65 Scrap, -5 Circuits, -3 Nanofilaments ]> You’re setting a bad example for the kid. Get back to your projects.
>>4713451>Print an Onuris PDW
>>4713451>Print an Onuris PDW. [ -50 Scrap, -2 Nanofilaments ]Can we also print ammo though?
>>4713459>>4713490You go through several designs before you find a model of appropriate size and sane design, and immediately set the nanofabricator to work. It’s faster than you expect. You can’t imagine how quickly it could run off circuit boards and complex electronics, but the process of manufacturing the comparatively simple mechanics of a firearm proceeds quickly. You settle on a derivative called the Prometheus PDW01—a versatile model amenable to attachments—and watch your life’s work unfold before you. The objective is an artist’s hand, painting the object of your desire a molecular wafer at a time. The old machinery grinds and creaks as its angle adjusts, but the experimental printhead is a sight to behold. A three-dimensional image takes form on the fabricator’s stage; now yours is the power of creation. Before long, the item before you will be more than suitable for your protection.Quay watches in silent admiration.“I told you,” You say. “Anything I want.”There is a small problem: ammunition. Unless the Spectres had a device you’re unaware of that can transmute base elements, this thing isn’t creating any gunpowder anytime soon. You can dream up and print your own bullets to meet any exotic specification you might have in mind—regardless of caliber and material—but without the missing element you won’t be firing any. On the market, bullets aren’t as hard to come by as proper firearms if you’ve got the right connections; likewise, gunpowder isn’t too terribly difficult to make yourself. You dig around in your drawers, though; sure enough, there’s enough loose 9mm rounds lying around the hive from your days in the Quarters to load a mag once all's said and done.You’ve already got some simple solutions to this problem in your head for when you’ve got more resources to spare: airguns and railguns. For now, you need to protect what you've got: soon, you'll start dreaming big.> [ inventory ]> cash: $495> scrap: 50> circuits: 20> nanofilaments: 8> spectre technology: 1Your weapon will be complete in mere minutes.You...> Order gunpowder ingredients. [ -$100 ]> Ask Quay if he can work on getting you things like ammunition or scrap materials. You could offer food and shelter in exchange for extra hands.> Investigate the letter from the secure container, or the box Obi left at your door.> Send the kid home. Your head is full of Spectres and Phreaks; you’ve got research to do and contacts to keep pace with.> Other. (Write-in.)
>>4713524>gunpowder isn’t too terribly difficult to make yourselfI hope we aren't going to be using blackpowder in this gun.> Send the kid home. Your head is full of Spectres and Phreaks; you’ve got research to do and contacts to keep pace with.> Investigate the letter from the secure container, or the box Obi left at your door.
>>4713524>Investigate the letter from the secure container, or the box Obi left at your door.
>>4713524> Investigate the letter from the secure container, or the box Obi left at your door.
>>4713527>I hope we aren't going to be using blackpowder in this gun.I guess I should have clarified. Assume that if it comes down to it our boy has the know-how to formulate one of the myriad modern functional alternatives that won't turn our fake-future-plastic-and-not!carbon-fiber gun into a handheld explosive. We haven't dug into the meat of why just yet, but he's pretty smart about all things materials and engineering.
Also I'm sleepin', update later.
>>4713529>>4713528>>4713527There’s a note inside the sealed envelope, penned in the crabby hand of an old man. You read while Quay watches the nanofabricator work.i promise you i have given all of the information i have about my daughter cassandra. she swore she was a social worker and whenever she visited home she did not stay long. enclosed in the provided container with this letter is the tool you have described, as well as anything similar that remained among her belongings left behind from her sparse visits here; she seemed to cultivate an interest in tinkering and was always experimenting with technology. hopefully this helps you discern the necessary information regarding her and her whereabouts.please honor your end of the bargain. if you find any such information, send someone to contact me or return a letter to the enclosed address. i worry i may not have much time left on this earth, but if there is any chance i can know who she really is, if she’s still out there, i will gladly take it.You squint. Your heart skips a beat. You know a Cassandra. At first you simply assume this must be a different one—but the technology enclosed with this letter confirms a link.When the Spectres were dismissed from active service and pulled out of foreign countries, you would have imagined they’d have been treated better than average soldiers. It’d have made too much sense to tie off the loose end somehow. The optimist in you says if you were in charge you’d have made sure that they were set for life, happy and healthy, so as not to cause problems later; the pessimist says you’d have made sure every last one of them was killed off, assuming you could even kill them. You’ve got a feeling that’s what the powers that be are trying to do now. Regardless: they weren’t treated better, they were treated the same or worse. Some of them ended up going mercenary or joining the badges. Your tinfoil hat tells you that some of them are probably out there as sleeper agents or federal spies implanted in society or the corporations. And some of them ended up in menial jobs, or for-fuck’s-sake homeless. You’ve done a little research on the declassified documents and leaks. These guys were hyper-lethal infiltration specialists with access to incredible experimental defense technology, trained to see the world differently.Can you imagine that? For-fuck’s-sake military superheroes, homeless on the district streets, probably fucked up on all kinds of mental trauma? No wonder Freeland feels like it’s on the razor’s edge sometimes.
>>4714298You were young then. The corporate development lines were marching forward, and society’s elite rapidly gaining higher stakes further from the heart of Freeland. They wanted the destitute off their streets and couldn’t stand to see people that looked like you. The issue of homeless adults was handled elegantly enough: efforts to relocate them outside of District lines saw Civil Patrol officers sweeping the streets and alleys or pushing through the sewers behind an advancing cloud of tear gas. Children, though, could be re-educated or indoctrinated. Organizations resembling glorified after-school programs were formed in an effort to stem the tide of future gangbangers by squeezing kids into molds that better matched new societal norms. The orgs afforded the privilege of learning about useful things: accounting, leadership, history and art.You and a bunch of other kids your age were put into a program about technology: engineering, computers, research, and all that kind of thing. You didn’t know it at the time, but your mentor, Cassandra Cross, was an ex-Spectre combat engineer. A lot of what happened in that class is a blur; your memory is spotty, maybe because you were so young. But now you can build a nanofabricator out of scrap and you can tell just from looking at anything assembled by human hands what the weakest part of it is. Quay’s right. That ain’t normal. Maybe that’s why they call you the Phreaks.You sigh, setting the letter down. The secure container was Excelsis, no doubt about that, but since you destroyed and left it behind you don’t have any proof of what they’re doing—not that it’d matter much—and you don’t know who it was addressed to or at what facility. If you had to guess, maybe the company is extorting an old man with a link to the Spectres for any intel they can scrape up on their personnel, research, and experimentals. You can’t imagine what Spectre tech could do in corporate hands. Hopefully your informant has access to the missing information; if not, you’ve got this old man’s address, and failing that there’s only so many Excelsis sites in the city.> [ 1 ]> Let Quay stay with you if he wants. Better the hive than gangbangers and deadbeat parents.> Quay’s a good kid, but he’s already seen too much. You’re gonna need to get him out of here before you handle anything real sensitive.> [ 2 ]> Fuck, this is a lot to take in. Move on to the box Obi brought you; maybe it’s good news.> See if you can get back in touch with your informant.> Do a quick head count on the Phreaks. If there’s others with your skill out there you need to know who’s friend and foe.> Other. (Write-in.)
>>4714301>Quay’s a good kid, but he’s already seen too much. You’re gonna need to get him out of here before you handle anything real sensitive.Do a quick head count on the Phreaks. If there’s others with your skill out there you need to know who’s friend and foe.
>>4714304“Aight, kid. Show’s over,” You say, swiveling around and giving Quay a shove as soon as he’s done slurping up the last of his noodles. “You ain’t gotta go home, but you gotta get the hell out of here.”“Awh, bruh. Why? I don’t wanna go—” Quay whines. “What if my mom starts actin’ crazy again? Or if the Quarters come back, huh?”“If your mom starts actin’ crazy, go stay at Luna’s place. If y’all get to scrappin’, she’ll probably be better to have around than me anyway. And if the Quarters roll back up onto the 25, call Civil Patrol, and make sure both you and your mom ain’t on the block when they show up.” You reply, looking solemnly at him before turning back to the nanofab. The objective whirrs slowly to a delicate stop, and you cautiously reach out to the stage to inspect the finished product. “If they show up at all.”“Fine,” The kid huffs. “Can I come over tomorrow, Antoine?”“If I’m home. Knock,” You say. You’re familiarizing yourself with the Prometheus; you load the printed magazine and turn the black polymer semiautomatic over in your hand before pointedly racking back the slide. The weapon fits perfectly into your hand; it was made for you. “Don’t ever come in my place through a fuckin’ vent again.”The complaining goblin gets the message, and is prompt to remove himself from the premises once you show him, probably mistakenly, how to operate your door locks from inside. You turn the television off; now that it’s quiet, you crash back down in your seat and swivel back to face your computer, wondering if this is what it’d have been like to have a little brother. Quay’s a good kid, but you prefer the quiet to the alternative—and as long as you’re trying to make sure that folks don’t know what you have, it’s important that you keep others out of the mix unless you know you can trust them or that they can’t afford to sell you out.
>>4714841The Phreaks come out at night. Back on the Net, well after sunset, you start creeping. You unearth and overturn news articles, public records and listings, and just about anything you can find to get information on your childhood colleagues. There were nineteen other kids in that class with you. The executives and feds that came up with the idea for the orgs thought they could manually stimulate a disappearing middle class back into existence, elevating a few lucky kids from among the undesirables out of the system of the few haves and the numberless have-nots. Instead, most of them lapsed back into crime as soon as they were back on the streets, using their stunted talents to expand their spheres of influence. When you ran with the Quarters, you were too young to really know what you were doing, but you knew how drones operated. The gang’s soldiers would steal, trap, or neutralize corporate fulfillment drones and bring them to you to retrofit. The ID tags on the repurposed carriers allowed them to evade the normal systems in place to intercept illicit UAVs. You made the gang famous by giving them the power to run drugs with the city’s own infrastructure.You grew up, got paid, and got out. But a lot of folks like you didn’t, and a lot of them got caught. Just like the Spectres, you’re the next set of mistakes the badges are trying to bury. You’ve found they don’t monitor you as closely as you’d expect; otherwise, this setup you’ve got would be impossible. But a lot of those nineteen other kids are toast. You brush through notes and check off a list. Two are confirmed dead and nine are behind bars. Four of them are totally off the grid; they’re completely MIA. That leaves you and six others; you know enough about ‘em to know they’re masters like you. The cream of the crop rises to the top. One of those six, for example, is your informant: they call themselves the Worm, a sys-ops and communications specialist that’s as skilled on the Net as you are with your hands buried in the innards of a nanofab. They’re a hassle, but you’ve got a good business partnership as things stand. There’s a problem, aside: if you want them to lead you to more info about Cassandra, you’re probably going to need to give more.> [ 1 ]The Phreaks call you…> The Stingray> The Demiurge> The Protean> Other (Write-in.)> [ 2 ]> Time for some real hardware. Investigate Spectre technology.> Investigate the box Obi left behind.> Catalogue the other five Phreaks. You know where you and the Worm stand—maybe this is the start of a team-up against the corps?> Get back behind the console and see if you can nanofabricate more useful tools with your resources.
>>4714843>The StingrayInvestigate the box Obi left behind.
>>4714843> The Stingray> Investigate the box Obi left behind
>>4714866>>4714867>>4714870>>4714874The number one Phreak of the Week: Antoine, the Stingray. You came up out of the inner District, but you’re more at home elbow-deep in machinery than you are on the streets, and you’d wager your talents along a number of engineering-related avenues are practically unmatched thanks to your unorthodox education. You leave the nanofab to cool and set the Prometheus handgun on your desk, heading over to retrieve Obi’s box from under your bed. It’s got a bit of heft to it, and when you lift it you can hear the familiar sound of metal stock parts rattling around inside.You slice the packaging tape and pull back the flaps. There’s a touch of red inside, when the light hits it.The first thing you see when you open the box all the way is a fresh, severed human hand—complexion not unlike yours—nested in greasy, bloody paper. The appendage twitches, suddenly, like it’s still alive. Like it could jump out and grab you—You…> Freaked out a little, dropping the box in shock. This is easily the worst gift you've ever gotten.> Kept your cool, frowning flatly at the display. Obi thinks you’re afraid of a little blood?> Threw the box across the room and away from you and the fab; this could have been a bomb, for all you know.
>>4714885> Kept your cool, frowning flatly at the display. Obi thinks you’re afraid of a little blood?Anywhere else this might be freaky, but in a cyberpunk setting we just call a bloody hand in a box 'MONDAY'
>>4714885> Kept your cool, frowning flatly at the display. Obi thinks you’re afraid of a little blood?
>>4714885>Freaked out a little, dropping the box in shock. This is easily the worst gift you've ever gotten.
>>4714888>>4714887Yeah, this isn’t even the worst thing you’ve seen this week.You frown. Your consternation doesn’t come from fear, but from the fact that you’re almost certainly being threatened and you absolutely don’t have time for it. That’s your foremost thought, at least, as you ponder the severed hand; your next is to hope that whoever they got this from was a lefty.The hand twitches in the box, dead fingers curling and shifting as though it’s possessed by a decedent owner, but when you tilt your head a certain way you can see how flickering lights conceal a motionless reality; when you close your eyes, you can hear the breathing of a microprocessor embedded in the cold flesh burning itself out to sustain the complex holographic image.The number two Phreak of the Week: Denzel, the Pattern. Your memories of the org are pretty spotty, but you remember the first conversation you had with this guy. You were both kids, and he bragged about killing his sister’s pet guinea pig. Apparently, the experience gave him an eye for detail: you’ve heard the things he can do with hologram projectors and optics might even give the Spectres some new ideas if they were still around. The applications of a talent like his in the criminal industry are many and evident; you learned today from deceiving the warehouse foreman that if a digital signal can hack a computer system, a visual signal can hack a human mind.Maybe you’ve got ICE in your veins. Or maybe you’re just not afraid of a Halloween prop. Whether or not the Pattern’s skillset is tailored to crime, it’s a mystery to you why he chooses to use it to run a gang; hustling, you wager, is all he knows. Being one of the leaders of the Freeland District Quarters must be pretty cushy. But there ain’t a hologram out there, that you know of, what can watch you while you sleep.> Extract and investigate the bloody paper; seems like a message.> The bottom of the box is full of scrap; see if there’s anything useful.> Try to harvest the microprocessor out of the human hand.> Get your hands washed and burn this stuff before you get left holding the bag.
>>4714898>Extract and investigate the bloody paper; seems like a message.What do they listen to in the future?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YldAQNY8Jdc
>>4714906'Stingray is back on. Corps have new drone tech: new ID-tagging and improved IFF. Needs reversing. We need birds in the sky again. Set us up with a hardware solution just like you used to. Bring them by the warehouse on Concord this week if you don’t want to hear from the boys. --P'If the first rule is ‘never let anyone know what you’ve got’, maybe the second should be ‘never let anyone know what you can do’. You were young when you set the Quarters up, but you got out. You zeroed out the debts and tied up the loose ends, but they’re trying to pull you back in. The Pattern knows what you’re capable of. New corporate security solutions have shut down his racket, and his crew can’t beat them, but he knows you can. Theatrics aside, you’re guessing the severed hand is supposed to mean that he’s not taking no for an answer. You’re from the same streets; why are they tripping you up? At the end of the day, some folks will do anything to get ahead.You empty the contents of the box, then carefully place the greasy paper and the severed hand back inside. As the broken birds clatter onto your floor, you realize that you’ve started to look at the hardware, broken or not, like raw materials. What the Pattern doesn’t know is that you don’t have to do this task by hand anymore. You don’t want to do it at all, because you’ve got a feeling as soon as you’re done he’s going to ask for more. But you could just draft up a solution to the problem and print it into reality; he thinks he’ll have you working hard, but the hard work is already over. You could solve Denzel’s little problem overnight and have him out of your hair for a week. You could cut corners in the design and keep the extra materials for yourself, or implement hidden trackers or faults that’d allow you to keep tabs on the Quarters’ operation or shut it all down if you wanted to.Maybe you’re the one with the power here.> [ Gained: Mangled Delivery Drone x4 (+480 Scrap, +8 Circuits) ]> [ 1 ]You decide to…> Start looking at drone designs for the Quarters when you get a chance. Worst case scenario, you can reconnect with Obi and make some new friends.> Save the Quarters issue for another day. You don’t take kindly to being threatened; maybe there’s a better way to solve this.> [ 2 ]You...> Investigate the Spectre technology. You need to know what you’re really capable of if you’re at risk of getting into a bind.> Get back behind the console and think of some more useful tools to nanofabricate with your resources.> Try to get back in touch with your informant, the Worm. You’ve got questions that need answers, and your plate doesn’t have quite enough bullshit on it yet.> Other (Write-in.)
>>4714936>Save the Quarters issue for another day. You don’t take kindly to being threatened; maybe there’s a better way to solve this.Investigate the Spectre technology. You need to know what you’re really capable of if you’re at risk of getting into a bind.
>>4714936> Save the Quarters issue for another day. You don’t take kindly to being threatened; maybe there’s a better way to solve this.Are they really better than the corps? Are they?> Investigate the Spectre technology. You need to know what you’re really capable of if you’re at risk of getting into a bind.
>>4714936>Save the Quarters issue for another day. You don’t take kindly to being threatened; maybe there’s a better way to solve this.>Investigate the Spectre technology. You need to know what you’re really capable of if you’re at risk of getting into a bind.
>>4714943>>4714962>>4715671Maybe it’s true: that if education doesn’t set you free, the oppressed will become the oppressors. You know people in the Quarters. They ain’t all good guys, but you’re not the best guy either, and these guys grew up in the same place and bleed the same blood as you. But maybe they’ve grown complacent to what the execs do, or they haven’t been hurt bad enough personally enough to want to try and stand up for something bigger than themselves. If the Pattern is an artist, he’ll understand that protecting your home and your culture means painting a new picture; the unfortunate fact is that not everyone on the block might fit into that picture. When the time comes, you’ll either have to make the gang change how they do things, or shut them down. It doesn’t matter what they look like; anyone who wants to spread chaos and cause panic on the 25 is no better than the corporations.You take a deep breath and a few minutes to clear your head. You aggregate the drone scrap with the rest of your things, moving next to the miscellaneous experimental tech you scored from the warehouse.Spectres were trained to see the world differently. Their tools were the fruits of government research, tailored to suit individual purposes; not designed to be reproduced or reversed engineered, the things they used in their missions were unparalleled in effectiveness regardless of whether the operation called for an infiltrator or a juggernaut. The name suits, then: Spectres were as much ghosts as they were monsters. As you look upon the experimental stock parts, you imagine levels of efficiency unlike anything you've ever worked with. The ID card you utilized this morning stacked advanced circuitry and holographic cells into a package so thin it was almost translucent. You can begin to imagine how their weaponry worked, and picture the tools they used to dominate battlefields and infiltrate foreign regimes and domestic terrorist groups.> [ By researching Spectre technology, you can push the boundaries of what is possible with nanofabrication. Spectre equipment was of the highest quality, often violating conventional theories of engineering. ]> [ Destructively analyze Spectre equipment or Spectre technology for research credits. Spectre research data may also exist elsewhere. ]> [ Use Spectre technology at the nanofabricator to create powerful equipment and tools. ]You're interested in…> Infiltration and concealment. It's what you can infer the most about already. You already have useful ideas involving hologram tech based on the card.> Utility and power technology. This will be an obvious step to making your operation and anything that comes of it more portable.> Weaponry and combat enhancement. Spectres fought in urban battlefields and moved through them in unconventional manners. You can only hope to match their predatory efficiency.> Other (Write-in?)
>>4715804>Use Spectre technology at the nanofabricator to create powerful equipment and tools.Utility and power technology. This will be an obvious step to making your operation and anything that comes of it more portable.
>>4715804>[By researching Spectre technology, you can push the boundaries of what is possible with nanofabrication. Spectre equipment was of the highest quality, often violating conventional theories of engineering.]> Utility and power technology. This will be an obvious step to making your operation and anything that comes of it more portable.
>>4715804> [ tools and weapons ]> “Prometheus” PDW-01: A novel 3D printed 9mm handgun, composed primarily of nanoceramic and polycarbonate components.> SPECTRE “Loki” Identity Adaptive System: Electromagnetic card with a holographic surface that gathers contextual data from the environment, adjusting image to falsify valid and semi-functional credentials for the user in any corporate setting.> [ resources ]> cash: $495> scrap: 530> circuits: 28> nanofilaments: 8> spectre technology: 1> spectre research credits: 0
>>4715916>>4715961You regard your work with calm. The nanofabricator has turned your hive into a home. The Spectre tech calls to you, and you consider the ways in which you could make it useful.Most incredible is the way you can make existing technologies, as well as those that are more theoretical than practical, much more compact than current standards allow. With magnetics, you could synthesize permanent or electromagnets that generate disproportionately strong fields for their size or the amount of electric current passing through them. You could create small electric generators that are orders of magnitude—hundreds or thousands of times—more efficient than commercial or industrial models, or contain the strength of these existing models in man-portable frames. Magnetism has uses for more than just power technology, too; furthering your understanding would open the possibility of ‘impossible’ experimental rail weapons and other electromagnetic tools. If you could carry a device that projected a sufficiently strong magnetic field normal to Earth’s own, for example, you could survive freefalls from incredible heights.The designer materials that the Spectres utilized for their tools seem, at times, to be specialized on a molecular level. There’s potential in these: you project that’s a very literal analysis. Theory supports the creation of fuel cells with abnormal capacity, much more potent than those used in modern cybernetics and the exoframes often utilized by construction and rescue workers. The Spectres may have used cells like these to power their technology in the field. You could keep things like your phone charged indefinitely, or take the nanofab or your computer off the grid for days to weeks at a time. Handheld voltaic weaponry, though strictly theoretical, could be devastating to both personnel and electronics; varying voltage and current could allow you to alter the lethality of such a tool. Materials could even store energy within themselves: advances in self-healing polymers catalyzed by light or mechanical energy could change the way body armor and drones are used in warfare. The benefits are self-evident.Your last idea is a bit of a stretch: combining experimental tech with existing advances in alternative fuels. If you could scale down a nuclear reactor in the same way your theories suggest you can scale down other power technologies, a literal grain of fissile material could literally supercharge your operation. And a fusion reactor—would something like this even be possible, and would it be safe? Black market activity of all types has proliferated through Freeland in recent years, but you don’t even know where to begin with this. Could it be weaponized effectively on the infantry level? It’s too risky, and likely to prove fruitless, but curiosity almost makes you want to jaunt into the unknown.
>>4716078Research would require destructive analysis of either the Loki or the miscellaneous Spectre tech you have; if you destroyed the latter, you wouldn’t be able to use it to actually create a device. You need to seek out more, but for now, you choose to—> Research Basic Spectre Magnetics.> Research Material Potential.> Research Alternative Energy Sources.> Look into something else for now. You need to get your hands on more tech before you can make use of this.
>>4716080>Research Material Potential.
>>4716080>Research Alternative Energy Sources.
>>4715804> Research Alternative Energy Sources.Sooner or later someone will notice the power drain of our fabricator, and come knocking.I als owonder why the inventors of all tthese incredible technologies aren't doing anything with them.
>>4716375Company politics? Profits over progress?
>>4716399You'd think whoever puts this tech on the market would instantly corner it and reap megaprofits.
>>4716356>>4716375Writing.[ 1 ]> Dismantle the Loki IAS for the necessary research credit. It was a handy trick, but you don't plan on using it again.> Dismantle 1 Spectre Technology for the necessary research credit. It'll probably take more than this to build something of value anyway.
>>4716419> Dismantle 1 Spectre Technology for the necessary research credit. It'll probably take more than this to build something of value anyway.The card seems like the kind of thing we could use or sell later.
>>4716419> Dismantle 1 Spectre Technology for the necessary research credit. It'll probably take more than this to build something of value anyway.
>>4716451>>4716467> [ Research Complete: Alternative Energy Sources ]You’re smart. You might be too smart. But you can’t possibly be the only person in the world that sees that the seeds of progress exist in the wild. What’s stopping them from blossoming? The necessary resources may have been scarce, and the research was certainly occult—hidden away in government blacksites, with the results distributed among members of a team that no one knew existed until it imploded. You know this kind of progress wouldn’t have made things better for you or the ‘Ave. If advances in technology could erase inequality, inequality would already be gone. But greed still exists. Why didn’t the feds continue to use the technology for personal benefit? Why didn’t Excelsis or some other megacorp find out about it sooner and use it to dominate the markets? Why wasn’t there a single whistleblower among the brains behind the Spectres?Sweating at your workbench over dismantled tech, you lean back and sigh. You have a feeling that if you continue down this road, your questions are going to be answered whether you like it or not.> [ Developed Theory: Miniature Exoreactor — Spectre nanotechnology synthesizes novel thermogalvanic polymer, using heat absorbed from shielded mini-reactor to produce usable energy. This household solution could support a Spectre’s hideout in foreign urban territory, allowing the use of power-hungry communications and surveillance technology without a noticeable footprint on the local power grid. Energy-efficient, with minimal risk of radiation exposure, but requires fissile material. ]Switching the Hive over to nuclear power is now a possibility, and you’ve got some more great ideas in the pipeline that piggyback off the same technology. Unfortunately , you’ll need to dissect some more of their technology to get it working. There’s a weird feeling in your chest when you think of your mentor, and when you think of the power you could soon hold that feeling gets weirder rather than going away. Cassandra Cross’s father is presumably still alive: that’s your most obvious lead. If you can beat Excelsis to what she left behind, you can keep the tech out of corporate hands and in yours. Maybe she’s still out there somewhere too.
>>4716487> [ Developed Theory: (Research) Plasma Propulsion — Miniaturized version of technology formerly used to lift satellites into orbit, as well as in some decommissioned VTOL aircraft. Simulations support the viability of handheld rocket-propelled projectile weapons, as well as personal jump jets. Incredible feats of maneuverability and destructive power become possible, consuming less than a gram of nuclear fuel at a time. ]> [ Developed Theory: (Research) Nuclear Pumped Lasers — Mathematic outcomes suggest the possibility of man-portable lasers powered by energy from fission fragments. If it proves plausible, this technology could be harnessed in the form of laser-cutters and directed energy weapons functional over medium ranges. The nanofabricator could be augmented with laser cutting power. ]> [ Developed Theory: (Research) Advanced Alternative Energy Sources — If nuclear fusion were easy to do, either the Spectres would have implemented it, or the corporations would have figured it out. If they can’t do it, maybe you can. ]You flick your modeling, simulations, and blueprinting suites off to your auxiliary monitor for a moment. It’s hard to stop moving.You...> Contact your informant, the Worm. They could lead you to more Spectre technology, or nuclear fuel.> Get back behind the console and think of some more useful tools to nanofabricate with your resources.> There’s an actual severed hand in a box on your table. Clean your place up and catch a meal. [ -$5 ]> Other. (Write-in.)
>>4716488>There’s an actual severed hand in a box on your table. Clean your place up and catch a meal.Cool off before the real heat comes.
>>4716488>There’s an actual severed hand in a box on your table. Clean your place up and catch a meal. [ -$5 ]
>>4716490>>4716505A quick and surreptitious trip outside is an opportunity to torch the box and severed hand. You don’t pity whoever had Freeland District Quarters-style street surgery done, but you’re glad it isn’t you, and you’re glad they gave you a week of advance warning before you get yours. Plenty of time to think about how you’re going to deal with the issue. You might even have to go pay Obi a visit, or take things Phreak-to-Phreak and slap up the Pattern directly. You think it over while you catch a quick shower, ruminating on future plans while lukewarm water runs down your back. Once you’re dry, you’re done overthinking; you heat up some more noodles for yourself and crash on the couch. Clearing your head, you turn the news back on and drift off to the sound of some sycophant extoling the virtues of a new homeless shelter outside of District limits. It’s a short, restless kind of nap. You don’t have dreams that you remember, or if you do they’re fragmented and vexing. It’s the middle of the night when you awaken. Your lights have automatically shut off to save power; you’re on the couch, basking in the distant light of a computer screen. There’s a notification ping waiting for you.> [ w0rm ] » imagine not replying> [ w0rm ] » (︶︹︶)> [ w0rm ] » after all the things i do 4 u /(@ﾟﾍﾟ@)Your brow furrows.The number three Phreak of the Week: the Worm. You don’t know how they earned the sobriquet, but the idea of some furtive, eyeless subterranean creature fits your understanding of them particularly well. You don’t remember them clearly, or they insist they remember you much better than you remember them. You don’t take risks with this one; letting them gaslight you or plant false memories is too big a risk, as is opening yourself up to someone like this when you know so little about them in comparison. But they’ve done you well. They’re a skilled sysop with a knack for surveillance technology and data gathering. A tip from them is how you located the Excelsis container. It’s possible that they’ve got stake in this whole thing; they might want to know what became of Cassandra. The Worm knows things. You can’t imagine they don’t know what the word ‘Spectres’ means. But the whole thing seems like a game to them. You’ve made bargains: exchanged cash, tips, details, rumors. All you want to know is what they want out of it.You can’t shake the feeling you’re being played at the end of the day—but for now, you’ve at least got a reliable connection.> Ignore the Worm. Best to keep these folk waiting.> Try to get info on the location of more Spectre tech.> Ask if they can sell you nuclear fuel.> Other. (Write-in.)
>>4717931> Try to get info on the location of more Spectre tech.
>>4717931>Try to get info on the location of more Spectre tech.
>>4717956>>4717992> [ stingray ] » My bad. Been a whole ass day.> [ w0rm ] » s m h> [ w0rm ] » (=____=)> [ w0rm ] » make time 4 me then> [ w0rm ] » did u win?> [ stingray ] » Went in. Got out.> [ stingray ] » Considering the circumstances, making it to midnight is a win.> [ w0rm ] » omg say less (≧◡≦)> [ w0rm ] » any leads? followup info?> [ stingray ] » Haven’t pieced it all together.> [ w0rm ] » but u got the part right?> [ stingray ] » About that.> [ stingray ] » I need more tech.> [ w0rm ] » stock parts?> [ stingray ] » More like whatever was in that case.> [ stingray ] » Lowkey close to a breakthrough.> [ stingray ] » Does it look like Excelsis is chasing anything else?> [ w0rm ] » (;´д｀)ゞ> [ w0rm ] » do u just want what excelsis is after> [ w0rm ] » be realYou pause, considering your approach. It’s probably best not to let them know just what you’re capable of already. Another notification hits you as you linger with text entered.> [ w0rm ] » u know i know so dont be afraid> [ w0rm ] » say it> [ stingray ] » Be serious.> [ w0rm ] » ok let’s say it on 3> [ w0rm ] » 123 SPECTRE SHIT> [ w0rm ] » good boy confetti (*・・)ノ*:･ﾟ> [ stingray ] » You know why Excelsis is chasing their tech?> [ w0rm ] » LOL i can think of like 400 reasons> [ w0rm ] » but its better u have it than them> [ w0rm ] » i know u and i know u want it and are basically addicted already> [ stingray ] » I just think it’s kinda wack. The execs should be all over this. Excelsis probably isn’t the only corp that knows. Just the biggest stake in Freeland.> [ w0rm ] » its np as long as u keep beating them to the tech> [ stingray ] » I can only keep beating them if you tell me where I need to look.> [ stingray ] » If the elite get that tech, you become obsolete, or straight disappear.> [ w0rm ] » ok but> [ w0rm ] » i still want more from u (=´∇｀=)> [ w0rm ] » dont act like ur doing me a favor because the corps will fuck u 2> [ w0rm ] » and dont be afraid 2 tell me shit bcuz im not gonna bully you> [ stingray ] » You understand why I don’t trust easy.> [ w0rm ] » i aint a fkn thug> [ w0rm ] » i want to help i just dont like getting fscked> [ w0rm ] » not like that neway umu> [ w0rm ] » i know something u probably dont know but ur gonna have 2 do something 4 me> [ w0rm ] » if i tell u i need u to make me something cool (ﾟヘﾟ)> [ w0rm ] » and dont half ass it i know ur a talent> [ w0rm ] » ur call> [ stingray ] » Worm.> [ w0rm ] » worm!You…> Agree to the terms. You can pay bnck people that help you out; start with trust-building instead of extortion like the Quarters.> Can’t even deal with this right now. You already have a Spectre lead in Cassandra’s father. Drop offline.> Want to negotiate something else. Ask if Worm knows a good supplier of nuclear fuel.> Other. (Write-in.)
>>4718057Agree to the terms. You can pay back people that help you out; start with trust-building instead of extortion like the Quarters.
>>4718057>Agree to the terms. You can pay bnck people that help you out; start with trust-building instead of extortion like the Quarters.
>>4718060>>4718063> [ stingray ] » Deal.> [ stingray ] » This better be legit.> [ w0rm ] » worm!> [ w0rm ] » ok> [ w0rm ] » so did u know> [ w0rm ] » spectres> [ w0rm ] » trained> [ w0rm ] » basically in regular people places> [ stingray ] » What?> [ w0rm ] » ok so imagine that like> [ w0rm ] » u know how the marion center does judo courses sometimes> [ w0rm ] » uuuu 1sec (￣m￣〃)> [ w0rm ] » ok imagine that like they scheduled a judo course off-hours and said u have 2 be> [ w0rm ] » like u cant come unless ur a 3-star silver edge black belt first class> [ stingray ] » That’s not a real thing.> [ w0rm ] » exactly> [ w0rm ] » so nobody shows up except the dudes who are in on it and its actually a course on just destroying people 1v5 with ur bare hands> [ stingray ] » This is how they were able to train cells in secret?> [ w0rm ] » u got it> [ w0rm ] » i have spent a lot of time trying to piece 2gether the sites and schedules they used> [ w0rm ] » when the unit was on and off duty u would have 3-4 spots like this in a district at any given time> [ w0rm ] » shit like rescue and equipment training they would do in the VRcades after they were “closed”> [ w0rm ] » in the fd for example they would be in the firing range down at melrose and just fkn knock> [ w0rm ] » dudes just nonstop grinding these superhuman combat drills like action movie protagonists> [ w0rm ] » omg i wanna be a cardboard civilian standie so bad (︶︹︶)Spectres were exceptional people—or at least, they started as people, or were chosen from among exceptional people and made into something more. Excellence was mere habit: it was achieved when training became routine. Corporations and economic agendas may hold more power over civil liberties than governments, but federal agendas could still provide credible cover stories for undercover activities. Simulated rescue operations were carried out under the guise of after-hours “team-building exercises” at virtual reality arcades, allowing agents to hone their experience with their equipment and their effectiveness in groups. Extreme conditioning courses took place in fitness centers; firing ranges were rented out for rigorous combat drills. Perfection was the first step.
>>4718109> [ stingray ] » How does this help me?> [ w0rm ] » LOL> [ w0rm ] » 4 a smart guy ur dumb af> [ w0rm ] » HELLO φ(ﾟﾛﾟ*)ﾉ> [ w0rm ] » remember when u literally bragged about looting ur fsckn dumb ass 100% belgian linen upholstered armchair from a corpo washout> [ w0rm ] » when exec sites change hands and get sold off every1 leaves shit behind> [ w0rm ] » vintage closed circuit computer systems in closets that probably have research data on em> [ w0rm ] » old tech lost in storage units n shit> [ stingray ] » You’re saying I should break into places that used to be covert Spectre training sites?> [ w0rm ] » GOOD> [ w0rm ] » BOY *:･ﾟ> [ w0rm ] » download shit and rip servers out of walls and rummage through exec trash cans> [ w0rm ] » we both do the shit were good at and we both get hooked up> [ w0rm ] » sending u 3 addresses now so use ur discretion> [ w0rm ] » omg and take ur time thinking of my giftAt that, the Worm goes idle. At least you know you’ll be able to find them at degenerate hours like these. You…> Get some rest. You’ve got long hours and dangerous work ahead of you.> Do some more fabrication before you sleep. You could process some things or queue tasks to run overnight.> Other. (Write-in.)
>>4718111>Do some more fabrication before you sleep. You could process some things or queue tasks to run overnight.We need a doorhinge hammer, a knob rotating tool, and some lockpicking tools.
>>4718111>Do some more fabrication before you sleep. You could process some things or queue tasks to run overnight.
>>4718111>> Get some rest. You’ve got long hours and dangerous work ahead of you.
>>4718116>>4718149> [ resources ]> cash: $490> scrap: 530> circuits: 28> nanofilaments: 8> spectre technology: 0> spectre research credits: 0You’ll take another look at the sites in detail when you make up your mind as to what the most important use of your time will be: for now, you take a cursory glance. The first address the Worm sent is that of a virtual reality arcade downtown. Venues like this are becoming gradually less popular as home Direct Neural Interface technology becomes more affordable to consumers rather than accessible to only enthusiasts, giving collars and students a like the chance to earn a dose of much-needed escapism from the endless grind. The arcade would probably be low-security but low-return; such a place doesn’t have a need for advanced surveillance and security systems, and those would be the first bills cut when the venue started to lose profits. The second is the Marion Center, a fitness and health hub favored by the new generation of Freeland’s elite and some of the lower-ranking execs on the corporate ladder. It’s a large locale, and open twenty-four hours; surveillance and round-the-clock security would be much tighter, but you wouldn’t hazard the security outfit at a place like this would be made up of razor-edged shoot-to-kill corporate types. You can’t say the same for the third, the Melrose. That place is old money. They’ve got a golf course, a performance center, a couple of ritzy restaurants, and a firing range for rich folks that like to shoot guns. You’ve passed the property a few times late at night and seen it locked down by drones and dudes in bug-eyes and ballistic masks—though perhaps just enough to scare off any undesirables. But if the Spectres trained at their firing range, it means this could be one of your only chances to secure their combat technology.Swiveling back around to the nanofabricator, you think of what kind of tools would help you with your infiltration. You still have the Loki for social engineering your way past some of the collars, but more reliable methods of circumventing physical barriers seems like a good start. A little browsing on an underground enthusiast forum brings up the blueprints you need for a quality lockpicking kit, plus a polymer grip hammer and nail punch specialized for removing most door hinges. It might also become you to have a less strictly lethal means of disabling personnel. The whip, or a stun gun, could serve you well—and if you could get some primer made, baton rounds are also on the table. Anything specialized for infiltrating a specific locale, you could print in advance of the job. For now, you. . .> Print an all-purpose lockpicking kit. [-40 Scrap, -1 Nanofilament, -1 Circuit]> Print a ZBI Stinger, a tactical whip. [-50 Scrap, -1 Nanofilament]> Print a ZBI Shocker, a handheld stun gun. [-60 Scrap, -1 Nanofilament, -9 Circuits]> Print a handgun suppressor. [-2 Nanofilaments]
>>4718783>Print an all-purpose lockpicking kit. [-40 Scrap, -1 Nanofilament, -1 Circuit]>Print a handgun suppressor. [-2 Nanofilaments]So we can be stealthy and bypass physical obstacles. We also still need to get another source of ammo as well before our current stash runs out.
>>4718783>Print an all-purpose lockpicking kit. [-40 Scrap, -1 Nanofilament, -1 Circuit]
>>4718900>>4718836You stay up for a while longer, naturally, searching for satisfactory blueprints or modifying others to suit your needs. A lockpicking kit is fine enough; you’ll have a few little things to finish up in the morning, and you spend a few minutes rummaging through your other miscellaneous belongings to find a suitable carrying case. Even a handgun suppressor can be improved from stock implementation: your design weighs less and has greater thermal mass than similar models while still fitting most standard pistols and remaining easily serviceable. The fabricator takes over, and you shut your monitors off and crawl into bed.You drift back to sleep before so long. You don’t have dreams that you remember, or if you do, you dream of the orgs, the hive, the possibilities unfolding before you—or a better future on the ‘Ave.
This has been fab and we're still a little bit away from autosage I think but I'm kind of compelled—based on where the story's at—to just break here and start a new thread when I'm ready to continue. Not sure what the etiquette with that is nowadays; I know threads tend to stick to the board for quite a while.Thanks for the replies, though. I've had a great time running. I hope everything's clear so far; you'll have to let me know what you think! Next time we'll probably have something that looks like a character sheet: we'll probably roll some dice and see what kind of picture the choices we've made here end up painting.
>>4719315Thanks for running!
>>4719315Just found this. Awesome writing so far, looking forward to next time. Don't flake fucker!
>>4719315You're on page 3... it's generally recommended to make a new thread at page 7 or below, unless your thread becomes hard to load from all the posts. You have three entire weeks left in this thread. Too late now but I thought I'd comment.
>>4725384Yeah, generally the auto-sage isn't a big deal since everyone around here sorts by Last Reply instead of Bump Order