Episode 12 – Finding Dr. Aowari
Wednesday, August 4, 2027
In the morning, Frankie finds a message from Caitlin asking for a Team NET meeting early that afternoon. It also contains the information about Dr. Aowari and the need for a rapid extraction. Before the meeting Caitlin and Frankie starts doing research on the Pleasantville and their police department. The department has 30 officers and a SWAT team. Its headquarters is located just north of a small river that runs through the town. To the east is the Fire Department, which is a full time organization. To the west is the Court House located at a corner with a north/south road and a bridge over the small river to the south. There is a CHOO station diagonally across the intersection from the Court House with a public park just north of that fuel stop. There is also a pizzeria due east across the north/south road from the park. Looking north across from the police station is a large block of single-family homes with each surrounded by a hedge. To the south across this small river is a narrow greenway and an east/west road that separated it from the large parking lot of a mall.
The first NET meeting is a little strained as Doyle feels that having the Team divided like they have been in two cities didn’t help the situation. Caitlin points out that, if Dr. Nis had done his initial research correctly in San Diego, this will have never happened. They hash out this issue and put it behind them.
Caitlin (in disguise) rents a storage space for a year just south of San Francisco and put equipment and 10,000 eb in there.
Caitlin wants to strike tonight but Doyle wants to wait for Dr. Nis to be out of jail. He also feels that a bit more intelligence is needed. People are assigned research and a new meeting time is established for tomorrow to finalize plans.
Frankie does a drive thru of the area and runs her locate remote to find cameras and surveillance devices in the area. Caitlin sends an aerial remote to watch the police station at range and gets the shift change schedule. That night the biogen sets up a false sniper nest on top of a tall building in town. That position has a radio transmitter and a microwave link to her true position a mile behind that in the hills. Any radio traffic from her will originate from the false position, which also contains a 3-kilogram C-6 demolition charge. Her paranoia is getting the best of her. With so much money on her head, her trust of certain members of the Team is getting thin.
Thursday, August 5, 2027
In the morning Doyle and a few of his Family picked up Dr. Nis as he is released from his stay at the county jail. Fortunately, he has improved the seals on his compartments in his legs containing his C-6, and they are not discovered. Otherwise his stay will have been considerably longer
At the noon NET meeting, Thor has a plan. Cid will be posted on the roof of the shopping mall across the river with his Electronic Warfare Suite and a sniper rifle to cover the south and southeast approaches to the police station. Caitlin will be posted on a building to the northwest (actually she will be in the hills northwest of that position) covering the north and northwest of the police station. John will drive the vehicle that will contain Frankie and Wylie who will be providing NET over watch. Thor, Dr. Nis and Jose (in his viper suit) will walk along the river bottom until they are opposite the police station. Then they will come out and go to the back fire door of the building. There is no camera watching that emergency door. Dr. Shamal will take an unregistered and (hopefully) untraceable motorcycle and go to the CHOO station near the police headquarters. There he will fill up and place a small explosive charge on the pump. That will serve as a diversion to bring all the police and firemen to that location as the assault on the jail begins. Everyone agrees and breaks up to prepare for the attack. This assault will start at 12:08 am early Friday morning.
Caitlin and Jose drive around in their van until they found another van similar to theirs. They take down the license plate number and go home and make a passable copy of that plate for their own van. The two also find some magnetic and tack on color panels to change the appearance of their vehicle slightly. Doyle contacts the Collective and gets them to rent an AV-4 for them to use with no (true) identification needed. As the jump off time approaches, Caitlin, Jose and Wylie put on disguises so their new identities will not be compromised. Doyle picks up Jose and drops off Frankie and John at a predetermined point and everyone got in position.
Friday, August 6, 2027
At about 12:02 am Dr. Shamal, with a full helmet covering his face, fills up his motorcycle and sets the demo charge (with a roll of 10 +9 on his demolitions roll). He then drives to the extraction point east of the fire station. Frankie, Wylie and John park in the closed pizzeria parking lot and drop into the NET. Frankie prepares to enter the police station’s off line NET as soon as the assault team clips a bug to the first camera they encounter. Wylie is ready in the NET as back up. The assault team comes out of the water and sets the charge on the back door. At 12:08 am the CHOO pumps explode in a series of blasts that sends a fireball high into the night sky. Cid starts interfering with police and fire transmissions, but every cop and fireman in the city hears the blast. These series of explosions mask the charge that takes out the back fire door. Well, masks it from everyone but the police that are in the building at the time that is. The assault team bursts through the door and into a police garage. Dr. Nis clips into the internal security feed and gives the Team eyes in the building. They check the SWAT van in the garage but it is empty. They then burst through the other door in the room that leads to the rest of the station. In the NET the Team notices that the dispatcher and other officer in that room are trying to use the hard lines out of the building. The netrunners quickly put a stop to that.
The first two doors in the corridor beyond the garage are the entrance to the stairs that led to the basement cells, Jose runs down to check them, but they are empty and there are no police down there. Thor and Dr. Nis set a charge on the other door that read ‘Armory’ and blows it off its hinges. Inside are two officers now lying under some of the rubble. They appear alive, but out of action so they are left. The three quickly run to the dispatcher’s room and kill the two officers there. They then check the evidence room but there is no bipod or wrecked Gemini body there either. Outside the police and firemen battle the blaze. Yes, communications are down, but they put it off to the proximity of the blast to the communications tower. Anyway every on duty cop in the city is now there. Who will dare attack the police station under these circumstances?
They next run to the chief’s office to check there. Again the biopod for Dr. Aowari is not there either. They look at the computer on the chief’s desk, but before they put a tap on it to have the netrunners hack it Thor notices a set of papers with a LawDiv logo on top of a paper file. It is a transfer of custody for Dr. Aowari to LawDiv. He had already been picked up! Thor takes the transfer, the file and the chief’s notepad that is nearby and calls for extraction. As they approach the garage, they hear the officers in the armory stir. Jose tosses a flash bang grenade in. Thor goes in and finds one officer dead and the second unconscious and wounded. He can’t tell if he has seen anything so he steps on the wounded officer’s head and kills him. The assault team then pulls out unnoticed and is picked up by Doyle in the rented AV. Unfortunately; the road around the pizzeria is filled with police and fire vehicles. After a little panic, the two netrunners hid out of sight as John drives casually out of the parking lot and turns north away from the fire. A policeman waves him through. As John looks in his rear view mirror he notices the officer check his license plate and the call it in on his radio. Fortunately Cid is still interfering with their transmissions. They drive away unmolested. The owner of the forged license plate is probably in for a rough morning. The AV picks up Cid and then meets up with the van where John got out, and Frankie and Jose switch places. Caitlin slips over to where her false sniper nest is and dismantles it. Jose and Wylie pick up Caitlin and swap out the plates again, pull off the magnetic and stick on panels, which had disguised the truck. They then return to the safe house.
Doyle’s Team stashes the rented AV and are brought back into the mansion unnoticed. There they examined the documents they have found. The police had attempted to brain dance Dr. Aowari, but his cloned brain made that impossible for the local police. They called LawDiv for assistance. It seems that LawDiv moved quickly to grab the good Doctor. From the information gleaned from the file and the notepad, he has been taken to the Law Div Behavior Analysis Unit’s training facility at the Perfection University (or PU as the students refer to it) in Perfection City, Indiana. Perfection City is a new city built on a peninsula on Patoka Lake just inside the old Hoosier National Forest. Doyle contacts the Collective and informs them of this turn of events. Their only response is, “When are you leaving (for there)?”
Frankie is put to the task of researching the place immediately. Doyle announces that the party is to get ready for they will leave as soon as possible. A message is sent to Caitlin, Jose and Wylie to be ready to move out at once. Doyle immediately begins to plot his flight plan (unregistered) and calling his (and his Family’s} contacts to arrange refueling spots along the way. By 10 am in the morning, the full Team is on their way to Perfection, Indiana. Along the way they continue to acquire intelligence as Frankie, Caitlin and Wylie work the NET when they are in cell range of a city and they don’t drop out due to their travel speed. Meanwhile, the attack on the Pleasantville police station is big news. A police artist sketch of John is being shown with the story. He is listed as a ‘person of interest’. Doyle’s family immediately smuggle him out of town. The Nomads protect their own.
By 6 pm they land in the Hoosier National Forest well north of the city on the other side of Patoka Lake. By 8 pm they complete the information analysis and the picture is grim. Perfection is small city with lots of green spaces and parkland. The population is very wealthy, and security is good but not oppressive. The main problem is the number of government facilities in the area. There is LawDiv’s Behavior Analysis Unit and a restricted building with a small extremely secure exercise yard for prisoners next to it on the campus located on the north shore of the peninsula. The Team figures that is where Dr. Aowari’s biopod will be. There is also an ROTC building and a restricted building next to that. The Marine Corps has a power armor training area within a mile of the school (and they surmise that the building next to the ROTC is the classroom facilities for the PA troopers). There is a major United States Navy training base on the lake where they train their ‘brown water’ (river) forces. They have lots of armed vessels and a helicopter/AV/osprey landing field. Just to make things more interesting the C.I.A. has a training facility there. A small remote is sent to get a (telescopic) view of the target building. It has cameras watching every ground approach and others on the roof. It is noticed that the building is heavily reinforced. The Team is in the lion’s den.
Doyle realizes that time is of the essence. He can’t let Dr. Aowari be brain danced. Without better reconnaissance, an assault will probably be crushed. The nomad turns to the stealth team, Caitlin, Jose and Wylie and gives them the orders to go in. Wow, a huge LawDiv task force (among others) is looking for them and they are going to break into one of the most secure facilities in the country of that agency. Doyle offers to send the two big cats he has with him in with the Team, which will also give him direct communications with the stealth strike team. Thor and Dr. Nis cobble together a communications jumper to put on the door of the target building. It has a shielded line that will bypass most communications jammers (a Faraday cage, for example) built into a wall. Doyle checks his maps and terrain. He calculates he can get the Team within a mile and a half of the campus without being noticed and then hide with his engines hot under an IR/Thermal damping camouflage cover he has in one of the extensive parks in that city. By 10 pm he puts the craft down in a depression where he can probably hide until daylight. The stealth team will be supported by two of Doyle’s big cats that are also wearing custom stealth suits (It’s great to be rich!), starts moving towards campus. That Team is in position by about midnight.
Saturday, August 7, 2027
Caitlin releases a grid bug, which Cid directs up the wall of the four-story target building and slips it up to the camera watching the back loading door. The induction leg gives Frankie access to the security cameras and she loops that back camera so the stealth team can approach the door. The netrunner then find a camera watching the back door from the inside and tries to loop that. She botches but the result is only a failure. However, the stealth team is unaware, of course, and continues. The GM rolls the security guard’s awareness roll since he has to watch a lot of cameras and also botched. (The team was never so happy to see that set of rolls.) Wylie snakes the door and the alarm on it. He then puts the communications bypass on and shuts the door. The stealth team gets out of sight of the cameras and starts to explore the first floor with Frankie keeping an eye on the roving security guard. She has access to all the cameras on the four floors. The intrusion team quickly notices that there is a basement, but Frankie can’t find a camera down there. The Team checks the first floor, but it is mostly conference rooms and such. Also, Frankie finds a small high security prison covering a part of the building on the first and second floors. There are a few cells with three prisoners and some empty ones. Dr. Aowari is not in any of them. There are however, three heavily armed guards in a type of motorized metal gear with assault rifles prowling around there. The Team quickly goes to the second floor, which houses offices of the agents assigned there.
Cid, the ELINT specialist, is monitoring all radio traffic in the area. After tuning out all civilian and commercial broadcasts he discovers that the navy and marines are conducting a night assault landing exercise on the lake a few hundred meters from the north shore where the university (and the intrusion team) is. They are broadcasting in the clear, as this is not a classified operation, but still a major mistake here will have disastrous consequences.
On the second floor the Team enters an office, puts a tap on the desk computer and has Frankie remotely hack it. The team is looking for a map of this facility. She doesn’t find a map, but does find the office of the special agent that had brought Dr. Aowari’s biopod here. It is located on this floor. This computer is a stand-alone and not networked. The Team then goes to that agent’s office and taps into that machine. There Frankie quickly finds his notes on the transfer. He delivered the biopod to a project called Operation Kill Switch. There is no further information. Both Doyle and Caitlin agree that this is probably on the top floor or basement. Since the basement has no security cameras that they could find, the Team will go there first.
As they go down the stairs to the basement Caitlin sneaks ahead and sure enough there is a camera watching the bottom door. She is able to slip up to it and plant a tap on it to give Frankie access to that system. The netrunner quickly checks the cameras down here. There is a series of laboratories and workshops. Also, there is a security room with a half a dozen men in some kind of motorized metal gear similar to the one watching the prisoners in the first floor detention areas. They are armed with assault rifles. There is one room she can’t see into. Only two labs are currently in use. One contains a large workbench are three technicians are working with three biopods. A large rack of shelves is located in the back of that room which is mostly filled with other biopods that are hooked into other equipment. The second active workshop contains a couple of more technicians and about ten Dragoons! One of the Dragoons is walking around as the men in the lab coats work on a second. Damn!
Jose has a couple of satchel charges. He and Caitlin rig these to blow out the stairwell that they used to get to the basement. The Team then moves into the basement and heads to the first laboratory where the biopods are on the shelf. The door is locked with a magnetic lock and an alarm. Wylie can bypass the alarm and open the lock, but it will make a sound that will alert the three men working inside. The big cats do have the skill: capture, which will allow them each to bring down a man without killing them. Caitlin will get the third.
Wylie pops the lock. The cats drop and held their targets and Caitlin stops the third technician from giving the alarm. She demands to know which one is Dr. Aowari. The technician says he doesn’t know they are just numbered. When she demands to know where the key list is, he points at a desktop console. She drags him over and a list forty names long appeared. The biogen types in search: Dr. Aowari; and his number appears. Then she goes to the rack and finds him. Yes, she checks and the biopods are alarmed. Wylie disables the alarms. As he is doing this she looks at the little screens by every biopod and sees the faces of two people she knows! It is the biopods of Grave and Xui, two of her comrades from the Fourth Corporate War. She and Jose also worked with them during our (just completed) New York 2026 Campaign. They had (supposedly) been executed in Newark, New Jersey last year for mass murder. The meaning of ‘Operation Kill Switch’ is now becoming clearer to Caitlin and Jose. They disconnect them too and bring the three biopods to the workbench. Caitlin demands that Dr. Aowari be hooked up so she could speak to him. This is to make sure it really is him. The terrified technician unhooks the current project he is working on and plugs in the Doctor. Meanwhile, Frankie reports that another Dragoon has started to move.
“Dr. Aowari?” Caitlin asks.
“Yes” is the answer. “Who are you?”
“We are your rescue team,” she replies.
“Thank God!” the Doctor says.
As the technician unhooks the ‘liberated’ doctor, an intercom on the workbench comes on and asks. “You switched out the biopod you are working on. Is there any trouble there?”
Caitlin mishears the question and puts her pistol back to the technician’s head and tells him to say, “Yes”.
The nervous technician replies, “Yes.”
Caitlin realizes her mistake quickly and has him add, “I disconnected the biopod, and there is no trouble here.” This line the technician delivers with all the earnestness of Han Solo in the jail section on the Death Star. Caitlin knocks the technician out and tells the team, “Time to run!”
And run they do. The cats release their terrified captures and the stealth team bolts for the stairwell. In the hall they surprise a technician at the far end of the hall coming towards them. Jose pops his head with a silenced 14mm round before he can cry out. As they head out of the stairs on the first floor, they can hear the sounds of heavily armored men entering the stairwell below. Jose sets off the charge and blows the staircase. The blast doesn’t kill anyone, but does blow them down. They have to get up, check that they can no longer go forward there, and head to the elevator.
Meanwhile, Cid hears on the military channels a voice break in and say, “Code 47! Code 47! Switch to scrambled channels!” Then there is silence.
Doyle picks up three radar contacts screaming in low and fast from the south. He switches off the radar as they approach. Three heavily armed Marine Corps gunships are heading towards the university.
Caitlin calls for Frankie to kill the rear external camera outside the building, but the netrunner has already dropped out of the NET as military netrunners start dropping in to the system. The three operatives with the two big cats burst out of the back door. Caitlin has studied the layout of the area and heads to the closest building that will shield them from the security cameras. Once behind that building they see a parked vehicle that can hold them all. Wylie hotwires it as Caitlin turns on her personal jamming device in case the biopods are bugged (they are). They then start to drive ‘casually’ off campus. Overhead they see three gunships heading for the LawDiv buildings. As the Team approaches the exit to the campus they see the security gate (just a single flimsy bar) is down. The gatehouse is manned and it will have be no trouble to crash it. They didn’t do that, however. The Team turns into a dormitory parking lot and quietly parks at the back of that lot. They step out and walk into the woods of the nearby greenbelt. Once in natural cover they make their way unseen back to the AV.
By the time they reached the AV, all air traffic had been grounded and a major search is under way. Doyle, who is a superb pilot with Vehicle Zen, makes a series of short hops until he finds his window to escape. Dr. Nis and Thor take out the GPS trackers on the biopods, and the Team heads back to San Francisco at high speed. They have succeeded in retrieving Dr. Aowari, a Kimura clone, alive. Caitlin, Jose, Thor and Dr. Shamal have also succeeded in rescuing their comrades that they had thought they had lost. There is little doubt in Jose’s, Caitlin’s and Wylie’s minds that they will be blamed for this. Fortunately, a few weeks before, Doyle had assembled a group of his Nomad family members who could pass for all the members of the Team at a distance. They are outfitted with clothes and given instruction on how to appear and act like their counterparts. Since Doyle always exercises or sends on patrol only two of his large cats at a time, they just doubled the outside time for the remaining two cats. Also, Doyle’s custom AV is still sitting on the AV pad on the mansion’s grounds. To any surveillance team in place it will look like they have never left. As far as the two large cats being seen in Indiana, well, they are in stealth suits, and BioWorks had made some large cats not only as part of their regular offerings, but also as part of the same project that produced Caitlin and Wylie.
There are now (as far as they know) only two missions left: the strike on the island in the Pacific, and terminating Adolph Schmidt. Still they had to stay in San Francisco for at least another 9 to 10 days. The race that is serving as their cover is scheduled on Sunday, August 15th. With all the scrutiny on them, the Team has to continue with the tour. They have stirred up quite the hornet’s nest, so now it is time to be cool.
(GM Note: If the Team had struck the night before in Pleasantville, Dr. Aowari would still have been transferred to LawDiv custody. It was in the script to go to Perfection, Indiana. What was unexpected was that the Team struck immediately. Our group has a tendency to do lots of surveillance and way too much (over) planning. The timetable as to the reactions of LawDiv was set and not altered. As the Team was breaking into the LawDiv BAU building there was an emergency meeting going on in Washington about a report from the police chief of Pleasantville on the Friday morning attack. It had reached the desk of an agent assigned to task force pursuing the biogens. It said that the only thing stolen was the information about Dr. Aowari’s transfer. LawDiv was in the process of ordering several top teams of agents to Perfection in anticipation of just the move the Team was doing. The Perfection, Indiana adventure was supposed to run a couple of episodes, but go play short circuited LawDiv’s plans.
The maneuvers running on the lake was a training exercise involving several teams of Navy SEALs doing a live fire mock landing on an island in the lake. When the alarms went off, they turned and headed right for the BAU training facility. The three had peeled out in the stolen car that would have not only attracted their attention, but also that of the three helicopter gunships and ended in disaster.
‘Project Kill Switch’ is a secret government program that evaluates the combat skills of any cyborg that is sentenced to death. If they have the combat skills, their execution is faked, and they are sent to the laboratory in Perfection, Indiana where their personality is destroyed slowly, while maintaining the skills that they need for combat inside a Dragoon. Those that can adapt get to serve their country for as long as they live, which isn’t all that long. These (5 cyborg) Teams are dropped into every hellhole in the world, when the government needs something deniable and nasty done. The entire Team, except for the leader, which is a trained officer, is expendable. This project is foreshadowed during the Funny Convention in Danville, Washington. Part of this is a comment by Dr. Fortin, the active duty army cyborg and Kill Switch Team leader, who likes to ride in his custom ‘bear cyborg’ suit off duty, said that he is “…..tried of leading a bunch of Kill Switches” into battle.”
As this project is totally illegal, the laboratory will be quickly moved. The government now has one more reason to hunt down Caitlin, Jose and Wylie.
Episode 13 – Racing and Revenge
Saturday, August 7, 2027
By late morning the Team arrives back in San Francisco. Jose, Caitlin and Wylie head back to their safe house. There they request an Underwater Weapons and Underwater Survival Sega Atari Teaching Chip from the Collective along with an Aquarius Borg with maximum armor (and an Alpha borg body with a few more enhancements). They also buy a Swimming Chip for that system themselves. They quietly begin to check the neighbors to see if any of them are surveillance teams watching the three.
Doyle, Dr. Nis, Cid and Dr. Shamal go back to Killian’s Bar for a good time. Doyle still has on his mask so if anyone did recognize him no one says anything. Dr. Nis did see the pimp who ran the girls that set him up for his arrest. He goes to confront the man. The pimp fully admits to setting him up. After all he will have to do business here long after Nis has left. The procurer’s attitude is not to edgerunner’s liking, but there is little he could actually do. The bodyguard is sweating, but the pimp’s demeanor remains cool and collected. Yes, Dr. Nis could kill him, but that will be the end of his career at least with this identity. Giving up everything at this point for a brief moment of revenge is not worth it. Nis intimidated the bodyguard at least and gained some satisfaction in that. Retribution will have to wait for another day.
Sunday, August 8, 2027
It is a quiet day. Jose gets on the Sega trainer and learns Swimming 1. Caitlin and Wylie finish vetting the neighbors and settle down to play the role of a “happy family”. Dr. Nis gets himself a pair of ion cuffs and starts to work on a way to spoof them so his cyberlimbs won’t be disabled next time. Doyle’s closest neighbors go away for a vacation and rent their mansion out.
Monday, August 9, 2027
World News Service feed
LawDiv Agent Reveals He is Biogen
Decorated LawDiv agent, James Anderson, resigned from that organization over the weekend. He surfaced in the State of Utah and requested asylum there. At a news conference he announced that he is actually a clone created by a secret project. The former Agent Anderson announced he could no longer live a lie. He stated that biogenetically created life forms could be good and useful citizens of this country. The agent’s distinguished record certainly backs up this claim. He will not give details on the project that created him, citing national security considerations. He did, however, pledge to work to help biogens receive the rights and privileges of all other citizens. There has been no comment by LawDiv or any other Federal official on this matter.
Jose gets his Swimming 2. Doyle stops by and meets the new neighbors before he and his crew go to the track to begin their practice runs. Ava, her father and the Edelbrock Team are there. The Raffen Shiv team is also there with a new racer. This time they have much large contingent of followers. A number of these new people seem more like trained solos rather than renegade Nomads.
That night the power temporarily go out on Doyle’s street. It take ten seconds for the back-up generator in the house to kick in.
Tuesday, August 10, 2027
Jose learns Underwater Weapons 1. Doyle and his entourage see electric crews working on the power system at the end of the street and stop to talk to them. It seems that not only his street but the streets on either side of him also lost power the previous night. The workers did not know why, but are working on it.
Doyle and Ava go out to lunch together. They go to a five star establishment and he must use his celebrity status to get in. They are a little late getting back to the track and her father is NOT pleased. In the stands three young Japanese girls catch the Team’s eye. They are Keiko, Yoshi and Lin. Doyle waves them into the pit. It seems that Keiko is a drift racer from Japan, who has come to America to further her reputation. The other two are her friends. They invite Doyle to a race tonight just inside the combat zone. He accepts, goes out and buys a Honda with some racing extras to bring to the race.
All of Doyle’s Team (except Thor) goes. It is being held in an old multi-level parking garage. The Nomad does not compete, but watches the race. Joe Nuke, the fixer promoter comes up to him and tries to get him to race. He declines citing his commitment to the upcoming motorcycle race, which he can’t afford to be distracted from. The fixer then offers to arrange a race just for him, saying they could make a tidy profit on it since Doyle’s presence will bring out the best drift racers on the west coast. He says he will consider it. Keiko does not win, but has a respectable showing. The young racer is brash and takes too many chances. At the end Keiko asks Doyle out on a date, but he declines. It seems he has growing feelings for Ava.
When the Team returns to the mansion, they find out that the power go out that night for forty-five minutes. Doyle is starting to feel that this isn’t just a technical problem.
Wednesday, August 11, 2027
Jose gets his Underwater Weapons 2 training.
In the morning there are more power and light crews around the neighborhood. It seems last night’s outage covered a five block area. The repair crews have no idea how it happened, but start tearing up the streets to solve the problem. Doyle sets Frankie to find a five star hotel penthouse and other rooms for his entourage.
The three young Japanese girls are there from yesterday cheering Doyle on. Ava appears a little jealous. It is she that goes to lunch with Doyle though, and she shoots the three a satisfied look as the two leave together. Yoshi does attract Dr. Shamal’s attention and those two head out to lunch together also. Lunch goes well for the Doctor and the two make a date for tonight.
Following the afternoon practice runs Doyle moves most of his entourage in to the local Hilton Hotel’s penthouse and surrounding rooms. The nightly blackouts are making him suspicious. Dr. Shamal and Yoshi have a good time and end up together at another hotel for the night.
Thursday, August 12, 2027
Jose gets his Underwater Survival 1 training.
Dr. Shamal and Yoshi are late getting to the track in the morning, and have lunch together. Doyle and Ava also do lunch together. There seem to be fewer Raffen Shiv around than normal. Another racer suffers a major accident and that team is eliminated with the death of the driver.
Frankie botches her roll getting Doyle reservations for his dinner date with Ava. So, he has to wait to get a table. Doyle and Ava spend the night together. Dr. Shamal and Yoshi go out to a techno club to dance. They end up back at the same hotel as last night.
Friday, August 13, 2027
World News Service feed
Biotechnica President Killed in Prison
The President of Biotechnica is killed by another prisoner, while waiting for his trial. Reports are sketchy, but it seems that someone gained access to this high value prisoner. The late president’s family and attorneys are demanding a full investigation, but the EU considers the matter closed. Pundits are saying that the EU had decided to make an example of this corporate head for defying them during the current Biogenetic Crisis
In related news the EU passed a series of laws banning all research on humanoid biogenetic constructs and their creation. They have, however, given any existing biogenetic construct in the EU ninety days to register with the government and they will be grunted limited citizenship. They will be allowed to live out their lives unmolested by governmental authorities. So far there has been no comment from the Vatican City on this development.
Jose finishes his training and acquires the skill Underwater Survival 2.
The time trials for Sunday’s race are held today, and everything proceeds smoothly until the afternoon. Dr. Shamal thinks he sees the reflection of what could be a scope in the upper deck of the stands above the seating. He rushes to warn Doyle, but as he arrives a shot rings out and an explosive bullet punctures the gas tank of the truck carrying Ava’s experimental motorcycle. The truck explodes destroying the bike. A search of the stands reveals the weapon, but no other evidence. Everyone is convinced the Raffen Shiv are responsible, but nothing can be proved.
That evening Jose, Caitlin and Wylie go out dancing. The Borg and the cat only have eyes for each other. Wylie, however, sets his sights on a lovely young lady and successfully turns on the charm. After a couple of hundred euros in drinks and such they find a hotel and Wylie has another woman commit ‘Bestiality’.
Doyle and Ava have dinner at her hotel and spend the evening together, but each goes home alone about 2 am. Race day is approaching and both must be at their best. Dr. Shamal and Yoshi end up back at the same hotel again and the bellhop points out weekly rates are cheaper than daily rates. The two are not amused by the comment.
Saturday, August 14, 2027
World News Service feed
United States Senate Passes New Biogenetic Laws
The government passed its own set of laws concerning biogenetic constructs. They have also banned all human form biogenetic research along with the EU. However, any biogen residing in the United States has 90 days to present themselves to Federal authorities. They will then be deported to a country that will accept them. Legal scholars are still debating on how this will affect the laws in the State of Utah. A number of legal battles are expected.
A heavy police presence at the track keeps the peace where there is obviously a lot of tension between the Raffen Shiv team and the Edelbroch Team. The day proceeds peaceably. Cid finishes the two outfits he has been working on with very successful design and execution rolls. One is for Doyle and the other is for Ava. The two racers don’t spend the night with each other. Tomorrow is Race Day and now it is time to concentrate on this coming event.
Yoshi and Dr. Shamal end up back at their hotel again. Yoshi tells the Doctor that her friends (Keiko and Lin) have left for Night City. She wants to know if the two of them are now an item or this is just a passing fancy for him. She admits that originally she is just trying to help Keiko get close to Doyle, but she now is starting to like the Doctor for himself. Shamal says he has to think about this.
Sunday, August 15, 2027
It is Race Day!
Dr. Shamal tells Yoshi that it’s been fun, but it’s time to move on. He gives her bus and cab fare then sends her on her way in tears. As he heads back to the Team, he regrets this move and realizes he actually is starting to care for her. He talks to Doyle before the race about it. Doyle tells him life can be very short and if you have found something good, it’s best to hold on to it. Dr. Shamal rushes to the bus station and catches Yoshi before she boards the bus to Night City. He begs her forgiveness and asks her to stay with him. She accepts and they both return to the racetrack.
It seems the Raffen Shiv team doesn’t appear. They have all been killed by a freak accident at their hotel. Somehow the HVAC system malfunctioned and pumped their rooms full of carbon monoxide. Nobody sheds a tear.
Everyone is at the track. Even Jose, Caitlin and Wylie are there in the stands. For some perverse reason they are rooting for Ava, who is racing on her normal back up machine. Doyle easily dominates the field and wins handily. The big story is Richard Wilson, an unknown nobody, who comes in second. Wilson had won a contest sponsored by the race committee to give an unknown a ‘shot at the big time’ as a publicity gimmick. They gave him a racing bike that is not really of a caliber for this race, but he managed a solid second. Paul Elmont, a seasoned veteran came in third. Slice, who seems to be recovered from his crash in Danville came in fourth, and Ava finished a respectable fifth.
Everyone (except the biogens and the borg) attend that party that night. Doyle and Ava hold court as the reigning power couple of the race circuit. A happy Dr. Shamal introduces Yoshi around and it is apparent that they are now a couple. Even Dr. Nis with his 1 Empathy (OK he has a Stress Chip too, but he is still officially a 1) scores a hot babe. Cid scores himself, but his seduction roll is a botch. He goes home with a transvestite and doesn’t discover this until it is way too late!
(OK, this is not a denunciation of the lifestyle of transvestites, but in the case of a macho Italian male that is what a botch got him.)
Frankie attends the party with one of her boyfriend, John’s, Family; as he is still a ‘person of interest’ to the local police and is now safely out of town.
Monday, August 16, 2027
This morning Frankie and Caitlin are having a NET meeting to arrange the pickup of the Team for their flight to the Pacific and their mission to the target island. Frankie informs Caitlin about the fact that Yoshi is planning to accompany them and the biogen it the roof! Absolutely not! No one is bringing their girlfriend on a Black Op. Dr. Shamal will have to get her a place to stay in the United States, while they go on the mission. The doctor explains to Yoshi that sometimes he has to do ‘things’ that have to remain secret. He gets her a nice one-bedroom apartment in the corporate zone and gives her a large allowance to hold her over until he returned. Yoshi is sad but understands.
Tuesday, August 17, 2027
With Jose, Caitlin and Wylie in disguise they meet the rest of the Team at a private airport. The Collective has their Boeing C-25 cargo plane ready with an Aquarius Borg body for Jose and lifts off for the eastern Pacific and their next target. The plan will be
to train in underwater operations for a week or so and then make their move. No one knows what to expect.
Episode 14 – Battle Beneath the Waves
Friday, August 20, 2027
The Boeing C-25 with the Team lands at a military airfield in the Republic of Malagay north of the Philippines a few hours after midnight. At dawn, they shuttle to a small island nearby to a hidden special forces training base maintained by the Collective to begin preparations for the island assault. The plan is to be inserted by submarine on the island while Doyle waits on an island tramp steamer a couple of hundred miles out with his AV for an emergency extraction if necessary. Since some of the team is untrained in Nuscuba and most haven’t done it in a while, Caitlin insists on a six-day training program to teach basic skills to some and refresh the skills of the others. Jose is put in his new Aquarius Borg body. While he now has some basic skills, he needs to put them to practical use first.
Saturday, August 21 thru Thursday, August 26, 2027
The Team completes the training regime and figures out what kind of equipment they will need. Thor and Dr. Nis work on the seals to their bodies/suits to withstand the salt water at least temporarily. Doyle and his AV land on a chartered ship and his craft is concealed in a large box that resembles a standard shipping container on the deck and heads towards the island.
Friday, August 27, 2027
Just after midnight, the Team is brought by boat to meet with the Collective’s submarine. It is a former Russian boomer equipped with a silent caterpillar drive (think Red October). This vessel had been sold to the Indian Navy, but ‘disappeared’ and is presumed sunk before that transfer was completed. Most of (but not all) of the missile launch tubes have been removed. This vessel serves the dual function of a Hive and weapon of last resort against any organized effort to eradicate the Nietzscheans as a race. It carries a mix of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons for its ballistic and cruise missiles. This function of the craft remains unknown to the Team.
Sunday, August 29, 2027
Early in the morning the submarine reaches the island and dispatches an underwater remote to explore the approaches through the reef surrounding the island. It is a small volcanic island roughly oval in shape with the bulge oriented on the east/west access. It is about two miles north to south and two and a half miles east to west. There is a small inlet that served as a harbor on the south coast in the center. There is an abandoned U.S. navel facility there with its collection of rotting buildings and wharves. The cone of the volcano is slightly to the west of the center of this landmass, and a fresh water pond exists on the western part. In the northeast corner is an abandoned and overgrown landing strip with more rotted buildings. Placed around the island’s coast at strategic points are old concrete emplacements for navel guns that have long been removed. There are easily approachable beaches inside the reef all along the coast except for the east and northeast areas where a cliff made that area of the island difficult to approach from the sea.
There is one unexpected complication. In the small harbor a ship road at anchor. It looks like some kind of research vessel about the size of a frigate. It did not seem like too much of a problem. That is until Caitlin look at its lines. She realizes it is the Isaac Azimov, a (former Soviet) nuclear powered frigate she had been on (see Episode 53, of our Fourth Corporate War Campaign for a fuller description.) This vessel is a veritable Q ship. It is easily a match for the vessel the Team is on. Only the reef has hidden their approach from that ship. The submarine captain pulls his craft back and comes around to the north side of the island. The Team just uses its underwater remote to survey the east, west and north approaches to the island.
Monday, August 30, 2027
The Team continues its remote surveillance of the island coasts away from the harbor while the submarine waits in silent mode for the frigate to leave.
Tuesday, August 31, 2027
Around noon the Isaac Azimov departs the island. The submarine captain gives it a few hours to move away and then brings the submarine around to launch a remote surveillance of the harbor. The docks are as rotted underneath the water as they appear on the surface. A World War Two vintage sunken Fletcher class destroyer lies at the bottom of the surprisingly deep harbor. It is unremarkable expect for a modern pressure hatch on one of the decks. After much discussion it is decided to send a stealth team to explore the island before venturing the hatch.
Wednesday, September 1 thru Friday, September 3, 2027
In the predawn hours Caitlin, Jose, Frankie and Wylie land on the southwest corner of the island and begin a painstakingly detailed search, while maintaining a stealth approach to the job. Nothing unusual is discovered that does not jibe with an abandoned World War Two facility until Friday when they reach the abandoned airfield. The overgrown landing strip is not really overgrown, but painted and textured to look so from a distance. It is fully functional. In the tower is a hidden radio equipment that is powered down, and the field has pop up defense guns that are also powered down. In one of the hangers is a small four seat aircraft fueled and ready to depart. Caitlin places a radio controlled demolition charge in the plane near the engine and fuel lines. The three then return to the submarine and make their report. The Team decides to try to breech the hatch on the sunken vessel in the harbor. The complete team gears up to make its entrance just after midnight.
Saturday, September 4, 2027
Jose, Caitlin and Wylie leave the dive trunk of the submarine and check out the approaches to the harbor. They then head down to the wreck where the hatch is. The hatch is new. Wylie is able to spoof the lock mechanism, and open the hatch. Unfortunately, inside the airlock there is no power so it can’t be cycled. They call the submarine in closer and get a portable power cell to power the airlock. After the lock cycles the submarine comes up and attaches. The rest of the Team then enters the lock. There is a hatch in the floor that they get open and enter a room below.
This room has crates of supplies and two doors heading off it and another hatch down. The air is good and there is a little power in the room. Frankie hooks her deck into the system and begins to search the circuits. Power branches off to behind both door and down, but there is no computer of any sort she can detect. The two corridors are checked and lead to abandoned rooms that have not been used in a while. Going down to the next level activates the power on that level and they find a similar arrangement. This time one of the doors leads to an elevator and another to some sort of abandoned security room. The equipment is very old and hasn’t been used in years. There are abandoned laboratories also, but these also have not been used in years.
As the Team delves deeper into the complex, they come upon the first computers and security cameras. A pattern began to develop. Each couple of levels consists of abandoned laboratories, offices and rooms followed by a security level with a computer and cameras. Each set of levels has been abandoned for years, but are more modern as the Team progressed deeper. The intrusion doesn’t seem to set off any alarms.
Finally, after ten or so levels, activating the computer gets a ‘live’ response. The Team is asked who they are and what they are doing there. Caitlin replies with her true name (or rather experimental designation: Cat 6). She tells the questioner that the last supply ship (the Isaac Asimov) has left them behind accidentally. This seems to satisfy the questioner, who asks if he wants the Team to summon back the ship. She replies this had already been done, and they are waiting for pick up. The voice offers to power up the levels they are on and bring the air circulation fully on line. They offer the supplies up top to keep the Team fed, but warn the levels below are submerged and to be careful. The Team thanks them.
The Team brings down its dive gear, weapons and waterproofed heavy armor. They open the next hatch and Thor enters the next room down alone. There are three armed ‘mermen’ (as the Team started to call them) guarding a door. Thor can’t identify the weapons and the appearance of these aquatic humanoids is initially disturbing. Thor doesn’t attack, and tries to open communications with them. These mermen apparently find the Team’s presence just as odd, but perhaps due to Thor’s attitude don’t seem eager to commence hostilities. One of the mere-people has a kind of electronic note pad with which we use communicate. They ask if the Team is here to see ‘the Progenitor’. Hoping that maybe this is the Kimura clone we are here to terminate, he replies, yes. We are friends of ‘the Progenitor’. As the rest of the Team enters the flooded room, the mermen seem not to be able to what to make of us. They offer to take us to see ‘the Progenitor’, which is accepted. Then Thor asks for their weapons. After a little hesitation they hand them over and explain how they worked. They fire a very small mini-torpedo that is propelled like a gyro-jet round in either one or ten round burst. (They turn out to be AP and explosive, which makes any damage going through NOT halved after armor). They are clearly intimidated by us, but Thor has the feeling that perhaps their loyalty to ‘the Progenitor’ isn’t very strong.
They lead the Team through the door, which entered a rough-hewn rock corridor. As they progress there is a luminescent alga that enhances low light and IR and/or UV. The series of tunnels open up to a small underwater town populated by a couple of hundred of these creatures. Cid suggests we ask to be taken to an armory if they have one, but Thor overrules him. He/she feels that we might be pushing it a bit too much with that request.
As we approach the middle of the ‘town’, there is a large multi-storied beehive shaped structure in the center. At the door on the bottom level are two Aquarius cyborgs standing guard carrying weapons like the three the Team now possesses. Others on the Team have spear guns and some mini-torp launchers. The two borgs look at us curiously at first as we approach with the ‘mermen’, but as the group gets close it becomes clear to them that we are NOT friends of ‘the Progenitor’.
As the firing commences the mermen scatter. Everyone starts firing except for Caitlin who takes cover first and then looses a burst from her new and strange weapon. As the rest of the Team in the softer armors notices that maneuver they also move to cover. Thor and Dr. Nis (in his waterproofed Viper) moves to take the two Borgs into hand to hand. The spear guns just bounced off the Aquarius’, but the ‘mermen’s weapons scored some good hits as did the Team’s mini-torps. Thor and Dr. Nis take down the Borg guards but receive some damage doing it. The Team takes their weapons and gets ready to enter.
Thor and Dr. Nis pushes the double doors open and steps back to the side when they see a giant ten foot tall crab standing in the large room beyond. Only Frankie who is in partial cover a number of meters beyond the door asks if she should fire, and then does, when she gets no reply. The merman weapons chip some of the shell off revealing a metallic undercoating. It is some kind of nightmarish underwater ‘cyberwalker’. The crab opens its claw, points it at Frankie, and cuts loose with a volley of fire similar to the rifles that they had just procured. The burst tears off an arm, riddles her torso, and finally blows her head into red mist. Frankie is dead.
Thor charges the crab, and is ambushed by two more Aquarius Borgs up out of sight of the door near the ceiling of the tall room. They inflict a lot of damage, but Thor closes quickly, and Dr. Nis moves in to also engage the underwater cyberwalker. While they engage the crab, Jose in his new Aquarius body steps through and engages the two new Borgs in a firefight. Cid and Dr. Shamal see windows up on what they estimated to be the third level and swim up to them. Caitlin, who is just in a lightly armored dive suit, covers the outside against an attack from the rear, and Wylie steps through the door to engage the other cyborg.
This is perhaps not the best move as the enemy Borgs tears Wylie in his lighter armor to bits. He quickly acquires 38 (out of 40) points of damage and is unconscious. Jose has one of his legs shot off, and is also shredded in a number of locations. Thor and Dr. Nis are taking heavy damage, but concentrate their damage to the torso of the walker. Up above Cid and Dr. Shamal look into the window and see an aquatic version of Dr. Kimura and one of the mermen swimming away. Cid empties ten rounds from his weapon into the Kimura and kills him. Dr. Shamal decides to err on the side of caution and not shoot at the merman. Instead he just calls over the communications channel that Kimura is down. That is fatal mistake. This is this Dr. Kimura’s seneschal. The ‘merman” turns around and put five rounds into each. A head shot into each Team member with those explosive shells kills them both! Jose has to pull out of sight of the doorway due to the enormous damage he has taken. Dr. Nis’ ‘waterproofed’ Viper is now popping leaks in a number of locations and heading for a shutdown. He scurries out of the large chamber, and goes around the outside corner of the building out of sight to try to temporarily patch some of his leaks (with his jury rig). Thor brings down the crab and gets out of the room before his/her suit shuts down. Thor also pulls the dying Wylie out of the line of fire.
The two Aquarius’ inside are in not much better shape and don’t pursue. Thor, Caitlin and Jose swim up to the third story window and look inside. There is a headless body that they surmise is a Dr. Kimura. Thor tells Caitlin to swim in and retrieve the corpse, which she does. Unfortunately, Dr. Kimura’s seneschal is waiting in ambush. He fires a full ten round burst at her, but botches! She swims out the window, drops out of sight, and pulls the corpse around the outside corner of the building. The seneschal pursues right into the guns of the waiting Thor and Jose. The merman is cut to pieces.
This brings the remaining enemy Aquarius Borgs out of the building and their fire shuts down Jose. Thor closes with them and Dr. Nis, who has broken off a couple of fingers from his disabled arm to plug some of his leaks, comes back into the fray. They make short work of the two damaged Aquarius cyborgs.
Caitlin rushes to her brother’s side and tries to stabilize him, but fails. The rest of the mermen come out and one of their doctors tries to save the mortally wounded Wylie. He is too far gone and dies. Caitlin is devastated, but keeps going numbly.
These ‘merman’ are another of Dr. Kimura’s creations. They really didn’t like him all that much, and while they are not quite as happy as the munchkins at the death of the Wicked Witch of the East, they are very grateful for their deliverance. All they want is to get out of this place and out to the open ocean. Their technicians plug the leaks in the Team’s damaged suits, and give the Team access to whatever technology is in the place in return for letting them into the open ocean. The Nietzscheans on the submarine converse a bit with this new race of biogens and both sides agree to consider an alliance of convenience to defend themselves against the humans. For the most part the mermen just want to be left along.
Sunday, September 5, 2027
The submarine departs the island after making sure the mermen are freed by flooding the entire complex (Caitlin retrieves her explosives on the ‘escape’ plane and the Collective takes that aircraft.) They rendezvous with the freighter that evening and drop off the Team, which loads into Doyle’s AV and returns to their island base.
Monday, September 6, 2027
The day is spent resting and repairing damage. Arrangements are made for their return to the United States. Caitlin and Jose hold a funeral and cremate Wylie’s remains. No other Team members bother to attend.
Tuesday, September 7, 2027
The Team departs for the United States on the Collective’s Boeing C-25 after a successful but costly mission. Jose remains with the Collective to be integrated into his new Alpha Borg body and perhaps get a little therapy to help with the transition. Four of their comrades are dead, but another Kimura clone has been terminated and a new biogenetic race freed.