Episode 15 – Dust Up in Dallas
Tuesday, September 7, 2027
Due to crossing the International Date Line, the Team arrives back at a private airport in NorCal on the same calendar date as they left. The Team readies itself for the move to Dallas and the next race which is this coming Sunday. Doyle goes to visit Yoshi, the late Dr. Shamal’s girlfriend and tells her in person about his death. Yoshi is very upset (naturally), and Doyle pays her rent for the rest of the year. It is small compensation (on a personal level), but Yoshi appreciates the generosity of the act. His Nomad pack has already arrived in Texas and set up at two mansions to confuse any attempted assault. That evening the Team leaves in Doyle’s AV for Dallas. Caitlin takes another flight to meet up with a motorcycle that she has purchased. She will arrive later as a member of the O’Leary Family Nomad pack under a new name, Kathleen (Kathy or Kat) Black.
Wednesday, September 8, 2027
The Team arrives just after dawn at the mansion and Doyle is at the track by 10 am. Ava comes running over as soon as she sees Doyle, and the girl’s father is seen slamming his headphones down. It is obvious to all that there is a growing affection between these two racers. Slice is there, but his leg is in a cast. He is coaching another driver. Richard Wilson, the rookie sensation from the San Francisco race, is also there. He has a new sponsor in the Mongoose Corporation. Of course, a new Raffen Shiv racing Team is here. Doyle makes a few test runs on the track. He spends the rest of the day there and arranges to go out to dinner with Ava.
About noon Caitlin (as Kathleen Black) arrives on her motorcycle at the mansion after securing a safe storage facility in Fort Worth for some of her more questionable gear. Her cover is as a security consultant for the mansion. Early in the afternoon, a new Team member arrives at the mansion. He is Mario Shamal, the late Dr. Shamal’s brother (and new character of that same player). Mario is a netrunner with a specialty in Electronic Warfare and Remote Operation. He is given the late Cid’s EW equipment and settles into the place. Doyle meets him when he returns from the track and before he goes out with Ava.
That afternoon Caitlin makes a complete security sweep and analysis of the mansion. There is a very simple surveillance system that would not stop any kind of competent intrusion team. The Nomad guards are good for what they are. There is little to improve save a major overhaul of style and personnel, which does not seem to be in the cards. That night Caitlin interrupts Mario’s video gaming (he is a video game ‘addict’) to begin a sweep of all frequencies in the area, while she does a stealth check of the mansion’s perimeter and surrounding area. Mario finds coded radio transmissions between one of the closer mansions and another one in this rich neighborhood. He breaks the code and it turns out to be two teenage lovers talking to each other. Caitlin finds a parabolic microphone in a tree just outside of the property line that is listening in on the living room of the mansion. Mario traces back the signal to a commuter parking lot nearby and a car with tinted windows. Caitlin gets the license plate number and a brief look at the driver before he leaves in the morning. She fails to take the lens cap off her camera so doesn’t get a picture (a botch).
Thursday, September 9, 2027
Caitlin informs Doyle of the surveillance, but suggests not disturbing it. Whoever this was will try again probably and it might be best just to make sure no one discusses important information and let the intruder think he is undiscovered. Doyle agrees. She also asks if he has the connections to get the license plate number identified. He takes the number without comment.
Dr. Nis rents an AV and goes to visit General Pershing’s mercenary base and Lone Star manufacturing facility in West Texas. The doctor is a comrade in arms of the General from (the) Malagay (Campaign), and also did his power armor training here. The general was, of course, at his command in Africa, but the doctor has a number of friends at that base, which he sees. He returns by late evening.
At the track, Doyle notices that the newcomer, Richard Wilson, seems to be outmatched by his powerful new motorcycle. The Nomad then goes up and talks with Slice. That racer is out for the season because of a new accident. The two have a friendly chat. Doyle and Ava go out to dinner and have a long talk. It seems that she is very intimidated by the Raffen Shiv, and fears they might try something else. When the evening comes to an end, Ava asks to spend the night at Doyle’s mansion. He says yes. Later she tells him that was kind of a test of his intentions and feelings for her.
That evening Caitlin asks Doyle if he has run the plate of the surveillance operator. The Nomad says no, and isn’t going to. He doesn’t deem it important. A stunned Caitlin goes to Thor and asks him/her, to use his/her connections with General Pershing to get the information. She then does a renewed security sweep of the mansion and finds nothing new.
Friday, September 10, 2027
Doyle goes to the track in the morning and has a chat with Richard Wilson, the new racer. He gives him a few tips as they have a pleasant talk until Richard’s pit crew notices, hurries over and hustles him away. The Nomad has lunch with both Ava and her father. The location is an elite, high-end place a good distance from the track picked by the father. There Doyle proposes the idea of forming a racing team. The father and Ava are stunned but intrigued by the idea. Doyle explains that he has enough victories and money. He wants to move on to something more. Since there are no teams in this sport (it’s not against the rules, it just hasn’t happened yet), this would revolutionize the sport. Maybe that is what Doyle had in mind? After much discussion it is decided that they will do this under the Edelbrock colors. The father insists that Doyle not throw any races to let his daughter win. They decide to announce the formation of Team Edelbrock at the press gala tomorrow, which would be the day before the race. There are also some ‘frank’ discussions of the Nomad and Ava’s relationship that has the young girl blush a couple of times. The father expresses concern that Doyle’s dangerous lifestyle, associates and the enemies he has earned could endanger his daughter. The Nomad racer asks him, if he has acquired any dangerous enemies himself in the course of his European corporate career? The father thinks and says, yes, Doyle has a good point. The three return late to the track. Doyle and Ava agree to have a late diner at her hotel that night. Doyle has some interviews to do to replace people in his entourage, who were killed by ‘an Edgerunner attack while the Team was on vacation in Malagay’ (actually in Episode 14: Battle Beneath the Waves). The Edgerunner attack is the public story (sworn to by the government of Malagay) as to why the people died.
Thor gives Caitlin the information on the license plate. It is of a known ‘Stalkarazzi’ given to sensational and barely credible stories. When the racer returns, she informs Doyle, who is unconcerned. At 6 pm, the first of the new applicants arrive. His name is Ian Price and he is another tailor, armorsmith, and weaponsmith. He has some decent combat skills and is hired. (This character replaces Cid and is almost a Xerox of the late Italian designer.) At 7 pm, a new Team doctor is interviewed. She is a Czech national named Vera Zelinke. Quite a few recognize her by another name. She is also known as Stela Cervena a former European porn star. (Hey, it paid her way through medical school!) Every male Nomad with a pulse takes notice! She is, of course, hired. At 8 pm, Raymond Gunderson, a former soldier turned media is interviewed. Ray has been vetted by the Collective. He is a low level media (Credibility 2), who is known for his pro-biogenetic positions. This man is a blogger and conspiracy theorist. (Picture a young Detective Munch from Law & Order SVU.) Raymond writes on his blog entitled ‘In the Crosshairs’ under the name Ray Gun. After he is interviewed Doyle’s publicist pulled him aside and informs him of the upcoming Team Edelbrock formation. He is advised to write up an announcement. He will be allowed to release it on his blog two hours before the official announcement to improve his credibility.
Dr. Nis approaches Vera after her interview with a ‘business’ proposition. He will pay her 15,000 eb a month to be his mistress. Her sexual favors will be his and his alone. She will keep herself in fine tone, shaved, and be available twenty-four seven (except during a dangerous part of any operation, of course). She accepts the proposal, and he agrees on the condition that he gets to ‘sample the merchandise’ tonight. He will give her a 5000 eb non-refundable deposit on the first month for this privilege. Out comes the cash, among other things, and Vera ‘scores’ the contract.
Doyle meets Ava at her hotel for dinner. Hans and Franz, her bodyguards, are there. As dinner progresses, Doyle notices that one of the hangers on of the Raffen Shiv racing team, who they had pegged for a solo, is sitting at a nearby table. He keeps his eye on that solo. Doyle finally catches out of the corner of his eye, the solo pull a handgun and take aim at Ava. The Nomad is able to dive into the line of fire and shield her. It costs him a bullet in the back, but his armor helps lessen the damage. Gunfire erupts in the dining room. There is five more Raffen Shiv there. (I guess you can dress up shit and make it look passable.) Hans is shot dead, and Franz is wounded by fire from four of the five new assailants. The fifth pulls out a scorpion SMG and starts to hose the crowd, which responds by rushing out the door in a panic. Doyle pulls out his pair of huge custom made Opium Arms handguns and turns on some of his Chipware. Three of the five start across the floor towards them, but remain hidden in the panicking crowd. Franz and the original attacker start exchanging fire, and Ava’s wounded bodyguard manages to drop him. Doyle fires on one of the attackers at the table across the room, and even Ava now has her weapon out and starts firing.
Outside in the lobby the sound of assault rifle fire rings out followed by more return rifle fire of noticeably different weapons. The crowd ceases to try to leave for the lobby and starts to mill about like a panicked herd. Doyle kills one at the table and Franz drops one of the approaching assassins. The firefight continues in the lobby as does the one in the dining room. Finally, the remaining attackers reach the Nomad’s table along with Franz, who has been trying to get to his charge. Franz finally falls dead as he reaches the two and his body covers them both. The two killers reach Doyle and Ava expecting an easy kill. They are shocked as Doyle throws off Franz’s body and punches the assailants with a pair of wolvers! The Nomad’s possession of these and his high martial arts stun the attackers. This was not in Doyle’s profile.
Doyle had been secretly trained for years by his friend, Mallory one of the Nietzschean leaders, in Chou Li Fut, and given a pair of the Collective’s wolvers that are not detectable by the current scanner technology. This was the first time the Nomad ever was pressed enough to actually use them except in practice.
The two in hand-to-hand range of Doyle die in a shower of blood and gore. The remaining assailant, who is now by the door, is so stunned he drops his magazine that he is reloading. By the time he recovers Doyle puts a good number of pistol rounds into him. That Raffen Shiv dies quickly. Outside in the lobby the firefight is over and heavily armed hotel security rushes into the dining room to secure the scene. Doyle has his wolvers retracted by then. The police are there quickly along with medical personnel. Ava is hysterical. Her father is furious. It is clear to him that his daughter was the target of this attack. Not only that, but the two bodyguards, who were also his friends, are dead.
The police detain everyone, but let Doyle accompany Ava to the hospital. Celebrity status and Texas political connections have its rewards. The police will piece together that Doyle possesses an illegal set of wolvers, but that fact will never make any official report. LawDiv will eventually learn of this, but will keep that as an ‘ace in the hole’ for dealing with Doyle later.
Saturday, September 11, 2027
Neither Doyle nor Ava attends the press conference for the race. In fact, neither does the Raffen Shiv. They are nowhere to be found. The announcement of the formation of Team Edelbrock is postponed for now, so poor Ray will not get his scoop, yet.
Dr. Nis goes to the bank and gets out 20,000 eb in cash. He gives half of it to Vera as the rest of her monthly fee. The other half he offers to Ray to give his exploits a strong positive spin in his blog and press releases. Ray looks at the large pile of cash, and says he will not “compromised his integrity” for that amount of money, but he could certainly make sure that Dr. Nis will be portrayed in a strong, favorable light in his stories (if he mentions him at all).
Vera goes to the bank and gets herself a 1200 eb cash card. Caitlin spends the day updating her Asp program. The O’Leary Family remains on full alert for any treachery by the Raffen Shiv.
The media paints last night’s attack as an attempt of Doyle’s life by a rival Nomad Nation. No one makes any attempt to change that perception.
Sunday, September 12, 2027
It is Race Day!!!
There is a large police presence at the track. Everyone on the Team is present except Mario who remains at the house to play video games. He does, however, listen to the race on the radio. Vera, Ian and Ray watch the race from the VIP box, while Dr. Nis and an increasingly twitchy Caitlin prowl the infield. Needless to say, the Raffen Shiv team is conspicuously absent.
Doyle is on his way to another victory with the young Richard Wilson in third and Ava running in fourth place when one of the bikes in the pack explodes. It is clear to Dr. Nis (and probably others with demolition experience) that this is no accident. Fourteen riders are down including Ava. A panic ensues, but the police move quickly to restore order. Dr. Nis and Caitlin quickly make sure that no one uses the confusion to get near Doyle’s team area. Vera comes down from the VIP box to offer her medical expertise. Ray goes down to help (and perhaps gather information for a story). Doyle rushes to Ava’s side, but she is not seriously hurt. Ian watches the confusion from the VIP box. It is him that notices one of the policeman’s shirts isn’t quite the right shade of blue. Unfortunately he does not have a commo of any sort, and he has not bothered to get a cell phone for himself either, so he has to move down out of the stands where he finally finds another police officer and reports this fact. By this time, however, the faux officer has lost himself in the crowd and a police search just turns up and empty uniform shirt and a wig. These will turn out to contain no usable forensics.
The race is cancelled and there will be no placings for it. Six riders are dead and another eight wounded along with about a score of spectators. Ava is taken to the hospital by ambulance. As her father is about to leave, Dr. Nis asks him to wait and then checks under the hood of his limousine. There is nothing there, but Caitlin looks at the underside of that vehicle where there is a bomb planted. Dr. Nis examines the device and thinks he might be able to defuse it, if he had his tools, and there wasn’t only 1:30 minutes left on the timer. The police clear the area and the limo is allowed to explode.
“Enough is enough,” Ava’s father mutters under his breath, “Now the gloves come off.”
That night at the mansion Doyle sets Mario to gather all the information, videos and films he can find on today’s explosion. Ray offers to use his photo and film skills to help reconstruct the incident. The two get right to work.
Monday, September 13, 2027
In the early morning just before dawn, Dr. Nis goes down to the commuter parking lot, calls a cab and follows the ‘Stalkarazzi’ back to his home in the Combat Zone. There he warns the man to stop harassing Doyle. The man is not intimidated, and starts to bait Dr. Nis, who then turns the man’s car over on his roof and walks away as the ‘journalist’ calls the police. Dallas’ finest beat Dr. Nis back to the mansion and promptly arrest him for assault and destruction of private property. The nervous officers see who they are here to arrest and have forgotten to bring ion cuffs. Dr. Nis assures them he will be no trouble. He denies assaulting the man, but freely admits to trashing his car. What is worse is the press coverage that follows.
World News Service feed
Doyle O’Leary Sends a “Butcher of Malagay” to Bully Journalist
Nomad racer Doyle O’Leary sent a Dr. Patrick Nis one of the infamous ‘Butchers of Malagay’ to try to intimate a local Dallas journalist into silence. This alleged mass murderer delivered the threat and trashed the media’s car in a blatant attempt to silence the man. Police have arrested the criminal responsible. Sources close to the police say the DA is considering charges against the famous racer.
Of course, the DA was never considering any such thing, but the ‘Stalkarazzi’ is able to get his story and name out there which is what he wanted. In fact, before the day is out, the police have that media’s illegal listening devices and now it is he that is under threat of arrest. The lawyers get together and the whole incident is disposed of in court by afternoon. The assault charge is dropped. Dr. Nis pays a 10,000 eb fine for destruction of property, and the ‘Stalkarazzi’ has his car repairs paid for. The man is also slipped another 2000 eb on the side for his trouble.
While Dr. Nis waits, he receives another visit by LawDiv. Again, Dr. Nis requests to speak to the supervisor he has spoken to before. This time the man flies down and remembers to bring the coffee.
LawDiv requests Dr. Nis be held for another 72 hours, but Texas authorities are not as obliging as the California’s and refuses. He is released late that afternoon after his court appearance.
That morning, as the Team is at the mansion, Doyle’s lawyer show up and tells the racer to inform Dr. Nis not to talk to LawDiv without counsel present. The conversation turns to the Raffen Shiv and Doyle casually mentions that he has learned from Ava’s father that a European corporation has sponsored the Raffen Shiv team. Caitlin asks which one, but he replies he doesn’t know. When asked if he could find out from the old man which one he says it isn’t important and won’t ask. Even when the possibility that it could be the Schmidt Corporation is brought up this idea is met with indifference.
Ian is informed that the workshop that Cid had in San Francisco is still there, so he takes a plane to that city to inventory the shop and take anything he needs. After that Caitlin, who seems highly agitated, goes up to the race crew chief and tells him she is taking a few days off. She gives him her phone number, packs her kit and rides off on her motorcycle. By nightfall, Mario has assembled just about every video available to the explosion at the track from the previous day. He tries to build a three-dimensional model but does not have the resources or time. It is apparent that both tires exploded simultaneously. Dr. Nis calculates there were bombs in both tires and they were set off by either timer or more likely by radio ignition switch. Mario also finds enough footage to get a shot of the faux policeman planting the bomb under the car in the aftermath’s confusion. He is also able to follow his trail out of the racetrack, but loses him before the man ditches his disguise. They are able to get an enhanced picture of him in his disguise, but this might be useless for facial recognition software. A good disguise roll will spoof that.
The stakes are being raised in this drama. The next race is in a month in Miami. The Team is still waiting for information from the Collective. Dallas is in an uproar and the police now keep a cruiser just down on the corner from Doyle’s mansion. It is there for his protection, but still that is just a measure of how dangerous the situation is getting.
Episode 16 – Florida Road Trip
Tuesday, September 14, 2027
Under the watchful eye of their respective bodyguards Doyle and Ava spend their last day together until the next race in Miami, Florida in mid-October. The Edelbrock Team is scheduled to leave Dallas early the next morning. That evening Doyle gets a message that there is an issue that needs his attention. He leaves late that night with Thor and a few Family members to deal with it. The rest of the Team will accompany the Race Crew on its trip to Miami.
(GM Note: This helped account for group members who could not attend this week’s session.)
Ray Gunderson starts to research the various members of his new Team. Just because your paranoid, it doesn’t mean they are not out to get you! (But it does usually mean you are just crazy!)
Dr. Nis and Vera go out on the town. The good Doctor (with his sparkling Empathy of 1) wants to show off his new ‘toy’, namely Vera. He finds himself and his mistress a high-class call girl, and buys himself a three-way.
Caitlin is out dealing with her ‘problem’. It seems her feline DNA sends her into heat about every four months. This was the cause of her odd behavior during Episode Two and her panic when Jose had his ‘Mr. Studd” shot off. Well, Jose is not around now, the pressure of a new identity (with the lack of friends to talk to), and her frustration at the situation with the Team makes her unable (and unwilling) to control her urges. She spends the day (like the previous night) hunting horny, beefy jocks from the University of Texas at Arlington, and fulfills a number of the student’s adolescent fantasies.
Wednesday, September 15, 2027
World News Service feed
Biogenetic Prostitutes Request Political Asylum in Utah
Five female biogens formally requested asylum in Utah claiming they had been held as sex slaves in a legal brothel in Nevada. They escaped and spend the past few days making their way to Utah and freedom. The five claim that many more biogens are being held in Nevada and used in the sex trade there. Nevada authorities initially dismissed their claims as fabrications, but have since promised to look into the matter. Federal authorities have had no official comment on the developing situation.
Ray continues his research and buys a surveillance kit. Caitlin continues to get her ‘itch’ scratched at the University of Texas. Dr. Nis and Vera stay in tonight.
Thursday, September 16, 2027
World News Service feed
Mining Accident Traps 100 Miners in Williams, NV
The old silver mine in Williams, NV collapsed trapping over one hundred miners below ground. A major rescue effort is being mounted to get to the trapped men. Reportedly equipment is being flown in from around the world to help in the effort.
(See Episode 8 for more details on Williams, NV.)
Schmidt Industries and Australia Announce Joint Space Venture
The multi-national corporation, Schmidt Industries, has signed a deal with government of Australia to develop an independent space program to challenge the major space faring powers in the emerging high ground of space. Schmidt Industries will be developing a variety of new lift vehicles and interplanetary transports. There is also a reported military component to the program, but details on that have been withheld. Other powers involved with space exploration have given their cautious approval to the project, but others see growing and potentially dangerous rivalries beginning to form.
It is a quiet day in Dallas at Team Doyle’s mansion. A new security ‘person’ arrives to start work. Actually it is a Combat Alpha cyborg named Tony Silva. Well, really it is just Jose with a new body, identity and altered DNA. He got a little bit of therapy, which has raised his new Empathy score to a whopping 2!
That makes him (technically) cyberpsycho the way we play. You still control your character, but the police, if they know, treat you like a rabid dog, and you know what happens to them. Now there is no way to really ‘make’ a player act cyberpsycho, but it has been our experience that give someone enough armor and firepower, and it happens anyway!)
Caitlin is now winding down from her ‘desires’, and rides her motorcycle back to the mansion. Of course, one of the first people she sees is Tony/Jose. She has just finished washing the smell and sweat of two safeties, a linebacker and a defensive end off of her. Despite years of training she displays all the ‘cool’ of a four year old that had just been caught with her hand in the cookie jar, when she looks at Jose.
Dr. Nis and Vera remain at the mansion for the day. Ray goes out in the evening, but doesn’t stay out late since tomorrow the Family will start their trip to Miami. The decision is made to go north to Oklahoma and pick up Interstate 40. They will follow that road all the way to North Carolina, and then take Interstate 95 to Miami. This way they will avoid the more repressive of the Cotton Kingdom states.
On the way home in a cab, Ray notices that he picks up a tail at the end of the block (a large block due to the size of the homes and grounds). It follows him to the entrance of the driveway to the mansion. His paranoia cuts in and he tells a couple of the bikers guarding the place that he has been followed. The two take off after the vehicle, and the media goes inside and alerts the others. Mario sends up a Bell Mini-bee, after he saves his current video game. Jose goes right out to the road. Down at the corner of the street the car is stopped, and the two bikers are lying motionless on the ground with a third figure standing over them. Jose calls out. The figure turns, sees the borg and his hand go for something under his coat. Jose quick draws both his 14mm Big Government pistols and puts four rounds into him, which drops the figure as a pistol comes out from under the target’s coat.
Jose goes up to the three fallen figures along with Ray, Caitlin and a few of the O’Leary Family members who have now caught up. They notice that two of the tires have been slashed. The two bikers are alive and have only had the crap beaten out of them. Caitlin examines the third man, who is badly wounded, but still alive. She sees something shiny on his belt. It is a LawDiv badge. Jose just shot a cop! She quickly succeeds in stabilizing him. It is quickly apparent that he is alone (they are not railed down immediately by arriving police reinforcements). They hustle the agent into the mansion, and the Nomads (after a brief search) ditch his vehicle.
As LawDiv has limited authority in the Free State of Texas and that state has proved less than cooperative with that Federal agency, they had sent an agent ‘unofficially’ to keep an eye on Doyle’s racing team. Dr. Vera sets up a makeshift operating theatre in the dining room, extracts Jose’s bullets from the agent’s body, and patches him up, while keeping him unconscious. They destroy the badge with its tracker, all they rest of his identification, and download all his reports from the agent’s PDA. They whip up a drug cocktail to keep him unconscious for 24 hours.
During Vera’s operation on the agent the crew chief, Caitlin and Jose are in the kitchen. The chief asks Caitlin if she would like a drink. He has noticed her (ATTR 9) and her feline-like walk, which he finds very desirable. He is surprised when she tells him she doesn’t drink alcohol. He then asks if she would like to smoke a ‘blunt’ with him. Caitlin looks confused for a second (she has no idea what that means), and politely declines. The young biogen makes an excuse and leaves the room. The crew chief watches her ass as she walks out of the room, then turns to Jose smiling and tells him, “I am definitely going to tag that lovely piece of ass before we reach Miami.”
Jose resists his first impulse to tear the chief’s head off. Fortunately his now impassive Alpha face dies not betray his rage to the Nomad. The chief announces that they must leave immediately after the surgery is done, so they can get out of Texas as quickly as possible.
Friday, September 17, 2027
The eight-vehicle convoy leaves very early heading for Texarkana. Some outriders take the unconscious agent out to as location, pin an envelope with a note and a couple of thousand euros in it, and then call Trauma Team. They wait in hiding to make sure the agent is picked up and then catch up with the convoy. The column heads for its destination, but once out of the Dallas area they hit the side roads and head north towards Oklahoma.
World News Service feed
Schmidt Industries Takes Over Rescue Efforts in Nevada
Schmidt Industries announced their takeover of the relief efforts to free 100 trapped miners in the Williams, NV silver mine that has collapsed. A spokesman for Schmidt announced that the corporation and the government of Nevada have reached an agreement to let the multi-national corporation take over the rescue efforts due to their long experience in the mining industry and their willingness to pay for the rescue efforts. The governor praised Adolph Schmidt for this selfless humanitarian gesture. Equipment from over the entire world has reportedly been arriving all day.
Most of the group rides in the family bus except for Ray who rides with Kathy / Caitlin in a Family armadillo road home. They travel all day and stop at an old rest stop south of Oklahoma City that has been taken over as a Nomad camping area. The Family has ‘business’ there. Ray spends the day writing a scathing blog about biogenetic prostitution in Nevada and posts it on the boards that he maintains. At the camp, Vera goes to the local Nomad market to browse the wares. She is immediately hit on by a number of people. She also is not wearing any symbols identifying her as affiliated with any Nomad Family. This makes her fair game. Vera retreats back to the camp site and gets Dr. Nis, who is not at all amused. Nis finds the Nomad that had given Vera the most trouble (OK, it was more like a menacing proposition), and they have ‘words’. Violence does not break out and the two return to the camp. There the two go into the family bus they are traveling in and start to get it on. In mid coitus cold water is thrown on them by an angry crew chief. Several of the children have seen them, and this type of behavior is NOT acceptable here.
At dinner time Ray picks up his meal and brings a plate back to the armadillo for Caitlin who is working on updating one of her programs. The surprised biogen sets up a table and two chairs under the awning for them to eat. Ray is just trying to be friendly and express his gratitude for her driving him. Caitlin also proves a great listener to his pro biogenetic rants (no surprise there). Unfortunately, Jose, now Tony, just sees another man sitting with his girlfriend laughing and having a meal with her. Not only that, but he is at ‘his’ armadillo (he paid for half), and sitting in ‘his’ personal camp chair. Jose stares at the two throughout the whole meal. Almost everyone in the camp notices. Well, not Caitlin, who has her back to him. Ray eventually notices, but doesn’t make much of it.
That night there is a dance at the camp, which most everyone attends. By now it is common knowledge that Vera is ‘taken’ so her dance card had only one name: Dr. Nis. Caitlin however finds herself the center of some attention, and has a wonderful time. She still chooses to go home alone. Well, not completely alone. Ray walks her back to the armadillo. His tent is pitched nearby. As they chat Caitlin starts to wonder whether maybe he likes her. She still finds human interactions difficult to fathom. Finally, Ray smiles, says good night and walks to his tent leaving a confused Caitlin to wonder how humans ever figure out how each of them feel.
Saturday, September 18, 2027
The caravan departs early in the morning and picks up Interstate 40 going east. Just before noon they enter Arkansas at Fort Smith. Well, a surprise awaits them as a new sign greets the Nomads. It reads ‘Welcome to Fort “Schmidt’! The corporation has bought most of the surrounding area, and is building a large transportation facility. This is not good news.
The Team, along with some of the Nomads, goes to a local trucker’s diner and gets some lunch. Although he does not need to eat Jose goes too. As the cyborg sits at a table a waitress comes over and gives him a can of 40-weight oil. She points out some snickering truckers across the room. Jose tries to glare at them menacingly, but finds that his impassive Alpha face had only one expression. Vera is recognized and soon a large kielbasa arrived for her from another group of laughing truckers. Things are getting a little tense. Vera autographs the rather large polish sausage and sends it back to the jokesters. This breaks the tension immediately. Ray chats up some of the people at the diner and finds out that Adolph Schmidt himself is in town. He came here on a quick inspection tour while taking some time off as he personally supervises the rescue efforts at the site of the mining accident in Williams, NV. Ray heads out immediately to the site where Schmidt was last seen to try to get an interview, and Caitlin returns to the armadillo to prep one of her sniper rifles.
Ray reaches the area, but it is a hard hat construction zone. He manages to get on the property, but is quickly spotted by a security guard, who questions him. A big gun can solve (at least temporarily) a lot of problems in Cyberpunk, but a glib tongue and good interpersonal skills can often get you much more. Ray works his ‘Michael Weston’ style magic on Jim, the security guard, and a possible detention turns into an informative conversation between two new friends. Ray learns that Schmidt Transportation Inc. is opening this new center and will soon take over maintenance of Interstate 40 in Arkansas. They plan to turn it into a toll road, which will squeeze the Nomads out. Also, the corporation is building a high security prison. What better place to store recalcitrant corporate enemies or troublesome Nomads? Oh, yes, and Adolph Schmidt has already left to return to Williams, NV. Ray gets back to the convoy as they depart for Little Rock, and delivers the disappointing news.
By nightfall, the column arrives at a Nomad campsite outside of Little Rock. There are a number of other Nomads there, but it is a quiet evening. People turn in early as they will be on the road at dawn. Just before midnight Jose, who is on guard, notices a low mist rolling across the camping area. A whiff of it enters the borg’s breathing system, which immediately shuts itself down. It is poison gas! The alarm is quickly raised. Dr. Nis is up quickly and does not suffer too badly. Caitlin is sleeping in the armadillo and turns on air filtration as she jumps into her sealable military BDU’s. Ray is sleeping in his BDU’s and is able to get the suit sealed before he is too damaged. Mario takes some serious damage, and Vera almost dies. Those who got up quickly pull the others off the ground and get them above the lethal height of the low-lying gas cloud.
(GM Note: A hit team with automatic weapons had been sneaking up to finish off the survivors, but noticed Jose before they attacked. They had no weapons to take on a combat Alpha cyborg. They retreated quietly so they could live to enjoy their paycheck.)
The other Nomad families suffer grievously also. Mario gets a remote in the air and finds an overturned tanker trailer on a rise nearby to the north. Caitlin gets her weapons out and heads there with Ray serving as back up. There isn’t much there besides the overturned trailer and some tire tracks heading to a road a short distance to the north. At the road, the tire tracks head west towards Fort Schmidt. At this point gunfire is heard in the direction of Little Rock. Caitlin and Ray return to the camp to find that the other Nomad families have left with their dead and dying to a hospital in Little Rock. Doyle’s Family has waited for the two to return.
As the Team’s convoy heads to the hospital in Little Rock they come upon another scene of destruction. The first group of Nomads that had headed to the hospital has been ambushed and massacred. There are a few survivors (10), and all are in critical condition. Unfortunately, Dr. Vera is in no better shape so the Team gathers the wounded and heads to the hospital. Once at the hospital, the staff there wants to know who is going to pay for the treatments necessary to save the 16 Nomads in need of attention. (Vera has health insurance.) They all need immediate treatment (500 eb per), a lung replacement (3900 eb per) and hospitalization (300 eb minimum). The chemical agent is discovered to be military grade chlorine gas. The dead need no treatment, of course, and among the dead are nearly all the children that had been at the camp. Dr. Nis comes up with the money for Doyle’s Family members (6), and Caitlin pays for the treatment of the other Nomads (10).
Mario dispatches a Bumblebee remote (full size) and sends it to check the road to Fort Smith. Sure enough a bobtail tractor with a couple of vans is speeding back to that new corporate town. The vehicles have no markings, but are of the type that Schmidt Transportation has in that town. Some pictures are taken, but the police are not really interested. The local press gives the story some play, but there is no national coverage. The survivors get hotel rooms in Little Rock. This atrocity will rock the Nomad community.
Sunday, September 19, 2027
Everyone rests in town and the wounded recover in the hospital. An outraged Ray prepares another blog for his websites. While stopping just short of outright accusation and avoiding a legally ‘actionable’ statement, he eviscerates Schmidt Transportation as the villain in this piece. Still, no reports of the attack make the national press.
World News Service feed
Federal and State Authorities Raid Nevada Brothels
A police task force raided several Nevada brothels today and seized an undisclosed number of biogenetic prostitutes working there. The owners and managers of these establishments were taken into custody, and prosecutors announced that charges would be filed soon against them and others who have participated in this illegal slave trade.
Monday, September 20, 2027
Although the convoy has barely enough drivers to move all the vehicles, they leave for a short hop to Memphis where a few more drivers (and outriders) will be waiting. Six of Doyle’s Family are dead which includes all the children that were with the Team. On the way across the rest of Arkansas, a report is heard on the radio about a statement from Schmidt Industries. They are horrified by the attack and deny any involvement. The corporation takes special note to condemn ‘misinformed lunatics from the blogosphere’. Ray had gotten their attention. They go on to blame the attack on bandits, and promise to provide ‘free’ armed escort to legitimate convoys heading across Arkansas on Interstate 40.
When the convoy arrives in Memphis there is still no real national press report of the attack. However, Ray discovers it is big news in Europe. Of course, the slant is that the United States government has no real control over what goes on in their country, and the place is too dangerous for civilized people to live. Still, this means the deaths are not going unnoticed.
There is no joy in the convoy as people still grieve for family and friends. Caitlin starts looking up if any other facilities of the Schmidt Corporation are on their projected route to Miami.
Tuesday, September, 21. 2027
The group limps to Nashville to pick up more people for the convoy, and to rest there in (hopeful) safety for a couple of days. Caitlin discovers that Balsam, North Carolina is the east coast headquarters and hub of Schmidt Transportation’s truck fleet. She begins to research what kind of trucks that company uses and gets their general schematics.
World News Service feed
Biogen Reported Captured in Huntsville, Alabama
Conflicting reports have come out of Huntsville, Alabama that a biogenetic construct has been captured after fleeing servitude working in the cotton fields in that state. Official state reports have both confirmed and denied this. Federal authorities have promised to look into the accusations.
Caitlin goes into her stash of C-6 and started making demolition devices designed to destroy tractor-trailer trucks of the make and models used by Schmidt Transportation. They are shaped charge affairs that will ruin the vehicle and damage the trailer, but NOT kill anyone in the cabs (hopefully).
Wednesday, September 22, 2027
The group recovers in Nashville and keeps close to their camp. Around noon there is breaking news. The captured Alabama biogen, who may or may not exist according to which Alabama official you ask, escapes custody in Huntsville. Someone captures the scene on his cell phone. The scene shows a sheriff’s van rocking violently and dents appearing on the back door. That door then bursts open and a long armed almost orangutan-like humanoid bursts out of the back a hurtles a deputy aside like a rag doll. The creature flees under a hail of ill aimed gunfire, and while it is wounded, it does escape. Federal authorities descend on Alabama.
Thursday, September 23, 2027
About noon a report comes out that the escaped Alabama biogen is recaptured in Tennessee about twenty-five miles south of Nashville. The creature was caught in a hunter’s trap. The hunter also shot it but refrained from killing it, when he realized it might be the escaped biogen. No mercy here, he was just hoping a live specimen would bring a bigger reward (sorry no reward). The creature is taken to the local hospital as it is badly wounded. Caitlin considers briefly trying to attempt a rescue, but such an action would be hard to plan on the fly. Also, who would follow her? She was undercover, and planning to commit a major terrorist strike in two days.
World News Service feed
Authorities Seize Southern Comfort Inc.
Federal and state authorities seized the Alabama based company in a series of raids today and arrested many of its top executives. It seems this company has been quietly manufacturing biogenetically created life forms to work in the cotton fields. It was one of these creatures that had escapes. The company also made a house servant model and was coming out with a home security model. Raids around Alabama and other cotton producing states have netted hundreds of these illegal creatures laboring on medium sized privately owned plantations.
Federal authorities and Biogenetic Rights activists have questioned how state officials could not have known about this illegal trafficking as more than a few of these agri-businesses were owned by their family members and, in some cases, by the officials themselves. The various governors of these southern states have expressed outrage over the use of biogenetic laborers and promised that those responsible will be brought to justice. These statements have brought a storm of derision from rights activists.
It seems these workers were bred with very little intelligence, little ability to feel pain, hunger and the elements, and a short life span. Southern Comfort was a spinoff company of BioWorks, which was recently seized by Federal authorities for manufacturing human looking biogenetic assassins for corporate use. BioWorks executives are also being looked at for the creation of prostitutes and other sex workers for use in Nevada. Prosecutors expect be issuing numerous indictments soon.
Ray spends his day working on his new blog where he focuses in on BioWork’s executives. The former CEO of the now defunct company comes under special attention for his “we make puppies now” speech. It seems their puppies can also pick cotton.
World News Service feed
Biogen Group Declares War on Humanity
Tonight TV viewers had their programming interrupted as a group of previously unknown biogens calling themselves the Genesis Project took control of the small town in Tennessee where the recaptured Southern Comfort biogen was being held. With military precision, the group seized the local TV station, neutralized the town’s small police force, and overran the guards both local and Federal at the hospital there. All of these actions were broadcasted live!
The group was heavily armed and cybered. They appeared, seized the other biogen and disappeared right under the noses of the counterstrike forming up to deal with them. As this group fled the hospital after the raid a spokesman for the group appeared on camera to make the following announcement:
“Humanity has created us for their own selfish and evil purposes. You feel that you can use us or kill us at your own pleasure. You make war on us, torture us and kill us. We are nothing more than animals to you. Less than animals actually for at least you love your pets. Well, you wanted a war? Now you have it! We aren’t going to take this anymore!
So far there has been no official response to this “declaration”.
The world stares at their TV screens in disbelief. Even Caitlin is dumbfounded, but not particularly sad about it. At the Collective’s headquarters there is only one real question: “Who the hell are those guys?”
Friday, September 24, 2027
The convoy leaves for a short hop to Balsam, NC. The world is in shock over last night’s events in Tennessee. Blame is being thrown everywhere. Caitlin and Ray talk about it for the whole drive. Well, Ray really does most of the talking, she just listens. She feels in an odd position. She is starting to think maybe he is an OK guy. If he knew who she really was they could have a real meaningful conversation. This is someone, maybe, she could talk to about all that was happening (and troubling her deeply). Life sucks!
World News Service feed
Rescue Efforts Abandoned in Williams, NV Mining Accident
Any further rescue attempts to reach the trapped miners in Williams, NV was suspended today after a further collapse endangered rescue workers. A spokesman for Schmidt Industries announced the aging mine is too unstable to continue the work, and too much time has passed for any hope that any of the 100 trapped miners are still alive.
The group camps on the south side of the mountain near the entrance to the underground city. Late that night Caitlin slips away and sneaks into the area where Schmidt Transportation keeps its trucks. There are eleven of them there. One is tanker truck carrying a flammable load. She realizes that it if that cargo detonates the explosion will probably take out a lot more than just the Schmidt vehicles and everyone within a hundred meters. The biogen does not plant a device on the fuel tanker. In fact she sets the bomb on truck next to the tanker so its blast will be directed away from the tanker. This will mean that that trailer will not be destroyed, but the risk of collateral damage is too great. The charges are set to go off at noon on Saturday.
Saturday, September 25, 2027
The convoy goes in the morning for a short hop to a spot just south of Raleigh to do some Family business before the making the run through South Carolina and Georgia. Neither state is friendly to Nomads, but South Carolina usually just wants their road use tax, and Georgia is working on her image. Anyway, the Southern Comfort Crisis has them pretty preoccupied. They arrived at the meet place just before noon and settle down for the rest of the day. Caitlin slips away to put some items in her storage space in Raleigh when the news hits.
World News Service feed
Terrorists Bomb Schmidt Transportation Yard in Balsam
Unknown terrorists struck the main marshaling yard of Schmidt Transportation at noon today as ten of their trucks exploded destroying millions of euro in vehicles and cargo. So far no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Federal authorities are investigating but so far there are no leads reported. Several people were injured in the attack, but none seriously. Fortunately there were no deaths.
Caitlin smiles to herself at the news. She will make them pay for the attack in Little Rock. This is just the beginning. Little did she know that her attack was about to be blasted off the front pages. The Federal government formally seizes Southern Comfort Incorporated and charges are being leveled against their top executives. Satisfying, yes, but, that evening as people watch their TVs, the world is shaken again.
News services everywhere cut in to bring, live from Seattle, a major attack on the regional LawDiv headquarters right at the height of the shift change when the maximum number of agents are there. The Genesis Project shuts down the city for fifteen minutes. Traffic lights are snarled, police are misdirected everywhere. All air traffic both civilian and military is grounded as the humans lose control of the computers that control the city. All the TV screens in the city broadcast the assault as the Genesis Project operatives cut through the LawDiv personnel like a hot knife through butter. Humanity just stares as the finest and best law enforcement group in the city is slaughtered like cattle before the biogenetics’ fury. The attack is swift, short and bloody. A spokesman for the Genesis Project ends the broadcast with a further warning to humanity to cease its war on biogenetic creations. Taking out a ‘Hicksville’ police department is one thing, but striking a LawDiv Regional Headquarters and getting away clean in a major city with a large military presence is quite another. The world is in shock!
Sunday, September 26, 2027
The convoy hit the road in the morning early to make it to Jacksonville by nightfall. This leg of the trip is uneventful, but the Team listens to the reports of the assault on LawDiv’s Seattle office. After the arrival in Florida, Caitlin is in the armadillo working on one of her NET programs, when her phone rings. The number comes up all zeros. She answers it and the voice on the other end identifies himself as a member of the Genesis Project. This turns out to be a recruitment call. They have the LawDiv files from the task force that is tracking the Team, and it contained Caitlin’s phone number, which no one was supposed to have. The Genesis Project would very much like her to join their crusade. As an inducement they send a copy (edited) of the LawDiv task force files to a NET drop box that Caitlin gives them, and a way to contact them. The young biogen is able to deduce that these are Nietzscheans, but not the same group that has hired her.
The files are fascinating, but they contain a key piece of information that she was unaware of. The authorities are aware of her current identity and are tracking her in hope she will lead them to other biogens. The file is stuffed with high tech satellite photography as a number of these orbiting spy assets have been tasked often to watch the Team. They know about the mission to the island in the Pacific, but not its details. They suspect a new underwater biogenetic race had been released into the ecosystem as a result. They suspect that the Bigfoot Borg from Danville is really another biogen. They know about Doyle’s wolvers and are only waiting for the right moment to arrest him and put the pressure to him to roll on the ‘Great Biogenetic Conspiracy’ that they suspect exits. They believe Wylie is dead. From Caitlin’s point of view the biggest news is that LawDiv suspects that the evidence that was used to trump up the Priority One Death Warrant against her is fraudulent, but it serves their purpose to let it stand. The report also contains the names of the task force that is chasing them. It consists of LawDiv, the C.I.A. and Interpol agents working together. Caitlin quickly checks the names of the dead LawDiv agents from yesterday’s attack, and a few of them were killed. It is apparent to the young biogen that while they know a lot, they really don’t have a clue about what is really going on.
Caitlin uses her computer, which is not compromised, to contact the Collective. They are, of course, most interested in this, and want her to arrange a meeting between the Collective and the Genesis Project. First, they are going to bring her in before LawDiv snaps her up. They send a plane to Florida immediately and tell her to sneak away from the Nomad camp to meet the pickup. Caitlin goes to the crew chief and tells him she has to leave. Then she goes to Ray, and tells him who she really is. He is the only one besides the crew chief that has made any effort to get to know her and be nice to her. Also, he has poured out his belief in biogenetic rights to her, but she has been unable to really relate to him since her cover did not allow her too. Lastly, if the truth of her identity ever came out, which it will, she does not want him to think she played him for a schmuck. Finally she goes and speaks to Jose to say good-bye. According to the files his new identity is safe as of yesterday. His DNA gonk, new body, revamped biopod and SIN makes the ‘Tony Silva’ identity bulletproof. She tells him she isn’t sure when she will be back, but hopefully this will all be over soon and they can disappear together with the (considerable amount) of money that they are making on this mission. Only Caitlin’s now compromised phone will be driving with the convoy to Miami after which it will be destroyed. ‘Kathy Black’ is now dead. In a few hours an osprey arrives and meets her on a lonely beach. From there she flies to the New York City area and a Collective safe house.
Monday, September 27, 2027
The next morning the convoy heads down to Miami. The trip is again uneventful. There are two mansions waiting for them in the city. The group moves into one of them. There will be a lot to set up in preparation for Doyle’s arrival. The Collective has by now contacted the racer. He is informed of LawDiv’s knowledge of his illegal wolvers. They arrange to pick him up and take him to one of their facilities to take out the cyberware before he is picked up. Thor (Opium), who is with Doyle, learns that her identity has been compromised, so she disappears until she can arrange to discredit LawDiv’s ‘theory’ on Thor’s identity. Caitlin acts as negotiator and brings the Collective and the Genesis Project leaders together in the NET. Then she goes under the knife as she is provided with another change of identity and a complete body make over.
The Collective and the Genesis Project are wary of each other initially since each thought the others had been liquidated when Arasaka and Biotechnica shut down their spin-off company’s, Bio-Eugenics Corporation, Project Neo-Genesis nine years ago. Fortunately, a number of operatives from both groups knew each other so they quickly agree to merge. Each has what the other needs. The Genesis Project has a key piece of knowledge about their true ‘nature’ that the Collective lacks, which is explained at the end of this posting, and the Collective has the high tech cyberware and equipment that is specially made for their race. There are surprisingly few problems as the two groups integrate. They were bred to cooperate with each other.
Tuesday, September 28, 2027
In Miami, the racing team settles into the mansion and gets ready for the October 17th race. Ian finds a realtor and begins to look for a building to set up the armoring and tailoring equipment that the Collective has (this is Cid’s old equipment). The Collective picks up Doyle and brings him to one of their facilities to remove the wolvers. Caitlin works a little on her programs as she recovers from surgery, and starts to research members of the LawDiv/Interpol task force that is hunting her.
Wednesday, September 29, 2027
Cid checks out several locations for a workshop in and around Miami and finally finds one he likes. With the arrival of more of the O’Leary Family, they occupy the second mansion that they have rented. Doyle recovers from his surgery and studies the LawDiv files to seek ways to discredit the information. Caitlin continues her program updates and her research on the Task Force.
Thursday, September 30, 2027
Doyle’s family delivers the equipment to Ian’s new workshop and helps set it up so he will be able to use it starting tomorrow. Caitlin and Doyle continue their projects from yesterday. They will both arrive in Miami tomorrow. Doyle will appear with his “entourage”, which will consist, among other people, of a full time lawyer (NPC), a doctor (Dr. Vera Zelinke) and bodyguards: Dr. Nis and Tony Silva (Jose). Caitlin will arrive as the driver of the new press headquarters van (a Drifter). Her name will be Sophie, and she will be introduced as a prospective member (prospect) of the O’Leary Family. Only Doyle will know who she really is, but the crew chief will know she is a security “ringer”.
When the termination order for Project Neo-Genesis came, the thirty biogens that eventually became the Genesis Project had a little more warning than the others, who formed the Collective. The Genesis Project raided a research facility as they fled and learned that, while they could not reproduce, the females of that project could be implanted with an ‘egg’ consisting of genetic material of any other biogen from the project and in five months they would birth a clone with the full genetic memory of its donor. Dr. Saburo Fukarawa, one of the three principle researchers and the team that was working in that one laboratory, was the only one, who knew this fact. The Genesis Project killed the other researchers, but Dr. Fukarawa escaped. He committed suicide (in game) during one of our early sessions years ago (real time) rather than be captured by Mallory, one of the leaders of the Collective. The Genesis Project took enough equipment from the lab and made 29 genetic ‘eggs’. That was one for each of the group except for one female. They allowed themselves to be hunted down and killed by Arasaka and Biotechnica. They left enough genetic material of the surviving female at one battle site to convince the two companies that she was also dead. The surviving female then grew all the others back (the other females first) and reconstituted the group. Since they had no access to their specialized cyberware, they developed drug regimes that would suppress their natural rejection of human cyberware, so by now most all are almost completely cyberpsycho.
The Collective has retained and improved the cybernetic technology they inherited and also have their own therapy programs to deal with cybernetic implantation. They have also learned to make more of themselves. There are currently five generations of Nietzscheans. There is only one first generation. He is actually a biogenetically augmented human with an average life span. He was part of an early developmental experiment and is the sole surviving one that they know of. He chairs the High Council that makes decisions for the Collective. The second generation was the model produced by the Bio-Eugenics Corporation and there are 44 survivors now. The third generation was the first group manufactured by the Collective. They are similar to the second generation, except they cannot pass on genetic memory, and are a little shorter lived than their predecessors. There are just over 300 of them. The fourth generation has the ability to reproduce naturally. Again they are a little more short-lived, and three out of four are female. There are just over 1000 of them. The fifth generation is the natural born children of the fourth generation. There are perhaps 100 of them with more on the way. This generation represents the Nietzschean’s claim as a viable independent species.
It is ironic that the United States’ (and other countries’) paranoia about allowing another sentient race to exist on Earth with its resultant biogenetic persecution has brought the two sundered branches of the Nietzscheans together. The Nietzscheans were bred to have no moral qualms about killing humans, and while the new generations do not possess the level of hatred towards humanity possessed by older ones, humanity may indeed bring about a fight to the death that will cripple or kill off both related races.
How does this relate to Dr. Kimura and the story here? Well, Dr. Kimura is aware of the second generation’s ability to pass on genetic memory, but he does not know how it was accomplished. His current project (as related to Caitlin by the clone Dr. Kimura in Williams, NV) involves finding the secret of immortality, and was started by this knowledge. With proper management, the second generation of the Nietzschean race is virtually immortal, and now they know it.
Episode 17 – LawDiv Strikes Back (or Where’s the Pen?)
Thursday, September 30, 2027
As the head of LawDiv’s Biogenetic Task force walks by a bank of phones on the way home after work in Seattle, each phone rings in turn. It takes a phone or two (data terms actually) before he stops and looks at the current ringing one. On the screen it reads, “It’s for you.” The agent answers it. On the other end is Caitlin courtesy of the Collective (who is listening). Caitlin warns the agent not to contact his office as he is being watched. She wants to have a conversation. The cat informs him that the Genesis Project has contacted her, and they are trying to recruit her. They have sent her a copy of his LawDiv file on the group that they procured on the recent raid of his office. She tells him that she considers the Genesis Project too violent and it does not really want to accept their offer, but what choice does she have? The agent suggests she turn herself in, and they can talk. This, of course, just elicits a laugh form the biogen, as she is the subject of a Priority One Execution Warrant that the Feds have publicly announced that they intend to execute. To his further suggestion that she turn herself in to Utah, she replies that the Feds have also publicly announced that they will shoot their way through the Utah authorities to get to her.
Caitlin tells the agent that she has read that in his own files he doubts whether the ‘video’ of her committing the killings in Nevada is genuine. She points out that she had a different identity and face in Williams, Nevada, and if he checks the SIN database, he will see she is right and that the evidence is a fake. The young biogen goes on to fill in details on the Pacific Ocean strike, and some tantalizing bits of information on other things involving the case. No names are mentioned off course, and the Collective is not mentioned or their submarine. They are listening after all. She tells him to check out her information. If he wants to know more, then he should get the Priority One Death Warrant lifted. If that happens then she would be willing to help him sort everything out. The agent says he will look into it.
The reason for the call is to keep the LawDiv Task Force working on things other than trying to find her and hopefully take the heat off Doyle’s group while they are in Miami. They are getting to the end of the mission and only need maybe four to six more weeks. Caitlin also hopes that by reaching out she might build some bridges in case things don’t work out with the Collective, and they decide to try to ‘clean’ her when the mission is over.
Friday, October 1, 2027
Doyle and his entourage arrive in Miami along with a large group of Nomads and their vehicles. Caitlin, who now goes by the name Sophie, is one of the drivers of these vehicles. They go to one of the mansions that have been rented by the O’Leary Family.
After they arrive there is a knock on the door that afternoon and a man named René is there to see Doyle. Jose answers the door and tries out his new intimidating presence. The visitor works for the Edelbrocks. He tells Doyle that Ava is in town and she would like him to call her. René gives him Ava’s new number. Doyle calls and the two make plans to go out to dinner tonight.
Ray does some more NET research on the mining accident in Williams, NV. He finds a three-day-old story buried in an obscure blog where a media reported a number of secondary explosions during Schmidt Industries ‘closing’ of the unstable mine there. The problem was these detonations were not near any of the official areas where the mine was supposed to be. This reporter smelled a cover-up. Yesterday the same reporter died in a freak sky diving accident just before his follow up report was to be published.
Caitlin works on her NET programs in the evening, but then sneaks out at night in ‘stealth mode’ to watch the mansion. A police boat goes by every 45 to 90 minutes. Ian goes to his workshop and continues his work.
Doyle and Ava go out to dinner. She now has a top-flight five man Militech security team and a dedicated AV-4 watching her. She also carries a Militech Security card to break in case of another assassination or extraction attempt. She tells Doyle that her father does NOT expect her home tonight. The two rent a suite (and the nearby rooms for their security contingent) at a five star hotel for the night.
Saturday, October 2, 2027
Doyle keeps these hotel rooms for the duration of his stay in Miami and actually rents this same arrangement at three other area five star hotels. He intends to defend himself and Ava against any further attempts on them by switching where he sleeps every night. The two young lovers spend the day getting to know Miami while the paparazzi make them the center of the local ‘social’ news.
Caitlin borrows a pickup truck to go out and buy motorcycle parts. She intends to try to build her own bike. Everyone else just hangs out around the mansion to enjoy the beautiful day. Ray moves into the pool house at the mansion. His paranoia has not abated. The Family has more people arrive and gets ready for a huge cookout and party tomorrow. Everyone is invited.
Sunday, October 3, 2027
In the morning Caitlin starts to work on her bike by sanding down the frame she bought yesterday. Doyle, Ava and their security people finally arrive back at the mansion. By early afternoon everyone is assembled at the mansion for the Family barbeque. There are just over forty Nomads, the whole Team, and Ava’s security detail there. That is when the hammer comes down.
Five police boats come ashore, as a large number of police vehicles come on to the property. Some men in suits announce that they have a search warrant, and this is a ‘national security’ raid! AV’s and helicopters come flying in to complete the encirclement. The C.I.A. and LawDiv are leading the raid with ample back up from local police. The police are polite and everyone is directed outside to the area of the cookout, where most of them are anyway. They keep close watch on the principles of Team, but the police just form a wide, loose, but watchful perimeter around the large ocean front yard and out buildings. The buildings are searched as the principles are brought one by one inside to be interviewed.
Dr. Nis is the first to be questioned. A C.I.A. interviewer asks him, “What will we find if we take apart your cyberlegs and look in those compartments in those legs?”
Nis is a little evasive. Several techs enter and open them up. Dr. Nis could easily overpower them, but he (correctly) believes that this is just what they are hoping he will do, so he allows them to do it. They, of course, find a kilogram of C-6 in each leg. Dr. Nis is promptly arrested, put in ion cuffs and taken away.
Jose or ‘Tony’ is interviewed next. The C.I.A. interrogator sits him down and tells him, “You know, I can’t prove it, but I think you are actually Jose Thomas. Jose denies it of course. Then the agent goes on to question his manhood, courage and anything else he can think of to bait him. The final provocation is when the agent shows him the recorded interview of Jose’s father by this same agent. The C.I.A. operative baits the old man until the cyborg’s dad stands up from his chair and hurdle’s an insult back. The agent then just guns the old man down in cold blood. Jose looks at the agent, who is right in his face smirking at him. The cyborg snaps and punches the interrogator in the head. Surprise! This operative is also a Gemini cyborg. The fight is very short as four more government cyborgs burst into the room and shut Jose down with M-40 Pulse Rifles. Jose is arrested and taken away.
Next Ray Gunderson is questioned and refuses to even respond to his interrogator. Ray was taking pictures of the raid just before he was selected to be interviewed. His questioner tells him he has to say something, but the media refuses to open his mouth. He is arrested for obstruction of justice, and taken away.
Meanwhile, out in the back yard, a police tech starts taking cheek swabs for DNA testing from the rest of the Family and guests. Caitlin realizes that will be her end and attempts to slip away and through the loose, but watchful perimeter. Well, the biogen uses all her LUCK and manages to escape (Hide and Evade) before her sample is taken. Caitlin goes into Miami proper and manages to get to her storage room that she rented, where she keeps most of illegal gear. There she contacts the Collective and informs them about the raid. The Collective directs her to a safe house they maintain in the city.
Back at the mansion a heavily armed contingent of police arrest Ava. She has tested positive as a biogenetic creation. Her Militech security team briefly considers trying to get her away, but it is apparent that the police are prepared for such a move and the guards stand down. Ava is dragged away in tears denying that she is a biogen.
While this is going on Doyle is being interviewed inside. He is shown a military order forbidding any brain dancing of the Nomad due to his top-secret government work signed by General ‘Blackjack’ Pershing. The interrogator says he is not interested in any government work he has done, but wants to know about the other freelance work. The agent then plays back to him some of his phone conversations with members of the Collective. While there is nothing too incriminating in the conversations, they want to know who these people are. When Doyle refuses to discuss this, he is also arrested and taken away.
Vera is questioned and she requests a translator. She says she doesn’t completely understand the questions. There is some truth in this as she is a Czech national and speaks only some English (3). She is taken away (not in handcuffs) and a translator in requested from the EU Consulate in Miami.
Ian and Mario are questioned. They cooperate, but it is clear that they really don’t know anything, so they are not detained. Mario however, keeps asking to have access to his computers, which is denied. He keeps insisting on this, which makes the government agents suspicious. Government techs disassemble every piece of his electronic equipment down to its basic parts. They do NOT reassemble it, and all his computers, remotes, ELINT equipment are left in a jumbled pile of parts.
That evening everyone who was arrested is given a preliminary interview by the C.I.A. Jose refuses to talk as does Ray. Vera is questioned with a translator present and it is apparent that she knows nothing. The Czech porn star is released and driven back to the mansion in an EU diplomatic vehicle. Dr. Nis requests to speak to the LawDiv regional director from Seattle that he knows, but is told not yet. Doyle refuses to discuss any of his ‘other’ work, while hinting it is all covered by national security. He denies knowing the names of the people (the Collective) that he talked to. The C.I.A. releases him that night in hopes he will try to make further contact, which might give them some more clues. They start to work on getting the no brain dance order revoked.
Doyle immediately contacts Ava’s father. There he gets the story behind Ava. She is not a biogen really. When his daughter was young she had an accident that almost killed her. The girl’s nervous system was almost destroyed, and a genetic flaw in her make up made conventional therapies useless. Her father brought his beloved daughter to a clinic in Sweden that was working on experimental cures for genetic abnormalities. They were able, not only to cure her, but make her faster and stronger. When Doyle asked the name of the clinic, the father responded, “Schmidt Genetics.”
The clinic had used a binding protein to graft animal DNA with her own to repair the genetic flaw. This made her test positive as a biogen, since the tests are based on looking for that protein strand. Ava is totally unaware of this fact. Now she is in the hands of the C.I.A. who are convinced she is a member of the ‘Great Biogenetic Conspiracy’. The agency is determined to get the truth from her no matter what it takes. As a biogen they can do anything they please. Her father has tried to get to see her, but his request was refused. The two sit there both fearing the hell that the girl they both loved is being put through.
Monday, October 4, 2027
Caitlin is whisked out of Miami by the Collective and goes to the Cayman Islands. There she moves Jose’s bank accounts to protect his assets in case the government brain dances the location and account numbers from him. She has the numbers since she set the accounts up herself. Then the young biogen is taken to the Pacific. The Collective has an assignment for her.
Dr. Nis gets his interview with the LawDiv regional director. The director tells him bluntly that he feels that the Nis has used and humiliated him. Anyway, the C.I.A. was running this show, so unless he can bring some good solid intelligence out of this interview, Nis will be doing some serious time for the C-6 found in his legs. Little by little the LawDiv interrogator pulls the story out of him. Dr. Nis laces his story with references to Dr. Kimura and Adolph Schmidt as the people or person that they should be investigating. The director tells the Doctor that the Attorney General has authorized one ‘get out of jail free’ card. This comes with a new identity and entrance into the Witness Protection Program. The LawDiv man says that nothing he talks about will be used against him if they do not come to some sort of deal. One by one Dr. Nis sells out his various teammates. There is one thing Nis balks on talking about. He will not identify any of the voices on the phone tapes (members of the Collective). Actually, he knows nothing about the organization, and he has only three names. Dr. Nis is more than a little nervous of betraying the Nietzscheans. He has seen them in action and knows their organization has contacts all across the globe. His information will not really damage the group, but if they find out he talks, nowhere on the planet (or off) will be safe for him. Dr. Nis asks for a day to think about it. The director gives him three hours.
Next, the LawDiv regional director goes to interview Jose. He explains that the young man is only being kept alive for his intelligence value. The cyborg’s next stop is a place where the truth will be ripped from his mind, and followed by an execution for the Priority One Death Warrant issued by Nevada. He tells him that Dr. Nis has already spilled most of the story, but is holding back on some issues. When they finish this conversation, he will return to Nis who will surely be ready to avoid the long prison term they are holding over him. The director then tells the cyborg that the Attorney General has authorized one new identity and entrance into the Witness Protection Program for the first person, who gives the government full disclosure. The LawDiv man smiles at his prisoner and says, “So what is it going to be?”
Jose replies, “Where is the pen?”
If Dr. Nis sang like a canary, then Jose did his best impression of the Vienna Boys Choir! He tells them everything he knows. All of Doyle’s involvement, the fact that Thor is really Opium, Caitlin’s assassination of Cardinal Jonathan St. Michael of the Vatican City last Christmas along with her two Mob financed hits that year, and every rotten little personal secret he knows about the Team. His confession will take days to complete.
Hours later the Regional director returns to Dr. Nis’s cell and informs him that there will be no deal. Jose has given them what they needed. The good Doctor need not worry about the prison sentence. The Attorney General is preparing Priority One Mass Murder charges against him. He does have some time, however, the government is going to have a ‘show trial’ to make an example of him, and the C.I.A. is going to tear his brain apart so they will get the information they want from him anyway!
Tuesday, October 5, 2027
Doyle gets a call from Ava’s father. He has been granted permission to visit his daughter. He asks if Doyle would like to go with him and see her. Of course, the Nomad says yes. Doyle is picked up in a limo, and the father seems ill at ease on the trip. Is this some kind of trap? The two arrive at a small facility and are led into a room with a large armored glass window looking into the room where Ava is being held. She has had parts of her head shaved and it is clear that she has been the subject of a number of experiments. The girl is hysterical and does not understand why this is being done to her. Both Doyle and her father are almost in tears at the sight of her. Ava is so very happy to see them both.
They are alone in the room, but there is a camera watching. Herr Edelbrock puts his hand up against the glass and his daughter puts her hand opposite as the two talk. Soon Doyle notices that the glass where their hands are is starting to look different. It suddenly cracks and the armored panel breaks. Her father tells her to come out and the three walk up to the door. The old man flashes a ‘V’ sign with his fingers at the camera and the door buzzes open. In the next room the guards are down and two members of the Edelbrock security team are waiting with a coat and wig for Ava. They briskly walk out to the waiting limo and leave. Around the next block and out of sight of the security facility the limo stops and they get into a different limousine. This one has EU diplomatic plates. They three drive to the city hall in the next town.
Herr Edelbrock explains that he has sold his experimental engine (his life’s work) to the EU in exchange for help in getting his daughter (and Doyle if he wishes) out of the country. This extraction has cost him 25 million euro. Through his connections he has learned that Jose has flipped and the United States government is preparing a Priority One arrest warrant on Doyle. They plan to give him a ‘show trial’ too before his public execution. When the three arrive at the city hall there is a justice of the peace waiting with a German official from the consulate. The old man asks if the two want to get married, to which they respond yes. They are then married. The embassy official hands Doyle a German EU passport (this makes him a dual citizen of both Ireland and Germany), and an employment certification as a driver for the EU consulate, which grants him diplomatic immunity. The newlyweds are then whisked off to the EU consulate. The United States government is outraged, but all they can do now is expel the two. That is fine. A diplomatic limo and plane gets them out of the country before the Federal government can even make the formal request for their expulsion.
Well, that ends the campaign. The GM had made it quite clear at the beginning of the evening that the government was not going to take the attacks on them lying down, and they viewed the Team as the only way to get at the ‘Great Biogenetic Conspiracy’. Dr. Nis left the explosives in his legs, when he knew that the LawDiv Regional Director knew he had ‘something’ in them that was probably illegal. Jose allowed himself to be baited and unmasked. The secret of Ava’s amazing recovery from her ‘accident’ years ago was never investigated despite some members of the Team suspecting what turned out to be the truth. Caitlin thought she could fool the government and come back again. (OK, she got away, but just barely.) This effectively destroys the Team. Doyle can never legally enter the United States (or any non-EU country that has extradition with America). Dr. Nis is left waiting for his ‘show trial’ and execution. Jose Thomas gets his immunity, but now has made enemies of some very powerful and influential people. Caitlin escapes, but has now lost everything in the world she ever loved or cared about. Ray gets to sit in jail and wait for his trial on obstruction of justice. Vera, Ian and Mario get to walk as they weren’t with the Team long enough to generate any crimes the government can charge them with, but they do make a national security watch list! Sometimes things don’t end well for Edgerunners.