Episode 6: Things That Go Bump In The Night


Kyle and Fijay crack some heads and safes, Sam bumps off two bad guys, and the kids get stuck in a haunted house.


Our crew has learned both how and why Barry Gelder’s 98 thousand euros were stolen. Now they’re out to get the money back and make sure that Barry and Pedro Gonzales’s family are safe.

Dramatis Personae

The client du jour:

Barry Gelder, money launderer with a big problem.

The grownups:

Kyle Vaduva: Burned spy.

Sam Fisher: Retired CIA black operative, assassin, cleaner, you-name-it.

Dr. Gordon Freeman: Former professor at UNLV, former assistant coroner in Las Vegas and disgraced cyber researcher from our Romanian Campaign.

Fijay: Expert driver and former Euro-something agent, tainted by Kyle’s burn notice.

Boyd Crowler: Local fixer based in Pleasantville and Northfield.

Cosma Mipposa: Extortionist in Absecon; kidnapper of Pedro Gonzales’ young daughter.

Pedro Gonzales: Bank manager at TD Bank in Ocean City; suspect in the transfer of Barry’s money.

Silas Mipposa: Pimp who lives in Absecon; runs S&M using young, addicted hookers in Atlantic City and Pleasantville. Kidnapped Pedro Gonzales’ daughter to force him to steal money from Barry Gelder.

The kids:

Alex Jackson: 14 yo Runner and spotter for Jimmi Stevens (car thief ring). Lives with mom who works long hours.

Allison Cole: 13 yo kleptomaniac sex pot. Lives with father.

Cat Fisher: Sam’s 15 yo daughter.

Geoffrey Stark: 14 yo fixer specializing in braindance chips; he has found a braindance addict to play the role of his father.

Nip Lacey: 12 yo girl with neon blue hair, has amnesia. Was adopted by Tyne Lacey 2 years ago.

Fred, ferret and imaginary friend of Nip’s.

Johnny Appleton: 16 yo geeky boy, lives in Brigantine; father is executive at DMS.

Rudi Marsden: punter on the football team.

The Action

Tuesday, July 23, 2041:

Cat makes a bunch of 30.06 API bullets. Kyle makes a silencer. Kyle and Sam go on a shopping spree in Philadelphia. They get guns, ammo, Ghost suits for Kyle and Fijay, some 12mm rubber bullets, and a set of tools designed specifically for the safe at Cosma (the enforcer) Mipposa’s house.

They also arrange with Boyd Crowler for the use of a warehouse in Northfield where they can store Sam’s Interceptor and Dr. Freeman’s car—so they can take other, anonymous, stolen vehicles to their destinations that night.

Johnny Appleton invites the kids over for a birthday bash and to play-test his newest VR game, which is incorporating some braindance technology for added realism. It’s a haunted house scenario. He offers to pay each kid 400 euros for playtesting, and the winner gets a pair of season tickets to the Bloodbowl games. Johnny also tells Geoff he’d like some feedback on the braindance aspect of the VR.

Allison asks if she can bring her boyfriend, Rudi. Johnny says sure. Geoff, Nip and Alex come along. Cat begs off, saying she has other commitments.

To win the game, a player must collect five differently colored small plastic pieces. Each of seven rooms contains hidden colored pieces (all pieces in a room are the same color). There are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and grey pieces among three bedrooms, a library, sitting room, dining room and family room. There are zombies and other monsters in the haunted house that the players need to avoid. There are also famous fictional detectives in the various rooms.

Geoff asks if he can attack other players and take their pieces. Johnny says yes.

(GM note: Well, at least he can try.)

Nip makes herself invisible, then launches an edgerunner attack on Geoff to sever his connection to the VR, but an imp pops up, says “Naughty naughty!” and bites Nip on the ankle for 1 point of stun damage. She finds a colored chip under the magazine on the coffee table in the “grey” family room.

Allison and Rudi go into the ‘green’ bedroom, close the door, and start making out.

Geoff finds a piece behind the photograph on the fireplace mantle in the family room, then picks up a poker from the fireplace. He starts to swing at Nip, but an imp pops up, says “Naughty naughty!”, and bites Geoff for 1 point of stun damage. Alex heads for the ‘red’ bedroom and finds a piece under the clock on the bedside table, then the ‘purple’ sitting room where he finds a second piece under the potted plant on the floor.

Nip goes invisibly into the green bedroom and sees Allison and Rudi in the buff. Nip freaks out at the sight, but searches and finds a second piece in the bedside table drawer.

Meanwhile, Geoff goes into the ‘yellow’ bedroom, closes the door and puts a chair under the door handle (so it would stay shut). He collects his second piece from the purse sitting on the dresser, then goes out the window to the outside porch, and comes back into the house.

Meanwhile, Alex goes to the ‘orange’ library and collects a third piece under the phone on the desk. He returns to the “grey” family room in time to see Geoff coming back into the house. Alex offers Geoff 200 euros for his pieces. Geoff agrees. Alex and Geoff return to the game room where Johnny waits for the winner.

Suddenly, two things happen simultaneously. First, Nip sees a clown with a blue nose and teardrops under its eyes. She makes her Cool roll, and merely freezes.

(GM note: This is a hint about Nip’s lost past. If she had failed her cool roll, she would have screamed as well as assuming the fetal position.)

Second, the lights go out and there is a bloodcurdling scream from the game room.

When the lights go back on, things have changed. Johnny’s avatar is dead, lying on the floor. The surroundings have shifted from super-photo-realistic to looking like cartoons, but still super-photo-realistic.

(GM note: This was a clue about what just happened: Nip sees the world as cartoon-featured; this IS photo-realistic for her. But Nip was nowhere near the other characters, and none of them commented about the “world change” anyway.) Now, the windows are all black and locked and the outer doors are also locked (except those overlooking the porches, which now end in an impenetrable black wall).

Geoff tries to jack out—and fails. He and Alex close the door to the game room, barricade it with the sofa, and prop Johnny’s corpse on the sofa. Alex and Geoff now notice there’s a safe in the game room, with a row of monsters in front of it: a Ninja, a Frankenstein, a Vampire, and a Werewolf.

Meanwhile, Fred the ferret whispers to Nip, “Bad man gone now. All safe.” She comes out of her freeze, and returns to collecting colored pieces: one from the pillow on the bed of the ‘red’ bedroom and another from the sofa in the ‘purple’ sitting room and another from the top drawer of the desk in the library. She does notice that a Ghost is following her, but thinks nothing of it. Now having five pieces, Nip heads back to the game room, and finds the door closed.

Nip calls out, “I got the five pieces.”

Geoff does a Performance pretending to be Johnny, saying, “Then slide them under the door.”

Nip is not convinced. Alex calls through the door, “I think you’re a vampire.”

Nip retorts, “I think YOU are a vampire,” and calls for Johnny.

Geoff claims he stepped out to the john, and does a Persuade/Fast-talk for Nip to slide her pieces under the door. She shows them under the door—but retrieves them and then uses her Netrunner skills to make the door go away.

Geoff declares, “You killed Johnny!”

Nip denies it, and asks, “What do we do now?” She then turns on the TV, discovers a Disney cartoon starring a ferret, and sits watching the TV.

Meanwhile, Allison and Rudi have taken their sex play through ‘everything but penetration’ to orgasm. They put their clothes back on.

Geoff attacks the Ninja that is guarding the safe in the game room. His attack has no effect. Geoff then tries a throw pillow, also with no effect. The Ninja ignores him. Nip suggests using the light saber that was supplied in the game for fighting the zombies. Geoff takes another throw pillow to use as a shield—but throws it at the Ninja and also swings his light saber. Feathers fly everywhere. Geoff and Alex run out of the game room.

The Ninja sits down beside Nip, who is still watching the cartoon. She says, “You’re guarding the safe, right?” The Ninja nods. Nip observes about Alex, “He’s not nice. He’s an ass.”

From the nearby family room, Alex says, “I have a nice ass.”

Nip retorts, “You are an ass.”

In the family room, Allison takes a marble box off the fireplace mantel, sneaks up behind Alex, and swings to klonk him on the head. However, an imp appears, says “Naughty naughty,” and bites Allison for 2 stun points. She screams and jumps into Rudi’s arms. He catches her.

Alex lights a pillow in the fireplace and walks into the game room, where he sets the sofa on fire. The fire catches, and starts to spread. Nip uses her Programming skill to put the fire out. The monsters seem unaffected by the flames.

Allison and Rudi come into the game room, where the Vampire starts to walk towards Allison, saying “I vant to drink your bluud!”

The Ghost, which has followed Nip everywhere, says “Boo!” to her. She says “Boo!” back, and they engage in a “Booing” contest.

Alex goes into the kitchen and grabs three knives. He comes back to the game room and attacks the Frankenstein. The knives go right through the monster with no effect. Alex then turns to attack Allison. An imp pops up, says “Naughty naughty,” and bites him for 1 stun point. Alex then abandons the knife idea, goes to light more pillows on fire, and sets fires in the library, master ‘red’ bedroom, and the dining, sitting, and family rooms.

Nip stops the fires with her Programming skill, then makes the fire follow Alex. He runs into the bathroom, goes into the shower stall and turns on the water. The fires go out.

Geoff goes to the phone in the ‘yellow’ bedroom. There is only static.

Nip has a brainstorm (GM note: Can you say ‘extra IP point’ for ingenuity?) and starts asking the detectives’ advice. First in the family room, Hercule Poirot tells her to “Assemble the suspects and confront them with their secrets.” And, “where there’s a lock, there’s a key.” Nip then goes to the dining room, where Stephanie Plum advises her to “Keep your gun in the cookie jar and the bad guy will always blow up your car. You know, I always recommend: keep your valuables in a safe place.” Nip then goes to the sitting room, where Sherlock Holmes tells her “It’s elementary, my dear Nip. Eliminate the impossible, and you are left with the merely improbable. Every bad guy has a secret vulnerability.”

(GM note: The front door is locked; they can get out with a key. There’s a golden key in the safe that will open the front door. Each of the ‘monsters’ has a way to be defeated.)

Meanwhile, Alex attacks the Werewolf, but again there is no effect. So he tackles the Ninja, and the two vie against each other with their martial arts. The Ninja is defeated.

However, the Frankenstein still won’t let anyone near the safe. He claims, “Nobody ever spells my name right!” Geoff tries “R-I-G-H-T,” but then “F-R-A-N-K-E-N-S-T-E-I-N.” Whereupon the monster allows them to reach the safe.

(GM note: I messed up here. Geoff is a fixer, so Frankenstein was determined to get a deal seeing his name in lights—spelled right. Oh well. It was getting late. Also, each of the monsters was assigned to one of the players. Attacks by other players had no effect, and were therefore ignored. Each monster had their own “how to defeat them” agenda.)

Alex approaches the safe, and picks the lock. Inside, they find a golden key. It opens the front door, and everyone is released from the VR back into reality.

They learn that Johnny is “having a conversation” with NetWatch, who had shown up and yanked him out of the VR. Johnny’s father hands out 400 euro credit chips to each of the kids. Alex gives his to Geoff. Johnny’s father also gives Alex the pair of season tickets to the Bloodbowl games.

That evening, Dr. Freeman drives Sam to his sniper position overlooking the front of the Tommaso Trattoria restaurant. Cat drives herself, Kyle and Fijay to the safe house. Cat jacks into the monitoring equipment at the safe house, and watches the camera bugs they had planted in Cosma’s house. When Silas and Cosma Mipposa arrive at the restaurant at 8:15 pm, Sam tells Kyle and Fijay, who don their Ghost suits and sneak over to Cosmo’s house.

Kyle first checks for alarms, and finds none.

(GM note: The Mipposa brothers are an arrogant set; they don’t believe anyone would have the guts to break in with malicious intent; besides, there are always at least a few goons in this house.)

Kyle and Fijay slip in through the bathroom widow, and enter the master suite. Kyle goes to the safe and starts his safe-cracking routine, using the special tools they brought and taking plenty of extra time. Fijay goes to the door to make sure he has the time he needs.

Unfortunately, they are interrupted. Two downstairs goons were playing cards in the dining room, and one decides to check something in the bedroom. Cat warns the pair, and as the goon comes toward the bedroom, Fijay fires, hitting the goon for minor damage. Kyle tries the lock, but didn’t take enough time and fails.

The goon shoots back at Fijay with his Colt pistol, but drops his gun. Kyle pulls his gun and moves to the corner bedroom where he can cover the hallway approach.

The goon picks up his weapon. He and Fijay continue their gun battle.

Meanwhile, Cat warns Kyle about the other card-playing goon approaching the hallway. Kyle shoots him in the head for only 1 point of damage. This goon sprays Kyle with a round of Sternmeyer auto fire, again doing little damage. However, this exchange convinces Kyle to try a different strategy. He pulls out a sword.

(GM note: Hm, wondering where this was in his overcoat, can you say “Highlander”?)

Well, the blade is more like a gladius. Kyle proceeds to gut the card-playing goon in one round, the two goons coming downstairs in the next two rounds, and polish off the goon fighting Fijay in one more, final round.

Kyle and Fijay listen for sirens—but hear nothing. Apparently, either the neighbors are glad to hear gunshots coming from this house, or they don’t care, or possibly the cops in Absecon would be happy to see the Mipposas gone from their turf. Fijay tries her hand with the safe, also taking extra time. She gets Really Lucky and click! It opens. She does a little happy dance while Kyle takes stacks of money out of the safe, also finding a little black book and the deed to the house. He does first aid on Fijay’s injuries, then collects all the bugs that were put in the house.

Kyle and Fijay then head for the pimp Silas’s house. They climb up the chimney and go in the second floor window that Cat opened earlier.

(GM note: She had cut the screen near the latch, but fastened it back well enough that no one in the house noticed her intrusion.)

Kyle sneaks into the opposite bedroom behind the goon who is watching the monitor. Using his silenced pistol, Kyle does a called-shot head.

Kyle places a chip on the security system computer that allows Cat to jack into the system. She learns it was straight monitoring, no recordings. Kyle finds a safe in this room, and cracks it fairly easily. He finds more money, another little black book, and a deed to the house, then collects all the bugs planted in this house as well. The dead goon was the only person here.

Cat strips the equipment from the safe house, starts the nanite cleaning process, and starts packing the van. Kyle and Fijay return to the safe house and get back into their regular clothes. Kyle tells Sam that the houses are done, the safes cracked and the money collected. The crew then finishes cleaning up the safe house. Cat drives them back to the neighborhood of the Northfield warehouse. They leave the van in a dark street with the engine running after they have emptied and ‘cleaned’ it.

Sam waits for the two Mipposa brothers to leave the restaurant, then shoots both of them with called head shots. He takes up his shell casings and sneaks safely away. Dr. Freeman drives Sam and himself back to the Northfield warehouse. Sam and Dr. Freeman then drive everyone back to Sam’s house.

Back at Sam’s house, the crew counts up the loot. After returning the balance of Barry’s stolen money and repaying various expenses, the team has a profit of 25,000 euros. Split five ways among Sam, Kyle, Fijay, Cat, and Dr. Freeman is 5,000 euros each.

Kyle tells Barry to go ahead with the wire transfer cleaning out Silas’ local bank account (of the 50,000 euros). Silas is unable to say it was not authorized.


Wednesday, July 24, 2041:

In the morning, Kyle and Sam go see Pedro Gonzales and reassure him that “the problem” is taken care of. Kyle tells Pedro, “The Inspector from the Caymans was never here. These events never happened.” He gives Pedro his card—“If you ever need anything again.” Pedro’s wife gives Kyle and Sam a lemon chiffon pie.

Barry pays Kyle the additional fee of 8,000 euros, and Sam the additional 1,000 euros. He tells both that they have his eternal gratitude.

Cat swaps the barrel of the gun used to kill the Mipposa brothers. She also scrubs all the recording data off the monitoring equipment and computer used at the safe house.



Episode 7: A Little Something for Everyone

A naked chick is sunning herself on the dock next door to Sam. Allison is invited to lunch at her rich boyfriend’s house. Dr. Freeman learns he might have a mole stealing his secret research. Geoff approaches potential customers at the High School football team. Cat meets a member of Caitlin’s fan club. And Kyle has a following: two Law Div guys.


The campaign has skipped six weeks to the beginning of September, mid-week after Labor Day. It’s now the second week of school.

Dramatis Personae

The clients du jour:

Katie Whalen, a friend of Sharin (Kyle’s mom): Her husband Liam has joined the Church of the Ever Loving God and given them their entire nest egg of 1.5 million euros. She believes that Damon Kelsey, the pastor and head of the church, is some kind of scam artist, and hopes that Kyle can get at least some of her money back. She is now broke, divorcing Liam, and will have to take a job bagging groceries at the local supermarket.

Dr. Freeman learns from Bella, his AI, that there are space-and-time gaps in her surveillance of his building. Two research files have been opened and read by people who were not in the building at the time.

The grownups:

Kyle Vaduva: Burned spy.

Sam Fisher: Retired CIA black operative, assassin, cleaner, you-name-it.

Dr. Gordon Freeman: Former professor at UNLV, former assistant coroner in Las Vegas and disgraced cyber researcher.

Fijay: Expert driver and former Euro-something agent, tainted by Kyle’s burn notice.

Mario: Security consultant and NetRunner; visiting Dr. Freeman’s office and helping him out.

Bella: A self-mobile AI that runs Dr. Freeman’s office and research facility.

Dick Peebles: Law Div guy following Kyle. Short, stocky, wears glasses.
Jonathan Riaker: Geoff’s connection for braindance chips.

Katie Whalen: Friend of Sharin, Kyle’s mom.

Manny Rappelli: Trainer for High School football team. Mid 30s, strong, not too bright, great at putting people through their paces.

Marek Beran: Coach of High School football team. Mid 40s, powerful, smart, serious about winning but only through legitimate means, though willing to “push the envelope” on what constitutes legitimate.

Raylan Gibbons: US Marshall, general all-around US Marshall.

Sharin Vaduva: Kyle’s mom.

Tiffany Wilson: Young naked chick next door to Sam’s house.

Tom Strickler: Law Div guy following Kyle. Tall and skinny.

Tyne Lacey: Sharin’s sister, a widow, also foster and adoptive mom of several kid PCs and NPCs, she lives next door to Sharin in a big house.

The kids:

Allison Cole: 13 yo kleptomaniac sex pot. Lives with father.

Cat Fisher: Sam’s 15 yo daughter.

Geoff Stark: 14 yo fixer specializing in braindance chips; he has found a braindance addict to play the role of his father.

Haku Fujimoto: Mascot for High School football team. 15yo sophomore. Wannabe wide receiver, but is a skinny little guy.

Rudi Marsden: punter on the football team.

Storm Snow: 15 yo boy, junior in upcoming year of high school, lives at Tyne’s house. He makes extra money by writing essays for college kids through the Net. He is a member of chess club and astronomy club.

The Action

(During the skip…)

Previously, Geoff received an offer of 1400 euros for the information chip that Nip had prepared. He tells Nip his fee is 20%, and says he can give her 1120 euros. Nip agrees.

Alex Jackson has gone to live with his father.

Wednesday, 4 September 2041:

On her way to school, Cat sees a T-shirt emblazoned “Les Chattes” (the girl-cats) with Caitlin Jones’ face on it. Apparently, Caitlin has a fan club. The girl wearing the T-shirt says “hi” and introduces herself as Eysa Bayoumi, a sophomore. Eysa has been face-and-body sculpted to have cat-like body motion and moderately cat-like features, including whiskers. She also has dark skin with a sparkly sequin effect. Cat learns that Eysa wants to be a singer, and likes history. Eysa invites Cat to come to the next meeting of Les Chattes, but Cat politely declines. Cat does tell Eysa that she’s new in town, and Eysa offers to introduce Cat to her friends.

That morning at 9:30, Sam sees a gorgeous young black chick sunning herself in the nude on the dock next door. He says “hi” and the woman waves back, introducing herself as Tiffany. She puts on a gauzy wrap and offers Sam a drink. He accepts a soda, which she brings out in a glass. She has put on a skimpy bathing suit under the gauzy wrap, and also carries an orange-colored drink on the rocks for herself. Sam does not actually drink the soda, which Tiffany observes and asks, “Perhaps you would prefer ginger ale?” Sam declines.

During their chat, Sam learns that Tiffany and her two roommates moved in about a week ago. Tiffany works for the PR department of the Showboat Casino, but is on vacation this week. Roommate Maria Figaro also does PR (for the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center) while Ricky Jardain is a telemarketer selling stocks. Sam invites Tiffany and her roommates to come on a boat cruise next Saturday.

Sharin calls Kyle, and tells him a friend of hers has a big problem, and maybe he can help. Could he come over and talk with the friend? Kyle says sure. Sharin says she’ll make lunch for Kyle and her friend.

Kyle calls a cab. On the way over, Kyle realizes he is being followed—and gets the make and model of the car, which is a light blue compact sedan. He tries to photograph the license plate, but there isn’t one on the front of the car. He does get blurry photos of the two men in the car.

At Sharin’s house, her friend Katie Whalen tells Kyle about her situation. It seems that her husband (soon to be EX-husband) Liam has joined a cult called the Church of the Ever Loving God, and given them all the couple’s money—a nest egg worth 1.5 million euros. At first, Katie says, it seemed like a great idea. “God is Love,” according to preacher Damon Kelsey. “But then it turned out more like ‘God is Sex’—and mostly for the guys.” The women are supposed to be obedient to their husbands and SERVE them. As in serve the men whatever they want, whenever they want it. Katie explains that the congregation is structured as a group marriage, with all the women being “wives” to all the men.

“It seemed exciting,” Katie admits. “Damon is an attractive guy, and really charismatic. But then—when it—when we—it was really awful.” She blushes, and says nothing more about her encounter with Damon. “So there Liam was, having sex with all these younger women.” (Katie is clearly in her mid-50s, so presumably hubby is of a similar age.) “And he’d given the church all our money. But I couldn’t stand it. I had to leave.” She adds to Kyle, “If you can help me get some of that money back that would be wonderful. And if you can stop that cad Damon as well, that would be great too.”

Kyle promises to see what he can do.

At lunch in school, Rudi tells Allison his parents want to invite her over. Would she prefer Thursday night dinner or Saturday afternoon lunch? Allison chooses Saturday for lunch, and is excited. Allison also whines about not having a phone of her own. Rudi offers to buy her one. Allison gleefully accepts.

Meanwhile, Dr. Freeman’s AI, Bella, comes to him, saying she thinks there may be a spy in their midst. There have been some gaps—both time and location—in her surveillance of the offices and research facility. Also, two files were opened and read by people who were not in the building at the time.

Dr. Freeman asks Bella if they’ve had their own security folks look into it. She says in this situation, it’s hard to know whom they trust. Dr. Freeman thanks Bella and asks her to make a list of the occurrences, then calls Sam. Dr. Freeman says he has a problem he’d like to discuss in person. Sam invites him over. Upon arrival, Sam sweeps him for bugs, then leads him to the basement. Dr. Freeman says he thinks he has a mole in the office, and gives Bella’s list to Sam. Sam agrees to help, for a fee, and asks Dr. Freeman to arrange for security badges for his team. Dr. Freeman quibbles a bit about who will have access to his building, but agrees in principle to provide the badges.

School lets out at 2:30, and Allison invites Cat to join her on a shopping spree. Allison wants to buy some clothing appropriate for her upcoming visit to Rudi’s home.

At 3:30, Sam becomes concerned that Cat is not home yet. He calls her phone. Cat tells him she’s out shopping with Allison at the Liberty Mall (the downtown high-scale shopping district near the Casino district).

Sam asks, “When did you let me know you were going shopping?”

Cat claims she left him a note—then says, “Oh, it’s here in my purse. So sorry.” She will be home later.

On the way from his mom’s house to Sam’s house, Kyle is still being followed. He ignores it.

Kyle tells Sam that a friend of his mom’s needs some help. Tiffany invites Kyle over to her place. Kyle accepts, goes into Sam’s basement and gets a bottle of ’02 Chardonnay, which he takes to Tiffany’s place. The two have a pleasant chat, and Kyle invites her to come see his antiques on the boat. She says she will definitely do that sometime, and that she’s looking forward to going on Sam’s boat this Saturday. Kyle says yes, and Sam is having a barbeque afterwards. Surely she would like to come over for that?

Back at Sam’s house, Sam says, “So. You gave her MY wine, invited her for food at MY house. This is your big seduction plan?”

Kyle counters, “And yours is pressing weights on your lawn?” Sam complains that his daughter will be there on Saturday afternoon. How can he invite these—lovely ladies—over in front of his daughter? Kyle says, “Tell her to go shopping that weekend. Give her 20 euros and tell her to see a movie.”

(GM note: Like Sam can tell Cat what to do, uh-huh.)

Frustrated, Sam goes down to his basement and takes aim at the target in his shooting gallery. Kyle follows him downstairs, and says, “You’re keeping Dr. Freeman in your basement now?”

Dr. Freeman asks Sam, “What’s eating you?”

Kyle jests, “Not your neighbor!” Whereupon Sam’s restraint collapses and he hits Kyle.

(GM note: Really painful—12 stun points to the leg!)

Kyle says, “WTF, dude?” Sam takes up his .45 and continues shooting at the target.

After Sam calms down, he and Dr. Freeman tell Kyle about the ‘mole’ problem. Kyle immediately comments, “You’ve been hacked!” Sam cooks a meal, which they eat, then they go to the garage.

Cat arrives home at 6:30. At 7:00, she goes in her jumpsuit to the garage to work on assembling her motorcycle. Kyle tells her he has a problem that only she can help him with. Smiling, Cat comes up way too close to Kyle, saying, “You need my help?”

Kyle nods and says, “We need your computer for this.”

In a disappointed tone, Cat says, “Oh.”

Kyle tells her, “One of my mom’s friends got into stupid trouble,” and explains about Damon Kelsey and the Church of the Ever Loving God. He needs her to find out anything she can about both Damon and the Church, which owns some land in Cumberland County.

“Okay,” Cat says. “I’ll do this now.” She smiles and walks out, going upstairs where she does 3 hours of Library Research.

(GM note: And rolls Really Well—can you say: Got 25 just on the dice?)

So, she learns a dump load on Damon and the Church.

After finishing her research, Cat comes downstairs and finds Kyle. She tells him that Damon is a local boy who went to seminary school, graduating 18 years ago. He went to work in the Unitarian Universalist Church, but then about 13 years ago, he started doing radio broadcasts here in Atlantic City with this “God is Love” mantra. Three years later, his new church bought 100 acres in Cumberland County, where he is viewed as a “pillar of the community”. Damon also has a church building on Ventnor Ave in Atlantic City, where he preaches on Sunday mornings and has social events on Wednesday afternoons and evenings (3 and 7 pm). Reading between the lines about wealthy donors to his church and rumors of disgruntled spouses, it looks like he focused on rich widows or married women in his early years, and rich men more recently. Intriguingly, at the age of 15, he apparently totaled a car given to him by a rich neighbor. At the time, he was already an orphan.

Meanwhile, Rudi gets a new phone for Allison with just the basic service. That night, she burns minutes talking with him. During the past several weeks, Rudi has been telling her his own ambitions (he wants to become a doctor), asking her opinion about various things, and asking her what she wants to do when she grows up (be a rich man’s wife, she says—lying, but Rudi believes her).

Meanwhile, Geoff too has been busy. He spent the last several weeks schmoozing his way around the High School football team, and developed a list of six people Most Likely to Let Him Sell Performance-Enhancing Substances to the team. This afternoon, he approaches Haku Fujimoto, the team’s mascot and a skinny little 15 yo sophomore who wants to become a wide receiver. Geoff tells Haku about Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and how this can help stimulate your own hormones and build a bigger, stronger body. Haku is intrigued but unsure. He’s never heard of HGH. Also, he can’t administer this stuff himself, and the subject of hiding the substance from periodic urine testing also comes up.

Geoff calls his connection, Jon. They meet. Jon tells Geoff there are two ways they can handle this performance-enhancing stuff. Either they can wait for demand to develop and then get the supply. Or Geoff can buy the stuff in advance—but then he has to sell it. No returns. Geoff asks if Jon can find someone to administer the HGH and circumvent the urine testing. Jon says he can supply product, but not an administrator. He figured Geoff would be in charge of all that.

(GM note: It later turns out Geoff misunderstood, and thought Jon could not supply product either.)


Thursday, 5 September 2041:

Before Cat leaves for school, Sam asks if she and Nip would like to check out Dr. Freeman’s office. Cat says sure on behalf of them both.

Geoff calls Dr. Freeman, and asks to come by his office. Geoff goes to Dr. Freeman’s office, and pitches him on the idea of expanding his business. All he would have to do is provide a researcher to administer the drugs.

Dr. Freeman says he doesn’t need the money and doesn’t want the hassle. Geoff counters, “But I’m offering you the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of this new venture. You are a reputable doctor. Doing ‘research’ to use braindance techniques to help young athletes get better at their sport…”

With a tone of disbelief, Dr. Freeman asks, “Are you making this up?”

Geoff admits, “On the fly, sir. However, I do have people lined up, ready to go.”

“It sounds like a lot of work for me,” Dr. Freeman says.

Geoff says, “I can help you with support for your work.” Besides, “If this works, it would supply us with blackmail material when the athletes become successful.” Dr. Freeman admits that he has contacts back in Night City, and would be willing to send his associates a proposal. But Geoff would have to write it up. Geoff asks if he can just dictate to one of Dr. Freeman’s staff people. He’s a better talker than a writer.

Dr. Freeman says no. “I don’t want to get my legit employees involved in criminal dealings.”

Geoff finds Manny Rappelli, the trainer, and pitches the idea of HGH for performance enhancement. Manny too is interested, especially when Geoff makes it clear this stuff is “not Roids” and describes the idea of doing research about whether this new substance can help the players. But Manny insists he can’t administer anything without approval and permission from Coach Marek Beran.

Geoff contacts Storm, who writes a lot of essays for college students. Storm agrees to ghost-write the proposal for Geoff, who tells him to emphasize the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of this business venture and that the substance HGH is not currently regulated.

Storm writes it up, in somewhat geeky research language. Geoff reads it over, and emails it to Dr. Freeman, who also reads it over, then forwards it to his contacts in Night City. Dr. Freeman then has Mario, a security consultant and visiting adventuring colleague, scrub all trace of the message from his email records, servers and hard drives.

Geoff then goes to find Coach Beran, and locates him around 3 pm. Geoff pitches the project as looking to study the effects of this substance on student growth. Coach Beran is somewhat suspicious, but does think the project sounds interesting and potentially promising. The football team has a disappointing record, and if this is a legit way to win, the coach is all for that. However, Coach Beran tells Geoff he wants to talk with the principal researcher before giving the green light to the project.

Sam invites Tiffany over for coffee, and invites her to the Saturday afternoon boat ride and barbeque. Tells her Kyle will be there. They play billiards. Sam wins, but not by much, and is treated to displays of a lot of cleavage and rounded rump. Tiffany returns home. Sam attempts to collect DNA evidence from the coffee cup, swabbing the rim with a Q-tip which he places in a baggie—also tries to collect the fingerprints with some Scotch tape. Then he places all of it in a large baggie to take to Dr. Freeman.

Tiffany shows up at Kyle’s boat a little after noon, interested in his antiques.

(GM note: Is that what they’re calling it now?)

They chat for a while. Kyle tells her about starting his family business, his dad having Alzheimer’s. Tiffany is sympathetic, tells Kyle about her job at the Showboat Casino doing PR, graduated from college a couple of years ago. They trade phone numbers. When she leaves, she gets into a red sports car.

Kyle goes to Sam’s place again—still followed by the light blue compact sedan. He tells the cab to make a swift right turn and leaps out of the vehicle, allowing him to photograph the license plate as well as close-ups of the two men in the car. The passenger raises his coat to hide his face—though not fast enough to evade being photographed. The car simply pulls off into a nearby side street and the men continue to watch him. Kyle examines the photos, and doesn’t recognize either of them.

Kyle calls Raylan Gibbons, US Deputy Marshall; they meet at a nearby Café Convenient. Kyle shows Raylan the photos. Does Raylan recognize these guys? No, he doesn’t.

(GM note: He rolled badly. Raylan was the only person in this episode who could have recognized this pair.)

Kyle gives Raylan the license plate number of the car. He also tells Raylan about the Church of the Ever Loving God, and the accident Damon had as a teenager. Raylan will look into the accident and the Law Div pair.

Kyle continues to Sam’s house. He shows Sam the photos of the two men. He doesn’t recognize them either. However, the car is parked a few houses down the street. Sam fills a spray bottle with kerosene and goes outside to the car. Sam sprays kerosene on the windshield and starts wiping it with a rag. At which point, the driver says, “Stop that,” and holds up a Law Div badge. Sam grins, and backs off. He returns to his house and tells Kyle that his tail is Law Div.

Kyle goes down to the car and asks why they are following him. “Sorry,” they say. “Can’t tell you that.” Kyle continues with his questions, but meets a stone wall: “Just doing our job. Making a report.” Kyle goes back into the house.  Sam orders them a pizza for the two LawDiv agents and pays for it over the phone. When it arrives, Sam goes outside and waves to them. They take the pizza into the car, raising the box in acknowledgement.

Sam tells Kyle about his morning with Tiffany and they compare notes. Hearing about Sam’s attempts to collect DNA evidence, Kyle offers to collect it himself. Kyle also offers Sam a way of solving Katie’s problem: Sam could “Go to the church. Make a donation. Screw any of the women you want. Then you wouldn’t have to worry about your personality getting in the way of picking up women.”

That evening, Cat finishes assembling her motorcycle. Sam orders take-out Chinese for himself, Cat and Kyle. Sam wonders if Kyle’s aunt Tyne could be available on Saturday night to host a sleepover for Cat with Nip and the others. Kyle thinks so. Sam calls Tyne and arranges a day-trip-and-sleepover. Cat protests, “You’re arranging a BABYSITTER for me?”

Kyle calls Geoff and asks him to get together tomorrow for lunch over a pizza. Geoff agrees.

As he leaves the house, Kyle goes over to the Law Div guys and tells them he’s headed home. Would they like to give him a ride? Sorry, that’s against protocol, but they offer to call him a cab. Kyle agrees. The cab arrives and they follow him home.

Cat installs a 10-strength data wall chip into her new deck.


Friday, 6 September 2041:

The Night City organization contacts Dr. Freeman and says they can supply both a person and product in two days. How much product should they supply?

Sam gets a license for Cat’s motorcycle and then shops for food supplies for tomorrow’s barbeque.

Geoff calls Cat. “Want to go to a Rave Saturday night? Can you stay out late?” Cat says yes. They make a date for Saturday night.

Geoff has lunch with Kyle, who tells him, “You have your ear to the ground. I need information on Damon Kelsey. It’s worth money to me.” Oh yes, “And by the way, that car over there is Law Div.” They are snapping photos. Geoff manages to keep his cool. And agrees to see what he can find out.

Geoff goes to see Dr. Freeman, who says his contacts want to know how much product to supply. Geoff says he needs a ‘front man’ who can meet with the Coach and explain the research program. “Stimulate growth of young people’s growth hormones during puberty.” Mario sends this off securely.

Geoff calls Jon—and tells him they must convince the Coach they are doing a legitimate research project.

Kyle calls Fijay and invites her to the Saturday festivities. Kyle again goes to Sam’s house, still followed by the Law Div pair. Sam decides to take the group out to the ‘Big Guys’ fast-food joint in Pleasantville where they can eat on picnic tables beside the parking lot. Kyle tells Cat that Law Div is following him. She goes and puts on her boots with knives. Kyle tells the Law Div guys where they are going. Kyle and Cat get on motorcycles (Kyle on Sam’s). Sam heads out in the Charger.

Cat maneuvers herself into the Law Div driver’s blind spot when they stop at a red light, leans down and slices off the valve stem. After pulling forward a few feet, Law Div realizes where Cat has been, stops and gets out and looks at his car—but nothing is apparent and he doesn’t hear that slight hissssss of escaping air. A few blocks farther, however, its Change The Tire time, and cusswords are heard in the vicinity.

Sam, Kyle and Cat arrive at the Big Guys fast food place. They are still eating their meal when the Law Div pair arrive, a little disheveled and decidedly not happy. The taller one glares at Cat, who smiles innocently back. Sam goes over and gives her a kiss on the head.

All around the PCs the world continues on its way as people, countries and corporations go about their daily business. Sometimes the ‘news of the day’ is typical, but sometimes it heralds a major (or potentially major) event in our world’s history.
World News Service – Flash!



Saturday, September 7, 2041

The European Space Agency has confirmed that transmissions from their colony on the planet, Mercury announcing a coup against the current EU administration are true. This revolt has been brewing ever since the secret EU plan to continue the colonization of this innermost planet for primarily non-cyborg humans was exposed by the Metal Society. It had been the hope of that Society to found a world that would be their own, and would eventually gain membership to the European Union. Cyborgs from many nations of the world joined in this effort and were paid a mere pittance for their services in anticipation of a home for themselves and acceptance as a viable off shoot of humanity. The exposure of the secret plans of the EU showed that the Euros never intended to fulfill their end of the agreement and used the cyborg colonists as a cheap labor force to push forward their own agenda of space colonization.

Transmissions picked up in the last 24 hours have announced that the rebel cyborgs have declared their independence and formed the Dominion of Mercury. Their new ruling body calls itself the Secretariat, and its leader is Secretary General Samantha Meyers, a former Night City Fire Department Brimstone cyborg, who gained notoriety in the initial clean-up after the fall of the Arasaka Tower in that city at the end of the Fourth Corporate War. After saving a small child from the rubble of that building, the child’s mother attacked the Brimstone, calling it an inhuman monster. Ms. Meyers, a decorated firefighter with ten years of conspicuous service, including pulling the late, famous rocker, Johnny Silverhand, from a burning building, put the child down and walked away from the scene convinced that most normal humans would never accept cyborgs. A number of other cyborgs at that location followed her example and withdrew from the scene. From that incident the idea of a cyborg home world was born.

The governments of Earth have made no official statements as yet, calling this an internal EU problem. However, The Martian Republic has recognized the new Dominion of Mercury’s independence and announced plans to send an ambassador there. The EU has denounced this action and reminded the government of Mars that they are still technically at war. Any support for an independent Mercury could endanger the fragile truce that has existed for the past 15 years.




Episode 8: Hormones Run Amok


Sam and Kyle get acquainted with Sam’s neighbors. Allison just barely keeps her cool (and her larcenous fingers in check). Nip starts on her project to bring Fred into the material world. All the kids have fun at a Rave. Cat and Geoff grow closer. Sam learns that all his years of extensive training are no help dealing with his confused, hormone driven teenage daughter. Geoff finds out more about Damon Kelsey. Sam and Kyle make a new “friend” from the Pleasantville Police Department.

Throughout these days, the Law Div duo continues to follow Kyle during the day and evening. Presumably, they do sleep sometime.


Sam has invited his neighbors Tiffany, Maria and Ricky over for a boat ride and barbeque. Geoff has invited Cat to go to an all-night Rave. Sam arranged for Cat to spend the day and night at Tyne’s house, but Kyle then told Cat about the boat-and-barbeque party, and Cat’s feelings are ruffled. Nip, Storm and Rayne are also going to the Rave. Kyle has hired Geoff to look into preacher Damon Kelsey and his Church of the Ever Loving God. Sam has agreed to help Dr. Freeman find out what’s afoot at his research company.

Dramatis Personae

The clients du jour:

Katie’s husband Liam has joined the Church of the Ever Loving God and given them their entire nest egg of 1.5 million euros. She believes that Damon Kelsey, the pastor and head of the church, is a scam artist, and hopes that Kyle can get at least some of her money back. She is now broke, divorcing Liam, and will have to take a job bagging groceries at the local supermarket.

Dr. Freeman’s AI, Bella, tells him about space-and-time gaps in her surveillance of his building. Two research files have been opened and read by people who were not in the building at the time.

The grownups:

Kyle Vaduva: Burned spy.

Sam Fisher: Retired CIA black operative, assassin, cleaner, you-name-it.

Dr. Gordon Freeman: Former professor at UNLV, former assistant coroner in Las Vegas and disgraced cyber researcher from our Romanian Campaign.

Fijay: Expert driver and former Euro-something agent, tainted by Kyle’s burn notice.

Bella: A self-mobile AI that runs Dr. Freeman’s office and research facility.

Damon Kelsey: Preacher and head of the Church of the Ever Loving God.

Katie Whalen: Friend of Sharin, Kyle’s mom.

Maria Figaro: Sam’s next-door neighbor. 23 yo gorgeous woman, does PR for the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center.

Matt Longworth: Police lieutenant, chief investigator of Pleasantville Homicide Dept.

Raylan Gibbons: US Marshall, general all-around US Marshall.

Ricky Jardain: Sam’s next-door neighbor. A 26 yo telemarketer selling stocks.

Tiffany Wilson: Young gorgeous woman next door to Sam’s house. Works PR for the Showboat Casino.

Tyne Lacey: Kyle’s aunt, a widow, also foster and adoptive mom of several kid PCs and NPCs, she lives next door to Sharin in a big house.

William Smith: Head of Organized Crime Bureau of Law Div in Philadelphia.

The kids:

Allison Cole: 13 yo kleptomaniac sex pot. She lives with her father.

Cat Fisher: Sam’s 15 yo daughter.

Geoff Stark: 14 yo fixer specializing in braindance chips; he has found a braindance addict to play the role of his father.

Nip Lacey: 12 yo girl with neon green hair, has amnesia. She was adopted by Tyne Lacey 2 years ago.
Fred: ferret and imaginary friend of Nip’s.

Andre Thibault: 16 yo boy, junior in high school. He is a drama enthusiast, member of debate club.

Paul Sanders: a student Geoff knows.

Rayne Snow: 14 yo boy, sophomore in high school, lives at Tyne’s house. He’s gay, rather intense Goth, artistically inclined. He is a member of theater club and glee club.

Rudi Marsden: 16 yo boy, junior in high school, punter on the football team.

Storm Snow: 15 yo boy, junior in high school, lives at Tyne’s house. He makes extra money by writing essays for college kids through the Net. He is a member of chess club and astronomy club.

The Action

Saturday, 7 September 2041:


Cat cleans her room thoroughly: removing hairs from hairbrush, etc. She photographs the next door neighbors and plans to investigate them. Sam cleans house, preparing for the barbeque party. Cat goes to Sam and pretends to be petulantly upset that Sam is having this party and shipping her off. “Like you don’t want me to be here.”

Sam apologizes, and says of course she can stay if she wants. Cat says yes, she will do that. Sam is a bit discombobulated. He has ‘big plans’ for tonight, and isn’t eager to have his daughter watching him seduce Maria. But he calls Tyne and says that Cat will not be spending the night at Tyne’s house after all. Cat smiles, and goes downstairs to make another part for the gun she is building for her dad. Sam takes his two Armalite 44s to the boat, along with two 12 gauge shotgun/pistols, and secrets them in a safe place.

Nip goes shopping with Tyne, her mom. Nip brings 500 euros (the 400 credit chip from the game and another 100 from the info chip she sold). Fred the ferret (as stuffed animal) sits on Nip’s shoulder and Nip talks with him. Nip and Tyne buy supplies for making small robots, and Nip asks Fred what he wants. He tells her “blue good color.” When other customers look askance at these conversations, Nip waves at them with a big smile and says, “Fred says hi.”

Raylan calls Kyle and apologizes for not calling him on Friday. He’s learned some information about Tom and Dick, the two Law Div guys who are following Kyle. They’re out of the Philadelphia office, assigned to William Smith, head of the Organized Crime Bureau. Raylan reports: When Raylan asked Smith about the assignment, Smith said that Raylan doesn’t need to know. Raylan replied, “Sure I do. If something weird is going down in my turf, I need to know about it. Happens they’re following a friend of mine and not being subtle about it either. Like they WANT to be seen. So what gives?” Smith replied, “Sorry, can’t say anything more.” And hung up.

(GM note: Smith from the CIA Blues campaign still has a bit of a hair across his ass about US Marshalls in general and Raylan in particular. He wasn’t about to be helpful. See Episode 1, C.I.A. Blues)

Kyle thanks Raylan for the information, and asks if he learned anything about Damon’s accident. Raylan reports yes, the accident occurred at 8:37 pm on a strip of road in Pleasantville that is still famous for drag racing. Damon should not have been driving. He was only 15 at the time (not allowed to drive after sundown). He crashed the car into a pole at 70 mph, got only a broken leg and mangled face. The car, a black Takaya Daimyo, was given to him by a rich widowed 38 yo neighbor. Damon was in foster care at the time, having been orphaned in a fire when he was eight. His foster parents were Diane and Artemas Gosselin, somewhat strict Lutherans.

Geoff calls Cat. He asks if everything is okay (she says yes), and are they still on for the Rave tonight? She says yes. He gives her the address (a warehouse in downtown Atlantic City that was stripped for renovation) and time of 9 pm. They agree to meet at the warehouse.

Cat waits until her father is very busy and about to leave on the boat before she tells Sam she has changed her mind. She wants to go over to Tyne’s house and spend the night after all. She packs a bag with a change of clothes and toothbrush. Sam offers to drive her over to Tyne’s, but she says no, she will take a cab.

The boat party gets underway. Kyle and Fijay come over, as do the neighbors Tiffany, Maria and Ricky. It quickly becomes clear that Ricky is gay and has a slight French accent. The group goes out on the boat.

Tiffany asks about doing water-skiing, and Sam drives the boat while everyone else takes turns. Ricky admits he’s never been water-skiing, whereupon Sam initially takes an easy course. Ricky is having lots of fun, and Sam pulls a 90 degree turn. Ricky goes flying and comes up laughing. “Wow that was great. Let’s do it again!” So Sam complies, taking an even sharper, faster turn this time. Ricky again goes ass over teakettle, and again comes up laughing.

Kyle offers to drive the boat so Sam can take a turn on the water skis, but Sam says no. He doesn’t trust anyone else to drive his boat. Kyle stares at Sam, apparently taken aback. Sam stares back, but he blinks first, repeating “No, I don’t want anyone else driving my boat.”


Allison puts on a special new dress for her luncheon with Rudi’s parents. Rudi picks her up and drives them to his home, which is in the middle of Brigantine, the gated community for DMS executives (and some other Really Rich People). His house is on a cul-de-sac, in the middle of the island (several blocks from the water), and clearly one of the biggest and richest in an already big-and-rich neighborhood.

The house has oriental carpets, top quality furniture, tended plants, a butler, housekeeper, crystal chandeliers, and Impressionist paintings on the walls. A glass front case in the living room is filled with jade statuettes of varying sizes. The living room also has a pair of Ming vases, 3 feet tall. A glass front case in the dining room is filled with fancy dishes, cut crystal glasses. On the dining room table are two fancy silver candelabras and a fancy Asian porcelain vase with flowers in it. The coffee table in the living room has a silver candy dish filled with mints.

Allison manages to keep her Cool (which is challenged more than once). She is glad she wore an outfit with Really Small Pockets so she won’t be able to steal anything. The five cybered Pekingese dogs with monoed fangs are a bit daunting, too: “That’s a lot of teeth,” she thinks. Rudi’s mom, Peggy Marsden[/i], gives Allison a mini tour of the house. Allison remarks about 5 or 6 times that the house is (a) humongous, and really nice. Peggy thanks her and replies that when you’ve got lots of money, you can buy a big house.

Peggy is really nice to Allison, asks about her interests. Allison compliments her on the show dogs, and asks about Peggy’s interests. Peggy does a lot of charity work. Allison says that’s a wonderful way to spend her time. Peggy says yes, when you have a lot of money, you give some away. Allison admires the Asian vase on the dining room table. Peggy tells her it’s from Thailand, and about 500 years old. Allison again gulps, but manages to keep her Cool.

Allison takes note of the keypad near the door, and the way the windows are wired for security. She thinks she’d better wait until she’s grown up to rob this place. She takes Rudi’s hand and sticks close to him, partly to ensure that her hands are not free to take anything.

Over lunch, which is served by a maid, Allison talks with Rudi’s dad, Jack Marsden, who is in charge of bringing talent to Atlantic City for casino concerts. Allison realizes he must be some kind of VP at DMS. She also talks with Rudi’s younger sister Suzie, who is 10 yo and likes mathematics. Allison asks Suzie, if she has any favorite teachers. Suzie, says yes, Mrs. Simon who teaches them science.

After lunch on the boat, Kyle talks with both Tiffany and Maria about their backgrounds and PR work. They explain that their jobs are pretty boring. Tiffany is from Riverdale, SoCal, and attended Phoenix online University because it allowed her complete freedom of movement. She has always wanted to travel, and has been to all the major cities on the West Coast. Maria is from Cincinnati, and a graduate of SoCal University in Media Relations. Her parents have retired to Flagstaff, Arizona.

Fijay talks with Ricky, and learns that he is one of 6 cousins inheriting money from a perfume magnate. He grew up in Paris, France, went to the Sorbonne, and decided to come to America. He has a modest trust fund, but works selling stocks because he’s really good at it and wants to get a lot richer.

The group spends the rest of the afternoon snorkeling and swimming. They head back to land arriving by 5:30.

Meanwhile, Cat goes online, looking for a Tiffany at the Showboat Casino. The staff directory does not have any Tiffany in the staff there, but only the PR Director and Assistant Director are listed. However, Cat does find an employee newsletter welcoming a Tiffany Wilson to the staff. She began working at the Showboat on July 15th of this year as a PR associate.

(Indeed, at this very moment, both Tiffany and Maria are explaining the kinds of duties assigned to newbie PR staff: updating the database and calling news editors to make sure they are still there and that the database has their names spelled right.)

Cat also gets the direct phone number for the PR department, calls and asks for Tiffany Wilson. The woman answering the phone sounds a little surprised. “It’s Saturday.” Cat mentions something to the effect of thinking Tiffany would be there today. The Showboat woman says no, adding that Tiffany had called in sick last week.

“Aha!” Cat thinks to herself: “I caught Tiffany in a lie! She said she was on ‘vacation’!

Meanwhile, Geoff has gone to the warehouse where the Rave will be held, and assists the people there in setting up the sound system. He schmoozes various people with his pitch for selling his braindance chips: “Puts people in the mood. Plus you get the effects of the Rave but can still pass the piss test at work the next day.”

One of the people helping out is Paul Sanders, a student Geoff knows. Paul mentions that he’s heard interesting things about the Church of the Ever Loving God. He plans to go to the service at the church on Ventnor Ave tomorrow morning at 10:30.

Nip spends the rest of her afternoon designing a small robot ‘to house Fred’. It will be a small ‘help around the house’ bot with scanners, an arm with a grabber, tracks for getting around, and will be able to respond to simple voice commands. Tyne looks at this and says, “That’s nice, dear. Keep it out of the kitchen.”


Around 5:30 pm, Rudi drives Allison home. She immediately calls Cat and tells her, “OhMyGod he’s fucking RICH!” She continues by describing the dogs with their very sharp teeth. Says she will need the help of Cat’s dad and 5 of his friends to rip this place off.

Cat asks, “So what are you doing tonight?”

Allison replies, “Coming down off this money high.”

Cat tells her she’s going to a Rave. Allison asks if she can come, and Cat says sure, “Why do you think I just mentioned it.” She gives Allison the time and place. Allison calls Rudi and asks him to go to the Rave with her. He says sure and goes home to change his clothes. Allison dons another new outfit that is tight in all the right places. Rudi comes by later to pick her up (the Rave starts at 9pm), parks in a casino parking lot, and they take a taxi to the Rave.

On her way to the Rave, Cat stops at the bus station and puts her bag of clothes and gear into a locker. She left her phone (with its tell-tale GPS) at Tyne’s house. Storm volunteered to take care of getting it back to her. All is set. Daddy thinks Cat is spending the night at Tyne Lacey’s house, and Tyne thinks Cat will be staying at home. Now she gets to stay out all night with her maybe-a-boyfriend, Geoff.

Back at Sam’s house, he fires up the grill and asks what people want to drink. Tiffany has a sea breeze (with rum), Maria has a scotch highball, and Ricky has some wine. Kyle relaxes and chats with Tiffany and Maria. They describe a few ideas they’ve had for promoting his business. “Great you’re doing a website, let’s put you on Twitter. Thing is, your boat is not on the beaten path, so we’ll have to bring folks to you. Maybe start with an article for the local paper, do the ‘keeping family business alive’ angle, tug the heartstrings. Is there anything you could give away to entice folks to come? Or maybe we could have an event…” Kyle invites both of them over for dinner on his boat next Tuesday night. They accept.

After dinner, Sam flirts with Maria, who says Kyle told her that Sam was a war hero. She asks for details. Sam demurs, saying “I can’t tell you, they are classified.” But he does show her some of his ribbons and the photo of him and his daughter with President Whindham having lunch in the Rose Garden at the White House in honor of Sam’s forty years of government service. Maria seems pretty impressed.

Sam asks the two women about their favorite movies. Maria likes the Bourne trilogy, while Tiffany admits to being a danger junkie. She likes Mr. and Mrs. Smith. No surprise there, Kyle thinks to himself.

Sam asks Maria what she likes to do for fun. Hiking, she tells him. He invites her to go motorcycling with him and Kyle and Cat next Friday. She accepts, though says she doesn’t know how to drive one. He then invites her down to the garage to see his cars. She oohs and ahhs over the Charger. He invites her for a ride, and they go out. Along the way, he talks about how he met Dr. Freeman in Night City. She remarks that’s a dangerous place.

Meanwhile, the Rave gets underway at 9 pm. Storm and Rayne and Nip arrive together. (Storm promised Tyne he would look after Nip and make sure she got home by 1pm, a curfew that took some negotiating to extend from midnight.)

During the Rave, someone picks Nip’s pocket and takes her wallet. Nip pouts but is not alarmed. She had only 5 euros in it and no important papers. Allison sees a rather inebriated girl waving her arms around; one wrist has a very pretty charm bracelet. Allison successfully nabs the bracelet and hides it in a pocket. She and Rudi spend the rest of the evening in a corner, making out.

When Cat meets Geoff, she gives him the chip of information on Damon that she researched. Geoff asks Cat to dance. He dances really badly—but makes it look Really Cool—as if it’s supposed to be that way. (GM note: yucky roll on Dance but outstanding on Perform!) Several couples start to mimic him.

During a break between songs, Andre Thibault comes up to Cat and says, “Wow, you look gorgeous tonight.” She doesn’t pay much attention. He then goes on to talk with Geoff as well, saying he wants to pull a prank at the school: to steal the chess tournament trophy (which is a 15-inch tall “golden” king-chess-piece) and put it in the Teacher’s Lounge. Geoff likes the idea of pulling a prank, but thinks we should do something much bigger, something that would be remembered forever. Nip suggests putting the principal’s car in the Teacher’s Lounge. Storm says that’s been done. Or at least, car on school dome has been done. Geoff suggests making a different statue where the king-piece is a jester. Nip then suggests putting silly string in the sprinklers. Storm points out that’s dangerous—what if the school Catches fire.

(GM wonders: When did Storm become so responsible???)

Nip agrees—silly string is flammable.

Geoff then has a brainstorm. The school has an Olympic sized swimming pool. What if they filled it with Jell-O? Everyone thinks this is a great idea, and jumps in with ideas. They would have to stop the pumps so they don’t get damaged. Put grape (purple) Jell-O at one end and lemon-orange (gold) at the other. Maybe put ‘Saran Wrap’ between them so they wouldn’t mix. Andre points out they’ll have to find a way to stir it.

They talk about maybe swimming in the stuff to get it mixed. Geoff thinks it will wash off. Cat thinks you can’t get it out of your hair. Geoff says we can have the whole school (or at least a lot of students) dying their hair purple or gold that day. Finally, it’s agreed that swimming to mix it is likely a bad idea. But they WILL go ahead with the prank. Cat will supply the recipe, and Nip will calculate the volume of the pool and how much gelatin they’ll need.

Back at Sam’s house, Kyle walks Tiffany home. Ricky goes inside, but Tiffany lingers. When it’s clear that Kyle is not moving in for a kiss, she shakes his hand goodnight. Kyle then texts Sam (as per earlier agreement) that his guests are gone and his house empty. Kyle “borrows” a bottle of Sam’s wine for next Tuesday’s dinner, then goes home with Fijay.

Sam and Maria return to Sam’s house. He puts on The Bourne Identity, and they fall asleep cuddling after watching the movie.

Storm takes Nip home at 1 am. Rayne stays a little longer, and then goes home too.


Sunday, 8 September 2041:


Cat and Geoff stay at the Rave until dawn at 6:20 am, getting in some “girlfriend” time (lots of making out and heavy petting). She takes a cab home (stopping first to pick up her bag of clothes from the locker), arriving around 7 am.

Sam emerges from his bedroom around 8 am and finds Cat in the kitchen, making breakfast. She asks how he wants his eggs, and he says to make more, holding up two fingers. “Oh, is Kyle here?” she asks. No. “OH,” Cat says, immediately understanding, but determined to roast her dad over the coals. “Two more, then?” No, just one more. “OH,” Cat says again. “Not a boy AND a girl.” Then she gives Sam a big Cheshire smile and calls him a stud muffin.

Sam takes coffee into the bedroom for Maria and tells her his daughter is home, making breakfast. How would she like her eggs? “Over easy,” she tells him. When Sam relays this information to Cat, she says quietly, “I bet she would.” The teenager looks to the large container of Cayenne pepper and contemplates making Maria some ‘special; eggs.

Maria emerges from the bedroom, greets Cat with “You must be Sam’s daughter.” Trying the eggs, she says they are delicious. Cat says yes, the eggs are her specialty, and Daddy has her cook for all the women he brings home. Cat apologizes for the mess, but ‘Massa’ sent her away last night when everybody here was having fun. She then proceeds with a series of double-entendres, continuing to roast her dad. Maria looks from one to the other with a confused and slightly alarmed look. Whereupon Cat says she now has to go wash out her dirty diaper and storms out of the room.

Sam apologizes for his daughter’s behavior. Maria says it’s nothing. She understands. Teenagers. Sam asks how he can make it up to her. Maria suggests dinner. Sam proposes tomorrow night. Maria says 7 pm.

Cat goes down to the basement singing a 19th century Negro spiritual about ‘laboring away under the lash’ and dressed in her overalls. Sam follows her down and finds a racket with all the weapon making machines running. He flips the power switch off, shutting them all down. Cat says he just ruined the new breech block for his gun. (GM note: This was a lie; breech block was not ruined.) Sam asks, “What was that shit you were pulling?” Cat says she wasn’t pulling any shit. Sam says, “Why don’t you just go to your room, then.”

Cat says, “Then I’ll just go to my room.” She puts on her ‘Drama Queen’ crown and goes upstairs to her bedroom. Once there she gratefully passes out on her bed. She was sure Dad would eventually notice that his daughter was totally sleep deprived from being up all the previous night!

Sam takes a big swig of whisky, and calls Kyle. He describes his morning and says, “She’s pissed and I don’t know why. Just went psycho on me for no reason.” Kyle says that women often go psycho for about three days a month. Maybe her ‘friend’ is visiting? Sam asks Kyle to come over and talk with her.

Kyle says sure, but later. She was out late, probably exhausted. “Let her get some sleep.” Sam agrees that’s a good idea, and heads out for church.

Geoff sacks out in a side room at the Rave for a couple of hours.


Geoff finds a VendoMat for some fresh clothes, and takes a Shower in a Can. (This area of Atlantic City is … “shabby” is a polite word for it, though it’s not a true Combat Zone.) He puts on the fresh clothes and heads for the Church of the Ever Loving God on Ventnor Ave. There, he and Paul listen to the sermon, which focuses on how God wants everyone to love one another, using passages from the Song of Solomon.

Paul is deeply moved by the sermon and talks with Damon afterwards. He’s been feeling confused and upset because his parents are getting divorced. Damon tells him to give it time, that these things work themselves out. He’s sure that Paul’s parents both love him and that all will be well in the end. Geoff gets the impression that Damon is not trying to recruit Paul but simply to comfort him. Geoff cynically remarks to himself, “Right, Paul doesn’t have any money.”

Geoff and Paul leave the church together. Geoff tells Paul he understands, his mother divorced his father too—and launches into his “rehearsed tale of woe”. Paul says he’s really impressed with Damon and plans to come back on Wednesday for the social hour at 3 pm. Geoff says he thinks that’s a good idea.

Geoff goes home, reads the chip about Damon, and hits the sack for some shut eye.

Storm comes over to Sam’s house with Cat’s phone. Cat takes him out to the dock to ‘talk’ and sits really close to him—or at least it looks that way from the neighbors’ house.

Sam makes reservations for 8 pm on Monday night at The Swan, an elegant restaurant in Atlantic City. He calls a florist and arranges to pick up a dozen roses tomorrow. He then goes paintballing with Nip and the team, including Cat and Storm and Rayne. Nip gives him the specifications for a paintball mini-gun that she had printed out earlier. After the paintball session, Cat suddenly turns and gives Sam a big long hug. This confuses him even more. Sam takes the team for ice cream.


Geoff calls Kyle and arranges to meet at the warehouse where the Rave went down. (The place is now cleared out.) They arrive through different doors, and Geoff shows Kyle to a side room. Geoff reports to Kyle the information Cat gave him (as if he had researched it himself), plus his experience at the church earlier today. Kyle pays him 100 euros, and they leave at different times, again through different doors. While Kyle goes out the front, Geoff chooses a side door on the second floor that leads to a fire escape. However, the fire escape is rickety and in poor condition. Geoff slips, grabs for the railing, but misses and falls to the ground (but takes no damage).


Monday, 9 September 2041:


The kids go off to school.

Pleasantville’s Homicide Lieutenant Matt Longworth comes to Kyle’s boat. Kyle asks to see his credentials and examines Matt’s badge. Reassured it’s the real thing and not a forgery, Kyle says sure, he can come on the boat. Matt says, “Ya know, I’ve got this cold case been nagging at me. The mayor and his family—the wife and kids—they were having dinner at the Tommaso Trattoria the night the Mipposa brothers got shot. Little Annie, she saw them go down. Blood and brains got splattered all over the window at the restaurant right where she was sitting, and she’s still having nightmares. The mayor asks me from time to time if I’ve got any leads. Anyway, it occurs to me, maybe it wasn’t out of town pros. Maybe it was local talent. Who might be able to do something like that? And your name came to mind. The way you got Cinnamon and his pals off this boat, that took ingenuity, yes indeedy. Those Absecon cops, they’ve been mightly close-mouthed about the Mipposas, but I figure there’s more to this story than meets the eye. So, you wouldn’t mind telling me where you were on the night of Tuesday, July 23rd, right?”

Kyle says he can’t remember. Matt asks maybe looking at his calendar will jog his memory? Kyle says no and points at his ink-free calendar. Then Kyle has an inspiration. “These Law Div guys from Philadelphia have been following me around. You could ask them.” Matt says okay and turns to leave, but then has another thought. He mentions Cinnamon’s death, says he’s pretty sure he knows who did it, or at least who was responsible. He seems to be fishing for Kyle to say something, and when Kyle is silent, Matt leaves.

Shortly thereafter, Matt knocks on Sam’s door, again shows his badge, and is invited in. He tells Sam, “Ya know, I’m sure you’ve heard about the Mipposa brothers—that pair who got shot coming out of the Tommaso Trattoria in Pleasantville in late July? Well, I got to thinking; sure, it might have been out of state pros, but what if it wasn’t? What if it was local talent? Who might be able to do something like that? And your name came to mind: Delta Force colonel, retired, goes after bad guys, all of that. And there was that self-defense shooting on your buddy Kyle’s boat. So, you wouldn’t mind telling me where you were on the evening of Tuesday, July 23rd, right?”

Sam blinks in surprise, but finds his footing quickly. As to where he was on that Tuesday night in July, he says he isn’t sure. He has been having a lot of ‘cookouts’ and boat trips of late. When Matt mentions that Sam has the skill to make such a shot, the veteran agrees, but why would he? He is retired now and has no interest in that sort of thing. Besides, why would a person with his stature and wealth do something like that? Matt seems to accept Sam’s explanation, and leaves.

When Geoff arrives at school, his home-room teacher has a message for him: Report to the principal’s office. He does, and sees several other students waiting there. When Geoff goes in, the principal reminds him the school has a policy: Stay on campus the whole day. No leaving. Geoff looks confused and says he’s been there all the time. The principal pulls up a video clip of the bus stop outside the school. A little before noon on Friday, Geoff was climbing onto the bus for Atlantic City. (GM note: He went to meet Kyle for pizza in Episode 7.) Geoff looks abashed and apologizes, saying it won’t happen again. He was meeting with a parent who wanted to hire a tutor for his kid. Geoff doesn’t have a lot of money, has to earn his way.

The principal sympathizes, says he had to work his way through school too—and, “I hear you bleed purple and gold (the school colors). This time is just a warning, no detention. And I wish you good luck.”


After school, Cat goes to Nip to increase the speed of her deck. (Nip rolls amazingly well and) the operation succeeds.


Cat does a bug sweep of the house—and finds nothing new or unexpected. Sam spiffies himself up for his date and heads for the door. Cat asks where is he going? Sam tells her out with Maria. Cat breaks into (a version) of the song from West Side Story about a girl named Maria, and ends with the line, “…and suddenly I found, my wallet’s not around, no more!” And by the way, Tiffany was not on vacation like she claimed. Her work said she called in sick! As Sam leaves, Cat tells him to have fun.

Sam picks up the roses and takes them to Maria. She ooohs and ahhhs over the flowers and puts them in a vase. Ricky is out at one or more gay bars, cruising. Sam asks Tiffany if she is staying home alone. She says yes, not a problem. Sam asks if they should pick something up for her. She says no, she will be fine.

Sam and Maria head out for the restaurant. Sam chooses a nice bottle of wine. They have a fancy dessert. Afterwards, they stroll along the Boardwalk.

Meanwhile, Kyle comes over to Sam’s house. Cat cooks dinner for him, and they have a long talk. He says, “You were upset on Sunday morning.”

Cat says, “Yes, I came home and found there was a strange woman in my Dad’s bed. How do you think that made me feel?”

Kyle asks, “Why did you think that was unreasonable? Your Dad deserves a life.”

Cat replies, “He sent me away, then at the last minute said I could stay here if I want.”

Kyle explains that Sam felt guilty about wanting time alone.  Then Cat asks if Kyle is her friend. Can she trust him to keep a secret? When he says yes, she tells him how she put one over on Sam and was out all night with her boyfriend, Geoff.

Kyle says, “Just don’t get pregnant.”

Cat replies, “Little chance of that.” After Kyle goes, she leaves the dishes and candlesticks arranged to make it look like the two had a romantic dinner—all for her father’s benefit.

Sam brings Maria home around 11 pm, and asks if she would like to come over for the night again. She says sure, gets shampoo and makeup and clothes for the next day, and spends another platonic snuggle night with Sam.

Episode 9: Sex, Lies and Camera Angles

Almost everyone is engaged in misdirection of one kind or another—though a few truths are told along with outright lies. But which are the lies and which are the truths? And how can one distinguish the two?


Sam, Kyle and Cat are curious about and/or somewhat suspicious of Sam’s new neighbors. Kyle has people investigating Damon Kelsey and his Church of the Ever Loving God, a cult and possibly a scam with lots of land in Cumberland County. Cat and Nip are helping Doc Freeman find the source of some security problems. Geoff is setting up a ‘research project’—a front for a drug deal with Human Grown Hormone (HGH) for the high school football team.

Dramatis Personae

The clients du jour:

Katie Whalen, a friend of Sharin (Kyle’s mom): Her husband Liam has joined the Church of the Ever Loving God and given them their entire nest egg of 1.5 million euros. She believes that Damon Kelsey, the pastor and head of the church, is some kind of scam artist, and hopes that Kyle can get at least some of her money back. She is now broke, divorcing Liam, and will have to take a job bagging groceries at the local supermarket.

Doc Freeman learns from Bella, his AI, that there are space-and-time gaps in her surveillance of his building. Two research files have been opened and read by people who were not in the building at the time.

The grownups:

Kyle Vaduva: Burned spy.

Sam Fisher: Retired CIA black operative, assassin, cleaner, you-name-it.

Doc Freeman: Former professor at UNLV, former assistant coroner in Las Vegas and disgraced cyber researcher.

Fijay: Expert driver and former Euro-something agent, tainted by Kyle’s burn notice.

Mario: Security consultant and NetRunner; visiting Doc Freeman’s office and helping him out.

Bella: A self-mobile AI that runs Doc Freeman’s office and research facility.

Benji Mandelbaum: Sysop at Freeman Industries.

Damon Kelsey: Preacher and head of the Church of the Ever Loving God.

Katie Whalen: Friend of Sharin, Kyle’s mom.

Lorenzo Leggieri: Mob guy from Night City pretending to be a ‘researcher’.

Marek Beran: Coach of High School football team. Mid 40s, powerful, smart, serious about winning but only through legitimate means, though willing to “push the envelope” on what constitutes legitimate.

Maria Figaro: Sam’s next-door neighbor. 23 yo gorgeous woman, does PR for the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center.

Ricky Jardain: Sam’s next-door neighbor. A 26 yo telemarketer selling stocks.

Tiffany Wilson: Young woman next door to Sam’s house. Works PR for the Showboat Casino.

The kids:

Cat Fisher: Sam’s 15 yo daughter.

Geoff Stark: 14 yo fixer specializing in braindance chips; he has found a braindance addict to play the role of his father.

Nip Lacey: 12 yo girl with neon green hair, has amnesia. She was adopted by Tyne Lacey 2 years ago.

Andre Thibault: 16 yo boy, junior in high school. He is a drama enthusiast, member of debate club.

Haku Fujimoto: Mascot for High School football team a 15 yo sophomore. Wannabe wide receiver, but is a skinny little guy.

Paul Sanders: A student Geoff knows.

The Action

Tuesday, 10 September 2041:


Geoff gets a call from Doc Freeman, who gives him the name and phone number of the ‘researcher’ from Night City: Lorenzo Leggieri. Geoff encounters Haku, the high school football team’s mascot, in the hallway. Haku is eager to get the HGH and wants to know what’s happening. Geoff tells him he’s talking with the researcher today. Haku says count me in. Geoff says we’ll get you on the squad yet.

Kyle sets up his boat for the dinner party tonight, putting out his newest antiques. Fijay tells Kyle she is going out on a date, so the boat will be all his, all night.


After school, Geoff calls Lorenzo. He tells him that Coach Beran is looking for reassurance. Lorenzo should tell Beran that the study will be administering HGH only through puberty, enhancing the normal growth spurt. If one stops before the end of puberty, all is okay. Also, they will be using natural HGH, not synthetic, and to thank him for his time and consideration. After Lorenzo leaves, Geoff goes to a judo dojo he has found, and signs up for lessons.

Cat tells Sam she wants and needs a sleep inducer. On top of going to school, she is making guns for Sam, investigating Doc Freeman’s problem, and doing research for Kyle. Plus she has homework! Sam says okay.

Sam drives Cat and Nip to Freeman Industries, where they meet with Doc Freeman, who reassures them that his office is not hooked into the building surveillance system. They can talk freely. Cat checks the room for bugs anyway, and finds none. Doc Freeman tells the trio about his problem. Cat lays out a plan.

One: Get someone from Disney to check out Bella and install a new firewall to protect her from anything malicious that’s been installed in the system. Examine her hardware and all files. Two: Examine all the hallways and offices for bugs, remotes, and any suspicious new hardware that should not be there. Three: Have Disney do second and third level security checks on all employees, looking for anything strange in their finances, unusual banking, large payments, phone calls to overseas banks and banks in countries with secrecy laws.

Doc Freeman will have Disney look into these things. We don’t want to tip off anyone here that we’re doing the search.

Cat asks Doc Freeman if he could do her a huge favor: Add three names to the list of people—Tiffany, Maria, and Ricky. Doc Freeman agrees to do this, and to prioritize them right after his sysops person and the two employees who had opened files while not in the building. Doc Freeman also asks Bella if it’s okay to have her checked out. She says yes, but could it be Mario who does the work? Doc Freeman calls Mario and asks if he can do this. Mario says he will come out from Disney tomorrow morning.

Cat checks Doc Freeman’s computer. It’s clean.

Sam and Doc Freeman talk about the drug deal with Geoff, where Doc Freeman is setting things up with his ‘associates’ in Night City for the HGH. Sam says, “So you are facilitating a drug deal?”

Doc Freeman asks, “You’re saying this is illegal?” Sam muses one can probably make a pretty penny out of this operation. Cat glares at them (she does not want to know about any of this), and jacks into the system to check it out. Doc Freeman says he doesn’t need the money.

Sam says he’ll take Doc Freeman’s cut, then. “You realize this means substantial funds.” Sam points out, “If he fucks up, they’ll probably come after you.”


Kyle buys food from a local establishment and heats it up in his own dinnerware (making it look like he cooked it himself). Tiffany and Maria arrive around 7 pm in Tiffany’s red sports car.

They decide to eat first—and the women ooh and ahh over the food. Maria asks for the recipe. Kyle says he will get it for her later (and plans to search the Web for an appropriate Romanian recipe). Kyle is “the consummate host” plying them with liquor. The women sip, and are not getting drunk.

After dinner, they talk about taking Kyle on as a client. Web advertising, print news advertising, interview at local radio station. The conversation widens. They talk about: places Kyle has been, his parents from Romania, his father ran an antique business before his health ran away with him, that Kyle is relocating his family business.

As the evening wears on, Kyle puts the moves on both of them (making high rolls on Seduction). Tiffany succumbs to his charms, but Maria just smiles, politely declines, and takes a cab home. Kyle and Tiffany have a great roll in the hay, and she spends the night there.


Wednesday, 11 September 2041:


Kyle takes Tiffany out for breakfast, after which she heads off for work. While returning to his boat, Kyle waves at the Law Div duo. They wave back.

The kids go to school. Geoff plans to meet with Paul and go to the 3 pm social meeting at the Church of the Ever Loving God.

Mario arrives to check out Bella. Doc Freeman brings him in.


Kyle goes over to Sam’s, but the house is locked up. He returns to his boat.

Geoff and Paul go to the church meeting at 3 pm. Damon remarks this is Geoff’s second visit to the church. Geoff says what he heard before sounds interesting. He stammers a little, looks uncomfortable about talking (makes his Acting roll). Damon goes into his spiel about “Everyone deserves to have a solid foundation of God’s love supporting them through their difficulties in life.” Geoff says he hasn’t had that in his life, that it sounds too good to be true. Then he thinks of a sad thing and forces a few tears out. Damon replies, “I will meditate on how to help you.”

Meanwhile, Cat and Nip go to Doc Freeman’s office. Mario declares that Bella is clean.

Doc Freeman brings Cat, Nip and Bella to the office of his sysop, Benji Mandelbaum, and tells Benji that these two will be running a security analysis of the system—from his terminal. Benji is nonplussed. “What? You set up a security analysis without telling me?” Doc Freeman confirms this, and would Benji please leave his office? Benji says okay, “But don’t break anything.” It’s clear he has a dim view of these proceedings, and no confidence in the teenagers’ skills.

Cat tells Bella to watch Benji in the system and keep her informed what he is doing. (Benji goes to a public terminal in the library (that is, any employee can use it), logs in, and starts to watch what Cat and Nip are doing.) Cat asks Bella if she can make a phony VR of things Cat and Nip are presumably doing—and keep Benji occupied on a wild goose chase. Bella says sure.

Cat asks Bella about the camera looping. Does she still have the original? No, that was scrubbed. Where was the looping done? At three terminals: the sysop’s, a public terminal in the library, and a third in the reception area. Is there anyone at the other two terminals right now? No. Benji is at a different terminal in the library.

Cat pulls off the cover, and tries to re-rezz the original recordings. It doesn’t work. However, she does find a user account with root privileges that does not correspond to any of the employees. This account, named Nimue, was created one week before the first gaps, and was last accessed three days ago. Bella says the email server crashed on the same day that Nimue was created. It was a Saturday. She had called Benji to come in and fix the problem—which was standard procedure. He came in and installed a new server.

(GM note: If anyone had asked Benji his whereabouts that weekend, he would have said he was at a LARP called WonderWorld in western Pennsylvania. But nobody asked.)

Mario sets up an independent, off-system surveillance of the three terminals that will activate whenever any of these three are used.

Cat and Nip search the email system for inserted daemons, and find nothing. At 8 pm, they leave.

Lorenzo calls Geoff and says his meeting with the coach went well.


Back at home, Cat does a library search on the widow who gave Damon the car that he crashed. She was 24 at the time and apparently stayed in touch. She was one of the first members who joined the Church of the Ever Loving God. Cat also researches the fire that made Damon an orphan when he was 8. Newspaper reports said the fire was found to be caused by faulty wiring in the parents’ bedroom. They succumbed quickly to smoke inhalation and died at the scene. Damon’s room was farther from the fire; he was rescued by a fireman and recovered in the hospital.


Thursday, 12 September 2041:


Geoff creates opportunities to pass the coach in the hallway—and succeeds. Coach Beran says, “I wouldn’t have thought this guy was a researcher, he looks like a thug. But he talks a good talk.” Geoff says that’s good news, he will talk to Doc Freeman and say they can go ahead. Does the coach have Lorenzo’s number? And he’s got to get to class but it’s after the bell. Can the coach give him a note for his teacher? (Yes, he gets the note.)

Meanwhile, Andre runs into Cat and asks if there’s been any progress on the Jell-O front. Cat says they’re waiting on the calculation. Andre asks if she’s doing anything on Friday night. Maybe she’d like to catch a movie with him? Cat says she’s not sure, to ask her again in a couple of days.

Cat and Geoff run into each other. Cat asks if he would like to join their paintball team. They’re having a practice on Sunday. Geoff says sure, why not, although he will be going to church that morning. It’s proving to be interesting. Cat asks if he has more information. Geoff gives her a peck on the cheek and whispers, “Tell you later.”

Maria calls Sam and tells him about the evening with Kyle. She says she thinks Tiffany is a bit of a gold-digger, and expresses surprise that she seems interested in Kyle. Sam invites her over for dinner and a movie that night. She agrees to come over at 7:30 pm.


After school, Geoff and Cat meet while waiting for her dad to pick her up. He describes the meeting at the church and its interactions, what he saw, that he talked with Damon and thinks he made an impression.

Cat asks, “So, are we something or are we just casual?”

Geoff replies, “I don’t know. I do like you but your dad scares me and I don’t know how he’d react.”

Cat says, “I do care what he thinks but it’s MY life, not his.”

Geoff says, “You make me happy. I hope I make you happy.”

Cat replies, “Yes, you’re cool. There’s lots of baggage in my life. You met the big suitcase.” She then observes, “You haven’t invited me over to your home.”

Geoff says, “It’s not you, it’s him. He’s not so good at pulling himself away from the braindance.” But he does invite her over and she accepts.

Sam drives up. Geoff gives Cat a big kiss goodbye, and she kisses him back. Sam gives Geoff his ‘stone cold killer’ look, but doesn’t say a word. Geoff waves. Sam glares at Geoff, who heads for the bus stop—on his way to Doc Freeman’s office.

Cat asks Sam, “How was your day?”

Sam replies, “Peachy. How was your day?”

Cat gets a dreamy look in her eyes and says, “It was wonderful.”

Sam says, “Don’t bring him to the house. I trust him no farther than I can throw him. Less than I could snap his neck.”

Cat retorts, “Don’t you dare snap his neck.” Sam wonders (but doesn’t say out loud) how long it would take for her to get over him if he did snap Geoff’s neck.

Sam drives Cat and Nip to Doc Freeman’s building. Cat asks Sam to take Nip downstairs to the sysop’s office. They go, leaving Cat alone with Doc Freeman. She asks for the report on the trio. Doc Freeman hands it to her, and she reads it with interest.

On Tiffany, Disney operatives spoke with her parents, who seemed a little nervous but said yes, the photo matched their daughter. They also interviewed several teachers, who said basically, “Well, yeah, that looks like her.” And yes, her photo in the physical yearbook was the same as the online photo.

On Maria, Disney operatives went to Flagstaff where her parents had retired, and spoke with the couple there. They agreed the photo was of their daughter. As for her teachers, some had moved away, but those who were still there didn’t remember her except as “that quiet kid in the back.” As for the photo, “Sure, that looks like her.” Again, the photo in the school’s physical yearbook matches the photo of Maria.

On Ricky, yes, he grew up in Paris and went to the Sorbonne for a while but dropped out. However, Disney learned that one of his cousins is suing the trust fund. The funds were not supposed to be released until the cousins turned 30, but Ricky’s funds were released just three weeks ago. (And Ricky is 26.) This cousin is 27, and he Wants His Money Now.

Geoff arrives at Doc Freeman’s office, having taken the bus there. On reaching the elevator, it opens to show Sam inside. Geoff keeps his Cool, and says, “This elevator is full, I’ll take the next one.” Sam goes to Doc Freeman’s office and hides behind the door. Geoff arrives at the office and knocks on the door. Doc Freeman says, “Come in.”

Cat is on her way out. She says “Hi” to Geoff and pinches him on the butt as she leaves. Geoff says “If you’re busy, I can come back later. Sam shuts the door behind him. Geoff again maintains his Cool.

Doc Freeman says that’s fine, he can stay, and asks how the meeting went with the researcher. Geoff says the coach is interested. The friend you brought in, the coach was a little surprised, thought he looked thuggish. Doc Freeman says that pharmacists have a rough business on the west coast. Geoff says, “The coach was talking startup. I came to talk with you. Can we start the research now? The season has already started. You’re a scientist, right? You know about these kinds of things. How do you set up a research project like this?”

Doc Freeman agrees he is ‘a kind of scientist’. I thought Lorenzo was knowledgeable about this. And he gives advice about setting up research. Geoff asks if it’s okay to use Doc Freeman’s phone to call Lorenzo. Doc Freeman says no.

Sam says, “So you’d rather he talks about this on a fucking pay phone?” Geoff says it will look weird if he just shows up at Lorenzo’s door. Sam agrees, saying it might warrant a bullet in the face.

Geoff then says, “I’m sorry for involving you. I’ll make the call outside.”

Sam then says to Geoff, “We need to talk,” and adds to Doc Freeman, “in private.” Doc Freeman says they can use Conference Room C, and that he is going back to work.

In Conference Room C, Sam demands to know, “What are your intentions towards my daughter?”

Geoff says, “She’s a friend. We’ve gone out a few times.”

Sam asks, “Are you dating?”

Geoff replies, “If that’s all right with you.”

Sam tells Geoff to “treat her respectfully.”

Geoff completely loses his Cool, and says, “No, I’m going to treat her like shit. What kind of a question IS that?” He rants a bit more, ending with, “You sent cops to my fucking door!”

Sam says, “I have friends who check out acquaintances who show up at my place. All I care about is one—that you treat her respectfully, and two—don’t bring her into your shady drug deals.”

Geoff retorts, “I’m getting really sick of your passive aggressive bullshit.”

Sam replies, “I worry about my daughter, don’t want her getting arrested.”

Geoff says, “Oh yeah? What about the people you go out and kill?”

Sam says, “They drew on me first.”

Geoff suggests, “Your attitude made them do it? If there’s anything more you want to say to me, now would be the time.”

Sam says “No. Just keep her out of what you do for a living.”

Geoff says, “You don’t know what I do for a living. You don’t know anything about me. You know why I’m doing this? My friend can’t make the team. I’m trying to help him out.”

Sam has an apparent change of heart and says, “I respect your reason. It shows me a different side of you. I understand what you’re doing this for. If you need my help, just ask.” Geoff holds out his hand, and they shake.

Sam goes back to Doc Freeman’s office and shares his concern about his daughter and Geoff. Doc Freeman says he thinks Sam is overestimating the permanence of teenage relationships.

Geoff goes to the public dataterm in the lobby and calls Lorenzo. He says, “I just spoke with Doc Freeman and he wants to get started as soon as possible.” Lorenzo says he will be supplying product too. Geoff says if he can help in any way, collect records, whatever. Lorenzo says sure, they’ll start on Monday. He’ll call the coach.

Meanwhile, Cat and Nip start checking the individual computers, and find daemons on the computers of all four researchers, the purchasing manager, and the accountant. These daemons apparently allow someone with the right password to open/read/copy files and send them to Nimue. Cat copies the daemons and asks Bella to put tracers on them. Then she tells Doc Freeman to tell the sysop that she and Nip are giving the place ‘a clean bill of health’.

(GM note: Can you imagine what Benji will think about this? And—do you think he will keep his mouth shut?)


Geoff calls Kyle and says he has information about the church. He puts his description of the meeting and the people there on a chip to give to Cat tomorrow. It includes the fact that Damon did invite a woman out to the cult property in Cumberland County, but not any of the guys.


Friday, 13 September 2041:


Geoff tells Cat, “I had a tough talk with your dad yesterday. He thinks I will get you involved in drug dealing.”

Cat replies, “Are you?”

Geoff says, “No.”

Cat then says, “I’m not interested in any of your business.”

Geoff admits, “He’s more interested that I treat you right. If you want to be exclusive…?”

Cat acknowledges, “Okay. Sure. Yeah. Well.”

Geoff acts a little hurt. “If you want to shop around and compare…?”

Cat says, “If you don’t want to.”

Geoff confides, “You’re the first person I’ve let in.” The two agree to be exclusive.

Cat then says, “So we’re going to see your dad tonight?”

Later, Cat tells Andre and delivers those dreaded words, “We can be friends.”


Cat goes to Geoff’s house and meets his “dad”.

(GM note: This person is a braindance addict whom Geoff has persuaded to pretend to be his dad. This allows Geoff a lot of freedom to do as he pleases, as well as a front for school and other authorities.)

Geoff unplugs him from the braindance machine in order to meet Cat. Mr. Stark tells Cat, “You’re really pretty,” and asks Geoff, “How did you get so lucky?” Geoff says he doesn’t know. After a little while, Mr. Stark excuses himself and goes back to plug in to the braindance machine.

Cat goes home for dinner, and is nice to Maria. Maria is nice back. They and Sam have a delicious dinner.

Geoff puts on his tattoo-ed arms disguise and goes out to work. After a while, he goes by Kyle’s boat. The lights are on. He watches the boat and ‘cases the joint’. He observes the two Law Div guys in their blue sedan, down the street, staking out the boat.

Geoff puts on a brown do-rag like the colors of Cinnamon’s team, and then strolls by the boat.

(GM note: Cinnamon was the drug dealer who used to be a squatter on this boat. Geoff OOC explained he hoped it would look like Kyle was being scoped out by the gang who used to work for Cinnamon.)

Once out of sight, Geoff removes the do-rag and replaces the bandana, then goes by the Church of the Ever Loving God on Ventnor Ave. The church is closed. He scopes it out, observing a couple of cameras watching the front and back doors. The church is built of stone and occupies only part of the block. There’s a pet-grooming place next door. Across the street is yet another Café Convenient. There’s an alley of sorts in back, a modest parking lot, no chains, a few illegally parked cars.

After this, Geoff returns to where he stashed his regular clothes, removes his disguise, checks that he is not being followed, and takes 2 buses home.

Cat searches the public records for stolen cars of the same make and model as the Law Div duo.

Meanwhile, in Sam’s bedroom, he and Marie watch the Bourne Ultimatum and chat about their respective weeks. Sam mentions that he’s helping Doc Freeman with a security problem. They didn’t find anything. Maria says, “Oh, he must be reassured, then.” They discuss her spending the weekend and whether to start seeing each other on a regular basis. Sam asks if she would like to be exclusive. “That would be nice,” she replies. That night, they have sex.


Saturday, 14 September 2041:


Cat burns breakfast, then goes sky-diving with Sam, while Maria stays on the ground. “Why would I want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane?”


Geoff calls Cat and asks, “What are you up to? Want to take a walk along the Boardwalk?”

Cat counter-offers, “What about going to the BigGuys instead?” They agree to go for dinner at the BigGuys.

Cat makes a wonderful handgun and silencer.

Kyle calls Tiffany. “Want to go to BigGuys tonight?” Tiffany says sure.

Geoff goes to see his contact Lena, a braindance actress. She is also an addict, trying to stay clean. She is ‘twitching’ to get some machine time on, trying hard not to do it. Geoff keeps his cool, and listens to the current difficulties in her life. He asks if she wants to go for dinner tomorrow night. She says sure.


Cat gets all dolled up for dinner.

Kyle takes Tiffany on the Thundergod. Sam takes Maria in the Charger. Cat takes Geoff on her custom-built-from-spare-parts generic motorcycle. They go to BigGuys, with the Law Div duo in tow.

Geoff picks up the tab for him and Cat, impressing Sam. Cat introduces Geoff to Maria as her boyfriend. Sam says, “Wait, what?” Then “Oh, okay.”

Sam tells the Law Div guys that their dinner is on him. They thank him, and choose reasonably from the menu.

Geoff whispers to Kyle that ‘word on the street’ is that ‘the gang’ are interested in something on the boat. He wishes he knew more, that that’s all he’s heard.


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