Cyberfusion

Welcome to your campaign!
A blog for your campaign

Wondering how to get started? Here are a few tips:

1. Invite your players

Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username.

2. Edit your home page

Make a few changes to the home page and give people an idea of what your campaign is about. That will let people know you’re serious and not just playing with the system.

3. Choose a theme

If you want to set a specific mood for your campaign, we have several backgrounds to choose from. Accentuate it by creating a top banner image.

4. Create some NPCs

Characters form the core of every campaign, so take a few minutes to list out the major NPCs in your campaign.

A quick tip: The “+” icon in the top right of every section is how to add a new item, whether it’s a new character or adventure log post, or anything else.

5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.

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The Crazy Devils

You are all chilling at Esteban’s crib one evening.
The Radio on the side blasts out "the weather report. There is descending cloud over North and Easterly parts of New Angeles. Rain of p.h. 6.5 in the North and 6.0 dropping to 5.5 in the East so make sure you wear protection and take you breathers with you.
“There will be lightning storms around the Beanstalk so the NAPD has imposed a 750m no fly zone. The Weyland Consortium has issued a statement that there will be no disruption to Kaguya and near space travel timetables.”
On the Trideo Pop.e/950 and Alan are playing Call of Duty 17 with a mod that focuses on the pan-Asian war. Their TAPs are directly interfacing with the game console controler on their MCT Zee Box III. Esteban is in the kitchen area looking into an empty packet of soy-cafe and cursing his fridge for not ordering any new. It has been on the blink for a couple of months now, but he can’t afford to replace it. Instead he breaks open a few soy-beers and a packet of soylent-red recochips – potato chip flavour apparently. Having never eaten a real potato chip in his life Esteban doesn’t know if that is a fair description – he suspects not.
All three are relaxing on the couch as the next mission of CoD17 starts. Some Shock Jock on the radio is ranting about the number of Vat Jobs stealing all the jobs of hard working human citizens, and driving decent people into a life of poverty.
He is interviewing a neo-luddite by the name of Grace Felix when you hear a scream from down the coridor.
This is not in of itself unusual, but rarely this early and without the drunken shouting of the asshole at appartment 217.
This is followed by more screams and crashing of furniture.

The door to Esteban’s horrible apartment is suddenly smashed apart by the flying body of Mr Rogers from across the way, his cardigan flapping about him and tearing on the doorway’s remaining splinters. He is followed by a jazzed up ganger waving a knife around.

Angry at having their game interrupted, Alan and Pope draw their weapons and an exchange of gun fire takes place. Pope is hit by a bullet from a second ganger outside the apartment, so Esteban zeros in on the guy’s TAP and shorts out the biocircuitry, sending the unfortunate ganger to the ground clutching his skull. A couple more gangers appear, more eager to engage in a gunfight, but are swiftly despatched by Alan and Pope. The gangers guns are retrieved for later pawning. Esteban tends to Mr Rogers (steals his wallet) and attempts to secure his wrecked hallway.

They haul Pope’s perforated carcass to a street doc they know Joshua B to get him fixed up, and on their way they see more evidence throughout the building of more gangers smashing the place up. The ’chiphead in the building entrance is huddled back even further than usual into his nest of filth, eyes blank and upturned.

More gangers out on the streets are shooting the place up, causing a disturbance, forcing people to retreat home, shops to roll down security shutters and generally disturbing the peace. A single NAPD unit speeds past, showing no sign of slowing.

First up is a trip to the street doc, where Pope is sown back up. It’s not cheap, and alan has to call in a favour! Next up is Aesop’s to sell him the ganger’s guns, to try and recoup some of Pope’s med bills. Everywhere is heard complaints about these gangers, the Crazy Devils, shooting up town, even going after folk who’ve paid their protection money.

The party are pissed off and decide to do some digging. They do some research on the Crazy Devils, hit the streets and get some facts.

The Crazy Devils are a smallish street gang, into BTL chips, drugs and prostitution. Their leader, ‘Mad Mephisto’ is a giant crazy bastard with a god complex and a rocket launcher. The gang is rumoured to be gunning for affiliate status with the wider NA gang ‘Los Diablos’.

Later, the guys are contacted by Mr Li, who offers them a meal in his restaurant in exchange for hearing out an offer he has. Local community leaders were impressed by the PCs standing up to the Crazy Devils, and have scraped together some creds to try and convince them to take out Mad Mephisto and the rest for good. They just have to find the bastard.

hey, you got any money?

Remembering the ‘chiphead in the apartment building, and the Crazy Devils’ line in BTL sales, the PCs decide to grill the guy on the Devils’ HQ. He’s not entirely helpful to begin with, but with repeated encouragement and promise of cash, the PCs convince him to set up a meet with his dealer.

The deal goes down successfully, Alan does his screaming owl face and two Devils are taken down and forced to divulge the location of Mad Mephisto and their hideout.

It turns out the Crazy Devils are operating out of an abandoned chop shop on the fringes of a large industrial estate. The PCs head over there and scope the place out, come up with a plan and attempt to stealthily infiltrate the place. That failed with the first surprised gunshot, but they managed to take out Mad Mephisto. eventually. Once he’s down the fight goes out of the remaining gangers.

Convinced to talk, they tell of the gang being paid to cause hell in the local area in order to drive down property prices for some unknown suit.

The PCs decide to keep the chop shop for themselves, seeing as how the Crazy Devils ruined their last home.

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Chemical Extraction

Been on the run now for months, I’m strapped for cash so I was mighty pleased when the call came in for some real work.

The team assembled was Alan the crazy bird man. not entirely trust worthy, Lief a cybermonk with a bizzare code of honour, a braniac proffessor Magnus who claimed to have medical training, but I’m not so sure the way he read the instructions on the first aid kit, his huge sidekick cyborg Igor who decided to take a riot shield to the meeting, and me Jackson – a burned soldier, with cybertrauma who needs anti-rejection meds all the time.
As you can imagine the Johnson hired us because we were cheap!

We were put on retainer by a reliable Johnson (well they paid in advance) and told to meet a courier at Bruce’s Apocalypto bar. I forget the correct name but it had a Mad Max (classic movie from 100 years ago) theme.
Well everything went to drek before we even started, some gang – the screaming skulls – attacked us before we met the contact. Started shooting up the bar. They knew the meet was going down and been paid a wad of creds to mess it up. They shot the courrier but Magnus managed to stabilise her.

We took the package back to the den and investigated the contents. An array of poisons that were intended to make a bunch of old people ill. Some hot shot’s parents in a gated community. It made more sense later when we realised it was all a cover to get a couple of specific people out. The poisons were on time delays and were made to create symptoms of food poisoning. We broke into the catering service, and while the rest of the team thoroughly failed to take down the single security man and his dog, Magnus and I got the poisons into the right food parcels.

Low and behold a few hours later we get the call to see Patch a Mob street doc. Who thinks she is above the rest of us. One day she’ll learn we’re all drek to everyone.
Anyway – it was rather tricky getting there because of some police cordon looking for a mass murderer called " The Headsman ". Megapol and NAPD were at each others throats over the collar. I guess whichever one got the guy would have great PR for the city contract.

After a few hiccups we got into the Docs place and took away a couple of clone bodies. I hit up Jade for some help in diverting the Ambulance when it inevitably left the Viscount Corp residential home with the two ill targets, and we ambushed the ambulance, switched the clone meat for the real people and burned out the van, making it look like a drug robbery gone wrong.

Once Hot Shot’s parents were out of the home and safely back in Paris, it was time to extract Hot Shot ( Dr Claudette Blanchard a super chemist or something) now they had no leverage over her.
She was in some fancy lab with a whole bunch of security. Fortunately for us she came willingly and eagerly when we showed her the evidence of her parents safety. We made a quick get-away and managed to deliver her to safety. All in all a successful few days, we got paid too!

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Hot potato

So we’re driving down the freeway in our crappy pickup, Igor’s driving, the Doc’s riding shotgun while reading some journal and I’m in the back, can’t remember what I was doing.

We’re minding our own biz, when all of a sudden there’s a screech of tyres in some direction and our windscreen spiders out as something crashes into it from nowhere. Igor controls the truck with some nifty manoeuvring, avoids a sedan that’s swerving in front of us, looks like it’s blown something out but it’s hard to tell with a smashed up windscreen and traffic going crazy around us.

We get steady, and Igor punches the broken glass out. We take a look around and see a bunch of kids on superbikes some way behind us, shooting up the place and causing mayhem. Damn go-gangers. They’re not just causing trouble, they’re definitely shooting at someone as they race in and out of traffic. I try and work out which gangs are shooting at who, but can only see signs for the Howling Raiders – makes sense, we’re not too far from their turf – I dunno who they’re shooting at though.

More gunfire from another direction and cars swerve. I finally get a good look at the situation, took me a while to notice, the Raiders are fighting among themselves, in broad daylight, in and around rush hour traffic. Weird, that’s not like them.

I notice one biker with a passenger clutching an object – he seems to be the focus of the scramble. As I look on, another ganger swings and an makes a grab for the thing – a large metallic object, maybe a packing case for something.

Looks expensive.

I want it.

Fuckers spoil my afternoon, break my windscreen, spill my noodles? I’m getting paid.

Igor swerves again and positions the truck a little closer to the nearest go-ganger – the Doc shouts to him to take out the pursuing bikes but leave the carriers alone. I use the reduced distance to lock onto a bike’s signature, stomp through it’s firewall and run roughshod over it’s onboard controls. I slam the front brake on and the thing goes flying, end over end. The Doc gets a couple of decent shots off and the bikers start to notice us.

Bullets coming our way, Igor swings in again and the Doc makes a bid for the case – he gets a decent hold just as I cut through the passengers’ PAN and fry his cabeza. The body slumps and drops sideways off the bike, but takes the case with it. The Doc manages to pull himself free before he’s taken out of the window.

Shit, I hadn’t expected that.

Traffic re-asserts itself and we swing out into a clear spot, the case bouncing away into the distance, only to be swept up by yet another kid on a super-bike. We have no choice but to pull away as Igor is forced to dodge one lorry then another. I’m too far out to hit anymore brakes but the Doc is still giving a good account of himself. I jack into the smart-freeway traffic control system and start moving lane markers around, I’m trying to put some pressure on the kid with the bike but it’s hard with the chaos going on – people just aren’t looking at the signs.

We swing around, Igor hits the brakes and drops back hard, the kid with the bike pulls out ahead and Igor floors the thing. A nearby lorry pulls across two lanes without indicating, I managed that at least, and forces the lone biker into our path. We smash into the back of him and screech to a halt on the hard shoulder, smoking rubber and sparks fly as we slow to a stop.

The biker and his package are trapped beneath our now-wrecked truck. Igor grabs the bumper with one hand and flips the truck in one movement. The biker is a mess but the object, a silver carry case I see now, is unmarked.

We grab the case, jump the barrier and get the fuck out of there, our truck abandoned by unspoken agreement. This shit better pay good.

So, we make it back to the chop shop without any trouble. Cover the carry-case with some tarp and avoided cameras, just to be sure, so it takes a few hours. As we go, the Doc and I give the case the once over.

It’s a nice case – completely sealed and radio silent – no trackers to show us up. The lock’s a one-time use digital keypad, hardwired to blow the case’s contents on entry of the wrong code. Lucky the buttons are too small for Igor’s fingers. I couldn’t crack the thing at my best, and I’m far from that now. The encryption’s quantum level stuff, we’d need processing time on a UV server at least to get through that. Signs of sensors all over the surface – make me very uneasy with the idea of trying to cut through it, even if i had the tools for it. Which I don’t.

We get back, we sit. and we drink bad coffee. We try and figure how to get paid for this thing…

I hit up Juan for the word on the street, turns out the Howling Raiders’ home base had been hit up just a couple of hours ago. That timing had us halfway through the sprawl, on foot already, so we’re really not that far ahead. Word was, the Armenians were behind it, but no-one was saying more than that.

The Doc shouts from the other room – the news has a shootout on the freeway, a little earlier than our. not far from where we’d been though. Some unidentified, nondescript-looking armoured car had been raided by mercenaries, there was drone footage of a firefight between heavily armed, professional looking guys and the police. Seems the cops had responded in record time to the attack. The news showed a couple of the mercs making off with something that could’ve been our box. Ah shit.

We try and identify the van that was hit, but the footage is screwy. Luckily the Doc hit record as soon as the story came up, so I try knocking up some machine vision analytics to try and piece together any info we could about the van. I leave it running and we tried to come up with a plan.

Good old Mr Li always comes through – yeah, he saw the news, recognised a Russian Operative called Valentine, an enforcer for the Armenians. He asks his usual mix questions, but we manage to get out without giving too much away. Anyone with sense trusts Mr Li, just not with any secrets.

The image analysis software runs it’s course – manages to pull out enough info to pinpoint the van as one belonging to QT couriers. Seems they’re a high cost, extra secure delivery service in NA. Surprisingly, their order history isn’t publicly available. I’m going to have to do some work on this.

I head to my desk – my hack-cave the Doc calls it. Dick. QT run a secure server on the NA cloud, but they’re on Yog – so they can’t be that up to date. I’m in quickly, doesn’t look like they have any protection, so I start snooping. I spot the tracking log and follow it’s trace back to the customer details, but I must have tripped something because the minute I reach in to grab the data I’ve got a white hat breathing down my neck and I’m not getting any closer to the info. I should just jack out but Fuck That I’m Esteban Santiago and I don’t give a shit – I’m getting paid.

I slip around and approach from another direction – the manifest tables from the van in question. I’m running a pretty decent firewall so I’m hoping I’ll be okay. I spot the file and hit download just as I my TAP reports nonsense and my brain starts to HURT…

The Doc found me the next morning, wiped out, nosebleed long since dried crusty. Must’ve been some HB shit, or something, the way my cortex ached. I try and force down some caff but my stomach’s like a walnut after all the octagons I’ve dropped. I get something from the Doc’s own supplies, should help me think.

The files I got from QT show our package originates from one Sunrise Financial Systems, a banking sub somewhere in the core. It was headed to the airport and from there to Denver, or so it looks. We figure, we call them, step three dinero.

The Doc’s our talker – he makes the call. Gets through to an Elliot Jones who wants the item. We get him to agree to forty Kay for safe delivery, at warehouse 87 in the east docks.

Fucking finally, pay dirt. I’m going to get my TAP rewired first thing.

Warehouse 87 is near enough derelict. There are some containers still here but it’s barely on the grid and you can see the signs. We scope the joint and try and work out an escape plan for when the drek inevitably hits the fan – you got to have an edge.

When the Johnson arrives, he’s a Smith, and while he’s got backup, he doesn’t look anything like he knows what he’s doing. The Doc and I hang back while Igor heads forwards to swap, but when we get Smith’s case it’s empty and we’re glad we have a plan B.

Igor throws Smith off the stairs and prepares to dismember his goons, while the Doc and I drop back towards the exit. We fail to notice the mercs slipping in with their auto guns in time though – Valentine’s found us and he wants his.

I go down in the first volley. The Doc ran over and patched me up but everything after that is a hazy mess, and not the nice kind.

I remember Igor finishing Smith’s goons, and I’m pretty sure he took out an Armenian, but I don’t remember the Doc making a deal with Valentine to give him the case to let us go. Sounds like the kind of professional I could get on with, this Russian. He gave us 30% of his fee just to stop shooting and give up the case, “Business is Business”. It’s not quite the 40K promised but I’m getting the feeling like that was never going to happen anyway. I’m just happy to get out of it with a bit of a profit.

The Doc patched me up and I managed to scrape together to get a new TAP and neural touchup while I was at it. Joshua B certainly knows his biz.

We might have made more if we’d found out valentine’s buyer and gone straight there, but I don’t think I want to be the one responsible for trashing his Rep in NA – I get the impression he’d take that personal.

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Rebirth - Prologue
Prologue

The man known as Client1 burst into the into the cheap motel room room huffing, struggling to catch his breath. He had been on Esteban’s secure BBS but was so paranoid that he did not even change his screen name from the default. There were no details supplied, he just said to meet them at a given location and time. The details of the meeting came in at just under a gigabyte of raw encrypted text. The encryption was heavy and it took nearly a day to decipher, even with the private key and the fastest rig they could cobble together. It simply had the text “ZZZ-Chip Motel,R3,Th23:35”

Client1 burst into the run down motel room. He was short with a bit of a double chin and had glasses marks either side of his nose. He was wearing a simple white shirt and khakis. They were both drenched with sweat and the shirt pocket had the orphaned metal clasp from what used to be a name badge. Under one arm he had a smallish metal case. He approached the shoddy hotel table, tossed down a credit chip and sat, placing the case in front of him. Everyone in the room looked surprised. He focused on unpacking the metal case as he spoke.

“Sorry I’m late. There is the down payment, I’ll pay another 35000 once you complete the mission” Said Client1 nodding his head at the cred chip. “We should have just enough time”
“This is a rogue employee of the Tyrell corporation. T-Minus 20 seconds to cranial purge” Said a soft voice from just behind his ear
“Ahhh shit” He squealed, with a voice filled with terror ”I have to do this right here and now, ok”

By now, he had deployed the case into a halo like device, an array of filament electrodes were mounted around the rim. It was connected via a cable to a small disk drive with a faint grey circle. Client1 placed the device neatly on his head. The trodes moved slowly and simultaneously to find the right angle, giving it the appearance of a faintly glowing sea urchin. He winced as he waited for them to calibrate, he could not tell when they were going to stop moving. The rim of the halo turned blue suddenly and the filaments buried themselves into his brain. His eyes suddenly went bloodshot and opened wide as the process started. The blue bar around the halo then depleted counter-clockwise around the rim as the grey circle on the disk drive simultaneously expanded clockwise in blue. After about five seconds, the two circles had switched over and the trodes shot back out again. He exhaled sharply as a small disk is ejected from the drive. The others in the room were about to speak but he held up his hand to stop them.

“Theres no time to explain” He raised his trembling voice a little, removing the disk from the drive.
“This is a rogue employee of the Tyrell corporation. T-Minus 10 seconds to cranial purge” Amended the soft voice
“All the details are here” He said quickly thrusting a battered looking dataslide across the table.
“FIVE”
“I know you’ve not accepted this mission”
“FOUR”
“But I had to take a chance, this the only way”
“THREE”
“God I hope this works.”
“TWO”
“Oh Fuck, Oh FUCK!”
“ONE”
“ahhhaAAAAAAA” He shouted, bracing himself on the table.
“PURGE INITIATED”
“AAAAAUGUGHGHGG…”

A clean hole the size of a small coin appeared in the left of his forehead. A warm extrusion of grey and red suddenly issued from it like an undersea lava vent, accompanied by a high pitched dentists drill whine. His eyes had rolled back into his head and his tongue lolled out of his mouth. It took about three seconds for his skull to be evacuated. He then slumped on the table

“PURGE COMPLETE, Please return this corpse to the Tyrrel corporation. A negotiable finders fee will be arranged” Said the soft computer voice.

Victoria and Steven both simultaneously vomited over their dressing gowns. They had just finished late night takeaway when a mysterious man suddenly burst in leaving the door wide open. There was the sound of a latch and another door opening.

“I’m sure I heard something” Said a voice from out in the motel courtyard.

Steven looked at Victoria, both of them were still not able to speak. All they could do is stare in horror at the remnants Client1’s brain dripping out of the small hole.

“Look, I don’t think he or she or whoever turning up” Said another voice.
“Yeah, here, Room 3a” Said the first voice again. “The door is open wide open”

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Rebirth - Adventure

Jackson – Log 178/82/a3

So we are sat in the crummy motel room with a wasted guy, brains all over the floor, a panicked couple who are shitting the proverbial bricks, a tablet and some sort of disk.
The new guy, some cat in a suit, led the two civies away, tried to get them to calm down. The Doc and I start clearing up the mess and getting the body out of here while Esteban starts fiddling with the tech and securing the creds, it was ok, because Igor was watching him. Even Esteban on one of his best trips to cloud cuckoo land wouldn’t try anything with Igor around. P0P/e was on lookout.
Well back at base we load up this slate and it is the dead computer geek. He has some story about how he has fallen out with him employers Tyrell corporation and is trying to get out. I know how he felt, when ethics start to get in the way of your work it does often end up with people’s brains leaking out onto crummy motel room floors. I was luckier when I got out of my line of work, but it was not a bloodless affair.
Anyway I digress; so this geek has downloaded his brain onto this disk device. I’m thinking a bit like an eBrain or some sort of body dub without the body. Well he’s got himself an extraction plan, presumably a new body to download into somewhere or some nice server time on a mainframe somewhere. Trick is we need to transfer his mind state, which is Giga flops or Xetobytes or something, I can’t remember what Esteban said now, anyway it was BIG, and we had to do it in a really tight time frame or the Tyrell black IC would mess it up or something.
We needed some sort of superfast VR backbone connection to make the transfer. I suggested the Levy University. Low security, easy access, shouldn’t be anyone there to get in the way or get hurt (yeah right).
We head over, I scout the place out and find the correct building. The others come over when a van roars up and a squad of simulacrum jump out all toy soldier like. Guess the Tyrell Corp must have tracked us there; thought Esteban should have dealt with that sort of thing. Anyway, I grapple up to the roof, P0P/e smashes in a window and gets inside, the doc takes cover by the corner and Igor blindly moves forwards. We catch this guys in a crossfire and rip them to pieces. They must have been fresh out the vats because they had all the gear but no idea. No offence to P0P/e who knows how to handle himself, but you shouldn’t send a vat job to do a man’s work!
Their boss runs for is, but we easily catch him. He is after the body. Not sure he even knew about the disk. Why he didn’t just ask is anyone’s guess, but we have alarms and bullets and the fountain is smashed to pieces. The university will have a big repair bill. I’m quite pleased because Weyland is a big contributor, so chewing up their real estate is part of the fun for me.
We hand over the body for a big chunk of creds. We figure by the time they figure out the guy’s not dead (well his mind isn’t) it will be too late for them. We head on down into the depths of the building.
Bit of sneaking about and we locate the server room and the VR backbone. The hub is protected by some 2nd rate government droids. There is a Kelly’s Heroes moment when one can’t actually turn its gun around in the tight space. I manage to stealth in the Doc behind it who disables it with his toolkit. Then onto the server room. We’re quite professional, the team was almost working as a unit, reminds me of the old days.
Esteban makes the transfer and we get the job done before the IC rips them to shreds. A good day’s work.
A few days later and we are back in our pad. The computer geek sends us a message, so it must have worked. Plus we get the balance of the pay cheque. I’m not sure what Tyrell secrets we have just leaked or how pissed they are, but you can’t make an omelette and all that…

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Hardball - Prologue

“…and you could smell the burning flesh it all the way up into the gods. It was an exciting end to a long and hard fought season of cyber tennis. The prodidgy “Bionic” Billy Jepson knocked out in the final by the artificial intelligence MindZ3. The cleaning droids are mopping up the blood and a representative from Mitsuhama Computing Technologies is about to collected the Babbage cup. MCT has dominated the sport for years now and..”

Click

“… DOWN with a mighty hydraulic tackle from José “The Vice” Bernstein. Thats just got to put the game into extra time now. Oh wait, No, HE’S DETACHED HIS LEGS! Stanislav Zohl has detached his legs and is now CRAWLING with the fusion sphere. Ten Yards! Five Yards! Its almost critical! one more and YES!! Yes! He is down and he is SAFE! The crowd are going INSANE out here in Delhi. The Bosons are out of the playoffs and into the…”

Click

The apathetic Ivan flicked through the sports channels back at the chop shop. Pope was watching passively as he disassembled the final of pieces of his assault rifle and laid them down with the others on a synthetic cotton sheet.

“Stick the Gravball Network on man” Pope called out as he set about cleaning the components.

Ivan gave a short grunt of agreement. His left eyelid twitched a little as he sent the command to the Sensovision.

Click

The Gravball network channel was split in two sides. On one side there a calm but slightly puzzled looking anchor man. On the other half there was a shot of a battered looking doorway. It was surrounded by ravenous photographers and jostling sports reporters in suits with microphones. One grey suited reporter, a woman with short hair was in the foreground, fiddling with an aural implant behind her left earlobe. Around the edge of the screen was a myriad of numbers and arrows. Along the bottom a scrolling marquee read:

“…NDINE – ! OAKERS DEFEATED AT HOME BY CLOUDS ! – CRITIC…”.

The suited reporter finished tinkering with her implant leaving a ruffled patch of hair.

“Debbie? Debbie can you hear us?” the anchor man inquired.
“OK? Are we good?” Debbie said to someone off screen, then faced the camera “Right…good! We are standing here right outside the team exit at the Yamato Sushi Stadium home of the Pasadena Oakers who were just handed a crushing defeat by the New Angeles Clouds. The captain Victoria Oxendine led her team through 90 minutes of jaw dropping gravball and they are about to emerge from this very door and board their bus back across town.”
“The news feeds are hyped this victory” Asked the anchor “What does this mean for the Clouds”
“Well John, if the Clouds go on to beat the Oakers in the second match or at least win on aggregate they are going through to the national playoffs. Nobody ever expected them to play at this level, given that they were almost facing relegation last year.“
“What is with this sudden burst of talent, why have the Clouds been on the tips of everyone’s tongues recently?”
“Theres a lot of speculation but it has generally been put down to the signing of Oxendine from the Pittsburg Jacks last season. The team was strong with a lot of raw talent, but her top plays and zero tolerance to sloppy attitudes has tightened them right up. The Jacks were sorry to see her go for sur…”

That moment, the battered doors swung inwards, sucking in a clump of reporters. Slightly obscured by the vid cams held aloft by reporters was the hulking head and shoulders of of Victoria. She stormed triumphantly out the doorway still wearing her blue and yellow gravball armor. Victoria was of clearly of native american descent with long brown hair clumped together by either sweat or post shower dampness. She stormed forwards and made her trademark “Boomin’ Guns” gesture high in the air with her fingers. The reporters went wild at this, and a whole firework display of camera flashes went off, she strode on through the crowd of reporters followed by her cheering team mates.

Diane the reporter had a lot of practice here. She weaved through the other agents administering the occasional strategic elbow. She dodged a pap drone which careened in to get a closeup and shoved her microphone up at the star’s face. Skipping along side her was not easy, but she managed to keep pace.

“Debbie Pottle! GBN news! You have taken this team through to near stardom, what’s your winning formula?” Shouted Debbie
“The best damn plays in the league!” She declared confidently, tapping at her head “Got em all up here!”
“What about the next match, how do you feel? The Clouds are so big now you even have board members of Solmine, Weyland and the Gravball Conference itself coming to watch”
“They went down good tonight and we’ll whup em’ again tomorrow” she stated “There’s no such thing as pressure baby!”
“How about these allegations that you’ve approached by match fixing agents”
“WHAT are you trying to say! I’m not crooked! ” She said, leveling her intense eyes at Debbie.

Debbie was caught off guard by this and mistimed her step. She lost her balance and was consumed by the crowd of other reporters baying for Victoria’s attention. The captain of the team kept on towards the blue and yellow team bus assailed by more streams of questions.

“Diane, are you still with us?” Asked the anchor “Diane?”
“John, i’m still here” she said extracting herself from the crowd with her cameraman. “There you have it! Oxendine, 27, star of the NA Clouds. Confident, Determined and Intense”

Back in the chop shop the GBN feed ground onwards, Ivan gave a surprised look towards Pope.

“Wait a minute” He said “Thats the lady from the motel!”

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Hardball
Twitch wins the superbowl!!!!

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So we’re in the garage watching sportsing on the trid, when Davian gets a call from Victoria Oxendine – the chica we’ve just been watching doing the lame guns thing. She wants him to help her out with something urgent, and she needs more than just his help, and there’s serious dinero involved. Hey, I love sports! We’re meet her at the New Angeles Clouds stadium – she has a room on the 23rd floor being the team Captain and all. She’s had her playbook stolen and needs it back in time for the Final tonight with the Pasadena Oakers.
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Hey, I know where I’ve seen her before – she was spewing noodles over that dude’s brain dribbling at the motel that time! But hey, discretion is the better part of valour no? So, don’t make a big deal of it, we made bank on those brain noodles anyhow. She’s promising more? Go Clouds!

Turns out she was at some charity gig last night, some fundraiser for Cyber Orphans. Twitch’s eye circuits start to mist over at this – whatever. She got planted with some micro-bug in the shape of a little Clouds pin badge. Tried to fry her brain up real bad.

Who’s she suspect? Her second in command is Emilio – maybe he wants promition eh? Could be the Oakers themselves, trying to influence the match. There’s also the Pitsville Jacks, her old team. She jilted them for her shot at the big time and they want payback.
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First up, we go to the scene of the crime – the hall where the charity benefit took place. I snoop out the local network and look for anything totally suspicious – nothing jumps out. Okay. Next hit up the cameras and get the feed on Victoria. She’s wearing the badge pretty much all night. Eventually it detaches after she goes to bed, messes with her head then scampers out of the building and out of camera view. Go back in time to when she’s not got the pin – who gives it to her?

There’s a scene of some big hombre giving her a real close hug and she’s got it on after that. Bingo. Who’s this guy? Sam “The Ram” Daniels, late of the Pitsville Jacks.

Ok, leads, cool. Let’s go ask this guy some polite question eh? Only kidding, we’re gonna mess him up real bad.

He lives in a tower block on the periphery, not quite gated community luxury, but the rooms look nice. On the web though – they won’t let us in the front door. Davian talks the front desk guy up all sweet while Twitch sneaks us in the back door. Thirty seconds and a piece of tin foil on a ribbon cable and the Elevator is wide open – just like spoofing ATMs in kindergarten no? Need to hack the damn muzak next time, that crap is bad. Up we go.

We make it to Flat 82B – Sam’s inside and soon so are we. Victoria is pissed. He was her good friend before she left the Jacks. She rounds on him and starts to mess him up before we can get to asking him the questions. I like this lady. Yeah he planted the badge, not for the Jacks though, for some Trimaf goon called Roger Jhong of the Blissful Junkets. Victoria’s heard of them, had some dealings – they paid her to throw a match back in the Jacks days, but she double crossed them, took the money and run.

Jhong turns out to be a Koi hybrid, working out of a warehouse in Chinatown. As the tongs go, he’s not very high up the pecking order. Yeah, they write themselves. He also appears to be in a situation beyond his capabilities to resolve, in an environment he isn’t used to. Never mind, there are myriad opportunities etc.

We head to his warehouse in Trima town, it’s standard sized but the interior is lavishly decorated as some pretentious wannabe trimaf boss headquarters. There’s a little stream with a bridge over it, a cyber-pagoda and lawn, and at one end is a huge fish tank complete with a castle and a waving diver. We only see all this because Dukain climbs onto the roof and sneaks in. Victoria puts on her gravball armour and magna-gloves – the kind they use to launch the metal ball at high speed, like a freaking railgun. We storm the place and take out the wise-guys. Hey, paydirt, and a little bonus – I fill up with packs of miscellaneous white powder. These guys know how to party! We can’t find the playbook though – and we search the whole damn place, the pagoda, the office part, the little table where the guys are playing cards. The only place remaining is the the little treasure chest in the underwater castle. Aw man – someone’s gonna have to swim in there.

We reunite Victoria with her playbook, and she loads it up before kicking Roger Jhong’s face in. We have just enough time to make it to the stadium in time for the game. She gives us free tickets with ringside seating. Pope is gonna be so jealous.

We get seated behind the magna-shield that protects the crowd from the high speed balls. They bring us these weird hot-dogs shaped like clouds. We’re getting comfortable and waiting for the game to start, when Victoria burst in again and tells us that all her subs are sick from eating bad fish, and she’s had one guy snap an ankle – she needs another player!!

Twitch steps up to the plate, and finds some armour that fits. He gets them to black out the helmet so no-one can see who he is – the guy’s got plenty of people he’d rather not see him on global TV. He heads out to the ring with Victoria, and they start to play.

They’re doing pretty well, the crowd’s loving the mystery sub – he makes some good shots and points are scored on either side. But just then, Victoria jumps in and grabs the ball that should have scored the winning goal, and it seems she’s playing in a dream – the rest of the team don’t know how to react to her movements, like her plays are right off.

This isn’t right – maybe we got that playbook back too easily? This could all be part of the plan? Davian and I scan the crowd for trouble, and eventually spot one of the goons from the warehouse sat a few rows back – he pulls out some device and operates it, just as Victoria lines up a shot. The magna-shield drops, and panic grips the crowd. The game shows no sign of stopping, but it would just take one hyper velocity pass gone awry and a whole lot of people would get really hurt. We leap from the box and try to get over and take out the ganger. Victoria moves in a daze and lines up to launch the ball somewhere towards the VIP boxes. Is this all some convoluted assassination plan?

We try to grab the guy and wrestle the device from him, but he’s slippery and evades us. Victoria finishes lining up and launches the ball at some target high up in the crowd. We get the device off the guy, but it all looks too late, and Victoria shakes her head in confusion, as though just waking up

But just then, Dukain leaps out, vaults off one of the opposing team member’s shoulder plates and manages to intercept the shot. There’s a huge clang heard throughout the hushed arena as his magna-glove snags the metal projectile of out the air- his arm snaps back as the speed of the ball pulls him onwards, but three hundred million viewers around the world watch in silence as he swings it back around, drops to the ground in a perfect launch stance and sends the metal ball hurtling towards the goal ring.

We manage to re-establish the protective shield just too late for the winning ball to speed out and crash into the fish ganger as the crowd explodes in applause. The end siren sounds seconds before the emergency alarm kicks in but no-one pays that any notice. The Clouds win the league thanks to the swift recovery moves of the mystery substitute.

Dukain basks in the adoration of the audience, while Victoria honours him with her trademark Boomin’ Guns gesture.

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Custom Job Prologue

Esteban has just got to bed after a late night trawling the datalanes for a decent bite.

It is four o’clock in the morning when your com pad lights up playing an irritating teen pop song, you need to remember to change that some time. You are barely awake but you answer the call. It is Teisha, one of Shenna’s friends. You met her once or twice at the club where Shenna works as a barmaid. She looks upset and kinda agitated.
“Hey! I don’t know if you remember me…”
“Teisha, right?” you reply
“Yeah! Look, I know it’s really early, sorry, but erm…”
“What is it?”
“Shenna. She’s missing, she wasn’t in work yesterday and the boss says he is going to fire her if she doesn’t show up today. I called her loads of times and she’s not answered, I’m worried. Her shift started five minutes ago and…”
“Ok I’ll swing by her place and check on her”

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Custom Job - Main

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