- Gabriel - Human Ace Reporter
- Ludwig Braun - Catman Bodyguard & Pilot
- Ged Daniels - Human PA & Jack of all Trades
- Finley McDoughty - Parahuman Tek-Rat
- Dave O'Connor - Rich boy
- Selene - Babe!
- Daedalus - Spider AI
From the journal of Gabriel, Ace Reporter
We're on a Steptoe class recovery vehicle on the trail of a story about Vacuum Cleaners when Hamish, one of my contacts calls. Turns out a big story is breaking on Von Braun station - a bioroid has been elected to the EU Parliamaent, the very first elected representative. The bioroids name is Jade Jones, a pleasure biodroid.
On the approach to the station we pick up a mayday from the Kinnock. It collided with some space debris and is now spiralling out of control. We intercept it and succeed in grabbing it with out grapple. Of course, I make sure the rescue is transmitted live on the newsnets.
From the journal of Gabriel, Ace Reporter
Captain tells us some of the passengers had got out of hand (one had shot another). Now all under control. Sounds like there may be a story here. He plays back vid of incident for us. Decompression alert following impact with debris. Everyone jumps up. Policeman pulls his gun & shouts for calm. Katrina Prot - Ghost in a cyber shell shoots him. He's not badly hurt though. Turns out Katrina is a bodyguard for the government & has diplomatic immunity.
Try to talk to Katrina and the policeman. Neither are available. Angela nearby - maybe being guarded by Katrina. Another Ishtar upgrade. I run a search & id her as Angela Schmidt a fusion engineer. No obvious reason for her to have a guard like Katrina - maybe this is a red herring. Studying the vid in more detail it appears Katrina has a briefcase handcuffed to her wrist.
Mr Cubis - AI being tranported. Image of gent in victorian controlling. Going to be advising Jade jones. Believes the damage to the ship was deliberate - caused by some sort of mine. Some of the fragments also hit Jades ship. I arrange an interview with Jade.
Negative Growth being blamed.
At the interview wirh Jade we are chstting when Ludwig hears a scuttling noise from an air vent....
From the journal of Finn, Ace Rodent
Ludwig jumps for the air vent whilst drawing his gun, Catrina also draws her gun. Ludvig shoots and kills the thing. It turns out to be another spider, with an electrolaser attached. Ludvig gets hit. Another spider jumps out and lands on the table, The door won't open.
Gabriel misses so does Dave. I help Selene with the door. Jed Shoots and kills a spider. Gabriel looks at the spider and reports on it at the same time. There seems to be more spiders coming. They seem to be maintaince spiders. Daedelous spots another spider, I try to open the door as Ludvig trys to shoot , does shoot but the spider misses, just. Dave trys to look heroic, daedelous hits one, Jed covers one of the grills. Ludvig misses again. Dave still is looking heroic, Jed still is covering and hits another spider. It stops and I open the door and then close it again as there are several spiders outside the door. Ludvig jumps on one. daedelous discovers another spider in the tunnel. Dave heroicly misses the limping spider. It occurs to me that Daelelous lives in a maintenance robot. I get intouch with security and they are sending some help. Daedelous gets shot and drops the spider. These spiders seem quite tough. Jed earns his money and kills one. The copter hits the last spider so does jed but is Selene that does evenually kill it.
How do we get out. Ludvig sugests explosive decompresion of the corridor. Daedelous leaves through one air vent and I leave throught the other. Gabriel lifts an AI out of one of the spiders and throws it away. There are sounds of zaps coming from the corridor.
I meet with the secuity team just as they finish shooting, and nearly get shot myself. We leave the room an Dave asks to take Jade to the bar, Dave is out to impress. Gabriel gives me the computer to look at. Daedelous comes back to the ship with me to look at the spider AI.
Jed talks to spacers about things and finds out that it was possibly a Russian satellite that was blown up. Gabriel finds out that the weapons were probably manufactured using a 3d imprinter. The group talk about old 2d flicks.
The spiders were told to plugin for an upgrade. then it was told to take an electrolaser and "repair" some people. It has beam weapons electrolaser to average and it had the identifiers for jade the briefcase AI and bodyguard. All this would need security codes. There seems is a backdoor which was in place before the upgrade and the instruction to upgrade was givern through the backdoor.
An airconditioning unit with six weapons in it, but 24 hooks for electrolasers, this means that there are 4 spiders out there somewhere. Secuity have been informed.
Jed is still going down the rumour mill.
The message was bounced of a satelite in Mars orbit.
Jed is still going down the rumour mill. Daves date with Jade is going well, she is warming to him. Dave is from mars and was from a Dojo, this makes him a suspect (apparently).
The spider AI was hacked in May last year. A secuity officer called Jon Wan De Slils, he left in june and moved on to another station and then vanished. He was a computer wiz and worked in the maintenance team and looked after the spiders bots. He left to work on Ilandai station at L4. He then went ground on a china satelite and disapeared.
Things are hotting up with Russia.
We send the code thorugh the backdoor to send the spiders back to the airconditioning unit and de-activate them selves. All the guns were brought back.
The satellite did a rocket burn to take the thing closer to the Station. before blowing up, much closer and the satellite would have been shot down.
The security section allow me to look at another spider AI in their own workshop.
Gabriel interviews Jade's friend, Dave is slowly blowing his chances by asking Jade if she told anybody about being chosen, then asking "are you sure?" Maybe not blowing his chances as she finally warms to him, as Gabriel starts turning on the charm and seems to steel her. She may have leaked the information.
The other AI also had been tampered with at the same time, but it had a full re-install as apposed to a program changed.
Jade asks Dave if he would like to go somewhere a little quiter.
The Russian mafia sold satellite access codes to a woman, now they have their finger burnt they have put a price on her head. She maybe on Ravenstar (L5).
So we are going, to Ravenstar! With Jade, bodyguard and advisor in tow.
From the journal of Finn, Wonder Rodent
We have an entertaining discussion on what we could get away doing to the Volkspider. Everybody goes shopping. Gabriel buys a suit of armour and a helmet which is going to be personalised with neon words.
We leave for Ravenstar but we are followed by what looks to be military vehicle which appears to be friendly and escorting us to protect Jade, Simon the AI controlling the escort.
When we try reverse burn we find that we can’t a quick investigation shows that fuel line is cut. We have to go out and fix it. I leave with Ludwig, for all his sarcasm I do feel better for having him along, even if he is the pilot. We spot a spider droid fiddling with the radar. Ludwig tries to deal with the problem. He does gains a cut to his arm. I managed to fix fuel feed and the radar. We get the rest of the way with no problem. The witches like broom sticks, Gabriel asks where Anita lives and the high priestess tells us so Gabriel, Ludwig, Selene and my self go to see Anita. Daedalus and Jed try to sell the goods brought with us. Anita is out; we are informed by her supposed bodyguard. Gabriel asks that Anita calls her back. Jed is enjoying making a profit from the products he is selling. We are not quite sure why she has a combat bioroid, not really usual practice.
Get this; they have a sacred grove up here!
Gabriel appears to be a little upset about the fact that Anita not ringing her back. We have been asked to attend Jades speech, apparently there is going to be a religious ceremony, this will involve naked female witches.
Someone mentions to security about the previous spider bot episode. This means I spend some time talking to security.
Gabriel talks to Anita but the conversation does not seem to go any where, she was not bothered and asked how good our legal representation is.
We go to Jades speech. Anita does not appear to be there but her bodyguard is. He goes when Lud goes over to talk to him. He goes back to Anita’s house. Lud leaves his buzz bot camera looking at the house. The camera goes out. Lud and I go to investigate. The camera has been shot. We move away. The damage looks to be dispersed away from the house. Anita speaks to us again but as we talk catrina, jade’s bodyguard is shot. A Buzz bot shows a figure behind a tree. Lud shoots the tree as the ground infront of Jade erupts as the shooter keeps firing. He takes wound, Lud gets shot but his amour stops it. Lud shoots back. Gabriel records this live as he continues to interview Anita as the shooting continues.
From the journal of Finn, Wonder Rodent
Well Ludwig seems to be drowning, though he seems quite confidant. From here it looks like he may not be able to swim.
Gabriel has found ID for the “body guards”, it looks OK.
Selene trys to reach out to Jade and dave trys to swim. I lave Katrina as her brain case is broken and return to Misty the tek rat to chat.
Gabriel looks the best he can, buy’s the latest styles and then charges over, this may take a while……….
Meanwhile Ludwig is in a fight with an octopus type thing while Selene and Dave try to rescue Jade. Jade moves up to the surface and the creature is still as Gabriel erupts from the shop, surfboard in hand looking damb fine. Ludwig gets grappled as he investigates the octopus man so he kills it. I like calamarie, it makes a real good snack. The imposters have Mars accents.
The octopus boy had a slave implant. This was controlled from within the station somewhere, actually in the amplitheatre and the command was sent during the speech.
Dave looks into drugging Anita, she isn’t really interested. She does however warm to him eventually, but Dave seems a little paranoid and then a little crude.
Gabriel examines the different ways of drugging Anita. Between Dave and Gab they seem to manage it. Seems to be working, though she seems to be ducking the questions. We get a contact number of Anita. She is called Alexandria. She intends to go back to Mars, Zeus to be exact. Dave gets into her room as well, she goes to sleep and we search her room then Gabriel gets some memory drugs to wipe her memory.
We try to contact Alexandria, there seems to be a lot but only a few are rich and only one is filthy rich, an Alexandria Bush. She seems difficult to find. We are trying to get into contact with Alexandria
Gabriel insists upon going to Mars and Jed thinks we can make money through trade. However the journey will cost us 100000 each, one way. We try to blag our way through with the EU
From the journal of Jedd Daniels
Shortly after the gunshots have ceased a siren is heard and a police air-car rapidly appears. We are ordered to put down our weapons and unhesitatingly concur. Armed robots drop down from the air-car but the moment of tension rapidly passes as the police assess the evidence and surveillance recordings.
Finn gets his tool kit out and tries to repair Katrina as an ambulance turns up to take Jade and the Chinese Bioroid away. Dave and Ludwig go with the ambulance to guard Jade now that Katrina is out of the picture. The police confirm that the Chinese Bioroid belongs to Anita as previously suspected.
As Gabriel is still on the line to Anita he asks her about the shooting. She says that her bioroid has gone rogue though Gabriel has serious doubts about this. Apparently the bodyguard is to given an AI implant to prevent him breaking the law again.
After the shock and trauma Jed feels it’s time for a stiff drink. Meanwhile Katrina is brought back to the ship to be repaired by Finn. Gabriel is busy putting together another exclusive news story and negotiating the deal. Anita agrees to pay for all the damage to the tree and the medical bill for the bioroids. Fortunately for her she is only considered as being guilty of damage to property (and not attempted murder) since we’re on an American station where Bioroids are owned and have minimal rights. Interestingly Anita bought the bioroid from her own company Xiao Chiu.
Searching for evidence Selene has a closer look at the pictures of the robot camera being shot, using image enhancement. It looks like a bioroid but is not a clear image. She hands over the evidence to the police and Anita is then also ordered to pay for the broken camera.
Katrina says there is an EC military transport on the way to take her and Jade to the next station. Jade had previously wanted to go to Islandia and as it is an EU client state the transport will take them there.
At the hospital Dave takes Jade some flowers as he can’t resist the opportunity to impress her. Ludwig is considering deep moral issues. If the other countries follow the EC and give bioroids full rights then possibly no more will be made.
Gabriel has another word with his Marwari contact. Using the latest exclusive story as leverage he gets the name of a contact who told him about the satellite codes and that the Russian mafia had put a price on Anita’s head. That contact is a small time reporter in Russia.
Dave chats to the recovering Jade to see if he can dig out any useful information. One interesting titbit is that Anita had previously sent Jade a good will message on her election, while she was still on the way to Von Braun station. This is difficult to reconcile with her other actions and is filed away for later analysis.
On the news the EU has cooled its relations towards Russia after the explosion of the satellite near von Braun station.
While we are waiting for the transport a passenger shuttle arrives from Taiko station with next stop being Islandia. Our remote camera sees Anita getting onto the shuttle. Meanwhile Gabriel is on the phone to Anita at home. She doesn’t seem surprised when asked about this anomaly and we come to the conclusion that Gabriel is talking to an AI.
Gabriel decides that this is an excellent opportunity to get an exclusive in-depth interview with Anita and he boards the shuttle with Daedalus. Anita says she wants to go to EC territory where there are more police in case the mafia story is true. She will be the centre of attention.
We set off in our ship for Islandia. Learning from experience we check the craft for robots that might damage it on route. Dave has been invited on the military ship with Jade. Jed plots a perfect course to the next station. Ludwig keeps talking all the way about old style ships so Jed retires to his quarters for a drink.
Meanwhile on the military ship Dave tries it on with one of the military females and is given a harsh brush off. After that he sticks with Jade. Islandia and the EU are taking part in military exercises outside the space station. As we approach the station we are told to take a proscribed route. Gabriel through talking to Anita gets the impression that she is in favour of bioroid rights.
On the news the diplomatic situation between Russia and the EU has broken down completely.
Arriving at Islandia we are impressed by the scale of it. Gabriel decides to cover Anita’s arrival while we stick with Jade. Jade is staying in a plush hotel. Making the most of expense account living we stay in the same hotel. Dave even manages to stay in the same room as Jade. Two more security guards turn up to help Katrina with Jade. As she will be giving a speech in the big auditorium tomorrow security is tight.
Off duty Jed and Finn go for a drink in a bar, Dave and Jade go shopping together, and Selene and Ludwig on their own.
Next day Jade is giving her speech without wearing armour. Foolish woman. She gets an introduction from the ruling council. She gives a stirring speech. Anita has come for the speech and seems impressed.
At the far end of the station there is a water sports resort. Sunlight streams in through the polarised end cap across 50 metres of water and a narrow beach which circles the entire end of the station. There is a continuous wave going round this circular sea - perfect for surfing.
The reception after the speech is held is on the beach. There are lavish quantities of quality food and drinks laid on. Jed gets stuck in and talks to Halia, an AI expert who specialises in making Eidolons – AIs that mimic people. Most of his work is in making memorial-AIs, of dead relations. From checking his background it appears h is one of the top Eidolon experts in the solar system. He has also sold some to Anita’s corporation. Halia says it is difficult to tell the difference between AIs and people especially if a brainscan is available for reference. His golden retriever says hello.
Dave tries to swim but soon gives up deciding it is harder than it looks. Selene hires a jet ski. She looks good in her bikini but falls in the water a lot, though a handsome man on another jet-ski offers to help her learn. Suddenly we notice a fin in the water and are alarmed until we are informed that it is an uplifted dolphin.
Two more bodyguards, a human and a bioroid, appear to protect Jade and flash some ID at Katrina. Gabriel goes over to talk to them as the number of security staff is getting overwhelming.
Finn’s ears prick up as he hears a feint siren in the distance. There is a police air-car coming this way rapidly. The five bodyguards pull weapons almost simultaneously but their weapons are pointed at each other and Jade! A stand off ensues as no-one wants to fire the first shot and get Jade killed. It appears that the 2 new bodyguards have been checked out and found to be fakes.
During this standoff the team also draw their electro-lasers and take careful aim for the heads of the new bodyguards but hold fire. The stand-off is broken when Jade disappears down into the water and her companion follows. The spy camera sees an octopus entangling Jade underwater.
One of the fake bodyguards takes this as a signal to start firing and opens fire on Katrina who collapses minus a large portion of head. Jed shoots one in the head and he goes down stunned. The other bodyguard dives to the ground as a volley of shots pass over his head though one bullet does hit home. He looks badly wounded but still manages to take a pot-shot at Ludwig before going down under a hail of gunfire.
Selene turns slowly to go to help Jade on her Jet-ski with her new male friend. Ludwig launches himself onto the front of the jet-ski and then dives off the jet-ski into the water. Jade has been under water for some time now, and the race is on to get to her before she drowns.