Eclipse Phase: Orbital Solutions

Data Backup 3a: Collegelife Choosing a Major Fixing a Big Problem

The next job leads the team to the University of Chicago Mar, a trip to a brothel for the investigation leads to a new meaning of bringing down the house.

Daniel Williams a student at the Chicago University of Mars was one of the other researchers from the Proactionary expedition to Giza that had managed to stay under the radar so to speak when Gonin came in locking down the gate and detaining personal. From what Firewall knew Williams had been back on campus and went dark about a day ago.

The team with not a lot to go on need to find Williams and the exo-planet tech he might have, do it discretely and stay under the radar themselves… as college students.

The ten hour high speed train ride started off with Half asking everyone what they’d be majoring in? Although everyone looked at him funny he reminded them most college students had some idea what they wanted to work towards for a specific degree.

Takahashi went with Creative Writing as her Major. Zora would major in Chemistry and Half opted for majoring in Social Media.

Half opted to call David Williams – Sherman Williams in case they saw him in person as not to spook him into running away.

Takahashi got into researching David first looking up his thesis, Takahashi raised an eyebrow and let the group know before she started reading he opted to do his main thesis on Artificial Intelligence and their relationships with Alien Diseases. Most of it seemed speculative modeling diseases versus computer based viruses. After finishing the dry reading Takahashi dove into seeing what papers he had co-written. There were several and some seemed well received in a few prestigious journals. Takahashi cross-referenced this list with other Proactionary employees at Giza with Half assisting with Relationship Mapping Software. Takahashi rubbed her eyes taking a few minutes break since she was stone walled. Half looking through the data figured she was on the right track. With that path of researched closed off, possibly need boots on ground on for further information involving Proactionary employees Half suggested they veer off towards Social Media to track him next and his connections to others at the university, Proactionary, and his line of work/research.

He had a modest profile for a social media footprint. Half datamined through the social media looking for frequency of people that had a standing relationship with David through his social media profile posts to assist Takahashi. He had a large network of colleagues and friends though that seemed worried he was back but no one has seem him for at the time over 24 hours. Half got the idea to try and track the geographical tags of the areas David had frequented on the map of the area in Mount Olympus via his social media uploads. He realized he wasn’t adept enough to do such things which got Takahashi digitally shoving him to the side and taking over.

She found the survelliance was a bit of a black box seemingly down, he had no roommates which seemed odd and a servitor bot that had it’s log or activity in the area letting the team know they’ll probably have to manual investigate his place. She did grab video of him walking to his apartment in the dorms a little over a day ago. Today a Knox Security detail seemed to investigate his room by knocking waited five minutes and left. She also found out about the rapid response teams and getting in with large group of weapons. She did wonder why the campus security would be searching for him out of the blue. Half suggested looking up the blotter to see what was the ‘disturbance’ or reason for the visit.
A call was placed for an anonymous tip about him that lead to him supposedly not being in his room about an hour before the team had been briefed on the situation the team figured via Takahashi, the call was made by a burner phone probably and the information on ‘where it was called in from’ was where called in from. Trying to find the location had Takahashi grumbling, she had gotten into the system but before she could search through the logs she wanted to she found herself booted out of the system.

While the group tried to brainstorm up a different way to get the information. Zora says for the group to hold up and she checks something before saying she ‘knew a guy’. It was going to take some time though she explained but her contact said it was a definite he could get where the phone was, possibly a photo of the area as the time as well.

Half got the idea to look at people in the background of all the pictures on campus related to David or the time of the call. There was too much data to extrapolate out a lot of useful and meaningful information. He did find one thing that stood out to him. There was a well known contact with David, a female student by the name of Mari Danielson that the group may want to investigate who was in the same field of study as well.

Half studied the photos again while he reported to the group on her and it seemed she was just a good friend who was worried about him and was one of the many asking about his status through social media.

Getting off at the train station and heading to a lower end hotel to sleep after being up for almost twenty hours had the group dragging their feet a bit except for Half who announced to the group he had also improved his trauma from the incidents at TQZ and seemed eerily chipper at three o’clock in the morning. With the group crashing they watched as Half moved to a centered position watching everyone get into bed where he could see the door and bid them goodnight. Each person awoke to Half staring at them and announcing how long they had been asleep and the likelihood of how much of that time they spent in deep sleep. When asked about if he had slept he dismissed it explaining he rarely needed to sleep anymore. With the group wondering how they’d smuggle things in Half finally took Takahashi’s monofilament sword and shoved it into what looked like his shirt at first until a metal tap was heard and everyone saw an area of skin moving back into place. Zora requested her monofilament sword as well but tried to shove several packs of explosives down his shirt and the Merc looked at his plasma rifle asking how big the aperture was for the hidden compartment. Half in a bit of distress exasperated it didn’t work like that and he wasn’t some lunchbox for the party too fit all their treats and goodies in. There were requests for the items to be jettisoned to them on demand as well. Half had to remind the group it did not work like that.

Walking through the detector was a lot easier with Takahashi crashing the sensors two minutes before the team arrived, with the security having to search the team manually they never found the hidden compartment. Getting in the elevator the team press the 98th floor to investigate Williams room. Since the ride was a bit of time Half opened his collar and a small speaker started cranking out classical 21st century elevator music. The other occupants seemed to get a kick out of it as well.

Walking down the hall once they got out put the group right in front of David’s door. Half tried to scan the room through the wall but got interference. He also noticed the door also doubled as an air lock from the hallway. Vibrations inside let them know there was something vacuuming by the profile.

The lock is electronic Half pointed out as well in the tactical network. Half looked around and shared a feed of staring specifically as the cameras. Takahashi stated in chat to give her a minute and looped a feed of us not being there after we moved back tot he elevator and got on. Once the feed was playing and recording we moved back to the room with her disabling the lock.

Once inside the group saw the servitor bot vaccuming had a old earth style French maid outfit stenciled onto it’s metallic frame. As the group stared Half reminded them what an individual did to his robot behind closed doors was really his own business. Takahashi muttered about having an idea for a new novel. Zora oddly enough was already on the couch eating a sandwich she made with the prefabber.

In the hall closet Half seemed fixated with a shoebox that seemed out of place since it didn’t have shoes in it plus size wise it was different than the rest of his shoes being larger. The laundry room didn’t turn anything up but the bathroom did, the Merc and Takahashi searched the bathroom and found several containers of adhesives and solvents. They stared for a bit when Half came in and looked at him before looking past to the servitor bot with the French maid paint job. Half reiterated what a boy and his robot do behind closed doors speech.

In the bedroom the team stop and stared at four mannequin heads three of which had wigs on them. What looked like his normal hair from the photos they had of him the group was thankful, especially Half that the bot’s head was square and too large to fit the wigs on. The team figured he was swopping his hair out and wearing different size shoes, it would change up his gate and appearance enough without having to resleeve into another body.

Half tagged the other wigs with a Taggant spray in case he came back. A holographic projector table in the main area was hacked by Takahashi and a picture of a female looking individual in a sexy cyberpunkish outfit with glasses made to look like steampunk googles. Half referenced David’s information and stated the facial bone structure was the same and with the right modifications it was likely David was now posing as a Davida.

Takahashi’s muse reminded him to check the door for it’s access log. It seems someone had pulled off when David had left although in fact he had. He had actually left about two to three hours after arriving in the apartment. Takahashi had her muse looking into finding someone with the new specks when searching for David. Zora added that they should be searching for a woman with red hair. Half found a pill bottle hidden in the table leg of the coffee table in the main area as they filed around. Two small green tablets with a black smiley face had everyone looking at everyone else. Half offered up if anyone knew anything about recreational drugs this would probably be the time to say something.

Takahashi opted to just search for what the pills could be online. She found out the pills weren’t pharmacy grade or probably even legal. She wasn’t a chemist but from what the forums she had found them on marketed them as a cross between Drive and Juice.
It would keep someone’s mind working at over capacity overclocking one’s brain in the process with no usual side effects and making negative emotions dampened making the person oddly if not disturbingly ‘happy’. Zora opted to make a call to figure out what they were actually called. Takahashi opted to pocket the pills for later. Zora making herself a frozen drink got a call back from her contact a half an hour later. The pills were called Happy Thoughts, she needed about another half an hour before she could get a local supplier. Half left his Speck Bot move to a location to inspect the room if David came back and the team got to filtering photos looking for their new person of interest, Davida Williams, red headed boot wearing wanted researcher hiding in plain site.

The search since they had specific times was easier to narrow down the query and they had him going to the train station and getting off in a different area of town called HLS. It was known for it’s privacy and for the most part surveillance free. Half did remind them that this meant taking around a plasma rifle would be spots on sight versus a large network of sensors. Zora’s contact let them know a dealer could be found at the thousand candle brothel in the district David had gone into. Shui Fong are the criminal faction controlling and dealing there. Takahashi wondered if David was also working there for funds.

With thoughts of moving the location of their investigation Half opted to generate a cover story to talk to Mari Danielson. The ruse of a private investigator hired by his parents was the easiest enough to get marginal success, Takahashi posing as someone named Francesca. She didn’t seem to have any links to the red wigged version of David which was by choice, security, or she didn’t know. With a bit of coaching Takahashi got Mari to give up that she was worried and that he seemed to be addicted to drugs. Although she seemed restricted in giving up the information

While Takahashi interviewed Mari the team got something to eat using the nanofab machine. Half check the last thing David programmed before he left. Having a snack before leaving didn’t put him as the on the run type.

Getting into HLS by train once the group armed up at their room. Getting to the Thousand Candle Brothel the group had to verify the address a few times since it looked like they were standing in front of a church. Opening the door and seeing a pleasure pod in a miniskirt nun’s outfit the group let out a communal sigh. Half replayed and zoomed in from his video feed of the cleaning bot, apart from the maid outfit painted on there was also a cross stenciled in around where a neckline/collarbone area ‘should be’.

Two male pleasure pods deactivated in an area that looked like confessionals had the group shaking their head although Half pointed out theme wise this place seemed to be hitting it’s mark.

The group finally addressed the hostess, Ms. Sandy Surprise. Going straight into the sale pitch. The group looked for David among the girls but didn’t see her. Half in true random fashion asked about the University student discount if there was one as well as if they were hiring. It didn’t seem to be panning out so the group went into asking about recreational drugs on site. She directed them to Julia Juggs who was in a back room. Dressed in a small old earth style Christian schoolgirl outfit the room depicted like a classroom. She greeted the group ready to whip someone and noticed there were a lot of people here. Half let her know they wanted to know about their chemistry deficiency not need for discipline. She did comment on Gavin and how he seemed like a big strong man. Half commented off the cough she hadn’t seen him happy. Gavin screamed in group chat over the tacnet why Half was flirting by proxy for him. Half did counter he was the Meat Shield for the party in some situations. But to be fair Half put it on a vote. Takahashi let Gavin know he should be on point for this one. Half scanned to see cameras that were hidden. Gavin sighed since he had to distract her while Takahashi hacked her cyberbrain. Spanking her was what the group vote seemed to be, Half was supportive enough to send Gavin a link in group chat to how to spank someone versus kill them.

Takahashi dove into her mind and found an XP of Julia with David the day he was spotted in this area. He looked like himself, the red wig in a backpack it seemed in the corner from the memory, he seemed quite angry though considering what he was doing. He ranted about ‘they’ were all frauds and he’d make them pay once he got the last piece of evidence from that rat bastard at Xu Fu Chang’s. After finishing he seemed to pull something out of his pack although nothing could be seen. He said he’s show himself out as he disappeared with the impression that he was in a high grade chameleon cloak. Takahashi looked around for anything else useful in Julia’s head finding a few more videos.

Half and Zora compared notes that it was probably not a chameleon cloak. Takahashi via her muse found a call had come in around the time of the XP from Mike’s Custom morphs as well. Takahashi opted to let the group know someone needs to have sex with her or this will probably flag for the working girl. Half volunteers a group vote for Gavin and opts to leave trying to figure out the path David took out once he was not seen. Finding a trail for someone two days ago who was unseen isn’t easy but between figuring David’s gate to the fact the Brothel did skimp a bit on cleaning robots Half after a while figured he had moved out a back hallway to the rear entrance. Since he was alone no one in the party knew he was going off the smell of the boots they had found the box for in David’s apartment. Inside a hallway it the Brothel seemed to share with another business, called The Doll House from the sign. Outside on a shared back dock area Half spotted a ComEx Truck. Half stopped and looked around since the scent stopped in the middle of the loading area. Seeing the delivery guy Half asked if he was there about two days ago explaining he had misplaced something. The man hadn’t seen anything out of place or odd as Half had put it, he had just came and got a package. Half was about to thank him and get back to the rest when he asked if the man needed a dolly by chance for the package. The man nodded and mimicked the shape.

Takahashi meanwhile tried to find out about Xu Fu Chang’s and where it was. It was a small bar and resturaunt located on an underground street that went out of business.

With Gavin and the team getting back together Half wondered if David had tried to get assistance from local Criminals that basically took whatever he had and stonewalled him out. That would explain the mention of ‘them’ being frauds and needing evidence from Xu Fu Chang’s.

Half before going in let the group know it was a trap and likely to be life threatening. Half went in and started making threats. The team move in behind him immediately and a bomb went off. Half streamed a map of their current locations and the blast impact letting the group know it wasn’t proximity but by seen detonation. Still on his feet in the rubble of the blast exhaling smoke Half not taken aback from the bomb scanned the area flagging the spotter in the room and letting the rest of the part know before rushing in his direction screaming out he couldn’t see the bomber although he could since he had scanned all spectrums and flagged him for the rest of the group. As Half scrambled through the rubble gun fire opened up in Half’s general direction but didn’t hit him. Zora popped off a full auto burst in the general direction from over her head as she dove for cover staggering the target with bullets as he screamed and collapsing the pillar and with it parts of the roof on top of him. Half whistled rubbing his neck feeling the sting of Zora’s shooting before. Takahashi commented she thinks the threat was taken out plus that Zora probably had anger management. Although it wasn’t David Takahashi popped the cordical stack.

Half – 5 Dur
Takahashi -10 Dur -1W
Gavin – 10 Dur – 1 W
Zora – 12 Dur – 1 W

Contract –
Credits:
Rep: Varies
(Meta XP:Varies)

David Williams would be codenamed Sherman Williams.
Mari Danielson would be codenamed Ms Miyagi.

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