The team was physically meeting up for a meeting in Elysium City on Mars, we meet Xaviar in his new simuspace roman villa overlooking the Caspian sea. He had a retro look with oversized shades and a microphone headset from the 20th century called a “bluetooth” although it had very little to do with one’s teeth. Xaviar had a deal to supposedly license the IP of our exploits after our last mission. After the 9Lives mission. They wanted to do a reenactment of the accident on a TV show called True Crime. They’d be using up and coming actors for a one time show to see how things pilot out. They’d use our real names supposedly. To which Half immediately said no. Xaviar posed this is how we get our reputation up, Merc asked about the money we’d be looking at and Xavier seemed to be fuzzy but promised he could get us money. Takahashi wanted creative license approval of the script Half and Takahashi talked it over considering their ties to the media already and it could be done plus possible residuals being percentage based on how the pilot fared with a possible spin off series. Merc was strongly against it since it would compromise our work, Zora was willing to sign on if she got a platform to talk about pressing anarchist issues. A meeting was set up possibly to discuss it with the producers later.
With that out of the way the team got into the meat and potatoes of why they were meeting Xaviar, he gaves us the contact information to meet a Mr. Jake Carter who would be our handler for the mission with Firewall. We were suppose to make contact at a place called Joekim Noah’s Korean Dog Chops and Truckstop which seemed odd since it was out in the sticks. But considering he was running on an alias and under cover of a terraforming line engineer as a Barsoomian Sympathizer living in the Mars outback it seemed to make sense, or just the fact it was low key with more chances at privacy. From what Xaviar could get it was a ‘simple run ‘n gun extraction mission’ which probably meant it was not simple at all and would be most likely lead to an excessively violent outcome but with almost no one around at the location when the team showed up they got into the area and Mr Carter out the gate went into the mission details.
Jake seemed to be playing the part in a mish mash of various survival and camouflage gear and looking quite scraggly he went straight into the mission brief with little use for idle chit chat it seemed.
Doctor Zimana Alama Rich, a controversial researcher working with Proactionary, an extropian free enterprise corporation. With Proactionary claiming rights to the ExoPlanet Giza a planet they discovered through use of a Pandora Gate The Discord Gate. She supposedly discovered xenotechnology that enabled communication with live aliens. Her research was heavily involved with the compiling and extrapolation of the data involving this unknown technology and attempts to use it. One of the factors was the complication of Gonin corporation, which controls the right to specifically the Discord Gate. With the thoughts of Proactionary possibly subverting them since they technically had all rights to any newly discovered tech or IPs involved with the use of the Discord Gate they moved seizing all assets at the location as well as all the personnel on both sides of the gate were detained. Zemana and a few of the Proactionary employees went into hiding though, Firewall having an interest since tracking Zemana had her coming back to Mars to her family. Another odd factor that flagged was her immediate and extended family liquidating their entire wealth of assets and cutting all business ties before going dark within days of Zemana’s disappearance. Firewall had reason to believe Zemana and her family had not only gone into hiding but were hiding in the TQZ in the Martian Outback, the still dangerous quarantined zone of the Titan battle on the planet.
The theory was they went to rebuild and renew the forgotten City-State of QURAIN. Zora filled in the group that they (Zemana and her family) were Muslims as well as the majority of the people from Qurain before the Fall. Unlike most bioconservative Muslims they did believe the soul moved with the EGO and from the timer period they were now considered extremely forward thinking to the point where they also believed for example one did not have to pray to Earth’s Mecca to truly be able to pray to Muhammad. Meaning Quarain was for all purposes a ‘New Mecca’ of sorts on Mars. The family supposedly took out their airship called the Higira. Not a lot of details about the details of her research could be found. The battle over the IP/Tech battle for ownership lead to her moving to where she was possibly hiding out in the TQZ. Firewall would like retrieval of her and if it wasn’t possibly her cortical stack, body, and her research.
Firewall provided transportation in with 25K each upon completion.
Merc got the job offer up to 40K each upon completion which was immediately agreed to by our contact making us wonder how bad the situation was we were walking into.
Half pulled in a media favor for mapping equipment since the TQZ was a dark zone literally since fallout and topography put global access to the mesh as impossible. In the very least they’d have a real time look at the land around them inside the area which would prove Half thought to be valuable. Also telling the Media grabbing a copy of the environment for use in a move would push the bounds of realism and it’s something no one else had ever done yet. Granted going in to just get 3d maps was silly since simply entering the area was highly illegal plus the area being patrolled by Martian Rangers.
Moving through the area Half figured would take about four days to be done safely. On the second day the team got the buggy stuck. We noticed two figures on the top of a night cropping. Merc realized and let the group know they were being watched of Waste Walkers, exosurgent infected cyborgs still reminiscent of the Titan Fall. The group gunned it and got out of the area. Takashi stated there was a message sent out possibly transmitting our position.
A few days later the party finds themselves looking around the local area for cover inside the mars buggy as a group of headhunter drones patrol by the area. With the second crisis averted Half pops his Mapping Missile and sets up the SatNet in a Can Network with Sky Mote sensors as well to collect data on the area. Merc looking around the area and with the assistance of the feed asked about what looked like a crash site above them on a plateau. Half getting some of the sensors to zoom in got what looks to be the remains of a helicopter labeled the Higira and three bodies, from what he could tell they weren’t moving and with the thought of investigating the bodies before heading into Qurain the group split. Zora and Half found the three bodies disabled and Zora went to removing the cortical stacks with an exacerbated Takashi explaining the delicate process although Zora’s approach looked more like the effects one would have with a toaster when you think it’s ready before the timer goes off. Half grabbed the helicopter’s transponder before the two came down to let the rest know what they had found.
From what they figured the helicopter landed pretty rough coming from the Higira Airship Proper. It crashed from what Half could tell about a week ago.
With that minor mystery solved and the Doctor’s body not in the remains the team head into Qurain which the party find out is mostly underground. After Half’s bot gives them sight into the unknown and it seems all clear. As Half and Zora stealth in they find out why it was all clear. Moving into the first building the party inspect seeing no major clues to their charge. Finding two heat signatures they figured out where two of the waster walkers were. Hitomi with Half’s help to figure out if there were any active networks. Besides the network mesh from the airship Higira the group figure is docked inside all over network options seem offline. Finding a distress message from the Doctor and with a little bit of exceptional hacking what looks like a blind Muslim priest with several body guards in the form of waste walkers the group opt to get a move on with Half and Zora moving out of the building first.It was an ambush. Half seemed to be having issues while Zora dropped one of the two they knew were out and about trying to find and distract while the Merc and Hitomi moved towards the airship to find a way in. With both of the waste walkers down Half opted to take their weapons before he and Zora moved to get with the rest of the group. Finding what seemed like an obvious close entry point which was more than likely a trap the group move to the back of the airship to move in through the cargo loading area into engineering. What they saw unhinged most of the group. Seeing the entire area where people had been once now covered in a congealing substance that seemed to be flesh had the group wondering what was going on.
Takahashi flayed flesh away from the fabricator and got the machine to work on a hard drive when the group up and meet (mostly through Takahashi) Idris and AI from ‘far far away’ that knew a lot about gates and wanted to teach people about them. They were also at war with a man called the Blind Imam that was trying to take over full control of the ship. With promises to come back for him later when they found the doctor they were looking for the team moved on into the rec area and found Idris again, this time on a console. Finding out his ‘version’ in it’s entirety was on the console they powered it down and took the console hard drive. Going into the medical bay they found what seemed like plant matter, green and purple floating liquids, and body parts. A docbot named also Idris ‘Bot’ was here as well but seemed more concerned with remaking the people as the Blind Imam had ordered by standard protocols. He seemed to be hacked in the group’s opinion and the group calmed down a bit after the realization and seeing what was in the vat. With the group stopping the process when they saw half of the head of the doctor floating in the vat they flushed the tube. Takahashi grabbed the stack using a small length of electric rope wrapping around the item via Half’s paranoid suggestion. After disinfection the cortical stack was placed in a biohazard container.
With the primary objectives completed the group opted to make for getting out of the airship, forsaken city, and deadly zone for safer pastures. Half did opt to bring up they should probably blow up the ship and the Imam. Everyone looked to Zora who pursed her lips as she opened a briefcase, stating they needed to get to the engine the group started to move out. She didn’t have enough explosives for just the ship not enough to bring the dome down on the city.
With Zora starting to prep the bomb the rest of the team just needed to provide cover.