TOUR DE MORT

by Martin Wheeler

NOTES:  A conversion of the “Eurotour” adventure for Cyberpunk, same NPCs with different adventures (mostly). Also a good reason to see other cities on Mort.

 

Color Code: SILVER

SCL Requirement: 9
Contact Department of: Contract Sector
Training Package Recommended: Media/Any

Squad required to act as escorts/bodyguards for Operative “Entropy” whilst he is on tour. The BPN will last for eight days including travel time, expenses paid. The squad must be well presented so as to give a good impression.
Contact Mark Clondle, Financier, in person. 1573 Norton Heights, Uptown.
CS/85015a/MY

Third Eye News
Consolidated Bonus Scheme: 2000 Credits Per Squad.

Clondle Enterprises

Mark Clondle is a Business Manager who has a number of Operatives on his books. He has never been an operational Op but has had some success, having managed a couple of big name Squads (“Shak Attack” and “Penitent Beloved”) as well as having set up some lucrative sponsorship deals (teaming “Revolver” with BLA and getting “Effreti” a ground breaking deal with The Mort Fire Service). The walls of his office in Uptown are also covered with posters and precious metal discs for the musical side of his business. After a short wait his secretary Yaz (who has both Looks and Body) will show the players into his office. Vat-grown leather furniture (from Hide Out ®) and what appears to be real wooden furniture (it is from the Forest Fire ® range) hints at his success and wealth.

Clondle is a man of striking appearance, with a tall frame, slim build and long silver-grey hair. His suit is classic cut (by DeCline of New Paris) and his shoes are Sigerson Animattire TM. He shakes hands with the players and asks them for a few details of themselves. He will quiz them on their past BPNs, whether they have experience of Silver BPNS, that sort of thing. He will inform them that he needs a few hands for an upcoming tour being under taken by one of his clients Jack Inkerman, known as “Entropy”. Entropy is both an Operative and a musician, fronting the band “Total Entropy” (it’s an Ego thing). He has arranged a six-day tour sponsored by Sigerson for their new trainer range Pol-Air ® Kickers (to be called “Entropy: Alive & Kicking”). Jack has four gigs booked, Meny, Temper, Orienta and lastly back to Mort for the final date. Transport will be all arranged, as will accommodation. He has most of the crew already, he wants some extra Operatives as security, roadies and general on scene personnel. The terms are as stated, 2000 c per Squad (although for squads of three or less he will try to drop this unless they can HAGGLE their way back up). Part of the deal is that the players wear Sigerson Kicker trainers throughout the tour so that they will be wearing them if ever caught on film or picture. This isn’t a separate sponsorship deal for them but covered in their BPN (A BUSINESS skill roll with confirm that this is legal). The tour leaves Mort the following day, 07:30 hours, the timetable is eight days. The players are invited to attend a pre tour party this evening at the Voodoo Magic club to meet the rest of the tour personnel.

Voodoo Magic, Fucking Voodoo Magic

The Voodoo Magic is in Uptown and has a reputation for good bands and a street-smart clientele. It is far smaller than the Pit but then what isn’t. Clondle has hired it for the evening and entrance is by invitation only. The guest list includes a number of Operatives, especially those involved with Sigerson including “Delia the Destroyer (Deceased)”. The Operatives, Corporate and fashion stars vie for attention of the selected media admitted. The players are here as guests not staff and may mingle with the rich and famous as they wish. Should they let it be known that they are part of the tour they will be approached by Medias wishing to secure access to the tour or to get he players to take secret pictures of the back stage scene. During the evening the players will meet the other key tour personnel at the party. They include:

Jiminez Escobar (Professor J. D. Escobar), SCL 9B [General Manager] -
Jiminez will introduce himself to the players and offer to point out the main personalities. He is fascinated by the music business and gave up a teaching job as a lecturer at Mort University to assist Clondle. Not that he has an ear for music but he is in awe of the business as a whole and Entropy’s self-styled myth in particular. Escobar is a man who appears permanently in a hurry, although the proceedings tend to work out well. It is his influence which leads to all the women around Entropy possessing good looks.
Jack Inkerman (a.k.a. Entropy), SCL 5D [The Main Man] -
The “official” history of Entropy is of a Downtown gang runner who fought against his background and the system and became a top ranking Operative. In truth Jack was born to an employed Technician in Suburbia and attended the Eifle Academy before transferring to Meny and setting out on his career. The “bad boy made good” image is just that, an image. Jack's business like mind saw an opportunity to make money from an image that would appeal to the Downtown public and gain him a massive fan base. Thus he stages choreographed tantrums and fights as well as taking BPNs in Downtown areas to “return to his roots”. Whilst maintaining this front he is busy increasing his portfolio of Stocks and Shares and investing in real estate. He has quite a charm when he chooses to use it but at heart he is half self-biographer and half accountant. However whilst this was and still is the plan a career spent in Downtown can get to anyone, especially a decent Suburbia boy. Years of Carrien attacks, extreme drug use and routine violence have chipped away at Jack’s sanity and self control. He has increasingly regular periods of erratic behaviour and stress can send him into fits of genuine rage or periods of extended drug or alcohol abuse.
Catherine Clements, SCL 8C [ Marketing Director, Sigerson] -
Here to handle the publicity side of the tour Catherine is a professional. Highly polished and well mannered she always seems in control and prepared for any eventuality. It takes a lot to fire her but when she does lose her temper the safest place to be is Dante.
Gill Templar (aka “Sugar Lips”), SCL 7A [Third Eye Camerawoman/Reporter] -
An up and coming director. She is filming a documentary on the Entropy tour, the working title being “Entropy Unleashed”.
Lisa Gardener (Jinx), SCL 8A [Mechanic Op, Chief Technician] -
From a musical background Lisa naturally moved into the music business. She is tall, black hared woman with striking green eyes. She breaks hearts every day and rarely notices. She generally sports a bandanna and tool belt but has managed to part herself from them for the party.
Angus Kessler (Wotan), SCL 6C [Kick Murder Op, Bodyguard & Head of Security] -
Angus is a large man with long flowing hair and a wide grin. He is not a Frother but can fight well as his name meant that most youngsters assumed he was. He is a naturally gregarious man, a rarity these days. He will take an instant liking to the players especially any Shaktars as he knows several as good friends and is fluent in the language. Shaktars will notice that he bears a Shaktar Scarf of Honour as a Friendship award. If questioned he will state that he was given it by Jk’r a Death Squad Op whom he worked with in the “Stone Heart” Squad. Jk’r has now moved back to Kn’nth with his six wives.
Tammi-Lu Honanji, SCL 11 [Ornament] -
Raised in Orienta, Tammi moved to Mort to further her career as a model, at least that’s her story. Her ability to socialise with people served her well and landed her a few modelling assignments before moving over to the Music video business. Here she soon hooked on to Entropy as a fast ticket to the high life. Her feelings towards Jack are confused. She has come to love him and believes that he loves her (or as near as he can) but he increasingly ignores her and has taken to beating her during his mood swings. Whilst wanting to save him from himself a small part of her she would also like to see him dead.

There are also a number of musicians, wardrobe assistants, make up artists and junior technicians but most were not invited to the party. Clondle isn’t going on the tour as he has other clients to take care of. The day to day control of the tour will lie with Escobar.

DAYS ONE & TWO - MENY, CITY UNDER GLASS
 
Shuttle Run

The tour crew leaves in the morning aboard the sub-orbital shuttle “Pilgrim” owned by Mort Orbital. Jack is to give a lecture to the assembled students at Meny before an evening concert in the park surrounding the campus. The flight is pleasant enough, although Jack seems sullen and introverted, Tammi-Lu tries to cheer him up with offerings of Soft Drugs including Personal InterestTM but Jack yearns them down “Drugs are screwing me up, right Ace”. The others keep their heads down and stay out of it. Angus will make conversation with the players. Lisa works on an Oyster terminal engrossed in checking the equipment schematics. Escobar and Clements spend most of their time on the telephone or going over arrangements with Jack when they can get his attention. Sugar Lips starts to film but after a five minute shot of Jack being Morose, Clements advises her against it and she instead pops some AliceTM and zones out. The shuttle touches down late into the night of day one.

Arrival at the combined Sea & Air Port “Trisdenty” at the edge of the Meny Dome brings back memories for the players as they gaze upon the large blue dome that covers the island paradise. Scattered across the dome amongst the oxygen processing towers Black Chapter guards and hidden weapon emplacements track their descent as the shuttle lands. Jack appears to cheer up slightly as he feels solid ground beneath his feet and strolls off with Tammi-Lu through the decontamination centre in the surrounding wall. The Meny custom SHIVER officers inspect the cargo and equipment coming in. Players are informed that no calibre above 10mm are permitted outside the inside the dome to protect against breaches (exceptions are made for the registered firing ranges of the university course). Anything being carried above this will be held at customs until the players leave again. Customs are very serious about this rule and failure to comply will lead to imprisonment and SCL decreases. Angus will urge compliance although Jack becomes agitated when they try to take his Silver-plated, Ebony handled custom Blitzer off him. Customs are on the verge of calling for reinforcements and arresting Entropy before Jiminez manages to talk him around. Jack, who has been speaking to Jinx while Jiminez was handling things, takes the news badly and strides straight past the assembled fans to the waiting Romulus Executive Limo, Clements is not happy with this lack of advertising opportunity. Angus informs the players that he is going ahead with Jack, they should remain here until the shuttle is unloaded.

This process is long and boring with Jinx checking that everything has arrived safely. During the process the players may DETECT Jinx hiding a KK Panther amongst the instruments. This uses 12mm ammunition and could cause trouble if the weapon is discovered. If questioned she will inform the players that Jack asked her to smuggle it through. He feels kind of naked without a gun at hand, the players may take whatever action they require and Jinx will seem to be convinced either way. Once the shuttle is unpacked the equipment is loaded into a loader-van and the players accompany it to the venue. Once through the wall and beneath the shelter of the dome the greenery of Meny is as they remember it.
Travelling to the inhabited area at the centre of the island they pass along carefully raised roadways whilst around them delicate wildlife that has long since been extinct outside flits about the lush foliage and undergrowth. The stone halls of residence and the University lecture halls, gymnasiums and target ranges make up the clean and peaceful Student Sector. Everywhere students hurry to and fro between lessons, their fourteen hour day hardly begun. Young humans, Ebons, Shaktars and Wraith Raiders intermix, all dedicated to becoming an Operative and working for Mr Slayer in whatever manner they can. The vast library of Meagre Tower stretches up in the heart of the complex set along one side of a quadrangle. The second greatest library in the World of Progress (next to Tas -Tuo on Static) its’ architecture is breathtaking. The error in not considering the domes’ maximum height, which led to the first few floors of the library being placed below ground, detracts little from its’ full glory. The players’ van passes through the university area and out to the private homes where accommodation has been arranged for Jack and the crew.

The players arrive to find Jack in a foul mood, he appears to have taken some form of stimulant although this has not calmed him, just given him more energy to burn. He wants to go for a walk with Tammi in the jungles but Angus won’t let them go alone. He is waiting for the players so that they can accompany the pair on their walk. Jack will scream at them demanding to know where they have been and that he needs to be outside for some fresh air. Pointing out that the air outside is the same processed air as that inside is not wise. He will then storm out with Tammi-Lu, the players and Sugar Lips (who will follow after clearing it with Clements). Angus will remind the players that much the forest is used for training but that such areas should be clearly marked and so easy to avoid. The players will catch sight of Jack talking to Jinx. If they persuaded her to leave the Panther behind he lash out, sending equipment flying before storming off in a furious mood.

The stroll through the jungle is pleasant enough, with only the distant sound of gunfire to break the silence. With no threat from Carriens or Mutant Pigs to worry about the players can relax, although they probably won’t. Entropy seems to do so as his high wears off and he is soon sitting beneath a sheltering tree wrapped in the arms of Tammi-Lu. Players listening to their conversation will hear Entropy promising to buy a home in Meny when the next tour (the Off-World Tour) is over so that they can settle down. Soon Entropy is asleep and Tammi wanders by herself in the shadows of the trees. She will seek out one of the players (Human or Ebon) and ask them to accompany her, for protection. She will ask them if they like it here, if they live somewhere like this, she would like to come back some day. If the players remind her of Jack’s promise she will sign and say:

“He didn’t mean it. He’ll forget it or just not mention it again. He is not the kind of man to settle down. It isn’t in his nature. He will push himself until he falls, Jack, Entropy, a burning star. He will burn out and when he does so I’ll be left alone…. If not before.”

She will look longingly at the Operative before smiling and wandering back to Jack, who has woken up and is talking and laughing with Sugar Lips. Tammi-Lu silently returns to his side, placing herself between them.
She does not look happy. Eventually the players should start heading back to give Jack time to prepare for the lecture. “A chance for them to feast on my soul, to reflect on my life, to take with them the benefit of my knowledge.” as Entropy puts it. On the return journey the players will find him talkative and interested in them and their careers. They will find him eloquent and intelligent, not the roughly spoken screen image they might expect. Back at the accommodation Jack is briefed by Clements about his contractual obligations and fitted with another custom pair of Sigersons.

Forum

The lecture hall is packed, Entropy’s lecture having replaced Xeno Anatomy, History and Applied Violence in the timetable. Entropy begins by giving a prepared speech and short life history. He has lost some of his more refined speech patterns and portrays an image of a man whose rewards have been hard won and who finds a balance between the poetry in his soul and the violence in his heart. He praises the students for having the spirit to leave the familiar and travel here, wanting to better themselves and to help insure that SLA protects the citizens of the World of Progress. The speech seems to go down well as does the display of physical prowess and armed combat during which he mentions that an active Operative can’t go wrong with Sigersons shock absorption capabilities and easi-clean nature.

The floor is eventually opened to questions from the students. These start off with questions about his music, his lifestyle, his favourite weapons and clothes as well as the various BPNs he has completed and opponents he has faced. The students seem a friendly and receptive crowd, many wear Entropy merchandise (or T-shirts claiming that they want to bear his baby). He is quizzed on an Operatives lifestyle, the hours and the rewards and answers all with flair and humour. They touch on the claims made against him by various young girl fans but he explains that he is sorry about the messed up fantasy worlds these poor girls live in. The next few questions concentrate on his childhood and this seems to slow Entropy down somewhat.

With the Skin Trade a rising problem SLA talent scouts have been recruiting a lot of new intake from the Downtown gangs. Their Street smarts and ganger looks all the better for tackling the problem head on. From somewhere within this large contingent a few seem interested in finding out just what gang and neighbourhood Entropy is from as they seem to doubt his authenticity. His answer that he “Was beyond that whole Gang ideology hang-up, with us it was community” doesn’t satisfy them at all. Sensing his unease they begin to question him about his financial investments, the sale of his record label and his sponsorship deals. How he seems to get on well with the Corporate Sector whilst putting them down in his music. Entropy begins to feel the strain and his temper begins to show. Angus requests that the players move into the crowd, see if they can spot the ringleaders and see if they can’t distract them a bit. Regardless of the player's success, or lack of it, Entropy becomes somewhat frazzled by the questioning and begs leave of the students in order to “Concentrate my being” and “Gather the essence of my music”. The applause is heart felt, with only a small contingent of cat calls.

As Jack storms off, swearing and cursing, Angus confides in the players that it would be better if those ringleaders missed the show tonight. He doesn’t want Jacks’ routine interrupted, Jack wouldn’t like that. Without the main big mouths the others will be too intimidated or will become carried away by the occasion and forget causing trouble. He isn’t asking for or advocating anything permanent, just that these few are given something else to do or convinced not to attend. He managed to capture them on camera if the players didn’t track them down so they could be identified. He will then go off with Jack back to his rooms, where jack will down two bottles of neat Black Liver spirit, smoke some Feelgoods and finally pop some BeatTM to ensure that he is rested.

Back at the hall the players watch as SHIVERS ruthlessly put down an incident of Student violence. Their target fights like a Frother, and indeed has the vacant stare shared by many. If questioned the SHIVERS explain that there are always students who crack under the strain and have to be brought down. A DIPLOMACY roll will reveal that there have been more than usual lately.

Public Relations Exercise

The players can track down the students but it will take a little time. The ringleaders are three young men and a girl, all human (although one of the males is a Frother) and all originating from Downtown gangs. Jason Dee (soon to be “Johnny Death”, Death Squad Package) and Kylie Meehan (“Killer Kylie”, Kick Murder Squad) were both “Krosstown Traffic”. Rick Olafson (Raider, Mechanic) was “Tigers” and Lance Perry (“Boost”, Frother, Piloting) was a “Killer Headache”. They all are used to being high on the food chain and not taking crap from Ops who think they’re superior. They have formed a loose friendship, a substitute gang, and are thinking of becoming a Squad (“The Downtown Posse”) on graduation. They also seem to be highly thought of by a large section of the student body (in fact Kylie’s nickname is “The Student Body”). They can generally be found in the numerous bars, eateries, VR halls and clubs scattered across the campus (such as The Giro, Bucket of Slops, SpudGun, McBlimpys’, BacBurgers, Inferno, The Foxhole, etc.). They will not always be together and the players may require several plans to ensure that they don’t make it to the concert, they all presently have tickets.

Amongst the numerous subtle plans the payers may come up with for silencing the students may be:

Beating them unconscious - This will work but the players will need to take care. Firstly if any other student sees a fellow student being beaten up they are likely to join in (as much for the fun of it as to help). SHIVERs will also soon arrive on the scene and will be happy to bust up the fight. Even if undetected unless the student is killed, which would prove troublesome, they will inform others of what happened and this will stir up trouble for the concert.

Kidnapping them - A less violent action to take but again the players will need to be careful. The tour company will be prime suspects. They will also need a good hiding place (the forest is ideal, if they can avoid the trapped areas).

Persuading them not to cause trouble - A cunning plan that will require very high levels of PERSUASION or large amounts of bribery and corruption. Furthermore Kylie and Jason will not accept anything from the players. They have had enough run ins with Slops to dislike them (when they are Ops they will be different of course).

Having the SHIVERs lock them up for the evening - An excellent plan. The SHIVERs are generally happy to lock up trainee Ops to teach them a lesson. They will be suspicious if qualified Ops try to persuade them to do so, it goes against the grain to assist Ops. Again bribery and corruption (HAGGLE) will convince them. It would be better if the players engineer an incident, such as a fight, where the students would be locked up anyway.

Get them too drunk to attend - It should prove easy to persuade a student to get drunk. Indeed buying them a drink to apologise for Entropy’s behaviour seems only fair. Buying them many drinks will seem fairer still. Drinks cost 1c per pint. Be warned however that Lance has an extremely large capacity for Alcohol.

Drug them - Students = Drugs. The campus is an obvious place to get drugs, STREETWISE rolls will secure whatever the players are after (even DarkNight drugs if they look hard enough). If the students can be convinced, or forced, to take large quantities of drugs shortly before the performance they will be effectively out for the night. As a Frother Lance Perry is a prime candidate for these tactics and will need little persuasion to indulge.

Offer them a record deal - What? Get out of here !

Bribe them with front row seats - The will accept this deal and give their word that there will be no trouble. They will then go on to heckle from a prime position. Entropy will flip, draw his Vibro Sable and leap into the crowd, wounding eleven and killing two before he is subdued. Of course if the players allowed the KK Panther to be smuggled in the death count will be higher. Oops, tour over, Sigerson very upset, players sacked, SCL drop.

During their investigations the players will be surprised to encounter Cartwright, the drummer from the band, in SpudGun a fast food outlet. He will apparently be involved in dealings with an employee of the bar. If the players watch they will see him purchasing a handful of snap syringes, one shot disposable. If approached he will act jumpy but explain that he is out to score some Jazz, a local brew concocted in the university labs. He heard about it from a contact in Mort.

Rock 101

Before the concert starts any Ebon character will be asked by Escobar if they can Heal. If they can he will ask that they use it to remove a bruise on Tammi-Lu’s face, He claims that she took a knock after tripping over the unfamiliar furniture. Escobar seems embarrassed, Tammi will say nothing, should they ask Jack he will yell at them that it is none of their damn business and threaten to have them sacked from the BPN. Escobar will eventually calm him down.

As long as three of the four ringleaders are removed the remainder will be outnumbered and unable to generate enough support to start anything. The concert will be a success and Entropy will leave after his encore shattered but jubilant. Success will bring the players a 75c bonus in their pay. Entropy will then head for The Giro and get smashed on drinks brought for him by his adoring fans while his crew disassemble the stage gear. The players will get to baby sit Entropy and spend the evening steering him away from untried drugs, young female students and a to-the-death barroom brawl over the artistic merit of the underlying rhythm section of “Blood Giants”.

DAY THREE - TEMPER, THE WINDY CITY
 
City under Siege

Early the next morning, far too early, the “Pilgrim” shuttle awaits the players at “Trisdenty”. The equipment is stored and the tour crew catch up on some rest as it launches. Many take shots of DrumTM to ensure they receive the rest they need. Jack himself chews with some pirated Jellyhead ® capsules he acquired last night and curls up sniggering away to himself. Tammi-Lu looks upset and sits apart from Jack with Escobar. Cartwright seems to be feeling withdrawal symptoms from his Jazz and moans quietly to himself. The tours next port of call is Temper, a heavy industrial city near the equator on the Alden continent of Mort.

Temper is home to many head offices and major manufacturing plants of companies which sell to the World of Progress military. An effect of the abundance of so many prime targets is to give Temper the feel of a city under siege. Both SHIVER and Operative presence is always high profile and even the Monarch units help keep an eye out for espionage (even though they wouldn’t be able to do anything about it). Temper’s SHIVERs are not as badly treated by Operatives as those who serve in Mort. The Operatives of Temper know that they may be depending on those SHIVERs in a fire fight at any time (even if just to use as a shield). Whilst SHIVERs do not regularly carry anything other than the standard issue Browbeater those assigned to the shipyards or Military installations are often issued with an armour piercing sidearm. Lastly Temper’s spaceport “Clarapandy” is a major stepping off point for War Worlds personnel as well as armaments and there are generally a number of military units present in Temper These are either due for shipping to some Hot Zone or other or, very occasionally, just back from one. Whilst they act to provide battle-ready forces for Temper they also provide a high level of greenhorn troopers or battle-hardened Vets who go AWOL and become props or serial killers. The civilians of Temper have a slightly higher employment rate than their counterparts in Mort due to the greater abundance of manufacturing which has created a slightly better character to Tempers Blue Collar than Mort Downtown. It is not unheard of for there to be community spirit. It is rare, but not unheard of.

As the Pilgrim lands in Clarapandy the players see the second largest spaceport, it is a very impressive sight, although of course the players have come from the largest (and Dave does live in it’s flight path). As they are led from the shuttle runway they can see the busy air traffic as huge army shuttles ferrying troops to the waiting Foldships. There is a heavy military presence with members of the Nitro Legion powered Infantry patrolling the area. The players find themselves swept by Assault Cannons as they stroll past towering suits of Shock Armour. Observant Operatives can see signs of recent damage to a nearby control tower with maintenance crews making repairs. The tour personnel do not know what happened, and the Shock Troops aren’t in a talkative mood.

The players are taken through customs where a cursory search is made of them before and a more thorough one is made of the equipment. Whilst the players are waiting Gill Templar wanders over and asks if they can use a camera, she isn’t getting as much behind the scenes footage as she would like, Clements and Escobar are keeping her on a short leash. She has a video jack which she would like to attach to a scout helmet so that she can catch non-scripted moments. If the player agrees she explains that when they are wearing it they just need to be looking in the right direction. Otherwise they will need to hold the helmet in such a way as to keep it pointing towards any action happening. Jack, Tammi-Lu, Escobar, Clements, Templar and Kessler pile into one limo. The band and the players crowd into the second. Jinx stays behind with the technicians, road crew and equipment.

During the journey Cartwright sits shivering complaining that he doesn’t feel too good, Roache says that he only has himself to blame and that he is lucky that Jack didn’t do worse to him than just shout. Cartwright protests that he can look after himself, he ain’t no woman like Tammi-Lu. Hines kicks him and says

“It ain’t a man/woman thing it’s an Operative/Employee thing. Us Ops have training and experience. Jack, Cocky or I could kill you without breaking into a sweat, though he’s more likely to play with you, a few breakages here, a puncture wound there, no problem at all. You got to be an Op to fight an Op.”

Cartwright begins to say “Oh yeah like you fought him off that time he......” before Roache lunges forward in the confines of the limo and clubs Cartwrights’ head against the limo’s window, causing him to slump into unconsciousness. Should any player try to assist him Roche will mutter “Leave him, he needs the rest”. As Hines glares out of the window and Roche smiles, though with his face averted from Hines, Hunouro (a lone Employee amongst Ops) sits very still and very quiet. If the players try to question Hines about “..that time..” she growls that it is not a matter for discussion, and Roache glowers at them.

The rest of the journey is a quiet one and the players can watch the scenery as the convoy reaches the gateway to the Rust Belt. Here SHIVERS armed with FEN assault rifles open the great gates and watch for any signs of activity. The Gate sergeant tells them that this time of the morning is generally quiet, most of the Belts occupants like it nice and dark. Ahead of the players is a wide cleared area which the road cuts through the middle of. Beyond this fire zone the landscape is one of rolling hills of rubble which give way to forests of twisted metal or the skeletal mountains of deserted and destitute factories, offices and accommodation blocks. Other traffic is scarce with only huge lumbering transports carrying goods or troops. The later have gunners, men upon the roofs or in turrets watching the Rust Belt. Many of the former are computer controlled and don’t even have men in the cabs. Along the line of the road the players can see SHIVER teams patrolling either on foot or in APCs, occasionally a SCAF swoops low overhead, the roar of it’s engine audible through the bullet proofing of the car’s windows. The foot patrols watch as work teams clear away rubble, makeshift barricades, the occasional vehicle wreck and what looks like body remains, some human and some not so human. Scattered amongst the SHIVERs and work teams bored looking Operatives stand around in what must be the temper equivalent of sewer patrol. Players making a TACTICS roll will realise that one of the piles of rubble has been worked by intelligent hands and has been placed to form a bunker with a commanding view of the road.
After just under an hour of driving the second gate is sighted. As the players draw up a DETECT roll notices the SHIVERS upon the wall showing signs of scanning an area of the belt, they also show signs of being in radio conversation (nods and hand gestures to thin air). As the players draw up to the gates the driver is contacted and asked to be on the lookout for an Operative team returning from the Belt. Indeed as the car slows down to navigate the gateway four human figures in (three in Exo-armour, one in a Deathsuit) emerge on to the clear way. Their guns are held at arm length or attached to mag holds, their armour shows signs of wear and tear (even the Deathsuit). As the players drive past them they hear the Brainwaster removes his helmet and calls up to the guards “Scratch one nest”.

The schedule for Entropy includes a couple of vid interviews (Shred Vid and The Damage Channel) as well as a photo shoot at the local offices of Hardware Magazine checking out the latest in O.T. (Offensive Technology). The concert that evening is to take place at the best thought of night spots in Temper, the Freefall Club, and the limo heads past the premises to check on the advertising. The crew spend the afternoon and early evening fixing up the sound machine and lighting at the club whilst the musicians handle sound checks. The players however have to stay with Entropy as he is ferried between his appointments.

The Freefall

The Freefall Club is a mainly Operative frequented establishment in Tempers Uptown, owned by T-Rex a semi-active Operative and businessman. Clondle has hired it for the evening, with help from Sigerson. The assembled crowds and Media teams fill the hall. The Freefall is a reconverted warehouse structure, its’ large dance floor and staggered amphitheatre seating are generous but are still packed out. Its’ main attractions are the Freefall tubes. Twelve large plexiglass cylinders rise from the basement level to a third story where a walkway connects them to the viewing balcony. At the base of the tubes huge turbine propellers lie behind a thick safety grill. The updraft generated by the propellers is enough to keep patrons entering the tubes in a state of free fall for one or two minutes, although this time can be altered.. Loose voluptuous clothing improves this time, during which the faller is trying their best to look good for the viewing crowds. The riders enter via the top door on to a retractable grill, the door is then sealed and the air shunts are closed creating the up draft. Once the allotted time is over the air shunts are slowly opened and the rider drifts down to the bottom of the tube. Once there the lower door is opened allowing them to exit. The whole system is computer controlled from a back office with high levels of safeguards built in to prevent any unfortunate (and messy) accidents. The tubes and turbines are routinely checked twice a week. For the performance they have been re-checked an hour before.

The players are acting as security and stage bouncers as Entropy goes into his routine. The crowd seems receptive and their roars of applause fill the Freefall. The floor is packed with pogo-ing fans (heavy on the Stormers, Frothers and Brainwasters). Tammi-Lu finds herself ignored as Entropy spends his time flirting with Clements (who ignores him), Sugar Lips (who finds it wonderful), Tinker (who doesn’t even notice) and any other female who gets too close.
The concert progresses along it’s familiar path and the players may become suspicious expecting some disaster. However nothing untoward happens during the performance, apart from Entropy getting into another yelling match with the drummer (Cartwright) which the crowd think is part of the act. After the show Jack orders Escobar to sack Cartwight and Escobar is forced to do so. Escobar rings around to arrange transport to take Cartwight back to Mort, cargo class. Cartwright storms out of the club.

The after performance party is well attended and also goes well, Jack is obviously on edge however and visibly bored with the proceedings. He drinks far more than is socially acceptable, unless you’re a Frother, and becomes belligerent and argumentative. He and Tammi-Lu have a falling out which seems to be over Tammi-lu coming with him in the morning. From what the players can understand Jack had agreed that she could go back to Mort after Temper but he now wants her to come with him. “I’ve got a days lay over baby, you gotta be there for me.” When Tammi-Lu suggests that he seems to have been doing fine without her this evening Jack replies “But don’t you see I got to make things up to you, you are all that keeps me sane, you’re my rock in a storm of anguish.” When she tries to continue the argument jack snaps at her that the discussion is over, Tammi-Lu flinches and then leaves the celebrations. Jack looks crestfallen, but soon recovers. Escobar suggests that someone goes with her, just to be on the safe side. The players finds Tammi-lu crying in the limo and she explains that she doesn’t have the door card for the hotel room, Jack must have it. If they check with Jack he tells them that he left it in the changing rooms but when the players check it appears to be missing, along with jacks personal tour jacket and sunglasses.

Travelling back to the band’s hotel (The Luxuriant) with Tammi will reveal that Jack’s room has been trashed. This is not an unusual occurrence but Jack is still at the party. A handful of Uni’s, an Animattire leather jacket and boots and Jack’s KK Panther (with rounds) have gone missing. The list of suspects is shortened considerably when Cartwright’s gear is found to be missing. Hotel staff are under the impression that Mr Inkerman returned a short while ago before leaving again after changing his clothes. Security cameras will show Cartwright wearing Jacks jacket and shades and with his hair roughed up in an approximation of Jacks trademark black mane. If the players report the incident to Escobar he will realise that Jack will not be happy when he finds out and so he arranges for a new gun and jacket to be brought before he sobers up in the morning. Nothing else appears to be missing or damaged.

Escobar logs cartwright as missing and instigates a yellow BPN to find him. He disuades the players from thinking about taking it up as they are totally unfamiliar with Temper, commenting that so is Cartwright brings a rare smile to the managers face but he insists “Temper has Operatives too, let them handle it.”

DAYS FOUR & FIVE, ORIENTA - CITY OF A THOUSAND DELIGHTS
 
The Far East (although the players approach it heading west)

The next day finds Entropy in a poor mood. Dosed up on BeatTM he is of little use while preparations are made for the next leg of the trip. Escobar and Clements spend their time fending off reporters and holding rushed auditions of a new Drummer. In the end they settle for a computer programmed drum machine. The journey to Orienta is made by the super express Gauss train “Asperity” through the McGordonson tunnel beneath the Jantor Sea, a novel and terrifying first trip for the players. Shot from Anneal Station at Temper the gauss train is accelerated to speeds of near to 400 km/h by long barrel-like electromagnets across the barren plains before hurtling into the tunnel. The walls of McGordonson are never more than a foot from the sides of the train, although occasional side tunnels and vents can be seen flashing by. During the journey the speed of the train is given an occasional boost by repeater stations along the route. There are no other stops and the train does not slow until Orienta is in sight. Even at such high speeds the gauss train journey takes nearly the whole day. Rest is practically impossible under the acceleration, unless the passengers pass out. The reactive seating moulds itself to their bodies, holding them upright and allowing for very little movement.

Medical assistance is on hand for those passengers with low PHYSIQUEs of high Phobias. Jiminez will feel quite ill even though he has been on such train on several previous occasions and will pass out. Shots of DrumTM and BeatTM are freely available from the refreshment section in the first class compartments. Once the train arrives at the end station “Vinculum” the players transfer to a fleet of waiting cars and the equipment is to be loaded into transport vans. The players are requested to travel in the car procession rather than help with the luggage. On the journey to the hotel the players catch a glimpse of the chaos that is Orienta. The mysterious city of Orienta lies on the opposite side of the planet from Mort Central. Two hundred thousand kilometres apart, the two may as well be in different universes. There is little structure to Orienta, from the cars the players can see no City walls and the players do not pass through cordoned off sectors. On the streets of Orienta Uptowners rub shoulders with Downtowners, Corporate raiders with Cannibal ones. Back street drug pushers walk the same streets as top of the range bio-chemists (although as these are often the same people it would be impossible for them not to). Every inch of Orienta is crammed full with multi-purpose buildings, huge gleaming corporate towers hold in their shadow poorly maintained shacks. The streets are narrow and always overhung by some construction or other and there appears to be very little parkland. The population of Orienta is predominately human with few examples of the other races to be seen. Whilst there are a number of different clothing styles visible they are more conservative and do not reach the myriad of street styles that compete on the streets of Mort. Decoration with scarves, logos, banners and patches seems to be common with various buildings carrying the same signs painted or displayed on banners outside. Vehicles seem to be even fewer than Mort with little in the way of private transport and the ubiquitous Blue Cabs replaced with Rickshaws pulled by converted motorcycles. Most of these Ricks carry no company name and seem to be independent.

The population is on the whole lightly armed, if at all, although occasionally small gangs of men can be seen lounging around with blades and handguns on display. The SHIVER presence on the streets would seem to be light with hardly any seen during the journey although the number increases the nearer the streets get to the SHIVER stations occasionally glimpsed on route (which are known as Forts in Orienta). In Orienta the SHIVER Body armour is coloured white and red instead of the customary dark green. The Pacifier club is replaced with a longer baton, the end of which curves to give a blunted point. Others carry nunchucks connected with an electrified chain. These weapons are used with the local martial arts to give excellent results. There is a similar absence of recognisable Operatives on the Orienta streets. They either keep a low profile or blend in with the general populace very well. Orienta is affected by a steady breeze, although not as strong as Temper, which stirs up the mist and smoke to produce swirls of colour and scent in the streets.

During the journey the players may notice that Tammi-Lu seems nervous, and that she seems to be scrutinising the streets and crowds the cars windows and is quick to enter the hotel when the car stops. If she is asked if she is all right she will state that she hasn’t been home in many years and she is trying to recognise the neighbourhood. It does not quite ring true.

Orienta was rumoured to have once been a totally corrupt city with the government and local Trang criminals partners in crime. Eventually Mr Slayer sent in a hand picked core team to straighten the city out. The city now boasts the lowest vicious crime rate in the World of Progress, as is commonly known as the Peaceful City or The City of a Thousand Delights, a tourists dream. It is still however also known as the City of Shadows or The City of the Invisible Masters. Many of the Thousand Delights are believed to originate from the illegal drug industry which is rumoured to flourish here right under SLA’s nose. The legitimate side of Orienta’s industry comes primarily from Karma who have many research labs and production plants here producing both bio-products and legal marketable drugs. The electronic and computer industries are also well represented here with fashion and entertainment also having strong stakes. Entertainment in Orienta includes the “Hospitality” business, gaming, gambling and cuisine.

Going Underground

The equipment is taken to the location for Entropy’s performance, The Underground, a large club located near to Tranquillity Walk, the largest domed enclosure of parkland in Orienta. The tour personnel are staying a few streets away in the Quiet Heaven, a luxurious hotel and apartment block by the name of Quiet Heaven. Once checked in to his room Jack expresses a desire to tour Orienta, never having been before but is convinced by Escobar to wait until tomorrow morning. Today he has to get some rest and then fit in a couple of interviews and Sigerson promotional slots on the local vid channels.
Jack agrees but spends some time staring out the window smoking a Happystick ®. Tammi-Lu still seems nervous and avoids the windows retiring to the bathroom for a long soak, a Geisha is on hand to assist her. The interviews are conducted in the hotel and in The Tranquillity Walk. In The Walk the players will detect that much of the tranquillity is down to the people present being under the influence of some drug or other. Indeed the clear air within the dome carries a subtle mixture of numerous fragrances.

The performance at The Underground goes well, the audience are the same mixture of high and low as the buildings but there is little for security to do as they are well behaved. The whole affair is more subdued with a much smaller portion of those present moshing before the stage. Stormers, Brainwasters and Frothers of the more violent persuasion are rare in Orienta. Whilst the Operatives pounding away on the dance floor are recognisable further individuals are pointed out to the players as Operatives by the clubs Manager Chuk Loi. Most are dressed in smart suits or dresses from the Orienta design houses rather than the casual street and sport wear that is pre-eminent amongst Mort Operatives. Many seem to be acting as bodyguards (or escorts) for obvious SLA corporate employees. If the players enquire after the lack of Operative presence on the streets Chuk will inform them that: “Orienta is very good at running itself. We have less need to send Operatives on such trivial matters as crowd control. Orienta citizens have respect and are obedient. We reserve our Operatives for better things.”

He will also explain that it is common for a Corporate Employee of SLA to take up the option of an Operative’s employ over long periods rather than drawing from the available pool each time a situation arises. The larger companies can often hold these “retainers” or “Hatimoto” for all their Operative life. Certainly in most cases Operatives remain with one employer for at least a year at a time. Those who follow the more normal procedures are referred to as Ronin (meaning “Wave”) and are looked down upon. Players may notice that Tammi-Lu keeps a low profile throughout the performance and remains backstage, much to Jack’s annoyance who latches on to a local No Theatre star by the name of Auroi.

After the event Entropy stays for a short time at the social dinner at the Quiet Heaven before retiring upstairs to his room with Tammi-Lu. As Angus leaves to follow Jack upstairs he informs the players that they can remain down here or retire if they wish. Tomorrow the tour has a free day and he can afford for them to take escort duties in shifts if they wish, he’ll talk to them about it in the morning. A short while later Escobar tracks them down and gathers them together, he looks concerned.

“I need a yellow BPN, a retrieval job. I need to retrieve Jack, he .....well..... I suppose I should have expected it after....He didn’t seem more wired than tired when he left. Its too restrained for him....Anyway he’s, you know....He’s done this before, he rarely listens to good advice.....Tammi-Lu wouldn’t.....She came and got me......He’s gone.....he may still be here....a while back. Jack is missing, he left his room. Seems he wanted to see the city and asked Tammi-Lu to show him around but she wouldn’t so they argued and he got angry and shook her about a bit.
Tammi-Lu ran off and Jack, immediately sorry for what he had done, convinced Kessler, who was outside in the corridor, to go after her. She would just run if Jack went. Of course by the time Kessler came back Jack had vanished.”

Kessler came and told Jiminez, he’s checked with reception and Jack may still be in the hotel as they haven’t seen him come through the lobby. Tammi can be PERSUADED to accompany the players if they are insistent but she is very unwilling to go out. Checking the rest of the tour crew the players will find that Jinx is missing, printouts on the bed display the show lighting timetables but there is no sign of her Oyster terminal. Her clothing has been thrown about and the telephone is off the hook. Reception can inform the players that they received a call from Jinx’s room, a gentleman requested an Orienta gown from the hotel shop as “She ain’t got nothing classy to wear. We’re going to play”.

In fact Jack and Lisa have left, through the service elevator and parking garage. Checking with security and reviewing camera tapes will eventually hear where they were sighted and the elevator and security door will both be found to have been bypassed, Jinx’s work. Within the garage the players will find the gate operator who remembers the young man leaving. He was in the back of a limo hired for the tour party, as the car reached the gate he wound down the window and asked the name of a good casino. The gate man recommended “Falls of the Moon” on Tai Hang street. He gave directions but the man seemed to get confused and agitated and in the end just told the driver just to drive and that they would find it.

Chasing the Dragon

The players can also gain access to a car, but unlike Jinx may need to get the keys first. They can gain a guide or a map of the city and will eventually locate the Falls of the Moon, unfortunately Jack isn’t here, he never was. Being unable to follow the directions received they ended up at the Seven Feathers Casino instead. As the players circulate the casino they will notice that many of the clientele use their cred chips to place bets and receive winnings at the various gaming tables. Contacting Jiminez to trace Jacks credit they will shortly receive the information that Jack drew 1000 u at a dispenser on Shan La and then a 100 c payment followed by a two 10,000 c bets at an establishment called the Seven Feathers. The second bet was returned as 240,000 c shortly thereafter which was then increased to 4,800,000 c by a further bet.

The Seven Feathers is on Contemplation, it is a smart establishment and seems to attract a well to do clientele, the players may recognise some people present as having attended the theatre earlier in the evening. The limo can be found in the car park, still locked. After an entrance fee of 50c (Jack paid for Jinx, ever the gentleman) the players may circulate inside, although they attract a great level of interest given their appearance of foreigners.

After a brief circuit the players will become aware of a commotion near the rear of the establishment. A number of well dressed Orienta gentleman are gathered together and seem to be involved in heated discussion. Unobtrusive DETECT and ORIENTA language rolls will gain the information that somebody wearing a decorated Dragon Mask (very New Samurai™) entered the establishment, placed 10,000 c on the roulette, won over 2,000,000 c and then walked out before the commotion had died down and the management (the gentlemen) could offer their hospitality. Checking the machine has found a data jack attached underneath. No-body but no-body steals from the Golden Eye Trang. They have him on video leaving and the word is out that they want him. If the players follow up on the fact that only Jack was seen leaving they will find Jinx hiding in a cubicle the ladies toilet whose sensor occasionally asks her if she is all right or requires medical assistance. She is terrified in case someone recognises her as having been with Jack.

“It was Jacks idea. After I had bypassed the lock and the car he asked what else I could do. I was explaining this and that when he asked about random integer programmes and if they could be spiked. He asked about wheels and I pointed out that many were computer monitored with sensors and such and that they could sometimes be used to slow or stop the wheel itself. Then we couldn’t find this Falls place so we passed here and Jack said it would do. He brought this mask thing off of some passer by and we headed for the roulette table. It took a spin for me to gauge the set-up with my Oyster then I hit it with a soft wedge. Before I knew what happening Jack was gone, he just left me here..”

As the players try to sneak her out they will suddenly see the group of Tang members receive a telephone call and rush from the building, they can just overhear a cry of “Blind Lady”. Questioning the locals or the Rick drivers the players will learn that The Blind Lady is a casino on Iahu. Iahu was the name of a large semi-active volcano which was landscaped during Orienta’s expansion and is now covered by several blocks. It also supplies part of the power needs of the city. The Tangs pile into their own limos and head off to the casino. From their expressions and the assorted weapons they are carrying it is clear that their intentions are not friendly.

Door Open....Door Open....

With their lack of native street knowledge the players will not be able to arrive at the casino before the Tang, in fact they will arrive to see the men rushing through the doorway, sending a businessman sprawling in their wake. As the players follow they will notice a middle-aged gentleman berating the gods in the car park, his hands raised to heaven as he spits at the rain. If they question him (he speaks Killian) they will learn that he was just arriving at the casino when this idiot in a mask pulled a gun on him and stole his car. His offerings were up to date, first of the month without fail, this sort of thing shouldn’t happen. He is very worried for his young bride as he was planning to drink this evening and had set the cars auto-pilot for home and ordered the on board computer to freeze manual controls for 12 hours. Jinx will state that she could override it but doubts that Jack could. The gentleman, Dinwai Lo, will be able to trace a rough guide to the auto pilot route and will give them his address (12 Fujiomo) once he knows that they are Operatives. The car is a Tasuni 5001 “Glide”, in dark blue.

Tracing the route the players will eventually spot the car in the middle of the road. It is currently being stripped by a gang of youths. They will be belligerent to the Operatives but will leave the area if threatened. Inside the car the computer control centre appears to have been damaged, a distorted female voice informs them, in Killian, that the door is open and the lights are on. An inspection will find that someone has put a 12.7mm bullet through the dashboard from inside the vehicle (not surprisingly this was Jack when the auto-pilot refused to relinquish control). If the youths can be bargained with, they will accept money or goods, they will state that the mad-man from the car headed off “that way, towards Mount Equanimity ”. He seemed to be intoxicated or on something, not unusual in Orienta. If the players ask about gangs in that area they will be told that the district is claimed by the Ainu and Silver Fountains as well as the Dark Lightning Trang. “You may be lucky, he may still be alive, the Gods protect the insane”.

Heading in that direction the players wander through the mist filled streets of Orienta. Traffic is light although they pass smart suited Corporate as simply dressed citizens. Vendors cry out to the players from small bars crammed into doorways or the ends of alleys. For a few unis they will confirm that they saw the man the players describe pass by a short time ago. Of course half of them are lying just to get the money. Eventually a DETECT roll will spot a body lying in the street ahead. A poorly dressed old man is busy going through the pockets of the corpse. He will run away and disappear into an alleyway at the players approach. The body is of an Orienta male in his late twenties or early thirties, his cause of death appears to be two large gunshot wounds in the upper chest (12.7mm to be exact, will take a FORENSICS roll of 11 or MEDICINE roll of 21). Searching the body the players will find an underarm holster which would have held a medium sized handgun, although no gun is present. They will also find that his right forearm is heavily tattooed, the main piece being an elaborate lightning fork.

Once at the first body the players will note two other bodies lying nearby, both Orienta males, though younger than the first (late teens/early twenties). Only the first one bears tattoos and the other is not as physically developed as the first having a slight build. The slighter man was shot, whereas the first has received approximately twenty-three cuts made with some kind of small bladed weapon. Players examining the body and making a BLADE, 1H roll will recognise that the pattern of cuts matches Entropy’s well-rehearsed display routine as shown to the students of Meny. Lying next to the cut up man is a blood-covered machete, a small calibre handgun (with one shot fired) and a butterfly knife with a blood slicked handle. Lying next to the third corpse the players will find a twisted pair of glasses, a Dragon Mask discarded in the street trash and a small snap case similar to a Blitzer carry case. It is at exactly this moment that a small group of armed civilians come running around the corner and sight the Operatives. On spotting the case and mask they yell something in Orienta and open fire, they have mistaken the players for the attacker, well they are holding the case.

If they can be calmed down and PERSUADED, BRIBED, INTIMIDATED or questioned once they are wounded, the players can find out that this Dragon Guy wandered into an exchange of “Breath of Life”, a back street synthetic, which colleagues of these gentlemen (being local chemists) were selling to members of the Dark Lightning Trang. As he started chatting to the group, in an intoxicated fashion, he was politely asked to leave. He appeared to take exception however and attacked them. Dropping two men with his Blitzer (one of them belonging to the Trang) he then used a dropped machete to cut up the second Trang member. Whilst this was happening the remaining two chemists fled and summoned reinforcements. It will lose their lab honour, money, and probably life if they do not have proof that someone else disrupted the deal and killed the trang members. They have no idea where the mad man went afterwards, it all took place about seven minutes ago so he can’t of got far. The players can try a TRACKING roll and will find a blood smeared hand print on a nearby door post down a side street.

If the players hang around too long with the pharmacists they will be approached by a SHIVER team who will want to pull in the foreign operatives and take them back to Fort Kira for questioning.

Tunnel Vision

Following Jacks haphazard trail by means of citizen sightings of the drunken westerner brings the players to a large area of open construction land. Signs on the chain-link fence, in Killian and Orienta, explain that it is the site of the abandoned Nagamota gauss train tunnel under the Bearga Ocean and that Nagamota and SLA accept no responsibility for injury received by trespassers. A roll against SLA INFO will remember that the tunnel’s construction was abandoned in 874 SD following rising costs and frequent soft company attack. Nagamota went bankrupt within a year, following the ritual suicides of twelve board members. The site is littered with mounds of earth, pits, partially fallen down work huts, stores of discarded materials and abandoned heavy machinery (such as cranes and earth-movers). As the players make their way through the deserted area they will DETECT small pieces of rubble or metal laying on the ground that have had Orienta symbols painted on them. Whilst others are partially covered in mud the players will be able to see enough of them to realise that they form a ring about two meters in diameter.

The symbol translates as “Sleeping Hound” should the players have some way to translate them. They have been placed by the Go-gangs to mark the locations of automated defences. Should the players step into the circle there is the sound of compressed air and a small black sphere is thrown skyward in a shower of dirt. On reaching a meter in height it explodes sending out a 360o swarm of shrapnel (Within 6m PEN 5, DMG 5, AD 2, up to 12m PEN 2, DMG 2, AD 1). Beyond this marked sight the players will DETECT several more in the well-travelled route through the site. Of course there may well be others off of the beaten track. As far as the beaten track goes a TRACKING roll realises that it has been beaten recently and by a large number of individuals.

Soon thereafter the players will become aware that the background noise is rising and that it can be made out as a cheering crowd. Following the cheers the players will soon become aware of a large congregation gathered in an area of open wasteland in front of the abandoned tunnel mouth, which has its own sturdy chain-link mesh covering. SNEAKING closer the players will see that around two to three dozen youths have formed a circle and are watching two girls in the centre fighting with short barbed blades of some description.

STREETWISE rolls will theorise that from the gang markings and colours on show there would appear to be two go-gangs present although both of the women in the middle appear to belong to the same one. In fact one of the girls in the ring was found to be attempting to leave the Ainu and join the Scented Needles. She is now fighting against a member of her own gang to be allowed to do so.

As the players watch they will be horrified to see Entropy stroll his way through the ring of spectators and stroll calmly towards the two fighters. He appears to be weaving slightly and at one point stumbles. As he covers the distance between the ring and the fighters they stop and watch him and the crowd falls silent. A few members of the viewing circle begin to follow him. When Jack reaches the centre he gestures towards one of the two women and cries out:

“She is my soul shard, the queen of my destiny. I have come for her so that we may be reborn as one.”

At this point one of the youths following Jack into the circle reaches up and puts a hand on Jacks shoulder, a laugh starting to form on his face. Smoothly, with the smooth practised skill of an Operative, Jack turns and gives 12.7 good reasons why the youth shouldn’t have done that. As the youth crumples to the floor with what’s left of his head the crowd lets out a stunned gasp which soon turns into a roar of anger. This would be a good moment for the players to make a move if they want to get Jack out alive.

Starting a fight between the two gangs would prove a handy way to lessen the odds but will require quick thinking. Jack will not want to leave without his “Queen” and it will take PERSUASION or being rendered unconscious to make him do so. If the player’s initial attack doesn’t work Jack will view the players as “Black soulless Angels who will never tear our consciousness apart, for they are as one. We are destined.” and will fight back. The construction machinery, including giant earth-movers, will require a successful DRIVE MILITARY roll to operate given their large tracked nature. During the combat Kessler will appear, Gunhead SMGs smoking, to even the odds. Afterwards he will explain that he was getting fed up sitting on his arse following orders from Escobar. When the car was logged as moving again, further away from the hotel, he decided to intercept it in case the players had missed Jack. He will suggest that they return to the hotel without further delay. If Jack is giving them any trouble he will authorise “subdue” damage to make him more amenable. During the drive back he will explain:

“These days most of my work is for Corporate Employees and Operatives, Silver tickets. I co-ordinate local security boys and SHIVER teams, organise explosive sweeps and check timetables and routes. But mostly I just stand around making someone feel important. They understand that here in Orienta, Yojimbos, bodyguards. We just stand and watch, we’re not meant to listen but you can’t help it. You may think Corporate are soft but it takes some sort of instinct to survive the power plays. Sometimes I miss the street, people try and kill you, but they’re honest and up front about it.”

Face Off

The next morning Jack is not happy, he feels terrible having to deal with the effects of a major hangover and the effects of FlushTM. What’s more he is getting little sympathy and attention from anyone except Sugar Lips who is getting some great shots of Jack in a fall out state whilst everyone is too busy to monitor her. Tammi-Lu is not talking to him since she heard of the “queen of my destiny” incident, although Jack does not remember a lot of last night and can hardly remember the girl at all. If the players brought her back to the hotel Jack will order them to get rid of her. No, not like that, just as in “out of the hotel”.

Escobar is not a happy Manager, he looks visibly distressed and on edge. The players walk in on him and Kessler in the middle of a heated disagreement where Escobar assures Kessler that “Everything’s fine, we had a meeting, we made a deal this morning, he’s free to go but face has to be saved, we have to leave, today, immediately, now”, Kessler replies “It’s never that easy, they demand more than that.” before Escobar notices the players and changes the subject. Empathic players will realise that he seems relieved to be able to do so.

Escobar explains that he and Clements have been up most of the night making calls and has managed to get another venue for Jack to play, the O-Zone in Janaroc. A surprise extra gig due to public demand is after all better news for the media than being run out of town. He will cover any expenses that the players incurred the previous night and award them a 200c bonus and a 0.2 SCL increase. The players will find Clements in Jacks room, she is not happy, she is in fact furious and is letting Jack know it.

“ Wear Sigersons and end up dead in some Orienta back street Joy Parlour from a hit of some untested back street neo-pharm is not the image Sigerson wishes to promote. You are a contracted Operative and we expect the best. If a contracted Operative has to die then they die in style, in a blazing monument to style. Live fast, die young, and leave a good looking corpse. You would do well to remember that Inkerman. This little stunt of yours has a cost. Every thing has a cost. I hope you can afford it.”

Jack looks as if he will take the memory to his grave. The entourage starts to leave the hotel and head for the limos waiting to take them to Murimoto Harbour a short distance outside Orienta. Kessler looks to be fully alert, Jack still looks hang over and Tammi-Lu still looks nervous. He sends a couple of the Operatives down in the lift with Escobar, Clements and Kelly Hines. The rest are instructed to stay with Jack and Tamnmi-Lu until they are in the limos. Once the players are out the front of the hotel they are assigned transportation:

Limo 1
Front passenger seat: Operative
Rear seats: Templar Hines Roche Hunouro Gardener (Jinx) Opertaive
Limo 2
Front passenger seat: Kessler
Rear seats: Jack Tammi-Lu Escobar Clements Operative Operative (etc)

As the cars make their way through the crowded Orienta streets Tammi-Lu is still looking over her shoulder. After a short drive as the car slows to navigate around some Rick drivers the cars are attacked by a handful of assailants. They appear to be lightly armed with handguns and will fall back if any serious resistance is made. However they are being watched by a stronger detachment including a back-street Ebon with a few Glyph Cards to his name. One of great importance is Jump Port 6 which enables him to teleport any guns he sees into his hand. He will remove Kessler’s as well as any that appear in the rear of the second vehicle.

The attack seems to be aimed at the second car, not surprisingly, however what is surprising is that the front section seems to attract a lot of assault. At some point Kessler, minus his gun, will emerge from the car in order to repel the few remaining attackers hand to hand and move everything along. At this point the Ebon’s sniper assistant will open fire. As Kessler is struck and falls Clements will order the driver to leave, Escobar will seem too shell shocked to argue having little combat experience. Jack too seems strangely muted, no doubt the effects of his hangover, and Escobar insists that Jack remains inside the vehicle. Tammi-Lu screams. As the car moves off, if allowed to do so, the players will see Kessler under heavy attack from previously absent foes. Once he falls the attackers will drift away into the side alley and disappear. Only then will SHIVERs appear on the scene and tell the players to drive on. They will brook no argument and Clements will agree and insist they get to the docks immediately.

After the vent Clements will defend her actions during the attack stating that Jack is their main priority, Kessler would have agreed with her. If pushed on the subject (or even INTIMIDATED) she will inform the players:

“Like I told Jack, everything has a cost, you got to pay for success in this world. Feel lucky you weren’t considered important enough. ”

Escobar denies any knowledge of such a deal, and he does seem to be sincere and very upset. He says that the players are now in charge of security and will act as Jacks personal guard as well as site security.

DAY SIX - JANAROC , URANIUM CITY
 
There’s No Business like Snow Business

Transport to Janaroc consists of a smooth glide across the Beargra Ocean by hydra foil followed by a short Gauss Train ride across the bleak tundra from the port of Nomad on the edge of the polar cap. As the barren landscape begins to gain a covering of snow the outlook becomes even more bleak with the only sights being herds of genetically engineered cattle (from Nu-CowTM Inc.). Jack’s humour does not seem to have improved and he remains in a foul introverted mood during the entire journey. Escobar is in a terrible state following the events at Orienta and Clements is desperately making telephone calls to minimise press releases. She is also in contact with Sigerson concerning Jacks contract and makes no attempt to keep her voice down as she recommends dropping Entropy before he seriously injures their sales figures.

The players can pull some information concerning Janaroc from their own oyster terminals or by using those installed in the arms of their acceleration couches. The city lies on the edge of Morts’ polar ice cap, beyond the city lie vast tracks of freezing rock expanses, the occasional snowy tundra, polar seas, mile thick ice sheets and the pole. This makes Janaroc particularly appealing to Wraith Raiders who find the climate similar to their home worlds (although Mort has less snow, more rock and far more pollution). The few habitations beyond Janaroc are natural resource mining operations (strip mining, oil drilling, etc.) or research bases monitoring effects of the weather or space travel. Somewhere on the other side of the pole lies the Dark Lament facility of Zero, of which little is known (but much is rumoured). The mining of resources is Janaroc’s main lifeblood with a high population of residents being involved in the business in some way or another.

That is not to say that Janoroc does not have unemployed. Many civilians have come here to make their fortune, make a fresh start or who have got on their bikes to hunt for jobs. Many have been lured by the availability of housing rather than remain on the long lists of Mort. Others head for the icy wastes to try to escape the long arm of SLA Industries as leaving the planet without SLA knowing about it is very, very difficult.. In the icy wastes beyond the city it is sometimes possible to remain unseen for some time although many of the Ops stationed at Janaroc specialise in the retrieval of personnel from the wastelands. The profitable Bounty Hunting BPN market is another draw for Wraith Raiders who like nothing more than a good hunt in the snow. The city is walled and divided up in similar sectors to Mort, although there are not enough high prestige buildings for its’ Uptown and Central regions to be separate. Janaroc’s Cannibal sector is a shanty town which surrounds the city wall and stretch outwards before giving way to icy tundra. They are filled with criminals and wildcat prospectors as well as the usual fare of Cannibals and the occasional crazed bear or Carnivorous Penguin.

The tour liaison in Janaroc is Janus Ulrickson, a tall blond hared woman with pale blue eyes and matching skin (a permanent form of LumoTM alteration). She will explain that there has been a slight hitch in the preparations following a slight earth tremor, such seismic activity is not unusual here given the level of explosions and drilling that affects the polar plate. The venue has had to be changed as the original was damaged but all is well and on target for tomorrow’s performance, she has acquired the Ice Cavern club in stead, it is a good-sized venue. They have arranged television coverage with SHRED VID and sold a number of tickets. Clements seems disappointed with the number sold but Escobar reminds her that this is an extra performance and anything over costs is a bonus. As they discuss business Jack retires to his room still in a depressed mood.

Blood On The Snow

A few hours later Jack emerges again, the preparations for the concert are already underway with Jinx and her technicians installing the lighting and running through computer checks. Jack announces that he and Tammi-Lu are going out to look around Janaroc and Escobar asks the players to accompany them. Whilst Sugar Lips prepares to go with them, Jack asks that she stay behind as he wants some down time. Escobar agrees, she can take some shots of the set up. Strangely Clements also agrees stating that Jack and Tammi-Lu should have some time to themselves.

The city itself is largely industrial and caters to the lower end of the cultural spectrum, as befits a frontier town. Few individuals with money would choose to live here and the downtown population along with the resident unemployed wander the streets. Some designer goods are for sale in the precincts however, usually to keep the families of management Employees happy, and Tammi-Lu picks up some new clothes along with some Wraith Raider carvings. She hands the bags to the players to carry so that she and Jack can hold each other. Even if they manage to use PERSUASION on Tammi-Lu to make her carry them herself, Jack won’t allow it (note who still has hands free). The shopping trip wears on and Jack’s high spirits start to slip. Too few members of the public recognise him and Jack complains how he risks his life for these ingrates. At one point whilst staring through a window at the expanse of ice and snow he tells one of the Ops:

“Sometimes I feel that my life is like that tundra. Empty, desolate. Like I’ve used up all my resources and I’ve nothing left to draw upon.”

With Jack’s mood still low the group stops to eat at the “Rack of Ribs” eatery. Gazing out of the window they can see the herdsmen drive the herd animals into the vast slaughterhouses bordering Blood Square. The sight heightens Jack’s morose state.

“Man, that’s just like me, prodded here and there, do this, don’t do that. Kill them, don’t kill them. No reasons. No choices. Nice Op. Good Op….. I might as well go join them in the slaughterhouse. It’s where I’m headed. You heard Clements, it’s the only end for an Op, a glorious blood filled death.”

He falls silent for a time staring out of the window at the herd. Tammi-Lu begs him to come away and he waves her off with a “Sorry babe. I think I’m upsetting her, aren’t I, we better go.”

He gets up to leave the restaurant and heads out onto the street. Just after they set off the players receive a telephone call. It is Jinx and she seems in quite a state, informing them that Ulluano, the Wraith Raider Assistant Technician, has gone missing. She hasn’t told Escobar yet but she thinks that he might have gotten home sick and run away to the snow fields, he might come back, but he might not, either way it’s a breach of his Contract of Employment and he’ll get in trouble. Jack asks what’s wrong and assures the players that they can go back and look for him and that he’ll be OK. Regardless of the players actions Jack continues swinging back towards the square. A short distance on the crowds become heavy as the crowd watches the herd handlers and Tammi-Lu is jostles a couple of times before Jack asks the players to clear a way.

As they do so Jack wanders away through the crowd, climbs over the barriers and wanders into the midst of the cattle. Tammi-Lu spots this and calls out for the players to go after him. Following him into the beasts to make sure that he doesn’t become hurt the players will PERSUADE him to come out of the way as the handlers begin to make a move to eject him. As he heads back he waves to Tammi-Lu who is leaning on the barriers smiling at him shaking her head. She waves back her face breaking into a grin, as she does so a gentleman strolls up beside her, he smiles also and leans forward to say something into her ear over the noise of the crowd and the cattle, the players will note that he looks slightly out of place having an Orientan look to his features.

The smile instantly fades from Tammi-Lu and she begins to turn, a look of horror upon her face. Suddenly there is the unmistakable sound of a large calibre handgun and Tammi’s face contorts in pain. As the players begin to run towards Tammi and the crowd nearby react the man steps away, a large handgun visible in his hand, steaming in the cold air. As he brings the gun to bear on Tammi-Lu again as she falls to the floor, a DETECT roll will note that whilst most of the crowd are looking towards the man one has her attention firmly on the players. As they note that her features are very similar to the assassin they also note the similar handgun which she is aiming in their direction (maybe towards Jack).

Regardless of the success of any DODGE rolls she misses them, she is actually aiming at the cattle and his next shot rips into a steer which bellows in pain. This causes some confusion as the remaining cattle take fright and stampede. The players will have to avoid being trampled by use of WRESTLING or GYMNASTICS as the handlers attempt to calm the beats down. Meanwhile the assassin puts another shot into Tammi-Lu before attempting to slip away into the crowd. The players may rush to reach Tammi-Lu but she has taken a couple of bad wound to her abdomen, she is in shock and is bleeding badly. Immediate use of Ebb Healing Rank 13 would help but there is little the players can do. She dies as Jack reaches her, the only enigmatic word she can gasp is “Snapdragon” before she dies. Jack screams and falls to his knees as the tears begin to flow.

The assassin and his accomplice may be chased through the streets of Janaroc, they head in different directions but seem as unsure of the area as the players. The man runs through the crowd but on seeing armed individuals ahead (local operatives) he slips into the slaughterhouse. His guns is Orienta make from the Hammer Of Io (HOI) company. It is a “Tigers’ Roar” 12mm handgun filled with HP rounds. He also carries a Power-Disc and a Katana Inc Electro-blade. He will not surrender and will attempt to kill himself if escape is impossible.

The woman (in fact they are twin brothers but one has undergone surgery to get “closer” to his brother) will flee through the crowd and towards the small airport which serves transports to the outlying sites (although flying is hazardous in the polar region). He/she is armed in an identical fashion to his/her brother except for twin matched Sai daggers instead of the electro-blade (treat as MAC knives). His flight will take him across the gauss train tracks, which may have fatal consequences for him or his persuers.

Once the two assassins are dealt with any enquires made to Orienta will be met with politeness but no information will be forthcoming. If the players push it they will eventually be informed that a D-notice has been applied to the individuals identity and that Internal Affairs is now investigating the case. The players will hear nothing more on the matter. If they capture either assassin alive then they will identify themselves as Operatives operating from Orienta (Iron Crane & Breeze of Heaven). They are fulfilling a Black BPN and thus claim their rights as stated under such employment which require that they be handed over to Internal Affairs awaiting confirmation of a valid contract. Their target was Tammi-Lu, the others were merely incidental. However at this point Jack will arrive having caught the players up. He will announce his arrival by shooting whichever individual the players have captured and is in the process of questioning. He will attempt to fire another shot and continue doing so until restrained. If somehow the players still manage to end up with a live captive they will be asked to turn them over to Janaroc’s Dark Finders, and they really should comply.

As usual Escobar denies any knowledge of the act and seems sincere and very upset. Clements also denies any knowledge muttering “That wasn’t part of the deal”.

Death Call of the Last Leviathan

Jack is shattered by Tammi-Lu’s death as his management crew attempt to calm him down. He hits the IceBrew in a big way, mixing it with shots of Flip and Flame (a local shot that as well as a euphoric feeling increases ambient body temperature). Unfortunately they don’t seem to mix well and Jack seems to suffer a psychotic fit. Escobar orders him to be held down and FlushTMed. Escobar assures Clements that everything is fine and the concert will go ahead. The players are asked to keep an eye on Jack and they are placed inside his apartment while he is waiting for the performance. Jack is really fucked up, when conscious he regains the players will anecdotes of Tammi-Lu and their short time together.

“I met her at a party given by Unwavering Ego, an Operative team working for Clondle at the time. Half the team is dead now after they got “offered” a Halloween Jack BPN, they must of really pissed someone off. I liked the look of her and had Clondle use her on the next few Entropy videos. After that I asked her out and pretty soon I never went anywhere without her.”

Under the influence of the Brew Jack soon becomes morbid and questions the players about death and what they think of it. He asks them how they would want to go out and what they hope to leave behind them as a legacy, how they want to be remembered, their shot at immortality. Eventually he states that he wants to contact Tammi-Lu’s parents and asks to borrow an Oyster terminal. He slumps on the bed and indeed does start to write a letter. After some time he puts the terminal down and falls into a deep sleep. The players can leave him be or keep watch on him. Either way he awakens after a few hours and apparently refreshed and recovered he prepares for the show. If the players try to check on Jacks transactions a COMPUTER roll will discover that he cancels the E-mail net connection and instead put in a call to the Department of Retirement, the contents of the message has been completely deleted from the system. An attempt to recover them will prove ineffective, although a check against COMPUTER SUBTERFUGE of 11+ or COMPUTER USE of 21+ will also discover that Jack broke through the terminals security locks to gain access to the player’s Squad E-Mail system and signature.

Unfortunately Jack enters into the pre-show preparation with gusto, checking the stage is right, helping the techs with the stage set-up, going over the lighting and choreography and getting fitted in Wardrobe & Makeup so it proves tricky to question him. Even if they manage to ask him he is evasive, all he will state is that he is putting his affairs in order. Several members of the crew murmur that it didn’t take him long to get over Tammi-Lu. The show eventually begins and the first half goes very well, the crowd is smaller than all of the other shows but is not bad given the short notice and the largely roughneck community.

As the second half begins Jack is part way through “Angel’s Footsteps” when the front of the stage is lit up with exploding pyrotechnics. Roche, who is near the front of the stage at that time, is showered with sparks and falls back with a shout, backstage crew rush on to assist, the players amongst them. Jinx extinguishes the devices and hurriedly checks them over.

She soon returns from the stores stating that the wrong radio detonator was used (holding a similar one in her hand), and that it must have been missed with Ulluano absence. The crowd are calmed down and the concert is restarted after Roche is given a medical shot, all the while swearing at Jinx and anyone else who comes to close. If the players are keeping a close eye on Jack he will seem as surprised as anyone, shaking his head at the events.

Towards the end of the performance Escobar will storm up to the players and ask what the hell they think they are doing. He is waving what appears to be a BPN file at them. When they check the file it turns out to be a Black file detailing the recovery of an installation from Soft Company occupation. If the players ask what this has to do with them Escobar will look confused and explain that it is theirs, theirs and Jacks. If the players check it will confirm that the players Squad, operating as a subsidiary of Jell-O Impact, have accepted the BPN. Their acceptance was confirmed with their security E-mail signature.

Jack will leave the stage to rapturous applause and wander up to Escobar smiling. When Escobar turns on him, just as Clements emerges from backstage holding a mobile phone and looking daggers, he will confirm that he signed up for a Black.

“Its the only way. I can’t go on without Tammi. And what is there to live for. I’m on my way out, you can see it, I can see it. I’m heading for burnout, and what sort of life is that. It’s life Jim but not as we know it. Ms Clements put it so eloquently. If a contracted Operative has to die then they die in style, in a blazing monument to style. Live fast, die young, and leave a good looking corpse. This should make everyone happy, shouldn’t it. There are thousands of others waiting to take my place. Nine years, 124th place, that’s nowhere. Some upstart bitch of an Ebon gets there just for being striped. I ain’t got what it takes to get to the next level, oh I had it once, I was business trained. But I hung around on the streets too long. They get to you, they got to me. I couldn’t survive the boardroom no more. I need to retire Jimmy. I need to retire.”

If asked what he has done with the players Squad he will seem off hand.

“They don’t seem to want to leave me, besides I need a squad. Can’t call out Jell-O and the band have their own management. So I was kind enough to subcontract to them.”

He turns to the players.

“ It’s all signed and sealed, managers agreement, yours and mine. You could get out of it, You have a case, of course Contracts will have you tied up in legal tape for some time. No working, no income and a black mark on your files, asking for a Black then turning it down. Trust me, a level jump this early in your careers. It will make you.”

“Or break them.” adds Escobar Escobar continues to argue and starts to call Clondle but Jack will not listen and states that Clondle won’t get into a legal battle over him. Once Clements has calmed down she gives it serious thought and rather heartlessly agrees with Jack, this could work.

The players have little choice but to accept the BPN assigned to them unless they wish their careers to be put on ice, “pardon the pun”. The Leviathan oil platform stands upon the Aiden ice sheet in the Gerrant Straight, the ice sheet at that point being just under two kilometres thick and spanning a small ocean worth of water. Beneath the sheet the water is very deep, very dark and very, very cold. The rig lies 240 km from Janaroc and is not always directly reachable by land as the ice flows can break and drift in the tremors. Crew and supplies are generally transported by air, weather permitting. It is currently in the hands of a Soft Company who have given their name as Purge Resources, they are previously unknown. They struck a few hours ago in a period of communication instability. A short message was gotten off of the Rig by the manager Harrison Vlostock before communications were lost. Whilst the station could just be bombarded from Orbit the Department of Mineralogy would like to make an attempt to recover it, after all it carries a major capital value.

Escobar informs them that he can reschedule their flight out of here but that they have a maximum of ten hours before they wouldn’t stand a chance of making the Mort concert. He will arrange transportation to the rig and also necessary equipment such as climate clothing, survival gear and communications equipment. Jack equips himself in his combat gear, which he always has shipped along. It is fully customised and bears several sponsors logos, including Sigerson. If the players try to arrange for extra gear Escobar will advance the expected payment. The journey should take about three to four hours each way by land, baring accidents, half that by air if anyone can fly. At the present time this close to the pole there is no night and so visibility will not be a problem. What will be a problem is a large weather front being kicked around at this present time which has a 60% chance of encompassing Leviathan. This won’t harm the rig but a vehicle would be in trouble and radio communications would be disrupted. Of course radio communication is unreliable at the best of times given the high level of radiation in the atmosphere due to the large hole in the ozone layer. Sugar Lips argues to be taken along, after all its a great film opportunity, Jack is all for it, Clements is undecided, Escobar will leave the final decision with the players.

The journey to the rig should pass uneventfully. The vista will on the whole remain barren and uninhabited with the occasional Nu-CowTM or Stacka-Yak® herd or prospecting team or Eco-Tech encampment. When the players arrive the storm front can be seen on the horizon. Fortunately interference from the storm is preventing the Soft Company from picking up the players on radar. The rig is indeed enormous with miles of pipeway and walkways beneath the main platform. The central drill core diameter is massive and smaller shock pipes circle it. The Habitation blocks and control centre sit beneath the upper rig and the players will just make out an enclosed hair vehicle lander platform on one side.

The Leviathan platform has been targeted by Purge Resources, a soft company who have made a good start in killing the security crew and are now siphoning the oil into their three waiting tankers. They aim to flee onto the ice sheet to a waiting Orbiter and eventually make their way off planet where they have a rendezvous arranged with a Darknight Foldship. They are equipped with three hover craft tankers and four outrider ski-bikes (they had another two but lost them to a tremor). Their company resources consist of three drivers, six oil roustabouts and thirteen hired guns including two war vets (Friendly Fire and Smee), three Wraith Raider Nu-CowTM handlers (Solu, Jaq and Torrimir) and four Props (Slap-Happy, Mute, Havok and Shako). Friendly Fire, Solu, Jaq, Slap-Happy and Mute are on the ice below with the tankers. Torrimir, Havok and Shako are on the rig along with Rig Security Chief Remick Stans, their inside man who disabled the rigs radar sensors (although they have since been reactivated). Smee is currently in the vast undercarriage of the structure placing a number of explosive charges on the under structure of the rig and is planning to blow the rig as they leave. They are waiting for the storm front to hide their departure. The roustabouts and the remaining hired guns are on the rig operating the pumps.

During any confrontation the War Vets act like a war vet and stand still letting the ops shoot at him whilst he fires full bursts. The Props use whatever cover is available (including the highly explosive tankers) but will attempt to flee on a ski-bike if they start taking casualties. The Wraith raiders will be dangerous as their natural colouring and stealth will make them dangerous stalkers. Only their lack of heavy weaponry lessens the danger they pose. When encountered Stans will claim to be Harrison Vlostock, the Director of Operations on the rig. He will explain that he was being forced to help them operate the machinery. When the trouble started his guard ran off and he is trying to find his crew. He is not armed and of course does know his way around the platform. Of course if he manages to find a weapon and get to a vehicle he will try to flee, unless he has a good opportunity to kill one of them without risk to himself. He knows about Smee’s charges and can detonate them if he gains access to a transmitter.

Checking the rigs computer system (using COMPUTER USE) the players can discover how the system was shut down under commands from Remick Stans the Head of Security and also that several communication blips have been sent to co-ordinates on the ice sheet. The replies seem to indicate a time for a rendezvous in high orbit with a ship named as The Serenity. A COMPUTER SUBTERFUGE roll will also discover that Stans transmitted detailed blue prints of the Rig three days ago to the same location. This transmission was picked up in a security sweep instigated by Stans, who cleared it from the log.

During the fight Jack will attempt to reach the rig, stating that they have to check for any surviving Employees or Soft Company members. He will fight like a man possessed, or under the influence, and attempt to reach the drilling platform. He is a driven man, however he is driven to blow up the structure, whilst he is still on it. He will first override the safety system in the rigs computer and release tons of oil from the capped main pipeline. As the oil spills across the deck Entropy strolls out into the middle of it, his trusty Klippo lighter held in one hand. Its guaranteed flame flickering slightly. When the players finally deal with the Soft Company (those that don’t flee) they will find Jank standing amongst a pool of oil and gas, on hand holding a wound in his stomach, the other holding out his lighter. He will call out to the Ops.

“You better leave now, don’t know how long I can hold it. Only way to go right, Clements will be pleased. How long do you reckon this will burn. Years maybe, like on Plenty. This will be my monument, my monument to Tammi-Lu, to SLA, the predatory, parasitic, capitalism. Remember me. Remember what it did to me, remember what they did to me. Don’t let the bastards get to you. You’d better go now.”

And indeed they better have. The resulting explosion will send tremors across the ice sheet. The pillar of flame will be seen across the entire continent. When (& if) the players return to Janaroc the loss of Entropy is greeted with resignation (and more than a little relief). Sugar Lips’ film of the battle (if she was allowed to go) is computer enhanced so that Jack will be seen to have taken a fatal wound during the fight aboard Leviathan and will be remembered as an heroic and loyal SLA Operative who gave his life to defend SLA property from Soft company attack. His death will be seen in millions of homes, sales of his records and of Sigerson sneakers will rise momentarily. Then in a couple of weeks all will be forgotten, such is the life of an Operative. Live fast, die young, leave a good looking corpse.

Jack Inkerman a.k.a. “Entropy” (872 - 900).

There’s No Place Like Home....There’s No Place Like Home...

If by some miracle Entropy is returned alive from Leviathan, he remains in a morose mood, the levity brought on by the violence does not last long and he is soon a useless hulk. It is decided that the only solution is to head back for Mort and try to make something of the last performance. Escobar assures Clements that they will soon iron everything else and the World of Progress tour can go ahead as planned, Clements does not seem convinced. Transport has already been arranged and the final journey begins in the early afternoon with the tour personnel loading the equipment onto an M-Air Eaglewing high altitude plane.

The flight starts off normally enough, Jack sits silently staring out of the window whilst Escobar sits beside him trying to cheer him up and talk him out of his introverted mood. Gill leans across the seat in front filming until Escobar shakes his head and she slumps down, his hands shoved in his pockets, looking unhappy. After some time Jack removes his hand from one of the pockets, looks puzzled for a moment then breaks the seal on a disposable syringe and shoots up. Escobar sighs and with a comment of “Can’t talk to you whilst you’re Flipped Jack.” Stands and walks over to his own seat. Clements however is not willing to let Jack off so easily and takes Escobar’s place.

“That’s it Jack you just shoot up, flip out and don’t give a fuck. Well you’re going to. Sigerson had a contract remember, you blew it, this isn’t the publicity we wanted. Wear Sigerson, get fucked up, Just Screw It. I’ll have you for breech, Contracts are going to have a field day. You’ll never work above a Blue again. It’s a good job you like Downtown so much. If you’re lucky some Carrien monster will put you out of your misery and rip your stupid head clean off your ....”

Clements tirade is cut short by the report or a 12mm Klip Killer Panther which Jack pops out and fires. The back of her head blossoms out, over however is unfortunate to be sitting opposite. A FEAR CHECK with a rating of 9. As Gill (sitting in front of Jack) screams and Escobar (sitting behind) throws up Jack shows little emotion but sits back and continues to look out of the window. If no-one intervenes he sits silently for a few minutes before spasming and clenching his teeth in pain. As he clenches the Panther is triggered again and a shell punches through the seat in front of him (fortunately not the one with Gill in it). With his face contorted in pain Jack attempts to stand, his arms flailing. He will attack any who come near him, using the Panther half the time and his SLA Blade the other. Even if his shots miss people they stand a chance of puncturing the hull and causing pressure loss which could prove fatal, or at lease inconvenient. During his frenzy Jack receives two extra phases and takes only 50% of damage requiring no PHYS or COOL rolls.

Even if restrained unharmed Jack will soon die as the drug coursing through his system warps his body and mind. His death will be painful and slow, unless the players kill him in which case it may just be painful. During the engagement most of the remaining tour crew will not help the players restrain Jack, being less enamoured of physical conflict. After Jack’s death (by whatever means) the atmosphere will be subdued, and possible somewhat thin if any shots breached the hull.

(Of course if the pilot is killed the players may find themselves crashing to earth, or sea, or if they are really lucking and don’t have PILOTING MILITARY, into a Cannibal sector.)

Checking the syringe the players will recognise the small purple make as the Jazz that Cartwright brought at Meny. Contacting Meny will reveal that they have had a spate of students freaking out in murderous rages and then dying. Their investigations so far have revealed that the drug was laced with DarkNight Shatter, Operatives have been flown in and an investigation is underway (if the players ask they will be told that the team assigned is “Radium Vampires”). A DIAGNOSE roll will realise that the jacket was one that Jack hadn’t worn yet on the tour and that it was in the ransacked room in Temper. The syringe is Cartwright’s passing gift to Jack.

After the players have limped back to Mort with the terrible news the tour crew will fall into a state of panic as the final show is cancelled and the publicity team goes to work. The autopsy, on his body if one was recovered the empty snap-syringe otherwise, confirmed that the drug he injected was laced with pure high grade Shatter (DarkNight’s pirated Ultra Violence copy with DNA altering side effects). Public knowledge of such a death would not do and so as with before Sugar Lips film is computer enhanced and Jack signed off on Leviathan. Whilst all this damage limitation is taking place the players will be paid and receive whatever bonuses and Level increases they earned.

When the film footage is released they will also attract sponsors wishing to sign up the heroes of the hour. After all they just claimed their first strike against a Soft Company (although Purge will continue to plague the ice flows for a while yet).


Tour Timetable

Projected Tour Timetable Actual Events
1. Leave Mort and Travel to Meny, As planned.
2. Question session and Meny Concert. As planned.
3. Travel to Temper. Temper Concert. As planned.
4. Travel to Orienta. Arrive early morning of day 5. As planned.
5. Orienta concert. As planned.
6. Orienta layover. Travel to Janaroc.
7. Travel to Mort. Janaroc Concert.
8. Mort Concert. Return Flight.

Complete Tour Personnel

On Stage
Jack Inkerman (Entropy) 5D Lead Guitar & Vocals
Vic Roche (Cockroach) 8A Bass Guitar
Dereck Cartwright 11 Drummer
Richard Hunouro 11 Bass Guitar
Kelly Hines (Baby Choras) 9C Backing Vocals
Back Stage
Professor Jiminez Escobar 9B Tour manager
Catherine Clements 8C Marketing Director, Sigerson
Gill Templar (Sugar Lips) 7A Third Eye Camerawoman
Lisa Gardener (Jinx) 8A Chief Technician
Angus Kessler 6C Bodyguard, Head of Security
Tammi-Lu 11 Ornament
Nicole Weller 11 Make up Artist
Lita Jennings 11 Wardrobe Assistant
Ulluano (Wraith Raider) 11 Assistant Technician
John Beuller 11 Assistant Technician
Henry Lewis 11 Roadie
Silus Mann 11 Roadie

Total 17 + player Operatives