One of our DeathSuits is missing

By Mark Edwards

Colour Designation: Jade
Minimum SCL: 9
Training Package Recommended: Any (Ebb Awareness ability required, Investigation & Kick Murder recommended)
Consolidated Pay: 500c per Operative
Contact: Quisling, Dark Lament
Coverage: Station Analysis
Summary: Operatives needed immediately to track and recover "stolen" Dark Lament equipment. This BPN may be unsuitable for solo Operatives due to the high chance of Darknight intervention.

GM Notes & Background:

The best way to hook PCs into this BPN is to use any existing ties or reputation with Dark Lament. The PCs can get this BPN from Dark Lament direct or through a reputable Financier, but not from a BPN hall.

What has gone before:

There has been for some time a co-operative venture between Cloak Division and Dark Lament. Cloak Division has had one of their top Operative squads (all names to remain anonymous) working in the field with a group of Dark Lament "Trackers". These Ebons have been especially picked and trained to hunt for traitors and lost prototype equipment from Dark Lament. They excel in the areas of Ebon protection, detection and communication and have been used surreptitiously in the past to locate turncoats and lay the groundwork for Operative recovery and extermination BPNs.

The current operation was to locate a suspected permanent-broadcasting base for Darknight's Channel Resistance. To do this Dark Lament seeded Lower Downtown Sector 1147 with Science Friction "Watch Boxes". The Ebon trackers then monitored these tiny living cameras by remote use of the Ebon communication ability - Possession. The Trackers would find the "seeds" with detect and link with them from their base in the sectors industrial area. The operation was a success until the final assault was performed. Darknight was using an apartment block as their base, which was quickly infiltrated. The Cloak squad backed up by Daedalus, one of Dark Lament's best trackers, moved in with devastating effectiveness. During the initial encounters the Cloak Ops managed to subdue the DN civilian guards with no complications or alarms being raised. They penetrated deep into the building and right into a DN trap. A DN infiltrator was already deep within the folds of Cloak Division and managed to inform the base of the attack. With the infiltrator looking on the SLOPs were surrounded and murdered by a group of 4 DN interceptors backed up with a further 20 civilians. Unfortunately for DN Daedalus didn't die straight away and learned a secret kept by Dark Lament since SLA Industries was formed. As he lay dying the young Ebon's mind frantically sought a way to escape its demise. By focusing his will using his anger and hatred for his killers as his life energy was absorbed into his deathsuit's Heartfall matrix, Daedalus found he could possess his own deathsuit! Being a part of him the deathsuit's rudimentary mind readily accepted Daedalus' consciousness into itself.

With the killing over, the DN interceptors left the clean up to a handful of civilians and moved to the real permanent base for Channel Resistance located in Cannibal Sector 2. The hybrid Daedalus-deathsuit easily disposed of the civilians and triggered one of the Cloak Operative's emergency beacon. By the time the corpses were found by an investigating SLOP squad Daedalus had already left to pursue his killers.

Dark Lament now believe that Daedalus is the traitor that caused the deaths of his fellow Operatives and with Cloak Division baying for blood they have hired some Operatives to recover their equipment and eliminate the rogue Ebon.

Scene One - Dark Lament:

Run this scene as you see fit. Quisling's office is high on the 15th floor of the Dark Lament building with a vast panoramic view of Mort Central. Quisling's sombre and reserved Vassal Brain Waster, Grimm shows the Operatives into the office. In stark contrast to her vassal, Quisling is a lively, happy and out going Necanthrope. She has enhanced her natural Ebon features and looks like an elfish angel. She radiates an aura of curiosity, an incarnation that is plain by her mannerisms and nature. During the briefing Quisling will often stop to ask the PCs questions about themselves, their family and friends and their pasts. She has the annoying habit of asking pointless personal questions about people's height, weight, preferred colour or food. The best way to portray her is to be nosy about everything and if the PCs have any comments or suggestions always ask them "Why?" (think annoying child who is dying for information on anything and everything). To add a bit of humour or even to unnerve your Operatives have Quisling's sentient Gore cannon wander around the office constantly searching in or under things (it too has her aspect of curiosity), especially the around the legs and feet of the SLOPs. (There is nothing more unnerving than a Gore cannon apparently sniffing around your feet then looking up at you).

Have Quisling briefly describe the BPN, including the hunt for the rogue Ebon and the area of the attack, which is the 3rd floor of Devlin Heights Apartment Block, Lower Downtown Section 1147. After the briefing Quisling can offer (depending on your generosity) to "loan" equipment from Dark Laments vaults to the PCs for the BPN. I would suggest no heavy power weapons or armour but most Science Friction equipment from the SLA main book would be fine (especially the Pathfinder). This equipment must be brought back in the same condition as it was borrowed in, but can be purchased after the BPN with perhaps a slight discount (10 - 25%).

Scene Two - Devlin Heights:

Shiver units who are still inside checking every floor and apartment for DN agents and equipment have cordoned off Devlin Heights. Everybody who is found in the Block is being taken away for "questioning" by Cloak Division. The SLOPs will gain access with ease and are pointed in the direction of Shiver Lieutenant Malley who is the ranking officer on site. Julie Malley has been a Shiver for years and has become hardened to life on the streets of Mort. Although she doesn't hate Operative she definitely would like to do without them (in her own words - "Most of the problems we see today are caused by those damn SLOPs. What the hell gives them the right to destroy and ruin then just walk away without a care in the world. If I had my way..... " - These comments caused an investigation into Malley who was cleared but spent the next 2 years of deep sleep shiver duty in Lower Downtown). Lt Malley will give the PCs what information she has but not with a smile or a kind word.

Evidence and information gathered by Shiver:

Crime Scene:

The firefight happened in the main corridor on the 3rd floor. The dead Operatives are lying in a rough box formation as if they were being attacked from front and rear. 4 of the civilian bodies are lying around the corridor (2 beside the Ops, 1 near the stairwell access door (facing it) and 1 beside the 6 other dead DN civilians). The other 6 civilians have been piled on top of each other near the floor's elevator. Spent rifle and bullet cartridges litter the floor and dark blood has been splattered on the walls and ceiling around the bodies. There are footprints in the pools of blood from the group of four civilians, as if they were walking around in the corridor after the firefight.

Have your PCs do a hard Detect roll or medium forensics roll if they look at the footprints. If they pass inform them that the two bodies near the Ops seemed to have been standing over the corpses when they died, the civilian near his dead colleagues was standing facing the pile of bodies and the last civilian seemed to be running towards the stair well. Unfortunately Daedalus' footprints when he stood up are mixed with the first 2 civilians he killed.

If the PCs check the dead civilians they will find (either with forensics or via the Shiver) - the 6 piled up where killed by a variety of projectile weapons, while the other 4 where either killed with a knife or a 12.7mm calibre pistol

[GM Notes What has happened - Daedalus "woke-up" as two DN agents were trying to remove his deathsuit. He promptly skewered one with his MAC knife before turning the knife on the other. He then got to his feet fully and was spotted by the 3rd civilian who panicked at the sight of the dead man rising and ran. Daedalus pulled out his Blitzer and shot the 4th civilian before he could spot him, shot the runner in the back of the head and then walked outside and into an alley below. Any blood on the deathsuit was left in the corridor due to its repel ability and Daedalus left to begin his hunt.]

When Ebon awareness is used the PCs can be given the details on the attack by DN - jumbled pictures of men in masks, gunfire, noise, heat and pain or flashes of shock, disbelief and a dark figure form the last 4 civilians killed. Any tracking tests show an Ebon aura heading away from the building towards the east and eventually Cannibal Sector 2

Scene Three - Moving on along:

This scene is for the PCs following the Ebon trail east towards the perimeter wall. I am going to leave it open for you do what ever you see fit. Best advice is to have fun. Darknight has heavily converted this area. Most of the local gangs have been supplied DN weapons on the promise that they interfere with any SLOPs coming onto their turf. Run the scene for as long as you want, until the PCs get an emergency call - Code RED from the Shiver on the Cannibal Sector 2 wall.

Scene Four - Code RED:

The PCs receive a distress call from Shiver tower 113 (spookily east of their location). The call informs any available Operative that a Soft Company strike force has been uncovered beside the Perimeter wall. Unknown parties attacking the strike force raised the alarm.

When they arrive they find a scene of pure carnage. The Darknight agents have tried to breach the wall by using a pre-prepared sewer access gate. Unfortunately Daedalus has struck from behind and alerted the Shiver. The PCs arrive to find the street leading to the wall cut in two by a collection of smoking cars (DN vehicles). On their side is huddled a group of about 12 DN civilian agents who are busy firing and throwing grenades at a small (4) Shiver force. The Shiver is heavily out manned and out gunned. The street is littered with dead or dying DN agents and shiver. Some of the cars still have DN agents hanging out of them burning like human candles. Again run this as you see fit. If you have access to the Karma Source book use the Stats supplied there for the civilian converts (you may want to enhance them a bit), if not just make them up (SLA strike training might be ok to use). Each DN agent is either armed with a DN 100 rifle or a DN 80 machine gun with 2 spare clips. They all wear DN Body armour (PV 5) and have 4 fragmentation grenades each.

As the PCs start to defeat the DN agents have them make standard detect rolls and describe the following.

"As you fire the last few rounds into the whimpering DN scum, you hear the tell tale roaring of a Shiver Kilcopter overhead. Powerful neon beams slice through the shadows around you as if searching for prey. Suddenly they stop over a large sewer grating that has been forced open. A lone figure stands bathed in the white light, a dark scar etched on the perimeter wall before you. The skeletal and muscle-like texture of a deathsuit is clearly visible beneath the figure's leather trench coat; he stares at you, BLA Blitzer and MAC knife in hand. For a brief moment you are transfixed by the figures wraith-like visage before realising your prey. Without warning the neon light is switched off and the vision is lost as the hunted spectre swiftly falls into the sewers below."

[GM Notes - The DN infiltrator and the interceptors have escaped into the sewers and left their lackeys to fend for themselves. Daedalus has spotted them and is hot on their trail. Although he has seen the PCs he is unable to speak to them from the deathsuit and is too scared to try using Ebon communication as he thinks it might break his link to the deathsuit and kill him.]

Scene Five - Sewer chase:

Your PCs should follow Daedalus into the sewers and may by now suspect something is wrong. Again as with Scene three run this as you like. There are plenty of Carnivorous Pigs in the sewers and perhaps the odd Carrien or serial killer. Again have as much fun as you like and when ready make the PCs roll standard detect rolls and describe the following.

"You round another bend in the ancient sewer line. The walls are slick with water and strange brown and blue moss that seems to wave at you in the breezeless tunnel. You look up again as the chattering from above starts up again, but still what ever is making it is lost in the gloom that envelopes the high vaulted ceiling. You heart suddenly stops as you hear the not so distant splashes of a lone person running ahead. You move, quickening your pace as you advance on the sounds. You spot the recess in the wall and launch towards it as the footfalls cease abruptly. Moving forward your audio pickups begin to filter the sounds of men talking and with the first scream all hell breaks loose."

Scene Six - Final confrontation:

The PCs have arrived just as Daedalus has caught up with the DN interceptors. Again you best tailor this scene to your style. As the scene opens read the following and then take it from there

"The First scream lingers in the darkness long after the dead mans gurgling has passed. Gunfire erupts from the recess followed quickly by the panicked cries of a desperate man.
"What the hell are you........Don't you ever die......"
Entering the recess you step over the body of a DN civilian agent. Blood flows freely from his ruptured throat. You peer ahead and find yourself looking into a service room of sorts. A pile of rusted old machinery lies in the far-left corner covered partially in the moss that covers the sewer walls. With help from the rooms dim wall lights you make out 6 figures in the room. 4 you recognise easily as DN by their telltale Power armour and DN rifles. The fifth stands with them but is dressed in the expensive suit fashion of SLA executives, obviously a man with some wealth and power. He is not restrained and the others seem to be deferring to him. The last figure is clambering to his feet before the other five. You recognise the trench coat and deathsuit helmet of Daedalus straight away. He raises his Blitzer towards the suited man as once more the DN agents trigger their rifles to blow the Ebon off his feet. He falls without a sound and again tries to rise to his feet."

For all the DN agents you can use the DN interceptor stats in Karma (enhance them for the Cloak infiltrator). All the interceptors wear DN power armour (PV11), carry DN 100 rifles (3 extra clips) and an assortment of smoke and fragmentation grenades. The Cloak infiltrator wears a DN bodysuit (PV6) and has a FEN 603 & BLA Blitzer (make him ambidextrous). The DN agents will try to make use of any cover available - old bits of machinery, piles of rubble etc.

Invent Daedalus yourself but with the following considerations. - Daedalus is trained to be a Tracker so he uses the Investigation training package. He has an Ebon communication of 20, an Ebon awareness of 14 and Ebon Guard of 20. His Deathsuit also has an eternal gem of 10 flux embedded in it, which helps sustain his Heart matrix. He is also ambidextrous and is an expert in tracking, pistol and blade 1H (all minimum of 5). I envisioned his deathsuit to be a smoky/wispy black and grey colour, similar to a ghostly or wraith-like figure

Hopefully your PCs will try to "save" Daedalus. Even if they don't keep him alive until the DN have been taken care of and read the following.

"The last of the interceptors falls under your onslaught. Turning you spot the lone figure of Daedalus looking on. As the Darknight breathes his last you see Daedalus tumble to the ground and lie in a crumpled heap before you."

[GM note - Once Daedalus' killers are dead he no longer needs to possess the deathsuit to extract his vengeance so his mind fades to into the Heartfall matrix.]

Hopefully your PCs will check the body - Daedalus has been dead for some time now and any forensics roll will reveal he dead about the same time as the Cloak squad. Any mention of this is quickly "smoothed over" by Dark Lament when the PCs attend their debriefing. They will find an extra 250 credits each for their "co-operation" in this matter, while any recording devices are swiftly confiscated for "upgrading". In any ongoing story lines I would have the PCs watched for a little while to make sure there are no leaks and perhaps reward their loyalty with an easy but PR building Silver BPN. Award the SCL increase