A Shock to the System

A Silver BPN for SLA Industries

This BPN has been designed to introduce the JNFWoP 214 Shock Wave, a Low Wave variant that is for use in riot conditions. The role of the Operatives is to protect the design team as they field-test the 214 variant. Unfortunately these means testing them in riot conditions whilst being continually monitored by Third Eye News.

#1: Starting the BPN

The BPN can be offered to the squad through a BPN Hall, a Karma contact or through their financier. All Karma are looking for is a squad that has some experience and haven't made any obvious mistakes with the media so far.

Colour Designation: Silver
Minimum SCL: 9
Training Package Recommended: Strike/ Any
Consolidated Pay: 315c per Operative
Contact: Dr Wright, Department of Biogenetics
Coverage: 3rd EyE News
Summary: To act as bodyguards and assistants to Karma field-test unit in Upper DownTown during beta testing of 214 variant. Well turned out squads only as media presence will be continuous throughout 48 hour testing period. Meet field-test unit at Shiver Precinct 2815 at noon tomorrow.
For additional details contact Dr. Wright at main Karma office on 222 Karma ext. 1020.

Assuming that the Operatives get the BPN the day before it is due, they will have plenty of time to organise themselves and find out where the Shiver precinct is. Contacting the doctor will be unsuccessful as his message system is turned on. If they ask for him through the main switchboard they will be told that he is working on field-testing at the moment and is therefore out of the office. His mobile number (available from reception) doesn't seem to work and so they will not really be able to find out anything about what they will be working on. The only preparations they will need to do is to make sure that they have enough supplies and equipment for the 48 hour testing period.

The precinct is located in a dense residential sector of DownTown, which is adjacent to a large factory complex. Due to the nature of the factory complex it spews fumes out over most of the Sector causing the rain to be a dark grey colour that oozes instead of flows into the frequently blocked sewer systems. This same ooze slowly erodes away the buildings even though they have been treated to prevent this. Most of the upper floors of the buildings have been evacuated as the rain has eroded away their roofs. All along the outside of the buildings streaks of rust from exposed reinforcement can be seen imbedded into the crumbling concrete.

The Shiver precinct is built into the side of a former shopping centre that is now just abandoned and used mostly by the local vagrants trying to get out of the black rain. The precinct itself stands out because all of the parts of the building that are exposed to the outside are covered in a sickly yellow paint, which is meant to protect the building from the black rain. In actuality the rain has caused areas of this treacle-like paint to slowly run down the outside of the building, giving an appearance of candle wax on the outside. Approximately 200 Shivers work the surrounding area, working mostly on foot from the station. The precinct has access to two working APCs, a fire APC and a half dozen SCAFs. These vehicles are only used in emergencies, as the black rain tends to erode and affect them (especially the hover props of the SCAFs). All are stored in the vehicle bay at the rear of the station, accessible from the loading ramp of the former shopping centre only. All in all the whole precinct could do with vast improvements.

It's at about this time that a 3en news crew van arrives, shortly followed by 5 brand new, sparkly APCs with Karma logos on the side.

#2: The First Riot

Whilst the media team is sorting out their equipment the squad will be introduced to Dr. Kal Wright, a young man (mid twenties, SCL 5) who seems overly enthusiastic and excited. He will let the Operatives know how much he appreciates them being here and how he is looking forward to working with them. He will introduce the rest of his team, the three scientists who have helped him develop the project (Dr. David Learnt, a man in his late thirties, SCL 6, always has a thousand-yard stare; Dr. Carrie Christo, female, late twenties, SCL 7, think librarian; Ed Flounder, male, late teens/ early twenties, SCL 8 computer nerd). He will also introduce the 5 technicians that are helping on the project (Al, Bill, Chris, Donald and Eve, all SCL 9).

The media team is from 3en and consists of the reporter Mike Davis and his camerawoman Sue McIntyre. Mike is around thirty (SCL 5 media Op) and will find out the basic details about the Operatives and then wander off to talk to Kal. Sue (early twenties, SCL 10 media Op) finding herself left with the Operatives will at least try and make the effort to talk to them. She doesn't know what the experiment is about, only that they are following them for two days as part of a documentary about Karma. After a half-hour outside the Shiver Precinct, Kal and the rest of his team will go inside the Precinct and introduce themselves to the Shivers. The Sergeant on duty will escort everyone to a section of the building that is near the rear door and is currently abandoned. Kal tells his technicians to bring everything around to the back and then unload. As the 3en crew check through their equipment and the scientists sort out theirs it is up to the Operatives what they do.

The equipment that the Scientists bring in is mainly computer equipment and medical supplies. There seem to be lots of large monitors linked up to the type of advanced equipment that you'd expect Karma to have. Whether this equipment actually does anything is questionable. All of the equipment is rolled out the back of two of the APCs on motorised platforms. The third APC seems to be outfitted as a field office with additional kitchen and bathroom facilities. If any of the Operatives start to nose around the fourth or fifth APC they will be told to be careful by one of the technicians, 'You don't want to wake the test subjects do you?'. Any attempts to find out what is being tested will just come back with standard replies about 'the 214', 'the dirty dozen', 'the heffalumps', 'Moogies' and Kal's favourite, 'the future for law enforcement'. Finally when everything else has been set up a large chair with restraints is bought in and connected to a lot of the equipment. It has the look of an electric chair, but without the head piece. It is also double normal size and seems to be made out of reinforced metal. Even a Stormer would have space in one of these. Just as everything is fully connected, a Shiver sticks his head into the area looking for Kal. "There's a riot at Westside and Trenches. Sarge told me to tell you."

Pilling into one of the empty APCs the Operative's probably still won't have a clue what is going on. The media team is also with them as are most of the scientists. Two of the technicians are driving the fourth and fifth APCs, following close behind. Parking to one side of a street adjacent to the riot, Kal's team at least seem organised in their actions as they run around the back of the two rear APCs. The riot can be seen at the end of the street and it appears to be a fight between two opposed gangs with the Shivers trying to confine them and any unlucky civilians who were there. The only real way for the riot to go is up the street that the Karma team is in and as the general mob starts to realise this the rear of the APCs open up. Stepping out into the street arrives 'the future of law enforcement'.

Standing 3 metres high and with riot shields attached to their arms by duct tape are a dozen Low Waves wearing a parody of the Shiver riot uniform, and with the numbers 214 emblazoned across their chests. As they walk out of the APC it seems that these aren't just normal Low Waves, but ones that have been modified by the Karma team. Which might explain why one keeps swaying back and forth, one 'voids its waste' with every step, one keeps walking into the crowd ignoring everything, one chews the top of its riot shield whilst making whimpering noises and one stands with a very large and obvious erection stating 'Desist this action or I will be forced to punish you'.

The whole crowd stops what it is doing out of pure shock and surprise.

#3: A Bit of Fine Tuning

With the Low Waves (or Shock Waves as the design team insist on calling them in front of the camera) in the background. Kal describes to the media team how the 214 is the future of law enforcement and urban pacification. He will describe how Karma is developing ways of making human life safer and easier in all things and how the 214 will eventually be used even as bomb disposal units and fire-fighters. Mike, whose on camera persona seems to be very critical and sarcastic, has great delight in showing how 'the future of law enforcement' seems to behave worse than a group of school kids.

After the rioting gang members have been fully dispersed by the Shivers, the Shock Waves are controlled back into the APCs and driven back to the Precinct. Kal seems to have lost some of his enthusiasm, especially when Carrie tries to comfort him by saying that at least they were responsible for stopping the riot. Arriving back at the Precinct the Operatives will have the delight of watching everyone else run around and do things whilst they have nought to do. It seems that all of the scientists are trying to look busy whilst keeping out of Kal's way. After a forced half-hour of solitude in the field-office APC, Kal bounces out looking full of excitement again.

His plan is that as it was only five that malfunctioned they can still test the others whilst his team works on fixing 'the few bugs' in the remainder. He will take the APC with the ones that are okay, whilst Carrie follows him with the Operatives and the 3en crew to a street where they can practice the in-built commands and training. Even though they have 'had a little set-back' Kal seems quite adamant to make the most out of the field testing. Back into the APCs they will drive a couple of miles away to a location that the Shivers said should be friendly enough to test the Shock Waves out in. Surprisingly this time they actually deploy correctly and Kal & Carrie will run them through a few basic manoeuvres and formations.

After the initial tests, Kal will ask the Operatives if they'd be willing to simulate riot conditions for him to fully test the 214s. He needs them to pretend to be hostile towards them and try out different tactics to get past them. Basically this is where the Operatives get to have fun trying to push their way past 3m high Stormers whilst being filmed by the 3en crew. Despite their earlier failure these 214s do actually have the rudiments of riot control and if used properly have the potential to stop riots. The main problems at the moment are the speed of the technicians trying to come up with ideas to prevent the Operative's tactics. Kal will explain that the Shock Waves have a full parallel reasoning process, which allows them to learn and improve their tactics considerably over time. Sure enough by the end of the tests the Shock Waves should actually be quite formidable.

After lots of testing they will return back to the Shiver precinct. However as they arrive they will see that the remaining APCs have graffiti on them, presumably from off-duty Shivers, saying derogatory comments about the Karma team and their ideas. Kal will storm off to have words with the watch commander whilst the rest of the scientists download the improved neural files from the tested Shock Waves to those that the rest of the team have been working on. As Kal returns, looking more than a little pissed off, he will tell everyone to load the Shock Waves up as there is a new riot near the last one. If asked he will say that apparently the Shivers don't like the idea of being replaced too much.

Arriving at the riot, they will find that there are quite a few more people than last time. The Shivers seem to almost be in control but not quite. Through contact with the Shiver Commander, the Karma team will be told which section they are to protect and what they are to do. With the successful deployment of the Shock Waves it seems that the afternoons tests were actually beneficial. The riot can be run however the GM wants, with the 214s on the whole being successful in what they are asked. It is also likely that the Operatives will be involved in the riot especially if the Karma team or the eager 3en crew are threatened. The main outcome will be that the Shock Waves strength, size, and bio-regeneration actually causes most of the rioters to think twice about doing anything - especially against the one who still shows off his erection proudly (all of the rest have them confined inside armoured pouches, his has sort of popped out...)

#4: Hostile Territory

As the Karma team celebrates their success back at the precinct, they will be met by a lot of hostile looks from the Shivers who were also in the riot. This will continue throughout the night, especially if anyone requires anything from the Shivers. Following the early evening riot, the whole area remains quiet, as if the appearance of the Shock Waves has actually made any night rioters think twice. The Karma team takes it in turn to rest, while they continue with the neural improvements of the Shock Waves training. At an early hour of the morning, they will be informed that a fight outside a night-club has turned into a riot nearby. Knocking back coffee the Karma team will prepare themselves for their third riot.

Even on the way to the centre of the riot the Karma APCs will come under missile attacks from the rioters. Rocks and metal bars continuously bounce off the hull of the APC whilst petrol bombs are quickly put out by the torrential rain. As the APCs pull to a halt a mere one hundred metres away from the rioters it is already apparent that the Shivers are loosing control. As their lines are pushed back by the rioters, the Karma team will deploy the Shock Waves as back up to the Shivers.

The Shock Waves maybe just enough to help the Shivers stop the riot, but they are also just as likely to hinder them. With the torrential rain, darkness and general chaos it is likely that the Shock Waves actions will be clumsy and over-enthusiastic. It is also likely that their vision may cause them to wrongly identify targets, attacking some of the Shivers, or injuring those that have already surrendered. Within a few minutes dark blue and yellow APCs appear, marking the arrival of Dispersal Shivers. Not encountering these Shivers before the Shock Waves may again attack the Shivers, who will return the attack. It will be up to the Operatives to keep everyone of the Karma team safe, keep the Shock Waves from taking any serious damage (most likely from the Dispersal Shivers) and also to protect the 3en crew who want to get close ups of the Shock Waves stopping rioters.

Once the Dispersal Shivers have the riot under control, Kal will pull the Shock Waves back and get everyone back to the Precinct. With the majority of the team exhausted and wet, they all depart into the APC to sleep. Assuming that the Operatives do the same they will probably not notice Carrie entering the labs and downloading some files onto a data-crystal. They will probably also not notice her taking some of the notes from around the labs with her. All perfectly reasonable things to do, but anyone who is paranoid may get suspicious.

The next morning they will be woken with the sound of angry voices. Some of the Shivers who were in the riot last night are angry with the Karma team, especially if any Shivers were hurt (including Dispersal Shivers). As they lash out at the Karma team and their equipment, it will be up to the Operatives to restore order. The Shivers aren't really to blame they are just pissed off and tired more than anything else. They also don't like the fact that the 214s could effectively replace them.

The rest of the day is spent testing the Shock Waves again. This time they will be used one at a time and injected with different drugs to see the effects of Bass, UV, Alice, PI, Beat etc. The purpose of the tests is to try and establish what effects the drugs will have on the Shock Waves and determine if natural antidotes are needed for any of them. Again the Operatives will be called in to help the tests and stop the Shock Waves if they go out of control. During the tests the field-team will get a call from those at the Precinct. It seems that they are facing a lot of hostility from the Shivers and could really do with everyone back at the Precinct.

By the time they get back there will be a group of Shivers campaigning outside the Precinct who will throw objects at the APCs. It seems that they are playing up to news reporters from various channels who are following the events. As the APCs go to the back entrance, they will be followed by the reporters, who are trying to get information from the scientists. It is up to the Operatives to ensure that the additional reporters do not get in the way. Kal is not to happy about the way things are going but will decide that the 214s need to really be tested under riot conditions again, so they will wait that evening in case one starts. He will ask the Operatives to ensure that the outside reporters do not affect the teams work.

#5: A Slight Problem

Later in the evening, when most of the Shivers have stopped demonstrating out the front of the building, and the rival news companies are huddled in their vans outside, the Shiver Lieutenant will come down and talk to Kal. He will express his concerns over the problems and how his men see the 214s as a threat to their jobs. He will also apologise for the way everything has happened. Kal, not being the most diplomatic of people, will thank the Lieutenant before saying that the Shivers should be proud because they are the first to work alongside the 214s. The Lieutenant will explode at Kal, as he was only really apologising because he had been ordered to by his superiors who had seen the news reports.

Later on that evening, when everything is relatively quiet and peaceful Mike will get a call from 3en. There is a riot that is happening just a few blocks away and they want to know why the 214s aren't being tested there. The Lieutenant, following his argument with Kal, has decided not to tell him about the riot, instead sending his men there quietly. Kal will be furious and quickly organise everyone into the APCs. Pulling out of the Precinct, quite a few of the media groups there have been waiting for the APCs to appear and will follow them to the riot.

The riot scene is one of pure chaos and makes the others look like small gatherings. Several buildings and vehicles have been torched and rubbish is strewn all around. In the midst of the riot the Shivers are barely holding their own, trying hard to contain the riot. The rioters having none of this are trying to surround the Shivers and the sound of Gauss and CAF guns are all around. Every now and then people will stagger out clutching limbs that area at best broken. Seeing the APCs the crowd will envelop them and push, bang, scrape the sides. Suddenly being inside of an armoured APC does not seem to be the safest thing. Cal having next to no real combat experience looks to the Operatives for inspiration.

The rest is now up to the Operatives who have two APCs full of Riot Control Shock Waves at their hands. If they are sensible they'll try and get them out first to give them some breathing space to get everyone to safety. If the Operatives have been good with the training they gave the Shock Waves they could have some good assistance, if not then they may make the situation worse. Distress calls to Shivers will generally be ignored as soon as the Shivers realise it is the Karma-team that are requiring help. Their main priorities should be to get the scientists out of the riot, followed by the Shock Waves and the equipment aboard the APCs. If they are really good they can always try stopping the main riot as well.

Depending how sadistic you are, it is relatively easy to throw a spanner in the works of whatever plan they come up with. The riot itself has been organised by DarkNight to destroy the credibility of the Shock Wave project. They have an insider in the form of one Dr. Carrie Christo, whose main responsibility has been the priority system used in the bio-neural network. As a precaution the 214s have a specific command with an over-ride priority that sends them back into their hibernation state. She has also set a command that causes them to recognise all people as hostile, causing them to effectively go out of control.

When she thinks she will be able to escape the Operatives, she will trigger the Shock Waves to go out of control. As they start attacking everyone (rioters, Shivers, the news-crew, the Scientists, the Operatives :-) she will use the time to disappear. When the dust has settled (assuming that the Operatives or the scientists manage to stop the Shock Waves) she is no where to be seen. Unfortunately all of the Shock Waves actions will be recorded either by the 3en crew or any of the other crews that are monitoring them or the project. Carrie's body is found a few days later next to a DN pistol. All of her notes and files have been taken.

The Operatives will get paid the basic amount assuming that none of the scientists have been killed. If the Operatives managed to conceal any embarrassment on Karma's behalf they may give them an SCL increase. Additionally, if they appeared good on camera, saving the lives of those under their protection, it is likely that they will get a credit bonus from 3en (or one of the other media teams) for their actions. One-on-one combat against a Shock Wave would probably do it, especially if they were protecting a person who was injured moments before by the 214. Other than that payment is as specified, although I don't think they'll be able to rely on any Shiver assistance in the area for a long time...