#41 [url]

Jun 17 12 10:23 PM

A moment of mild curiousity crosses Shyla's mind when her peek comes back with no trace. However, she has learnt that some things are best left unexplained.

With barely perceptible movements and a sub-vocal microphone, Shyla's peek is sent into a flurry of activity. Several strands of her long black hair pulse with a dark blue light at the wireless connection, though admittedly there are more now for show that function. Her peek, recently embedded in her intracranial space, receives her instructions. They flash up over her AR lens, the lights of the words mixing with the lights of the cityscape.

ACTIVATE SASSI*

LIST LOCUS
SHOCK

SPECIFY UMBRA
1KM

*Synoptic Arcology Surveillance System Interface - designed to provide a broad survelliance web via soft targets like public surveillance, social network recordings, municpal communications etc.

The words fall away like pretty drops of rain into puddles of muddied images of Shock's surrounding area. Her peek filters the vast tide of information she receives. What people allow to travel into the ether of the I-Way these days staggers her. They stand like soapboxers shouting everything from who they are, where they are going and what they ate for dinner last Tuesday. Their LAI's fill in any holes. Where a person lacks self awareness or a will to resist, the LAI even creates personal details, changing who they are from who they appear to be.

'Just like Schrodinger's Cat' she thinks to herself.

Shyla is jolted out of the thought at the sight from her feeds that she has unholstered her sidearm as a matter of reflex. The tactile sensation of the gun in her hand had taken a split second longer for her to register than the image of it being there. Just a split second; but it may as well as been a massive gulf.

'What happens when real life becomes too slow; secondary to another world we experience? Does it lose reality?'

She keeps her sidearm out but close to her side, hiding it from any casual inspection.

Shyla Moran, TechOp
Damage: None (50 Vitality)
Drama Points: 8
Dice Rolls: Here

Quote    Reply   
avatar

Alexb83

The Crawling Chaos

Posts: 1,954

#42 [url]

Jun 18 12 7:23 PM

Veritas

A cloud tracks across the simulated sun on the inner surface of the geodesic dome high above, the shadow coasting past coincides with the arrival of the next mag-lev train.

It hisses to a halt, and the doors open. Inside is a press of people, but they conspicuously make space as you and Agent Henderson step onboard. You can distinctly make out their muttering as the doors swish closed and you whisk off over the river towards your destination; FSB headquarters at the old Scotland Yard. It's barely ten minutes away.

Shock

You make steady progress towards home; aside from the sound of a teenager voiding their stomach and the derisive laughter of their friends, the only sound that assails your ears is that of your own footfalls. One of them starts streaming a video of the whole thing; for a moment, you catch a glimpse of yourself in the frame. Friends are already posting comments.

About a dozen steps from your driveway, the resident LAI flags up that Robert's account is logged on, and his personal files are being worked on. Meanwhile, the surveillance system relates all pertinent information it can: People are clustered in the local residences, some sleeping, others eating their breakfasts or getting ready for work. One trio of co-eds are broadcasting their sexual antics on webcam, to enthusiastic reception from a continent away. Light foot traffic moves here and there through surveillance feeds of the streets. Nothing and noone seems to be following you. Such is the cloud of information that forms over any modern urban neighborhood.

Clutching your gun with the one hand, you push open your front door with the other. It opens onto a traditional terraced house that has nonetheless been internally refurbished. A ground-level hallway extends towards a kitchen and dining room. To the left, a large lounge. Stairs up and down to the right. Lights activate according to your pre-programmed preferences. The kitchen informs you of the groceries you're short of, and awaits confirmation on the order to replace them.

Quote    Reply   

#43 [url]

Jun 19 12 4:02 AM

Still feeling a little jittery from the scare on the way home, Shyla breathes a sigh of relief at being home. Robert's registered presence makes her smile inwardly as she places her sidearm back into its holster.

As is customary, she begins to dump all her files from the day into her secure storage unit at her house. Most of it is immediately uploaded back into her peek as soon as its filtered through the complex maze of preferences that she neurotically tweaks on a continuous basis. At the same time, she throws up a screen around her network, being careful not to disrupt Robert's work, to avoid any unwanted intrusion during this sensitive intercisson.

The LAI responds to her fading nervousness by automatically displaying on her AR lens new pictures in the empty frames to help her soothe and relax. It even uses an advanced app to stimulate her olfactory senses to replicate familiar smells that she subconsciously associates with home.

In stark contrast to the intangible electronic activity, Shyla sloughs off her jacket heavily onto the floor. Her shoulders ache at the act. She ignores the pain (and her peek's recommendation of pain killers) begrudging herself her tension and past injuries.

"Robert," she calls petulantly. "You better have a beer handy. And dinner."

Shyla Moran, TechOp
Damage: None (50 Vitality)
Drama Points: 8
Dice Rolls: Here

Quote    Reply   
avatar

Alexb83

The Crawling Chaos

Posts: 1,954

#44 [url]

Jun 19 12 8:13 AM

Shock

You hear a muted acknowledgement from upstairs. In the frame of the door to the study, a shadow moves in the nimbus of Robert's HIU displays. You see him peering out, and down, eyes glinting in the artificial light.

Suddenly your SASSI programme flashes a silent alert - figures on foot converging on your residence. It first displays a streaking figure running up the garden path, before you hear something collide bodily with the front door.

Another loud collision, and the hinges and doorframe begin to splinter and sag inward. As the intrusion alarms begin to sound, you see Robert move to the top of the stairs in your peripheral vision.

Carla

You catch sight of Surata looming in the doorway to the recovery room, looking in; presently, he departs leaving a stubbed out cigarello smoking in an ashtray outside. Sid continues to breathe routinely, with the assistance of the machines surrounding him. A few more minutes pass before the armed guards you ordered arrive. One knocks, enters, and reports for duty in a voice mechanically filtered through his armoured helmet.

No sooner do you turn to acknowledge him than your peek begins to flag up alarm reports; some sort of criminal disturbance at the residence of one of your assigned agents, Shyla Moran.

Quote    Reply   

#45 [url]

Jun 19 12 9:57 PM

Veritas entered the FSB offices, consenting to searches of his person and weapons and a final optical scanner. He replaced his gear and waited for Agent Henderson.

He nodded to a few fellow agents as they walked through the halls. While not a social butterfly, enough goodwill to be brought free bagels didn't hurt.

Once they approached the secure terminals, he deferred to the junior but more readied agent.

And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.

But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;
-Khalil Gilbran

Quote    Reply   

#46 [url]

Jun 19 12 10:10 PM

Shyla jumps at the sound of the front door beginning to cave in under the assault. She forgoes sending a call for help to the OIS, knowing that her house system and peek would already have done so.

"Run!" she cries desperately up the stairs at Robert, knowing deep down that it will do him little good.

She pushes the largest piece of furniture in the hallway, a wooden cabinet bought by Robert, in front of the door. As if in slow motion, she watches the photos of her and Robert fall from the cabinet to the ground and shatter.

In the same motion, she spins around pulling out her sidearm for a second time this night, aiming it at the door and backing up towards the stairs.

Shyla Moran, TechOp
Damage: None (50 Vitality)
Drama Points: 8
Dice Rolls: Here

Quote    Reply   
avatar

Alexb83

The Crawling Chaos

Posts: 1,954

#47 [url]

Jun 21 12 11:37 AM

Shyla

There's a loud crash as you throw the dresser over, but the noise is eclipsed by the ear-wrenching sound of splintering wood. The front door is now split down the middle, and a huge arm as wide at the wrist as you are at the waist savagely flails and gropes through the gap.

The skin is mottled green and brown, with the pallor and texture of rotting meat and palbably stinks like week-old carrion; the massive, claw tipped fingers begin to slash at your upended cabinet, trying to force the blockage.

Meanwhile, your HIU eyepiece registers a second figure moving up behind the monstrosity currently forcing the door.

Veritas

Ten minutes on the tube, and a relatively short walk - you pass all of the security clearances and find yourself and Henderson in the computer lab adjacent to the bullpen of FSB agents working their own respective cases.

Henderson logs in to the secure terminal, and begins to bring up case information on a substantial panel display, all overlaid on a three-dimensional map/schematic of the dome.

"We count seventy-nine confirmed or suspected Nazaddi homicides over the past month; twelve of those were in a bombing at the cultural centre in the City of Westminster district."
A frown creases her face as she proceeds to overlay further information; "Two cases of familial murder-suicide; one a wife killing her husband and herself, another a father killing his wife and two children."She continues: "Ex-NEG military, he was undergoing counselling for AWS."

She continues overlaying the various deaths and their locations; crime-scene photographs circling over the sporadic locations and gradually painting a picture of carnage over London. Some young, some old, some knifed, some shot, some poisoned.

Quote    Reply   

#48 [url]

Jun 21 12 8:59 PM

Veritas quietly brought up his preliminary profile, and slotted in the new information in rising Holographic screens. He placed them for high visibility, with areas of connection in indigo.

Areas of his profile indicating 'cultural' infighting over a large international Index were glowing.

"Blood Brigade is the predictable target. I see an in-group schism though. All the Nazzadi first generation and second generation are vat warriors with military orders. Some taboo has been crossed. One strong enough to bring retirees back into action against a strong 'essentialism' based racial loyalty, that would be it's own taboo to break. Even young Nazzadi are getting in on the action, and they would have missed out on the vat training."

Veritas reached out, as if to touch the two screens describing 'Serial Killer Group Methodology' and 'Nazzadi Wife Kills Husband in Unknown Feud'.

"No uniformity of weapons. No trophy display. No rumors or urban legends, so organization is happening mouth to mouth behind closed doors. Hiding something this big is difficult. Irregularity prevents this taboo from sparking a civil war. If any Nazzadi who heard about this goes ballistic, even young ones, the transgression must be pretty bad--meaning only a few have heard about the crime from our low numbers, or only a few would consider becoming transgressors at risk to themselves."

Veritas linked the numbers of the kills and cleared the rest of the screens.

"Clusters of kills are occurring as frequently as solo, spontaneous action. So the transgressors are talking to each other and hanging out in groups on occasions."

He restored the screens to Henderson's original formation, and looked meaningfully at the HUD depicting a young Nazzadi girl going for a passion killing.

"I want to study more Nazzadi Cultural Taboos before we interview witnesses. What's your read on this?"

And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.

But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;
-Khalil Gilbran

Quote    Reply   
avatar

Eudorus

Avatar of the Unformed

Posts: 921

#49 [url]

Jun 22 12 4:15 AM

Carla sweeps out of the room and heads straight for the elevator, again retrieving her Peeq from it's stylish, unobtrusive pocket. Aggressive red warning icons flit across the screen, keys one of the symbols and wraps the assembly around her ear

"Agent Moran, respond immediately: I have an incident in progress at your home, are you safe?"

Quote    Reply   
avatar

Alexb83

The Crawling Chaos

Posts: 1,954

#50 [url]

Jun 22 12 8:45 AM

Veritas

"I'm not exactly the world's foremost expert on Nazzadi culture," Henderson admits, "But I know that as much as the government tries to downplay it, the loyalist/rebel schism is still there, and it's jumped the generation gap."

"The important thing to remember is that people are people no matter what colour their eyes are. Jealous wives kill husbands, unbalanced kids act out of passion. If there is a serial here, or more than one, I wouldn't expect for them to account for more than a quarter of these killings... not including the bomb."

"Migou honour killings normally adhere to a set archetype; Typically when the military work killteams on Migou loyalists, they keep it very clean and clinical." She taps the side of her head twice, "Two shots, no questions. On the other hand, it's 'rebels' you'll find with teeth pulled and their skin flayed off."

"There was a spate of those in Seattle that they pinned on a trio of old-timers working together; but there's only two cases here that remotely fit that description." She points out the cases on the board, middle-aged Nazaddi offed in a particularly grisly way; strung up by their bootheels, sans skin or clothes.

"On balance, the Blood Brigade are likeliest - several cells working in isolation, using distinct methods but with a uniform goal; take the bomber from Westminster. Probably a single skilled individual with military or civilian demolitions experience. Bombers tend to be highly idealistic, work alone. They pick high profile targets and pursue sustained campaigns until they're caught."

"A cell-based group has the advantage of sectional anonymity. But they'd need some discrete method of communication to co-ordinate their efforts."

Quote    Reply   

#51 [url]

Jun 22 12 10:05 AM

At seeing the arm, Shyla does the sensible thing. She exploits the opportunity to turn and race up the stairs. She looks for Robert in hope to drag him to the bedroom, barricade them in and grab her SMG.

Her view is suddenly coloured red by the incoming call. Her thick Irish brogue deepens her voice but does nothing to veil the fear in it.

"Fuck! Two intruders. Not human. Fuck! Hurry!"

At the same time, she attaches the feeds from her home's security system to the transmission.

Shyla Moran, TechOp
Damage: None (50 Vitality)
Drama Points: 8
Dice Rolls: Here

Quote    Reply   
avatar

Alexb83

The Crawling Chaos

Posts: 1,954

#52 [url]

Jun 22 12 11:30 AM

Shyla

You mount the first few stairs, and are rapidly forced to re-evaluate your situation. First, with an ungodly bellow the huge dead-ape arm is pulled suddenly back out through the door. Through the gap in the splintered wood you can hear and see flashes of blows being exchanged; slick blood and shining claws in the streetlights. By the sounds of it, the zombie gorilla isn't coming off too well.

Second, looking up towards Robert, you suddenly aren't quite sure if you are looking at Robert. What wasn't noticeable until now, now that you're closer and under the clear light of the hallway, is that his skin is just a shade too sallow. His eyes are ever too slightly close together, dead and apathetic, and he's about two inches shorter than you remember.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

Eudorus

Avatar of the Unformed

Posts: 921

#53 [url]

Jun 22 12 5:19 PM

"Retreat to safety if you can, SPATS is en route"Carla hangs up and immediately keys another connection, this one is a conferance call to Aederyn in the P-suit hangar and to her assistant Andrew back at the London field office The ride down to the car park in the elevator is interminable, as is the wait for her subordinates to connect. She keys the icons to flag the call as a scarlet priority communication and simply has to breath deeply to remain calm.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

Alexb83

The Crawling Chaos

Posts: 1,954

#54 [url]

Jun 23 12 9:34 AM

Carla

The alert SPAT team is quick to respond; they report an ETA of two minutes on the scene; Andrew, meanwhile, inquires what other support you will require.

From the clinic to Shyla's residence in Whitechapel, over the river, is about four minutes as the A-POD car flies.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

Eudorus

Avatar of the Unformed

Posts: 921

#55 [url]

Jun 23 12 3:00 PM

"Yes Andrew it looks like a full on metaterrestrial incident, have metro-pd clear traffic meet me en route for an escort. I need to be there ASAP and I don't want to get caught in traffic. Notify FSB too, we don't want them thinking we're playing on their turf. Find out who's jurisdition it is and have them throw a ten block containment perimeter, we can't afford followups or breakouts."

By the time she was done she was reaching for the handle of her sleek Eurowagon. She could have gotten a driver, actually that would have been a good idea since she was only an average stick but sometimes with clear roads all you need is a hefty engine. She set out for Shyla's as fast as she could.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

Alexb83

The Crawling Chaos

Posts: 1,954

#56 [url]

Jun 23 12 7:48 PM

Carla

"Volontiers, ma'am, d'accord." Andrew agrees, in his french-english patois. Presently your peek begins informing you of the progress of the SPAT team, and the hastily-assembled police cordon being thrown up.
A hovership with two Crusaders is en-route to Shyla's, but the local plod are somewhat slower to react.

Once airborne, you find the morning traffic light - but even at full speed, the distance doesn't close as quickly as you might like.

Shock

Suddenly at your back, the air begins to fill with a cold, fetid mist. It spills through the rent in the door, and extends no more than a meter in, nearly to the foot of the stairs on which you are standing.

Through the mist, you hear a gurgling roar - itself a terrifying mix of rage and frustration - then, thrashing limbs, and blunt impacts. A piteous mewling, shreiking sound - that stops abruptly, and the huge shape of the undead primate tries one last time to force its way through the gap in the door - its massive arm reaching through more out of seemingly desperate need to escape something unseen on the other side of the door than a desire to reach you. The huge, muscled mass flails about - and there is a terrible death-rattle sound, before you see the arm shrink, and shrivel up into something distinctly smaller, human, and feminine. The hands have long, slender fingers - their untrimmed nails broken and filthy, whilst the whole thing is slick with blood.

Of more concern, perhaps, is the way in which the facsimile of Robert at the top of the stairs has begun, shuddering, sighing and (for lack of a better word) to melt. Clothes, skin, bone - all begin to run and bubble, like heated wax. Before long, all but the faintest resemblance of the man you've lived with for the past year is gone, and only a putrid, protean mass of flesh remains - and beings oozing its way down the steps towards you; not a pool of liquid, but an undulating form that creeps up the wall and rail on either side, driven by some unimaginable and doubtless malign intelligence.

Quote    Reply   

#57 [url]

Jun 23 12 9:00 PM

Veritas mused silently.

"Strange. The facts will come out as we pursue. I hear Section Chief interest when you say 'Blood Brigade.' I agree they should be removed as suspects."

His fingers roamed the HUD screens.
"They want to obliterate the Nazzadi, not punish and trophy display them. The MPI rise couldn't just be accounted by a group so small. Doesn't matter though, I'll read up on this 'Loyalist' schism, and we'll bag a few Improvised Explosive fans."

And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.

But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;
-Khalil Gilbran

Quote    Reply   
avatar

Alexb83

The Crawling Chaos

Posts: 1,954

#58 [url]

Jun 23 12 9:44 PM

Veritas

"Well," Henderson purses her lips, "you're predicating that on the notion that the Blood Brigade is a small group. What if that's not the case? They may have been recruiting, had a change in leadership - or perhaps they've consolidated their efforts with another group?"

The notion does occur to you that as well as terror groups, there are other factions in the Aeon war that have a vested interest in persecuting the Nazzadi.

"What's clear, I think," Henderson observes, standing, "is that there's a mix here, and that's to be expected; crimes of passion, crimes of vengeance, crimes of terror... the challenge is winnowing out which are which, and finding the common threads."

She sighs, and goes to fetch some coffee. Whilst she is gone, you sit back, and review the case evidence on the display in front of you. It's through the curling smoke of another clove cigarette that catch a glimpse of a few facts of interest;

Two public killings of small groups of Nazzadi, gunned down by masked assailants in hit-and-runs, reportedly attacking in pairs; the locations are distinct, but linked by the fact that both are surveillance blind-spots in the older, shallow underground levels of the Arcology. You are aware that these blind spots are known, and registered by the law-enforcement community; a restricted access list is maintained to allow them to be gradually filled in.

Throughout, you note that the crime-scene photographs feature not dissimilar graffiti tags on nearby walls. Some sort of sign, or code perhaps?

Quote    Reply   
avatar

Eudorus

Avatar of the Unformed

Posts: 921

#59 [url]

Jun 24 12 4:12 AM

She was airborne by the time she got off the line with her assistant, leaving him with instructions to find out who the local district commander was in case she needed to chew him out later.

"Merci Andrew, Au'revoir"

Traffic was light but not entirely absent, Metro PD was obviously doing a good job there. there was enough to keep her from pushing the throttles hard against the floor so with only a moment's hesitation she flipped on the sirens and lights carefully concealed in the grill and flanks of the big Italian Coupe. She wasn't comfortable at this speed, too much could go wrong and there was always a risk of some idiot panicking in front of her. It also denied her the chance to keep up on her Peeq.
Still she remained calm as the indicator passed one hundred and fifty miles per hour and she had to maneuver to undertake some sort of four door wagon that seemed to be proceeding in total ignorance of the blazing blue lights. Almost of it's own volition the Vendicatore slid smoothly into the middle lane, disengaged the electronic limiter and pushed the throttle hard to it's stop.
Part of her wished for the thundering of an up front V8 like in the old movies but the quiet, efficient power of the A-Pods swept her along, past the four door roadbock in just a few seconds. In a few moment's she'd have to slow down and maneuver in much narrower streets so she made the most of the speed while she could.

Quote    Reply   

#60 [url]

Jun 24 12 9:05 PM

Shyla points her gun at the Robert shaped thing as it slithers toward her. She calls up her peek to use her AR lens to block out parts of her vision that remind her of the one she loves. But the image has already burned beyond her sight and into her brain. She can't shoot.

Her mind now racing, she does the only other thing she can think of. She closes her eyes and runs up the stairs at the thing descending towards her, in a desperate attempt to get past it.

Shyla Moran, TechOp
Damage: None (50 Vitality)
Drama Points: 8
Dice Rolls: Here

Quote    Reply   
Add Reply

Quick Reply

bbcode help