Darkness Revealed

"The Depths of Madness" Summary

Available Team members

Janusz Starek
Juan Brimley
Mel Ferrera
Revolution Flynn
Volke Subrick
William Jones

LOG

After the somewhat ill-planned detention of Dr Polidori half the team were in prison, one other was guarding a somewhat politically sensitive enhanced psion corpse and the remainder were in hospital. Team Aleph’s first case was going well.

While Gunso Jones amused himself in hospital in unguessable ways Seaman Ferrera decided to comprehensively psychically compromise Dr Lukas Polidori’s mind. Having no way to detect when he was asleep, and judging his protestations at having his memories involuntarily plundered would be ignored by the local police she proceeded to plumb the depths of his brain for details of his involvement with the ongoing problems. Among other details, Ferrera learned that Polidori’s next port of call would on Boltzmann Cylinder at the Earth-Moon L1 point, in particular at the company town Guidelight, the headquarters of telecommunications firm Linma Telcom.

Less than a day after his incarceration a trio of figures came and removed Juan Brimley from prison, for unknown reasons. Due to one of the spectacular failures of intra-team communication that this team will no doubt become famous for, no one apart from Mel noticed for several days.

Meanwhile at a nearby Aeon safehouse Janusz Starek and a Triton Division investigation team where taking the body of the deceased Dr Ross to pieces, in an effort to find out the origins and functions of his implants. Demonstrating truly startling scientific knowledge and understanding Janusz Starek actually succeeded in making a contribution to this highly technical endeavour. In implants where comprised of a mixture of human and Aberrant nerve tissue within a heavily modified biomatrix. The Triton team worked fast, and prepared to destroy the body as fast a possible. Something about not wanting to trigger a purge of another Psi order.

Revolution, in between painting, decided that as the only team member free, active and undistracted (not to mention the lens of Gnostic reality) it was up to him to attempt to solve the problem represented by the fact that Dr Polidori was, legally speaking, being imprisoned for being assaulted. He thus contacted Ramirez and instructed him to start preparing the legalities for getting the team and the good doctor to be released. In cooperation with Operative Subrick (who Mr Flynn had persuaded to help by canceling his enhanced medical coverage) they evolved a plan consisting of: 1) Release Polidori 2) Use some of the more unsavory elements of Lunar society to kidnap him and imprison him in a warehouse. This plan somewhat fell apart when the thugs in question became aware that at no point would Polidori actually be venturing out of the well guarded and well policed upper town. As the dynamic duo also had no idea no idea of Polidori’s eventual route their plan also seemed to involve kidnapping him from the one building he was sure to exit at some point – the police station.

Consulting with Mr Starek a plan was eventually evolved where Mr Starek would use the rudimentary voice emulation capacities of HAL to attempt to convince Dr Polidori to go a specific area in Downside, by appearing to him as the Minerva avatar and directing him to his “retrieval squad”. Revolution Flynn secured a van, containing a crate (with limited ventilation) and set about securing a) a driver and b) fire support by arranging for the release of Ferrera and Jones from prison some three hours before the plan was due to be carried out.

The plan proceeded well. Dr Polidori appeared both panicked and completely taken in by Minerva’s apparent revelation that he was being followed and there was an extraction team waiting for him in Downside. Finding a van full of Team Aleph members he expressed a) resignation at Minerva’s far reaching influence and b) an expectation that he would shortly be killed. Deciding to avoid further conflict, and perhaps amused by the notion, Revolution Flynn played along and instructed him to climb into the box. After repeatedly protesting his importance to the Biorg Project, and receiving encouragement from Gunso Jones, the good doctor did so.

Back at the ship Flynn condescended to move his comfy chair from his cabin in order to provide secure accommodation for Dr Polidori. Gunso Jones expressed some incredulity at the fact that the Plato’s Cave was still not equipped with Vac suits, to which Mr Starek responded that he’d been busy, and had a spare in case of emergency. Considering there were six people on the ship at this point this didn’t seem to cut much ice with Mr Jones, who coldly requested some spares. Revolution Flynn promptly ordered five to be made ready at Boltzmann Cylinder.

At this point Jones raised an excellent point. Where exactly was Juan? As it turned out, Mel had seen him being taken away by a number of burly men in suits. Somewhat panicked by this, the team started speculating as to who had kidnapped their shifter. After discussion, the team decided that kick the matter upstairs, to Ramirez. He reminded the team that they had phones, and could just call him. The team did so, being informed that Juan was somewhat busy, and not to be disturbed.

After securing Polidori (and his cell) the team lifted off for the cylinder. After some debate it was decided that maintaining the pretense that Minerva was everywhere and running all things was pointless, as Polidori would realize in short order when he was questioned on the topic. Polidori was removed from his cell and brought to the galley for questioning, with Flynn acting as good cop, and Jones acting as bad psychopath. Janusz Starek, having been up for four days working on the enhanced psion corpse had taken some tranquilizers in order to get as much deep sleep as possible before arriving at the local station. He was less than pleased to be revived and brought to the mess to participate in the questioning.

Dr Polidori was able to clean up many of the ongoing questions the team had regarding the situation at Cantor station and the Beulac Clinic. Please see amended list of answered questions at the end of this report.

Polidori took some convincing that the team didn’t work for Minerva after all. Once this had been done, and after some assurance that he would not be executed out of hand, he became quite cooperative. Apparently the facility the team was heaving towards was the primary source of exotic raw material for the Beaulac clinic operation, which provided the needed Aberrant nerve tissue for their work. Linma Telcom apparently had two Aberrants, one of whom, “Nash”, provided the nerve tissue for Beaulac’s biorg experiments.

Once on station Mel’s agent informed the group at large that it had found something interesting. A slightly disturbing email (please see attachment below) containing instructions for how to slice up a number of people and preform some form of ritual to bond their spiritual energy into a single shell, making the person who dared more than a mere man and yada yada yada.

Mel’s Agent confirmed there had been a number of murders matching this pattern about six days ago, all within the holdings of Linma Telcom, an Orgotek spin-off company which handled most of the communication in and around the station.

The four members of the team who where not drugged and who had not been kidnapped/recalled by shapeshifters decided to investigate further by interviewing Mr Jacobus, chief of the Boltzmann Security Consortium. Jacobus was sceptical of the provenance of the letter, and whether or not there had actually ever been a translation of the chant attached. Back at the ship Janusz was engaged in a prolonged analysis session with the chain email, eventually concluding that it had a somewhat lower information content than black body photons – thus almost certainly not being a corrupted file as was speculated.

Jacobus was under the impression that the chain letter, the something of the Ancient Masters had been in circulation for at least the last two weeks, with it only coming to his attention some days after the murder.

Back in the cylinder the team decided to split up. Starek and Jones decided to infiltrate the local Aesculapian clinic, on the basis that if anything funny was going on it would entire possibly originate there. Meanwhile Ferrera and Subrick went about infiltrating the compound containing the communications company where the seven murders had occurred. Subrick walked up to the front door, in his personality of J. P. Lekota, and confusedly asked a) where he was and b) how he got there. The guards where somewhat confused that a minor celebrity who really should have been in Australia was talking to them, and allowed him access, presumably in fear that he do himself harm if otherwise. Ferrera turned up twenty minutes later, informing the guards that she was part of Lekota’s protection detail, and that Australian morale would suffer greatly if he was allowed to come to some form of harm. Naturally apathetic to a potential Australian morale crisis, the guard eventually allowed her access, presumably in the faint hope that she would deal with whatever emerging Lekota situation was now inevitably ongoing.

Revolution’s attempt to gain access to the compound by claiming to be J. P. Lekota’s stalker was looked on even less favourably.

Meanwhile in the hospital complex Janusz and Jones were greeted by an ebulliant and richly clothed vitakinetic by the name of Dr Victor Raskolnikovich Renko, who readmitted Jones for treatment (his injuries, remaining from the fight with Dr Ross being somewhat serious). Janusz meanwhile sourced a clip board and a sheet of paper and began exploring the hospital with a somewhat dazed expression on his face, eventually finding his way to the morgue. Here, after employing an Electrokinetic information manipulation power on the secretaries computer he was able to get close enough to one of the lab machines to download full copies of the autopsies of the apparent victims of the creator of the chain letter.

Meanwhile within Guidelight, J. P. Lekota was attempting to use undercover teleporter (or possibly Australian) bar based data retrieval techniques involving getting wasted and trying to score. Ferrera associated with a more working-class group in the same bar. Between them, they learned that there where some rumours floating round the place that the unfortunate eviscerations had been done with diamond edged weaponry. Furthermore, they established that the deaths had occurred in two tight clusters a few days ago, involving an apparently random selection of people including guards, research technicians, a refectory employee and a janitor. They also learned that the Ancient Master viral email had, in all probability, not existed before the murders.

Revolution Flynn, feeling bored and wandering round the interior of the cylinder decided to examine the weaves of fate for anything involving Aberrants. Somewhat to his delight he found a strong Gyre some distance away, in an experimental solar energy collection forest. Somewhat to his teammates eventual dismay he decided to peruse it on foot, and without backup.

Back at the clinic Jones and Janusz had finished being healed/being computationally helpful and had separately returned to the Plato’s Cave so that Janusz could analyze the autopsy reports. Around this time they where contacted by Flynn, who informed them unclearly and with some glee that he was pursuing an Aberant in the woods. This triggered some not inconsiderable panic, and Jones went for a) his guns and b) a commandered hoverbike. Being drained of Psi and sub-quantum interfaced with the Plato’s Cave Janusz decided that he could be most useful at or near police headquarters, and so headed there with a pair of binoculars to watch the developing situation from the other side of the cylinder.

Ferrera, on being informed that Rev was currently chasing an Aberrant through the woods departed the bar with some haste, after instructing J. P. Lekota to “stay here”. Lekota disobeyed roughly forty seconds later, slipping into the shadows.

On her way out of the compound Ferrera informed the gate guards that there was an ongoing Aberrant alert. The gate guards, justifiably deciding it was above their pay grade, began kicking it up the chain.

Jones hoverbiked to Flynns latest coordinates. Shortly afterwards he was joined by Ferrera and eventually Flynn as they converged on the coordinates. The four had their rendezvous perhaps 100m from the Gyre.

Meanwhile across the cylinder Janusz noticed what appeared to be a tilt rotor bearing down on their position, which started deploying combat troops. Naturally somewhat alarmed he contacted his teammates on the ground to inform them of the incoming situation.

The strike team identified as being an Orgotek Strike Team, with the appropriate codes. Having trust issues Janusz started trying to further confirm their credentials. When he was unable to do this he informed his teammates that all might not be as it seems, then started placing calls with Orgotek through the transmitters on his ship, thus bypassing the potentially compromised Linma Telcom comms arrays.

The leader of the strike team identified himself as Captain Clarke, here in response to the Aberrant alert. Noticing that they were not telling them the whole truth the team started pressing them for infofmation. Subrick identified a suspicious edge to their tone, and communicated this suspicion via Ferrera’s telepathic network. The strike team, on the pretence of forming a fire support cordon, fanned out for what could be a swift and somewhat bloody ambush. The team started forming a contingency plan over Ferrera’s network, which Flynn implemented by pointing in the direction of the Gyre and yelling “incoming”.

Ferrera meanwhile had arrived at the Gyre location, which can only be described as a scenic death pit. “Scenic Grotto” – WJ Containing a large and extremely heavily built Aberrant, which, on lamentably closer inspection, appeared to be almost entirely composed of smooth armour, with rending jaws and diamond claws. It attempted, in the ancient traditions of its people, to eat Ferrera’s face.

With the results of her reconnaissance chasing her through the forest Ferrera decided that backup was the better part of valor, and headed for her team, who was busy trying to kill/capture the ostensible Orgotech strike team, a project which was going rather well. By the time Ferrera returned to the scene with an Aberrant in tow all but one was unconscious or dead. The last had fled. Ferrera decided to solve this apparent problem by placing him between herself and the Aberrant, which proceeded to try and eat his face.

Subrick froze the Aberrant in place and the team proceeded to kill it over some time. Being composed of almost pure armour the thing proved highly resistant to almost all attacks. It was also capable of emitting a highly directional and quite nasty sonic pulse, which once again disabled Jones. Eventually the corpse was on fire, which was around the time that Starek notice another tilt rotor, outbound to a cargo pod launching facility. Flynn confirmed there was an Aberrant aboard. Fearing the potential flight of the team’s current people of interest, Patrice and Andromeda Willom, Starek made a few calls and subverted the normal command chain somewhat. Orgotek orbital fighters scrambled, arriving on station around seven minutes later.

Meanwhile station police where converging on Flynn, Subrick, Ferrera and the thoroughly unconscious Jones. The last surviving member of the Orgotek strike team had fled the scene, however Flynn had obtained a Psi print. The team decided now was a good time to storm the cargo launching facility, leaving the unconscious Jones in the care of the Aesculapian order.

At the facility they found that all records had been wiped beyond retrieval, and that the people of interest had departed the station with a person believed to be Nash. The acceleration profile of the pod had been altered so that it was survivable for human cargo. As luck would have it an external security camera took a still of their pod as it was leaving the facility. Due to the extreme velocity with which the pod exited the launcher the amount of retrievable data was minimal, just enough to pin the trajectory to somewhere in the orbit of Mars with an arrival time of almost a week away.

After storming the compound and finding that the data there had also been expertly destroyed the team conferred, and decided to take ship for Mars as soon as possible. With the continuous acceleration provided by actually having engines the intrepid heroes should arrive slightly before the projectile.

Shortly before departing Starek was contacted by one of his superiors at Orgotek. After further analysis it had been discovered that the team which ambushed the party were part of an elite black ops team called Option 8. Assuming the entire section is compromised there could be as many as 24 black ops trained Orgotek Electrokinetics running around the landscape.

Unanswered questions

1) Who is Nash? What are his powers? How was he restrained?
2)How compromised is Orgotek?
3)From the information gathered at Bealuac it seems that the experiments where underway for some considerable time. During this period how were the Aberrants aboard the cylinder not detected by a passing Psion? Was it merely good luck/good planning on the behalf of the conspirators, or do they have some means of shielding evidence of the Taint from passing Psions? We hope not the latter – WJ
4) We presume the Email of the Ancient Masters was a means of drawing attention away from the possibility of real Aberrant involvement. Was this the case?
5) Those dead guys. How did this occur? Were aberrant tentacles involved?

Comments

davidbartram

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.