Author Topic: 01- The Briefing  (Read 21144 times)

Dom

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01- The Briefing
« on: February 08, 2011, 07:57:31 AM »
Noctis-Qianjiao, Mars
18:31 (AMT-8)
August 26th - AF 10


As the sun begins its descent towards the red horizon, a cool breeze snakes its way through the Noctis Labyrinthus canyon, one of the first signals of the incoming night and the freezing temperature it brings. At the bottom of the canyon, ice crystals begin forming along the shore of River Noctis and the water stream starts to slow down. At the northern and southern banks of the river two large city domes dominate the landscape, while several smaller domes and souks sprawl around the remaining areas. Along the canyon ridges come the blinding lights of the mirror arrays pointing the last sunrays of the day at the city domes before the sun sets completely.

The city itself never sleeps, but changes at the turn of the night. In the domes and souks there is a flurry of movement as the normal working shifts end and the city opens the areas of entertainment and vice for the incoming clientele. The Cut and the various skyways of the city become streams of light as aircraft and Maglev trains return to the city. The Night Train snakes around the lesser domes, moving along the Noctis Tram system.

Interlaying the city is the network that connects every facet of living, the Mesh. Information, entertainment, socialization and pornography is brought at the reach of all. But behind this flashy exterior there are shadier groups moving through this network- hundreds of illegal conversations and operations at a single time. One in particular is taking place at this moment, one which is of utmost importance to every resident of the city, though few are aware of it.

----------------------------------

Connecting to network (i-XXXXXXXXXX)
Account verification successful
Passcode verification successful
Mesh ID verification successful
Ego ID verification successful

Entering Simulspace environment (ID UNKNOWN: ENCRYPTED)
Simulspace Time Dilation: x0.04


A loud roar greets you when you enter the Simulspace environment. The first thing you see is a waterfall moving a large quantity of water, vapor and foam creating a thick and mysterious fog. You are standing inside a large hut on top of a hill to the right of the waterfall which provides a beautiful view of the stream. Through the fog kicked up by the waterfall you can see jungle stretching out as far as the eye can see. Some exotic bird chirps can be heard, most are drowned out by the powerful roar of the waterfall. The air is humid but not uncomfortably so and smells fresh, with the subtle tinge of wet soil.

The hut has a straw roofing and polished ceramic flooring. Four tasteful white leather sofas are arranged in a square around a mahogany coffee table. A woman, or at least a woman avatar, sits on one of the sofas. She is about mid 30's, of Asian descent and with well-kept black hair pulled back in a tidy bun. She wears a professional yet fashionable orange outfit with an animated golden dragon, most likely the latest in Noctis-Qianjiao's fashion industry.

She smiles and as she does so the waterfall lowers the volume to a pleasant hum. "Ni hao, Sentinels," she says, "I am glad to see you have arrived on time. We shall begin the briefing now. Please, have a seat." She gestures towards the sofas around the table. "You may call me Lien."

"As you may know, I have been assigned as your Proxy for this mission. I will serve as the link between Firewall and you. I will also answer any questions I can regarding the mission as you have my full collaboration. Do you have anything you wish to ask regarding Reb Riveira's disappearance?"

Robot Master

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Re: 01- The Briefing
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2011, 09:11:28 AM »
Jaycob "Oriole" Dharuna stepped quietly towards one of the sofas. His form, even in the Simulspace environment, was clad in a series of white and muddy-red leathers and nanoweave fibers, and some of them looked expensive enough to suggest that he too partook in the Martian habitat's fashion trend. He looked just "middle class" enough to afford the expensive Martian-red Hijardins friction/zero G boots on his feet and the long, concealing coat he wore on his back. He would blend into the masses of Noctis-Qianjiao perfectly.

Tightening the leather gloves over his fingers as the tail of his long coat swished against the floor of the hut, he lowered himself into onto one of the sofas.

"Namaste, Lien, you may call me Oriole." Jaycob replied, pressing his hands together with a slight bow of his head. It was a traditional greeting from the culture that bore him. The slight smile that curled at the edge of his mouth seemed friendly enough despite its practiced appearance. It caused the slight bit of chin scruff that he'd stylishly decided to leave unshaven to lift with the gesture. "What is Reveira's last known location, and the location of his habitat?"

[Ripley...would you please take notes for us, but do not record faces or identities that could implicate others if we are caught?]
« Last Edit: February 08, 2011, 09:32:04 AM by Robot Master »
Thanos: "I am going to sacrifice the Earth to gain the love of Death"
Me: (slowly raise eyebrow) "Destroy the Earth? That would be...illogical"
Vortex: "Yes...that...would be...highly...illogical."
Thanos: "Your Star Trek references bore me."

Moondog

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Re: 01- The Briefing
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2011, 10:56:52 AM »
A simple man with equally simple tastes, and no real inclination to fiddle around with simul-settings and 'avatar appearances' or whatever they call it, Ace looks 'bout the same here as he will elsewhere. A rust colored ('Oxidized Red, the TRUE Color of Mars!', so the ad campaign went) business-like jacket, white shirt and brown tie, complete with matching slacks and dress shoes. Altogether, a boring, but 'down to Earth' wardrobe that says 'I can get the job done' and little else.

Upon being greeted, he smiles and nods respectfully, replying "Ni hao, Lien. Name's Ace, pleased to be working with you." Without skipping a beat, he extends an open hand for shaking. If taken, his grip is firm without being crushing.

Pleasantries exchanged, he takes a seat on the sofa across from the bird-named fellow, and crosses his legs at the knees, the right slung over the left. Leaning forward to listen, he remains quiet. Oriole's already asked what he was about to, and as his father always said, 'Shut up and listen'.
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csr556

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Re: 01- The Briefing
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2011, 06:00:52 PM »
Into the hut strides an athletic looking man wearing an simple, plain business suit.  Something a mid level hypercorper might wear.  One can easily tell that fashion is not at the fore-front of his mind, but looking proper, at least in his mind, is.  He wears yellow shooting glasses, has brown, short cropped hair, the beginnings of a goatee, and scars around the knuckles of his hands. 

He takes a quick glance around the room, bows to the host, "Ni hao, Lien", nods to the others in the room, "Ni hao, I'm Reaver."

He then takes a seat on an abandoned sofa.  After the dialogue has started, he waits for an answer to Oriole's question.  After a sufficient amount of time, he asks "Any known associates or enemies?"

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Re: 01- The Briefing
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2011, 07:33:18 PM »
Alex strolls in.  His appearance is that of which he more readily identifies with, a mid to late 20s, decently attractive, but average looking man.  He's dressed in somewhat nice clothing, but clearly favoring comfort over style.  He makes his way over to the couches and half sits, half slumps into one.  He nods at Lien, "Hey," he says, turning to extend the same greeting to the others.

Robot Master

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Re: 01- The Briefing
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2011, 08:58:09 PM »
Glancing around, Oriole traces his vision over each face that is making itself present. Recognizing their faces, he turns to the attention of Alex's greeting. Again, his lip tugs into a well practiced smile that appears far more fake than it is creepy. It's the corporate smile.

"Hello as well." Oriole replies with his English accent, lifting his right hand in a light, informal wave that reaches upwards towards his brow. He turns his head, nodding to the rest of the room with a slight shake of his waving hand before returning it to rest against his knee.
Thanos: "I am going to sacrifice the Earth to gain the love of Death"
Me: (slowly raise eyebrow) "Destroy the Earth? That would be...illogical"
Vortex: "Yes...that...would be...highly...illogical."
Thanos: "Your Star Trek references bore me."

DancingWarPanda

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Re: 01- The Briefing
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2011, 10:07:22 PM »
Khalil materializes in the hut with his favored Avatar. The humanoid figure is made of mercury with no discernible features. His suit, while the outlines of details are present, is black as the void and has visible pricks of starlight moving over it. “Greetings mam” Khalil turns to the others and nods to each of them “gentlemen.”

He can’t remember the last mission he was on with any of them but they are familiar faces. “I hope no one has had to be restored from backup lately” the humor can be heard in his voice but the silver skin of his avatar shows no detail. Khalil bows to the Proxie and finds a corner to stand in while waiting for the briefing to continue. “Don’t let my tardiness interrupt the proceedings, please continue.” With that last statement he listens intently to what will be said.

Dom

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Re: 01- The Briefing
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2011, 11:48:35 AM »
Ripley appears on Jaycob’s entoptics for just a second. “No problem,” she says with a quick smile, before disappearing again.

Lien gives a slight nod to greet Khalil before answering Jaycob’s question.

“Riveira’s last transmitted message was tracked down to his apartment, which is located in Pembroke Gardens, Noctis City.  It is not the best area to live in but apparently the operations of the Tharsis Terraforming Office have shifted to other areas. This might have affected his salary in some way. ”

She looks at Jaycob for a second before continuing.

“But, there is a discrepancy.  At the time the message was sent he should have still been in the TTO offices in the Tito neighborhood. A small investigation on this revealed that he had indeed gone to work that day, but had excused himself later that day. From what we were able to gather, he said he had a ‘pressing appointment with someone.’ The real reason is, I’m afraid, something you will have to look into.”

Lien then responds to Dmitri’s question.

“Riveira was known to have a few friends with the TTO and the ecologists. However, it seems like he had an alter-ego called Shango which he used to deal with various Barsoomian groups. What these dealings were about, we do not know.”

Over the mahogany coffee table, a hologram appears with three profiles. The first shows Riveira’s profile, with a C-Rep of 41 and an E-Rep of 26. Underneath it, a profile for “Shango”, with an @-Rep of 53. The third profile is that of “Jakuta”, with an I-Rep of 58.

“Regarding any enemies, there are none that we are aware of.”
« Last Edit: February 18, 2011, 01:08:37 PM by Dom »

DancingWarPanda

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Re: 01- The Briefing
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2011, 02:23:25 PM »
A ripple across the avatars face seem to be something akin to Khalil raising one eyebrow. "What about family? Friends? This guy must have had some human interaction. Any places he frequented? We're going to need every clue we can get." 

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Re: 01- The Briefing
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2011, 02:32:39 PM »
Ace nods as he listens in, doing his best to soak in details. 'Course, a good detective knows to take notes.

"Joe. Jot this down for me, will ya? Riviera lived in a less than great area, possibly forced by shifting office environment hitting payroll. Possible grudge against employers. Went to work, but left early, claiming appointment - current reason unknown. Friends with ecologists and TTO. Possible barsoomian connection. Look into Ecologist angle, my friends should be able to help with that. No known enemies. Key words: Shango, Anarchist. Oh, and remind me to wash my socks when I get home. Thanks. "  Good 'ol silent mental communication. The world would be so inconvenient without it.

Still content to listen rather than question, Ace takes a moment to look around.

Reaver, Oriole, Zeeb, Friction. He hasn't really gotten the chance to get a read off 'em yet, but on the past mission(s), they all performed as they should. No complaints there, but. . .

Something about Oriole just rubs him the wrong way. That fake, corporate smile. Like a doll's smile, all appearances but with no soul behind it.  No need to sour a new meeting with a fresh proxy by frowning at appearances, though.

"Barsoomian connection, unknown quantity via alter ego, huh? Sounds like the best starting point."  He says, stroking a hand across his chin thoughtfully.
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Mckma

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Re: 01- The Briefing
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2011, 03:50:18 PM »
"So just to clarify, you want us to find this guy?  Just want to make sure it's clear what's required."  Alex pauses, then quietly checks with Richard to make sure the original message didn't specify as he only skimmed it previously...

csr556

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Re: 01- The Briefing
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2011, 04:18:53 PM »
Jeeves, check into Pembroke Gardens for me.  Also, check into our contacts with the Barsoomians.  We may have to ask some questions.

"Lien, do you have an address for the apartment?"

Robot Master

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Re: 01- The Briefing
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2011, 08:39:13 PM »
The fake, practiced smile again crosses over Oriole's lips as he watches Lien. There is no explanation for it, at least none that is explainable to the others.

[Ripley: Thank you, you are always very kind to help me. I think that with my r-Rep score we may be able to find a way into TTO's labs. Do we know any former Trigo Nanoproducts employees that terminated their employment to seek opportunities with Tharsis Terraforming?]

Only a millisecond has passed. The smile fades.

"Barsoomians are known for their desire for an independent Mars, and many terraforming operations have been met with distaste by Martian nationalists and the ecologists in the n-blogs and editorial feeds." Oriole says flatly, glancing across their collective faces before stopping to view Ace. "I agree with Ace. The Barsoomian connection may provide us with information and any confidants. His TTO employee identity and his ecologist identity are diametrically opposed. This could have placed him in danger. His contacts with the Barsoomians may be able to provide key information." He then turns his general attention towards Lien as he continues speaking. "I may have the ability to access the TTO lab site, but security is likely to be high. Do you have a datafile or any of his credentials so that I may examine them?"

Oriole's eyes lower to the space between the couches and his mouth flattens slightly. It is the image of a hardened face, prepared for an extended period of silence so that Lien may answer the other Sentinels' questions.

« Last Edit: February 09, 2011, 08:43:39 PM by Robot Master »
Thanos: "I am going to sacrifice the Earth to gain the love of Death"
Me: (slowly raise eyebrow) "Destroy the Earth? That would be...illogical"
Vortex: "Yes...that...would be...highly...illogical."
Thanos: "Your Star Trek references bore me."

Dom

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Re: 01- The Briefing
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2011, 10:18:31 AM »
The holographic interface over the coffee table disappears. At the same time, blue tea cups adorned with golden designs materialize on the coffee table filled with hot green tea, one for each person. On the table there is also a cigarette tin labeled "Camel Rare". Lien leans forward and takes one of the cups before answering Zeeb’s question first.

“That is correct, your mission is to find him. If this is not possible, then you will need to find out what the information he had was.”
 “Reb Riveira was a Fall evacuee. He used to work with a small ecologist branch based in Brazil, working to stabilize the Amazon rainforest… or what was left of it after the severe climate changes in Pre-Fall Earth. After the evacuation he was able to get a job on Mars with the TTO. He still has several contacts with the ecologists as he was well-known within those circles, but that was ten years ago and we all know how memories are so short-lived nowadays. His e-rep still stands but it has been in constant decline. He has occasionally pacified ecologist groups with regards to TTO activities, but even that seems to strain his rep even more.”

She gracefully takes a sip from the cup.

“Of his family, he was married but never had children. He and his wife were both candidates for evacuation, but they were assigned to different ships. Reb Riveira’s made it out fine, but his wife…”

Lien shakes her head sadly.

“Her ship was destroyed as it was undocking from the launch pad. There were no survivors. “

“This is only a guess, but that may be one of the reasons Riveira joined Firewall. I never knew him personally but he was one of the most focused members I knew when it came to researching information on TITAN technology. I would not take his warning to Firewall regarding TITAN activity lightly. He knows more about this than many of us, and he is not one to exaggerate.”

“I will send the addresses of his home and office to your muses, as well as his credentials. It is true that security inside the TTO offices is severe, but I trust that you will be able to find a way inside. Firewall expects sentinels to be able to function without our direct help. The less Firewall has to interfere directly, the better.”

« Last Edit: February 18, 2011, 01:08:16 PM by Dom »

DancingWarPanda

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Re: 01- The Briefing
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2011, 12:11:46 PM »
Khalil strokes his chin as he thinks. No family left, no friends of any worth, the targets life was pretty lonely by most standards. Didn’t seem to frequent any bars or establishments outside of work. This may be harder than expected. He turns to his temporary teammates and speaks. “Looks like the only places to search for information would be Rebs office and his residence. I say we split up. A couple of us go to the office and the others check out his home. It would speed up the process and right now speed is what we need, before the trail gets too cold.”
   
[Coza send my new contact info to everyone]

[A please would be appreciated]

[So would you doing your job]

[You’re such a beam of sunshine, what would I do without you]

Khalil ignores the sarcasm while waiting for the input of the others. While he wasn’t the biggest fan of working on a team it had its advantages. Mainly the skills brought to the table that he himself lacked. Perhaps, he thought to himself, he would look into forming a more permanent arrangement with the others, perhaps he would also became a TITAN apologist. There was an equal chance for both.