Mothership - Titan

Smith

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"Any other ideas?" Finn asks.
"I'd like to dig through the AI core's drives, see if anything lines up with being used for the murders. Or worryingly, used to go to Earth to grab that soil?"
 

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"I'd like to dig through the AI core's drives, see if anything lines up with being used for the murders. Or worryingly, used to go to Earth to grab that soil?"
"Sounds good. It's going to take a while, so let's make that appointment with Coombs and we can sift through the data before and after."

OOC: How long will it take to get through that data? And can I arrange to have Coombs meet us in the lab? I assume it's currently shut down.
 

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OOC: How long will it take to get through that data? And can I arrange to have Coombs meet us in the lab? I assume it's currently shut down.
OOC: Neither of you are computer experts so about four or five hours. A meeting with Coombs can be arranged alright. I'll assume via email. The lab is shut down alright. I'll give a summary of the pre-lab trip data sifting and move you forward to the lab in the morning (IRL morning that is) if that is fine with you both.
 

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OOC: Sorry for the delay. A round of family visits!

Finn and Lassiter's equipment takes a while churning through the AI's memory cores. It becomes fairly clear early on that the AI has organised the memories conveniently for their analysis but it's still an enormous amount of data.

The first bunch of material is simply "fond memories" as it mentioned to Lassiter. It seems it was originally in charge of maintaining the thermal pools that housed Titan's native microbial life and also kept lighting, life support and various other helpful necessities running back in the days when the tunnels as opposed to the lake were mined. So there are a few decades of friendly chats with humans along the tunnels and the bases that used to dot them. Overall it seems the AI has developed a strong protective feeling toward the colony.

Next a few years of low level activity as the tunnels stopped being used and then finally activity with the cult when they repurposed it. The AI took a dim view of the cultists, labelling them irrational.

However the memories take a darker turn when Contos becomes involved.

Initially presenting the AI with obscure calculations to run and simply carting the answers back to her lab on a data stick, she eventually managed to plug the AI directly into one of the machines she had been working on. The teleporter.

The snapshots of video feeds show that Contos was clearly a woman obsessed with her work. Shouting at the cultists, staying up all night, shunning contact.

Eventually the feeds show her using clearly unwilling test subjects with the teleporter. Delaying reintegration for longer and longer. Virtually all the subjects come back deranged or terrified. Even worse in some cases the reintegration isn't complete and Finn and Lassiter are treated to horrific videos of people returning without skin or limbs.

Eventually when the process is controlled enough Contos begins testing on herself. One particular run has her vanish for a day and return. Oddly enough she becomes calmer and less obsessed after this. The AI did notice one "tick". Staring at everyday objects intently for long periods. One final video shows her meeting with Papadakis at the cult base to discuss getting access to the visitation site. He refuses.

The AI also included a note indicating that it was aware of a diary she kept on her experiments that it last traced to her quarters in the FTL facility.
 
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Séadna

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so let's make that appointment with Coombs and we can sift through the data before and after."
Coombs had agreed to meet with the pair inside the FTL facility where he has remained in his quarters. Taking the same train as last time after going through the AI data, they arrive at the tunnel entrance as before.

This time all of the lights are off and there are no guards outside. A heavy blast door closes off the back of the tunnel, but the access scanner to its right should respond to Finn and Lassiter's tablets.

OOC: This is basically what it looks like once more. Except now no lights and no people and a blast door sealing it at the back:
kevin-jick-snowy-facility-tunnel-final01.jpg
 

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Finn and Lassiter's equipment takes a while churning through the AI's memory cores.
OOC: Just making sure...is this the same as the data drives I recovered from the Visitation Site, or is it data that Lassiter recovered? Either way, super interesting.

Before heading to the appointment, Finn remarks to Lassiter, "Looks like Cantos is a bit off, to put it mildly. We can't trust her one bit, although the fact that she emphatically claimed teleportation was dangerous gives me a tiny bit of hope.

"Also, it looks like there were all kinds of agendas and possibly factions within the cult. I'm really wondering what ignited this insurgent faction that took over the cult. I get the sense they somehow intended to exploit the alien, but I'm still really in the dark here. Maybe we can find this journal and get some concrete answers. Who are the prime movers, and what are their plans?"

Upon arriving at the facility...

"No guards at all? This is getting ridiculous."

Finn sends a message to Administrator Koga. "There's absolutely no security at the lab...way too casual!"

Turning to Lassiter, Finn says, "Shall we let ourselves in?"
 

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OOC: Just making sure...is this the same as the data drives I recovered from the Visitation Site, or is it data that Lassiter recovered? Either way, super interesting.
OOC: Sorry, to be clear Lassiter's data. The drives you found will take until after the visit here

Finn sends a message to Administrator Koga. "There's absolutely no security at the lab...way too casual!"
She messages back.

"There should be guards inside. Several. However there should be two outside as well. Unless they have gone in to eat or change shifts then they're doing a poor job. Apologies once again.

- Koga"
 

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Finn scratches his chin. "Whaddaya think, Lassiter? I'm not armed. This has my hackles up."

To Koga, Finn replies "I think this site deserves a bit more manpower. Can we get two more armed guards for the front? I'm a bit edgy after the last few days - could this even happen now? Please indulge my gut after all we've been through."
 

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To Koga, Finn replies "I think this site deserves a bit more manpower. Can we get two more armed guards for the front? I'm a bit edgy after the last few days - could this even happen now? Please indulge my gut after all we've been through."
"I think we can spare a few from the near by research areas" he replies "Should be there in a few minutes. I'll send over three just to put you at ease"
 

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Finn's tablet comes to life with information from his employers as Titan begins to receive signals from the rest of the Solar System. The message is heavily encrypted and almost uncrackable without the 4M encryption keys emebedded in Finn's tablet.

FROM: 4M BOARD
TO: FINN SHAH [INVESTIGATIVE SUB-DUTY]
PRIORITY: HIGH

Agent Shah thank you for your report. The highly unusual nature of what you have given us required careful analysis.

Let us start with the most obvious. The team here believes this is almost certainly not alien life. Most likely a Jovian bioweapon meant to protect something.

With that out of the way we must consider the teleportation technology, as no doubt you have concluded, as being of top priority. You were sent here to investigate a death. A simple corporate obligation considering the string of murders, if ongoing, could hurt our firm's image considering our investment in the colony. Priorities have changed in light of what you have uncovered.

In accordance with Martian law we have revealed your findings to the government at Olympus Mons. They have informed us that they have people on Titan who have been watching the project for them. They are aware of the project's limited successes and the Jovian involvement.

However the presence of advanced Jovian security at this "Visitation Site" was unknown and troubling. From what we have seen the project has only advanced somewhat beyond the point it reached here on Mars when the Universities worked on it in terms of basic capability. However the technology has been implanted in a bioweapon. We suspect that this "implantation" is what was being heavily protected.

We have been tasked with instructing you as directed by the council. Jupiter is a bit more interested in this than was thought and have taken it in a strange direction. You are several weeks away from proper support. Please find out what you can. Visit the "Little Moon Moussaka" restaurant tonight. There you will be provided with hardware to aid in your investigations.

We suspect that Renner was also looking into Jovian involvement in the project. Consider his murder top priority.

Second priority. Find out why Jupiter would use aid from a cult. Was this simply due to Dr. Contos being an devotee? The protection of them and their site a condition for her continued services?


Regards,
4M Board.

OOC: I have the responses from others you have emailed ready, just not to overload the post. I'll give them as you want/need them. The most relevant however I will give now in summary: That your uncle has delivered the cipher and public key to you.
Also note for clarity, considering the timings the 4M board has not seen the latest stuff you say about Contos from the AI.
 
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Séadna

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@Smith

A highly encrypted message comes in.

FROM: Marshalls Central
TO: Lassiter
PRIORITY: HIGH

Dear Marshall Lassiter,

You've uncovered quite a web of lies and incompetence on that little rock. The teleportation technology we have been vaguely aware of, but not aware of how much funding it has been getting from Jovian sources nor of the cult involvement. This suggests a level of political difficulty we, as a neutral body, cannot enter. Still consider the murders your sole duty.

However that "Alien" in the caverns seems to violate genetic engineering law. We should be able to book one of the corporations on that alone. If you can uncover more about it. However we appreciate it's above your pay-grade. There might be a proper interplanetary investigation warranted here soon.

However given all the weird and wonderful being thrown your way you might need heavier fire power. Our credit is open to you for whatever you feel is necessary.

Regards,
Head Marshall Khrennikov.
 
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"Hmm, gimme a second, Lassiter...sounds like the home office has a response." Finn furrows his brow. "Looks like the want me to stay on-site, stop Titan from exploding, usher mankind into a new era...you know, typical contract stuff. The upside is that we should get some new resources if we make it back from this," Finn says, gesturing vaguely towards the silent research complex.

"Same sort of thing from your string pullers?" Finn asks Lassiter while they wait for backup. "If so, all the better to keep up this collaboration."
OOC: Feel free to feed me as much information as I can read before security arrives.
 

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"Well, like I said earlier, there are still the three open murder investigations pending that are keeping me here. My message is basically informing me that their neutrality keeps this as my main focus. Anything else is out of their hands and above my pay grade. My credit line with them at least increased..."

Eyeing the empty corridor, Lassiter pulls out his firearm but keeps the safety on. "Guards are taking too long, I agree that something strange is on here."

Lassiter does not key in a response to his message just yet, instead peering further into the complex.
 

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Finn's family members send him a few messages. Mostly expressing their concern and shock and updating him on family events. The response is signed as per Finn's earlier request to ensure it was not tampered with. However as a military family, his uncle and a few others have done a bit of digging on the quite and uncovered a bit about Renner.

He is a Jovian diplomat as already known, but was heavily augmented. A sophisticated cyber suite in his head that could slice open most systems like butter
 

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The security team arrives as Lassiter peers into the complex. Two regular members of Titan security and Luca the atmospheric marine.

"Sorry to keep you waiting boss" Luca says smiling. With his helmet held in his left hand Finn sees his face clearly. Intense brown eyes set into Mediterranean features, good looking, with long brown hair tied in a bun.

"I'll help you out for a while, don't want you to feel you didn't get your money's worth" he says coming to a stop next to Lassiter, who he dwarfs in his power armour.

"A Marshall? Pleasure" he extends a hand.
 

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"A Marshall? Pleasure" he extends a hand.
OOC: Was I supposed to know this? Doh...

Finn grins at Luca. "I still owe you that drink. We should catch up when we get a chance. It's great to see you and your armor, both to catch up on old times and...just in case."

Getting more serious, Finn gestures towards the complex. "There are supposed to be a pair of guards here. Koga brushed it off like they are kids sneaking behind the waste recyclers to smoke some synth-tobacco, but given everything that we've already seen, I'm not feeling so casual.

"I'm not armed and Lassiter here only has a pistol. What do you say we take a stroll, you guys with your weapons at the ready? Maybe someone in power armor can open doors. If everything is good and we look stupid, I'll take the hit."
 

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OOC: Was I supposed to know this? Doh...
OOC: That Lassiter is a Marshall has never been directly stated in Finn's presence prior to this. They're the Sol Systems interpol to be clear.

"I'm not armed and Lassiter here only has a pistol. What do you say we take a stroll, you guys with your weapons at the ready? Maybe someone in power armor can open doors. If everything is good and we look stupid, I'll take the hit."
"I'd prefer to look stupid" Luca says eyeing the door and putting on his helmet.

He approaches the door and has a look around.

"No signs of anything this side of the blast doors." he then looks to the access scanner to the doors right. It's a small glass screen you simply hold up a tablet or access card to "One of you got the codes to open this? I can pry it open slowly with the suit if needs be though"
 

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OOC: Lassie would have shook his power suited hand, and followed along.

"So how do you two know each other?"
 

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"Luca was that mercenary-turned-bounty-hunter who joined us at the Visitation Site. I guess Titan extended your contract, eh?" Finn says to Luca.
 

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Lassie nods knowingly, his suspicions confirmed. "Glad you joined our side then," Lassie makes a point to look his armour up and down, "were you here long or just a recent transfer?"
 

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Lassie nods knowingly, his suspicions confirmed. "Glad you joined our side then," Lassie makes a point to look his armour up and down, "were you here long or just a recent transfer?"
"I've been here a while. With those cultists. Friendly group, if a bit tedious. Higher ups are nutters though"

"We should be cleared to enter. Let me try my tablet..."
The panel responds to Finn's tablet and the blast door raises.

Within Finn and Lassiter are greeted by the sight of a few Colonial guards standing to attention inside the cubicle office just inside the blast doors. A few cards and poker chips are on the table beside them.

"Greetings. Sargent Thompson" one says "Nothing to report here, all quiet"
 

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OOC: I suppose you would have had a real big laugh if we had gone with Luca's offer to tear the door off, huh?

Finn does to play off his earlier concerns. "Glad to hear it. I don't know if you got word, but we asked Administrator Koga to add a little more security to the front door."

Finn looks at Luca apologetically and mutters quietly, "Glad we didn't tear off that door."

Rapping his knuckles on Luca's breastplate, Finn continues at greater volume. "Listen, let's split a bottle of ouzo when you have a few minutes. I'll be free tonight if you want to shoot the shit and trade war stories."

Turning back to Sargent Thompson, Finn continues. "I hope we're expected. We're here to meet Dr. Coombs - has he arrived?"
 

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OOC: I suppose you would have had a real big laugh if we had gone with Luca's offer to tear the door off, huh?
:angel:

Rapping his knuckles on Luca's breastplate, Finn continues at greater volume. "Listen, let's split a bottle of ouzo when you have a few minutes. I'll be free tonight if you want to shoot the shit and trade war stories."
The guards relax a bit. "That sounds great!" one of them half-laughs.

Turning back to Sargent Thompson, Finn continues. "I hope we're expected. We're here to meet Dr. Coombs - has he arrived?"
"He has Sir, he's waiting in the main lab where you met him last time"
 

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Nodding at the guards and trying not to look too disappointed at them blowing off steam, Lassie heads through towards the Dr.
 

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The pair, along with their marine friend and two colonial guards, enter the FTL laboratory.

The sphere is still powered down from their last visit. Dr Coombs sits on a stool next to the terminal that controls it. The terminal itself is off. Rather Coombs is using a bit of free space beside it to do calculations by hand. A mug of coffee and five textbooks lie beside his notepad.

"Gentlemen" he says raising his hand in a half-hearted wave.

"Good to see you again. I've been reflecting somewhat since we last spoke" he says looking briefly at Finn.
 

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Lassie gives the friendliest nod he can muster, and tries to get a glance at the calculations Coombs is doing, letting Finn lead the talk.
 

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Lassie gets a clear enough look at the calculations. He clearly sees equations and symbols relating to biochemical molecules, sugars, enzymes and so o. He also recognises many of the calculational details. Although he doesn't understand some of the mathematics on the page what he does understand together with some of annotations is enough to know Coombs is trying to work out how to reintegrate a human being with the teleporter.
 

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OOC: Seems like I've stopped getting updates for this thread. I'll keep a closer watch on it. Reply to come a bit later.
 

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Finn raises an eyebrow. "And may I ask what conclusions you came to?"
 

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"He is trying to figure out how to put Contos back into... a body? Coombs, you realise her body is evidence in the investigation, and is by no means in a livable condition."
 

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Finn raises an eyebrow. "And may I ask what conclusions you came to?"
"That you were correct. The project had too many unknowns. I have been running simulations since we spoke and I think everything should be alright but...well thinking it might isn't enough"

"He is trying to figure out how to put Contos back into... a body? Coombs, you realise her body is evidence in the investigation, and is by no means in a livable condition."
"She might be out there though. The signals you witnessed at the weather outpost suggest..." he looks toward Finn as he speaks.
 

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Finn sighs. “We’re also interested in helping Dr. Contos but let’s proceed carefully. First, I need you to tell us that you have some understanding of what’s going on. Where is she and what form is she in? And how did she get there? We’ve learned quite a bit so now we need to see some understanding...and total honesty. Tell us everything.

“We have some pull with the brass around here so you can get back in this lab with whatever you need, if you can help. But this is more serious than any of our lives and agendas, so if I ever feel that you’re being less than totally forthcoming, we seal the lab and hand it over to the Jovians or whoever ends up in control around here. Got it?”
 
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Finn sighs. “We’re also interested in helping Dr. Contos but let’s proceed carefully. First, I need you to tell us that you have some understanding of what’s going on. Where is she and what form is she in? And how did she get there? We’ve learned quite a bit so now we need to see some understanding...and total honesty. Tell us everything.

“We have some pull with the brass around here so you can get back in this lab with whatever you need, if you can help. But this is more serious than any of our lives and agendas, so if I ever feel that you’re being less than totally forthcoming, we seal the lab and hand it over to the Jovians or whoever ends up in control around here. Got it?”
"Of course...I will be honest I can promise that"

He gets up from his chair and approaches a display screen on the other side of the room.

"Where is she? She's left the physical plane as we understand it. Truth is I think she planned all this. It doesn't explain the evidence of her being attacked, but I've recovered the settings used when she teleported. They were quite complicated. Designed to leave her out of reality for weeks and there's this..."

He brings up at first what looks like a meaningless stream of data.

"...there was something else organic in there with her. Not as much mass as a person. Something around 6 or 7 kg. Trace rare metallic compounds as well"
 

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Finn chews his lip, lost in thought. "I have a proposal, and my colleague is free to veto it. Dr. Coombs, when I encountered Dr. Cantos in the weather station, she was able to communicate with my by creating pulses of electromagetic static and spatial distortion. She could hear me perfectly well, so we developed a simple system of yes/no through pulses. A primitive Morse code.

"What I'm thinking is that maybe you can help rig up a more sophisticated system. It could detect pulses and translate them into letters with a simple system we could work out with her. It would display on a screen for us and her, so she could read it and she can amend any mistakes."

Finn stares hard at Coombs. "I believe what you're telling me. At this point, I think we need to understand exactly what Dr. Cantos did, and why. Yes-and-no answers are going to take forever. Can you make this system?" Turning to Lassiter, "And do you approve?"
 

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Lassie shrugs in approval, still moving through the lab to look over as much as he can to make heads or tails of it all.

"I would hope she at least could give us information on her potential killer, if there is one. I'd also like to know what this organic being was that she took in with her. Do you have a chemical breakdown of this matter, by any chance?"
 

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OOC: I just want to point out that this invention offers the GM the opportunity to stage a little spooky high-tech ouija board scene or two. :grin:
 
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