Friday, February 28, 2014


Back into the Humanist Alliance, land of the hypno-programmed. This week, we get a new contract from a new employer that will pit us against the forces of HIRA. As if we didn't have enough to worry about.

[We pick up where we left off last time.]
Georges the GM: "You're not quite in the middle of nowhere, but you're certainly on the periphery of where nowhere leads to somewhere."
Ariel: "The outskirts of nowhere."

[Poor Fennec. No one ever tells her anything.]
Fennec: "What do you want me to check out?"
Lukas: "Nothing. I wanna make a call. Jump out of the cockpit."

[Lukas makes a call.]
Brock: "I call Bill."
Georges the GM: "I'm trying to figure out how time zones work."
Brock: "It's either earlier or later."

[The occasional problems when game-time and real-time fall out of synch.]
Lukas: (on phone) "It's Quinn."
Bill Pearce: "Oh. Long time since we've spo-- No, it hasn't."

[The problem with trying to be oblique over the phone is that you've gotta be oblique.]
Lukas: "You remember that thing Ennik was looking into?"
Bill Pearce: "You're gonna have to be more specific."
Lukas: "About that place he was in that time, involuntarily?"

[Lukas obliquely informs Bill about our potentially Jezebel-GREL prisoner.]
Lukas: "I've got a machete and binoculars, not exactly the tools I want to use to examine this guy."

[Of course, if you've got one prisoner, you've gotta point out what happened to the last prisoner.]
Bill Pearce: "Give that the last one was delivered in a half-dozen garbage bags..."
Lukas: "That wasn't our fault."
Bill Pearce: "I'm beginning to think you don't understand the meaning of 'fault.'"
Lukas: "I asked for a bucket, but they didn't have one."

[Lukas finishes his conversation in the cockpit of the Chatterbox Gear.]
Brock: "I look for a recording device."
Georges the GM: (to Zac) "You wanna retroactively have put one in?"

[Lukas informs the rest of the group about the situation. Sorta.]
Lukas: "I just made a phone call. This may all disappear."
Fennec: "Which 'all'?"

[As we wait to hear back from Bill...]
Lukas: (to Fennec) "You have some questions. Go ahead, ask 'em."
Georges the GM: *looks shocked*

[Lukas and Fennec have a talk.]
Lukas: "Maybe we should talk about how we do business."
Fennec: "Maybe we're overdue for that."

[Lukas explains the situation to Fennec. Sorta.]
Lukas: "There are people on Terra Nova who are... experimenting. And there are other people who are interested in knowing what those people are experimenting with."

[Lyta has accidentally revealed she suspects who might be behind the hypno-programmed prisoner. Lukas doesn't want to name names.]
Lukas: "There's a bad guy in the Badlands."
Fennec: "That keeps it nice and simple."
Lukas: "Bad, bad, bad, bad guy."

[More of the same.]
Lukas: "I don't want to tell you about him yet."
Fennec: "To protect me?"
Lukas: "I would not be lying if I said yes."

[And yet more.]
Fennec: "Do you run into this bad guy a lot? Enough to feel... suspicious?"
Georges the GM: "I'm glad you didn't say 'contrived.'"
Brock: "'Scripted', even."

[The conversation wraps up.]
Fennec: "It seems like there's a lot I'm not privy to."
Lukas: "Yes. That will continue."
Lyta: "If it makes you feel any better, there's stuff he doesn't tell us either."

[Fennec is still feeling out her place on the team.]
Fennec: "It would be nice to know I'm not just the hired help."
Lukas: "You're not. You're the partnered, contracted help."

[Fennec spends some time with the Chatterbox Gear, which is worth nearly two million dinar.]
Zac: "At this point, I'm pretty awestruck."
Georges the GM: "You should be."
Zac: "I'd consider this an adequate down payment."

[The Gear belongs to a company called Zelanis Security Consultants.]
Zac: "So they're the upscale, corporate version of us?"

[We try to figure out what to do with the Gear.]
Ariel: "Can the plot safely take it to Khayr ad-Din?"

[Bill will be sending some people to pick up the Gear. While we're waiting, there's an incoming signal.]
Zac: "What's the signal?"
Georges the GM: "It's encrypted."
Zac: "Can I decrypt it?"
Brock: "Press the 'decode' button."

[Arriving to pick up the prisoner is Kelly Lebeaux of the BCG.]
Kelly Lebeaux: (to Fennec) "You're new."
Fennec: "I am."
Kelly Lebeaux: (to Lukas) "Can she be trusted?"
Lukas: "Sixty percent."

[Kelly has also brought a pilot to bring the Gear back to Khayr ad-Din.]
Kelly Lebeaux: "This your new ride?"
Fennec: "Bye, baby..."
Kelly Lebeaux: "And you're trusting the Doc not to steal it?"
Lukas: "I'm hoping he'll be charitable."

[After the Gear has left with the BCG pilot...]
Fennec: "This is the Doc guy you don't like? He's trustworthy?"
Lukas: "He's not trustworthy. And he might steal it. I was just saying that to comfort you."
Fennec: "This isn't reassuring me."
Lukas: "I was doing that before and you weren't happy."

[Fennec has been thinking of a name for the Chatterbox.]
Lukas: "So, you come up with a name yet?"
Georges the GM: "'Ephemeral'?"

[On the way back into the Humanist Alliance, we pick up a trailer at a homestead so we can transport the broken-down Iguana we left in the desert.]
Georges the GM: "What do you guys have to offer?"
Brock: "Cash money."
Zac: "Bottle of wine?"

[Lukas makes Fennec pay for the trailer.]
Lukas: "Time to pay up. Just remember this is an investment in your second Gear."

[We recall that we have a meeting with Daniella Morris in Perth mere days hence. Time to hustle!]
Georges the GM: "You guys have been rolling non-stop for five days."
Lukas: "This is more our usual operational intensity."
Fennec: "This is more what I'm used to."

[We return to the Humanist Alliance.]
Georges the GM: "You have two jeeps and the Gear. What do you do with them?"
Brock: "Rent a storage unit? One that looks fireproof?"

[On the way to Perth to meet Daniella Morris, we meet up with Okran Radsley, who informs us that the point of the meeting is to get an interview with the Comptroller. In exchange, we shall offer to do a job for Morris.]
Lukas: "I don't remember this being discussed before."
Okran Radsley: "It wasn't. It's being discussed now."

[We also do a post-mortem on the op we just completed.]
Lukas: "So, about those rovers..."
Okran Radsley: "That seemed oddly specific. Convenient."
Lukas: "That's what I was thinking."

[Lukas informs Radsley of how bad things nearly went.]
Lukas: "They were an anti-Gear rifle and eight shells away from being wiped out."
Okran Radsley: "You're properly convincing me of the direness of the situation."

[The final thoughts on the smuggling mission.]
Okran Radsley: "I'd say it's an overall 30% success rate."

[We prepare for our meeting with Morris.]
Brock: "Are we expected to shoot our way out of this meeting?"
Georges the GM: "I sincerely hope not."

[We arrive in Perth.]
Georges the GM: "It's a sanitized party town. It's beautiful. It's fake."
Zac: "It's art."

[We meet Daniella Morris. Georges the GM is using a British accent for the character.]
Julie: "What accent does she have?"
Georges the GM: "It's a dialect of Republican, inasmuch as Picard spoke it."

[We enter the hotel room where Morris is apparently staying.]
Zac: "Are you actually shaking the place down?"
Brock: "Are you kidding?! Of course we are!"

[The meeting with Morris begins.]
Daniella Morris: "First off, I would like to verify your credentials."
Lukas: "How do you propose to do that?"
Daniella Morris: "Provide me your names and allow me a few minutes to look into you."
Lukas: "..."

[Our names just seem to keep multiplying.]
Georges the GM: "You have two aliases in the Humanist Alliance."
Brock: "Two more."

[Lukas needs to decide which names to give Morris. We have so very, very many of them.]
Brock: "If we're going to engage in criminal enterprise, I give her our 'criminal enterprise' names."
Ariel: "The Humanist ones or the Badlands ones?"

[We make small talk while Morris checks our credentials.]
Daniella Morris: "How do you like Perth?"
Lukas: "It's... geometric."
Fennec: "Symmetrical."

[Because Lukas gave Morris our less-established names, she wants us to do a small, paid job to verify our skills before moving on to the real job.]
Lukas: "It appears to me your resources in Perth are... limited. One wonders what you would do if you hadn't staged the need for this little demonstration of our skill."
Daniella Morris: (evenly) "One wonders."

[The preliminary op: allow the hand-off of a data key between a Humanist and a Mr. Shan Lao. The wrinkle: some HIRA agents are going to try to apprehend Mr. Lao after the hand-off.]
Daniella Morris: "Will that be a problem?"
Lukas: "That it's HIRA? It makes me feel that two grand a head isn't enough."
Daniella Morris: "You should have asked more questions."

[The other wrinkle is that Mr. Lao cannot know about either the HIRA agents or our intervention.]
Fennec: "Mr. Lao must remain oblivious?"
Daniella Morris: "Blissfully ignorant."

[There are generally four members of a HIRA team. But what if there are more?]
Daniella Morris: "At the risk of sounding melodramatic, they rarely need to deploy more than one team."

[A few more details about the op.]
Lyta: "Is Mr. Lao trained to notice a tail?"
Daniella Morris: "Not 'trained'..."
Lukas: "Beyond what's given to all Mekong regarding corporate counter-espionage."
Daniella Morris: "Which is not insubstantial."

[We know what we have to do.]
Brock: "The plan is to observe him, observe the guys who are observing him, dart them, and hope there's only four of them."

[Georges the GM reveals that if we had given our Badlands operating names, we wouldn't have had to do this preliminary op.]
Julie: "There are circles in which our names have weight. And we're trying to hide from precisely those circles."

[As the session draws to a close, most of our ideas for dealing with the HIRA guys are not stupendous ones.]
Georges the GM: "You guys better have a plan B. [beat] I better have a plan B in case you guys fail."

Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


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