Friday, July 18, 2014


Operation: Steal Corporate Intel from TDI went more smoothly than any of us had any reason to expect. Huzzah! Of course, we all got arrested after, so that does put a bit of a damper on things…

[We continue planning Operation: TDI Espionage. It’s always important to have the right equipment.]
Brock: “You know what would be great? A microscopic super-drone.”
Zac: “If I had a penny for every time I heard that…”

[Of course, why go small when you can go extremely small?]
Brock: “Probably nanobot. That’s what I’d really like.”
Zac: “Okay, I’ll just get a really small hammer.”

[Planning continues.]
Brock: “Speaking of operational security last time…”
Georges the GM: “Where is Miranda?”

[Indeed, where IS Miranda?]
BrocK: “I give her a plausible job that is absolutely not the one we’re doing.”

[Things I don’t usually hear in games for 1000 please, Alex.]
Zac: “Wait, which box of doom are we talking about here?”

[Yes, friends, one of the key pieces of equipment for this operation is the ‘box of doom.’]
Georges the GM: “’Box of doom’ makes it sound like you’re blowing things up, not stealing data.”
Brock: “Then it’s a perfect code name.”

[It’s always good to know how to handle the boss.]
Brock: “I feel like you’re just trying to get out of building me my micro-drone.”
Zac: “No, that’s totally on my list of things to tell you you can’t have.”

[We’re not all gonna go into TDI. Someone has to be there to rescue us if things go south.]
Georges the GM: “Yes, send in the 12-year-old girl, the cripple, and the guy who’s been hypno-programmed as a pacifist to be your backup. Perfect B-team.”

[Speaking of whom, it’s time for the NPCs to start arriving!]
Zac: “It’s not like Mads resents us at all for foisting this on him.”
Brock: “No, because he’s an NPC.”

[Mads gets to see Lukas for the first time in nearly a cycle. Pleasantries are exchanged.]
Mads: “I liked you better with half your face covered.”
Lukas: “Whatever you say, gimpy.”

[Lukas introduces the former-player NPCs to each other.]
Lukas: “I ever tell you about the time Mads was shot in his gimp leg?”
Gabriel: “Oh, they got you shot, too?”
Lukas: “You weren’t shot.”
Gabriel: “No, sir, I was bit.”

{Recall that to cover up what Mads is doing here, i.e. building us our super-hacker program, we had Jimmy Croyden call his school and tell them there was a family emergency.]
Lukas: “What does sympathy get you? A ten-percent bump?”
Mads: “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
Lukas: “You could just go in and change it.”
Fennec: “That’s true.”

[Lukas lays out the operational requirements.]
Mads: “Wicked! Can’t be done.”
Fennec: “Is this one of those things where you tell him it can’t be done, then do it anyway? I love doing that!”

[To build the box of doom, Mads and Gabriel require schematics and prototypes of other TDI equipment. Lukas contacts a person who might know.]
Lukas: “What examples of TDI tech have you already stolen?”
Miss Winters: “Stolen?”
Lukas: “Acquired. Whatever.”

[Mads and Gabriel get to work. Of course, now they know too much and could be liabilities.]
Gabriel: “Can I get a cup of tea?”
Lukas: “Sure.”
Gabriel: *goes to get tea*
Lukas: (to Torgath) “If they try to leave, kill ‘em.”
Torgath: (brightly) “Okay!”

[While Gabriel has tea, Mads needs something stronger.]
Mads: “Get me something from the Emirates that’s banned on the rest of the planet that’ll put me into cardiac arrest.”

[Mads and Gabriel build our box of doom.]
Georges the GM: “Yay! The NPCs are rolling well!”

[Lukas has more operational equipment requirements.]
Fennec: “Basically you’re looking for a robotic cockroach?”
Lukas: “Yeah.”

[Preparations are underway.]
Brock: “I feel like my plan is working! I find myself satisfied! This happens so rarely!”
Zac: “Oh, wait for it…”

[Fennec goes off to get equipment. She rolls poorly on her haggle.]
Zac: “I’m sure most prices are standardized in the Alliance.”
Julie: “That’s why you’re getting overcharged.”

[All the NPCs are doing well, even the ones on red herring missions.]
Brock: “How’s Miranda’s work coming?”
Georges the GM: “Excellent. If any of this was relevant, it would be extremely useful.”

[More equipment.]
Zac: “Were we still pursuing the idea of getting an illegal hopper pilot?”
Brock: “Yes.”
Zac: “Really?”

[We think of another possibility.]
Brock: “Does TDI have a hopper? It gives the double-benefit of giving us one while taking one away from them.”

[Of course, we always need a backup plan.]
Zac: “We might want to come up with some contingency plans.”
Brock: “I have one.”
Zac: “I’m not gonna like this, am I?”
Brock: “It mostly involves running around screaming.”

[We are also joined by Okran Radsley, who we’re bringing in at the very last minute.]
Okran Radsley: “This is TDI? The metaphorical mecca of mechanical… other things that start with M?”

[Radsley lays out a few of his concerns.]
Okran Radsley: “How do we know we’re not walking into a trap?”
Lukas: “We don’t. But it would be a pretty elaborate trap, given that they could pick up the phone and get us arrested right now.”

[Lukas gives the mission briefing.]
Lukas: “You will install a device similar to… one that some of you have seen before.”
Mads: “Way to be cryptic!”

[We all have code names, naturally. Even the new members of the team.]
Brock: “I assume Miranda goes for something badass for her first code name. Fang, or something equivalently juvenile.”

[More equipment.]
Fennec: “We could have a pen that shoots darts.”
Lukas; “Great idea. Make it happen. One for everyone.”

[With all the plans in place, we roll abysmally on our tactics rolls.]
Zac: “It’s good we thought of everything beforehand so we won’t need these dice.”

[We prepare to roll out. Most of us.]
Mads: “What does the non-strike-force do, other than sleep? Wonderful, well-deserved sleep…”

[We roll in to TDI headquarters disguised as HVAC maintenance workers. The plan starts somewhat unlike our others.]
Brock: “Stage 1 is to spread out externally and look busy.”

[Fennec has a special part to play in stage 1.]
Zac: “I’m fiddling with the box… so it says the thing.”

[Of course, there are certain obstacles that can’t be solved with more nifty equipment.]
Ariel: “If I speak, they’ll know I’m not a Humanist.”
Zac: “Well, that’s a problem.”

[An integral part of the plan is being allowed access to the inside of the building. Which requires manufacturing a problem.]
Lukas: “What about this backflow problem?”
Building Maintenance Guy: “What backflow problem? [beat] Huh, there is a backflow problem!”

[Ah, the joys of doing things in a game as opposed to real life…]
Georges the GM: “What disturbance do you want to make?”
Zac: “Uh… as per our discussion, which we certainly had…”

[Fennec heads down to the basement to try to usurp a cleaning bot. Of course, at TDI, nothing is ever as simple as that.]
Georges the GM: “This is the most advanced garbage can you’ve ever seen.”

[Fennec needs to lure the cleaning bot to an area away from the cameras.]
Georges the GM: “So you’re leaving a trail of dirt into this dark alley like some sort of bot-molester.”

[Meanwhile, Torgath and Miranda are upstairs, headed to our primary objective: the sales office.]
Georges the GM: “As you move in, you found a camera’s blind spot… and you realize there are two other people in the room.”

[The two people are in the room, but they’re not exactly supposed to be there either.]
Georges the GM: “They are in various states of undress. They didn’t expect anyone to be here after hours.”

[Torgath has spotted the two people cavorting the corner. He does what he usually does, i.e. hopes they’ll go away if he ignores them long enough.]
Ariel: “I’m patient. I can look into these vents all day.”

[Miranda has also noticed the couple in the corner.]
Miranda: (whispering) “There are people in here. I think they’re… doing it.”

[Also meanwhile, Lukas has managed to gain access to the accounting office by the expedient of having a guard let him in. He starts doing what he’s supposed to do.]
Brock: “What is in the vents?”
Zac: “Krak Bhakir.”

[Things are going well.]
Brock: “Who’s plan? My plan!”
Zac: “Only if it goes smoothly. If not…”
Brock: “Then it’s your plan.”

[Lukas needs the guard to leave so he can get on with what he’s really supposed to be doing.]
Lukas: “Do you know how this works?”
Security Guard: “I…”
Lukas: “Let me explain it to you.”

[Lukas launches into a long explanation of the HVAC system. The guard’s eyes glaze over.]
Lukas: “It’s really fascinating.”
Security Guard: “…Your work is valuable, citizen.”

[Back downstairs, Fennec has finished modifying the cleaning bot.]
Zac: “This drone now calls me mommy.”
Georges the GM: “This drone is your bitch.”
Zac: “I order it to make me a sammich.”

Georges the GM: “Back in the awkward room…”
Ariel: “I’m not awkward.”
Julie: “No more than you ever are.”

[The couple in the corner walk out, grab some papers, have a brief conversation with Miranda, then leave.]
Torgath: “What did they say?”
Miranda Petit: “They said they were working late. I said I didn’t notice. Neither of us believed each other. …People suck at lying!”

[With the guard gone, Lukas has found an opportune computer to install our box of doom. Now he just needs to install it.]
Lukas: “Bring me my main toolbox.”
Zac: “What’s in the main toolbox?”
Brock: “The boom box.”
Zac: “This is where we realize we left it on the coffee table.”

[Lukas blocks the camera while Fennec installs the box of doom. Quite handily, in fact.]
Brock: “It’s like you’ve done this before.”
Zac: “I have!”
Georges: “And you’re not being shot at this time!”

[Primary objective: complete. Secondary objective: complete. Time to get out of here.]
Zac: “Is this where I say, ‘I found your problem right here!’ and pull a dead rat out of my sleeve?”
Georges the GM: “The one you’ve had in your sleeve the whole time?”
Zac: “Yup.”

[We pile back into the van. Torgath is still paranoid about anyone overhearing his lack of Intralingua.]
Okran Radsley: “What's up with him?”
Miranda Petit: “He’s still in ‘can’t speak’ mode.”
Okran Radsley: “Can we put him in that mode all the time?”

[We exfiltrate, with no one the wiser.]
Zac: “Just for kicks, we drive through the fence anyway.”

[Now that the job’s done, we plan our next immediate move.]
Brock: “Do we wanna go back to Oxford or wait a little longer?”
Zac: “Do we want to leave Gabriel and Mads stuck in a room?”
Brock: “What’s the worst that can happen? One eats the other?”

[Recall that Fennec set up our secondary location last session with the super-juiced-up bus.]
Zac: “We still haven’t gone back to the bus yet?”
Brock: “If we go there, that’s bad.”

[We return to the suite where we left Mads and Gabriel.]
Georges the GM: “There’s a knock on the door.”
Lyta: “This always ends with people shooting at us.”

[Lukas prepares to open the door.]
Lukas: “Everyone ready? Everyone got a gun?”
Fennec: “You wanna say that louder?”

[We may have been a little sloppier with this job than we normally are. Or we may have trusted the NPCs too much.]
Zac: “Is the room still full of incriminating evidence?”
Georges the GM: “Very full.”

[It turns out the guy at the door is Detective Gorash, who’s here to arrest us. According to him, there are POP on the floors above and below, and VDSS snipers with guns trained on us.]
Brock: “I look out the window. What do I see?”
Georges the GM: “Not much. The curtains are drawn, because you haven’t been careless enough to leave them open.”

[Lukas tries to weasel out of the situation by means of technicalities. Sadly, this is the Humanist Alliance.]
Detective Gorash: “So long as there are less than ten of you, I have a warrant.”
Zac: “Is this where I blow up the six inflatable dummies?”

[Lukas breaks the news to the rest of us.]
Lukas: “All right, people, it looks like we’re being arrested.”

[Clearly Detective Gorash knows who he’s dealing with.]
Georges the GM: “POP in full armor come marching in.”
Ariel: “How many?”
Georges the GM: “As many as will fit in the hall.”

[We’re being charged with industrial espionage.]
Brock: “In point of fact, we haven’t stolen anything.”
Julie: “Yet.”

Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


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