G:InterfaceZero 0.02

#GURPS: Interface Zero

version 0.02
August 18, 2018 - January 16, 2019

Achievement Unlocked

Friday, August 4th, 2090

For the Movement

Kobato’s external sensors indicate that the temperature outside today is hot by typical standards and her optical feed backs this up. The people of Tacoma moving and working and living around her are sweaty as look fatigued. Many of the locals wear respirators or have bandanas or fabric of some kind over their faces to block out the “Tacoma Aroma,” as they call it. Kobato’s olfactory suite detects the plethora of foreign particulates in the air and knows that many of them are not beneficial or desirable to biological life forms, especially Humans.

Currently, Kobato is making her way toward the old port district to drop off a bundle of propaganda material to a group planning to hold a rally and protest for Synth Rights at Obelisk Computer Systems in downtown Seattle next week. The company just made a deal with some Brazilian biotech corp to code some wet chips for a new model of Simulacrum. This new tech is supposed to made it harder for the Sims to break from their programming enslavement. Utterly barbaric and disgusting. And in Cascadia, where the actual President is a Synth.

Kobato jumps on the Rail, the new and shiny monorail system that is supposed to be bringing Tacoma back to its glory days. From its elevated position, she can see the black smoke from the perpetually burning fires in Puyallup and the acrid, yellow smoke coming from the numerous stacks here at the base of the Sound.

Her car is empty except for a little, old Russian woman with a cart full of groceries and a pair of tweakers huddled at the far end, near the doorway to the next car. As Kobato watches the dirty cityscape of Tacoma speed by the doors at from of the car open and 3 gangers stroll in, being loud and vulgar. They look at Kobato and one of them makes a disgusting sexual gesture with his fingers and tongue before they turn their attention to the like old lady.

“Hey babushka, what ya got in the cart? Anything good for the Blazers today?” the leader shouts as he grabs the handle of the cart from her. She yelps and curses him in Russian. Though she does not recognize the name or their HyperTags, she does notice that each of the gangers has a Havoc Stick hanging from their belt. 

Seeing what is clearly a robbery, or what others might call a “shakedown” in progress. Kobato moves from where she was sitting to face the three street toughs. Her voice a modulated rainbow of tones, her head tilted to one side tauntingly she declares “Those groceries are not your possessions. Return them to their rightful owner or there will be… consequences.” She stands with her hands on her hips, one hip cocked saucily to the left - a remnant of her old programming perhaps.

One of the thugs turns and looks at her, and chuckles and dismisses her rudely, “Mind your own business, bitch.” He turns back to harassing the old woman.

Closing the distance with preternatural speed, Kobato interposes herself between the gangers and the old woman, pushing her shopping cart away from them. As she does, she speaks, as if reciting from a Wikipedia article. “Bitch, female dog. When the alpha female of the pack sees a member of her pack being threatened, she becomes aggressive and unpredictable.” She looks up at the men, her finely machined face inscruitible. “Also used colloquially, as in ‘Bring it, bitch’.”

“Hey, what?” The tall ganger that appears to be the leader steps back and reaches for his Havoc Stick, drawing the electrified club and flicking it on in one easy motion. The other two thugs each take a step back, giving the other one room. “I’ll bring it, bitch. Sorry you got your circuits in a cross, but whatever. I’ll straighten them out!

“Are you entirely certain you have considered the repercussions of your actions?” she asks, solicitously as she draws her primary katana from the sheath on her back. “I would advise you to abandon this course of action now, though I fear that the loss of face may be too great if you do so. Your status within your gang will surely suffer if you back down to a tiny girl. But perhaps that is still a safer bet than being beaten by one.”

She realizes that her words, however truthful, are intended to goad the thug into precipitous actions. An odd sensation passes through her as she considers that she wants him to stand his ground. Desire is still a foreign feeling. It doesn’t feel like it is designed to fit into her digital circuitry, and yet she feels it. “Bring it indeed. Those that prey on the weak deserve no remorse, be they ganger or corp drone.”

The ganger snarls at Kobato and lunges forward, swinging his softly buzzing Havoc Stick at her. His overly aggressive strike puts attack on target but Kobato sees that it makes him more open to a counter strike. If she can intercept the wrapping first, that is.

Seeking to end things quickly, Kobato leaned hard away from the blow and swung for the punk’s forearm. Sufficient force will sever the ulna and likely the radius, disarming the target and eliminating that threat vector. But the motions worked counter to one another and the swing met nothing but air. Recalculating, adjusting compensators. May be necessary to accept some blows to facilitate incapacitation of the target.

One of the other punks “oohs” as his friend misses and is nearly relieved of an arm, “Looks like the bitch has some bite, Nail. You got this, right?” he says and laughs. Nail, the thug currently locked in battle with Kobato, growls, “Screw you, man. I’m gonna kick your ass next!” he says as he makes an obvious swing at Kotato, this time, angling for her head! The stunner goes wide, narrowly missing her shoulder on the way down. The other two gangers laugh as their friend misses again.

Inbound vector indicates that the strike is wide. Assailant is clearly untrained and unstable. Avoid repeated attempts at the same attack to prevent predictability. Kobato processes the situation quickly and decides to attempt a more decisive blow. Her katana lashes out, attempting to separate his head from his body.

The ganger punk leaps back in surprise as Kobato’s blade whistles toward his throat, narrowly avoiding the strike. “Whoa, there, babe, gettin’ kinda nasty, aren’t ya?” He smiles cruelly and lunges forward again, this time going for Kobato’s sword hand. Kobato attempts to acrobatically dodge but the Havoc Stick finds its target anyway, striking hard against her closed fist. She feels the sharp electrical surge as the weapon releases its stored charge. Kobato feels her circuits completely overloaded and then her sensors go dead.

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When her visual sensors come back online, Kobato sees that she is surrounded by several Humans and one Canine Hybrid. The Hybrid is wearing the uniform of a Transit Monitor. He is speaking, but Kobato cannot hear him. She runs a systems diagnostic and finds that her audio sensor has suffered some minor damage. As she sits up, those around her all lean in close, all seeming to talk at once. She sees the little Russian woman sitting nearby, her grocery cart mostly intact still. She smiles at Kobato and says something, but Kobato still can’t hear. She quickly spies the “Help Box” Hyper Object located on the TransMon’s belt. 

Looking around, Kobato does not see her sword, but she feels that she still has her pistol tucked up under her jacket.

Still out of sorts, Kobato hits the link to the Help Box, hoping she can at least open a line of communication.

>>SeaTacTrans. I see that you are accessing from the #3429 northbound. Agent Bowers is on site. How can I help you that he cannot?<< the query comes through. The agent looks at you funny then touches his belt where the Help Box is located.

>>Please advise Agent Bowers that my audio circuits have been damaged and I am unable to communicate with him.<< Kobato sends back.

The Transit Monitor smiles and nods in Kobato’s direction. He begins speaking to her and his words come through as a text display in her field of vision. >>I’m Agent Bowers, you were assaulted by some Rail Blazers while assisting this woman here, is that correct?<<

>>Correct, Agent Bowers. It didn’t need to come to blows, but they were unwilling to accept no for an answer.<< Surely he needn’t know about her taunts or her unsettling desire that they refuse to see reason.

>>Thank you for your assistance. The woman, Mrs. Smekov, says you protected her from three of them. They stunned you but ran when these other passengers chased them off. You seem to have been damaged in the incident. If you want to make a report, you may do so within the next 24 hours. Do you require any further assistance?<< Bowers smiles and extends a hand to help her to her feet.

Kobato takes it and stands, still a little unsteady. >>Unless you are clever with an electronics kit, I don’t think there’s much more you can do. Unless you know where the Rail Blazers make their home?<<

Agent Bowers looks at her and shakes his head, frowning a bit, his canines showing. >>Not sure why you would want to go looking for more trouble with them Rail Blazers. Usually they just scare some folks, sometimes shake ‘em down for a few credits or whatever it is they’re carrying. Pretty harmless if you just let ‘em go their own way. As far as where they are, hard to say, you can always find one or two at the smaller terminals, though I’ve heard that they congregate a lot out past Fife Heights, up past Old New Tacoma, but that’s something I don’t recommend, ma’am. Thank you again for your assistance.<< He nods and ends the Help Box connection. A flashing Incident Report link floats in the corner of Kobato’s view then minimizes in her to-do list. The other passengers nod and pat Kobato on the shoulder, she believes they are mouthing congratulations and thanks to her, though one of them gives her only odd looks and doesn’t say anything or get very close. Old Mrs. Smekov smiles and pats the seat next to her. She offers Kobato an apple from her grocery bag then frowns and takes it back when she realizes the folly of her offering.

Pausing only to return to her original seat to grab her bag with the pro-Synth propo materials, she takes the offered seat. Using her internal monitors to try to avoid shouting, she thanks Mrs. Smekov in Russian for the offered apple anyway and takes out her tool kit. “I hope this won’t be disturbing to you, if I attempt to repair the damage I sustained?” she asks, keeping her voice light and melodic, as she knows how disturbing it can be to the uninitiated.

The old woman nods at Kobato with wide eyes, eager to see an Android do self repairs. Kobato sees that she has about 20 minutes until her stop, more than enough time to attempt the repairs, but she is not sure it is enough time for HER to complete them.

Over the course of the trip, Kobato manages to get the access cover to her damaged hand open and to assess what was wrong there. A few connections were beyond salvaging with her simple toolkit supplies, but she managed to get most of the insulation and fiber optics cleaned up and her hand feeling more like it was fully functional. She took the time to make sure Mrs. Smekov could get a look at what’s going on inside there. “See, no blood or gore at all. And no pain. That is one benefit we definitely have. This… I guess you would say that it ‘feels funny’ to have a probe inside there, checking the connections.” Whenever Mrs. Smekov tries to talk to her, she simply smiles and nods.

Given the time limitations and the limitations of the tools at hand, that’s all she manages to do before the train pulls into her station. She quickly packs up her gear and grabs her pack. She waves to her new friend and those that were there when she was roused by the transit cop before she steps out onto the platform and begins the trek to the Synth Rights office.

Again Kobato notices one of the Humans that had been there when she came back online. He is the one that had not been very congratulatory after the fight. Kobato noticed that he kept looking at her, but would always look away if she turned toward him. He gets off the Rail at the same station. Kobato knows that her destination is only a few blocks away, but is not very familiar with this area of Tacoma. The suspicious man follows her down the stairs then passes her and crosses the street. He enters “World of Weed,” a store that apparently sells all forms of marijuana products. A thick, green cloud wafts out of the door as he enters. 

Her, destination, the Emerald Queen, or what is left of it anyway, is two blocks up and two blocks over. The streets are busy this time of day. Numerous vehicles move haphazardly up and down Portland Avenue. Kobato identifies at least 100 beings within her visual scope, each of them seemingly going about their daily business. She imagines it is quite noisy here, and almost relishes the silence brought on by her damaged audio sensors. Her HR display is flooded by advertisement and HyperObjects and she quickly and effortlessly brushes most of them away.

Curious, and a little more cautious after our latest adventure in being too cocky, Kobato throws an HR flag on the interested fellow before he disappears into the dispensary and intends to keep an eye out for him again in case there’s anything more than a coincidence in their traveling to the same stop.

She heads to the Emerald Queen but a strange sensation makes her walk past and find a place to observe from cover for a moment. Is that what non-synthetics refer to as “a bad feeling” she wonders to herself?

This area isn't as crowded as where she got off the transit though there are some people and vehicles moving about. Several drones zoom through the polluted sky, some of them displaying ads and others on unknown missions.

The Emerald Queen is a dilapidated, half-sunken boat styled in a historic fashion that was part of a casino and gaming complex that sustained great damage in recent years. Most of the rest of the complex was destroyed but the floating casino managed to avoid the majority of the damage.

The ship is now being used as the “headquarters” of a small activist collective that organizes and leads lots of small, mainly peaceful demonstrations and protests. Their methods are not effective enough to Kobato’s processing but she is happy to help out with the propaganda. More voices are always needed.

After verifying that nothing untoward is going to happen, Kobato moves back to the dilapidated ship and joins her erstwhile comrades. She brings in the propo pamphlets and, after explaining her audio situation asks about possible sources for parts to get it repaired.

The leader of the collective, a Human by the name of Heto, thanks Kobato and sends her info on the nearest CyberShack, only about a mile away. Kobato nods in thanks and starts to leave but Heto motions her back. He picks up a handheld display and types a quick message on it then shows it to Kobato. It reads: Close the door. I have something important to tell you. Kobato gives him a look and a nod then closes the flimsy door.

He nods his thanks then sticks on a subvocal mic and composes a quick text message to her with some serious encryption. He types the key onto the handheld display and shows her, carefully shielding the display with his hand. In a moment, she gets the message. He quickly clears the decryption key from the display.

>>Sorry for the secrecy, but this is serious. I know you feel a little more strongly about this stuff than us. You interested in striking a real blow to the man? Take a step toward really changing the system?<<

A Job

He sits back at his desk, which isn't much more than a shelf with a bunch of unorganized papers, fast food wrappers, empty energy drink cans and lots of little waxy paper strips that are no doubt the backs of stim stickers. Kobato nods to him to continue and he composes another message to her.

>>So I got this lead, ok I swiped some info while hacking recently on some of the networks of our target companies. Was trying to sell a little paydata and found a really eager buyer. It's where I got the credits to pay you the other day, actually. So anyway, this buyer wants more of this stuff. He even told me where to get it, but I don’t have the skills or, well, the balls, to do it. It’s a data heist from ZRTech, but it’s gotta be an onsite grab, closed system. He says that the data could be huge for the movement. Something about some old research data that shows that they knew all along that the type of programming that runs Synths leads to sentience and self-awareness but they’ve been suppressing it the whole time! What do you think? You in?<<

Kobato considers the proposed operation. >>I can provide some of the muscle and on-site presence, but I will need to engage the skills of a hacker, and probably some additional offensive assets. I have some contacts, but without payment for the data it will be difficult to convince those who are less dedicated to the movement. Is your client willing to put a price-tag on this data?<<

Heto holds up one finger as if to say ‘hold on, one second’ and Kobato watches him manipulate something in HR. He smiles for a second and she can see him speaking. He then does some hand manipulation of an unseen HR ‘screen’ and pushes it over to Kobato. She accepts the screen and sees an image of a male Simulacra. The visage is dark-skinned, African. He nods at Kobato and smiles, then text appears on the screen. >>Heto says your audio sensor is out. He also tells me you are passionate about Synth Rights and are interested in a run. Can you put a team together? The run must be made tomorrow at just after 9am. There is a diversion in place to divert attention and the security detail to the first floor lobby at that time. I can provide you access to the building for three of you. You will have to break the network, retrieve the data and get out. I will pay 6000 for the job, 1000 up front if you are interested.<<

Information on the target appears in an attached screen, location, time, file batch names. A flashing green money bag with 1000 on its front floats above two glowing buttons: >>YES / NO<<.

The face on the other end nods and Kobato receives a packet of information on the target. ZRTech. A small archive and data retrieval company. Based out of Chicago, ZRTech has smaller offices in numerous cities, including Seattle. The building is a 5 story, free standing building near Sea-Tac. The floor plans of the building are fairly standard. First floor has lobby, public relations office, loading dock, small warehouse, security center, conference and some other shared space. Second and third floors contain office space. Fourth floor has a computer lab, mechanical room, network security and some dedicated data storage repositories. The fifth floor is all data storage. The data storage bank that must be accessed is on the 5th floor. It is not connected to any of the interior networks and must be accessed directly. It’s physical location may be monitored by an interior security network though. The cover story for getting three people in is a delivery and installation of some new peripherals for the climate control system in the mechanical room on the 4th floor. There will undoubtedly be video surveillance and possibly a member of security or at least maintenance assigned to oversee the task. The address to pick up a truck and the parts to be installed is given with instructions to meet at 6am. A portable data safe will be provided to copy and store the files as well as uniforms, ID cards and temporary TAP masks. The scheduled arrival time at ZRTech is at 8:30am. The scheduled distraction is to happen at 9am. Kobato looks over the plans and feels that everything needed is there. The client includes an OOL to contact when the data is off-site and secure. With that, the connection is ended. Heto looks at Kobato and smiles an uneasy grin. “Yea, that kind of stuff is way over my access level, I wish. Good luck,” he tells her.
She leaves the Emerald Queen and heads toward the CyberShack to get her audio input fixed, as well as the other damage she sustained. As she walks, she begins to think about who she can get to make this run with her. No names immediately stand out on a quick hacker query of her databases. She will have to reach out to one of her contacts to see if they can find someone on such short notice.

Making her way to the CyberShack, Kobato puts in a text call to Moxie, hoping that the nature of the work will have some allure for the diminutive rodent boy.

Moxie complains that it is a little short notice to put a crew together, especially one requiring a hacker, but he says he will do his best to find someone. He suggests that maybe having a backup might not be the worst idea. He promises to send word back as soon as he figures something out.

Finally, she makes it to the nearest CyberShack and prices out getting the damage repaired from the brawl on the transit. The kid behind the counter estimates about 600 credits to make the repairs once the tech is available, which should be in a few minutes.

Waiting for the repair technician to be available, Kobato puts another call out to her erstwhile boss and sometimes friend back at the nightclub. >>Onto something, could use a little help. Might need a hacker for a scratch job, and any information you have on ZRTech.<< At the same time, she fires up an agent to do an indirect search for information on the company.

Kobato’s search for the company comes back with pretty much the same information she already got. ZRTech is a data archival company based out of Chicago. They have business ties to several of the larger megacorps and many of the smaller ones. The field of data retrieval and archival storage is a fairly competitive field and there are many other companies that provide similar services for similar prices. There is nothing in the public Deep regarding ZRTech having the type of data that is the focus of this job, and there is nothing out there to even suggest that such information has been unearthed recently, though if it were public, Kobato imagines that would be huge international news already. Finally, the CyberShack tech is available and Kobato heads into the service bay to have her repairs made.

Kobato undergoes the process stoically. No pain involved in her own repairs, unlike so many of her fleshly acquaintances. She recalls the processes she’s already undergone to augment her strength and reflexes. The sensations were nevertheless awkward and unsettling. If one was truly the sum of one’s parts, did it change a person when they added new parts and replaced older ones? Did humans go through this kind of dysphoria when they had cybernetic enhancements done, she wondered?

Satisfied that ZRTech was a legitimate organization and not something simply set up overnight or as a front for what might be a trap, she tests out the newly repaired components and thanks the technician before leaving the ‘Shack. Now she only had to be patient and wait for her contacts to find her some new allies. Patient she could be - her people were good at being patient.

The afternoon streets of Old New Tacoma are not too busy, but there are plenty of people around. Vehicle traffic is picking up as well as it approaches rush hour. Drones of all sizes fill the air above her head. Sirens can be heard in the distance, either police or private security forces, she imagines. A blast of automatic weapons fire pierces the scene. Everyone tenses and stops for a moment, most people reaching for a sidearm, but no return fire is heard and soon everyone is back about their business.

Seeking Retribution

Now that things are starting to get crowded, Kobato does a little searching on the Rail Blazers, as she heads to her doss to pick up her other katana before paying the gangers a visit.

Hoping to keep this sword in her possession, Kobato boards the Rail again, heading north toward Fife Heights and greater Seattle beyond. The Sprawl gets rougher and dirtier the farther north she goes. Things start to clean up around the airport, located halfway between Tacoma and Seattle. She notices that there are not a lot of stops in this are, and when there are, not many people get on and fewer still get off.

Kobato calculates which stop would be the optimal one to find her quarry and quickly disembarks when the Rail arrives. No one else gets off or on at the Milton/375th Street Station and before she even makes it down the steps to the street she spies a couple of Rail Blazers defacing a support pillar. They are about 7 yards away, over a rail and across some uneven terrain under the platform above. They are definitely not the ones she was involved with earlier but their HyperTags identified them as Rail Blazers nonetheless.

Finding a place to prepare, Kobato draws her remaining katana and holds it rigidly against her leg, hoping to keep casual observers from seeing that she is in fact carrying anything, and moved generally toward the Blazers, making no eye contact and keeping her face impassive - the way some of her friends have confided “creeps them out.” Gauging the distance, she rapidly closes the distance between them and pounces on the one most distracted by his juvenile delinquency.

Kobato silently leaps the rail and navigates the rough rocky terrain near the pillar. As she closes one of the punks turns and gasps, quickly taking a step away from the tiny, charging woman, getting close to the recently spray painted pillar. The other ganger shouts, “muthafucker!” as he wheels around and throws his paint can at Kobato's face. His desperate attack goes wide and sails over to the walkway nearby. Kobato is pretty sure she sees the first punk reaching for something, most likely a weapon of some sort, on his belt.
Taking no chances this time, Kobato lunges at the off-balance ganger closest to her, the razor tip of her katana aimed at his chest.

The blade slides easily into the surprised youth and she feels the tip hit the support pillar behind him. She quickly retracts her weapon as he lets out a gasping sigh and slumps to the rocky ground clutching the bleeding wound. The other ganger, a long, black-bladed knife in his hand turns and runs down the rocky slope, away from Kobato as fast as he can run.

Locking onto the fleeing ganger, Kobato runs down the hill after him, taking care not to fall, unwilling to allow any mistakes to befall her this time.

Kobato pursues her prey down the rocky hill, careful not to fall. The Rail Blazer, however, does not show the same caution and just as he reaches the bottom of the hill, his legs, moving faster than his body, slide out from under him. The ganger skids and rolls on the dirty pavement as Kobato steps up.

Placing the tip of her bloodied sword against the fallen ganger she addresses him sharply. “Stay down, or you’ll join your brother in a swift death.”

“Yea, yea, sure. I'm down. I ain't fucking moving! Come on, what's the feed? Wha'd ya want?” he pleads.

“Nail. He has something of mine. You will tell me where to find him.” Her android voice, designed to be mellifluous and melodic, natural self-harmonic, is cold and brooks no challenge.

“Huh, what? Nail? Oww, shit. I dunno where he’s at, but I can call him for you. I’ll call him and find out, alright? Come on!” The ganger squirms on the dirty ground beneath Kobato’s blade. He cranes his neck around to try to get a look at better look at her. He relaxes a bit and smiles uneasily, “Hey, settle down honey. I’m sure we can work this out, right?”

Kobato applies the tip of her boot to the gang banger’s head. “There will be no working this out. All I need is to know where he is. Locate him and you live.” It felt unusual to omit that he would live in an unconscious state, so as not to betray her further, but if Kobato had learned anything in her time alone it was that sometimes the whole truth was more trouble than it was worth.

“Yea, ok ok, I’ll call him. Hold on,” He shifts his weight a bit and gets that blank stare when Humans are accessing their TAP. He mumbles, “call Nail,” under his breath. He waits a moment, then smiles weakly. “Hey, yo, Nail. What’s up? Where you at?” He pauses for a moment then continues, “Yea, naw, I was just wondering. I’ll catch up with you later, alright? Cool. Blaze on!”

The prone man turns back to Kobato. “He’s heading back home now. Mud Lake. At the abandoned park. Only about a mile from here. Just up the Rail. Next stop.” He looks up with scared, sad eyes.

Seeing his mental state so clearly on his face, Kobato moves the tip of her sword from his chest. “Why do you do this? Why do you associate with people who hurt others for their own gain? What hold does this Nail have over you?”

The youth on the ground kinda smirks and sneers at the same time, “What Nail? He ain’t got nothin’ over me, he’s my boy and all, but whatever. You gotta find a crew and stick with ‘em. They have your back. But seriously, come on, I told you what you wanted to know, lemmie go, will ya? I ain’t got no feedback with you, an I never did nothin’ to get your wires crossed, lemmie get the hell outta here and I’ll never see you again, cool?”

“That is unfortunate. I might have been able to bring you on to a team that uses their strengths make things better, not just for their own gain,” she says.

He almost laughs at her when she says this. “What? Seriously? Make things better. You gotta be outta your mind, or circuit or whatever it is you have up there. Nothin’s gettin’ better. Not for you, not for me, not unless I make it better. What’re ya? One of them optimists or something?” He shakes his head slowly in disbelief.

“Ah, a nihilist. I should have known.” Kobato aims a kick to the side of the young man’s head, hoping to render him unconscious but not dead.

The haughty Rail Blazer tries to turn away but catches the full force of Kobato’s foot. A strained “ooof” escapes his lips before he crashes face first into the ground. She nudges him with her foot. He does not move. Kobato does a quick pat down of her downed foe and finds a little baggie with some pills and patches in it, a collapsible baton and a knife sheath. The knife he drew before running down the hill is not on him anymore. He's wearing a beat up combat jacket and boots with nasty spikes on the toes as well but neither are Kobato's size.

Pocketing the drugs - they might be useful to a teammate - Kobato leaves the unconscious ganger behind and heads back to the train to make her way to Mud Lake.

Kobato has to wait quite a few minutes before a local train stops at the station, though several express trains pass her by as they zoom along their way toward Seattle proper. No one else waits at this terminal. She looks around and sees quite a bit of graffiti and vandalism, mostly of the Rail Blazers variety, though there is quite a bit of additional random artwork as well. A couple of drones can be seen in the sky nearby, but none seem to be interested in the goings on at the train station. Emergency sirens can be heard at random intervals from the surrounding area. Looking southeast, Kobato can actually catch a glimpse of Mt. Rainier, but the haze and smoke hide any details.

Finally, a train stops. There are not a lot of travelers on this train, but she does take note of an armed Transit Monitor one car back. Most of the rest of the travelers appear armed and able to take care of themselves, just out for a trip on the Rail. One traveller looks out of place, an older Human woman, with tall, gray hair and very well dressed. She seems to be busy manipulating something on her TAP and possibly communicating subvocally. She does not seem to be paying any attention to her surroundings at all. Not too safe in this neighborhood, Kobato thinks. As she settles into her seat, she does notice that the two young Humans sitting across from her, both tall and fit, have black duffle bags at their feet with the StonePeak logo on it. Off duty cops, either going to or coming from a shift, she thinks.


The rest of Kobato's ride to the next stop is uneventful. She gets off at the proscribed stop and notices she's the only one getting off here. The terminal is covered with Rail Blazers graffiti. As the train pulls away she scans the area and quickly sees what must be Mud Lake. A large, brown expanse of water stretches out and covers what must be an abandoned water and theme park. Various makeshift bridges and platforms connect the different dilapidated buildings and broken down structures.
Realizing that she was likely standing out, being the only person on the platform, Kobato quickly moves to some cover and reviews the camp, looking for any activity and getting a feel for the entrances and exits.

Kobato sees that most of the park is ringed with water, though it is unclear how deep that water is in most places. It is definitely not too deep in many places as she sees the tops of fences, railings, benches and other things poking up out of the water. There seems to be a cobbled together wooden walkway leading from a wooded ridge into the building housing the boarding ramp of one of the coasters. Kobato does not see any movement in the park, but can hear some faint, muted music coming from somewhere in that direction.

Moving as quietly as she can, Kobato approaches the main entrance, keeping an ear out for the faint music she heard.

Kobato makes her way to the trees along the western edge of the property. The main entrance is a narrow walkway bridge stretching across about 15 yards of water. From here it is clear that the water isn’t too deep, probably only 5 or 6 feet at its deepest. The bridge leads to a wooden structure connected to a dilapidated rollercoaster. Scanning the area, she does not see anyone on lookout or notice any functioning surveillance tech.

Sticking to the shadows, Kobato approaches the rollercoaster, slowly, looking for good places to hide along the way. Her goal is to reach the place and find where the gangers make their hideout.

As Kobato makes it to the nearest end of the bridge, the sharp report of an automatic rifle rips through the sky. Bullets hit the water below the bridge and several ricochet off the bridge itself, flying all around her. There is no cover immediately behind her, the bridge is about 15 yards to the building across. There are some trees and a low earthen berm 3-4 yards behind her. Some shouts of “We have visitors,” can be heard echoing from within the park.

“Nail! Don’t be a coward. Come out here and bring me my sword or face me like a man!” Kobato runs forward, trying to close the distance to the nearest building without giving ground.

The sound of the automatic rifle fill the air again and Kobato can only assume the bullets are coming her way!

Kobato manages to dodge and weave as she runs across the bridge toward cover, luckily avoiding being hit by the bursts of automatic rifle fire. The gunfire continues followed by a shout of “Go to hell, bitch!” As she makes it about halfway across the bridge, though, her luck runs out and she feels several high powered slugs hit her. She is thrown to the decking of the bridge by the first hit and the second impact microseconds later threatens to throw her systems into standby mode. Warnings and notifications are popping up left and right and Kobato attempts to deal with them all. There is a momentary pause in the shooting, giving Kobato a brief second to try to recalibrate her motion actuators and sensors.

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The next thing she knows, all of her systems begin shutting down, the alert: SYSTEM OVERLOAD keeps repeating. Then it stops and everything goes black.


Cast of Characters: 

Karh Danishan: a young hacker looking for that big score; played by Ben L
Doc John O'Brien: a washed out combat medic turned street doc; played by Dan E
Casanna "Talon" Moretti: a tiger hybrid bounty hunter; played by Carol C
Kobato: android former pop star turned anarchist; played by Jason P

and Jason GURPS as the GM

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