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TOPIC: The Expanse - Angels

The Expanse 1 year 9 months ago #4516

  • rhodsey
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A LOT happened this week hence the delay and my RSI from typing
Episode 11 - Betrayal

After travelling down to Earth the group get local Transport to Balitmore ready for Bruces 65th Birthday party. With most of the group already suited up (Thatch quickly swaps his Dress blues for a traditional tux while Joe insists on buying any sort of armour he can find) the group search for the other essentials for the man about town. Namely a Limo and a small arsenal of guns. Ziang, being from the area, takes them to Wing Yip. A local florist and asks for a "bouquet" each with enough "Pollen" for an average length "garden Party". They walk out with pistols each (as well as random flintlock for Victor) and a request to never come back. While Ziang and Victor get the bouquets Joe stumps for the limo and driver (not quite bringing himself to get the armoured ex presidential model) and Thatch gets them an Air BNB to stop in through various cutouts.

Once the shopping is done the group head to the party in their limo leaving the guns inside as it is directed to the parking area of the luxorious nightclub. Bruce is a minor celebrity in his own right so the party is well attended by the local socialites and minor celebrities along with the press. They are allowed in (after Joe is told to remove the Bullet proof vest as it's against the dress code) and given their own booth. The Party is in full swing with all the food and drink they can eat (thatch takes advantage to get all the REAL chicken wings he can) while the all sorts of entertainment is on offer which Joe insists on joining by doing Kareoke. On his way down from the stage he spots a commotion at the entrance. A younger chinese man is arguing with the bouncers. Eventually he is let in and he heads across to a side door with no further challenge.

Finally Bruce himself comes on stage in an elaborate shiny suit and gives the typical Birthday acceptance speech thanking them all for coming and a "spontaneous" round of Happy birthday rings out before the same young man Joe saw storms out of the side door visibly distraught shouting up at the stage phrases such as "You don't care!" and "All he's done for you!". Bruce just shakes his head not unsympathetically as he storms out before politely making his leave. The group note more goons arrive and seem to be having a polite word with what appears to be the local press. Ziang recognises the young man as Raz. Someone rumoured to be the lover of Shinzu Yamamoto, Bruces second in command.

For the first time tonight Tito comes to the group. He invites Ziang back to meet with Bruce. Ziang takes with him Angelus and Joe as the groups best talkers. Thatch orders more wings.

The trio are taken to a big gaudy office where Bruce is sat in front of a definitely not evil villainous wall of monitors. Joe notes what appear to be Martian ship plans on the screen before Bruce shuts it down. He turns with a huge grin to Ziang and Thanks him saying "I can say I know you now". He places the datachip on the table but Joe, who was heavily involved in creating the forged unit, notices it doesn't look quite right. It looks like the real one and not our forgery. The real one Reuben insisted on throwing out the airlock...

Bruce continues to Ziang, mostly ignoring the other two saying his debt is "almost repaid" and asking if he would do a "little favour" to clear it completely. Shinzu has been missing for several days and Bruce would like help finding him saying Tito will provide the rest of the details shortly.

The trio head back to the table where Thatch is just finishing the wings "Did Bruce like the "package"?" He asks of them. "He did but the... "packaging" wasn't ours but the original" they replied. Thatch's face shoots to Reuben and asks him if the data went out the airlock. he is unreadable but Thatch gets the feeling he is hiding something. At one point Tito turns up asking if it is a bad time. Thatch sends him for more wings. Eventually they agree to hold the conversation until elsewhere. Tito comes back and informs them that Shinzu went missing after going to a warehouse thye owned on his own without his bodyguard which is unusual. No specifics of what is stored there and no cameras in that part of town. Riz came in upset thinking they are not doing anything to look for him but they are also at a loss and want the group to find him. He can arrange for riz to meet them at the warehouse the next morning. Joe drops the hint he wants the promised payment with all the subtlety of a dropped anvil.

The group go back to their limo and head to a random bar. On the way they notice another limo following flashing it's lights. they pull up at the bar and walk over to find Riz is inside distraught. He has just received a ransom note 30 minutes ago saying they had him. Thatch asks for his device to try and and completely fails to clone it instead taking it with him in the hope he can trace the source of the message. Riz rants and raves that Shinzu kept going to the warehouse alone, that Shinzu will be in trouble with Bruce if he finds out that he likes his life etc. The group assure him they will find Shinzu and send him on his way.

The group turn and question Reuben as the last person who had the data Bruce now clearly has. His face is a Mask but, where usually he is blunt and definite he evades a straight answer just repeating "Everything is for the best. Especially for Ziang" Thatch remembers having a gun to his head and all the bending over backwards he did just to protect the data for Reuben and gets madder and madder. At this point Angelus excuses himself for a moment as he received an incoming message from Fred Johnson before coming to the group and, while staring at Reuben, sends the message to everyone's devices...
On their screens Fred seems tired and concerned in a darkened office. The entirety of Tycho station lost power for 20 minutes and in that time the station was breached by an unmarked martian frigate and boarded causing 25 deaths and 10 injuries and taking away the "assets". One attacker was killed and his face did not come up in a scan but a quick autopsy showed he had been eating Martian rations. Johnson points out the only people who knew he had the assets was him, Drummer and Angelus' crew and for Angelus to watch his back. He closes off with "shit smells like Black ops to me"

The group look to Reuben who is statue like. giving absolutely nothing away. The doctor thinks back to when he treated Reuben after his beatdown and realises for someone of Reubens stature the wounds were mostly superficial. Reuben gives nothing away. Thatch has gotten visibly more and more irate as this go's on Challenging Reuben about putting a gun to his head at even the HINT of the data being seen then eventually storming out saying "fuck it. I'll see you tomorrow" to stop himself from drawing his gun on Reuben himself.

The rest of the group don't trust Reuben but, with nothing else to do and a task in hand, decide to check out the warehouse early at night. Just before they leave the bar Joe get's a message from Tito and a bank transfer which suddenly get's the previously Reluctant Joe ALL IN on the investigation. The warehouse looks run down and a side shutter is slightly raised. Inside the place is a mess with flour on the floor and smashed crates everywhere apart from one office with a barred door. Lacking their usual door opener in Thatch they manage to get in and find inside a single desk and chair with an old kerosene lamp and a computer. Again lacking their usual computer geek they take the computer away and head home not finding Thatch there and wondering where he is.

Thatch, after leaving the bar, walks angrily for a while aimlessly until he has calmed down enough. He rents a random hole then, unable to sleep, go's to work on the ransom note in a feat of the most aggressive ragehacking you have ever seen. He traces the message back 70 miles South east of the city to a supposedly abandoned island in the Cheasapeake bay. He looks up google maps and finds one property on the island which must be where the message originated. this takes him most of the night, not that he could sleep anyway.

The next morning the group head for breakfast somewhere wondering how to contact Thatch when he walks in obviously having tracked their devices. He sits down and shares what he has found "because that's what crewmates do" he states glaring at Reuben who is unmoved. The group give him the PC they found and he works his magic finding accounts for Winterbourne once more (the same as the ghost data) and payments handled from Mao-Kwikowski forwarded to "phoenix". Putting this together with the ghost data it is clear Phoenix has something to do with Protogen and the protomolecule but his keen eyes spot another layer of encryption. He blasts through that and finds three years of regular payments into Shinzu's account from Star Helix the police corp. It appears shinzu has been informing the police on something...

The group take this information and ponder their next steps.
Last Edit: 1 year 9 months ago by rhodsey.
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The Expanse 1 year 9 months ago #4519

  • Mr. B
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Quality game. Definitely one of my favourites. Cheers for running - and get it posted for next year, Sant!!!
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The Expanse 1 year 9 months ago #4520

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Agreed
love the intrigue, love the setting, I came [this] close to get getting my hands on a rocket launcher (thank you Aka)... looking forward to the write up!
Red Wine should always be opened and allowed to breathe....

if it doesn't apply mouth to bottle resuscitation.
Last Edit: 1 year 9 months ago by Inept.
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The Expanse 1 year 9 months ago #4526

  • Sant
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Thanks guys. Means a lot to know you enjoyed it.
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The Expanse 1 year 9 months ago #4528

  • Sant
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Also on a side note, just compiled all the writeups into a word doc, 33 pages.. lol
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The Expanse 1 year 9 months ago #4531

  • rhodsey
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Only 33? Lets see if we can round that up a bit...

Episode 12 - A day at sea

The group sit at breakfast and insist that Reuben might want to go to the bathroom until they call him back. Once he is gone the group have a long and frank discussion eventually deciding they all just can't trust Reuben right now (there may also have been a sidebar into Thatch and Joe's never ending discussion on space tactics and the correct application of torpedoes). Joe has a breakthrough in his social education by volunteering to actually share with the group that he had taken a contract out on Reuben's life. Unfortunately he does this AFTER taking out the contract which the group imply would be a good thing to be consulted on before. He says he is giving them the chance to cancel it now. After a short further discussion it is decided the contract should be removed and that a new house rule should be made that no one should take out a contract on the life of another member of the crew without consulting the group first.

The group is all for just running away while Reuben sits on the loo but Thatch insists on telling him their decision. That they just don't trust him but have a job to do so he can sit this one out and they'll discuss it on their return. Reuben's emotions are unreadable but he accepts and says he'll be waiting.

The rest of the group head off to their morning meeting with Tito. He tells them Riz has been crying in his ear all night saying how Shinzu was kidnapped and that he had received a ransom note. The group inform him Thatch has already traced the message back but don't disclose the additional information they found about Shinzu's dealing with Winterbourne or Star Helix. Tito is pleased he was right to recommend the group to Bruce for this and gives them the access codes to an equipment locker and boat down at the docks which they can use to head to the island. The Locker lets them load out wih rifles and body armour while Thatch grabs himself a sniper rifle. Joe's eyes light up when he see's a rocket launcher and reaches towards it before Thatch, having flashbacks of grenades bouncing towards his face strongly implies his preference would be for the weapon to be given to someone else. Ziang who, for reasons best not asked, has actually fired a rocket launcher before takes posession of it and Joe continues his character growth by only grumbling about it for 10 minutes. Tito and Ziang also grab themselves some riot shields.

The group get into the boat wearing their big stupid orange life preservers just in case anyone spots them. Angelus orginally insists on driving until he see's the ocean for the first time and, having never seen that much water in his life, decides he'd rather play passenger. The Good Doctor Victor takes the conn having sailed in his youth while Thatch plots a course around the coastguard patrols using data Tito has provided.

It takes them roughly four hours to reach the outskirts of the island arriving around midday with the intention to scout around and see what they can see during the day before potentially heading in at night. About a mile out they catch a glint of silver on the water. Thatch checks it out with his scope and they get closer enough to hook it onboard. It's a military grade sub-orbital chute used by UN special ops for covert infiltration. the idea being they use this chute until close then cut it free and land with a smaller chute for the last 700 ft or so. Meaning this could have been dropped here by someone landing on the island.

Joe is excited to try his new toy and starts unpacking and getting his recon drone from Spamazon Prime up and running when suddenly there is a spray of blood and Thatch is hit hard enough int he chest to push him overboard shortly followed by the crack of the rifle shot as sound catches up with lead. He just about stays conscious and keeps himself a float purely from muscle memory and endless marine drills. Joe hits the deck (literally) while Angelus holds up his shield to try and cover the crew while Ziang attempts to fish Thatch out and the doctor tries to maneuver the ship to throw their aim off.

Ziang pulls an extremely pissed off and bleeding Thatch from the water who immediately drops prone and prompts himself up scanning the coastline of the island with his sniper rifle to try and spot the shooter. Joe has gotten his drone up and heading toward the island when Thatch see's the flash. He shouts "down!" before returning fire but a jolt of the boat throws his aim off and the shooter drops down out of sight. He tells Joe the rough location for his drone while the incoming shot ricochets off Ziangs shield.

The Doctor zigzags towards the island bringing us a little closer and make us harder to his while Thatch, having lost sight of the shooter, asks Joe to share the Drone's feed with him turning on the thermal scanner. Suddenly the signal breaks up and Joe struggles to keep the drone aloft. thatch does some quick analysis and recognises it as a Star Helix Jamming signal. He is able to compensate slightly allowing him to roughly pinpoint the shooters new location on the rocky cliffs surround the islands main dock. He takes a deep breath and focuses before asking Victor to steady the boat. He catches a glimpse of the shooter ready to fire, holds his breath, and softly strokes the trigger. He feels he must have hit and the drone confirms it showing htem a rapidly cooling body spreadeagled before it falls into the trees and stops responding.

Having lost any sort of surprise the group opt to go straight in just incase shinzu is taken out and the Good doctor heads straight towards the Jetty. Thatch keeps watch wincing a little as he suddenly remembers he's been shot. As the ship docs they spot a body on the Jetty dressed in Black spec ops gear wearing a drop pack that would match the silver 'chute found earlier. The rest of the group look around while the doctor patches up Thatch. Joe insists on guarding the boat while the rest head up along the coast towards the sniper was and Joe's drone went down. On the way the Doctor snags on a branch and there is a blast of Automatic fire over their heads. They drop to the ground but, when there was no more fire, they continued on. The Sniper was dressed in civvie clothes, a contrast to the obvious soldier on the dock. He was armed with a hunting rifle and covered in Gang tattoos that were linked to a gang called the Ravens. Joe's drone was mostly intact but Thatch couldn't get it working noting it was definitely a GM bug and informs Joe accordingly who still insists on guarding the boat.

The group work their way through the trees towards the islands sole building. Coming across another dead gang member on the way. They stop hidden about 40 ft away and watch through the scope. the building is full of bullet holes and looks run down like ther was recently a firefight here. At this point Joe reverts to type and decided to wander over towards the first body without telling the group anything. He helps anyway as the group spot someone shoot out of a side window in the direction of the coast. Thatch immediately puts a round through the window unsure if he hits anything then radios Joe to ask if he left the ship or not. He gets terrified sobbing back which confirms he did. Joe quickly slinks back while Thatch and Angelus start laying down covering fire for Ziang to approach the building. He sneaks around to the door and finds the lock already blown out with a shotgun and the door unhinged. Angelus decides to join him so thatch provides more covering fire as he does so. Ziang heads through the door only to be greeted by two more dead gangers on the floor and a grenade bouncing around the corner. He quickly ducks back out and waits for the flashbang to go off then he and Angelus storm the building. They duck around the corner Ziangs shield up to see another soldier, this one marked up with Star Helix shooting back at them. Ziang darts forward to draw fire while Angelus shoots towards him seemingly clipping him before he jumps sideways through a door further into the interior. Thatch slings his rifle and draws his pistol hoping that their assault would distract anyone before diving through what is left of the windows slats and coming up to scan the room. At that point a lot happens at once...

He see's another soldier in unmarked gear nursing a gunshot to his leg. He immediately shouts at him to drop his weapon. "you drop it! UN!" "FUCK!" replies Thatch....

At the same time Joe is playing trying to break the jamming on his drone but accidentally breaks into the comms of a rapidly approaching dropship squadron. He radios the group "you have two minutes to get out of there. the ship is leaving in 2 1/2!"...

Angelus here's Radio chatter from a room they previously bypassed. He looks in to find another soldier operating radio equipment and an Asian looking gentleman matching Shinzu's description tied to a chair he tells the marine to drop it who just laughs at him...

Ziang charges forward turning in where the wounded solider was and swings his sword for his neck...

The good Doctor tries to figure out why the fuck Thatch just jumped through a perfectly good window...

Thatch Argues with the UN Colonel when asked why we're there he tells him they have been hired to rescue a kidnapping. After agonising for a moment he sends the message "Stand down they're friendlies..." across the crews comms...

Joe tries to convince the incoming dropships to turn around but doesn't have much success by just asking nicely and saying everything is fine...

Angelus' asks the soldiers why they are here to which the reply "you need to ask the colonel that" occurs. He get's Thatch's message and stands down...

Ziang gets Thatch's message and pulls his swing just in time stopping under the wounded soliders neck "Drop it". Which the solider sensibly does before Ziang knocks him out anyway...

The Doctor is called in by Thatch to help treat the wounded soldiers...

Once everything has calmed down they find out the colonel (who looks way too young for his rank to Thatch) is with Bravo squad they are doing a favour for Star Helix helping them rescue Shinzu who is their asset as well as getting information out of Shinzu for his other dealings before releasing him to continue his informing. It seems the dead gangers around the place has just took him for simple money. Joe radios in asking what is going on and thatch tells him it's sorted and they are working out a deal with the UN and to either come up or go and they'll be in touch. Joe leaves heading back in the boat.

The group argue with the UN while Victor patches their wounds the Colonel dismissively telling them they are "dealing with elements above their understanding". Thatch and Angelus suggest that they give Shinzu to them and they can "rescue" him as per their mission since that will look better than him suddenly just turning up At this point the radio operator tells the colonel he has an incoming call from Secretary Avasarala. the colonels face drops before he takes the horn. He tries to smarm up to the Secretary but, even over the handset, the group can hear her politely inform him that there has been a change of plans.

<Insert expletive ridden completely emasculating decontruction of the colonels entire being here>

He is to let us go into the care of her agent Cotyar who is on one of the inbound dropships and take no further action against us. He looks very sheepish and agrees. Theg roup look at each other and decide whether to try to leave or stay. "we hold" says Thatch and Angelus drops a message to Joe to let him know they'll be in touch and everything is fine.

Cotyar lands a non-descript man that screams Spook to those with experience of such things. He introduces himself and says we're to come with him and "not to go with the monkeys" indicating the spec-ops soldiers. He explains the only reason we're ok is because someone vouched for Thatch specifically. At this point he introduces the rest of the group to Melanie Storm. Someone who Thatch is well familiar with from his service days. The group get on the shuttle with them hearing stories of peach outreach in the background after the Ganymede incident on the radio before wondering what the future (and the next rotation) have in store for them...

Also for the record most definitely yes Thatch will be back.
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MellyMel - Sun 12 Sep - 21:07

+1 get well soon

Garuda - Sun 12 Sep - 14:09

Hi Jim, Hope you're feeling okay.

JIm - Sat 11 Sep - 16:40

Had a positive pcr test for corona

MellyMel - Fri 3 Sep - 19:33

hi kaltek - welcome to the club!

Kaltek - Fri 3 Sep - 07:50

Hi all, thanks for a great first session! Really welcoming group can't wait for next week.

Tom - Thu 2 Sep - 19:08

Hi AllRunning late tonight, should be there about 8,.

mikeawmids - Thu 2 Sep - 16:45

Message relayed, new bloke is a go, his name is Richard. I tolkd him to bring some d6.

mikeawmids - Thu 2 Sep - 16:35

I'll pass that on.

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