Release the Kraken

Episode 2

Logos

In the aftermath of the Ultimate Merc assassination squad, it comes to light that the victims were actually the members of a special ops team that had come aboard The Geisha for cover. They had canvassed the outer-system for a group whose morphs and skill-profiles matched their own, and had tried to use them to shake off the assassination squad.

It didn’t work out very well, and they ended up dead or captured. Unfortunately, this leaves their employer short one special ops team. Fortuneatly, the members of RTK have already been pre-selected as people who fit the bill perfectly, even though they haven’t spent the last couple years training for the job.

Mr. Magu explains all this as he drops the news that RTK has been secunded to one of SEP’s partner ventures, Weyland. They will be expected to carry out the very operation that the special ops squad didn’t survive to perform (the squad cant simply be restored from backup as some of them are captured and proof-of-life is being provided – the insurance provider wont reinstate backup egos while the originals are verified to be alive).

Thus RTK is de-sleeved, their morphs are put on ice, and they are egocasted to a Weyland server somewhere near Titan. They are briefed in simulspace on the particulars of their mission… wherein the history of “Episode 0” becomes relevant to the main plot. Weyland came into possession of logs from the Leviathan-12, and have learned of the presence of the military outpost at Logos. RTK is shown 3D stills that seem to be taken from a first-person perspective or some sort of Experia:

Caverns in the ice laced with gold superconducting wire, outdated but inscrutable computer banks, fluid splashing as globules in zero-gravity, fragments of grey matter being knocked around a control room, an arm holding a wrench… All frozen in time.

Now (10 years after the incident) that they have a better understanding of how to combat TITAN threats, they are going back for salvage. What they want is in that control room, the operating software from the nanohives that build and the computer system in the caves of ice. Three ships, one from the Planetary Consortium, one from Morningstar, and their own, are on their way to Logos with differing objectives.

Weyland is sending synthmorphs (including an Octobot and an Apeotron) to save on resources and gain speed, though they are still arriving second. They are interested in salvaging the command and control software from the nano-hives on Logos, to study the military technology that originally ran the outpost and built the computers there.

Morningstar is sending a full organic crew, in a bid to avoid computer infection. They will be the first on the scene.

The Planetary Consortium is sending a missile, and it will be a day or two behind Weyland if they are lucky.

Additionally, an exhuman hivemind swarm was mining TNOs in the Kuiper Belt as Logos passed near in its orbit, and they detached some members to investigate. They have not been heard from since.

When RTK arrives on the scene, Karlstad’s ego hasn’t survived the transfer. Some sort of jamming stopped the farcaster signals after the first four made it through, and his upload didn’t finish (he isn’t here for this session). The Morningstar ship is already in orbit and has already been disassembled by a robotic swarm, and similar spherical drones are launched at RTK’s ship as they approach. They are easy enough to evade, and the team makes it to the surface of Logos while leaving their ship in a distant orbit.

On the surface, a small firefight ensues with the spherical drones, which unfold into mechanical spider like contraptions (sp-spiders). They seem to be designed for mining or salvage, and the military grade weapons that Weyland has sent cut them down quite effectively.

The interior of Logos does not look like before (though only the Players remember Episode 0, not the Characters) and instead of the repurposed and gutted interior of a NASC ship, they find a vast cavern. Perhaps 10Km vast, such that their lights cannot illuminate the far walls. Every surface is covered in fine ice crystals, almost like a clear moss or an inverted lung. The contours bulge and arch and branch in complex fractal patterns, all traced though with fine gold wire just under the surface of the ice.

Somewhere in the center is a control chamber, preserved in its original state and where the nanohives perhaps still maintain the entire system. While RTK tries to break their way in to the metal control room, TITAN fractals (bush robots) begin to emerge from the walls to defend the place. They are not impervious to bullets, but due to their decentralized nature they are able to withstand vast amounts of damage before they are immobilized or reduced to shards.

Mabuse and Tasha breach the central chamber, from which a viscous fluid quickly spews out into the vacuum of the central cavern. Upon entering, they find something similar to the Experia that Weyland had shown them. But instead of multiple brain tanks, they find the remnants of all the nervous tissue salvaged from logos reconstructed into a single enormous cerebellum. It’s outer membrane fills most of the room, which is filled with a viscous life supporting fluid. They have to cut through it to get at the nanohive control systems around the chamber, but they do download the operating programs from them onto specialized ectos, and escape unharmed.

Meanwhile, the rest of the team has been battling back growing waves of Fractal bush bots, and RTK beats a hasty escape towards the surface… Only to find their ship being assaulted and by those sp-spider drones.

Zaius takes out several surface based jamming sources with a seeker launcher, and everyone abandons their synthmorphs to egocast back to their ship before the sp-spiders can disassemble the farcaster, and back to Weyland with the goods.

Except Tasha and Mabuse arrive a little late. When they do show up on the Weyland mainframe back in the Saturn System, Mabuse’s memories are slightly edited, and Tasha never tells Karlstad that a copy of his ego did finally get downloaded into a morph when the jamming went offline – just as the ship was being disassembled by sp-spiders. No one knows for sure that an Alpha of Karlstad is floating in space contemplating his misfortune as the nuclear batteries in the military grade synthmorph slowly wind down.

Also left unsaid is the exact cause behind Tasha and Mabuse’s tardiness. Mabuse has taken his EVA rocket harness and launched an ecto towards the inner system with the long term objective of recovering it (and the TITAN operating code he suspects it contains)to use as a weapon to destroy his old enemies at Jupiter.

Several hours in a time-accelerated simulspace has allowed Tasha to alter Mabuse’s memories of the deed so as to (hopefully) be undetectable by Weyland or SEP, and has removed Mabuse’s knowledge of her compliancy — instead framing Karlstad as his co conspirator.

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