Release the Kraken

Episode 4

On the Grape Vine

Having just secured the command and control center for the Kronos docking spire, RTK is at something of a loose end.

With the automated defenses turned against the Ultimates, local Anarchist faction and Criminal faction militias are able to sweep up from the base of the spire. Space forces from SEP and their coalition of interested parties and investors press in from outside. RTK can sit back and wait for them to meet in the middle, and appoint new management to the place.

In the meantime, Tasha scrubs the computer system and locates the surviving egos of the spec-ops team they were sent to recover, along with several other egos that were in storage there. Unfortunately, they seem to have been somehow damaged: some higher brain functions are disabled or edited out, as if the egos have been afflicted with severe mental retardation.

Magu takes Kulu with him (as he is not present at this game) to run some “errands” and leaves the rest of RTK to their own recognizance until SEP has a new operation for them. They will not be returning to The Geisha, as their recent operations have brought them too much attention and they do not want that attention reflected on the Market there. SEP will be using their new security Jammer to protect The Geisha instead.

Due to the recent troubles, and because Kronos (aka the Grape Vine) is so overpopulated and heavily divided between Anarchist and Criminal factions, cost of living and local insurance rates are through the roof. Complicating that, the local Farcasters are currently operating over capacity and there is a long wait list for any significant communications out side of the station.

This means that backups are not being transmitted out, and no one is leaving until they can clear the queues. After asking about, the explanation seems to be that a new habitat is being built in the Saturn system and there is a large influx of talent (scientists and engineers) to work on the project (hence clogging the farcasters and overtaxing mainframes all over the Saturn system). There is some speculation that the habitat project is a smokescreen for something else entirely, but nothing concrete is known.

As RTK is contemplating their next move, an Overwatch agent contacts Zaius. Appealing to his patriotism and sense of (trans)humanity, the Overwatch agent (Gabriel) raises some concerns about Weyland and SEP. The planetary consortium knows about the Logos business, as their missile relayed telemetry before destroying the object. The possibility of a TITAN threat being introduced to the region could destabilize the entire Saturn system, or threaten the Solar system in general. Gabriel tells Zaius that SEP is leveraged 500x over their actual assets, and he is having trouble tracing where they are getting the funds or what they are doing with it. He wants copies of what they took from Logos, and to know what SEP is doing.

To that end, he points Zaius at a couple of exhuman presences at Kronos. The one he is interested in is Snufalupagus: a part of the same group-mind swarm that was the first to investigate at Logos. The other is Wednesday, a local crime lord who is likely to be able to put RTK in touch with Snufalupagus.

With a last appeal to Zaius’s transhumanity (and a large bankroll) Gabriel puts RTK on the project.

RTK finds Wednesday’s domain (a few of the “grapes” on the cluster) to be clean and orderly, the resedents there having a strong sense of community. Wednesday, a Neurode, talks to RTK about the importance of oppenes, disclosure, and communal sharing. He wants to be privy to whatever they discuss with Snufalupagus, as well as to open-source any information they have about Overwatch’s operation as Wednesday suspects that it would benefit from peer-scrutiny.

RTK agrees in principal, though they carefully leave themselves some contractual “outs” to limit liability. Wednesday puts them in touch with the local Snufalupagus nodes, who reside in an old Torus hab not to far from the Grape Vine.

RTK rents a cheap and flimsy sp-taxi, and when they arrive at the Torus they find it de-spun and bristling with antennas. Upon approaching the docking collar, a swarm of the same sp-spiders from Logos pour out towards them!

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