RTK picks up on board the Destroyer, as it begins departing Rhea orbit. The newly made command staff does not want to be sitting in one place while news of their weakened status could be getting out amongst the various thugs over at Kronos.
As the Ultimate crew reorganizes and cleans up damage, RTK witnesses the dead bodies of some of the loyalists being hooked up to egobridges and small faceless homunculi morphs being brought online. It is surmised that the Ultimates are sleeving their enemies or disfavored into these physically limited servitor morphs, and that these same mentally and physically handycaped morphs seen on the Souvlaki and on Kronos were actually enslaved and crippled egos. And further, that the mentally retarded egos recovered from the Ultimate mainframe at the beginning of Episode 4 must have been handicapped by spending time being sleeved in these Servitors.
RTK briefly wonders about the character of the people they have been working for or against, but mostly goes on with their day.
Kulu is out this session, so we leave him in a healing vat in the destroyer’s sleeving bay. Some last cargo shipments come aboard before the ship is fully away from Rhea and Kronos, including RTK’s various affects and an ecto containing a delta of Maguchi San.
Magu (or the Delta thereof) congratulates RTK on the securing of the Ultimate’s destroyer, and assures them that the success of the mutiny represents a significant dividend in the management’s investment in the Ultimate meme, with which they hope to begin undoing some of the problems brought about by the Weyland partnership.
Magu Delta goes on with the news that SEP is officially dissolved and that RTK is to operate as a wholly independent business unit. Assets are being split up, and the Geisha has already been sold off.
Their first objectives will be targeting former SEP assets in a good-will reputation-building cleanup effort. It isn’t hard for the astute members of RTK to pick up the subtext that this cleanup’s main objectives are fingering fall men and covering tracks. Magu Delta points them at a trio of accountants on Extropia, whom he believes are the key masterminds behind obfuscating SEP’s financial trail and ultimately funding whatever TITAN related project Weyland has been working on. Eliminating them and their backups will be RTKs next objective; they are to make use of the farcaster on board the Destroyer, and sleeves will be secured for them on Extropia.
Before casting out, Zaius receives an encrypted communication from Gabriel. The intel they brought back from the ice-mining facility was useful but has not born fruit yet. Overwatch is still trying to track down the source of the funding behind the SEP/Weyland operation, and believes that the best way to get at it is through the accountants on Extropia. He gives Zaius the account number to an anonymous sum of Crypto-Cred, accessable on Extropia, to use as a slush fund. He also assures him that Overwatch has taken the liberty of making several key arrests (and subsequent de-sleevings) so that RTK will have access to the best possible morphs when they arrive on Extropia.
Indeed, upon their awakening in a sleeving facility on Extropia, RTK finds themselves outfitted in the following:
- A criminal enforcer from the Hidden Concern (octomorph-only cartel which racketeers here in the Main Belt) has recently been caught and desleeved. He is outfitted with a heavily modified Octamorph, sporting rows of blades along his arms and an Eelware system. Kulu (who along as an NPC in case he is needed to save the day) is sleeved in this.
- A Barsoomian terrorist mastermind was hiding on Extropia, and was brought to justice when the Planetary Consrotium recently bought out his insurance contracts. It was sleeved in a MentApe, or uplifted Ape modified with experimental Menton enhancements. Zaius appreciates the irony of the Terrorist’s background as he takes this Morph.
- A mechanic was convicted of criminal negligence and it’s modified Flexbot assigned to Mabuse. The sleeve is equipped with a Multiple Personality and Multitasking system, and a high quality computer to assist in the customization of forks that can be used in its multiple modular components.
- A Spy was captured while attempting to infiltrate a local hypercorp office. His actual identity and objectives are still unknown, but Karls is able to make use of his customized Shaper morph since the spy’s ego has been stripped of all rights – though he has trouble adjusting to the synthetic nature of the sleeve and suffers from pronounced dysmorphia.
- A journalist in a cherubic “Gargoyle” morph was arrested for violating several privacy contracts. Tasha finds the morph outfitted with advanced surveillance systems, along with enhanced electronic systems and mental speed boosts the journalist must have used to compromise various computer systems.
Thus outfitted, RTKs first actions are to secure a variety of independent backup polices against the contingency that Magu and the last vestiges of SEP decide to have THEM eliminated after they do in the clerks.
During these “insurance” proceedings, Mabuse starts his own insurance policy by creating a handful of (slightly traumatized) copies of himself, and sends them off in pieces of his new Flexbot. These four copies (One primary and three-subcopies) are mind-hacked not to harm their Alpha, and to independently pursue his objective of recovering the Ecto (That was launched at the end of Episode 2) and using it as a weapon to destroy Jupiter.
This leaves Mabuse a little short handed, but he is able to have replacement flex-parts fabbed in fairly short order while RTK is still finding their bearings on the Hab.
After some preliminary investigation to identify the Clerks and their various M.O.s, it is decided that simply killing the targets will bring too much heat down on the team and will not actually achieve the objectives. A plan is developed to infiltrate their ego-bridging facility to first corrupt their backups, and then to find some way to do unto the Alphas.
Tasha looks up a local 9-Lives connection and (despite some social gaffes due to her real-world naiveté) manages to purchase some assistance in the form of the details of the Clerk’s backup insurance provider and their various account details.
Thus armed, Tasha and Mabuse craft a virus to invade the backup facility and purchase a backup contract through the same provider for Mabuse. The virus is uploaded into the system when Mabuse connects to a secure ego-bridge for his “backup”, and from there the program is on its own.
Thanks to the various teamwork, complementary knowledge, hardware bonuses, and other assorted legwork, the Virus has four-degrees of success with which to operate autonomously. As each of the clerks goes in for backups over the next several days / weeks, copies are forked off and transmitted to RTK for interrogation while the actual backups themselves are altered and rendered useless.
Through the various simulspace assisted ego interrogations (and socially inappropriate use of simulated dik-dik tramplings), RTK convinces their copies of the Clerks to assist them in following the money trail on SEP’s investors. While the trail is too well compartmentalized and obfuscated through anominized funds-of-funds-of-funds, a path of guilt can be established by looking at which major investors are conspicuously absent from the investments.
(illegal in most habitats and simulspaces)
The Clerks have built a statistical model to five-nines of probability that impicate the Immortal Oligarchs of the Rothschild family. It is purely circumstantial conjecture, but it should be damming enough for Gabriel and Overwatch (or Ozma as Magu had once accused) to proceed with. With the Fall so fresh in the memory of Transhumanity, no one is going to pussy-foot around with legalities when there is a credible threat of a TITAN-tech enabled singularity attempt in progress.
With the backups taken care of, RTK uses their slush fund to purchase some extra sleeves, and psycho-surgeries the captured egos of the Clerks into “Manchurian Candidates” to hunt down and destroy their Alphas.
When they phone in their results to Gabriel, he congratulates them on the good work and tells them that once it is verified then Overwatch will arrange to act against the Rothschilds. Further, he requests that they look into the movements of the Ice-Core cutter from Episode 6. Its sale and movements have been obfuscated, and they might have better luck tracing it through the various SEP shell companies based on Extropia.
RTK goes in for backups to preserve their knowledge of the work and their successes (and various subterfuges) to date, and….
Gain consciousness in a virtuality / simulspace with several weeks of “Lack”. There is (the same?) delta of Magu there, who debriefs them on their success. He thanks them for their clean and innovative work in assassinating the Clerks, and informs them that he has already identified their next target.
The virtuality they are in happens to be a virtual orrery, or a full simulation of the Saturn System. This pans out to various points of interest as Magu describes what has led them to this target (and thus we have this nice multimedia moment in the background of the briefing)
And this is where Magu describes the history of Iapetus (per Eclipse Phase core book, first few KM of crust mined off by the TITANs and turned into circuitry, inflating the moon to twice its original size, or to a new size roughly similar to Luna. Project abandoned by the Titans, and the miniature “Matroska-Brain” is left inactive but still heavily studied by researchers). The movements of the Ice Core Cutter were tracked to that place, and a massive conspiracy of surveillance editing, and the brainwashing / overwriting of entire habs full of scientists have been discovered that hid the movements of the core-cutter. Hundreds of Transhumans near the moon have unknowingly suffered weeks of Lack, and their computer systems been compromised to disguise the lost time.
Through this intelligence Magu has determined that a “Matroska core sample” has been extracted from the Iapetus and moved to an abandoned O’Neill Cylinder which was destroyed in the Fall. The Ultimates and the Catana destroyer are already in route, and they have agreed to provide SEP with fighters and assault craft to locate and destroy the Matroska Core – Though the Ultimates are not willing to fully commit their destroyer against a possible TITAN level intelligence – several conic kilometers of raw computational power.
After being resleeved in their original (for certain values of the term “original”) bodies, RTK conjectures amongst themselves that their copies on Extropia must have been successful in achieving Gabriel’s goals and that Overwatch must have leaked the movements of the Ice Core Cutter to Magu and whatever former-SEP cronies he is working with.
The destroyer is already approaching striking distance of the O’Neill Cylinder, and although the players are slightly unhappy about the egregious plot railroad, RTK borrows some military grade Exo-Armor from the Ultimates and loads up in an assault boat with Tasha piloting.
Initial probes sent into the Hab meet with jamming and, though programmed to return on their own, are not seen again. Without any better ideas coming up, RTK cautiously enters the O’Neill Cylinder through one of the gaping holes torn in its side during the Fall, and begin investigating the ruins of the 5Km long city-like habitat. They quickly spot the Matroska Core tethered in the center of the Hab, and just as quickly are engaged by the defenders.
A fighter-screen has been provided by the Ultimates, and between them and Tashas simulspace-accelerated reflexes (she has fully interfaced her cyberbrain with the shutle’s computer system, and makes tactical decisions in 60x speed while synthetic intelligences execute the firing priorities she sets) RTK is able to make a quick survey of the core and escape out a hole in the other side of the O’Neill Cylinder.
As Tasha pilots the assault boat along the outer surface of the Cylinder, the defending fighters peel off to engage the greater perceived threat of the Destroyer – which in turn deploys the rest of its own fighter compliment.
RTK re-enters the Cylinder from the opposite end with the goal of commandeering the Tugs that hauled the conic core section here in the first place. Zaius programs a fabber on board the Assault Boat to produce self-replicating silicate eating nano bots, and RTK takes their exo-armors down to where the tugs are tethered amongst the city-streets of the destroyed Hab. Tasha provides space-support, suppressing the defenders with barrages of anti-matter projectiles siphoned out of the boat’s engines. Though sub-kiloton in yield, the destructive force is significant and the ground defenses are effectively eliminated.
There is a tense moment as reinforcements arrive from the destroyer – constant spoofing of FoF systems have left Tasha unsure of who the allies are in the battle – but caution pays off and she does not fire upon her allies. Together they achieve space-superiority and secure the cylinder as the rest of RTK pilots the Tugs through the middle of the Core, shattering the thin paper-like layers of silicates and deploying their specialized nano-deconstructors.
As Tasha scoops up the other members of RTK in the battle-scarred Assault Boat and heads back to the destroyer, we close the curtain on Episode 7…