Saturday, December 5, 2009

Intelligence Report/Soft Company/All World Importers

Name: All World Importers

Type: Independent Soft Company

Products/Services: Smuggling of physical and intellectual properties.

Company Line: You have only to ask and the treasures of a thousand worlds are yours for the buying.

Public Information: Hidden among the silken kiosks of the Shifting Bazaar in Orienta is the kiosk for All World Importers (AWI). Like many other kiosks in the Bazaar, AWI's location varies from day to day. You will know it when you see it, though. It is the only kiosk that is completely empty of wares. The only thing you will ever see in AWI's kiosk, should you even be capable of finding it, is a gentleman or woman in an immaculately tailored white Arducci suit with a plain steel briefcase. The only other things you will find in the kiosk are a small table and second, empty, chair. No sign or placard advertises the kiosk. Unlike the often loud and obnoxious vendors that work the stalls, the staff at the AWI kiosk sit quietly with their hands in their laps and their briefcase at their sides. They will not speak unless spoken to, and then, only about business.

When business is mentioned, the prospective client is invited into the kiosk and the silks are drawn to conceal those inside from view. At this time the AWI representative asks what it is the customer seeks. No request is taboo. War World equipment, restricted information, artifacts from White Earth, even images seen only in dreams are possibilities; AWI can deliver it all if the customer is willing to pay the fee. Aside from the usual prohibition on payments in Credits, AWI's billing can be as simple or exotic as the requests made of them. Large sums of Unis are common. Trade is less common, unless the item being offered is of substantial monetary or aesthetic value. Many times AWI will accept, or even request favors in consideration for trade. The favors tend to be uniformly unsavory and dangerous, with the customer often finding themselves procuring items for other customers. More often than not, AWI states the fee. If the customer refuses the term presented they will be politely excused and will forever be unable to relocate the kiosk. Non-payment is never an issue. Payment in full must be made up front without exception. People who attempt to cheat AWI are simply never seen again.

Once payment is made and verified, the customer is told to return home and await delivery. AWI never specifies how long it will take to deliver an item, but delivery is made 100% of the time regardless of the request. It is understood that the more exotic items will take more time to procure.

Delivery is one of the more disconcerting aspects of AWI's operations. When the customer is out on the streets, a stranger will approach and utter a single word: “soon.” By the time the customer turns to respond, the stranger is gone. When they arrive home, they will discover their order inside. There will be no sign of forced entry, and no one will have seen anyone coming or going from the residence.

Attempts to scan for Ebon activity will likewise reveal nothing apart from a vague sense of unease.

AWI does not have a set storefront or base of operations in Mort City. Outside of Orienta the only way to contact AWI is to put the word on the street that you're looking for them. This on its own is extremely dangerous. If AWI wants to deal, a lone representative will visit the potential customer at their home. These home visits can be very unnerving, as the AWI representative is able to find the residence without instructions and only shows up when the potential customer is at home. Much like their delivery service, nobody ever seems to recall seeing anyone coming or going around the time of the visit. Attempts at surveillance of potential customers in Mort City have been as fruitless as in Orienta. If a potential customer is being watched by SLA, they simply aren't visited by AWI.

SLA Intelligence: Any attempts by SLA to infiltrate or uncover AWI's operations have been completely unsuccessful. The AWI kiosk is notoriously difficult to locate. On the single occasion a SLA investigator did manage to locate the kiosk, the AWI representative simply smiled, walked out of the kiosk and melted into the throng. A search of the kiosk turned up nothing. Attempts at surveillance, electronic or otherwise, have been fruitless. AWI manages its secrets very well.

Officials in Orienta including Tsung-Li, the Shifting Bazaar's supervisor, claim to be completely at a loss for any information regarding AWI. Other vendors and patrons of the Shifting Bazaar are similarly tight-lipped.

The manner in which AWI operates is of great concern to SLA Industries. Their ability to procure each customer's desires without fail raises worrisome questions. How do they get their items so quickly? What is the nature of their delivery? How are they able to bring in items from off-world without detection? What is preventing a group like DarkNight from asking for the means to topple SLA? What if someone desired truly dangerous information, like the contents of [D-NOTICE][D-NOTICE]? How or if AWI filters its customers is unknown.

AWI's potential for damaging SLA Industries is great enough that if they decided to act directly against SLA, they might have to be upgraded from a Soft Company to a Suppressor Power. So much of AWI is a troubling unknown that a contingent from Stigmartyr have been attached to the Dark Finders already assigned to AWI.


The only intelligence SLA has managed to gather on AWI was gleaned from second hand information and interrogation of known customers.


Advertising Supplement/Clothing Lines/Überware



Type: Combat capable clothing

Locations: Mort Central, Uptown

Description: Überware is MAL's newest entry in the growing line of combat capable fashion. Überware answers the concerns voiced by a number of Operatives. The current line of armored clothing has one glaring weakness: little to no protection against blunt force trauma. Sure, that shirt stopped the 10mm round from penetrating your chest, but now you're doubled over with a cracked rib and the wind knocked out of you. You are hors d'combat my friend.
Überware solves this problem by taking Velkra fabric and interweaving it with a mesh of microscopic sensors. These sensors are capable of near instantaneous reading of sudden localized changes in air pressure caused by incoming projectiles and other objects. The sensors then send a small electric charge to the material, which causes it to harden for a fraction of a second.* This hardening drastically reduces blunt force and, in the case of CAF rounds, virtually eliminates it. The battery to power the system is hidden in a discreet pocket in the clothing and provides approximately 500 hours of operation, depending on the amount of use.
The trade off for this level of covert protection is that Überware is expensive even by KAV or Arducci standards. On the upside, Überware clothing is mix and match, allowing the wearer to choose the exact look and have it slotted into a single battery/control unit.
Styles for this season are what Orientan designer Jonas Dulang calls “Downtown Chic.” Look for heavy denim pants with over-sized legs and long sleeve crew shirts with the trademark “Fear Me” logo on the back. Also in the lineup are over-sized hooded sweatshirts which hold the battery/control unit with room to spare for cell phone, IV system and your favorite handgun. Colors will match the streets with grays, browns, blacks and blues contrasted with Überware's signature fluorescent trademarks.

*Note that extremely high velocity rounds may not provide the sensors adequate time to react. Überware or its controlling agencies takes no responsibility for the failure of Überware products to respond to these types of weapons/attacks.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Intelligence Report/Soft Company/News You Can Use

Name: News You Can Use

Type: Independent Soft Company

Products/Services: Information/News

Company Line: Keeping the Downtown population in the know since 899SD. Knowledge is power!

Public Information: Since the burning of the Downtown Phoenix in 895SD, truly informative print media has all but vanished from the World of Progress. Without saying a word, SLA Industries made it perfectly clear that print media is for glossy idol worship and celebrity dirt, not creating an informed and aware public. SLA Industries especially does not want a print media that trains the populace in potentially subversive skills. This is exactly what News You Can Use (NYCU) does. It is an underground newspaper full of literally life or death information. For the savvy Downtowner, NYCU is a veritable survival guide.

A good old-fashioned black and white fold-up newspaper, NYCU does not have a set publication schedule. The paper, much like Channel Zero, goes to print whenever there is enough material to fill an issue. It is not abnormal for weeks or even months to pass in between issues, especially if the heat is on from SLA Industries. The contents of the paper range from the practical to the dangerously subversive. In a single issue you are likely to see updates of gang activity and territory, recipes for cooking rats, tips for waterproofing your apartment and reviews of recent books, films and Contract Circuit events. However, you are also likely to find Shiver patrol routes, detailed accounts of Operative activity Downtown, tips for making hooch in your sink and schematics for antipersonnel mines.

Distribution of NYCU appears to be handled through a large series of reliable drop points. These drop points are generally shops and bars, but some of the bolder newsstands carry NYCU as well. The newspaper is often concealed in another publication or tucked into a shopping bag. Requesting the paper is done by speaking a code phrase. The phrase differs with each issue. Authorities speculate that the phrase for the next issue is concealed in the current issue. SLA has people working on cracking the code.


SLA Intelligence: SLA Industries has given NYCU Soft Company status on the grounds that “the classified and restricted information reproduced in this publication constitute a training manual and field guide for DarkNight agents and other insurgents.” SLA suspects that NYCU is operating multiple “presses.” Shivers have located and destroyed five NYCU printing facilities to date but have apprehended no NYCU employees. Raids on presses have done little to stop publication. As there is no set schedule of release, it is often hard for SLA to tell if its raids are making an impact. Is the lag between issues a result of raids, or is it simply due to a slow news period? SLA hopes that the Dark Finders recently assigned to NYCU can find out.
The source of funding for NYCU is unknown. The paper runs no advertisements. The paper is free and anyone greedy enough to charge for it is quickly taken off the circulation route. DarkNight involvement is actually not suspected as the paper has, on several occasions, printed reports damning to DarkNight.

Employees: Unknown. Size of distribution area would indicate a sizable staff.

Facilities: Unknown. Assumed multiple facilities. Possibly mobile.

Addendum: Clip of recent edition attached for reference. Click link for larger image. Image property of Departments of Misinformation and Subversion. Misuse prohibited.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Advertising Supplement/Drinking Establishments/Mahoney's



Type: Pub

Location: Lower Downtown, Level 7, Bezin Walk

Description: Mahoney's is not at all what you'd expect from a drinking establishment in Lower Downtown. It's clean, dry and despite being filled with an assortment of unsavory types, is extremely quiet and orderly. This well behaved crowd is due to the manager, a Shaktar named Mh'Nhy.

Mh'Nhy was a successful operative, reaching SCL 4C.7 before taking a Black Op in Cannibal Sector 4 that resulted in his near death. For anyone else, the injuries sustained would have resulted in a trip to LAD. As a proud Shaktar, Mh'Nhy felt LAD violated his beliefs. The rest of his squad didn't have the same sentiment and exhausted their medical kits to buy enough time for a proper medical evac. The squad succeeded. When Mh'Nhy awoke nine days later, he found himself alive but scarred and partially lamed in his left leg by the massive injuries. He was furious. He had been cheated out of an honorable death. Even though the Shaktar High Council accepted his newly rendered condition, citing it as evidence of the strength of his ties with his friends, he was shamed. He tendered his resignation with SLA Industries and was subsequently denied. He was ordered to take an extended leave and reconsider his options with the company.

Mh'Nhy decided he would use this time to explore Downtown. For once, he would walk the streets of the city for pleasure instead of duty. While on Level 7, he decided to stop in a bar called Oscar's for refreshment and hopefully some conversation. He found the bar empty except for the owner and namesake, a 67 year old man. Oscar Dervin, just glad to have a customer, called the Shaktar to the bar and started chatting with him like an old friend. Mh'Nhy took a liking to the old man and stayed for a few drinks, eventually excusing himself to use the facilities. During this time, a group of Krosstown Traffic members came in looking to collect some protection money. Oscar explained business was slow and he had nothing to give. The gang members were not pleased and began trashing the bar. Hearing the commotion, Mh'Nhy rushed out and confronted the gang members. Even lamed, one Shaktar Operative is more than a match for eight gang members. However in the ensuing fight, a fire started. The gang members were dispatched, but the bar was burning. By the time the Shivers arrived and extinguished the fire the bar was nearly gutted.

Mh'Nhy was ashamed. By helping, he caused far more damaged than the gang members could have hoped to do. Oscar was heartbroken. He did not have the resources to rebuild the bar and since his apartment was upstairs, he was now homeless. Mh'Nhy knew what had to be done. He offered his own money and help in rebuilding the bar. Oscar thanked him for the offer but said he was too tired and old to start over. He was ready to give up and start collecting his regular 40unis of welfare. Mh'Nhy would not budge. The Shaktar Code dictated he was bound to help this man.

The big ugly lug leaned in close and looked right into my eyes. 'Then you shall not run this bar anymore. It is not fitting that an elder of any race should be made to toil. I shall run this establishment for you. Because of my actions, I will see to it you retire in comfort.' I'll be damned if he wasn't dead serious and good to his word too.

-Oscar Dervin 897SD

Mh'Nhy contacted SLA Industries and the Shaktar High Council to inform them he had found his future with SLA. He would operate a bar Downtown and report any useful intelligence back to SLA. Both groups reluctantly agreed. While it was unlikely any subversives would frequent a bar run by a Shaktar, at least his presence would go a long way toward suppressing the civilian population in the area and cleaning things up in general. Mh'Nhy had one other request. Since the bar was owned by Dervin, he should be made an employee of SLA Industries and provided appropriate housing. A few phone calls and favors cashed in found Oscar with a SCL 11 ID card, a modest income and a warm duplex in Suburbia.

Within a week work crews were brought in and began rebuilding the bar as Oscar had dreamed it. Mh'Nhy worked daily with Oscar to ensure no detail was overlooked. Real wood paneling, leather seats, a kitchen to cook real pub food. The apartment was rebuilt and the building waterproofed. In between construction, Oscar taught Mh'Nhy the basics of running the pub. Mh'Nhy paid for everything. His final gift to the pub was a massive bar, handcrafted of the finest woods and metals from the Shaktar Homeworld. Printed above the door and etched onto the huge mirror over the bar was a message in the four major languages: “All are welcome. All are equal. Within these walls let no hand be raised in anger, lest it be never raised again.” The pub would be a neutral site.

The day of the grand reopening found the old man and Shaktar standing before the pub. Mh'Nhy was angered to find the work crew had left a tarp hanging over the entryway. Testily, Mh'Nhy yanked down the tarp to discover the “Oscar's” sign was gone.

In its place was a sign that said 'Mahoney's.' I faced the old man who was grinning like a child. 'It's only right that a pub be named after him who runs it.' He had the audacity to poke me in the chest. 'You run it now,' he said. 'Problem is your damned Shaktar names are a pisser to pronounce. I figure that's as close as anybody's going to get.' I am not too proud to say I wept at the old man's gesture of kindness. That night I began creating his braid of friendship.

-Mh'Nhy (Mahoney) SCL 4C.7 901SD

Interview reprinted with permission from 3ird Eye News

Oscar would stay on in an advisory capacity, showing Mahoney the ropes and getting the pub up to speed. Business was understandably slow at first. Civilians were afraid to go into a pub run by an Operative. However, Mahoney made it clear that the pub was totally safe. While within the walls of the pub, neutrality reigned and was rigidly enforced. Regardless of any differences among the patrons, violence of any kind was not permitted. Any violation would result in a lifetime ban from the pub as well as a report to the Shivers. It took a couple of weeks for word to get out. The result was nothing short of remarkable. A visitor to the pub could very well see Operatives sitting with Tek Trex employees or members of rival gangs having a friendly game of darts. The bar is even quiet enough to enjoy the live music that plays most nights. The quiet is due to the other rule at Mahoney's There are no secrets. Mahoney made it perfectly clear to his customers that anything said in the club is fair game to be reported to the proper authorities. Known subversives and wanted criminals would likewise be immediately reported.

Patrons love it. It is one of the only places Downtown to get away from the insanity of life on Mort and be as safe as anyone can hope to be.

Oscar still comes down and tends bar for a couple hours each day, chauffeured to the pub in his custom Augustus. You see, Mahoney makes sure his friend gets a large cut of the profits on top of his “salary.” The two can often be seen sitting in their private booth sharing drinks and laughs. Oscar is never seen without Mahoney's Braid of Friendship. Mahoney lives contentedly in the modest apartment above the pub.


Monday, October 19, 2009

BPN Resolution: ENQUIRIES-BLUE

Issuing Department: Enquiries
Color Code:BLUE
BPN #: DT/542999/GA
Surveillance: Third Eye News
Squad/Operative Undertaking: Team Spartan
Date Issued/Date Completed: 10/16/902, 10/19/902

Summary:
- Squad dispatched to Level 7 of Lower Downtown to follow up on reports of increased gang activity in area.
- Undercover activity determined that gang "Red Rain" was attempting to increase area of operation.
- Intelligence gathered by squad indicated a large Red Rain presence scheduled for 20:50 10/18/902.
-Squad established an ambush for scheduled meeting time.
-Gang members arrived as scheduled.
-Ambush successful. 32 Red Rain members neutralized or incapacitated.
-Shivers called in for clean-up and detention of survivors.
- Squad continued patrol until the end of required time.

Collateral Damage to SLA Property:MODERATE. Firearms discharged in a civilian area. Multiple applications of Ebon Bomb ability by Operative Obsession. Extensive damage to intersection of Sacco and Clemson. Damage mitigated by level of potential resistance.

Squad Fatalities:None.

Conclusion:Shivers reported sharp decrease in gang activity after squad patrol. BPN satisfactorily completed. Individual payout: 202c/Operative. SCL +0.1/Operative.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Advertising Supplement/Beverages/Product Review/Popskull Coffee



Popskull Coffee is the name brand of a line of canned, self-heating coffees. Simply pull the tab, and a chemical reaction occurs that safely heats the contents until the drink is piping hot. Popskull is most famous for the absolutely fantastic amounts of caffeine and other stimulants they pack into each can. To the uninitiated, a can of Popskull is a potentially traumatic experience. Mind-splitting headaches and audio/visual hallucinations are not uncommon for first time drinkers.

Why has Popskull become so popular since its creating back in 898SD? It works. People don't drink Popskull for subtle nuances of flavor. Nothing keeps you going on a drawn out White BPN like a can or two of Popskull. You can be sure that any Shiver Sleeper APC is going to be well stocked. Every dorm in Meny has at least one Popskull vending machine in the lounge.


Popskull? Oh man, holy shit, yeah! I mean that stuff is like anti-Drum! Wow! I can get twice the work done with a steady supply! Have you tried it? It's like anti-Drum! I mean just the other day I was on a BPN and..wait, what were we talking about? Popskull Coffee? Oh man, holy shit, yeah!

- Harsh, Brain Waster, SCL 10A.3


With tongue firmly planted in cheek, they named their coffees after medical conditions that cause severe head and face pain. Their inventory currently consists of six styles, with special flavors rotating in and out seasonally.

Subarachnoid Hemorrhage – Hearty Dark Roast

Orgasmic Cephalalgia – Caramel Latte

Chiari 1 Malformation – Cappuccino

Basilar Migraine – Espresso

Trigeminal neuralgia – Double Espresso

Temporal Arteritis – Classic Mild Roast


Popskull comes in a self-heating twelve ounce can and costs 2 credits/can.

Popskull Coffee is a subsidiary of Itztrong Beverages, a wholly owned subsidiary of SLA Industries

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Intelligence Report/Soft Company/TRIAD

Name: TRIAD

Type: Independent Soft Company

Products/Services: Mercenary Squads

Company Line: Tactics - Recon - Infiltration - Assault - Defense

Public Information: TRIAD has only recently gained Soft Company status. Very little is known about this organization, which is quite bothersome to SLA. TRIAD is a Prop team. Generally SLA doesn't make a huge fuss over solo Props. Props generally want nothing to do with each other. Often they end up inadvertently helping SLA handling issues Downtown that Shivers can't be bothered with and Monarch aren't capable of handling. What is alarming to SLA is when Props start working in groups. A single Prop, though well trained and equipped, is generally no match for a seasoned Operative. When you have a squad of Props, solo Ops are suddenly outmatched and Operative Squads find themselves with a serious threat on their hands. Another point of concern is the question of from where is TRIAD is getting its Props? There doesn't seem to be any change in the current Prop population aside from normal attrition. All the regular faces like Spooky, Bane Root and Red Harvest are still at large. In fact, the “regular” Prop population is pissed about TRIAD:

It's a bunch of bullshit. People are running to TRIAD because they can hire out a full squad instead of one Prop at a time. Dumbasses see those flash uniforms and think that means quality work. Those plonkers are taking money out of my pocket! Free market, my ass.

-Ground Chuck (Prop)

SLA Intelligence: TRIAD has things that have Props mad and Shivers nervous. TRIAD has a standard kit for all of its Props. The standard TRIAD squad wears armor equivalent to HARD armor and carry 10mm automatic rifles. What's of particular concern in the armor and weapons don't appear to be of SLA or DarkNight manufacture. Recovered hardware shows that SLA and DarkNight technology are being used, but the overall construction is being done by a third party. While weapons and armor are third party, other equipment (medkits, communicators, etc.) are salvaged and repurposed SLA and DarkNight gear.

According to intel, TRIAD does not hire out individual members. The smallest available unit is the “Fire Team” of three Props. There have been confirmed reports of squads as large as twelve in the field. Prices for TRIAD tend to be a bit higher, with 200u/squad member being average. Prices can go much higher if heavier armor or weapons are requested/required or if the job is particularly risky. TRIAD's members are highly skilled and motivated and are well versed in small unit tactics. TRIAD's base of operations is currently unknown. They do not operate out of the Depth Charge and regular Props have been quite clear that TRIAD members attempting entry will be in for a violent welcome.

SLA has dispatched a team of Dark Finders into Downtown to locate and disrupt TRIAD operations. Several White BPNs are in the works to do the same.

Employees: Unknown. Estimated between 25-100.

Facilities: Unknown. Size of organization would indicate necessity of a base of operations.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Entertainment/Magazine/Uptown Woman/Interview

The Mouth That Roared:
An Uptown Woman Interview With 3ird Eye's Rita Hurley


Rita Hurley graduated from Meny with a Media Package in 899SD. She joined two fellow graduates and formed the Operative Squad “The Blue Deuce Trio.” Hurley acted as the squad's camera operator and medical support. Her camera skills were shaky at best, bad enough to earn the nickname “Hurl-O-Vision” among her Third Eye controllers. However, she did have two things going for her: she was very pretty and could talk endlessly. Her running commentaries during BPNs gained an almost cult-like following. Betting to see how long she could talk before taking a breath was common in the Third Eye control room. Unfortunately, her combat skills were a bit lacking. She was always so focused on her commentary she became a liability to the squad. Hurley was forever giving away their position with her constant chatter. Undercover operations were totally impossible. After a handful of BPNs, Hurley was asked to leave The Blue Deuce Trio.


Third Eye, seeing raw talent and a modicum of potential offered Hurley a low-level position in the news room. Hurley would work mostly as an errand girl, running coffee and copies for the front line employees. She stagnated there for a couple years until she miraculously managed a scoop on a DarkNight insurgent living undercover in her apartment building. Operative squad “Team Spartan” was on Blue BPN in her building when the insurgent, fearing blown cover, opened fire on the Operatives. The insurgent was quickly neutralized. Hurley, sensing opportunity, grabbed her camera and set up an impromptu interview with the squad.

She showed the report to her superiors at Third Eye, who gave her a break and a 20 second spot on the evening news. Team Spartan would eventually set up a deal with Hurley, ensuring their team's camera footage would always go to her first. Hurley now had a fairly regular supply of solid combat footage and Team Spartan had an advocate in Third Eye. Hurley has risen on the ranks, now commanding as much as 90 seconds for her reports. As long has first dibs on juicy footage from a charismatic, up-and-coming squad, her career can only improve.
Uptown Woman caught Rita Hurley in a rare moment of downtime and put her on the other side of the microphone to discuss her big break and her relationship with Team Spartan.


UW:
Let's start with the scoop that gave you your break with Third Eye.


RH: It was totally nuts! I was doing some post-production for a couple of fluff pieces on my oyster when I heard gunfire down the hall. I'll be honest; I hid in the tub until the noise stopped. Then I grabbed my Ronker and went out to film the aftermath.

UW: And that's when you got the interview?


RH: Not just then. Fiddich, the squad's Frother, was still totally whacked out of his skull on UV. When the Shivers showed up, he went after one and they had to Hotline him. I just filmed the DarkNight's body until things cooled down.


UW: What did you think when you approached the squad for an interview?


RH: I was pretty nervous. They were still pretty worked up from the fight. Their squad leader, Obsession, is this Ebon who is...how do I put it? She's beautiful beyond description. I'm sure you've seen her on the vid by now. Then there was Craig Ferguson. He was all guns and attitude but you could tell that was just a game face. Last was Glen Fiddich. He was still a bit twitchy from the Hotline and coming down off UV. He might as well have had a flashing “DANGER” sign over his head.


UW: How did you finally talk to them?

RH: Just looking at this squad, I could tell they would make great video. I just took a breath and asked Fiddich for an interview.


UW: We all saw the piece; he wasn't very talkative, was he?


RH: (Laughs) No. I've found he generally isn't. Glen's not like most Frothers you see on the vid. When he's not juiced for combat, he's very quiet and reserved. If you can get a handful of words out of him, you're pretty lucky.


UW:
So the Frother wasn't talking. Amazing. Who was next?


RH: I tried Ferguson. It was really cute, you could tell he was trying so hard to look tough for the camera. He was nice enough, but he lacked...(frowns and looks to the ceiling)


UW:
Charisma?


RH: Exactly! Cookie cutter Strike Squad. There was no doubt he was good at his job, but gunheads are 10 unis a dozen on Mort.


UW:
Why hadn't you approached Obsession? Why not start with the team leader?


RH: Oh my God. I was so intimidated by her. Her looks literally take your breath away.


UW: Until she opens her mouth.


RH: (Laughs) I know! I think Ferguson had said something she didn't like, because she laid into him hard enough to make a Waster blush! Then there was the bandoleer of coffee.


UW: A bit of a caffeine addict?


RH: (Shrugs) Not my place to say. She just might really like coffee. She had about a dozen self-heating cans in a bandoleer slung over her shoulder. As soon as the fighting stopped, she cracked a can.


UW: You must have hit it off with the squad. They won't give any footage to Third Eye unless it goes through you first.


RH: I was blown away when they requested that. There was no doubt in my mind they were going to be big and they wanted me as their mouthpiece. When they got a Financier, they even instructed him to deal solely with me as far as media coverage went.


UW: What does the future look like for you and Team Spartan?


RH: Amazing. They've made some changes to the squad. They picked up K'Dgh, a Shaktar, and Tawna, a Wraith. The Shaktar is one those Sector Rangers, so we can hope for some great footage from the Cannibal Sectors. They've already pulled off a couple of high profile BPNs and even worked with Symbiote on a joint operation.


UW: That can only be good for their image. And it looks like Ferguson has left the squad?


RH: Not exactly. He's on a “medical leave.” The squad hasn't told me what that means and his files are sealed.


UW: Well, if anyone can find out, I'm sure Team Spartan's personal media liaison can.


RH: I hope so. I love those guys. We've been nothing but good for each other's careers.


UW: Thanks so much for you time. Best of luck to you and Team Spartan.


RH: You're quite welcome! It's been a real pleasure!


Copyright 902 Uptown Woman Magazine. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Entertainment/Television/Programming Update/In The Crosshairs


In The Crosshairs with Annette Winnegar


In The Crosshairs (ITC) is a celebrity interview show hosted by the lovely Annette Winnegar. The show is aired live and guests are given no advance notice of the questions they will be facing. The show is rapidly gaining popularity for a number of reasons. First is that Annette is a bombshell. With flowing red hair, piercing green eyes, creamy white skin and a tremendous pair of breasts, many people tune in to gawk at Annette and her impossibly skimpy outfit of the week. Next, ITC manages to book some of the biggest names on Mort. Jeff Moreau, Symbiote and Sour Blood area few of the celebrities that have sat “In The Crosshairs.” Finally, people watch for the interviews. Annette has shown no fear when questioning guests, asking questions that are fabulously nosy, inappropriate, embarrassing and just plain rude. Who can forget when Cerise pulled a gun when Annette asked her if, considering the way she dresses, she was a lesbian?


Given some of the altercations that have occurred on the show, it's remarkable that Annette can bring in the big names. However, ITC pulls in such huge viewer numbers that sponsored Contract Killers and Operatives have their sponsors begging the network to appear on the show for free advertising. Killer, Ops and celebrities also can't resist the quick fame an appearance on ITC brings. Good or bad, that level of attention means big publicity and big money. ITC is by invitation only, which further increases the prestige of an appearance. ITC does not pay guests of the show, though normal sponsor appearance fees apply. In lieu of pay, ITC provides an extravagant gift basket filled with sponsors' items for each guest. Many guests have said the basket alone was worth the horror of appearing “In The Crosshairs.”

In The Crosshairs appears every Thursday at 8pm on Channel 13.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Intelligence Report/Soft Company/Conway Motorsports

Name: Conway Motorsports

Type: Independent Soft Company

Products/Services: Motorcycle and Keshang sales and customization.

Company Line: High performance vehicles are no longer limited to Operatives and Shivers anymore. “Speed Kills. Die Happy.”

Public Information: Conway Motorsports' main function is to provide affordable motorcycle and Keshangs for civilian use. They also offer repair and upgrade services on any vehicle with no questions asked about the legality of said vehicle.

SLA Industries is not pleased with Conway Motorsports at all. The vehicles produced are unregistered and subsequently bypass SLA's road tax. Shivers hate Conway due to the increased traffic and proliferation of reckless drivers throughout Downtown. Monarch does what it can to keep these illegal rides off the road but the few vehicles they have are no match for the high performance Conway products.

SLA Intelligence: The organization of Conway Motorsports is loosely structured. There is in fact, no “Conway.” The name is a play on words to show the vehicles are made illegally for illicit use. Since they are made illegally, they are made the “con way.” Conway is run by three “Shop Managers,” each with his own rolling garage. At any time a Head Mechanic will have up to four “Mechanics” in his employ. As they are working out of cramped trucks, larger numbers of staff are effectively impossible. Only one of Conways' trucks is equipped to work on powersuits; the other two trucks work strictly on wheeled vehicles.

The bulk of business done by Conway is with street gangs, providing the with bikes and Keshangs. Conway avoids working with DarkNight, choosing to hire Props if they need protection. Conway trucks often have a Prop escort riding one of their custom vehicles. Conway has been known to cooperate with Tek Trex, sharing parts and technology on the Keshang/powersuit side.

While SLA is relieved Conway is not cooperating with DarkNight, they are frustrated by the edge that Conway is giving the gangs. Simple busts by the Shivers are now turning into high speed pursuits which often end in civilian casualties and property damage. SLA has stepped up Shiver patrols, going so far as using Battle Taxis as makeshift roadblocks in particularly troublesome areas.

Conway has gained enough notoriety that bolder Operatives will confiscate Conway equipment for personal use. Punishment for these Operatives is generally severe as SLA sees this as damaging to the reputations of the “legitimate” companies. Despite the tempation to forcefully acquire Conway Motorsports, SLA has not for two main reasons. First, Conway's reputation is too entrenched. SLA stands to lose face if it looked like they had to hostilely take over a Soft Company because their products were superior to SLA's house brands. Second, Conway gives SLA an excuse to increase Shiver presence and control “for the public good.”

Employees: Three Shop Managers and 9-12 Mechanics at any given time. Identities currently unknown.

Facilities: Three converted panel trucks used as mobile workshops. Trucks have no set base of operations.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dept. Employment Record #3211/2a/Update

OPERATIVE STATUS CHANGE:
Name: Craig Ferguson
Race: Human
Training Package: Strike Squad
SCL: 9B.7
Status: Medical Leave
Effective: 7.23.902

Dept of Psychology & Psychoses/re: Employment Record #3211/2a/Change in Operative Status

Date: 7.23.902
From: Dr. Kirstin Randolph, Department of Psychology and Psychoses
To: Department of Employment
Re: Operative Craig Ferguson, Strike Squad, Team Spartan (Record #3211/2a), SCL: 9B.7

SUMMARY:
Operative Ferguson was recently called in for his bi-annual psychological evaluation. Test results showed signs of severe insecurity and introversion with possible sociopathic tendencies. Operative Ferguson claims he has been under a lot of stress due to personal loss. QUOTE: "Everything I love or get attached to dies. Family, friends, shit, even one night stands. Everything I touch just turns to shit."
This response as well as his test results leads us to believe that Operative Ferguson would be a liability in the field at this time. When this was brought up to Operative Ferguson he volunteered to be admitted to Bethlehem Asylum for treatment.
When told his squad would be taking a Black Op and would not have his support he replied: "It doesn't fucking matter. All I do is hold the camera and take pot shots. I'd probably just get a squad member killed."
Based on behavioral analysis, Operative Ferguson would not be a good candidate for a Medical Exemption Certificate; one will not be forthcoming.

RECOMMENDATIONS:
Please immediately remove Operative Ferguson from "active" status and place him on "medical leave" until further notice.

TREATMENT:
Operative Ferguson will be admitted to Bethlehem Asylum for counseling and pharmaceutical therapy until such time as he is deemed fit to return to duty.


Attending Physician,
Dr. Kirstin Randolph, SCL 4B.1


NOTES [NOT FOR REPRINT]
All this guy needs is a kick in the ass. We get sadsacks like this all the time. If you can't handle death, then you shouldn't become an operative. We ought to just pump this guy full of Glowgood and get his ass out of here to make room for the truly screwed up.

Monday, July 27, 2009

BPN Resolution: THIRD EYE NEWS-BLACK

Issuing Department: Third Eye News
Color Code:BLACK
BPN #: TE/119250/DN
Surveillance: Third Eye News
Squad/Operative Undertaking: Team Spartan
Date Issued/Date Completed: 7/24/902, 7/24/902

Summary:
- Following up on BPN#IN/119224/ST, Department of Extraction interviewed captured Delicacy employees.
- Interview revealed Delicacy planned to sell a large lot of civilians to DarkNight for the purpose of being reprogrammed as Sleeper Agents.
-Further interviewing revealed location of DarkNight Sleeper Education Facility. Facility located in unused sewer/maintenance tunnels under the Bayou section of Downtown near the Cannibal Sector 1 wall.
-Squad dispatched via access hatch in CS1 wall.
-Squad encountered DarkNight picket en route to facility. Picket engaged and forced to retreat to facility.
-Facility electronic surveillance defeated by Operative Tawna.
-Facility sealed behind hardened service door. Operatives Fiddich and K'dgh attempted to physically force door without success.
-Operative Fiddich attempted to overload a SLA Fusion Recharger in an effort to breach the door. Unsuccessful until Operative Obsession applied an Ebb Blast, causing the recharger to reach a critical state and explode.
-Subsequent explosion breached the door and several feet of surrounding wall.
-Team executed a dynamic entry and proceeded to neutralize 60 DarkNight insurgents with extreme prejudice.

-Squad incurred several serious injuries but maintained high level of combat efficiency through use of Ebb Healing and KickStart+.
-Once the area was secure, Squad maintained a watch while Operative Fiddich destroyed all portions of facility not damaged during the firefight.
-On communication from Operative Obsession, Shiver Recovery Team sent to collect and inventory all DarkNight equipment.
- [D-NOTICE]
- [D-NOTICE]
-Team returned to the CS1 wall access without incident.

Collateral Damage to SLA Property:HEAVY. Unauthorized detonation of a fusion device. Extensive use of firearms on SLA property. Extreme damage to service area and surrounding tunnel . Area will likely have to be sealed and/or demolished. Damage mitigated by nature of BPN and need for high impact entry and level of violence required. Suggest no penalty to Squad for damage caused.

Squad Fatalities:None.

Conclusion:BPN satisfactorily completed. Individual payout: 2,970c/including equipment retrieval bonuses. Squad Financier Burke negotiated Team Spartan appearance on upcoming episode of Killzone in lieu of Media Bonus. SCL +1.0/Operative.

ADDENDUM: Squad only required 21 seconds from time of door breach to neutralize 60 DarkNight Insurgents. Squad warrants consideration for other high violence missions.




Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Intelligence Report/Soft Company/Brommley Hydronics

Name: Brommley Hydronics

Type: Independent Soft Company

Products/Services: Waterproofing/Water filtration

Company Line: Brommley Hydronics strives to improve the lives of Downtowners by installing rain protection and collection systems on the roofs of buildings. With the help of Brommley Hydronics systems, Downtowners can enjoy drier homes and a limitless supply of clean, filtered water for their use.

Public Information: Brommley Hydronics (BH), on its face, seems fairly harmless. Most people would say BH is actually trying to make Mort a better place to live. BH manufactures rain protection/collection systems for buildings in the Downtown areas of Mort. The systems provide a protective shell on the roof of the building as well as a series of gutters and drains. Rain and runoff is collected and run through a series of filters. The filtered water is collected in cisterns on the buildings with any surplus being released harmlessly back into the sewer system.

What truly makes BH look like heroes is that they do not charge for their services. BH never contacts the Department of Housing directly for permission, ostensibly to speed up the process of getting their systems installed. Permission to install a BH system is always asked from the landlord/caretaker of the building. Most building managers are happy to have a BH system installed as they provide rain protection, which lowers the amount of building maintenance. More importantly they are free, and nobody in Downtown is going to turn away a handout. Once installed, BH begins making regular visits to clean and change the filters on their systems. BH does not charge a single UNI for any of their equipment or services. They even go as far as waterproofing the buildings to increase the amount of runoff the filters have access to. To a poor Downtowner, BH is a godsend.

SLA Intelligence: Brommley Hydronics is the brainchild of William Brommley. Brommley worked as a tech in a SLA water treatment facility. As he daily analyzed the filth and pollution in the water, he saw opportunity. Over time he began stealing equipment from the facility. One day he simply disappeared, taking over 75,000 credits of SLA equipment to help start his new business.

Despite the theft and job abandonment, Brommley Hydronics primarily earned the Soft Company label due to what happens after the filters are cleaned. The filters in the BH systems are incredibly high tech, capable of filtering for specific particles. BH takes the sludge from the filters back to their labs where any useful chemicals are removed and purified. The rain in Mort is an absolute cornucopia of chemicals by the time it makes its way Downtown. Drugs, industrial waste and other bits of interesting detritus are all carried in the water which would normally collect in SLA's reservoirs or simply wash out into the Cannibal Sectors. Given the amount of rain that falls each day in Mort, the amount of chemicals pulled from the rainwater is staggering.

Once the chemicals are separated, purified and refined, they are made available to anyone willing to pay BH's fees. This is the crux of SLA's issue with BH. BH is giving Soft Companies like DarkNight access to chemicals they normally could not easily procure. DarkNight chemists are able to use these chemicals to manufacture illegal drugs, explosives and bioweapons.

SLA is at an impasse regarding Brommley Hydronics. On one hand BH provides a useful service. They free SLA from what little worrying they do about residential and other building maintenance in the Downtown area. BH also makes a marginal impact on reducing pollution. On the other hand, BH is putting industrial and military grade pharmaceuticals and chemicals in the hands of some very dangerous and subversive people. In the end, SLA has been reluctant to issue a Grey BPN or Hunter Sheet directly for William Brommley, as BH is currently doing more good than harm. SLA risks public outcry and possible civilian retaliation if they simply shut down BH outright.

Employees: CEO: William Brommley.

Exact number of regular employees unknown. SLA estimates that it would take at least 300 employees to keep an operation like Brommley Hydronics running. This includes everyone from installers to lab technicians to sales staff.

Facilities: Unknown. The Department of Architecture, Construction and Planning as well as the Department of Resources have issued White BPNs to locate BH facilities as well as Yellow BPNs to recover the stolen merchandise. It is assumed that facilities are located in remote areas of Lower Downtown. There has also been some speculation of potential facilities located in the Outskirts of the Cannibal Sectors.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

BPN Resolution: INVESTIGATION-WHITE


Issuing Department: Investigation
Color Code:WHITE
BPN #: IN/119244/ST
Surveillance: Station Analysis
Squad/Operative Undertaking: Team Spartan
Date Issued/Date Completed: 6/13/902, 6/14/902

Summary:
- Squad dispatched to investigate disappearance of children in and around 1900 Block area of Upper Downtown.
- Squad interrogated locals and investigated recent kidnap sites.
- In the course of the investigation, Operative Squad worked cooperatively with Operative Squad "Symbiote," which was working on a similar BPN in the area.
- Squads determined disappearances were due to kidnappings by Skin Trade organization "Delicacy."
- Squads raided a "Puppy Talk" relay house, rescuing 53 civilians and capturing 2 Puppy Talk employees.
- Interrogation of suspects (CONTENTS OF INTERROGATION VIDEO/TRANSCRIPTS NOT FOR PUBLIC RELEASE) revealed the location of a probable Delicacy clutch point.
- Sting operation on clutch point by combined squads resulted in rescue of 5 civilians and capture of 2 out of 3 Delicacy employees. Third employee terminated during course of sting.

Collateral Damage to SLA Property: Minimal. Damage to light pole in 2000 block of Walston Sector of Upper Downtown. Firearms were discharged in civilian areas. No appreciable damage caused to area of operation.

Squad Fatalities:None.

Conclusion:BPN satisfactorily completed. Individual payout: 507c/including rescue and equipment retrieval bonuses. Operative. SCL +0.5/Operative.

ADDENDUM: Follow up BPN to be issued to squad following successful interrogation of Delicacy employees and interviews with rescued civilians.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Advertising Supplement/Restaurants/Boscoe McFeeney's House of Haggis

Boscoe McFeeney's House of Haggis


Type: Frother theme restaurant

Location: Mort Central

Description: Almost universally reviled as one of the most disgusting concepts ever for a restaurant, House of Haggis (HoH) manages to be a surprisingly profitable enterprise.

Boscoe Mc Feeney was a Frother Contract Killer. He was reasonably successful on the circuit, living the dream of money, women and partying. However, the repeated nights of hard partying caught up with him. He started missing training sessions and was showing up for events and matches hung-over or still drunk/stoned out of his gourd. In no condition to fight, he was dealt a series of staggering defeats. After an ill-conceived Last Man Standing match against Mr. Consequence left him in an LAD recovery room, Boscoe realized stoned and concussed was no way to go through life. He quit the Circuit, which made his agent and Circuit officials none too happy. Even though he had become a losing fighter, people still paid top credit to watch this goof ball Frother get his ass regularly handed to him.

Having retired with a goodly sum of money from sponsorships and earlier wins socked away, Boscoe approached his clan for guidance. They asked what his aspirations were now that he was off the Circuit. He said he did not want to continue as an Operative, but wanted to open a restaurant. The clan gave its blessing, going so far as to procure a location in Mort Central for the restaurant. They hooked him up with a business advisor and left it at that. It seemed to everyone that Boscoe had gone from a drugged out Contract Killer to a respectable businessman.

Everyone was quite shocked when six months later, the doors opened to Boscoe McFeeney's House Of Haggis. The small restaurant was decorated with tartans from all the major clans (with McFeeney's clan being the largest and most predominantly displayed. Pictures and memorabilia from well-known Frother Operatives and Contract Killers adorned every spare space on the walls. Dance mixes of traditional bagpipe songs played over the sound system. Waitresses dressed in traditional (albeit extremely skimpy) Frother garb worked the tables. Most horrifying was the menu. Every entrée and appetizer contained Boscoe's favorite dish: haggis. Boiled, steamed, fried, baked, sliced for a sandwich, chopped on a salad – if there was a way to serve haggis, Boscoe explored it. The desert menu defied description. On the sign over the door and on all the menus was Boscoe's smiling face.

The problem was, the Contract Circuit still owned the rights to his image and issued a cease and desist order against the restaurant. No pun intended, the Frother community went berserk. Clans united in support of one of their own. They flooded into the restaurant to start a protest that would last for days. As the protest wore on, the protesters grew hungry. Eventually, hunger turned to desperation. Despite the cease and desist order, Boscoe instructed his staff to fire up the ovens and start feeding the protesters. The media was soon on the scene. Frothers, attention seekers by nature, wanted to show the public their support for Boscoe and that they were not afraid of the menu. What followed was televised mayhem. Frothers from rival clans were having haggis eating contests, followed by haggis hurling contests (both physical and gastric). Viewers piled into the location to be a part of the action.

The lawyers at the Circuit were fundamentally screwed. If they went ahead and shut down the restaurant for good, or attempted to wrest control from Boscoe, the Frother community would go into open revolt. Ultra-Violet and Tig had already come forward in support for their fellow Frother. Even the Video Nasty had been heard to say that he respected anyone who was intentionally disgusting and openly defied the system. The Circuit knew what it had to do.

The Circuit offered Boscoe an obscene amount of money for his restaurant. He would be allowed to stay on as a figure-head and advisor. A legend was born.

The joke is, the food at the HoH is generally repulsive. The bulk of the customers (mostly Frothers) eat there on a dare, out of loyalty, or because they're too drunk or stoned to know any better. Often it is a combination of the three.

Being a Frother-centric restaurant, HoH is usually extremely rowdy; impromptu eating contests and food fights are a fairly regular occurrence. The general rule is don't wear anything to HoH that you want to keep. Lumo has recently worked a deal with HoH to install vending machines at the restaurant. There are currently talks on franchising out the restaurant across Mort.

An entrée from HoH runs about 5-7 credits. Appetizers and desert are 1-2 credits.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Dpt. Employment Record #3211/2a: Update

Dept: Employment
Re: Addition to Squad
Date of Registry: 12/21/901

Squad Name: Team Spartan
Name: Carter Burke
Race: Human
Training Package: Business
SCL: 5.3C

Team Leader/Primary Contact:
Financier: Carter Burke@ 2411-99491
Team Leader: Obsession @ 6232-31193

BPN Resolution: Contract Sector-SILVER

Issuing Department: Contract Sector
Color Code:SILVER
BPN #: CS/85015/MY
Surveillance: Third Eye News
Squad/Operative Undertaking: Team Spartan
Date Issued/Date Completed: 3/14/902, 3/18/902

Summary:
- Lecture events cancelled due to speaker illness.
- Nightshade's Financier recommends payout of BPN to squad to compensate for lost time and wages.


Collateral Damage to SLA Property: NONE.

Squad Fatalities:None.

Conclusion:BPN considered completed at request of sponsoring agent. Squad payout: 1500c. SCL +0.4/Operative.


BPN Resolution: Investigation-WHITE


Issuing Department: Investigation
Color Code: WHITE
BPN #: IN/122500/SC
Surveillance: Station Analysis
Squad/Operative Undertaking: Team Spartan
Date Issued/Date Completed: 12/23/901, 12/25/901

Summary:
- [D-NOTICE]

Collateral Damage to SLA Property: [D-NOTICE]

Squad Fatalities:None.

Conclusion:BPN satisfactorily completed. Individual payout: 275c/Operative. SCL +0.5/Operative.

ADDENDUM: [D-NOTICE]

BPN Resolution: Expedition-GREEN

Issuing Department: Expedition
Color Code: GREEN
BPN #: EX/510222/CS
Surveillance: Station Analysis
Squad/Operative Undertaking: Team Spartan
Date Issued/Date Completed: 10/30/901, 11/01/901

Summary:
- Squad dispatched to Downtown area near Cannibal Sector 2 wall to determine cause of increased Carrien attacks.
- Interrogation of citizens and patrol of area beyond the wall determined that an Ex-War Criminal was driving Carrien out of the Sector and into the Downtown areas.
- Level of aggression required to terminate Ex-War Criminal determined to be beyond the limits of the squad.
-Details filed with department of Expedition.

Collateral Damage to SLA Property: NONE.

Squad Fatalities:None.

Conclusion:Squad completed BPN completed to the letter. if not the spirit. Squad payout: 1500c. SCL +0.5/Operative.

ADDENDUM: Consider squad for punitive Grey BPN to identify, track and eliminate Ex-War Criminal.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

BPN Resolution: Enquiries-GREY

Issuing Department: Enquiries
Color Code: GREY
BPN #: IA/3658212/CE
Surveillance: Station Analysis
Squad/Operative Undertaking: Team Spartan
Date Issued/Date Completed: 10/14/901, 10/15/901

Summary:
- Squad dispatched to protect Dept. of Accountancy employee Lily Thomas from a possible serial killer attack.
- Employee protected for assigned 24 hour period without incident.

Collateral Damage to SLA Property: NONE.

Squad Fatalities:None.

Conclusion: BPN satisfactorily completed. Individual payout: 200c/Operative. SCL +0.5/Operative.

ADDENDUM: Employee Thomas was killed by serial killer "Entropy" after terms of BPN had expired. Team Spartan was subsequently issued a Hunter Sheet for "Entropy." Utilizing a contact at 3rd Eye News, the team used Operative Obsession as bait. An elaborate disguise was used to lure the killer. Several citizens were killed before Entropy took the bait. Obsession terminated Entropy with a single 12.7mm HESH round to the head, but not before Entropy injected Obsession with a massive overdose of Drum. Shiver medics were able to stabalize Obsession. Entropy was discovered to be a member of the same department as Lily Thomas and was acting out of revenge for being passed over for promotions. Hunter Sheet closed and bounty paid to squad.