Saturday, October 22, 2016

Headspace Gets Weird!

Today was Headspace; we actually just finished up a few minutes ago. But for a change, I don't have anything pressing right afterwards, so I'ma do the write-up now.

Last time, the Operators prevented PSS from making headway on their goal to subsume civilian police, and stopped Applied Optimism's project to get proof that another corp was behind the tsunami. This time, they learned the Applied Optimism was taking aim at Headspace tech directly, trying to learn to subsume or crack it.

They decided that was important enough to focus on to the exclusion of all else (which meant that the PSS project achieves an objective, but we'll get to that next time). They decided to take aim at the AO project's Time Milestone, which was Test Headspace crack using a broadcast facility. Their objectives were to locate this facility, rescue their test subjects and liberate the data, and then destroy the facility.

Spider activated his AI, Diane, to check the footage of their original raid on AO (where their Handler and Whitecoat were killed). They found that there was an aerodyne that landed just before the building exploded, marked with passes to get in and out of the quarantine zone - that must be where the facility is. As they were checking data, though, Diane told Spider that their feed was being tracked. They left, Grease driving (and plowing through a taco stand - Rage feedback!). Willis leaned out the window and blew up an aerodyne that was following them, and they made it to Grease's hideout in an old, abandoned bank.

Arrow checked the security feeds and found someone tooling around on a hoverbike, adjusting his nose - he had the same disguise implant that she did. Figuring he was probably looking for them, Arrow and Willis went down the road to see if he'd follow (he did) while Spider tagged the dude with a special invisible tracking paint that he rigged up. They followed the guy into the quarantine zone, but Grease got cold feet at the last minute before crossing the border. Willis jumped out and parkour'd their way in, following the guy, while Grease searched around for a safer crossing point.

Willis trailed the guy to a short, squat building in the q-zone. The others caught up, and Arrow used her contacts in the Architect's Guild to get the blueprints - there was no roof access, but they could get in through a manhole (or, to use the less sexist term, "street orifice"). The Operators went below and, hacking their way past security, emerged into the ground floor.

There, they found 20 beds, each occupied by a person hooked up to electrodes. The people were all breathing in perfect unison. One of the people was Angel, their supposedly-dead Whitecoat. But if she's here, then how is her memory still in the Headspace? (At this point, the Operators had achieved their first Objective: Found the facility, but Operators are off-balance and freaked out.)

They decided to split up. Grease left to go and find a vehicle big enough to transport these people. Spider create a failsafe to buy them time if AO decided to fry these folks. Arrow and Willis climbed up the elevator shaft (the only egress from their floor), and emerged in a control room with three whitecoats and the op from before.

Arrow nailed the op in the back with a monofilament knife, but those are messy, and the whitecoats noticed and hit the alarm. Spider was unable to stop the data from being purged (rather, he chose to save the people instead). Willis shot the whitecoats, but Diane warned Spider that vehicles were incoming.

Grease, meanwhile, contacted his ring of thieves and got them to send a bus. He got it to the facility, and Willis blew a hole in the wall. Willis used their weapons and grenades to fend off the security response, but was shot and wounded (and Taken Out) in the process. Arrow went to grab Willis, but collapsed into the bus (also Taken Out). Spider ran off into the q-zone, abandoning the others but circling back around to where they crossed into the q-zone. This completed the second Objective (Victims rescued, but data was lost and Operators and separated).

Grease drove the bus to the Dodge Clan's den, but wasn't allowed to leave the bus (the Clan was justifiably concerned that they'd been in the q-zone. Spider arrived and rigged the bus' engine to provide power to the victim's communal headspace, but knew that wouldn't last. Grease, meanwhile, fussed over Angel (who'd been injured in the escape), and Arrow obsessed over how Angel was here, alive, but also her "ghost" was in their heads. Willis woke up and discovered their left hand wasn't moving; too badly injured in the fight.

Spider hacked into the headspace, but did it too forcefully and all four of the Operators appeared. They talked with the people, who were confused and defensive, but Willis talked them into waking up. They did, including Angel, but Angel's memories after receiving her headspace implant were gone - she had no memory of the other Operators. She was, however, able to give them tests and prove that they were negative for the Tsunami Flu, so the Clan let the Operators leave.

By then, though, they'd been in there long enough that AO had time to get rid of all the evidence at the facility. This meant that the Operators failed the final Objective, but since they completed the first two they won the Milestone.

Next time, though, they'll have to split their focus or give ground.