Scattered Seeds

They speak for the Truffula VIIi

Dominé and Phoenix proceed like this is an ordinary romantic getaway, though they both probably know better.  They're in a large suite in one of the major hotels in the tourist area of the city.  Phoenix has a bad dream about the bug in her arm spreading blue spider-webs across her skin.  She discusses the dream with Dominé.  The week proceeds uneventfully, and he asks her to go to party on their last night, hosted by Nal Underwood, who is important in the city for some reason.

Cal and Eden find a couple staying in a room nearby who seem not to be regular tourists and keep an eye on them.  Eden encounters the woman of the couple coming out of Phoenix and Dominé's room, and confronts her; Cal comes quickly and there's a minor physical altercation, but the woman (named Nellie Razen) escapes downstairs.  Cal and Eden investigate Phoenix and Dominé's room and find a medical scanner capable of identifying Phoenix's bug device, so they disable it.  They break into Nellie's room and find some fancy communications equipment which they disable and an (empty) gun-case that seems like maybe it held a sniper rifle.

Cal and Eden study the area around the party, and decide on a couple places where an assasin might hide.  They go there early, and sure enough discover someone hiding in the structures holding up a set of signs over the street.  They call the police, who surround the area, but are unable to capture the person before they use a handgun to blow out a nearby window and enter the adjoining building.

Cal goes around and enters the bank building in an attempt to cut off or investigate the other potential sniper location, while Eden waits on a rooftop near the apartment where the party is being held to watch events.

Phoenix and Dominé come out of the train station and have to detour through the nearby streets to get around the police cordon.  They fail to see Eden watching them.

They speak for the Truffula VII

The team plans to renew contact with Dominé, but in the end he renews it willingly and eagerly with Phoenix.  There's some back-and-forth, but not much new is learned, and eventually he invites her on a five-day trip to "Reef City", an underwater city near a large volcanic / thermal vent formation where tourism, research, and energy generation share the location.  Cal and Eden head to Reef City the day before Phoenix is scheduled to leave, in order to be there for support.  Cal has Tennan fabricate an audio bug that lives under the skin on Phoenix's left bicep and masquerades as implantable birth control.  It uses her handcomp for communication and transmits in bursts.

They speak for the Truffula VI
In which things go sideways...

Phoenix is on a date with Dominé, eating at a restaurant near the docks.  But he's spent much of the evening on the phone, and fifteen or twenty minutes ago disappeared towards the bathroom.  Convinced he's run off, she has a discussion with a sympathetic red-haired waitress named Marie James, from whom she hears that Dominé is in that particular restaurant with a different woman every few nights.  Then she sees her friends Cal and Eden go by, and decides to follow rather than hang around.

Cal and Eden walk with Halbar (the man the intimidated in the dance club) and he leads them up into a nearby service level.  Phoenix discovers that the other man (Sor-Em) is following them, but is unable get them to understand her urgent texts before Sor-Em fires at them from behind on the service level, badly injuring Eden.  A short, sharp fire-fight ensues, resulting in the deaths of both the Humming Fish Collective operatives.  But up ahead there's more gunfire and the sound of retreating, running feet, so the team rushes up to find Sasha, badly injured but saved by a plate in her skull that must be covering some of her wetware mods.

The team calls Steve, who comes with Sam and Helv (a Haraal), and helps them move Sasha to a clinic which will discreetly treat her injuries.  She's still conscious, and she tells them that a man named Dominé was with the Humming Fish operatives, and that he was the one who shot her.

The team decides that they need to track down and deal with Dominé as soon as possible

They Speak for the Truffula V
Something unexpected...

Phoenix goes out on a date with someone she's recently met at the hotel bar.  So she's not in when Cal gets a call from Steve saying that Sasha was in some sort of trouble  She had taken her normal tram out towards the submarine port, but had dropped off the grid, and he was concerned.  He gives them two stations she might have gotten off at, on in a commercial area near the docks and one in a maintenance area nearby.  Cal and Eden set off to see what they can find.

Poking around the commercial area, they happen in a bar upon two people who seem out-of-place; they're wearing space-crew coveralls, and not really engaging as much as one might expect with the commerce of the area.

The two people eventually leave the bar, but seem to be aware that they're being followed and duck into a dance club.  One picks up a dance partner and moves out onto the floor, while the other drinks alone at the bar.  Cal listens in, and Eden approaches the one at the bar.  The one on the dance floor eventually disappears into the bathrooms for a while, and Cal picks up some chatter between someone in the area saying things like "she's waking up" and "we need to get her to Dominé soon, where are you two?"  One is named Halbar.

Eventually, Eden and Cal manage to intimidate Halbar into taking them to their co-conspirators, and they begin moving along the street to do this.  They have convinced him that they are with humming fish; he asks them about "group 6"

They Speak for the Truffula IV

The team huddles in Omar's Pharmaceuticals, trying to blend in by perusing Omar's wares.  After some discussion, Eden calls their contact with BSI again, and hands the phone to Phoenix.  The voice on the other end of the line reports that officers are on the way, although their search via drone did not find any know Human Potential agents in the area.

Cal keeps listening, and gets the sense that someone in the area is using a very powerful receiver / transmitter.  As the call with the BSI agents goes on, the different signals he's been tracking all disperse from the area.

Soon the area outside the shop is flooded with police officers in body armor.  They sort through everyone checking ID, and end up arresting a couple of folks with outstanding warrants, but don't find anyone who seems associated with Human Potential.

After a while, the team heads back to their hotel.  Soon after they arrive, there's  knock at the door, and they open the door to see the man in the hoodie who had been tracking them.  Eden pulls him inside and shuts the door.  He seems very nervous, and asks to sit down.  (Cal notes that he is transmitting data out of the room, and under questioning he admits he's transmitting voice and video for his own safety.)  His speech is halting and nervous, and overall they get the impression he's a little "off".  One of his eyes is obviously a technological construct, and he has surgery scars all over his face and scalp.  He says he's "Steve", a member of the Blue Gang, that his friend Sasha has been tracking them ever since Cal arrived, since Cal is obviously enhanced.  They're worried that Human Potential doesn't like them, and may want to do them harm, because of their enhancements.  Also that BSI (the Bureau of Special Investigations), which is the organization that contacted the team about working to help against Human Potential; they have a member named Sam(antha) who works in BSI.  After more questioning, the team allows him to leave.  He gives them contact information for himself and Sasha.  The Blue Gang members are moddies, a term you haven't heard before, but they all seem to have cybernetic modifications.

The team then has a long discussion of whether or not to just leave, or to go through with helping BSI.  (With asides to discuss Cal's new modifications.)  They decide to help out, and negotiate a setup with BSI where Human Potential will be informed about them and their affiliation with a "large, cluster-wide corporation."  Tennan and Cal will work with the police, and they are hooked into the police communication networks and given licenses to carry firearms temporarily.  Tennan is issued armor and weapons; she will be with the on-site team, while Cal works behind the scenes.  The police have assets in place who can give them an hour or so's warning of when Human Potential will act, and they think they will know basically what the plan is, though of course they don't have complete control over the situation.

They Speak for the Truffula III
In which there is trouble...

From High Fjord, Eden, Phoenix, and Tennan travel to the frozen surface of new greenland, landing in Sarqaq, which is mostly a set of surface landing strips and related facilities set into fixed permanent ice near the northern polar region.  There they took a ride down through the miles-thick ice to a submerged submarine port, where they took a really-really fast sub voyage to Upermavik, which is an "anchored city" attached near the sea floor deep under the ocean.  There they spent time with Suraad, who showed them around for a few days.

During one of their sightseeing trips, they visited a large park-like area housed in a torus-shaped area of the city, with a central water-column and lots and lots of glass, and watched sea life, especially huge squid-like creatures, feeding.  While there, they were detained, for lack of a better word, by some unidentified security agency, who's operatives are huge 8-foot-tall humans.  After some rash decisions on the tram back to the detention / interview center, they had a relatively cordial discussion with their captors, and were released.  They were warned maybe they should avoid the local LG representative, named Sev Derstine, who seems to have something against Sara Riven.

They were also told that there is a local organization known as Human Potential, that may seem the team as some sort of threat (because HP doesn't like unmodified humans), and the security folks want to use the team as bait to lure HP into disgracing itself.  The team has basically agreed to this, but it hasn't gone forward yet.

Meanwhile, Cal met with Aramis and Nostral on a station in the Ruin system that had been . . . forcibly cleaned of its previous inhabitants.  Nostral asked some questions, particularly about his experiences at IBI, and offered some enhancement technology similar to that received by Two, which Cal accepted.  Cal then departed via fast courier back to Mwenye and then on to New Greenland, where he meets up with the rest of the team.

The team has a couple of discussions among themselves and with Tennan; Tennan describes herself as a "Radical" and seems to see politics on Roanoke as a struggle between Radicals and Conservatives.  She describes some of the long-distant history of the cluster, a time 6,000+ years ago when the people of Roanoke used some technology to move entire planets through the slipstreams and into the Roanoke system, where they were broken down for raw materials for the ring.  She indicates this is the reason for the resource-poverty of Mwenye, Tesla, Ruin, and Reich V.  She also indicates that the recent (as-in 300 years ago) destruction-by-asteroid-impact of the Mwenye homeworld was caused by this action 6,000 years ago.

The team goes out to dinner, and on the way back to their hotel they are stalked by 6 or 8 people who are using human enhancement devices to communicate.  The team calls the authorities, who (it seems) send a drone to investigate, but the drone is knocked out as it exits the area.

They Speak for the Truffula II
In which they act like tourists...

Phoenix, Eden, and Tennan dock on High Fjord.  The station is a large, spindle-shaped asteroid that has been spun up to provide artificial gravity in the tunnels inside; it is home to about 1.5M people.  The docking array sits at the end, staying still relative to the system for ease of docking.

After customs checks they wander the ring of the station closest to the docks, and eventually settle to eat at Haraal Marid’s Noodles.  Marid is a relatively genial man, and despite the fact that he doesn’t seem to believe the group are just ordinary traders out on the town, he talks with them extensively about New Greenland, it’s history, peoples, etc.  They learn that some 1800 years ago there was some sort of split over religious differences and the more religions portions of the Haraal people moved off, mostly settling in Veranda.  Subsequently the New Geenland government has banned all forms of religion and religions activity.

Marid repeated urges the group to go see the High Fjord municipal museum.  He offers the contact information for his cousin Suuraad who lives in one of the surface cities as a local guide should the group want to visit the surface.  He recommends the Port Club as a place where business is done and deals are made for traders; also the James Bar, Sophie’s Strip Club, and the shows at the Sarapin.

They Speak for the Truffula I

Cal watches as Maria spends more and more time with Phoenix on the trip back through Ruin to Reich V.  Maria herself seems a little shell-shocked by the experiences of mission, and turns to Phoenix for comfort.  Eventually Eden and Phoenix hatch a plan to follow through some of the expected rituals of Reich military life surrounding deaths in combat; they set out a table with empty places (with personal effects) and full shot glasses for each of the fallen, and proceed to sit and get drunk with Maria while Cal records things remotely.  Eventually Phoenix and Maria stumble off to bed, waking late in the morning.  Afterwards Maria seems to be happier and more stable.

Debriefing in Reich V space goes smoothly, and the crew says goodbye to Maria there.

Debriefing back on Mwenye is somewhat more strenuous.  The team meets with Sara, who has been promoted to some sort of Vice President's position and is interested in continuing to utilize the team for high-risk situations.  Phoenix and Eden propose that the team travel to Lorax to see if they can find any information about the Hummingfish Collective there, and Sara agrees, but it is requested that Cal stay behind to further discuss with Sara and some of her operatives information about his experiences with the exosuit.

Phoenix, Eden, and Tennan debark for Lorax, with plans to stop and do some investigating in New Greenland and Crystal 9.  Their slip transition to New Greenland from Reich V goes badly, and they spin off into the system, bleeding heat.  It takes a couple of extra weeks to limp into the High Fjord station near the planet, and they have engine trouble on the way in.  They're assisted by a maintenance tug captained by a Haraal Masel.  His mechanics, a crew of 3 crabs head out to try and fix the damage.  One of the crabs, Mechanic First Class Reimann, calls in and explains the trouble, and they set about fixing it.  Masel sends over an electronic pamphlet which discusses several of the different human subspecies that live in New Greenland, including the crabs, the Haraal, and the most-frequently occurring Rast people, who look pretty much like normal humans but who have matte-black skin and who can live in climates unmodified humans would find extremely uncomfortable and who require few calories to survive.

Previous Missions
The story so far...

Previous Missions

A Derelict

The team, designated Expeditionary Group Tango X-Ray 6, is asked to investigate a derelict spacecraft in the Ruin system. They do, and find that it is a Reich V craft that has been destroyed by something internal and doused with leaking radiation. They narrowly escape getting entailed with a Reich V military craft that has also come to investigate the wreck.

A Political Prisoner

They are then sent to Tesla to extract a prisoner known as Kala Rados who has been charged with fomenting revolution or something similar. She is a member of a terrorist group known as the Humming Fish Collective, and on their way to deliver her to a black site in the ruin system she tries to convince them of the rightness of the Collective's aims, and almost succeeds.

A Ring

They then are ordered to Roanoke to find out what a Reich V military mission is doing there; Sara comes along. They follow the Reich soldiers through the wasteland and watch as they are wiped out by huge creatures of mixed organic and technological origin. Then they go to the site that Sara thinks the soldiers were headed for, and there they encounter some sort of stealthed wall-crawling creatures and they have a fight, where Sara is injured. They are "rescued" by one of the "glittering ones," who lives under the surface in a world created for him by some sort of simulation or nanotech. He repairs the damage done to Sara with technology that not only heals her but somehow enhances her. They leave and go to Skullport, where they are "judged" by Diogenes and others. The judgment is that they can go if they submit to inspection for forbidden technology; and they are asked to both take Tennan along and to act as a liaison between LG and Roanoke. Roanoke creates a blockade at the slip knots to prevent unauthorized entry, and the ship the Reich V military ship is destroyed.


Back in Mwenye, after extensive debriefing and some R&R, Sara is playing a dangerous game trying to balance multiple factions inside LG: some who see unrestrained BioTech use as a danger and some who see it as an opportunity. She seems determined to work with the faction that wants to restrain or control the technology. The team is attacked by some faction working in collusion with internal security, and Sara sends them out to get them away from the problems.

A Frozen World

They go to Veranda in search of Amana Sen, who disappeared there while doing something maybe slightly shady. She's the daughter of the VP of Operations of Starburst Shipping. There they work undercover for some time. Two "goes native" and takes a job maintaining the mysterious T4 station which is the "habitable" world's only high port. Cal joins them as their new team member. They meet the Haraal for the first time, and find that the Haraal are holding Amana, maybe for her own protection. They agree to perform a favor for the Haraal in exchange for them releasing Amana to the team's custody, but on the way to perform the favor (stop a terrorist attack by the Humming Fish Collective by capturing or killing the terrorists) they find they are too late, and the mining station is badly damaged with much loss of life. They help out, and find the terrorists as they board an evacuation ship weeks later. They intercept the evacuation ship and board it with the permission of the captain, and they kill both of the terrorists when they resist arrest.

A Double-Cross

Expeditionary Group Tango X-Ray 6 is then asked to work undercover as "independent contractors" and take work with a Reich V intelligence unit who is trying to steak some extreme biotech from the IBI facility on the Hive’s moon known as Anaph. They successfully take the job and are successfully working it, working undercover in temporary roles inside the IBI facility. Cal discovers that the exo-suits that they are supposed to "steal" technical information on (actually they’re "stealing" honeypot information) are actually symbionts which "attach" to a human. Their plans are thrown into disarray when a fuel tanker hijacked by the Humming Fish Collective sets a course to crash into the facility. Using the suits and their own wits, the team narrowly escapes. Although much of the facility is intact, it is badly damaged.

They Speak for the Truffula

The team decides to investigate the Humming Fish Collective more, and so are on their way to Lorax through New Greenland and Crystal 9.


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