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Author Topic: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo  (Read 4100 times)

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The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« on: December 22, 2017, 08:23:11 AM »
Setting

The medina (old city, lacking any megastructures or embedded CogNet systems) of Cairo. The streets are narrow, most traffic gets around on foot or by electric bikes. The skyline is littered with solar panels, small wind turbines, and other energy capturing devices, as there is almost nothing of a grid left. There is still a bustling and vibrant population, people who live free from the intrusive machines and endless flashing adverts. There are plenty of open air markets where people sell produce, and wares, but there is a distinct Mad Max flare as many of these goods are scavenged from wrecks or the ruins and middens of other cities, and much of the food is as likely to be slickly packaged preprocessed synthetic food as it is to be traditional grown food.

The People

As a free city, lacking a public police department, there are many criminals, expats, and would be terrorists in the seedier parts of the city, where they often provide the law and order in those areas. The people, criminal and otherwise, are still very colorful, retaining their African and Egyptian heritage, as well as espousing the duality that arcanotech is either divine and arcologies are distant shrines, or evil, and that technology will destroy mankind again. There are many who have come to Cairo Medina to escape persecution and prosecution, and you can see genetically engineered people rubbing elbows with cripples, exiled pets, cyborgs, and people who's interests and tastes got them exiled from the shining towers.

The Starting Point

General Ellington is a large Congolese man, formerly a Federation soldier who was dishonorably discharged. He now runs a nameless cantina on the south side of Cairo Medina, not far from the river. Ellington was a private when he was discharged, but is now a self styled despot general who runs the south river side, Al Abijiyyah. His men patrol the streets, collect the 'rent' and keep the peace, even if it means gunning down people on occasion. His cantina is an important meeting place for shadowrunners, fixers, and people looking for special employment.

Thing in the Local News

Earlier in the day a small craft was leaving the Federation's Victoria arcoplex (major AtFed city on the shore of the now Sea of Victoria) and it was pursued by AtFed fighters and was shot down. Unusual, but it is likely the craft crashed not too far from Medina Cairo

A group of Ellington's men were ambushed, but this has been happening around the riverfront, and the assailants come out of the river and vanish back into it. Talk is of a 'trashcan man' trying to take over any river front territory not being well defended.

Silverback, the defacto ruler of Cairo Medina, is supporting anyone looking to get into piracy, especially stealing military hardware

The Mawlid al'nabi is a few days away, and the city celebrates the birth of the prophet with it's grand bazaar, and there have been mag-rails, ships, and cargo haulers arriving for weeks in preparation.
" If the muse comes to your bedside, don’t tell her you’ll f?$! her later."- Allen Ginsberg

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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2017, 06:35:26 AM »
Blue strolled into the bar, adding to the colourful palette of patrons. The Arabic world, having preserved the tradition of loose-fitting clothing, offered quite a few options to hide some of the more exotic features a neo-ethnic could sprout; sadly, the horns (and the inability of conservative women to stroll around freely), meant that the 'walking black tent' option was out of question. Thus, Blue chose a high-quality fake beard, huge turban and embroidered kaftan, and resembled a djinn from fairy tale, so much that patrons occasionally asked for a wish. Blue used to reply "Who knows, I might?" A few times, Blue even whimsically 'granted' a wish.

Roleplay wasn't the purpose of the visit, though - Dr. Feelgood was in town. Blue wasn't interested in the dealer's recreational products, but the good doctor had also some more useful stuff. Cutting edge pharmaceuticals, the grade A stuff, and often secret corporation stock that was not commonly marketed.
The neo-ethnic was after neuroleptics, something to take the edge off the Maker's gift + the various amusing psychiatric symptoms that the genetic engineers built into the gift package that's Blue. The usual fare was unpalatable - haloperidol or olanzapine dulled the mind and the psionics, making Blue feel like having cotton instead of a brain; norquetiapine threw off the immune system and lab values somewhat fierce, and sedatives triggered a paradoxical anxiety/hyperactivity/aggression syndrome.
But the good doctor had some pills and syringes likely tailored to the likes of Blue, which made the colours take back their original hue, and the voices fade into an unitellegible murmur.

"Hello to the good caretaker, ever my savoiur" Blue greeted the pleasant dealer, whose round glasses, full moustache and bald head were as much a disguise as an identity and trademark.
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

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Offline valadaar

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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2017, 10:15:56 PM »
Jerome walked along the dusty street, his blades digging pits into the earth.   He was tall, a consequence of the somewhat overlong blades, along with his natural height. He wore a  form-fitting flight suit along with a partial respirator, an armored vest, and a helmet hung at his waist,  A combat rifle was slung over one shoulder, and a large pistol hung in a thigh holster.
Beside him walked a small cargo-bot, even more heavily laden then Jerome.
He was drawn here by money. A recent job gone bad had grounded him, and wrecked his credit rating.  Fortunately he had backup funds, carefully squirreled away from many missions, but not enough to live a life of leisure.

In addition, he hoped to get an upgrade or two for his lungs.  He had been in space for several years, and the equipment had served well in the low gravity. Now back in oppressively heavy earth-normal, he could feel the extra load on his enhancements.

He sighed with relief when the bar finally came into site.  He was to meet a potential employer for the first face-face. "Wait out here. Engage surveillance program 2," he said to his robot.  Somehow he doubted the barkeep would enjoy having that much ordinance under his roof.
He stepped inside.






   
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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2017, 08:25:40 AM »
There is a little bit of a fuss, being armed in Cairo Medina isn't a bad idea, and most places are open carry, but strolling in like a walking arsenal is frowned upon in most establishments. While Jerome isn't forced to disarm, or asked to leave, the staff makes it apparent that his war gear isn't entirely welcome, and it the other patrons take notice, and the tension in the cantina ratchets up a few notches. Nothing has happened, but it is apparent that the other patrons have unsnapped their holsters, and they've switched their safeties off.

The cantina was tense before Jerome entered, something Blue was well aware of. The Federation has scrambled several air patrols over the city, their sleek silver jets either cutting contrails high above the city, or screaming across at near rooftop level at incredible speed. The Feds were looking for something, or wanted to spook someone. The raids along the bank at night also had the cantina patrons nervous. Some were working night patrols, and had spent the night taking pot shot at Nile crocs and poor people along the bank.

'I am sorry my friend, Dr. Feelgood said. 'My supplies were on the transport that was shot down, I have a few things, sedatives and pleasure stims, but none of your chems.' He leans back, trying to look calm and collected. 'I understand that one of the local bosses is arranging an expedition to find the downed ship, and to claim the contents. He's over at the corner booth, looking for takers.'

The heavy set man in the corner gestured to Jerome, 'OY YOU! O'va 'ere' Dey told me you was 'ookin for work, gunnah with a bad rap yeah? Raspy bastid, c'mere sit down, let's talk yeah!'
" If the muse comes to your bedside, don’t tell her you’ll f?$! her later."- Allen Ginsberg

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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2017, 10:42:22 PM »
Jerome walked over to the offered table, apparently taking no notice of the discomfort his weapons brought.  He had been carrying them so often, he almost forgotten how the civvies reacted to them.  No matter. He was not looking for work as barstaff. His arms were as much an advertisement as defense. And where he grew up, able-bodied men always carried a rifle.

Less then abled carried them too..

He took his seat at the corner booth.

"Jerome Peterson. And you sir?"
   
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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2017, 06:06:11 AM »
'I be Deejay Jah, work for Boss Ellington I do,' the large man said.

'I want that cargo ship, dey Boss wants that cargo ship, he do. We lookin for tough boys to go get it, bring dat cargo back,' he says in a heavily accented English. It is obviously not his first or primary language.

'Dem Fedboys shoot it down, but the goods packed hella good, dey should be fine. Bring us back the goods, give you a cut, and give you pay, we do. Fedboys show up? killem dead
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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2017, 08:58:17 PM »
The loud discourse between the mercenary and Deejay Jah was hard to miss; Blue muttered a curse and then had to regain composure as a plate rattled on the nearby desk. Oh, what a jolly good time, with plaisir in abundance awaiting.
There would be no use in competing with Boss Elington's men - though brutes, they were greedy, ruthless, and trigger-happy. Blue had worked with them previously, peripherally, providing homemade ordonance. Fertilizer, glycerol, instant freedom for all.
"Ahem" feeling their eyes drawn to the strange countenance, Blue continued "I could not help but overhear, that a certain cargo's lost quite near. I do have some interest in it being found, it's for the best - for all of us it's plain to see ... you've never had a friend like me."
Melodic voice, faux Arabic accent, trained over the years to cover Arco English.
Stop. Rhyming. Stop. With. The flowers.
In a far more serious tone, Blue added: "I can handle a gun, or rather a range thereof. Similarly, I possess experience in various kinds of insurgency. Deejay Jah, you know me." We're basically family. You've never had a friend like me. the little idiot on Blue's shoulder added, for Blue's ears only. The urge to speak those words was there, tough.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2017, 09:06:35 PM by EchoMirage »
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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2017, 10:55:14 PM »
Of course he could not help but overhear. They were not being terribly subtle.
He had met lots of odd beings through his career, and this one certainly qualified. He met his gaze for a moment, trying to figure out this new person.

Jerome focused back on Deejay. "What terms is Mr. Ellington offering for this job?"  So long as it was reasonable, he was in. He had made sure his assistant had everything he knew already, including a few feelers to his contacts still ship borne.  Jerome was free with his profits, it cultivated loyalty in his friends. Though it made his goal that much further away.  He assumed this new fellow would be interested as well.








   
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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2017, 08:03:03 AM »
'Ellington has goods on that ship, yay. We get back dat which is ours, and you can have what you want of dey rest, you dig? Jah said. 'You gotta know, dey cargo pod gotta Mr Inspectah robot in it, couple dem pretty lady robots, a buncha arco-boy laser guns. Dont care bout dey rest, just dat, yay.

'My boys, most of dem too busy walkin dey streets to go play in the sand
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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2017, 05:59:39 PM »
"To each their own, indeed - walking the streets for your boys, and strolling the sand for us. Please forward any pertinent details and directions to my usual business address."
The neo-ethnic grabbed the mercenary's hand: "I'm Blue. Not the emotion, the colour. Pleased to have you on board. Now, give me a little time to change into something more practical, and grab gear. There is an excellent coffee shop near here, and they actually serve coffee! See you there in an hour, friend."

The colourful caftan swirled around, and Blue was off, just the red turban could be traced briefly bobbing through the crowd.
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2017, 07:00:52 PM »
Blue was known to Jah, but it was his business to know such things. He patched the information through to Blue's handheld, what telemetry data they had on the cargo ship.

The data file contains: the last known location, approx 113 km south of Cairo Medina, about 15 km east of the Nile. It is a badlands area with rough rocky terrain and no sand dunes, as commonly depicted on media.

The cargo craft is a SkyMaster 1500, crew of three, 8 ton cargo capacity, with a list of the goods that are earmarked for Ellington, and a guess at the rest of the cargo, including pharmaceuticals, stolen weapons, personal data files, and various valuable goods that would be on a fencer shuttle.

Options for Leaving Cairo Medina

travel on foot - bad idea
Mag-rail hovercraft, likely a converted tour bus.
Nile barge
Hover bikes or strider units
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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2017, 12:35:52 PM »
Jerome left as well, his robot following in his wake as he went.

A few messages outgoing and Jerome headed for the coffee shop Blue mentioned.  He swapped his assault rifle for a cut-down smg from the robot's inventory. Hyperpnumatic like his pistol. It would fit better under his clothing, and unlike the Bar, he was no longer interested in advertising.

He stepped into the shop.
   
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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2017, 06:51:23 AM »
"Aziz, habibi, your transporter is exactly what we need, yes. Standard rate, I break it, I buy it, yes, you have seven children and should I die, Hassan will reimburse you, he owes me."
Blue has changed, from the gaudy dress into comfortable combat fatigues in desert camouflage, revealing a decidedly feminine figure, and a sizeable rack of horns. A duffel bag at the side, a pistol by the hip, and a padded rifle case over the shoulder, with various tools and pouches at the hip, the neo-ethnic looked far more professional than before.
"I've ordered us an eight-wheeler, decommissioned military vehicle, no guns but good cargo capacity, some light plating, handles terrain perfectly. Has those huge tires that never go flat. And a coffee. Two. I've ordered those as well. Not decommissioned, not military, just coffee."
You've never had a friend like me!
Shut up.
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2017, 10:56:29 PM »
Jerome took his seat with .. her? Guess he'd leave out the pronouns for now.

"Sounds good. Have to see if we can get something to put on it.  I expect we won't be the only searchers. Doubt we got an exclusive 'contract'."

He would also check if his contacts could get the sat shots of the area he asked for. He hated going in blind, and always wanted a second opinion.




   
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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2018, 09:10:39 AM »
Jerome's contacts are able to give him some sat shots, but they aren't recent. His contacts tell him that AtFed security is elevated, and hacking a cam-sat is out of the question right now, unless he was willing to part with some serious currency, more than the mission was worth levels of currency. They do give him the heads up that despite all the heat on cyberops in the area, the Feds don't have any ships or aircraft in the area.

The sat shots he does get show a salt pan in the approximate area where the shuttle went down, which would have been a temping landing spot for a damaged vehicle.

There is also a wastelander campsite in the area, and they might want to avoid that, 20-30 strong, with a pair of mag-rail buses and unknown weaponry
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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2018, 11:44:51 AM »
When the coffee arrived, and the wait staff departed, Jerome brought up his map.

"Salt pan. Most likely landing place.    These wastelanders here are a tough nut, so we'll need to give em a wide berth.  Even odds they saw the craft came down and might already be there.  This one is gonna be rough."

This contract was smelling worse and worse.  It was beyond saying there was a lot more to this then some sexbots and drugs. 
   
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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2018, 09:36:24 AM »
"Well, who else is interested beside us and the wastelanders? We might be able to play them off against each other. As for allies, they usually want something in return, and with our friend Ellington claiming the slut-synths and weaponry, there may not be enough to go around. A shame, those guns - I can imagine a few people who would fry well on the business end of an arco laser. More than a few people. Actually, quite many, tantalising throngs of deserving targets. I am very imaginative, you know. A veritable visionary, vacated to these vistas by the vagaries of fate, or fortune" Blue mused in a rapid cadence, the first syllable of words emphasised, then laughing with a hint of self-deprecation.

"While we wait for our ride to arrive and for your ideas on other claimants to our prize to coalesce, wager please a few words on yourself? What is there to Jerome but this rugged, reassuring countenance?"
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2018, 07:15:11 AM »
A woman walked into the cantina, tall with a mane of electric green hair, and a security model power armor suit. The shoulder pauldron had a hand painted skull above crossed wrenches. She carried a combination rifle, a monster weapon that combined a power suit 30mm anti-material rifle with an automatic anti-personnel rifle bolted under it.

'I'm looking for the blue man, made a call for a ride' she says in a clipped accent that marks her as being from somewhere along the old Soviet border.

Outside, there is a neo-Soviet model 8 wheel 'turbo tank'. Armored cab, cab over open topped turret with a belt fed heavy machine gun, and an open top but armor sided cargo bay big enough for 20 soviet conscripts and their gear. The vehicle was painted with vertical bars and horizontal stripes, a mixture of desert tan, black, and white, emulating the dazzle camo pattern used by warships in centuries past. The skull and wrenches logo is stenciled on the side.
" If the muse comes to your bedside, don’t tell her you’ll f?$! her later."- Allen Ginsberg

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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2018, 10:32:54 PM »
"What is there to say?  Lots of s**t has happened.  Some of it to me. Some of it I made happen. 
I've been in an army. Saw men die. Been in space, saw people die. Killed a few too. 

But seriously, I'm a hired gun who knows how to fight, and make 'bots fight.   I'm in need of cash to settle some debts, buy some favors, and get some new spare parts."

Jerome was spared the need for additional smalltalk by the arrival of their ride.

"That was quick. Guess business must be scarce."

   
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Online EchoMirage

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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2018, 11:01:44 AM »
"That, or I may be a preferred customer" Blue smiled at Jerome, then switching attention to the Russian valkyrie. "Yes, the Blue Man would be me. All this blue, all natural, too. I can forward you my certificates; inspection can be arranged upon request. But now, allow me to inspect *this* beauty." Blue saluted her, then examined the 8-wheeler, inside out, above and below, then took a few pictures of wear and tear.

The excitement gave way to hypomania, a pleasant state if a bit carefree, one that Blue knew would last for quite long, as compared to the intense but shorter manic episodes.
"Perfect. Who's driving? Can it be me?"
"On second thought, it shouldn't be me."
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2018, 04:17:31 PM »
'How about I drive,' the Valkyrie said. 'I am Captain Arjan, of the 365th Osprey Squadron, this is my turbo tank' She looks at Blue, 'You seem quite excitable, it would please me if you were to take the dorsal gun,'

She looks at Jerome, 'Are you involved with this? If so, you seem much more...restrained, you may navigate where we are going,'
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Offline valadaar

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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2018, 08:16:38 AM »
"Yes, to all, Ma'am."  Jerome fought his instinct to salute. He had held the rank of Captain only briefly, and temporarily. Old habits died hard.

"Where do you want this put," Jerome pointed to his cargo robot. "We'll need to swing by this address so I can get properly suited up for the trip."
   
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Online EchoMirage

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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2018, 02:11:59 PM »
Blue found a comfortable position behind the rear gun, as instructed. Despite the neo-ethnic's rebellious nature, there was something beautiful in how captain Arjan dispensed orders, something primal and natural. 'I'd love to be ordered around a little more later' Blue thought, grinning.

Excitable. That's because I'm on a sub-optimal dose of my meds until Dr. Feelgood resupplies, or we find that cargo. Until then whoop-dee-doo and fiddle-dee, you've never had a friend like me.
'Shut it.'
'At least the psi's going to pack more punch when you don't poison your brain, Blue.'

"All set!" Blue hollered after inspecting the gun, head-up display, and ammo feed. "Ready to fire at your command."
Until then, Blue cycled through the various sensor feeds and whatever this position had to offer.
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2018, 10:08:18 PM »
Arjan gestured for Jerome's robot to get in the cargo bay, and it was little issue to make a small detour before leaving the city. The large vehicle couldn't make small alleys and walkways, well, actually, it could, but that was highly destructive to the surrounding buildings and street vendors. Once Jerome's gear was picked up, the large vehicle rolled south, heading towards the salt pan.

As they head south, the vehicle encounters a small group of river front riflemen. These natives, armed with large bore rifles and intimate knowledge of the terrain, stalk along the river. They aren't really concerned with the Nile crocs, but rather strange things sometimes swim down the river, from the Sea of Victoria. The river stalkers wave to the passing vehicle.
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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2018, 10:08:56 AM »
"Surprising friendly around here. Not used to that."

Jerome was sitting in his armored flight suit, helmet on with visor open so he could offer some signs of humanity.

"Anything about this area you can tell us about, Captain?  I've heard strange stories but they never really got into detail."

   
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