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Author Topic: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo  (Read 10750 times)

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Offline EchoMirage

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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #175 on: June 28, 2018, 05:09:02 AM »
"Not a person? Come on, even corporations are people nowadays when it suits them! Don't be so strict on yourself. What do we call you, by the way?" Skynet? Zuul?
Blue gave the best encouraging grin one could muster given the ... anonymous nature of their conversation, and Matos' blank face.
"Yeah, we can agree on a quid-pro-quo trade deal, we'll need some time to discuss with my associates once you forward the specifics, like the amount of compensation and the point of delivery. Also, as a matter of interest, how did you override Matos here? I might need to know for... reasons."
A slightly disconcerting grin this time.
Blue waved a hand in front of Joao's face. No lights on inside.
"And then we'll need a little privacy to discuss how to avoid getting f*cked over during delivery, that much you certainly understand? So, if you could shoo once you tell us all pertinent information? Thanks!"
Fingers, heart shape.
"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 #176 on: June 28, 2018, 09:05:58 AM »
For his part, Jerome let Blue do the talking.  He did not quite trust himself to speak, nor to let fully form the thoughts that he had. 

He quietly turned off his inbound wifi - the swarm of implants he used to communicate with his droids, gear and contacts were a large surface area for what Jerome presumed was either and AI or a cybertronian. His queries would be delayed, but that was better then being an open book during negotiations.

   
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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #177 on: June 30, 2018, 08:39:50 AM »
'You may still refer to me as Matos, this is all I am willing to divulge at this time,' Matos said. 'As for compensation, do you desire a national credit, physical compensation like precious metals, or something else? Point of delivery is fluid at this moment.' Matos blinks

'Why are you giving me heart hands?' Matos asks with his accent flooding back
" 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 #178 on: July 02, 2018, 04:39:16 AM »
"Heart hands because everyone needs love, even if they don't think they deserve it. Yes, even you!"
Blue hugged Matos, it was awkward as always.
Blue tried to fix it with an extra genki smile.
"Which reminds me, I need a little private time with Jerome and Arjan... for reasons. Don't worry, we'll let theThe Matos know what we've arrived at.

Blue almost dragged Jerome and the captain to the nearest reasonably private spot. "First of all, totally my bad for picking up Matos. He was less ... dominated by an entity of unknown nature and origin... the last time we worked together. Regardless - immediate crisis averted, what now? I'm all for selling and being done with it. Though the merchandise may be kinda hot, it's getting too hot for my tastes."
"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 #179 on: July 03, 2018, 10:19:46 AM »
"Really depends on how much s**t that _thing_ will raise with those.  I really don't want to know, but we really need to. It may impact our personal survival - maybe it wants to bring about a machine revolution or something? Maybe something that gets this big chunk of real estate turned glassy by the wrong people. Imagine if the gloves came off from that thing." Jerome gestured upwards towards the 'Dragon'.

Could this get any more complicated? 

"Lets play along and see if we can get any more info." 
   
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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #180 on: July 04, 2018, 04:55:25 AM »
"And any ideas about how not to get f*cked over, Mr. Military Man? Or are we on our own? If we're flying solo, we might get a few mercs of our own to cover our behinds. They would think we're just selling a few high-value slaves, and don't have to know the exact sum we're getting. Let me click into MercNet. Aaaaand ... see? There are droves of muscled well-armed gentlemanly security contractors lining up for work. Look at those logos - all bulldogs, hell-hounds, eagles, lions, birds of prey aplenty, fists and swords and Spartan helmets, and the occasional aegis or shield. An aegis is much more classy than a shield, wouldn't you say? Here, take your pick!"
Blue shoved the wristcomp in front of Jerome's face.
"Unless our gracious amazon saviour has a better idea?"

"Also, I'll ask for an excessive payout, just to check whether they actually mean to pay. What is a fair price on an Austerhagen device these days anyway?"
"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 #181 on: July 04, 2018, 02:01:11 PM »
"Not a clue to be frank. This was supposed to be a fairly simple contract. Now its a s**t show. Maybe we just let 'Matos' over there walk all by his lonesome with the entourage, and we sail off into the sunset. Except our prior employers are still going to be gunning for us."

So how to get out of this with his soul intact? Jerome pondered.  It would be easiest to simply make the delivery, hope that the bargain was adhered to, and then strike at 'Boss Ellington' to tie up the loose ends.

"I'm not entirely against the merc idea, apart from the fact there would be that many more people nearby to backstab us.   Yeah, lets ask for the moon first, and see if Matos can deliver _anything_ up front.  It seems to really want the cargo, lets get it to pony something up front.  Crypto cash in our 'working' accounts perhaps. Easy to confirm and hard for it to fake.  If it delivers, well, that advance cash can buy some of that retinue you would like. I might be able to replace ol Tom here too."



   
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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #182 on: July 04, 2018, 04:29:08 PM »
"Seems like we got a plan. Excelsior!"
Happy to see some resolve return to Jerone, in a rare bout of altruism Blue pondered how to lift the gloom that surrounded the soldier.
But until then, there was a plan to execute - and that's what Blue did.
"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 #183 on: July 05, 2018, 09:46:48 AM »
Arjan took the notion of finding some backup agreeable and left the turbo tank in their possession and went to the Carlsbad tavern. She knew a few guys she could trust there, and if nothing else, things were getting dicey and she didn't want to be outnumbered by these contractors she was working with, especially the metal man with the alien voice in his head. This was the biggest reason she had zero cranial implants, this wasnt the first time she had seen a cyborg end up getting proxied by... something. Nothing good ever came of it. Inside the tavern she managed to find a few Jo-Boys she trusted.

Matos seemed distracted, and trying to get the proxy agent to talk to them was fruitless. His wrist computer however still seemed to be linked to whatever the agent was. The screen was a pleasant rose gold color, and alien symbols flickered across the screen. This wasn't machine language, Jerome could make out some machine language, enough to tell if an AISC was lying, or being glib, so long as he could see the code, but this... this was just godd**n strange.

Blue could see that there was a rhyme and reason behind the flickering symbols and patterns, and there was something unsettling about it.
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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #184 on: July 06, 2018, 01:58:28 PM »
Not likely and AI then, thought Jerome.  Something weirder than that.   He had his suspicions.

He brought his connections back online, checking to see if any of the agents he had started had found anything for him.

Meanwhile, he found the nearest arms bazaar and began gathering a little more gear, including another battered old Skelebot, ammunition, and a number of mid-grade drones.

As he made his way back to the tank, he received a notification. He did not recognize the sender...



 

   
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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #185 on: July 08, 2018, 04:49:24 PM »
Behind the usual sequence of proxies, Blue fooled around on MercNet a bit, to see who their new hires were.
Then, Blue gave a tentative ping to some of the fixers and info dealers to see what was going on in several corners of the world, including the SAUR.
Curious about the symbols, the neo-ethnic tried to recall where they may have been seen, and poked around on dark-web conspirator forums half for the laughs, and half for the grains of truth hidden in the chaos. Someone had to know something.
Finally, cursing the need to hide, Blue dressed up in a tent-like robe to hide as many distinctive traits as possible. The horns were hidden under a sizeable turban.
 
"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 #186 on: August 11, 2018, 06:25:28 AM »
Jerome's caller was Arjan sending a message via proxy. She was brief, she had herded the preggobombs and their children droids out of her tank and stowed them away in a Federation drop pod near the Carlsbad cantina. The job was too hot, and she was done. Mataos was with them, still a bit on the disoriented side. She wished them luck.

______

Blue had a much more interesting and exciting time. The marketplace was thriving, and it wasn't just basic merc business of guns, ammo, and contracts. This was more than just an armed camp, there were families and children. Half of the market was sundry goods, the other half was food. It came in a dazzling variety of colors, and much of it was discarded Federation stock, gene edited fruits and vegetables, meat that came from actual animals and wasn't grown in a tank, a vat, or some mad scientist's lab. Behind the screens and curtains there were other delights to be had, drugs, electronic pleasures, and the more primal indulgences of the flesh.

Sitting in a Cafe, surrounded by the buzz of people in a relatively good mood, with a cup of kava that was more strong than good, Blue was offered some hashish, by one of the cafe waitresses. She smiled, and shrugged, 'You are pretty, and not one of those goose stepping Amerikkanos, a gift,' she said sincerely.
" If the muse comes to your bedside, don’t tell her you’ll f?$! her later."- Allen Ginsberg

Offline valadaar

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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #187 on: August 21, 2018, 09:38:09 AM »
"@!#$", thought Jerome.  Now what? He or blue would have to arrange fresh transport. Maybe he should just program the lot of em to take a nice walk out to the desert and blow themselves up out there.  Would certainly simplify things - then he'd just have his employers - new and old - out to kill him.

Well, the AI seemed to be willing to accept partial delivery.....

He sent a message..

"Blue. We lost our ride.  Any thoughts on another?"

And where the hell were they going when that had one...

@!#$.





   
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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #188 on: October 22, 2018, 05:30:02 PM »
"Oh, I do like being called pretty, how did you know?" Blue replied with sincere intensity. Perhaps overdoing it a little. "You appear yourself a gentle mirage, a rare blossom among dreary dust."
Blue toyed with the gifted drug. Did she also have a van with candy? Who knows? Girls and drugs and candy and vans. Blue would know what to do with this combination - but then Jerome's message popped up on the AR.
"Flirtatious furtive glances exchanged, my interest and gratitude gained, do you happen to have a place where I could make a discreet call, and you could discreetly tell me what you would have of me? If you happen to know someone who can jailbreak a bot, please tell also. And, a second, I'm listening but have to reply to a friend."

Blue quickly typed:
"We'll hire or buy a ride once we got the money. Also looking to do some custom programming. You able, or do I get a contractor?"
"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 #189 on: October 26, 2018, 11:28:53 AM »
Jerome replied back,

"Depends on what you are looking for. Am a domain expert with robotics. Outside of that, might want outside help. "

He had other favours he could call in, but they were attached to individuals he'd rather not contact. Yet.

How closely tied were the mobile mine's forms and their payloads to their new employer's plan?  If the 'harmless' form was important, then this almost guaranteed a civilian target.  True military would not be taken in by that.  Sentries and droids were not terribly sentimental about such things.  If they just happened to be a relatively low-key means to transport the warheads, that broadened the target list.  Jerome couldn't think of any spiritually safe targets for these....

The walk to the desert plan was seeming better all the time.


   
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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #190 on: October 27, 2018, 10:40:56 AM »
"I'll tell you in private, comms aren't secure, with things popping in and out of Matos' head, and spies snooping at every mic. Let's get together somewhere cozy, hmmmm, my knight in tattered once-shining armor?"
To avoid delaying - once Blue and Jerome are together, we can flick off all the potential bugs and discuss how to avoid the ethical conundrum. Meaning, Blue wants to rig the Wymyn of Mass Distraction to blow. Ideally when Dr. Schneider (the probable ringleader behind this Charlie Foxtrot) is in the vicinity, but anywhere away from civilisation is OK. The perfect way would be a hardware switch that is not tied to the main circuits. We can turn them off for transport, make sure they aren't recording and transmitting, put in a timer, boom. If you could tamper with their transmissions sufficiently to make the higher-ups think that incompetent handling caused it, so much better. E.g., run a one-shot program for some of the mombots to rile up the most macho-looking least intelligent of the buyers, get her slapped, the kids engage, all moms explode, thank you.
To get Matos out of the way, we can lead him to a brothel while he's dazed, he'll get embroiled in some sort of chaos there - or we can take him to a hospital, or the closest equivalent to get him sedated and checked; considering there's probably a lot wrong with him since the Online Thing ASSUMED DIRECT CONTROL. Also, you should disable the hardware of his ... router, or whatever it is. Turn off the transmission function that allows him to be hacked.
These are the things that Blue will discuss with Jerome once they take sufficient precautions against spying. If they are spied on anyway, then we can't think up any plan that would succeed, eh? We're too outmatched to go in, guns blazing.
"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 #191 on: October 29, 2018, 08:58:19 AM »
Jerome nodded, though no-one was nearby to see. 

"Roger. Need a few things and I'll meet you. Name the place."

A few more commands and a couple of drones headed for Jerome's location, each with a case of equipment.

He'd better do this right. Stakes were very, very high....



   
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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #192 on: October 31, 2018, 03:24:21 PM »
Mataos waited with the pregnant women and their children, sitting under the damaged heat shield of a long since decommissioned cargo hauler. It had once been a cantina, but one of the sides had been blown out by some long since past explosion, and no one ever rebuilt inside of the improvised structure. It was increasingly a place for burnouts and drunks to sleep off their intoxication. It was also a popular place for clandestine meetings. The ruined heatshield was a very effective signal blocker, making digital surveillance all but impossible.

A hand painted sign decorated the largely unscathed back wall, Charlie Foxtrot's.

" 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 #193 on: November 07, 2018, 08:53:59 AM »
"I know it will cost me, dear" Blue replied to the waitress' mention of a discreet channel and discreet mechanic being available for remuneration. "There ain't no such thing as free pussy."
Blue shrugged. "The answer is, I am short on funds presently, able to pay a humble yet adequate price now - or a more generous reward later, if a planned business deal goes well. Your choice. Take an hour for the choice, I'll return, most likely."

The neo-ethnic then rushed to Jerome, and laid the plans bare, in hushed tones far from prying ears and intrusive devices. "Bots and buyers and your moral quandaries go BOOM up in smoke and flame, with us chuckling and sipping pina coladas. If we're lucky, the blast may catch Schneider. Who's Schneider? Ficker made me, and many worse things, intentionally, not due to incompetence, and something tells me he may be behind this whole mess. That's why I need you to encode his mugshot in the bots, so that they recognise him, and go give him the blow job of a life time. Like, blowing up. Though we may want to rig them to go boom if anyone tampers with them. Or once we're far enough. As said, best make it look like an accident with one of the kid bombs, and fault of the buyers. So, what you say?"
"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 #194 on: November 08, 2018, 09:06:36 PM »
Jerome had been doing some work.

"The boom will be, um, epic my Blue friend, and we had best be waaaay away.  100m primary radius, havoc beyond that. EMP Pulse that would likely fry my life support systems.  I'm not happy with a random detonation point. We'd need him in a pretty remote place we can get the hell away from easily.

I can handle the bots easily enough, but those warheads are beyond my pay grade.  I am beyond shocked that the entire New Hanseatic League army hasn't raided this area.  Perhaps it would be best to somehow get them back into their hands. I can't safely disarm the warheads."
   
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Offline EchoMirage

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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #195 on: November 09, 2018, 05:17:25 AM »
"Disarm?" Blue asked with a naive, disarming smile. "No one is asking you to disarm. We need them to tear our unsuspecting business partners 'a new one', as they say. These guys will not be the techs, they're some minions, not allowed to fiddle around with the nukes. We'll be off in some dune buggy or what-have you, and the Wholesome Mom Delegation will detonate on their transport, or in some storage. I just want them to blow if they see Schneider, because fick that guy and everyone near him. If we get him, many of our problems will be solved, and many of the world's as well. Schneider's a researcher with zero ethics, and by all criteria a rapist, murderer, and monster. He needs to die, yes?"
Blue gave the unsuspecting Jerome a peck on the cheek, and grinned.
"Now be a good boy and get to installing some fuses in the moms and kids; here's a contact for a back-alley tech in case you need aid or special components. And remember, I do have some experience, by which I mean a lot, with 'insurgency' and 'freedom fighting' and 'large scale vandalism'. If you're not willing to do it, then by whatever passes for God these days, I'll pick up a screwdriver, and get to installing that sh!t myself."
"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 #196 on: November 13, 2018, 09:03:40 PM »
Jerome gave Blue an icy stare but came to a decision.  While not much, he had heard things about this Schneider.

"K, you'll get your boomers. Just no deep urban targets, capesh? I'll put a round into them first."

"So do you have a plan for the inevitable surge of forces looking to find out who and why?"




   
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Offline EchoMirage

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Re: The Silk Road Act 1: Old Cairo
« Reply #197 on: Yesterday at 04:57:27 AM »
"Yes, my plan is to get a discreet ride as soon as we get paid, and head off to a place most unlikely until this thing blows over. There, we can either split up and head our separate ways, or cuddle up with some good ice cream and think up our next nefarious plan."
Blue misinterpreted Jerome's cold glance and laughed.
"I like you, like, *like* you, you big oaf" the neo-ethnic winked. "But don't expect it to last unless you do something about it. I've got places to be, people to do." Grin, shrug. "Or do in, in some cases."
"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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