I grew up around robots. I understand robots, I get them. People, people I don't like.
Blade Runner Brown
Robots and clones can and do go rogue. When this happens, it is up to a specialized group of professional bounty hunters to follow where the errant units went and to decommission them.
Do you want to know what makes a 'bot or a clone go rogue? People do, humans. If you let the machine do it's task, they work fine. Better than fine. It's when people start fooling around with their code that things start messing up. Same with clones, they are still people, but they have rules intimated into them, so they have things in common with machines, but regular people can't leave them alone. Old time racism came from fear and ignorance, the feeling of being threatened. I can understand that. The discrimination against clones is just pure antagonism. They are people who have been genetically neutered, and intimated to be submissive, as close as you can get to creating subhumans without breaking the actual Tycho Conventions, and there are still people who go around abusing them, treating them like garbage, and even killing them for sport.
I don't decommission rogues for fun or sport, it is an act of compassion. I know their pain, and I can release them from it. If others get to them first, that's a bad way to go.
Who is Pennsylvannia Brown?
Penny Brown was born to an upper income family in the Commonwealth of New England, the Syracuse Arcology. The Browns had a number of personal companions, pets, and other trappings of mock wealth. She has the typical Western European phenotype, with blonde hair and brown eyes, slightly below average height and weight, and affects functional clothing and equipment over what is trendy or feminine. She tends to be curt and plain spoken, and avoids the company of other people.
As a child she was abducted from her home by her father, who she eventually discovered wasn't human. He was actually a robot that her mother had purchased after her biological father abandoned them. The machine had malfunctioned and had gone rogue. She was rescued, and then went on to finish her education. After school, she entered private law enforcement and security with the intent of becoming a blade runner herself.
What was worse? Finding out that my father was a machine? Or that my real father had fled months after I was born? Or was it the group of blade runners who ran us to ground? I didn't know I had been abducted until the robot told me it had to rescue me, that my mother had concocted some scheme to sell me or something. That's why it went rogue, my mother had tried to hack it's OS, and did a bad job. The machine thought she was going to try to kill me. She might have been trying to do just that.
The runners shot him to pieces, and almost killed me in the process. Sloppy. Unprofessional.
Brown has a companion droid she's named Lockwood. In contrast to her small stature, Lockwood is a large and imposing man. The droid functions as her liaison with clients, and most are more than willing to assume that he is in fact Blade Runner Brown, and don't ask questions about that. Brown has skills as a clocksmith and as such, Lockwood is a walking swiss army knife of tools and weapons. Lockwood is very much similar in appearance to Brown's father, and shares his name.
Advanced Optics suite - Lockwood has IR, thermal, and lowlight vision, as well as digital zoom capabilities. This data can be transferred to Brown's Data Driver (a tablet sized variant of a MUSE device)
Dated Trenchcoat - made of reflexokinetic material, the coat offers ample protection from hand to hand combat, knives, and low velocity weapons. Formerly a very expensive garment, it was taken from a bodyguard droid gone rogue. The owner didn't request it's return as it is no longer in fashionable style.
A-Pod cell - while not especially powerful, Lockwood has a concealed A-pod that lets him fly short distances at relatively low speed. This has been used for tracking targets, escaping traps, and stopping lethal falls. It does rapidly burn through his power reserves, so most flights are less than 5 minutes in duration.
Concealed Taser - buried in the right forearm, Lockwood has a taser system that can disable human assailants.
CommLink - Lockwood carries a small Cognet repeated system, allowing him to function as a locked tower. This gives Brown better signal for her data driver, and allows Lockwood to be puppeteered or remote controlled as needed.
Weapons - at any given time, Lockwood has 2-6 pistols and 1 longarm concealed in or on his body. His strength and agility have been also modified so that he is capable and competent in a fight, even if lacking evasion or creativity.
The SmartBook is a high end computer device, technically a data drive, but it has an enhanced interface system. The SmartBook has full CogNet connectivity and runs a Null Persona system. The Null Persona has the functionality of a synthetic intelligence without developing a personality. It is rare for high end gear to have Null Personas, as these are generally reserved for smart appliances and smart weapon systems. Brown runs the Null because as a blade runner dealing with rogue sentience, the last thing she wants is for her own gear to develop personality.
Brain is Brown's canine companion, a yellow Labrador with a glossy red collar. Brain is an uplifted canine, and has near human level intelligence. He cannot talk and has very limited tool usage, manipulating them with his paws or mouth. He can sub-vocalize and has a direct but limited ability to communicate with Brown. His collar has a radio transmitter, and is linked to her commlink and SmartBook.
Brain? He's the best person I know. He's honest, he's loyal, and he's direct. He doesn't play any games other than fetch and Sudoku. I found him on a job, a rich asshole had a menagerie of animals, fancy designer genimals, replicas, droid pets, and Brain. He's smart, he can read, he can surf the net, and he's a damned good tracker. It takes as long as an hour with a Voight-Kampff test, or minutes with a bioprobe, but Brain can sniff out a synthetic in a heartbeat. He's saved my ass more than once. He has a growl, a synth growl, and if you blow a hole in a droid or a synthetic, it's a just a fine, if you're in the wrong. There isn't a fine or penalty that would have pulled me out of the ground if those rogue units, driven mad by humans, had gotten their hands around my neck.
The MB-M551 is technically a museum piece, a classic. Nearly a century old, the vehicle originally was equipped with a liquid fueled engine. With petrofuels extraordinarily expensive Brown retrofit the vehicle with a miniature D-engine scavenged from a destroyed military drone. The Matra has unlimited range, concealed weapons, and limited flight capability with the addition of 4 skimmer A-pods. While not fast, the Matra can autopilot itself, hug the ground, and otherwise prove a highly mobile and useful vehicle. When working a case, the vehicle is typically driven by Lockwood, while Brown sits in the passenger seat, running surveillance.
There aren't many people with private vehicles, it's a luxury. The cost of a berth for a vehicle in an arco is just as much as a family residence unit. That's two reasons why instead of camping in the tower, I have a home in the Sprawl. I have a hanger, a workshop, plenty of room to work in.
Blade Runner Brown and her pocket team are, if you haven't figured it out yet, the cast of Inspector Gadget. The difference is that aside from being converted over into the Cosmic Era, Penny is grown, and has become an Inspector in her own right. While writing this, I was strongly influenced by Blade Runner, but also the anime Ergo Proxy, where Penny and Gadget overlap favorably with Re-L and Iggy. The world is dirty, and Penny has grown up in it, become cynical and antisocial.
Just another Day on the Job - a group of synths go rogue, and it is more than Brown can handle. She reaches out to the PCs to help hunt down this rogue faction and to decommission them. Things take a turn for the worse when one of the droids is discovered to be a proxy for a full fledged rogue AISC and then the team has to hunt down the rogue mainframe while avoiding the covert army of synths and proxied humans who are going to try and stop them.
Doctor Claw and MAD - Metrocity Acquisitions and Distributions Corp (MADcorp) is a middle tier corp in Metrocity (generic arco) that handles logistics, sanitation, recycling, and a sundry group of other middle tier industries. The corp is run by a shadowy figure who goes by the street moniker Dr. Claw. Claw is a cyborg, with various upgrades, with the most prominent being an industrial claw for a left arm. Claw has a longstanding vendetta against Lockwood, a deep and abiding hatred of the machine, that has seen the Doctor all but go to war in efforts to destroy it. The reason? Doctor Claw is the original Lockwood Brown, and Penny's biological father. After a life of crime and underworld dealings, her mother threw him out. Samantha Sparks-Brown was a wage level cyberneticist and custom built Lockwood from over the counter parts. She also taught her daughter cybernetics and Cog-coding. The original Lockwood was destroyed by Claw when he attempted to hack the machine to abduct his daughter. Penny would rebuild him, and make him her protector. The PCs are drawn into the fight against MADcorp, and it's plans are all over the place, until the PCs realize that the actual objective of the organization is destroying a single droid, one that has a gift for evading it.
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? Responses (4)
4/5 which is below average Scras but LOL inspector Gadget, it's well written but maybe I just don't get the joke. Still better than average.
No joke to get, loved Gadget when I was growing up, and it allowed me to integrate something I enjoy into the CE, as well as take some of the previous stuff I've written and link it together.
I enjoy the process of writing as much as the finished product.
I like what you have done with Penny here, raised by robots and now hunts robots, she could emotional center of a whole multi-level campaign and would make an interesting frenemy for group of merc types. It is a shame you weren't writing inspector gadget, I would have enjoyed it more.
So after watching Westworld, this has a whole different vibe for me than inspector gadget.**
(The whole...leave them alone and they're fine thing, but mess with their code and...look out.)
**Not that there's anything wrong with inspector gadget :)