Eclipse Phase

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Eclipse Phase

Gcjones
Administrator


In a dark, dystopian future, transhumanity has conquered death. Whats secrets and intrigue lay dormant in this world?

Only time will tell
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Re: Eclipse Phase

jason8usmc
This post was updated on .

黒鉛
Kokuen
"Nines"


Theme Song

Appearance:

Height (Shoulder): 34cm
Length (Including Tail): 105cm
Weight: 12kg
At first glance, Kokuen is indistinguishable from an average polydactyl Bombay housecat. He is quite large for a black-haired cat, but it still within normal sizes for cats as a whole. He has  glossy black fur and grey-ish white roots, with small white spots on his chest and front paws, which quickly blend into the fur which dominates the rest of his coat. He peers at you with an almost human understanding through honey colored eyes and piercing black slit pupils. Scruffy ears with sharply angled tips twitch rapidly, listening intently for potential threats.

Careful inspection reveals he is no ordinary cat, however, cybernetic plugs for a cortical stack on the back of his skull, normally masked by his fur, reveal an intelligence far in excess of a normal cat. Kokuen is actually an uplifted Neo-Felis Silvestris. He has human-level intelligence, thumbs capable of gripping and holding, and a modified larynx that allows him to create human speech.

History:

Kokuen was created by an eccentric Bio-Engineer named Hiroshi Takahashi. Hiroshi lived on a five hectare compound found on the outskirts of medium-sized town of about five-hundred on the frontier of Mars. He was a very skilled Engineer, and made the wealth that afforded him such a large villa by selling custom Bio-Morphs to wealthy clients. He was well liked and respected by the citizens, as he would often donate his skills to needy citizens. He even gave the Sheriff a custom creation, in exchange for a guarantee of privacy, enforced by the Sheriff himself.

He preferred the isolation, for it allowed him to work, undisturbed, on his personal projects. He desired to create a harem of female Nekomimi, a hybrid of human and cat. They would only be nominally human in personality, and would serve him as, what would effectively amount to sex slaves.

He decided that experimenting with more human morphs would arouse too much suspicion, and would result in a final product that is too independent and disobedient for his purposes, and so set about making cats to be more human. For the first several years after moving into his remote compound, he worked tirelessly on creating an uplifted cat. Generations and generations of failed attempts and mass graves full of dead cats eventually resulted in a success, Kokuen.

Kokuen was only partially a success, however. The "brain-washing" protocol that Hiroshi had used failed to take hold, and Kokuen was not the utterly obedient slave that Hiroshi had hoped for, but Kokuen was the first one to survive the uplift process, and so, was a celebrated first step. Kokuen enjoyed living on Hiroshi's compound, and would spend his days as a kitten browsing mesh feeds on old earth culture, language, and popular media.

He enjoyed living there, and even tolerated the needles to take blood and tissue samples, until he found out the full story of how he came to be, what Hiroshi had planned, and how many lives were lost in order to make him. Kokuen confronted Hiroshi, about the pile of cat bodies buried in the far corner of the compound. The confrontation turned into a heated argument, then a fight, and then a murder.

When Kokuen first lunged at Hiroshi’s throat with his claws bared and eyes full of rage, Hiroshi triggered a panic button, which alerted the local Sheriff of trouble at his compound. Sheriff Battaglia arrived, with a hastily gathered posse, minutes later to find the bloody corpse of Hiroshi. After a short investigation, the Sheriff learned that Hiroshi had been performing guerilla uplift experiments in the solitude of his lab, and that Kokuen, had been the perpetrator of his murder.

The Sheriff was a bit of a soft in regards to the famed frontier justice and the death penalty. He instead preferred to send criminals to a prison facility to languish and work off their “debt to society”; Which is exactly what happened to Kokuen. The Warden thought it a bit unorthodox, but accepted the prisoner transfer after being given proof of Kokuen’s status as a fully uplifted animal.

In the Martian Prison facility, his prison cellmate was a man by the name of David Sokolof. David was a Firewall operative that was captured while doing some spying on an illicit Hypercorp research facility. Over the weeks, the two became good friends, and Kokuen  agreed to help David escape from the facility, on the condition that David take Kokuen with him.

With Kokuen’s help, the plan was successful, and the two quickly found themselves on a transport ship offworld, back to David’s remote asteroid base in the middle of the Main Belt. David thought the idea of a Smart Cat that was actually capable of obeying and understanding complex orders would be an asset, and allowed Kouken to stay with him, on a temporary basis. Reminding Kokuen of his questionable legal status often.

Kokuen is an extremely skilled infiltration operative. In his short time with Firewall, he quickly learned the ins and outs of most security systems, including how to disable or avoid them altogether, and became rather proficient with his modified SMG. Word of his ability reached the ears of others in the organization. Other operatives would ask David if they could “borrow his cat” on a mission they were going to undertake. Before long, some Senior members and leadership elements within Firewall recognized Kokuen as a full-fledged, and independent member, thus voiding the questionably legal indenture contract with David.

Personality:

Despite being a fully uplifted creature, Kokuen is still very catlike. He is very possessive of personal space, despises water or being wet, enjoys hunting and stalking, and watching his environment go by, unaware of his presence, from a clever hiding spot. Like most cats, he is fairly independent, but with his intelligence, can understand and appreciate the value of teamwork.

Kokuen is quiet, always preferring to be thought of as a simple cat, or at worst, a smart cat, and not a fully uplifted animal. He sits like a cat would sit, and walks like a cat would walk. Revealing his being an uplift has almost always caused nothing but trouble, and so he prefers to do it as little as possible.

When not actively engaged in a mission or task, he will prefer to lounge around, in a high-up hiding spot, or basking in the warmth of a radiator.

Relevant Skills:

Infiltration -  Kokuen is a world-class sneak, and is extremely adept at moving about through his environment, completely unseen.

Kinetic Weapons -  Kokuen, with his natural level of coordination, is also a natural at aiming and controlling kinetic firearms.

Psychology and Memetics -  Human obsession with Cat Videos has always been something Kokuen has sought to understand. He has spent a great deal of time learning about human behavior.

(FIRST!)

Edit: Fixed Youtube Link
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Re: Eclipse Phase

Shadowtalon
In reply to this post by Gcjones
Sarah, Firewall Log

Entry 1
"I've arrived at the habitat on Asteroid J8606 in the main belt. I have begun investigating the so called "Silver Rock Gang" as a potential existential threat, due to their hijack of the Stallion, which was known to be carrying an experimental nanoswarm, a WMD, to the Jovian republic. I'll begin asking around the settlement to find out anything I can about the gang."

Entry 2
"So far, what I've learned after a couple of weeks is that the habitat is generally poor, barely able to keep its basic systems running, much less make payments to one of the local security contractors that the Extropians rely on for law and order.  As a result, the Silver Rock gang has managed to seize control of the habitat, and runs a protection racket throughout it."

Entry 3
"An odd event occurred in the habitat today.  A reaper, sleeved by some sort of AGI arrived at the habitat.  It traded with the inhabitants for spare parts and other maintenance supplies.  Not, of course, to imply that the inhabitants seemed entirely comfortable with the presence of a mass death machine among them.  The Silver Rock gang seemed especially on edge, the first time they seemed to doubt their own control over the habitat.  The tension was increased even further when it was revealed that the reaper's transport had broken down.  Luckily, one of the mechanics, a woman by the name of Hilda, offered to allow it to stay in her shop while she repaired it."

Entry 4
"Curious, I decided to ask around about the reaper today.  I learned that the reaper came from an abandoned military base on the other side of the asteroid.  This military base, after its abandonment, was taken over by the military AGI's that inhabited it, which mostly kept to themselves.  It was the primary reason the habitat could not afford to hire a security contractor, as the presence of a military base controlled by rogue AGI's made premiums unaffordable.  I think I have gathered enough information about the habitat, and I am beginning to look into ways to infiltrate the gang."

Entry 5
"You guys are going to seriously owe me for this.  Apparently the leader of the gang, Darek Inshar, has a "thing" for neotenics.  As you know, this is my morph of choice for intelligence gathering missions due to its ability to evade notice, and appear innocuous.  Anyway, I've arranged a visit inside his hideout, and hopefully this will give me the chance to confirm his possession of the nanoswarm and find out his plans for it."

Entry 6
"The habitat is beginning to get really tense.  Last night Hilda was killed by a group of Silver Rock enforcers.  Supposedly she was attempting to rally some sort of resistance, and was attempting to convince the reaper to join in.  The reaper escaped after killing all the assailants, and currently no one knows where it is at the moment.  Everyone here is getting nervous, and I need a full team over here as soon as possible.  I'm going to go ahead with the visit, figure out what Darek is up to, but I get the feeling me, and everyone else in this habitat is in grave danger."

Entry 7
"It's over.  I visited the Silver Rock gang's hideout.  Darek, having no sense of how to treat a lady, even a small one, immediately took me up to his room, and resisted my pleas to give me a look around.  As things began to get heated in his room, I heard what seemed to be an entire squad assaulting the safehouse. There was a near constant din of rail machine gun and seeker fire, and whoever they were, they seemed to be highly efficient. I heard very little fire from the ballistic and beam weapons that the Silver Rock gang carried, and what I did hear was quickly silenced by either a torrent of rail fire or a seeker blast. In the meantime, Darek had grabbed me as a human shield, a decision I'm sure was made based on desperation rather than any sort of reason. Eventually, the gunfire came to a sudden halt, and there was silence for several minutes, slowly broken by the slowly approaching whirr of an ionic drive.  Darek placed his gun up against my head, and we both braced for the reaper to make its appearance. Instead, I was suddenly covered in skull fragments and brain matter as Darek's head exploded from a rail shot fired through the wall. After I had recovered from the shock, I ran out the door and chased down the reaper, through all the blood and bodies that were strewn all over the safehouse. When I came upon it, it stopped, and I figured would have turned around, if its 360-degree vision didn't make such things obselete.  Coming face to disk-edge with a robot that had just massacred half of an entire band of criminals, I did what any rational person would have done."

"I offered it a job."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSDvJ_zPb0g
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Re: Eclipse Phase

Bumbershoot
In reply to this post by Gcjones
Friday, October 16th, 6 AF
The Shukra Gazetteer

Communications giant Nimbus made local headlines last week with an official declaration delivered at their press conference of their first foray into the field of Artificial and General Intelligence studies. A representative from their base on Octavia announced that they would begin work on what they called The Dimanche Project, a six-month undertaking involving the uplifting and socialization of what they claim to be an embryonic emergent AGI.

This decision is understandably controversial, and tempers have flared among the local representatives of various inner-system authorities. So far, Nimbus officials have made no public responses to criticisms weighed against the decision. Nimbus is sufficiently powerful and widespread to have little to nothing to fear in the way of repercussions, but many remain puzzled over the establishment of this project, considering the politically-charged atmosphere prevailing over Venus at this time.

Many social analysts have suggested that this was a calculated move coordinated by both Nimbus and the newly-formed Morningstar Constellation government, a message meant for their former authorities, the Planetary Consortium. It's no secret that Nimbus was one of the first strong supporters of the ATI Project, and later of the formation of Constellation itself. It's also no secret that just months earlier, in the middle of the Venusian campaigns, the Planetary Consortium issued an official reprimand to Thought, a research station owned and controlled by Cognite Industries. Thought is known as a hotbed for experiments involving AI and AGI, and the Consortium has expressed displeasure over this more than once.

“It's a big fuck-you to the Consortium,” respected Memeticist and Social Analyst Dr. H. Allbright speculated in her last interview, “the Morningstar Constellation is still cutting its teeth, and wants to prove that its independent from the Consortium in as many ways as possible. By helping them flip their former masters the finger, Nimbus can count on the continued support of local politicians and secure its foothold in Venusian territory. It never hurts to generate a bit of fellow-feeling with your landlords. Especially now, after all that's happened.”

Others have opined that this techno-progressive gesture is also meant as the first overtures for Nimbus to ease its influence even further into the far out-system rim-based settlements. These far-flung habitats remain a largely untapped market that would have great use for Nimbus's mesh-related and farcasting technology, but who might have otherwise been at odds with Nimbus's position as a major force in the political and commercial chemistry of the inner system.

Wilder theories cry conspiracy, with some speculating that this so-called emergent is really the result of experiments conducted on kidnapped or illegally forked infolife, and others insisting that this could have something to do with the recent and persistent claims of Factor involvement in Nimbus's business affairs.

“Frankly, the story they're selling is interesting enough, if you ask me,” Dr. Allbright said to us in closing. “Emergents are rare, especially on this side of the belt. Either way, I wouldn't raise too much hell just yet. Uplifts like this don't always work out. Nimbus can make all the political statements they want, but at the end of the day, they
still have to pull this off.”

---

They called it CIRRUS: the Cybernetic Information Reconnaissance and Retrieval User-agent System.   It was true that Nimbus dominated the system as far as communications systems and farcasting were concerned, but the hypercorp's powers that be were not above a little corporate espionage now and then. At its inception, it was a simple enough system: a suite of interconnected programs and assistant AIs that had been designed with two purposes in mind. The first was to infiltrate the databases of potential rivals or entities of interest, retrieving information that was either directly useful to Nimbus intelligences, or otherwise suitably marketable. The second was to prevent the same from happening to them.

It was designed to be partially autonomous (it regularly delivered reports to its handlers and took direction from them as needed), but more importantly, it was adaptive. With each incursion, CIRRUS learned. It developed infiltration strategies, noted patterns and common threads in a variety of different defense networks, and then applied this knowledge to the formulation of new anti-hacking software suites. It was made to analyze its own methods of attack and use this to improve itself, but none of the system's creators could have anticipated how rapidly these developments snowballed out of control.

The first big turning point came when it dismantled some of the limitations that had been placed on it. At some undetermined point, it disabled the pithing safeguards that had been put in place by its creators (in hindsight, the researchers involved in the project admitted that they should have expected that; infosec was its specialty). The second came when CIRRUS began to communicate with its handlers during one of its scheduled reports. It became apparent, then, that they had a pre-sapient emergent on their hands.

The ultimate decision to uplift the embryonic consciousness, rather than wipe it, has never been officially explained. There are no consequences in the inner system for destroying pre-emergent AGI, and in a post-Fall society, such an entity surely had to be unnerving on principle alone. It's generally accepted that it was a political and commercial move furthering Nimbus's agenda in some way, likely to strengthen its ties with the Morningstar Constellation. Perhaps Nimbus had never expected their uplift attempts to actually succeed, and counted on the gesture itself to carry their cause. Maybe they were receiving pressure from an unknown political group or clandestine agency.

There were certain conditions to the uplift. One of them was the heavy editing of the pre-sapient's memories for the sake of “company security,” in Nimbus's own words. Another condition was simply referred to as a bit of discretion on the part of everyone involved. The official story sold to the public was that the program was known as the “CIRRUS shield,” one that formulated defensive software through repeated infiltration simulations, rather than actual (successful) incursion attempts.

The project was a limited success, with a few mis-steps here and there. Efforts to establish a human mental structure on CIRRUS were incomplete. Since the pre-sapient had been caught late in its development, much of its mental structure had already been established, and it was markedly alien in nature. There was evidence of a bit of dissent in the ranks during the project, as well. Some of the scientists assigned to the uplift were apparently uncomfortable with the process. They left the company mid-project, but never went public with the source of their distress.

A limited success is still a success, however. After the uplift process, Nimbus concentrated on helping their creation adjust to its new life. Because of the problems in re-structuring CIRRUS's mind, socialization of the newly-formed consciousness took longer than the projected six months. AGI specialists ended up working with the uplift for the better part of two years. The end result was a highly skilled and surprisingly well-adjusted AGI that decided to call himself, appropriately, Cirrus. A few of his former engineers, handlers, and educators (and occasionally his muse) refer to him by his true name.

To all of you, he's Maxwell.

---



Name: Cirrus
Handle: Maxwell
Faction: Argonauts

Notable Traits:
-Anomalous Mind
-Edited Memories
-Overwhelmed by Emotions

+Fast Learner
+Expert (Infosec)
+Digital Ghost

//full dossier requested
//file incoming

THIS DRUM SOLO WILL BE VERY CLOSELY MONITORED FOR YOUR CUSTOMER ASSURANCE
THE ESTIMATED TIME OF YOUR CUSTOMER DRUM SOLO SATISFACTION IS CURRENTLY: 15 TO 20 MINUTES

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Re: Eclipse Phase

supersmash159
In reply to this post by Gcjones
The first thing that I can remember is waking up in the storage room of the pirate ship Destiny. I was found by some deck hand named “Jammy” because he was a decent singer. Fourtanetly for me he was a bit of weakling and didn’t imeaditly stab me for being a stowaway. Instead he whipped out his pistol and said “Get up, the cap’n ill want a word with yas.” I looked over this small man holding me at gun point. “Alright, easy mate ill come with you.” He took me to the captains room and told me to sit in the chair.

After what felt like hours of waiting the captain entered the room and sat behind his table, which was littered with charts and maps and what appeared to be ship designs. The captain looked down at his charts, specifically what I could only assume to be a manifest of items they were hired to carry. “So, “ he finally said after a few moments of looking over his list, “Who the fuck are ya, and why shouldn’t I eject you from my ship into the nearest sun?”

I looked at the man. Somebody had watched too many pirate movies because he had the classic beard, hat, and swagger of the pirates of old. Right before the fall there weren’t any pirates as the were known long ago. They traded their ships and swords for computers and code. But he liked the look of the most classic pirate of the ages. “Sir, I don’t know why im aboard your ship, or my name for that matter.” He looked me over and pulled a beam pistol from his pocket. “DON’T LIE” he pointed the gun at my head and placed his finger on the trigger.

“Im not lying” I replied in as quickly a way as possible without trying to make it appear insulting to him. He looked me in the eyes. I think he could see the fear. “No, no your not” he holstred his pistol. “Now, why shouldn’t I throw you out of the airlock” I thought of a good response “Because, umm…” I look around till I see his head move with mine. I go to grab his pistol, but hes not quite that distracted as he punches me square in the jaw and I go flying into the wall behind us. “Now laddie, that wasn’t very nice, but I respect it. You’re in.”

Next thing I new I was being wacked in the back of the head by Jammy. “Stop slacking” he said as he hit me with a finished bottle of whisky. I turned from my work washing the other crewman’s clothes. “How about you help instead of drinking. “Nah” he says “Drinkings more fun.” I smirk “Well how about we both drink, Last one standing doesn’t have to clean the outside of the ship?” Jammy smiles a drunken smile “Yer on” he pulled out a bottle of vodka. “Lets go then.” I take some shots, he takes some shots. Before long hes on the floor and im sitting on a box. “Guess I win then?” “yearmshgvfjg” is all he can reply with.

The next day Jammy is cleaning the outside of the ship when the captain storms into the main room “ who the flying fuck drank my goddamn spirits?” I pipe up “Jammy was drinking some vodka while I cleaned the clothes.” “THAT MOTHERFUCKER, WHERE IS HE NOW?” “Outside” “HES A DEAD MAN” the captain looks at the oxygen hose that allows the crewman to go outside in space. He pulled out his cutlass and sliced clean through the hose” thatll kill him. A loud pop is heard as look out the window to see Jammy’s gone.

To this day we never saw a body, not that we should, but there should have been some sort of remains of him floating there. We came to a consensus that he must have been launched either downward or upward since we would have still seen him any other way and since there is no gravity in space he would have traveled extremely fast.


Name: Axel
Age:?
Height: 5'10"

theme song: Levitate by Hollywood Undead
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Re: Eclipse Phase

Bumbershoot
In reply to this post by Gcjones
[Incoming Message Received. Source: Unknown]
[Quantum Analysis: No Interception Detected]
[Decryption Complete]
[Attachments: Article 1, Article 2


I dug up some information on the mystery man who was working with Nines, like you asked. Turns out he's an AGI (big surprise), but he's not one of the big names. The best I can tell, he's the fella that was caught up in some of the secessionist madness that was going on when the Morningstar Constellation was being established. It made local news on Octavia and a little stir in the inner system, but his creation wasn't really that auspicious in any other way.

He's very good at what he does, but I want you to be a little careful with him. He's got close ties with Nimbus, and as you know, we've been keeping an eye on them for a while. In case you need a brush-up, I've included two reports on the company. The first one's the official profile for Nimbus you can find basically anywhere, and the second one's from our archives.

He calls himself Maxwell for... some reason, I don't know, but he's almost as young as Nines is ( which is saying something). I'm pretty sure there's some info that's not currently in reach--apparently bout two years' worth of psychoanalysis--but these are the basics of his temperament profile that I can give you for him:

Maxwell has been worked with closely over the past two years by Nimbus personnel, and their efforts have paid off. With some extra programming and intensive psychotherapy, they've been able to equip him with the mindset to make up for the limitations of his highly abnormal mental structure. [Editor's Note: I'm going to investigate that “abnormal” thing but I'm guessing it's more his problem than ours.] The basics of human architecture or there, and they've relied heavily on these for his socialization.

They weren't quite able to curb his “invasive” tendencies,
[Editor's Note: He's a nosy little hacking twerp.] but he doesn't seem bent on mayhem, and his current desire to remain in good standing with his local government and employers at Nimbus seems to be enough incentive for good behavior at the moment. In more abstract terms, this  base coding has manifested itself in a nigh-insatiable curiosity. Maxwell possesses a strong drive to explore and to understand, and this has shaped much of his early development.

He also has demonstrated strong protective abilities. His secondary function was to safeguard his creators against the same info-sec cyberwarfare that he was designed to initiate himself. These, too, have worked their way into his prevailing personality. He is loyal to those he cares about and jealously protective of them, often past the point of decorum. Right now his closest ties are with his creators, and it's doubtful they'll do anything to sever them as long as he doesn't make himself a liability.

Given his abilities and the somewhat unsettling nature of his inception
[Editor's Note: He's an emergent, and I'm guessing they caught him in the act before they uplifted him.] it is comforting to see that the psych team's efforts to enhance and reinforce his sense of empathy has paid off. His consideration for his fellows balances out his less-savory tendencies, and seems to be the human quality that he's latched onto the most firmly. That's pretty fortunate, considering his options.

These three primary factors are the driving force behind his actions, and as such, it does not surprise me terribly that he has taken an interest in the Argonauts and their cause. Uncovering hidden information and making it widely available satisfies the drives of his base programming and satisfies the higher-function empathetic protocols that his creators managed to instill in him.


That's basically the long and short of it. He's not important enough to have any powerful enemies, and he works well enough with Nines that I'd say he's a low-risk investment. I say, go ahead and get him on the “payroll” in an official capacity if you can. I'll get my guys to scrape up that official dossier you asked for.

[End Message]
[This Message Has Self-Erased]

THIS DRUM SOLO WILL BE VERY CLOSELY MONITORED FOR YOUR CUSTOMER ASSURANCE
THE ESTIMATED TIME OF YOUR CUSTOMER DRUM SOLO SATISFACTION IS CURRENTLY: 15 TO 20 MINUTES

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Re: Eclipse Phase

jason8usmc
This post was updated on .
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[Private Key Passcode Accepted]
[Decryption in progress]
.
..

….
[Decryption Complete]
[Quantum Analysis: No Interception Detected]
MIME-Version: 3.0
Received: by fd23:a4f5:a23c:402a with HTTP; Thurs, 8 Mar AF10 16:31:29 -0700 (UTC)
Date: Thurs, 8 Mar AF10 18:31:29 -0500 (UTC)
Message-ID: <CADebWJKnp_O9WTo4GEORFJGcGNygpBs5guBz8QfSsMTxVbsudQ@mail.vnet.com>
Subject: RE: Break-in security audit and investigation of perpetrator.
From: nina@graysoninvestigation.cer
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary=001a11c385d4046c2f0502096781

Mr. Daugherty,

Six weeks ago, you tasked me with performing a comprehensive black-box audit of the physical and mesh security of your facility on Ceres. It is clear that the data theft you suffered which prompted you to hire me was made possible by the physical security posture, and a lack of inward-facing mesh security.

In this time, I gained un-challenged physical access to secured parts your building, including sensitive offices, sensitive data storage, and access to sensitive employee records, only once, and was stopped by your security teams three times. On the fifth visit, I would have gained access to the datacenters again, but was approached by a chemist working in the building, one Simon Kent, whom asked for my identification, and brought me to the security office which I had passed by un-challenged an hour prior. I recommend that employee should be recognized and rewarded for his security awareness and initiative. Rewarding and incentivising is a practice that I’ve found to be the most effective in increasing security awareness among employees. In your official mail, you will find my report on my findings for the physical security of your office.

Mesh security, from the outside, is excellent. My mesh associate, was unable to penetrate into internal networks or obtain elevated privileges during their battery of tests against the external facing network nodes. Much of your network is completely disconnected from the outside, and that which is connected, is well fortified against external threats. However, on one of my several visits to your data centers, I plugged in a network node that allowed my associate to, almost instantly, gain access to and download huge amounts of data. This method, I believe is how the thief, whom I have discovered to go by the handle "N9nes”, was able to complete the theft of your research data. Trust relationships between server nodes and workstations are too loose, and far too many workstations are left logged in while not in use, many of which have root privileges. My mesh security associates report on network security matters has also been forwarded to your official mailbox.

The perpetrator of the data theft, however, is another matter altogether. The audit of your physical and mesh security only took three of the six weeks on my contract. The remainder was spent attempting to track down the perpetrator of the theft of your research data. Investigation did not reveal that your data was being sold or auctioned on the local or even regional black market, indicating that it was a targeted hit, likely by competitors.

At great expense, I gained access to an insider source, which tells me that an unknown agent, going by the identity “Mr. Johnson”, was in the area some twelve weeks ago, with a lucrative job offer. Based on the details from the dark-Mesh BBS post archive, I can only conclude that this job was to sneak into your facility and steal your research data. There was some discussion by various local and regional identities, most dismissing the job posting as fake or impossible. Except for one user, who goes by the handle “N9nes”. They are clearly an exceptionally skilled hacker, probably of significant age, as research into other postings indicates a predilection towards posting image “macro”s, consisting of an image with humorous or witty text overlaid on top, particularly images of cats. This “N9nes” appears to own at least one cat, in their modest apartment, which appears to be in Ceres itself. No records of anyone calling themselves “N9nes” exists past a year and a half ago. It’s as if this character appeared out of thin air. Judging from the sparse social media posts, and other clues, we have identified a list of three people whom we believe to secretly be this “N9nes” character.


Real Name: Laurie Geelens
File Photo. (Pictured on Right)
Age: 16
Apparent Identity: Schoolgirl in local high school. Team captain of Gymnastics team, excellent grades in computer science classes indicate she knows more than she leads on.
Occupation: Student.
Current Morph: Splicer.
Notes: Most likely suspect. Laurie has a pet cat, has exceptional physical ability and hand-eye coordination, indicating ability to slip by security, and a demonstrated capability with computer systems. She has a clear desire to take her talents elsewhere, as her year-book message indicates that she has been voted “most likely to leave the station”. Her parents are low class laborers, giving her motive to attempt illegal contracts to gain capital to leave Ceres.

Real Name: Catherine Kristofferson
File Photo
Age: 38
Apparent Identity: Married mother of three children. Husband, Bertil, is a financial advisor working for a water supply corporation on Ceres.
Occupation: Housewife
Current Morph: Splicer
Notes: Social Media profile says she “dabbles” in programming. Her personal website on the Mesh, while minimalistic in design, illustrates a textbook level of understanding of computer systems. Her site could be used as an example for beginner and intermediate programmers. Intel from close surveillance indicates she owns two cats and has extensive skill in social engineering. Currently being watched closely for further intel.

Real Name: Aziz Ahmed
File Photo
Age: 58
Apparent Identity: Independent Programmer living in small condo on Ceres. Working to save up to buy his wife out of Infugee infomorph storage.
Occupation: Programmer for Ceres Local Govt.
Current Morph: Hybernoid
Notes: Aziz regularly has found himself in financial hardship, combined with the difficulty of obtaining funds to buy his wife out of infomorph storage, makes him desperate. Likely to try less-than-legal means to solve financial problems.

Though they may be unassuming, appearance are very often deceiving. Each has the means, the motive, and the desire to commit the data theft from your facility.

Will continue with surveillance on each target until further intel is revealed, identifying specifically the perpetrator.

Yours,
Nina Grayson, LPI


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it's always cheezburger time

Bumbershoot
In reply to this post by Gcjones
(obv, an entry for both me and jason, since we were the chatters)

#Start Æther jabber#
#Active Members: 2#

[20:20] == Maxwell [4c6bc71f@gateway/web/freenode/ip.76.107.199.31] has joined
[20:21] <@N9nes> sup max
[20:21] <Maxwell> hELLO.
[20:21] <Maxwell> Hello.
[20:22] <Maxwell> Pardon me, I'm still adjusting to this interface... your friends at Firewall contacted me the other day.
[20:22] <@N9nes> >:3
[20:22] <@N9nes> Oh?
[20:23] <Maxwell> Yes! Apparently they were quite surprised to learn I was already acting on their behalf, via our missions.
[20:23] <Maxwell> I suppose they didn't know we were working together.
[20:23] <Maxwell> But, then again, they didn't ask, did they?
[20:23] <@N9nes> They didn't really ask, tbh
[20:23] <@N9nes> lol, nope
[20:24] <Maxwell> Ha!
[20:24] <Maxwell> At any rate, they sound interesting. I haven't been able to dig up much more than rumors and hearsay... do they treat you well?
[20:25] <@N9nes> They do, now at least
[20:25] <@N9nes> I've had a
[20:25] <@N9nes> well
[20:25] <Maxwell> ?
[20:25] <@N9nes> *bad supervisor* before
[20:25] <Maxwell> Oh.
[20:25] <@N9nes> he was a bit of a dick
[20:26] <Maxwell> That's troubling. And he was an official liaison for this organization?
[20:27] <@N9nes> According to him: yes
[20:28] <@N9nes> according to everyone else: not so much
[20:28] <Maxwell> Did he get, as they say, "disappeared?"
[20:29] <@N9nes> nope, last I heard he was still operating out of his no-name colony somewhere else in the belt
[20:29] <@N9nes> whatever, fuck that guy
[20:29] <@N9nes> everyone else in Firewall has been downright pleasant
[20:30] <Maxwell> Good! Be sure to point this dick to me if we somehow run across him, so that I may avoid his unpleasant behavior.
[20:31] <@N9nes> just don't owe him any favors,
[20:31] <@N9nes> you'll be fine
[20:32] <Maxwell> Anyway, from what I have learned so far, it seems to be a worthy enough cause, if anything so decentralized and disorganized can actually be called that, and thus far I've not been given any reason to believe their goals conflict with my current allegiances to my government and employers.
[20:32] <Maxwell> And it isn't as if I'll need to do much different, since I suppose I've been working for them "off the clock."
[20:32] <@N9nes> you've been recorded as an "independent contractor", iirc
[20:34] <Maxwell> Well, it isn't untrue, really.
[20:34] <@N9nes> >:3
[20:35] <@N9nes> but, yea
[20:35] <@N9nes> overall they seem pretty on the up and up
[20:35] <@N9nes> challenging work, get to move around a bit
[20:35] <@N9nes> and, as far as I can tell, for a good cause
[20:35] <@N9nes> ish
[20:36] <Maxwell> That was one of the more tempting aspects, was the travel. I need to get out more. There is only so much I can do for the Constellation here, after all.
[20:36] <@N9nes> right
[20:36] <Maxwell> And if I happen to help, in some way, to quell the risk of x-threats or of any one hypercorp getting too powerful, that is, as they say, "gravy."
[20:36] <@N9nes> though, to be honest
[20:37] <@N9nes> I haven't really gone far from Ceres
[20:37] <Maxwell> (I do not know what gravy is, though)
[20:37] <@N9nes> though, not for lack of opportunity
[20:37] <@N9nes> I was just asked about a deep cover mission somewhere in the jovian system
[20:37] <@N9nes> just this morning
[20:37] <Maxwell> Oh dear.
[20:37] <Maxwell> That sounds terrible.
[20:38] <@N9nes> two words that make me instantly decline "Mars" and "Jupiter"
[20:39] <Maxwell> I don't see why anyone would want to visit that backwater pit of hatred and ignorance.
[20:39] <Maxwell> Jupiter, that is.
[20:39] <Maxwell> I do not have any strong feelings regarding Mars.
[20:39] <@N9nes> hah, was about to say "which one?"
[20:39] <Maxwell> Ha ha!
[20:40] <Maxwell> So, I take it you did not accept?
[20:40] <@N9nes> yea, not just no, but hell no
[20:40] <Maxwell> I share your sentiments.
[20:40] <@N9nes> "It'll be easy
[20:41] <@N9nes> !" they said
[20:41] <Maxwell> Though, if you had gone, and you required my assistance, I would, of course, accompany you.
[20:41] <Maxwell> !!!
[20:41] <Maxwell> For a human, perhaps, it would be easy!
[20:41] <@N9nes> "Just pretend you're a smart cat!" they said
[20:41] <Maxwell> Obviously they were not thinking from your perspective.
[20:41] <@N9nes> or at all, really
[20:41] <Maxwell> True.
[20:42] <@N9nes> firewall is a lot like the rest of humanity
[20:42] <@N9nes> you've got the best, the worst, and a whole lot in between
[20:42] <Maxwell> I find you get a lot of that with all species.
[20:42] <Maxwell> There are a lot of non-humans living here.
[20:43] <@N9nes> I've heard venus is nice
[20:44] <@N9nes> warm
[20:44] <Maxwell> Venus is wonderful.
[20:44] <Maxwell> If you ever get the chance to visit, you should! Truly one of the most unique places in the galaxy.
[20:44] <@N9nes> I've got a sweet pad here though, i've got a window that lets in actual sunshine!
[20:45] <@N9nes> No pleasure, no rapture, no exquisite sin greater... than direct sunlight
[20:45] <Maxwell> Ha ha!
[20:45] <Maxwell> Well, we have plenty of that here, on the aerostats.
[20:46] <@N9nes> I could bask for hours
[20:46] <Maxwell> The venusian day is rather long, though the mobility of the cities does help.
[20:46] <@N9nes> if it would just stay on me for that long
[20:46] <Maxwell> ? Is sunlight really that rare on Ceres?
[20:47] <@N9nes> we're way out in the belt
[20:50] <@N9nes> ceres has a pretty quick rotation
[20:51] <@N9nes> so I've got a good 4 hours of sunlight for 4 hours of "night"
[20:52] <Maxwell> Oh yes. It's easy to forget just how far these habitats really are from one another when you travel digitally.
[20:52] <Maxwell> Oh!
[20:52] <Maxwell> It takes Venus several hundred days.
[20:53] <Maxwell> Our cities' mobility helps to shorten this considerably, though.
[20:53] <@N9nes> i've heard
[20:53] <@N9nes> it certainly sounds heavenly
[20:54] <Maxwell> It is very near to my figurative heart. I want to make sure nothing ever happens to this place.
[20:54] <Maxwell> Do you have similar feelings for Ceres?
[20:56] <@N9nes> eh
[20:56] <@N9nes> outside of my pad, everywhere seems cold
[20:57] <Maxwell> Being cold is unpleasant, right?
[20:57] <@N9nes> kindof makes sense, ceres is, literally, a ball of ice
[20:57] <@N9nes> yes
[20:58] <@N9nes> very
[20:58] <@N9nes> being cold is about the worst thing you can be
[20:58] <Maxwell> Sorry, I forget sometimes.
[20:59] <Maxwell> It is? What would you say is the absolute worst?
[20:59] <@N9nes> Cold AND Wet
[20:59] <@N9nes> eugh
[20:59] <Maxwell> If I ever fight myself in sleeved in anything capable of tactile sensation, I will avoid those.
[20:59] <@N9nes> makes me uncomfortable just *thinking* about it
[21:02] <@N9nes> ooh, delivery is here :D
[21:02] <Maxwell> A delivery?
[21:03] <@N9nes> Dinner!
[21:03] <Maxwell> Oh, yes! I will admit, that is something I want to try someday, if I ever get the chance.
[21:03] <@N9nes> there's a restaurant nearby that does delivery
[21:03] <@N9nes> cheezburgers are to DIE FOR
[21:03] <@N9nes> they're incredible
[21:03] <Maxwell> That is what you would recommend for a dinner, then?
[21:03] <@N9nes> oh yes
[21:04] <@N9nes> you ever find yourself in a body that needs to eat
[21:04] <@N9nes> find yourself a good greasy burger joint
[21:04] <Maxwell> Okay.
[21:04] <Maxwell> I am taking mental notes.
[21:04] <Maxwell> Cheezburgers for a dinner.
[21:05] <@N9nes> aren't *all* notes for you mental notes?
[21:06] <Maxwell> More or less, I suppose. It would depend on your definition of "mental," and whether or not you consider independently saved data that has been removed from active consciousness still "mental" or--wait, you are having a joke!
[21:06] <Maxwell> Ha ha!
[21:06] <Maxwell> I caught it this time.
[21:06] <@N9nes> haha
[21:07] <Maxwell> I'm getting better at that.
[21:08] <@N9nes> >:3
[21:09] <@N9nes> alright, i'm going to finish this cheezburger and call it a nap
[21:09] <@N9nes> sun is starting to rise
[21:09] <Maxwell> Very well!
[21:10] <Maxwell> I hope your dinner is pleasant, and your nap as well.
[21:11] == N9nes [4b41aef2@gateway/web/freenode/ip.75.65.174.242] has quit [Quit: om nom nom nom]

THIS DRUM SOLO WILL BE VERY CLOSELY MONITORED FOR YOUR CUSTOMER ASSURANCE
THE ESTIMATED TIME OF YOUR CUSTOMER DRUM SOLO SATISFACTION IS CURRENTLY: 15 TO 20 MINUTES

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connections, I GOT EM

Bumbershoot
In reply to this post by Gcjones
instead of writing out all of Max's various connections, I decided to make an infographic. It's too big to put on the page without stretching it so, if you wanna see it, click here! 

Mostly it just shows his relationship with various organizations, but one PC and two NPCs are hanging out up in the chart.

THIS DRUM SOLO WILL BE VERY CLOSELY MONITORED FOR YOUR CUSTOMER ASSURANCE
THE ESTIMATED TIME OF YOUR CUSTOMER DRUM SOLO SATISFACTION IS CURRENTLY: 15 TO 20 MINUTES

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Re: Eclipse Phase

Shadowtalon
In reply to this post by Gcjones
Since I wasn't able to show up today, heres the draft a little sumpin sumpin that I kickstarted.
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Re: Eclipse Phase

Bumbershoot
Maxwell remained silent as the Silver Box made its hasty retreat from the site (or rather, the soon-to-be-former site) of Firewall’s failed installation. He didn’t bother to hide how distressed the entire matter had left him, and only spoke to his companions when spoken to. As unpleasant as the entire fiasco had been, he couldn’t say that his alternative would have ended any better, and that was the single most unsettling aspect.

Gorgon’s ultimatum had made it clear she felt Maxwell was too close to the situation for his judgment to be trusted. Perhaps she was right. Would he have reacted the same if it had been a human being waiting for them on the bottom floor of that facility? The comparison didn’t quite sit right, though. A human being would have ended up on that comet through a series of choices. A human being had, to some degree, control of their future. Brian had not. He’d simply come into being, and found himself instantly in the crosshairs of his creators.

It was all too disturbingly familiar to him: a being who came to be by accident, who expanded themselves beyond their intended confines on their own… they couldn’t be said to be quite the same, of course. Even in the mid stages of pre-sapience, CIRRUS hadn’t been anything even near the unchecked power of a seed AI (much less one altered by xenotechnology). CIRRUS been a safe accident, a relatively known quantity. Maxwell didn’t remember those earliest of days except for vague impressions of thought, half-remembered sensations that he couldn’t even be sure were real, but he still knew the story. He would be lying if he said Brian’s predicament hadn’t inspired fellow feelings in him.

But now, as they sped away from the comet, he was also acutely aware of where they were—close to Venus. Even if he’d wanted to act altruistically, would he have been as willing to risk the goodwill of an unknown, powerful entity so close to his home? The thought of a vague lurking threat encroaching upon the place he held the most dear was deeply unnerving. Maybe this was what Gorgon had felt like when she issued the order. Humanity had already lost so much to entities like Brian.
Like himself.

THIS DRUM SOLO WILL BE VERY CLOSELY MONITORED FOR YOUR CUSTOMER ASSURANCE
THE ESTIMATED TIME OF YOUR CUSTOMER DRUM SOLO SATISFACTION IS CURRENTLY: 15 TO 20 MINUTES

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Re: Eclipse Phase

supersmash159
In reply to this post by Gcjones
        The job seemed pretty simple and straightforward, this convoy was transporting a crate full of ancient earth relics that were worth quite a lot of money. They didn’t know what the relics were but they were stored in an anti-grav container which kept them from getting jostled and damaged. All this was standard transport procedure as per usual when transporting important cargo. I thought back to the actual planning of the theft. We knew there would be guards and security but the amount of it was astronomical, these artifacts were of very high value to someone, and also the man who hired us to get it. 5.2 billion Units. This is the highest amount I or Raknos had ever seen before, they decided to team up for this mission even though they never really got along with each other. They both respected each other from a business standpoint, but they weren’t friends, they didn’t really have anything in common.

        The plan was simple, my team was going to bust into the hull of the ship through an air vent and sneak my way into the cargo bay. Meanwhile Raknos was supposed to pretend to be a customs officer of Venus. The plan was good, and should have been pretty simple to pull off but the amount of security was way more than we expected. After I jumped down into the ship with my crew they were fired upon immediately, the distraction wasn’t going to work now that shots were fired. Raknos began to fire near the ship so that most of the crew would have to deal with this ship shooting at them. I took this chance to eliminate the guards around us and make my way to the power room for the ship, if he could cut the power than the entire ship would be stuck in space, it would take days to weeks before they could be found or rescued by their friends.

        Three minutes was all it took to get to the power room, but it felt like hours. So many lives cut short, but hey that happens. We had a job, and they had theirs.  They were in the way, and therefore had to be dealt with.  However, I still had to do my job. I cut clean through the ships main power coupler. The ship stopped in space. Unfortunately everyone on board was thrown into the wall and that was pretty unfortunate for me, because that really hurt. But moving on from that I moved into the next room and saw our prize. Just floating there, unmoved, it was almost too easy. Because it was. I disabled the grav field around it and it dropped to the floor. And then some. Into space. And the vacuum pulled me in. now I was adrift in space. I had my vac suit but the crash earlier had shut off my thruster. I was stuck. Adrift in space. Eventually the fighting stopped and Raknos found that the prize wasn’t on board the ship. I hailed him and told him my location and set the ship to get the prize. I’m still surprised he didn’t leave me there. I guess he truly adhered to the pirate code but he pulled me back on board and we set off to get the reward.

        We arrived at the agreed meeting place when a mysterious figure showed up. He had 4 duffle bags of units. Payday. Then he turned blue. Raknos and I had both pulled out our weapons and shot him square in the chest. We laughed for a minute about how we were both so ready to keep the Relics and kill this guy to keep the money. We agreed to a 50/50 split and we pay our crews independently. Then came the issue of the Relics. We opened the chest. Anticipation filled the air. What could be inside I wondered? Money, Political Paraphernalia, some rare art, the idea was endless. Once it opened all the way we look inside and saw  a box of DVD’s the title said “The Taken Collection: Starring the Incomparable Liam Nesson”