It's been less than a week since you found yourself shanghaied into the unitary Intelligence agency PANOPTICON as a probationary agent in recognition of your long history of online skullduggery. In less time than you can even make much sense of, you have received very rudimentary training and sent on trial by fire into the field alongside your supervisor Agent Sofia Dyatlov against a local threat to your home of Baltimore. The Black Islamic Revolutionary Army was said to be a lower priority threat than most tracked by PANOPTICON, but have put the lie to that assumption, with a surprisingly dangerous arms shipment scheme becoming revealed as you track one of the three enigmatic leaders of the organization.You currently find yourself disarmed in the aftermath of a bloody ambush, and about to desperately attempt to survive the assault of a BIRA member larger than anyone you have ever fought.> First Thread: >http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/4905857/> Last thread CQC rolls:> 3 failuresYou've been disarmed, and your weapon is far away now. Gunfire still roars in the service station, and you are isolated from Parker and his team. The only thing that comes to mind is getting back to the assault team. You back away from the giant to get some spacing, but his pipe and his height advantage gives him too much range. You are barely able to defend yourself from the swing when it comes, the pipe smashing into your arm at the elbow joint. You hear bone break, and scream in pain. Maybe you can outrun him? You turn your back on your foe, cradling your limp arm, and begin to run. To your horror he makes the distance before you can get any relief, and the pipe comes down again on your back. Vision blackening through the pain, you throw up an arm to protect your face, but it's too slow. You black out for a few moments when he manages a his on the side of your face. Blood sprays from your mouth, and you hear the clatter of what you can only assume are several teeth sailing across the room.
>>4960755You try to regain your strength, but everything is too slow. The pain is unbearable and you fear a concussion if not something far worse. This is fare and away the worst pain you have experienced. You then notice something else: the shooting has stopped.Parker and the remnants of the assault team turn to you and the remaining enemy, only to see him haul your mostly limp form up and prop you up between him and the gunmen. His pipe is discarded, and you spit blood down the front of your vest as you feel him press a sidearm to your side, knowing that the angle would send the round into your armpit and bypass the armor."Drop the weapon! You know you aren't getting out of here clean!" Parker shouts, his rifle levelled at both you and your assailant. You try to speak, delirious, but the gun digs further into your side in warning. The large man grunts. "You let me out of here and maybe I'll dump this one somewhere where you might find him mostly intact." The BIRA has a reputation, you leave here with this man, Kendi, whoever he his, you don't think you are going to live until tomorrow. Your clouded mind looks over your options.> Your strength is failing, but you could try one last effort to throw him off of you, and hope he doesn't pull the trigger before Parker gets a shot on him.> Trust Parker to negotiate, it's what his team does.> Your blurry vision cannot be trusted, and one eye is now caked in gore, but you see someone creeping to the left flank of the room. Sofia?> Maybe you can get clear headed enough to negotiate on your own behalf?
>>4960771>> Maybe you can get clear headed enough to negotiate on your own behalf?
>>4960771> Your blurry vision cannot be trusted, and one eye is now caked in gore, but you see someone creeping to the left flank of the room. Sofia?> Maybe you can get clear headed enough to negotiate on your own behalf?Personally, I would take the option that is most like to get us killed, simply because this operation turned into a shitshow and taking a bullet seems like the better option rather than whatever the fuck Panopticon has in store for us fucking this mission up so badly and getting ourselves captured by the enemy, but I'll present an option that'll may net us some info before Sofia offs the bastard.
>>4960771>Maybe you can get clear headed enough to negotiate on your own behalf?should we tell him that if he presses his gun it'll be out of battery?
>>4961168I'm impressed you thought of that, so I'll be nice and let you know he's carrying a double action .357.
>>4961168>>4961178>>4961206That's a shame, because it would've been one hell of a line.
>>4961211Your man here is a little old fashioned, in a lot of ways.
>>4961214I'm just imagining a Jack Ryan novel, were the data analyst was held hostage in the exact same way, then some minute detail only a gun nerd would know saves the day against the street thug. It would've been an amazing end to the scene, even if we did get our ass beat to hell and back. Shame that we'll get nothing as glorious as that, and instead probably bite the bullet, either by this gangbanger or our superiors, and if we don't, we probably wished we were shot instead.As you can maybe tell, I'm a bit pessimistic about our situation at the moment.
>>4961233I get that, but player chosen name aside, this really is not meant to read much like Clancy.
>>4961245And while I get that, it still would've been cool.Now, we're going to be trying to negotiate with a street thug as a concussed hostage. Frankly, I don't fancy our chances of survival, even if we do succeed in regard to the thug. Anons may have forgotten about Sofia threatening us after trying to negotiation with the other guy, but I figure after she hears what we've gotta ourselves into, and how we got out, she may just us anyway for it, and I personally think that will be use getting off lightly from this fiasco.
>>4961233For what it's worth, I hope you all understand I am writing a delicate balance here between giving you guys too much success too early and and not just fucking you because I can. In the last check, even a single success would have changed a lot about the scenario you have ended up in. To a different extent, some of you may have noticed that certain actions of your contemporaries are not exactly what PANOPTICON may want, and Mcgregor does have a certain interest in you not eating shit immediately. I want to sell that this is a tough job your character is barely ready for, but I dont want you to think Im just fucking you because I can.
>>4961283I don't think your fucking us just to fuck with us, and I appreciate you not pulling any punches here. We failed horribly, and shit happens.However, I'm not holding any illusions that we're going to get off scot free from fucking up the mission with just this beating by the same token. Hence, Jack thinking the bullet may be the better option.
>>4960771> Your blurry vision cannot be trusted, and one eye is now caked in gore, but you see someone creeping to the left flank of the room. Sofia?
>>4960755Ill wait another few hours but right now its a tie.
>>4961977Never mind thrown off buy the guy who keeps posting two options, lol.Still keeping it open till later.
>>4961982Sorry about that. I was voting to to distract the street thug for Sofia with our concussed negotiations, not actually negotiate with the man. We're in no shape for serious negotiations.
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>4962251I'll count you for the Sofia option then.Which means coin flip1 for negotiate, 2 for Sofia
>>4962380Well, I guess we can chalk this up to our concussion then.
>3d100 DC 70Yeah not going to be an easy one. Sorry about being kind of all over the place tonight, stuff came up. Get me the rolls and I'll have a full update tomorrow before it gets too late.
Rolled 14 (1d100)>>4962670We really are going to bite the bullet on this one aren't we?
Rolled 50 (1d100)>>4962670Yep we're dead
Rolled 41 (1d100)>>4962670
>>4962678>>4962689>>4962734Rolls locked in. Yeah those of you who thought that option was a bit of a trap were right. Its a little hard to be convincing while suffering a hopefully temporary brain injury,Update will be a while later, it's 6am and I have not slept.
>>4962740Like I said, I’ll chalk attempting to negotiate up to the concussion.
>>4962678>>4962689>>4962734>Three failuresYou think maybe, just maybe, you can talk your way out of this hopeless situation. An argument pieces itself together in your addled mind, and you voice it.There is an awkward silence as garbled, mumbled gibberish spills from your lips. It does not quite seem like begging, but it is absolutely indecipherable. There is look on Parker's face, covered as it may be, that you are convinced approximates pity. And then it all goes black again as your already abused head is slammed into again by the fist of your captor.The light returns in moments, you have trouble making out a clear image, but the blurry forms of the assault team seem in turmoil. Someone is there with them, wrestling with Parker for his weapon. You hear yelling, but you cannot make out much of it."-uck's sake he's already""-uck you Parker, he's my res-""Mamn please sto-"Your enemy is silent, his gun even sweeps the assault team and the interloper for a moment before returning to your side. Willpower sapped, you find yourself unable to take advantage of his confusion, but someone else takes the opportunity for you.In a split second Parker is sent to the ground, and the new figure has his gun. Without hesitation they level it and fire. The rifle round impacts your right side like a sledgehammer, your vest ineffective, and agony sparks through your body. But you soon realize it was a through and through as the BIRA survivor grunts in pain and allows you to collapse to the floor before him. Before he can react two more shots ring out, and his gun arm and shoulder explode into gore as he falls backward screaming his rage into the gaping wound. The assault team is upon the two of you in seconds and it's over as suddenly as it went south. You feel you consciousness fading, and the last thing you think you see is the blurry face of Sofia, restrained by two of Parker's team, as you are carried away from the carnage.
>>4963598It's unclear how long you are under. You do not find yourself surprised when you wake in a hospital bed. The beep of the heart monitor clues you in readily enough, it also tells you just how close you came to the end. Your side is a mess, you can feel a compress and also a slight and constant burn that makes you think some sort of numbing medicine has been applied. Your head is wrapped up, still swollen, but noticeably less than you think it was.The general feel is like having the worst hangover in your life crossed with a car crash, not that those happen anymore. Taking stock of the room you look around. The usual sterile décor meets you, but even in your drugged and blurry state, you can tell you are not alone.In moments they look up from the portable terminal they were studying and look up at you, a surprised expression on their face.You recognize them quickly, and make your awareness known.> Choose:> Sofia> Jackson> Ritter> Mom> George? What the fuck?> Mcgregor
>>4963607> Mcgregoror> George? What the fuck?I don't want our mom to know we almost died, and I honestly don't want to talk to the others. I'd rather we have our fate explained to us, or see a friendly face.If we don't wash out, I'm rather looking forward to investigating the Sons of Liberty from our hospital bed. And with any luck, the voting will be completed quickly and we'll be blessed with another update today.
>>4963607If this is going to be Dyatlov though, I wanna ask if this was what she meant by Panopticon taking care of their own (and by this I'm meant getting shot).
>>4963623For the sake of a quick update (if possible), if >>4963615 doesn't get any more votes, I'll support this post instead.
>>4963607>George? What the fuck?
>>4964807Still here AllSeeingQM?
>>4966618Fell pretty badly ill. Writing now.
>>4963807>>4963873>>4963615 You have to do a double take. How in the hell is George here? He grins dumbly at you from his chair. "Jack, you're awake man, that's fucking sick." Again with the weirdly anachronistic lingo. He has a way with that."George, how the hell did you get in here?" You raise your voice a bit, and quickly regret it as your gunshot wound shoots pain through your nerves. At least it feels like your teeth are all there, someone must have dealt with that while you were out. "Well your Mom called my parents and they told me you were in the hospital. She didn't know why, said your bosses called her about it and said you were stable. I figured I'd come visit but there are a bunch of glow in the dark types all over your floor, so I got turned back."Your suspicion grows. "So anyway, I decided to climb in the window. They left it unlocked, and it was only two stories!" You are reminded of your old college buddy's other significant past-time, free climbing. "Anyway, is that a fucking gunshot? Hardcore! Did you decide to walk back from work on the east side or something?"Probably wouldn't do to mention that your colleague and supposed friend put a rifle round through you, so you just nod in response."George, I actually really appreciate you going through the trouble, but you should really leave. Back through the window if possible. Those guys in the hall mean business and I do not think you would mesh well with their sensibilities."He laughs you off. "What are they gonna do, fucking arrest me?" To your dismay the door quickly opens at this very moment and Deputy Director McGregor walks in. He regards you with a thin smile before noticing your friend. Without a word his face goes flat and he turns on a heel back out the door. You can hear him call down the hall. "Jackson! Get over here." He returns just a moment later with Agent Jackson, who stares in unconcealed confusion at George's presence, as the man in question retains his slightly dumb smile. "Care to explain, Agent?" He stammers. "M-motherfucker. I just turned this kid away thirty minutes ago! Did you climb the fucking wall, boy?" George shrugs. "Yeah, of course I did." Mcgregor removes his eyeglasses and pinches his nose. "Detain and remove this idiot please, Agent Jackson." Jackson nods and pulls George up by the shoulder, leading him off to complaints to the tune of "Am I being detained?" and "I have rights you know!". Probably about to claim to be a Free Inhabitant, knowing him.
>>4966872Mcgregor sits where George just was, and regards you. "I already knew, of course, but you really have shockingly bad taste in friends." You attempt to shrug but wince again, that wound is going to be an adjustment. "You'll have questions of course. I'll preempt a few. You've been under for three days. We fast racked sealing the gunshot and a basic program of facial and dental reconstruction. You can probably leave in about three more days according to the doctors. After this debriefing you are free to receive visitors, so being magnanimous I'll not charge Mr. Fairview with the trespassing he so clearly desires."Thanks for that." You say. George is kind of a Jackass but you really don't have a lot of friends these days. Mcgregor shrugs it off. "His type is really beneath our notice. His family has assets too so he's be out of lockup by tomorrow even I wanted that.""As to more serious matters: your assailant is in custody and currently undergoing enhanced interrogation. Not much progress yet but we have handed him to Agent Ritter who specializes in these things. We have pretty much confirmed him to be the individual known as Kendi, and he does have a regular identity known to us. He's a decades experienced criminal and recidivist with dozens of law enforcement deaths on the record. You are very lucky to be alive, he is not known to show mercy.""This takes us to second major issue. I had no choice but to detain Agent Dyatlov pending an internal investigation. Shooting your own probationary agent is over the line, though I fear it may have saved your life. As to if that was her intention I cannot say. She also armed you with a weapon you have not qualified on, but that is a much lesser concern. More so is that she, according to reports from Jackson and others, had some sort of altercation with you that led her to send in you in unsupervised with the assault team. I would sack anyone with a lesser record outright for that kind of offense, and I have.""Her hearing is scheduled for two days after you get out of the hospital. You will be expected to testify. I imagine your words will hold the lion's share of weight. I think Dyatlov is a great agent, but something went very wrong with her this time. Is there anything you can tell me?"> Defend her, she had a very bad night but she would owe you one for having her back> Mention her reaction to possible Texan involvement> Mention her execution of the low level BIRA associate, maybe that was out of line as well> Write in
>>4966885> Defend her, she had a very bad night but she would owe you one for having her backbut also> Mention her reaction to possible Texan involvement
>>4966885>> Mention her reaction to possible Texan involvementand combining >> Mention her execution of the low level BIRA associate, maybe that was out of line as well
>>4966885> Defend her, she had a very bad night but she would owe you one for having her back>Get computerNot too attached to her considering we got shot from her and got sent in unsupervised, but I figure she must be a good agent, so I guess I'll let that slide for now. I'd appreciate some warning next you send me in with a nutjob, but I suppose that would cover most of Panopticon, excluding the people in this room of course.Can you give me a computer by the way Director? I'll be crawling on the walls before the day is out, and I want to get started on Sons Of Liberty before I focus on the BIRA again.
>>4967075Do not consider this an update but your terminal is actually in your possession, on the bedstand. You might need to ask someone to hand it to you considering.And it's Sons of Forrest
>>4967095I'm talking about the shitposting Texans, not the Neo-Confederates in the woods. Something less stressful and right up our alley before we get into the more hardcore fieldwork heavy aspects of this job.
>>4966885>Defend her, she had a very bad night but she would owe you one for having her back>Mention her reaction to possible Texan involvement
>>4966885> Defend her, she had a very bad night but she would owe you one for having her backBest not ignore a potential advantage. I also doubt that the execution or the Texan reaction was out of line, only sending your charge in unsupervised and shooting him yourself after he got his ass beat and held hostage.
>>4967408>>4967031>>4966999>>4967210You grimace. "I'd rather not have anything to bad happen to her, the night in question aside she has been a real comfort as I adjust." Mcgregor nods his understanding. "That's why I thought she would be a good fit, always was more personable than the other agents. This is honestly out of character." You think back. "She reacted violently when the Texans were implicated. She got really emotional from then on, especially during an interrogation." The Deputy Director sighs. "Yes, I imagine so. You know about her mother?"A quick affirmative. "Yeah, KIA in the border war with Texas, right?" "Indeed, though it's more than that. You were young then, but I noted your interest in history, so you know about the territorial concessions. The Dyatlovs hail out of Baton Rogue."Thinking back, Louisiana and most most of Mississippi got annexed in the armistice agreement after the rout outside of New Orleans. The Texans wanted more coastline, and they got it. This, of course, means Sofia doesn't have a home to go back to.Mcgregor continues. "We knew she took it hard, of course, it's in the psych evaluation. But I didn't expect the Texans to be possibly implicated in the BIRA cases. I could have warned you, I suppose. It's personal for her when it comes to New Texas.""I guess I can get what got under her skin, but I also understand what got under mine was a bullet.""Yes, well, even Operative Parker noted she seemed more concerned with saving your life than killing Kendi. Odd way to go about it, but it was an unusual situation. And Parker is usually not generous to anyone who touches his weapons without permission. Keep that in mind." He stands. "Take your time healing. We'll expect you back soon but no use coming in half capable. You can receive visitors from now, I'll send an agent to check in on occasion."He turns and leaves, and it is not long before sleep claims you.
>>4968256It's four days before you are okayed for release by the hospital. You still feel like you have been hit by a truck but PANOPTICON got you the best care possible. Probably puts you more and more into their debt, but it's not like they handed you a bill.You think about the day after Mcgregor and George showed up. Mom came that day, after being told you could be visited. Figuring the cat was out of the bad with your wounds, you told her who you were working for now. There was a haunted look about her as she took her leave, but she said you would have more to talk about it on Dad's birthday. You wonder if she wants that friend of his there when she talks to you about it.A message from Mcgregor told you to take the two days remaining until Sofia's hearing off. You can show up for training or research but you are not on the clock and Jackson will have to escort you in the Tower. You don't know the man very well but you imagine that will piss him off. Resources will be scarce but you can also look into some of your cases or even further into the BIRA on your own terminal. Then, you might also take the Deputy Director at his word and take it easy for a day or two.> Choose two> Research at home(Who)> Research at the Tower(Who)> Relax for a day(Enter activity)> Relax for a day and hangout with George(Enter activity)> Train(Physical or Firearm)> Write in
>>4968267> Relax for a day and hangout with George(Shitposting, bar hopping, and parkour)> Research at home(Either BIRA or Sons of Liberty[Texan Intelligence Front, not Neo-Confederates])Those are my two picks. I figure hanging out with George while he's in town would be nice, but if we choose work, I'd rather us focus on some Texan bullshit while Sofia's on probation.
>>4968278Sure, why not. I feel like now is a good time to start on the Sons of Liberty, since we just took care of BIRA
>>4968278>>4968369>>4968832>>4968833The next day comes, your first Director-Mandated off day, and you figure you could do worse than to call up George. He did have the decency, if not the sense, to break the law to come see you when you were under. The terminal tones twice before he picks up, you hear his taste in shitty old century Jpop distorted in the background before he pauses it. "Jack, good to hear from you! You outta the hospital yet?" You grunt an affirmative. "Yeah, figured since you bothered to come by I could at least hang with you on my day off. I don't go back into work for two days. Anything you'd like to do?" He thinks for a few moments. "Well you said to burn my hard drive so I guess that's out, how about the Barcade on Cathedral? You know the one from University?" You remember it, though it's been years since you were there. "Yeah, I do, I take it you want to see if our high score on the old Time Crisis 8 cabinet is still there?" He laughs. "We can check, but that shit is good as gone. Probably the cabinet too, I think it was pushing seventy. I just like the atmosphere, and we can have a few drinks without running into the type of person I think you work with now." You don't think he meant any insult by that, and it would probably be awkward if you ran into someone like Jackson or Ritter while out on leisure. "Sure, sound's good. Around five then, if we are to be drinking?""Yeah Jack, sounds good. I'll show up a little early, save you a seat." His terminal clicks in your ear as the connection is severed, and you spend the remainder of the day getting some much needed R&R before the time comes.You walk into the Barcade; "Hideo/Stereo/Video", and quickly see George at the bar with seat next to him open. A glass of Scotch is waiting for you. "Huh, Macallan 12?" You ask. "Of course" He replies, and you clink glasses with his lager, kind of touched he remembered. It's been years since you shared a drink even if you kept in contact.He talks about idle subjects for most of the night, his family is about the same as you remember, too much money to care what he gets up to. George gets tired of talking about himself eventually. "Hey Jack, what ever happened to that girl from the History department you had a thing with?" You wince. " Alex and I broke it off years ago, you know that." She'd tried to contact you after Dad, but you weren't talking to anyone. Even George didn't hear from you for months. "No idea man, probably a lot better off somewhere else." He nods. "Yeah, you were too good for her anyway, too much of a nerd, you know?" You really, really don't. "So, anyone at your super secret new job? Don't look at me like that, I got the picture when your friend Tall Black and Angry told me if I climbed up there again he's remove me via means other than the stairs." Well, that sounds like Agent Jackson. You run your hand over your side without a thought. "I think that line of thinking might be a little dangerous, George."
>>4969504He throws his hands up, sending his beer perilously close to spilling. "Well, forgive me for looking out for my buddy! I tell ya man, you've been stewing over shit forever. Lighten up! Don't care about what people think! It's my secret." You begin to suspect he got here a lot earlier than you did. One more glass is ordered, and you down it, before making your excuses to leave. It's getting late, and you don't want to be too far gone to get some research done at home. He calls out as you head out the door. "Plenty of fish in the pool man, even one that glows!" You wave back at him, back turned, hiding your scowl.The autobus deposits you in front of home at about eleven. As usual you have no mail, and for once you don't think they stole it from the door step. Once inside, you pour a glass of filtered water, dock your terminal, and get to some late night sleuthing. The BIRA are not eliminated, but the real valuable intel will be whatever Ritter pulls out of Kendi, so you set into looking into the Sons of Liberty. A quick reference search reveals the game from which they likely derive their name was directed by a Japanese man named Kojima. You did not make the connection before but the Barcade is likely also a reference to the name. Probably coincidence, but you will look into it, along with the anon forums the group is known to frequent.> Analyst Check 3d100 DC55
Rolled 20 (1d100)>>4969516I hope this goes better than our last mission.
>>4969528I really been rolling dogshit this whole quest.
Rolled 10 (1d100)>>4969616dont know why it didnt roll
>>4969617Because RNGesus wanted to fuck us.
>>4968278SupportSons of liberty
>>4969707Bit late on that one, friend.
Rolled 86 (1d100)>>4969516
>>4969729Whoo, made the dc
>>4969729You're my hero, because if we had another triple failure I don't know what I would've done.
>>4969743Eh, this is just home research. At worst you waste some time. It was totally viable to do two leisure activities this day.
>>4969751Maybe we can get shitfaced tomorrow, after our second attempt. The alcohol had an adverse effect on our researching abilities, and that's what I'm going with.
No update tonight. Should be one tomorrow.
>>4970713>2 fail, 1 successYou have a hard time researching the Sons Of Liberty. Your inquiries are buffeted with both fan pages for the long forgotten video game alongside many historical articles on Samuel Adams and his compatriots.It strikes almost three AM before you get anything worthwhile. And even that is by accident. Your repeated searches and attempts at the hosting organizations are stymied. But you soon realize a commonality. Something stands in your way, and you soon realize that it is a massive obstacle.No company can be tracked down, their email lists do not root back to anyone, This is a network of VPNs and botnets on a scale never before seen on a non-state level.PANOPTICON of course has the resources to bypass most public VPNs, but even then your research has its limits. You narrow down the diversions of information, but one stands out.Someone, somehow, is bouncing data from a node in New York City. A city that has been almost uninhabited for decades.You make notes, and shut down the terminal. It's late, but its time to sleep, no matter the value of your findings. For once, a dreamless sleep awaits.> Write in: What will you do on your last day off?
>>4971958>Sons of Liberty research, then hang out and get totally smashed bar hopping with GeorgeNot gonna lie, that New York thread mighly interests me. Might as we satisfy out personal curiosity before getting totally shitfaced with George.
>>4971958>>4971971 sounds good to me
>>4971958I wanna visit mom on our day off, if she is not too far away. Maybe her special chicken soup can help us regrow that rib that was blown away by the 5.56
>>4972581I don't mind that. We can make it a luncheon if she's nearby.
No update today. Should have plenty of time tomorrow.
>>4971971>>4972034>>4972581>>4972802The thread you found last night on The Sons of Liberty is intriguing. It did not seem to be a simple reroute of data and for that matter there should be no operational public nodes inside the NYC exclusion zone. There is of course the reclamation project, but improper use of Federal terminal nodes should set off all kinds of alarms at PANOPTICON that would not necessitate further research on your part. There was no mention of such a thing in the dossier for the group. You figure more time is due to the peculiarity, so you double down on research after getting a bite at Blaise's to keep the engine running.> Analyst Check 3d100 DC50> ...later...Mental resources expended, you leave to spend the rest of your afternoon off doing something diverting. You message Mom and she isn't busy, so you stop in for lunch. Her apartment is relatively spacious for Baltimore, Dad's pension being better than most salaries considering he technically was killed on the job.The door opens promptly when you ring in, and you head inside just as it begins to rain, though gladly there was no call rad protection this time. "Jack, you look better. I guess at least they got you the best care." You shrug, and it only hurts a little now to stretch the area around your wound. "Can' complain about that, Mom. How are you?" She gives a sad look. "Worried sick, how could I not be? You could have told me what you had gotten involved in. Finding out the way I did was not something I needed, though that boss of yours was very polite." She motions for you to sit at the kitchen table, just past the foyer. You smell something cooking, meatloaf probably. Mom's not an amazing cook, or an enthusiastic one, but she's got a few dishes she can call her specialties."Yeah in my experience he is always very careful with his words." She laughs bitterly. "And you don't seem to be careful at all. Please, for me, watch out for yourself. And make some friends, if it's anything like BPD was for your Father the thing you need most is someone to watch your back.""Yeah Mom, I'll try." She gives you a skeptical look and disappears into the kitchen proper. she returns shortly with a steaming platter of freshly baked meatloaf, and you settle into a companionable silence as you dig in.Sometime later you make your leave. You received a message on your terminal from George while you were having dinner. It's a pretty bald faced invitation to get wasted at some local watering holes other than the Barcade. You are not quite irresponsible enough to get completely blasted and come back into work walking like a zombie that got hit by a car. Moderation for tonight then, but it's not like you have other plans and you had a surprisingly good time last night.
Rolled 42 (1d100)>>4974158owo? more rolls? nice!
>>4974158The first place you hit is actually right around the corner from your apartment. The few times you've gone out the last few years it's been there, and alone. You kind of had a thing for the bartender, but it's been a while, and you don't see her anywhere when you enter. As yesterday, George is waiting with a beer for himself and a scotch for you. Laphroaig this time. Always a bit too peaty for your taste, but if anything it will help your goal of not drinking too much. "Isn't this the place where you told me the bartender was hot? I'm not sure I see it, man." The person currently serving drinks is one of the owners, a distinguished looking woman probably in her early fifties. You've spoken before but only in passing. George either is taking the piss or really got the wrong idea. Hopefully the former. "That's the owner. Does she look like twenty five and brunette to you?" He shrugs and downs the rest of his first beer. "I mean, it is a little dark in here you know. And hey, older ladies need love too." He scowl. "Well, be my guest George, floor is open." For a disturbingly long moment you think he's going to do it. But he just orders another round of drinks for the both of you. Feeling a little light headed, you order some nachos to soak the alcohol up. The rest of the night is spent in utterly meaningless conversation and taking part in this particular bar's eccentricity of playing ancient films on their displays instead of the Ravens game like every other joint in the city. Well, and CSPAN in the bars serving the Federal quarter.Arriving at home you figure you aren't that drunk, but figure you would be better off getting that extra bit of sleep. Tomorrow it's back to work.You walk back home rather than use the autobus, it's close enough and you ended up only in the one place that night. They had the classic film Top Gun 3 on, one of your favorites. Crazy that guy acted into his early nineties, Cruz or whatever his name was. Always liked those old fighter plane movies, you can't help but think of Sofia when it comes to that. She probably grew up watching the same.So, yeah, that's tomorrow. You wonder what you're going to say, both at the hearing and later on, no matter the outcome. Cannot help but think it's going to be complex.
Rolled 60 (1d100)>>4974158I was going to wait until the update finished, but if it's done for the moment, might as well roll for this.
>>4974188Something screwed the formatting here, sorry about that, probably on my end exporting from Word. The second one sentence paragraph should be at the end.
somebody gotta roll the greatest roll ever!
>>4974398+1, we need a high roller up in here!
Rolled 94 (1d100)>>4974158>>4974398 >>4974455 I'll try but we already passed the check with the 60
>>4974562Im not exactly running BCQ here or anything but multiple successes or failures do effect outcomes. Thanks for the roll, well played.
>>4974562Based 90+ roller.
>>4974562Hey Hey, there is the high roller
>>4974173>>4974189>>4974562> 2 success, 1 failIn the morning, you take the autobus to The Tower, using the downtime to think over the results of your digging into the Sons of Liberty the previous night. The real difficulty was separating bounce nodes from senders. The traffic was basically identical to your resources, so you reluctantly forwarded it. Encrypted in yet another level above the raw SOL data, it was sent to Rose Riordan at the Pit. She got back to you as you boarded the bus.Many nodes remain dubious. But the node in New York is confirmed to be active, and is not from any of the approved reclamation project sites in Manhattan. Unless it is somehow autonomous, like an advanced bot, it would need to be maintained by someone. This confirms that someone is active in the exclusion zone, and in an area where biological contamination is still common enough to be deadly. Even a botnet would have needed to be set up. There are a number of other active nodes. However the activity of the New York node indicates it serves as a network hub, outside senders filtering data through it which is then relayed to several other nodes before posting whatever agitprop the Sons are up to that day. It's how they continuously get their word out despite site bans and PANOPTICON filter catches on mainstream sites.Any kind of expedition beyond the walls of the reclamation project in NYC is a big ask, and you imagine you may need more clout to ask after it. Better to get some wins elsewhere and keep this one in back pocket, so to speak.The autobus arrives after a moment and you quickly make your way to security. You look to your terminal hoping someone had sent you information on where to go for Sophia's hearing, but you have nothing. It becomes apparent why when you see the Deputy Director motioning you to follow outside the central elevator. You follow him in."Hearing is in the conference room near The Bunker. It has been determined I have a conflict of interest so my involvement is limited to the same as yours: testimony. Agent Dyatlov will have been brought there by Security from holding, and there will be three visiting Deputy Directors from other branch offices to form the tribunal. There's Thompson from Central, serious type. He'll keep an open mind, though he'll turn his head at any unorthodoxy that comes up. Suleiman out of Philadelphia is a radical. For him results come first. Lastly we have Goldman out of the Appalachian Special Branch. He drew the short straw to be sent back here for this and some administrative stuff on his own. He'll be impatient to get back to his little shooting war in the hills. Any questions?"You feel perplexed. "What exactly should I say when my time comes?"
>>4975583He crosses his arms. "Honestly, if you still want to help her, the truth. Just maybe a generous version of it. I'll focus on her service record, which is exemplary, as I was not present." You remember his high opinion of Sofia, and wonder if he has an ulterior motive for his backing. After all, if one of his favorites faces censure it could blow back on him and his little pilot program. Which, you suppose, means you.The door opens and you step out into the hall, heading away from the admin offices and to a large room with glass doors. Despite the more rustic look, they still have the same ID lock as every other door you have yet to encounter in the Tower. Mcgregor swipes his terminal, there is a metallic click, and the doors slowly begin to open, with the aid of two uniformed security personnel. The meeting room has been made up to loosely resemble a courtroom, through one that is mostly empty this morning. The majority of attendees are uniformed security, probably because of the nature of the hearing and sheer volume of PANOPTICON brass present. Spartan tables and chairs are set up in row, most are vacant. You see Jackson in the first row, where you and Mcgregor are heading. He must have been called to speak as well. On the other end of the central aisle there are few spectators. Rose, for some reason. Maybe she's bored? There is an older, sad looking man in a grey business suit sitting a few rows behind Sofia. A relative? And up front the woman herself. She looks miserable, and her eyes are so hooded you would swear she hasn't slept in a week. Incongruently, for once, her hair and suit are immaculate.You take your seat, and face the tribunal. They have nameplates on their wooden lecterns, raised on the platform at the fore of the room. Surprisingly, you think those are real wood. Goldman is on the left. A severe looking man with curly black hair, probably only in his thirties. He has a distinctly military look about him, fitting for the PANOPTICON official who makes the Sons of Forrest insurgency his primary business. Thompson has the face and slouch of a bureaucrat, and the gut to back it up. The third man, Suleiman, unsurprisingly has the dusky looks of Turkish ancestry. His black hair is left long, and he has a beard that is unusually long for someone in this profession.You wait a few more moments, the room at silence except for the occasional cough or shuffle of papers. Parker arrives eventually, along with some burly looking men you assume to be fellow members of his assault team from the night in question. Only he joins those of you in the front row, the rest filing into what you assume are the seats reserved for those not expected to testify.Thompson, who has technical seniority, clears his throat into the microphone and begins. "This inquiry is now underway. In question are the actions and conduct of Agent Sofia Dyatlov on the night of 8/20/2113 during a sanctioned Field Operation."
>>4975670Suleiman follows. "Suspected infractions include: failure to supervise junior agent against orders, assault of a fellow operative, and assault of a subordinate agent. As per previous discussions to this hearing, the issue of improper interrogation procedure has been dropped. Do you understand these infractions?"Sofia stands, you notice for the first time her hands are restrained. "I do, Deputy Director." Her voice wavers in a way that's unfamiliar to your experience of her.Goldman speaks. "We call to testify your direct superior. Deputy Director Mcgregor, if you will." His haughty voice sounds uninterested in the proceedings, and he waves his hand halfheartedly for Mcgregor to stand and approach.Thompson again. "Deputy Director Mcgregor, please give the tribunal your opinion on Agent Dyatlov's service history here with PANOPTICON and beyond.""Very well. Agent Dyatlov has been an exemplary agent the last four years she has been with us. Top of our Branch in marksmanship, about ten major collars to her name. No disciplinary incidents until now. Her record in the Air Force is similar. Reads like a how to of good intelligence work, eight years of nothing but praise from superiors. I poached her for a reason.""And if you were this Tribunal?""I wouldn't waste a good agent on a bad night.""Thank you for your time, Deputy Director. Very succinct." Mcgregor returns to his seat. "Agent Jackson, you are called.Jackson stands, the cheap chair creaking with his considerable bulk as he stands and comes to attention.This time it's Goldman. "Agent Jackson, tell me the reputation Agent Dyatlov has among your fellow agents here in Baltimore Branch?"Jackson grunts. "Dyatlov's good in a firefight as anyone and she gets cases done. But she's overly familiar and that goes both ways. She doesn't keep professional distance, and that can grate on other personnel.""Like yourself, Agent?""I could take it or leave it, but she and Ritter have come to blows before." Goldman raises an eyebrow. "I thought her disciplinary record is spotless." Jackson sighs. "It didn't get reported, Ritter figured Mcgregor would just cover for her and it would go nowhere." You note Mcgregor bristling next to you, a rare show of emotion. "I suggested they blow out some steam on the matt and that did it for a while. Never really went away.""Interesting. How about mission performance?""Job always got done. I do not mean to disparage Agent Dyatlov but this is not the first time she's lost self control. She's more emotional than most of us, and very passionate about what we do. Too passionate, is what the rumor mill would tell you. Again, you haven't got anything official because the perception at least is that Mcgregor will shield his star agent. You can chock that up to jealousy or righteous indignation, it's not my Tribunal."Suleiman joins in. "What of the night in question?"
>>4975752"I wasn't there in person, but some of the guys at the HQ and Medical tents heard her blow up at Ryan after an interrogation. Also hear they had to hose what was left of the subject into a gutter. Whole night she seemed on the edge, or over it. Time came to go into the old service station after the fire was out, she kept her distance. Charitably, she was trying not to punch Ryan out on sight in there. Personally, I at least don't think she wanted to get him hurt. When he and Parker's team ran into resistance she was down the street and in the building before I even had a topside perimeter expanded. I was busy with that rest of the op, you'll have to talk to Parker and Ryan for what went down in there.""That's the plan, Agent. Thank you." Jackson sits."Operative Parker, approach." Thompson calls.Parker stands and comes to attention. "Reporting, sir.""You were in the tunnels with Agent Dyatlov and Mr. Ryan, yes?""The assault team and I, yes sir.""Your thoughts?""Things went bad when we passed the narrows, planned ambush, heavy weaponry. We got pinned, some good men went down. Ryan had the idea to flank them off on his own. Reckless, but it worked. We got the advantage, started pushing back. About this time Ryan was disarmed by the man we know as Kendi, who I believe is still rotting in a cell in the detention unit. He got a hold of him good, no one had a shot. I figured the kid was dead.""When did Agent Dyatlov appear?""About the time she ripped my rifle from my hands and put a hole through both of them. Hell of a shot, if not what I would have done.""So she assaulted you and then shot her own probationary agent with your weapon?""Yes sir, but she saved his life. No one had the the shot and that guy could have snapped Ryan like a twig. No offense." He looks back your way. "That's how I see it, nothing more, nothing less. We took her into custody immediately for obvious reasons.""Thank you, Operative Parker." Parker returns to his seat.Thompson speaks. "Last on the list. Mr. Ryan, step forward."Nervously, you step forward. Mcgregor looks nervous, you think he has his doubts after Jackson's testimony. Sofia stares at you blankly, but you can see that she's sweating. Jackson is no longer paying attention and Parker shows no emotion on his face. This may not have gone as well as Mcgregor planned. As he had said, this really may come down to you. You had previously thought to defend Sofia. But this is a moment you could seize for other ends.> choose> Defend Sofia and gloss over her infractions> Defend Sofia with candid honesty> Join Jackson in questioning Sofia and Mcgregor's favoritism> Attempt to report the facts with no spin and leave the state of the Tribunal stable.
>>4975797>Defend Sofia with candid honesty
>>4975797> Defend Sofia with candid honestyAs amusing as it would be to gloss over getting shot on our first mission by our supervisor ('twas but a flesh wound), or to watch Sofia and McGregor squirm while being raked of the coal of their fuckups, I think candid honesty will win us the day. Yea, she fucked up, and yea, she did shoot us, but she was very personable and helpful before that night (the encouragement, concern for our safety, and staying late to help us is what sticks out in my mind) and ultimately, we wouldn't be here testifying if it wasn't for her. Sure, she can be overzealous and hyper passionate at times, but they would be doing themselves a great disservice by removing a very loyal and skilled agent from among their ranks, despite this unfortunate mishap.But make Sofia and McGregor sweat a bit first in silence, and relish the power we hold over them right now. We can nail them both to the cross, and I doubt we'll ever be in a position to do so again (unless Sofia decides to 'save us' a second time).
>>4975797> Defend Sofia with candid honesty
>>4975797>> Defend Sofia with candid honestyI don't see it any other way. This will be a wake up call for both McGregor and Sofia to be -more- professional. For both of them to be less emotional on the job y'know?I think Sofia should get some friends outside PANOPTICON. Her behavior makes her look like someone who is very lonely and has nothing else but her job.>> She saved my life, deputy director thompson
>>4975868>>4975915>>4975972>>4976102Thompson taps the mic for a moment, then begins. " Probationary Agent Ryan. This inquiry would be remiss without your input. Proceed."You clear your throat. "Frankly, sir, what you have heard from the others is in no way inaccurate. Agent Dyatlov was very emotional that night, we did have a falling out. She let me go in without her. But when the moment came she saved my life, Deputy Director Thompson. I cannot in good conscience wish her to be punished in some vindictive episode knowing she is the only reason I am here today to report the night's events. I am not qualified for you to bear my opinion, but I ask you give her another chance."Goldman actually begins laughing. "Nicest words I've heard someone have for someone who shot them, I'll say that much." Thompson glares at him and he goes quiet.Suleiman cuts in. "Perhaps we should adjourn to deliberate, gentlemen? If that is all, Mr. Ryan?""It is, sir."The three of them come to an agreement of sorts, silently and head into a room behind the podiums hidden from your sight. Mcgregor speaks. "We'll be called back in when they are done. Come on." You step out with him, Jackson, Parker, and the rest. Sofia remains.Jackson walks off without a word, Parker and Mcgregor stay. " You did what you needed to, but I didn't expect Jackson to come out like that. He may even have a point, but we cannot lose Dyatlov over my own mistakes. I hope you have swayed them." Parker shrugs. "The rookie did good, that sounded genuine and im sure at least Thompson and Suleiman will get that. Don't ask me what ever is going on in Goldman's skull." Mcgregor grimaces. "Worse things than you can think of, I imagine. However, he has no interest in drawing this out. If the other two are off one mind he will relent." Parker throws up his hands. "Above my paygrade boss, I shoot people for a living. Good luck with the rest of the hearing, I have to get back down to the armory and do final checks for our next ops." He claps your shoulder as he leaves, giving a nod to the Deputy Director after. Mcgregor turns to you. "I mean it, you did well. Remember people like you are my program. If this had come back down on me, it's possible my lessoned autonomy would have led to the program's axing. I assume you understand self preservation.""Of course, Deputy Director.""Good." His terminal chirps. "Hmm, that was very quick. Either very good or very bad. Let's head back in."Only you and Mcgregor return, other than Sofia and the older man who had remained seated behind her. It's only a short few moments before the tribunal returns from the back room, flanked by two security officers.
>>4976728Thompson is first at the podium, and first to speak. "Agent Sofia Dyatlov, in deference to your record and the, uh, mostly high praise of your colleagues, we have shown restraint. Three weeks suspension, no pay. Your probationary agent is to be remanded to the standard PANOPTICON prospect training facility until you return."Sofia's voice breaks. "Y-yes sir!."Thompson nods. "You are dismissed, turn in your side arm, terminal, and ID when you leave. All will be returned.""Sir!"The tribunal begin leaving the room with their escort. When they were gone Sofia springs up, and clasps the old man behind her in a tight hug. She looks at you, and mouths a "Thank you." Mcgregor touches your shoulder and leads you out before you can find the time to speak to her.He clasps your shoulders in two hands. "Listen to me. This is a trap. They will try to destroy you in general training. Be on your guard always. Anyone can be a plant. I will not be able to help you, no one can. You will be in a facility with trained soldiers and law enforcement for almost a month. If they don't grab you at the door, assume you have the night. Inform your family, friends, well, friend. Whatever. Do this, and do not fail me. This is Goldman's doing, I can promise you, his condition for the light administrative punishment for Dyatlov.""Wait, Im the fall guy?""Only if you fail, Ryan. Only if you fail." He pats your shoulder in a fatherly manner, blinks twice, and turns for the elevator. You are left with your thoughts. > Choose> Stay to talk with Sofia before you get picked up, its likely your last chance for a while.> Get a crash course Marksmanship test at the range, maybe you can find Parker or Jackson to escort you? You cannot go alone> Go home, and hope you have time to get a full rest and contact people before you get whisked off> write in
>>4976736>Stay to talk with Sofia before you get picked up, its likely your last chance for a while.
>>4976736>>> Stay to talk with Sofia before you get picked up, its likely your last chance for a while.Tell her to get some friends. Meet new people
>>4976736>> Get a crash course Marksmanship test at the range, maybe you can find Parker or Jackson to escort you? You cannot go alone
>>4976736> Get a crash course Marksmanship test at the range, maybe you can find Parker or Jackson to escort you? You cannot go aloneI get the feeling that we're going to need this.
>>4976736> Go home, and hope you have time to get a full rest and contact people before you get whisked offI'd rather not freak mom out with our disappearance. Otherwise, I'm fine with the other options.
No update tonight, looks like I will be rolling a tie breaker tomorrow.
>>4977739If no one's gonna vote to inform our family, then I suppose I'll change my vote.>Stay to talk with Sofia before you get picked up, its likely your last chance for a while.If we can do the marksman thing after, great, but I doubt we'll learn anything useful in a day. Sofia though, we're going to be dealing with long term, so might as well get this relationship off on the right foot.
>>4976898>>4977078>>4978102It is several moments before you stop Sofia as she leaves the hearing. You have a lot to say to her, but she preempts you."Jack, a moment, please."You stop, waiting on her. " I have no idea what you think of me. I have had days and days to think about what I did. I am so sorry I did those things to you. I said I would help you through this and all I did was get angry, almost get you killed, and then shoot you. You would have been better off with Ritter of all people." She seems on the verge of tears." And you put all of that behind you and stood up for me. I don't know what to say. This job is my life, and you saved it."You respond, "You did save my life, it's only fair."She shakes her head. "You never would have been in that situation if I did what I was supposed to. I am so sorry. I know they are sending you to the camp now. You do not deserve it. But give me your word. Whatever you do, survive. I will be waiting for you."You manage an uneasy smile. "I'll manage, Sofia."She gives a sad grin herself. "I hope you will, Jack."She walks off. You feel like that may be the first time she has been fully honest with you, but you cannot be sure. There is no one waiting to pick you up at the door. Tomorrow then. You suppose you have the rest of the day to yourself.> Choose> Call George> Text Sophia> Call Mom> Find Mcgregor for advice> Relax at Blaise's, who knows who might walk in?
>>4978909> Find Mcgregor for advice> Call Mom> Relax at Blaise's, who knows who might walk in?Survival tips, Mom, and then mystery box.
>>4978939Oh yes I support
>>4978909>> Call Momthen>> Find Mcgregor for advice
>>4978939>>4978995>>4979063>>4979088You find Mcgregor. He has only a little advice. "Don't let them see fear. Its what they want, especially from you." He walks away without a further word.You call your mother. She answers on the third ring. "Jack? Shouldn't you be asleep?" You look down at your watch. It's late. "Nah mom, its early for us young ones." She chuckles over the phone. " Alright son, stay safe out there."You promise her you will, and take off. You arrive at Blaise's soon, and order an omelet. Its not quite time for bed but some breakfast sounds great at this late hour. Moments after your food arrives a man plops in the seat across from you.You recognize him immediately. It's Jackson. You greet him... > Choose> Hostility, this guy tried to fuck Sofia> Hostility, this guy did nothing to cover you in the hearing> Friendliness, a new friend in PANOPTICON is no small thing> Friendliness, He levered his critique of Sofia and yourself without denigrating you or her. An Impressive display.
>>4980065> Friendliness, a new friend in PANOPTICON is no small thing> Friendliness, He levered his critique of Sofia and yourself without denigrating you or her. An Impressive display.Both reasons are apt from our perspective.
>>4980065>> Friendliness, He levered his critique of Sofia and yourself without denigrating you or her. An Impressive display.
I don't know... he was neutral I guess but I can't decide just like that
>>4980065>Friendliness, He levered his critique of Sofia and yourself without denigrating you or her. An Impressive display.
Due to unforseen issues and not me playing Wrath of the Righteous at every waking moment update will be on Saturday.
>>4981748ah, pathfinder. Is good
I'll try to have the update put tonight. Got roped into helping fix up my parents house to sell so it might go late.
>>4984360selling houses is also good
>>4980069>>4980097>>4980357"Agent Jackson. Does everyone know where I eat breakfast?""Kid, it's almost nine at night. You want an omelet fine but you don't get to call that shit breakfast. There are rules for this kind of thing." He orders a coffee. "And yeah, you should check your file once you have personnel clearance, this place comes up a few times."You put some hot sauce on your meal. Frank's of course, Texas Pete gets you on a watchlist. "So what do you want? Im not mad about the hearing if that's what you think."His coffee arrives, and you waits not a moment for it to cool before downing it. You raise an eyebrow at this. "Speaking of personnel files, this one's free. I worked the instructor position at the training course outside town. Thought I'd add my two cents." He shrugs. "Or rather I got told to by Mcgregor over him not being a huge fan of my testimony earlier. So here goes, Rook.""I'm listening.""Alright, they've got you on the refresher course instead of the full motherfucker. So you'll do the course in the 3 weeks you got without getting pulled out early like a special case. This means most of the guys there will already be Agents and Operatives. That's probably not good for you. You'll have to work your ass off to make even middle of the pack. I remember you in the Dojo so I think you'll do fine in hand to hand and for an analyst type you're not in bad shape. Types like you need to avoid injury. Someone might try to make you take a dive for a laugh, or because they dont think you belong there. I can't say for sure but Deputy Director Mcgregor might just shelve you if you end up out for long enough."He coughs. "Yeah, that's about it. Just watch you back out there and try to get something out of it. If you get some guy on your ass, he might be a plant. Don't get provoked.""Got it. Can I finish my food? It's getting cold and I hear cafeteria slop where I'm headed is ass.""Yeah, we're done. Don't fuck it up!" He stands and leaves. You soon finish up and walk home, sleeping nearly immediately.
>>4985850An agent you haven't met, probably from another branch, picks you up before dawn. Time to get your shit together.> The three week camp is not a narrative event.>I am introducing a mild stat system> Choose which skill to focus on first. mark priority one to three> Physical Fieldwork> CQC > Firearms > Analyst skills not available for training here
>>4985864> Physical Fieldwork 1> CQC 2> Firearms 3
>>4985864> CQC 1> Physical Fieldwork 2> Firearms 3
>>4986176I support this one. Fieldwork sounds like the thing that will make us survive all this
>>4985864>> Firearms 1>> Physical Fieldwork 2>> CQC 3
>>4984360Still fixing up that house QM?
>>4989200Nope! I am pretty sick though. Gonna try to get some sleep and get an update out tomorrow.
>>4989298the qm curse... not the chink-flu
Going to have to take a few days, this thing is kicking my ass. Update sometime this weekend unless I die.
>>4991208both the MC and the QM are taking a beating!
>>4991208You alright QM?
>>4991208I also want to know, qm
>>4991208Your scaring me QM.
>>4991208qm is ded
Goodbye QM. Do not go gently into the night
It was a good quest, and I was invested on where this would go, what with the Sons of Liberty, Sons of Forrest, and the BIRA. I do hope it'll come back, but if not, it was an enjoyable read while it lasted.See you on the flip side, AllSeeingQM.