Lucky Penny

Elsewhere

Elsewhere in Known Space…

Ambir dances.  The walls of her small home have vanished, and been replaced with whirling holographic images of thousands of her kind.  The dance is intricate, and Ambir dances for over an hour without missing a step, until the image of Chiron appears among the dancers.  With a sharp note of command from Ambir, the dance vanishes, and the music ends.  Ambir steps into her autodoc, folds her legs under her, and tucks her heads down into her chest.  The lid of the doc closes over her automatically.  Shortly thereafter, the diagnostic software advises General Products and the We Made It government that Ambir is on leave of absence.  

*

A Kzin whose fur is filthy and matted sits in a corner, purring to himself in utter contentment.  A wire leads from the base of his skull to an input in the wall.  

*


The Minister calls by vidphone.  "Have you located Dr Clark yet?"

"We've traced him and the prototype to the Olive Coast.  I feel certain he will be apprehended soon," said a blonde man in an azure blue uniform.

"See that he is."

The Minister signed off, and the blonde man smiled.  He was quite certain that Dr Clark would never be found.

***

The Puppeteer knew his neck was healing badly from where the bioweapon had broken it.  He was losing the sight in that eye, and the pain was too great to use his mouth.  If medical care was withheld much longer, his captors would have to amputate.  Unless they were prepared to let him die.  But he had stopped wishing for death long ago.  Vengeance must come before death.

I could have killed the bioweapon before it damaged me.  I should have.
  But if he had, the sonics would have been activated, and he would have been as helpless as before.  Worse than before, because he would have lost the element of surprise.  His captors did not know that he had one weapon at his command.

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party weapons

Provided by Ambir (and stolen directly from the story 'The Borderland of Sol') your uniforms have the following properties:

They are made in three layers. The inner layer is impact armor. The middle layer is a reflective material which will protect you from lasers for a few seconds. The top layer is the uniform. The collar unrolls into a hood to provide impact armour for the head. The hood is not standard for Blue Sky uniforms, so you can't use it as long as you are trying to blend in.

The top and bottom buttons have a string of Sinclair molecular chain between them. If you take hold of each button and pull, it will rip free from the fabric. You can then cut through anything if you pull hard enough. The buttons are large to provide an easy grip. However, you can quite easily lose fingers doing this.

The third button down is a sonic grenade. Ten feet away it will kill. Thirty feet it will stun. Ambir advises using dummy buttons as target practice.

The second button is Power Pill, a commercial stimulant. The safe dose is half a pill, and it will add +1 to anything physical you are attempting to do. After it runs out, in about 30 minutes, you'll be at -1 for an hour. If you take a second dose at this point, you can go for another 30 minutes, but you'll be at -2 for four hours afterwards. Lexi (being the party girl that she is) knows from experience that a quarter dose is more than sufficient for Lunies. Overdosing will stop your heart.

Ambir has also provided soft earplugs. When you put them in, they do not block your hearing. It is a transmitter and receiver with sonic padding in between. It will protect you from sonic weapons such as the grenade buttons or sonic stunners. If you suddenly go deaf, you'll know you are under attack.

In addition, you've each been given a flashlight whose beam can be narrowed to form a laser.

Ambir explains all of these things to you, but the items themselves do not arrive until right before you leave. They are delivered by a courier in a secure parcel, for which you had previously been provided the code to open. You will not see Ambir again in person after you've received them, though she will talk to you by vidphone at any time.

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Blue Sky security
 
Originally Posted by Paladin5 View Post
Questions which we may or may not know the answers to (in which case further recon is probably needed):

Are there any anti-air defenses in the area that might hinder a quick pickup? Are there any anti-ground defenses in the area that might hinder a getaway if discovered? How about atmospheric and space interdiction after taking off?
Blue Sky is prepared to hold off a Kzinti invasion. So air defences are very good. At the same time, they are not likely to just open fire on a human ship without good cause.  Not only is it very bad for PR, but if you are in orbit, you'll crash on the planet and cause a lot of destruction. Spacecraft land regularly at the spaceport, which is about a mile from the target building. You might be able to get away with landing somewhere else, but you would attract a lot of attention.

If Blue Sky wants to take out the Penny, the most likely time for them to do it would be the time between leaving orbit and entering hyperspace.

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How secure are the computer systems?
So secure that Ambir can't break them from here. Since she's obviously gotten into the systems from numerous worlds to look up your backgrounds, it must be one of the best systems in human space. Her insider has security clearance, which may help get you in once you are there.

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What sort of security process can be expected for entering the building? How about the basement levels?
1. One electronic checkpoint to enter the building-retina scan.
2. A second electronic checkpoint to access the elevator to the basement levels-another retina scan, but comparing it to a tighter database of allowed access.
3. Human security checkpoint after leaving the elevator.
4. Unknown after that point.

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What are chances that we can slip in undetected?
To get in without being seen by anyone? Not possible. To get in without being noticed as intruders? That will depend on how well you can compromise the computer system to make it think you have access.

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Where are the security personnel located?
They are located at checkpoints at sensitive points of the building, as well as further personnel on patrol.

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How well armed/trained are they?
They are armed with lethal and sublethal weaponry, and have military training.

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How fast can they be expected to react?
Unknown.

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What is the expected procedure they will follow if they discover a security breach
Unknown.

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Do we know exactly where Chiron is being held?
There is a portion of B2 sealed off by a pressure lock. It is identified as 'Critical Laboratory'. Within the critical lab are 8 cells marked 'Live Specimen Confinement'.

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What sort of armaments do we currently have?
That's up to the individual players to decide what weapons they have to start with, within reason. Handguns or police stunners are probably pretty easy to obtain on the black market. Anything more extreme than that, check with me, although Nathan gets a lot more leeway here because of his military background. Lexi doesn't own any weaponry.

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Is reasonable to expect to be able to bring weapons into the building?
Yes, if you are in military uniform. It's a military office building on the aboveground levels, so it would be tedious to expect everyone to disarm on the way in. Of course this means that many of the other occupants of the building will be armed as well, even if they are not actually employed as security.

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Do we need to augment our current stockpile? Do we have a source from which we can acquire more?
Dan can try tapping into the Crashlander black market for traditional weapons. Ambir is providing non-traditional weapons, which I'll detail in the next post.
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Blue Sky

Blue Sky was near Kzinti space though, which was why it was the most heavily militarized world in Human Space. Heavily populated too. Many Terrans who had been denied a birthright on Earth ended up on Blue Sky. It would have been a popular choice anyway, with its earthlike gravity and climate. But unlike some of the other colony worlds, there were no restrictions on immigration and no Fertility Board. For whatever reason, Blue Sky wanted a high population.

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