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Trinity RPG: Stepping from the Light - Stepping IC


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John was relaxing in Sydney after a week checking on the health of the staff of the orbital station about Venus. After a reasonable evening he had finished up in this, relatively, quiet bar, on one of the bar stools chatting to a very nice young college student.

He was just reaching for his drink when, with a bright glow, and a thump like a thick textbook hitting a desk, a datapad appears in his hand (spilling his drink across the bar).

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John puts the datapad to one side for a moment, and checks his pager...working. Cell? Working. No missed calls. John thinks to himself "You know guys, it would have been easier to just call.". John tips the waiter for the mess, excuses himself from the lovely ladies company (giving contact details of course) and steps outside with the pad. Once he has a little privacy, he powers it up.

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He checks his minicomp/cell-link - no messages or calls his missed. As he is tipping the waiter the datapad disappears again, only to return about 20 seconds later while he is still trying to explain to his companion that he doesn't really know what's going on either.

However, this time when the datapad appears there is a scrolling holographic message about 2 inches high in bright red letters.

"URGENT - Offplanet message. We don't blink these things about lightly you twink!" [/color]

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Meanwhile, on a different continent and several time zones away, Nick Lekkas has just returned from a routine communications run to Far Nyumba. Having reported in to the comms office to handover the data that Far Nyumba wanted passed on, he is walking over to the canteen for lunch when he too gets a datapad 'port in by his hand, with the typical flash and bang/thump, before falling to the floor with a clatter.

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This was odd. John thought they were impatient, but something must have been wrong. As he read the message, he wondered "howwho have I annoyed now? ...and how did he know I wasn't reading, clear I suppose."

Edit: typo

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As he activates the datapad the holographic head and shoulders of a young 'porter prodigy he knows quite well called John 'Whiskey' Walker appears.

"John, you've got about a minute to record your reply before I recall this pad. I'm on Mars and I've got a unit of Legion about to hit a suspect colony and we could do with some medic support. Are you willing to come, and if I drop you at Nyoto how long before you'd be ready to 'port out to me?"

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John had mixed emotions. One moment he was drinking (lucky he's not a huge fan of alcohol), and then he's about to be on Mars. Mixed with the shock was excitement ("I am about to make a difference"), and grief ("I am about to help kill people I know nothing about!"). "Hate to use a cliche, no I don't... 'beam me up Whiskey'." As he said this, he touched his baton and backpack. He always had them with him, but he has also been known to loose his keys in his hands (sound silly until it happens to you!).

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On schedule the datapad 'ports out and about 10 seconds later you get the now familiar tingling sensation run from head to toe, then the brief feeling of expansion/contraction and you arrive on one of the T-pads at Nyoto, rather than wherever Whiskey is.

You are just finishing getting your bearings when the datapad reappears. When you activates it the message is: "Thanks John, you'll need to get an armoured vacc suit and I'd suggest a rifle of some kind. See if you can track down Nick Lekkas, a 'porter, while you are there."

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John quickly got off the T-pad, trying not to think of what would happen if two people appeared in the same spot. While he was suiting up, he though "This is just getting worse. Now I may need to kill people, and I only took that firearms course so I could safely use a taser." He grabbed the least lethal looking rifle, and tried to scrounge some spare clips for his taser. After getting all the equipment he needed, he headed for anything looking like information, as he had no idea who to find this "Nick Lekkas" on his own.

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With barely a moment's hesitation, Nick transmasses the datapad into his hands and clicks it on, all the while muttering to himself about rookies who don't know to do a slow pop with stuff like this, so the recipient has a moment to react when the object reaches them, instead of flinching from the noise of the 'port. Meanwhile, thoughts of getting a bite to eat from the canteen scurry away, chased off by the knowledge that communiques like this are never a trifling matter.

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Activating it, a small holo starts up of a caucasian guy in his mid-twenties with with traditional tribal scarification on his face and a british accent. Nick recognises him as an Upeo prodigy he spent a few months with during his training, John "Whiskey" Walker. Despite only being triggered in secret a year ago, Whiskey was already almost as skilled as Nick and a Natural at Transmassion.

"Nick, rush job. Putting together a support team for a Legion unit checking a colony on Mars. Problem is Atwan's got me undercover, so could you come along to explain how they gnt here? Record your answer and give me an estimate of how long to get your stuff together if your up foq it, then I'll 'port you up."

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John makes his way back towards the personel T-pads, and the information desk where Sam(antha) gives him a warm smile:

"Hi John, going off-planet I see. I guess you have a question or two?"

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Well, that settles the lunch question. Nick immediately halts progress toward the canteen, and starts toward his locker. As he moves, he toggles the record function on the datapad. "No problem, John. Give me twenty minutes to gather my effects before transfer. I'm assuming my standard field equipment will suffice, but let me know if anything in particular is needed."

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As Nick heads towards the locker area the dpad blinks out, and returns after a minute.

"I can let you have 15 tops. We landed 2km from the colony behind a ridge, but since I'm undercover here, I had to let them get at least 750m away before I could start organising this. In 15 minutes they will just about be reaching the colony, I'll bring you and the others here then, if not before. They suspect one or more Aberrants are here, and probably cultists, so come suitably equiped."

"Having said that, your role should be support, i.e. medical and transport/medevac."

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"Hey Sam, I've been told to report to a Nick Lekkas for this jump. Do you know where I could find him? Maybe you could page him?" John said, feeling out of place in his suit.

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Sam: "Hang on, I'll call up a holo of him so you know who you are looking for. Actually, I saw him just now, returning from a drop at Far Nyumba. He was heading towards the canteen, but I did hear a 'port down that way afterwards."

She looks down the corridors and out the windows from the junction area she is in.

"There he is now," she points to a figure crossing the courtyard, "it looks like he is heading for the Lockers."

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"Ahh, excellent. Thanks Sam." John approached Nick, asking "Are you Nick Lekkas? Whiskey asked me to contact you. I'm John, a Vitakinetic from the Monitors. Don't let me stop you getting ready, Whiskey seems in a bit of a rush." While John waited, he fidgeted with his rifle, trying to find a position that is comfortable. This was impossible as he was uncomfortable with the idea that a rifle was needed, let alone him holding one.

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Nick flips the record again and speaks into the datapad, "Roger that. I'd appreciate it if you could try and wrangle me up a rifle on that end, if there's suspicion of bugs out there." He sets the datapad aside, then begins double-timing it toward the lockers, pausing only briefly as John arrives. "Yeah, I'm Nick. Pleasure to meet you. Just on my way to get equipped for the party, if you care to follow."

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As John followed he remarked "I'm still haven't gotten used to these suits, not sure if I ever will. Glad I'm not claustrophobic. I hope I don't have to do a space walk." When the conversation died down, John sealed his helmet. Harder to talk, but safer from hard vacuum.

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"That's a sentiment I'm happy to share with you. I don't do well in space." Once Nick reaches his locker, he grabs out his usual essentials: Autopistol, Needler, Knife, Fieldkit and Medkit. He checks the minicomp on his belt, then pats his pockets to make sure he still has his various biotech. As an afterthought, he grabs a ration pack from his locker before throwing on his helmet and sealing it into place. Finally, he mutters a quick prayer in his native Greek and crosses himself, then checks the time. Fourteen and a half minutes since initial contact. He shoots a wink at John, letting a grin play across his face. "You've got about twenty seconds to take in all the color you can. For the next few days, all we'll be seeing is red."

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Shortly after recording Nicks message the d-pad abandoned in the courtyard thumps out of existence. As he hears it in the distance it crosses Nick's mind how lucky Whiskey is to be a natural with Transmassion, otherwise you'd be out of juice just getting it organised.

Dead on time Nick and John feel the familiar tingle of a slow jump, then appear in what seems to be the lounge area of a hybrid transport - a Falcon. Whiskey is also there, with a laser and 4 powerpacks on a chair beside him.

"Welcome to the Clear Horizon."

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John looked out the nearest window. Being jumped so often, it was nice to take time out to get a clue where you where. "So, how far out are we from 'action'?" While he waited for landfall/etc, John took the time to do a quick scan (ie kirlian eye) of the occupants of the ship. If the bullets started flying, there is a chance he would have to be working on one of his co-workers.

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"Stay quiet a second while I check on the other crew."

He leans over to a bulkhead and activates the intercom...

"How's it coming down there?"

A female voice with a french accent replies in a mixture of swahili and french.

"Don't worry, mon cher, we well have the beds ready before they can give the place the all clear."

Whiskey replies to her: "Well, someone is worried about this one, the Upeo were just on the radio They are sending some psions to us to help with medevac and stuff. I'll call you when they arrive."

"D'accord."

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John looked out the nearest window. Being jumped so often, it was nice to take time out to get a clue where you where. "So, how far out are we from 'action'?" While he waited for landfall/etc, John took the time to do a quick scan (ie kirlian eye) of the occupants of the ship.

John looks around the cramped lounge, barely big enough for the 8 people a Falcon is rated to carry, but quite comfortable with just the 3 of you. A large vidscreen nearby shows the martian landscape outside the ship.

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Examining his associates auras John finds they are both in fine health, dispite Whiskey's coffee addiction.

Turning away from the intercom Whiskey activates the large entertainment holo in the corner of the room.

"As you can we are here in the plains about 1km from the ridge of the cannel. The suspect colony is about 1 km further on, near the base of the cannel. It is a UAN hydroponic and mining colony of about 200 people, and we lost contact with it about 2 weeks ago."

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Nick's eyes go wide for a moment when he finds himself on a ship, but he quickly composes himself upon seeing the Martian landscape on the vidscreen. He sets his gear to the side, and grins at Whiskey. "Good to see you again, prodigy." He eyes the holo somewhat warily, absently reaching out with his senses to reassure himself that his autopistol made the jump okay. "What are the chances of getting equipped with a rifle, or something else with more punch, when we land?"

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Whiskey smiles at Nick's greeting.

"I'm not the only one Nick, John here is a Natural at healing, but hopefully no-one will need his services."

He then nods over at the L-K laser rifle on the chair.

" That one is for you. I'm undercover here so everyone just thinks I'm a neutral pilot. Most Legion are weak enough Psi's that they are unlikely to spot I'm anything other than a latent at most."

"Here's the situation. We landed about 45min ago, having approached the last 100 miles NoM. During the approach I sensed the presence of either a Tainted area or at least one moderately powerful Aberrant. None of the two fireteams of Legion we have dropped here seem to have detected anything yet. Since I'm meant to be a neut the best I could come up with was to call you guys in as transport and medical support. I'm thinking of someone who may be able to give some combat support."

"How do you want to proceed? I have some ideas if you are stuck."

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Nick picks up the rifle (a Vindicator II, I'm assuming), checking the safety and clip before nodding with satisfaction and slinging it over his shoulder. "Hopefully it won't come to combat, but some support would definitely be ideal. If there's really a bug out there, I'd rather have too much firepower than not enough." He glances again at the holo, and lets out a breath. "Well, the situation as I see it is that you contacted us upon arrival, to cover for the signal delay between here and home. The rest should work itself out, but I see no reason at this point to conceal our presence. Perhaps we should meet with the teams?"

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Whiskey fiddles briefly with the computer controls and the holo zooms to show the region from the ridge to the outpost, highlighting the figures a couple of hundred metres from the outskirts of the colony.

"I can call in your arrival to them, then 'port you to the top of the ridge. From there you could either hoof it or Nick could LOS 'port you down to thier position. If I manage to get more help I'll 'port them straight to you."

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As soon as he heard the word "Aberrant", Johns eyes shot open. "Sure, I'm ok with that, but don't expect me to be able to hit anything smaller than a barn. I only took the self defence course with my taser. But if there is an Aberrant out there, someone needs to deal with it, and at the moment, it looks like that is us. Oh, Whiskey, do I have time for you to port an updated will home?" John say the last sentence only half seriously.

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"The Legion are playing a key role in clearing the Abbies off Mars. Hopefully the 2 fireteams should be able to cope with a single Abbie, and they have strike teams on call if things are too much for them. Normally in that situation the original team doesn't survive until the help arrives. I know you two aren't soldiers. I'm hoping that you two will be able to patch them up and/or get at least some out if it hits the fan."

"If you want to John there are will forms on the ships computer, and I can send it off before you go in."

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  • 3 weeks later...

Nick shakes his head slowly, eyes on the holo. "I'm pretty sure I'm set, but I'll radio you if I need something unexpected. Most of my backup equipment is just a blink away, though." He reflexively does an extrasensory inventory of his equipment, then turns to the others. "Ready when you are."

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Whiskey nods to Nick and turns to an intercom to get the ship to patch him through to the Legion teams. During the brief conversation you hear him telling them that a Clear thought they would need the backup and that you two had been sent out as transport and medical support. Having got the clearance from the teams for you to go in he leads you up to the bridge to get a good view of the ridge line between the ship and the outpost.

"Ok, seal up your suits. I'll put you on the ridge line, that's as close as I can get you since I've not been there. From there you can either hoof it, or do another Jump to the outskirts of the outpost. The Legion teams are just closing in on the outpost, so if you decide to hoof it you'll be about 20min behind them. If you get desperate I can pull you out, but remember you are meant to be supporting them. Any questions?"

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"No questions? Ok, then here you go!" ::biggrin

With the familiar feeling, the two of you appear on the brown/khaki martian surface, just before the ridgeline (so that your Jump is not visible to those inside the chasm/valley).

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Nick takes a quick look around the Martian landscape, a grim look playing over his face as he takes in the barren planet's surface. He spares a quick look at John, then turns in the direction of the Legion teams. "Guess we might as well go introduce ourselves."

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As you approach the edge of the ridge the outpost comes into view in the valley below.

At the north end and 200m away from the next nearest building is the 2 storey bulk of an atmosphere converter as part of the martian terraforming project. The outpost is in the valley in order to benefit from an enhanced effect from the converter before it mixes more thoroughly wth the bulk of the atmosphere outside of the valley system.

The rest of the outpost consists of a central hollow square of MHU's [Minimum Habitation Units - see Luna Rising], with the centre covered to provide a meeting/social area. On the south side of this square can be seen the main fusion reactor next to vehicle garage. The east side of the outpost, towards the centre of the valley, is a mass of covered hydroponic 'fields' extending for about a half klick on a side. Nearest you, on the west side of the outpost, a covered tunnel extends 200m towards the valley side and ending in the surface buildings of a mine extending down and into the valley side.

With the data that you saw on the ship and still being feed to you, you can make out the two Legion teams in the valley below. One is just about to make an attempt to enter the mine workings, while the other is about half way down the exterior of the covered tunnel on the way to presumably try to enter through the garage on the south side.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Which group did you want to try to Jump to/near?

Whiskey gave you the channels for both fire teams.

Alpha: commanded by Lt. Kiera Johanson, by the mine.

Beta: commanded by Sgt. Zach Jones, heading for the garage.

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