Before we jump into the next job, let’s zoom out a bit for faction downtime.
Let’s focus on the factions that interest us. I don’t want to get into the big machinations of the major factions (Guilds, Legions, etc.)
They want to scale up and get into capital weapons. What are they doing for this right now? Does it relate to the extractions? The Starforged oracles (get used to that phrase) tell us:
They’re marshaling resources to ensure they can keep this project going. Since they’re a tier 2 faction, that’s a good basis for the fortune roll:
2d => 6, 3 ticks on the clock. But they’re opposed in this by the 51st Legion, who are tier 3, so
3d => 5 and that takes 2 ticks back. Plus, we got them an engineer, so taken together that puts 2 ticks on their clock. They’ll probably ask for help again soon.
As previously noted, they’re trying to restore their walker for more raids on Aketi. Not so complicated, although it’s a planet without a lot of parts and facilities, so it’s a 6-clock. As a tier 1 faction, we’ll roll
1d => 5 for 2 ticks. However, the Spitfire isn’t even in Brekk, so we don’t see this.
We’re about to bring them more strongly into focus. They want to take control of a factory right where we are in Iota. Who opposes them? Two of the guilds, Engineers and Starsmiths. (In fact, we’ll tie our job to this faction rather than the Janus Syndicate, rescuing an Urbot or a core.) Also a tier 1 faction, so
1d => 3, 1 tick. What do we know about the factory they intend to take over?
An old factory with Urbot chassis that never shipped out. No violence needed for that takeover.
Our ship AI gets contacted by Conclave 01’s leader, The Prime. The faction is preparing for a major move and it’s time to exfiltrate one of the AIs that has been serving one of the guilds. What’s our ship AI like?
The last job stressed it quite a bit, what with the hyperspace maneuvering and having a Way creature (this bird) on board. But also, it wants to know how Cosmo will react - it’s taking a chance, after all.
But Cosmo is on board. These AIs are certainly connected to the Way somehow. The real question is where we’re rescuing the AI from? Here in Iota, there are three likely locales: the Iota Shipyards, Amerath (a tropical world with lots of pharmaceutical research and manufacturing), or Indri (a heavily polluted industrial world with a hidden Conclave presence).
d3 => 1, a shipyard somewhere in the system. And what do we know about it?
So the facility was constructed relatively recently and is highly guarded. That’s going to factor into our engagement roll.
Infiltration seems difficult for a place like this and our skill sets. Do we have a social connection? Rolling on the job tables, this is connected to: a planet notable. I think that’s just The Prime, so not really. Triv (Snaps’ friend) could be here, though. What do we know about her?
So this is our social connection after all. She’d love to see Snaps and can get him a visitors permit. We have enough to roll.
Positive factors: sheer luck, Snatch & Grab, a friend (Triv) Negative factors: special preparations by the target
That gives us
2d => 3, Desperate. ((Honestly I should have taken off another die for the target’s tier but it would not have changed this outcome.))
What complications can we expect? Guild Security, certainly, but also from the Jobs tables, “An element is a cover for a Hegemonic Cult.” Which cult? We’ve previously established that the Agony are interested in this creature. We’ll conveniently ignore the “Hegemonic” part there.
Maybe the cult comes up right away, when we’re meeting Triv. So we land on the station and Triv greets us, but she immediately twigs to the presence of something on the ship (the caged bird). What else do we know about her?
She starts in to go to the ship, not noticing that her friend wants to get moving and is definitely not interested in showing her this creature. It’s highly illegal to export that bird, after all, as Aketi is a nature preserve. Snaps will consort with her, trying to pull her away. Cosmo helps by trying to get Triv to tell her more about the station they’re on. As a Devil’s Bargain, we’ll start a new clock, “Bird causes Way disruption”, and put 1/8 on it.
2d => 6, we successfully distract her, but that bird clock…
Anyway, how do we find this AI / Urbot? Flash back to gathering information: Cosmo tries to hack into some Guild systems,
1d => 3, limited information only. We just know their general function but not which bot.
The bot is involved with the Starsmith’s primary function of building ships.
Now we’re here and we need to find it, but Triv is giving us a little tour. We don’t need a roll to get to see the actual shipbuilding area, but we do for finding our target bot here. It’s Risky (Security might interfere), but Cosmo is close enough that she can hack into a system here.
1d => 4, we’ve found it but we’ll start a 6-clock (it’s a new facility, Security is alert) and put 2 ticks on it.
Is the AI core already in a chassis we can transport?
2d => 4, yes, but it’s in a secured area. Neither of us are very stealthy, so Snaps will do a setup in order to try to improve position for Cosmo. That’s a controlled Consort with standard effect,
0d => 3, that isn’t going to work as Triv is paying attention.
So Cosmo trying to skulk over to the Urbot is therefore Desperate / Standard. Cosmo will spend their gambit and take a Devil’s Bargain for an extra Heat, leaving some traces,
2d => 6. Whew!
What’s this bot like?
This is helpful, better than if it had been clumsy! It moves smoothly - maybe it’s in a new chassis - and won’t make things more difficult. The Prime (leader of Conclave 01) gave us a passcode for this bot to recognize us. What’s this robot’s name, anyway? Isilroid!
We need to make it possible to get Isilroid out of here, meaning both the station but also specifically this secured area (based on the mixed result on the fortune roll above). This means overriding the local security here with Rig. Definitely Desperate, and Snaps can’t help as he’s over with Triv. On a fail, we’ll put 3 ticks on the Security Response clock. This would be Limited (as the Guild is higher-tier), but Cosmo will mark her Fine Hacking Rig for effect, plus push herself:
3d => 5, we get Isilroid out of this area of the station but the Security Response is now at 5/6.
Now she’s gotta skulk back. Still Desperate, and again we’ll take +1 Heat for a Devil’s Bargain, and push:
2d => 6, we’re back at the ship!
Snaps wants to head back as well, but Triv will definitely notice Cosmo missing since it’s been a while since she left. Again, Snaps wants to consort with his friend to set Cosmo up for improved position. He’s still in a Controlled position,
0d => 2, she’s not distracted. So we’re still at Desperate / Standard for Cosmo’s return skulk, but we’ll take +1 on the bird clock as a Devil’s Bargain here. She only has 1 stress open, so no pushing.
1d => 1, Triv realizes that she lost Cosmo along the way and Security responds to reports of an unescorted visitor in the facility.
Cosmo resists by pretending she had a medical emergency and fakes a seizure or fainting or something. This takes Resolve,
1d => 4 - 6 = 2 stress. TRAUMA. (We’ll resolve which later.)
But that’s potentially a good excuse for Snaps to get her out of there: “I need to get her back to her special medication on the ship.” He’s attempting to sway (this is definitely deception) at Risky / Standard. If it goes wrong, we’re likely looking at extra heat and worsened position, so he’ll push himself:
1d => 6, we’re out of there.
This is a standard job and so Conclave 01 pays out 6 cred. Same split as last time: 1 to upkeep, 1 to the ship’s hold, and 2 each to the crew members. We have a few credits to handle future upkeep if needed; it’s nice to have some breathing room.
As for heat, this went pretty smoothly, so that’s a base value of 1, +1 for a high-tier target, and we end up at 4 Heat total in the Iota system.
1d => 2 on the Wanted 0 table, which is Unquiet Black yet again. We’ll tick that Bird clock.
We’ll start with Cosmo who has a lot more to think about now.
After taking a trauma, her stress is cleared and she doesn’t need to indulge her vice this time. She’s now Obsessed with the Guilds and their control over sentient AIs. (This is obviously a story I’ve been interested in exploring.)
Therefore she’ll study her schematics. Her Tinker ability means she should have gotten an extra +1 segment on the clock each time she worked on it, so the mere act of doing so this time fills our 8/8 clock.
For her second action, she’ll Lay Low for the Brekk system by hacking Guild systems and trying to clear some logs:
1d => 3, it’s reduced by 1 Heat.
He’ll indulge by taking time to write a long message back to his mom:
1d => 2 stress cleared. He’s cruising for trouble himself if he can’t get his mind straight soon.
He’ll also go consort in a bar on Indri, looking for information on meeting members of the Lost Legion. What’s this place like?
This is a dive bar in the slums, mostly filled with locals, who…
0d => 5, know a little something and he puts 2 more ticks on his clock.
Let’s roll for next time so I can think about this a bit:
2-1 A large prison breakout happens on Isotropa Max Secure. Gotta catch them all.
Oh, this will be a fun extraction opportunity!
In terms of advancements, everybody (Crew, Cosmo, Snaps) gets one. For the crew, we’ll take a new special ability: On the Trail which gives us an extra downtime activity to work on long-term projects or acquire assets to track bounties.
Cosmo also takes a new playbook ability, Bailing Wire and Mech-Tape for an extra free repair during downtime.
Snaps learns how to Exceed Specs and take damage on a ship system for roll bonuses.
Brekk is waiting for us, and probably another Wanted level for our troubles…