Project Apex

This is the place to recount your superheroic deeds for all to gaze upon with astonishment and wonder.
User avatar
blaster219
Henchman
Henchman
Posts: 201
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2003 9:16 am
Location: Manchester UK
Contact:

Project Apex

Postby blaster219 » Sat May 14, 2011 5:32 am

Summary

Project Apex is a science-fiction setting set in 2418 and it's heavily influenced by Halo and other media sources.

The PCs are all supersoldier prototypes created by Project Apex, a top secret research project run by the United Solar Nations, the interstellar government that runs most of settled space.

All between the ages of 14 and 16, they were created in a lab and raised first by scientists and then by the military. The entire lives have been spent either recieving experimental treatments or military training. They've been told that their creations was result of discovering that there are limits to how far the human body can be enhanced through genetic and cybernetic means, limits that if passed result in a messy death through Enhancement Rejection Syndrome (ERS). It was believed if enhancements were recieved whilst the body was still developing, then they would be much more stable and capable of greater levels of enhancement.

Naturally of course, all this is a lie by the scientists. Even the military personnel responsible for their training have been told this cover story. The truth is, while the part about ERS is true, as is the theory about implanting the enhancements in a growing body, they were not created in a lab. Two years ago, thirty children were obtained by the science section through a variety of means. Their memories were erased and replaced, their personality's reprogrammed.

It's been two years since then and the Security Council is impaitent for results. Project Apex has been ordered to conduct a field test of their prototype or the Project will be cancelled and all "research material" "archived".

Apex currently has two teams, Delta and Echo. Of the two, Delta is currently ready for deployment and has been chosen for the field test. The PCs form Echo Team.
"Heroes get shot, stabbed, burned, bludgeoned, poisoned, infected, disintegrated, irradiated, electrocuted, exposed to vacuum and fall from great heights. Being a hero is a tough job."
- Alternity GMG, Chapter 6 (Damage and Injury)

User avatar
blaster219
Henchman
Henchman
Posts: 201
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2003 9:16 am
Location: Manchester UK
Contact:

Re: Project Apex

Postby blaster219 » Sat May 14, 2011 5:32 am

Delta Team

Delta 1 / Glock / Dylan Smith
Male/16/Genie

Team leader for Delta Team, and by all accounts, a leader that takes care of those under his command. Genetic modifications included a number of physical enhancements designed to improve combat survivability (but not effectiveness). His callsign comes from the fact that he excels in the use of small arms; Glock's chosen weapon in combat is dual-wielded M6G heavy pistols. He also makes use of armoured bracers to deflect bullets in flight. It is not known whether this is an abilities he has acquired through rigorous training, or a benefit from his genetic alterations.

Delta 2 / Sawbones / Sara Johnson
Female/15/Genie

Combat medic skilled in battlefield medicine. Extremely good vision, can often diagnose ailments by sight alone. Possesses aggressive healing "bi-oids", a biological version of nanotechnology that she uses to repair the injuries of other people. Passable bedside manner.

Delta 3 / Gryphon / "Jax"
Male/16/Hybrid

Close-quarters combat specialist, retractable claws, powerful kick, really powerful kick. Very fast and tough, with good stamina to match. Takes a lot to knock him down, even more to keep him down. Bit of a jerk and a bully.

Delta 4 / Chameleon / Alissa Maxwell
Female/15/Cybertech

Implanted holo-projector, really good at disguising herself holograpghically and at stealth. Specialising in intrusion. Great sence of balance, can link with computers via wired datalink. Very sociallable and knows a good few languages.

Delta 5 / Psipher / Ryan Henderson
Male/15/Psyker

Very powerful psychic with telekinetic abilities. Also has ESP and mind control powers. Not afraid to use them to their full and deadly effect. Physically weak. Has a definite crush on Chamelon, obvious to everyone but her. Rather good looking.

Delta 6 / Mouse / Alexi Petrov
Male/13/Cybertech

Loves puzzles and codes, can solve most in just a few seconds. Created for surviellance, information gathering and data intepretation. Implanted WiFi and Q-Link node. Translation software for all known languages. Parts of brain replaced by advanced data analysis hardware linked to areas of the brain responsible for processing sensory information. 100TB internal data storage. Can predict the outcome of random events with a 87% success rate. Youngest surviving member of Project Apex, shy and timid.
"Heroes get shot, stabbed, burned, bludgeoned, poisoned, infected, disintegrated, irradiated, electrocuted, exposed to vacuum and fall from great heights. Being a hero is a tough job."
- Alternity GMG, Chapter 6 (Damage and Injury)

User avatar
blaster219
Henchman
Henchman
Posts: 201
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2003 9:16 am
Location: Manchester UK
Contact:

Re: Project Apex

Postby blaster219 » Sat May 14, 2011 5:33 am

Echo Team

Echo 1 / Rhino / Alex Jordan
Female/16/Genie

Squad leader. Super-human levels of strength and speed. Above average intelligence. Heighted hearing and sight with regeneration. Trainined in unarmed and close combat techniques.

On a recent mission recieved a mental flash that she believes may be a supressed memory of her parents being killed.

Echo 2 / Ghost / Danny Marshall
Male/14/Cybertech

Covert operations and melee combat specialist. High degree of stealth training. Extremely fast and agile. Uses an implanted holographic projector to render himself invisible. Possesses a number of cybernetic sensory aids.

Recently discovered that he may be the formerly terminally ill son of a leading biotech researcher who may have been recruited by the USN to lead Project Apex. It is suspected that scientist may have agreed to join on the condition that his dying son recieved lifesaving cybernetic augmentation.

Echo 3 / Face / Mark Cross
Male/16/Psyker

Specialised for intrusion and humint. Possesses illusionary invisibility and telepathy. Physically weak but an excellent sniper.

Recently discovered that he is the older brother of Terminal and that both boys were kidnapped from their hometown on Earth.

Echo 4 / Snake / Akio Ohtsuka
Male/15/Genie

Combat medic and recipiant of reptillian DNA. Code name may be an injoke by the science team. Abilities include regeneration and healing, but is also capable of generating toxins that can be delivered either by touch or in aersol form. Heightened sense of taste and smell.

Recently discover that his father, a vocal critic of government policies, was convicted of his "murder."

Echo 5 / Hawkeye / Rachel Green
Female/14/Genie

Sniper specialised, recipiant of primarily bird DNA during enhancement process. Can jump extreme distances, is extremely fast and agile, possesses high-level regeneration. Is able to alter skin tone to match surrounding area. Heightened sight and hearing.

True identity unknown but has been having dreams about being "concscripted".

Echo 6 / Terminal / Ben Cross
Male/15/Psyker

Electronic warfare specialisit. Extremely intelligent and technically minded. Able to sense and manipulate electrical fields in both machines and the human body. Is as yet unable to generate enough fine control for telekinesis but can generate powerful radio signals and EM fields. Has been described as possessing an "overclocked" brain.

Recently discovered that he is the younger brother of Face and that both boys were kidnapped from their hometown on Earth.

"Missing" poster for Face and Terminal
Last edited by blaster219 on Sat May 14, 2011 5:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Heroes get shot, stabbed, burned, bludgeoned, poisoned, infected, disintegrated, irradiated, electrocuted, exposed to vacuum and fall from great heights. Being a hero is a tough job."
- Alternity GMG, Chapter 6 (Damage and Injury)

User avatar
blaster219
Henchman
Henchman
Posts: 201
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2003 9:16 am
Location: Manchester UK
Contact:

Re: Project Apex

Postby blaster219 » Sat May 14, 2011 5:33 am

S01E01 - Proving Mission

After a year and a half of training, the USN Security Council had become impaitent and wanted to see results. As a test of the effectiveness of Project Apex, the senior team was tasked with attacking a lunar base operated by "terrorists", eliminating all rebel personnel and copying any and all data from the base's mainframe. After the team's extraction, the base was to be destroyed by a simulated meteor impact.

The day before they were due to depart for the mission, the leader of the chosen team, Delta 1 (aka Glock), suffered an episode of ERS (Enhancement Rejection Syndrome). With the team leader out of action, Apex had no choice but to turn to Echo Team to perform the mission. With little mission preperation and only a brief ... er ... briefing to go on, Echo Team was dispatched to the Gliese 388 system.

Echo Team were dropped onto the planet using Orbital Drop Pods and were equipped with X7 Tactical Combat Suits. They approached the base stealthily, infiltrated it undetected and began to systematically eliminate the "terrorists." Those they found were untrained and poorly skilled compared to the Apex recruits and posed little challenge. There were, however, two unexpected events during the mission, which otherwise was executed flawlessly.

Firstly, the "terrorists" used a plasma-based energy weapon. Documents obtained by Echo Team stated the shoulder-fired weapon was called a Phased-Plasma Infantry Gun and had been developed by Synergistics Interplanetary, one of the largest corporations in the United Solar Nations. This was disturbing because M8 DETLAS was supposed to the only man-portable energy weapon currently being manufactured in the USN. Even if this was some form of advanced prototype, its existence in the hands of "terrorists" raised uncomfortable questions. Especially since the only other group known to employ plasma-based weaponry was the Pleiades Commonwealth.

Secondly, during the sweep of enemy personnel, Hawkeye spotted three individuals from her sniper position in the base's garage. One of them was helping the other two get on to a snowbike and handing the one who would be driving a hand gun. The two on the bike were smaller, this was obvious even though they were wearing bulky space suits. She estimated that they were both children, the larger figure no older than 14, the smaller one significantly younger. Despite being given instructions to stop anyone from escaping, Hawkeye hesitated and contacted Rhino for instructions. Rhino was unwilling to order the death's of two children and allowed them to escape. The ability of the fleeing youngsters to survive the planet's harsh environment was in doubt since the installation they were fleeing was the only installation on the planet and it would soon be destroyed. Unknown to Echo Team at the time, the youngsters were heading to an emergency bunker several miles away and they would survive the meteor impact long enough to be picked up by a supply ship.

After retrieving the data and eliminating all the terrorists, Echo Team called for pickup. On the way back to base (the USS Galieo, a science vessel stationed in interstellar space between Sol and Proxima), Echo Team agreed amongst themselves to say nothing about the two children they had allowed to escape.
"Heroes get shot, stabbed, burned, bludgeoned, poisoned, infected, disintegrated, irradiated, electrocuted, exposed to vacuum and fall from great heights. Being a hero is a tough job."
- Alternity GMG, Chapter 6 (Damage and Injury)

User avatar
blaster219
Henchman
Henchman
Posts: 201
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2003 9:16 am
Location: Manchester UK
Contact:

Re: Project Apex

Postby blaster219 » Sat May 14, 2011 6:38 am

S01E02 - Secrets & Lies

Not much happened in this episode. There was some training and some interaction with Delta Team. Ghost stumbled across Delta 6 (Mouse) whilst training on the Galileo's empty lower deck. He discovered the younger boy playing a guitar he claimed to have won of one of the marines in a card game and it turned out that he was pretty good at it. Mouse begged Ghost not to say anything as "the others wouldn't understand."

The real meat of the episode happened when Face came across two med-techs talking in a corridor. The way that stopped talking and hurried away as he approached made him suspicious but with his telepathic abilities deactivated by his control chip, he was unable to psionically discover what they had been talking about. He resorted to using his computer skills to hack the ship's CCTV network in order to find out if the conversation had been recorded; it had. The techs had been talking about the tests that the Apex scientists back on Io had ordered be performed on all members of Delta and Echo following Glock's case of ERS. One of the med-techs had been concerned enough about one of the "superkids" going psycho again that she'd broken protocol and instead of just sending the raw test data directly to Io, she had accessed it and performed some analysis. In doing so, she had discovered something that had made her question what they had been told about your creation. (Created in a lab, bred specifically for the project). Specifically, something about the blood of Face and Terminal.

After talking with Terminal, it was decided to try and find out what the tech's had discovered. Terminal decided to try and hack the tech's datapad. This took some doing, since the datapad was not part of the ship's internal computer network, nor any network. The tech also kept the pad with her at all times. Making things even more difficult was the fact that he wasn't able to use his technopathic abilities thanks to his control chip. After some effort, he managed to break through the control chip's neutralisation of his powers, but only for a fraction of a second. He used this opportunity to activate the pad's network connection so that he could hack into it normally. It took some digging around, but he eventually found the information he was looking for.

Meanwhile, Face had decided to go about getting the info another way. Roping in the rest of Echo Team, the team managed to break into the medlab after hours and use the equipment themselves. Testing a blood sample from both Face and Terminal, Snake (being the only member of Echo Team to posses the right medical knowledge) discovered something interesting.

Face and Terminal were a close genetic match to one another. In fact, in Snake's professional opinion, the only thing that could explain such a close genetic match would be if they were brothers, sharing the same parents. Something which should be highly unlikely if they are indeed artificially created test-tube babies as the Science Section claim.
"Heroes get shot, stabbed, burned, bludgeoned, poisoned, infected, disintegrated, irradiated, electrocuted, exposed to vacuum and fall from great heights. Being a hero is a tough job."
- Alternity GMG, Chapter 6 (Damage and Injury)

User avatar
blaster219
Henchman
Henchman
Posts: 201
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2003 9:16 am
Location: Manchester UK
Contact:

Re: Project Apex

Postby blaster219 » Sat May 14, 2011 9:18 am

S01E03 - Synergistics

Episodes starts with another VR training simulation. This time a red vs blue scenario pitting Delta against Echo. The scenario takes place aboard an orbital colony and involves street-to-street urban combat. Observing the action is the General and an as yet unnamed agent for the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI). Snippets of conversation are overheard by Hawkeye's sensitive hearing. The agent is here because Apex may be in a position to assist ONI with an investigation. He's shocked to find that the help comes in the form of a bunch of teenage supersoldier prototypes and he expresses doubts over the abilities of the Apex recruits. The General assures him that Delta and Echo are more than capable of performing the mission. This may be the only life they have ever known or ever will know, but he wouldn't put "my kids" on a mission he didn't think they could handle. The agent raises an eyebrow at "my kids," to which the General responds with something along the lines of "somebody's got to look out for them."

A few days later Echo team are selected (against the Science Section's advice) for the mission. The evidence gathered on the last mission seemed to implicate Synergistics in supplying rebel elements with advanced weaponary. Since the company is incredibly influential within the General Assembly and the Security Council, Eldiv (the common name for the Law Enforcement Division) can't just accuse the company of collaborating with terrorists. They need more proof. ONI have been tasked with getting evidence on way or the other. There is a problem however. Any evidence is likely to be found at the company's headquarters aboard the privately owned New Bethesda orbital colony located at the Earth-Sol L2 point. The station is owned and operated solely by Synergistics and access to the station is limited to Synergistic employees and their families. Getting an agent onboard without being noticed would be extremely difficult, if not impossible. That's where Echo Team come in. Synergistics takes part in a federally-funded student exchange scheme with a number of outer rim colonies. ONI can arrange for Echo Team to take the place of the next scheduled bunch of colonial students.

Investigating the links to any rebel elements isn't their primary mission however. For the last century, Synergistics have been at the forefront of technological change. Often beating their rivals to the market with new technologies and scientific breakthroughs. Following first (re)contact with the Commonwealth two years ago, ONI has become suspicious of the company's success. Many of Synergistic's breakthoughs are remarkably similar to technologies utilised by the Commonwealth. There is a suspicion that the company has had prior contact with the Commonwealth but until now has lacked sufficient justification to investigate. Echo Team are ordered to uncover and links to the Commonwealth as a primary mission goal.

After a brief crash-course in "popular culture" Echo Team are dispatched. New Bethesda is a large, O-Neill cylinder type station and is home to Synergistics corporate headquarters, main research labs and a significant population of dependants. Echo were enrolled in the colony's Education Centre and spent the first few days establishing their cover identities. This provided the team members with their first opportunity to experience a normal civilian life. Everyone that is for Terminal who closeted himself in his room building a computer array in order to aid their mission. Hawkeye and Rhino went "shopping", Face and Ghost discovered basketball.

It was during this time that Ghost received a wake-up call. While clothes shopping with Rhino, he was approached by a man who called him Danny. He was surprised to see him back on the station as he believed that his father had retired from the company. Ghost hurridly made an exit, disturbed by the encounter.

Meanwhile, Face had stumbled across a mystery of his own. Whilst randomly scanning people on the maglev ride home from school, he had discovered someone he couldn't scan. The man was a virtual blank telepathically.

Getting together, the team decided to add two extra goals to their mission plan (without informing their superiors). One, they would investigate Ghost's encounter and secondly they would investigate the man who couldn't be read telepathically.

Over the next few days they discovered that a Dr Sam Marshall was a medical researcher who worked for Synergistics. He had one son, Daniel, who had been born with a degenerative neurological condition. Dr Marshall had retired from the company three years ago to take care of his son after his condition worsened. All you were able to find out about Dr Marshall was that he had worked in cybernetics and had been involved in a government-funded research project until it was cancelled. Six months later he retired.

As for the other investigation, it turned out that the man wasn't the only person Face couldn't scan. There were three others who all appeared to live at the same house. Eventually a week after arriving on the station, things came to a head. By this time Terminal had discovered data suggesting that the Secondary Waste Processing Facility was not as inactive as it was supposed to be. It appeared to be the centre of some sort of research project. Before Echo Team could investigate, there was a disturbance near the facility. A series of explosions were quickly followed by a colony wide black out. In the chaos, a ship of Commonwealth design was seen lifting off from within the wreckage of the Waste Processing Facility. It hovered in the air for a minute before blasting one of the windows with the colony hull with missiles; managing to escape through the hole before the emergency shutters sealed the breach.

The colony was now on decompression lockdown, Echo Team decided to take this opportunity to investigate the house belonging to the non-scannable people. There, they found a man waiting for them. He appeared as curious about them as they were about him and they had noticed Echo Team's attempts to investigate them. "It seems we underestimated the Union's human enhancement capabilities, but not their lack of ethics." He warned them that they should leave the premises as soon as possible then appeared to die. Terminal discovered that the house had been rigged to blow and that they had less than 30 seconds to escape. Snake was adamant that they recover the man's body as he had a hunch. Together the team was able to remove the man's body, conceal it somewhere safe and escape the blast unseen. Whilst they stealthing their way back to their house, Face discovered why it is not a good idea to cross the road while invisible when he was hit by a car.

He was rushed to hospital and woke up a day later. By now, USNDF troops had entered the colony after surveillance drones spotted the Commonwealth ship leaving the station. Their mission over, they were quietly "evacuated" to a USNDF ship to be returned to their "home colonies."
"Heroes get shot, stabbed, burned, bludgeoned, poisoned, infected, disintegrated, irradiated, electrocuted, exposed to vacuum and fall from great heights. Being a hero is a tough job."
- Alternity GMG, Chapter 6 (Damage and Injury)

User avatar
blaster219
Henchman
Henchman
Posts: 201
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2003 9:16 am
Location: Manchester UK
Contact:

Re: Project Apex

Postby blaster219 » Sat May 14, 2011 11:19 am

S01E04 - Ganymede

Instead of returning to the Galileo following the Synergistics mission (whose spectacular failure was not blamed on Echo Team's performance), Echo were taken to the main colony on Ganymede. The Military Section had noted during the mission that (apparently) spending their entire lives inside the military has not helped their ability to integrate into a civilian environment. Something that will hinder there usefulness in future undercover operations. Consequently, they've decided to continue your training at the USNDF's primary base on Ganymede. The Ganymede colony is the largest off-Earth military base and the primary fleet yards for the United Solar Nations Navy. As well as housing the base, the colony (which is also the largest domed colony in existence and the largest structure ever made by man) houses a significant civilian population. Stationing the Apex recruits there should help develop their social skills. Their cover was that they were children of USNDF personnel whose parents were serving in the fleet or on extra-solar garrisons. When both parents are on active duty, its not uncommon for their children to be looked after in group homes ran by the USNDF.

Over the next week they went about the routine of training and relaxation. Terminal continued his research into the potential real origins of Echo Team, expanding his research to include Delta Team as well. Snake was told that the body of the man that they had recovered on New Bethesda had been transferred to Io base for reasons of "national security" and he wasn't cleared for any information pertaining to it.

After a few days, Face and Ghost were returning from a basketball game when they discovered Gryphon pushing Mouse around and getting quite physical. Ghost had noted the younger boy having bruises previously but they'd always been dismissed as being the product of training (Ghost not quite having the social awareness to detect the lie). A confrontation between Gryphon and Ghost began, the two close-combat specialists squareing off against each other. Thankfully their abilities were neutralised by their control chips otherwise it could have got quite messy,

Speaking of which, Face had discovered that his control chip appeared to be malfunctioning. The deactivation of his powers was intermittent and not always total. He theorised that his chip may have been damaged in his accident. Whilst unconscious, his heart had stopped and the doctors had resorted to shocking it. The electrical pulse may have shorted something out in the chip. He told this to Terminal who added yet another task to his research list.

Back to the fight, after trading blows and verbal barbs, the fight was ended without a victor when Rhino and Glock appeared, ordering both of them to stand down. When everyone had dispersed, Rhino challenged Glock on his ability to control his team. The boy admitted that Gryphon had always been a bit of loose cannon but recently he'd gotten much worse. Nothing he could do seemed to work and he had no authority to do anything more drastic than yell at him. Their instructors didn't seem to want to do anything about it either and he was worried that Gryphon was getting out of control.
"Heroes get shot, stabbed, burned, bludgeoned, poisoned, infected, disintegrated, irradiated, electrocuted, exposed to vacuum and fall from great heights. Being a hero is a tough job."
- Alternity GMG, Chapter 6 (Damage and Injury)

User avatar
blaster219
Henchman
Henchman
Posts: 201
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2003 9:16 am
Location: Manchester UK
Contact:

Re: Project Apex

Postby blaster219 » Sat May 14, 2011 4:05 pm

S01E05 - Hijacked

As part of Apex's training program, Delta and Echo have to undergo zero-g combat training at an asteroid outpost several light years away from prying eyes. Echo Team are scheduled to go first but there has been a slight change to the team's roster. The Science Section on Io has requested Terminal's assistance in analysing the body of the suspected Commonwealth agent recovered from New Bethesda. The body possess advanced neuralware that has resisted their attempts to probe it; it is hoped that Terminal's technopathic abilities might have better luck. While he is on secondment to the Science Section, Mouse will take his place on Echo Team. When it's Delta Team's turn for zero-g training, Terminal will temporarily replace Mouse.

Echo Team are dispatched the asteroid outpost onboard the regular supply shuttle posing as civilian dependants who have won the opportunity to experience zero-g training as part of a competition. For the first few hours the journey is uneventful then, while their Slipspace drive is recharging at a designated waypoint, their shuttle comes under attack. Trapped in the passenger/cargo section of the shuttle, the Apex recruits are powerless to do anything but strap in and endure the battle.

The battle was ended swiftly, when the attackers nailed the cockpit of the shuttle with a lucky shot. They quickly locked on to the shuttle with docking lines and burned their way through the airlock. Unarmed and unarmoured, Rhino decided that they should stick to their cover story since they had a greater chance of survival if they appeared to be defenceless kids. Furthermore, both Mouse and Ghost could contact their superiors back home via their built-in quantum transceivers. Their goal now was to survive long enough to be rescued.

If the pirates (because what scifi setting is complete without space pirates) were surprised to find a bunch of kids on a military supply shuttle they didn't show it. They fired on the Apex recruits.

Thankfully their weapons were stunners and the characters woke up sometime later locked in a concrete room whose only furnishing were some bare mattresses and a very smelly bucket. Not long after waking up, the pirates began to take them one by one out of the room. As they left the room, the discovered that they had been taken to a dry, dusty planet orbiting a single large star that was uncomfortably bright. In fact, they could literally feel themselves cooking as they were marched across the compound to a nice air conditioned building where they were interrogated; each of them sticking to their cover stories like pros. It became clear that the pirates did not suspect anything and believed that they were indeed the children of serving USNDF personnel; ideal hostage material.

The short walk between the buildings had been enough to give each of them a mild case of sunburn. Snake deduced that given the relatively short exposure and the fact that he had spotted several cases of anti-rad pills whilst being interrogated, the star they were orbiting was pumping out a significant degree of UV and hard radiation which was not being filtered by the planet's atmosphere or magnetic field. At this point Ghost finally managed to get a response from home. A rescue mission had not yet been authorised since the pirates had yet to notify USNDF that they had captured anyone; launching one would tip them off that there may be something special about the hostages. General Frost was not willing to leave his recruits defenceless against the heavily armed criminals and had taken it upon himself to not only authorise the activation of their powers via the quantum transceivers but had also requisitioned a ship. He was bringing Delta Team and the newly returned Echo Six along with him. All they needed was a location.

Face suggested that they wait until nightfall and escape from their cell. Mouse could use his cybernetics to take an image of the star positions in the night sky and transmit that (along with their suspicions about the star and planet's physical characteristics) via his QT. With luck, the rescue force will be able to match it on star charts. This would've been an excellent plan until somebody pointed out they don't know how long the planet's day is or even if it's not tidally locked. The consensus was that with their powers reactivated they should make a break for it, heading for the ship that they had seen parked on a landing pad. The pirates wouldn't be expecting a bunch of super powered kids.

Given their powers, breaking out was a trival matter, and they were right, the pirates were taken by surprise. Easily defeated by the kids. Despite taking a couple of injuries, they made it to the ship. Mouse taking the pilot's chair with Snake as co-pilot. They blasted off, dropping a few missiles on the pirate's base as they did so and headed for deep space. Using the ship's navigation computer and Ghost's QT they arranged to rendevous with the "rescue team".

As soon as they had they reunited with Delta, Terminal and the General, Terminal took the rest of Echo Team aside and said they they had to talk. Soon.
"Heroes get shot, stabbed, burned, bludgeoned, poisoned, infected, disintegrated, irradiated, electrocuted, exposed to vacuum and fall from great heights. Being a hero is a tough job."
- Alternity GMG, Chapter 6 (Damage and Injury)

User avatar
blaster219
Henchman
Henchman
Posts: 201
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2003 9:16 am
Location: Manchester UK
Contact:

Re: Project Apex

Postby blaster219 » Sun May 15, 2011 6:18 am

S01E06 - Betrayal

With the ship station in interstellar space, Terminal takes the rest of Echo Team aside and reveals what he has discovered. While at Io base he was able to uncover some rather disturbing information.

  1. Snake's suspicions in regards to the Commonwealth agent were correct. The body was that of a flash grown clone and that the extent of the cybernetic intrusion into the body's brain was extensive. He was unable to recover any data for the Science Section as it appeared that just prior to "death" a massive amount of data had been uploaded via quantum transciever. Terminal had tried to access the link to determine the destination of the data but it appeared that the link had been severed at the other end. Snake's suspicion that the body was merely an organic vessel for a "transferred" consciousness seemed to be accurate. The Commonwealth had Sleeving technology.
  2. Glock's episode of ERS just prior to their first mission proved to be an accurate diagnosis. This was raised questions as to why the scientists at Io were concerned whether his original neural matrix had reasserted itself or not. It hadn't, it had just been a mild case of ERS brought on by the old method of neural imprinting. This caused Terminal to wonder just what they meant by neural imprinting.
  3. The mystery further deepened when he discovered memo's indicating that Gryphon has undergone a total recall of his original neural matrix, personality, memories, the works. This was virtual proof that Delta and Echo had been subjected to memory erasure and behavioural reprogramming.
  4. This was confirmed to have taken place more than once for some people. Seven times in Mouse's case. It was believed that the young boy's implants (which had been designed to specifically gather and interpret intelligence) was repeatedly causing him to question the implanted memories. Because of this, and because his implants could not be removed, he was deemed to be "irretriebably compromised" and scheduled for "termination".
  5. The head of the Science Section was discovered to be Professor Sam Marshall, Ghost's supposed father. Eavesdropping on the security net, Terminal overheard an arguement between him and the rest of the scientists where he vocally and strenously opposed many of the unethical practices being carried out. The impression being that he had not been totally aware in the beginning just what Project Apex was going to entail. At the same time, a throwaway comment heavily implied that Mouse was a captured Commonwealth citizen.
  6. It was felt that General Frost had become too emotionally attached to the Apex recruits and that be may need to be replaced.
  7. Finally, the testing phase for Apex was nearing an end and Special Weapons Division was expected to make a proposal to the Security Council that they go into "full production". This would not only mean acquiring significant numbers of recruits (which were expected to be culled from volunteers in state care or in young offenders institutes) but also the current prototypes would need to be quietly retired for security reasons.

Upon returning to Ganymede, Terminal had taken the risk of informing Frost what he had discovered, as well as revealing the information that he gathered over the last months which called into question the Science Section's claim that the Apex recruits had been bred specifically for the project. The General hadn't taken long to decide that what the boy was telling him was the truth (there was a lot of evidence) and when Echo Team's shuttle had been hijacked, it provided him with the opportunity to make a break for it.

After breaking all this to Echo Team, as wells as providing the information that his net searches had uncovered about their potential origins, they needed to work out what to do next. First priority was the deactivation of their control chips. Both Terminal and Snake had been working on this problem for some time and pooled their information. Using their abilities in concert, they started to deactivate the chips one by one. As they did so, they discovered that not only were the chips capable of shutting down their powers, each chip was essentially also a "kill switch" as each one contained a method of terminating the character. Ranging from deactivation to autonomic life support functions (Ghost), miniature explosive charge (Snake), deadly toxin (Terminal) or targeted electrical shock to lobotomise the victim (Rhino, Hawkeye and Face).

Next, they needed to work out who they could trust. Face used his telepathy to great effect, scanning people to determine their trustworthiness and how they would likely react to the truth about Apex. The flight crew trusted Frost implicitly, having been chosen for precisely that fact. The General, who already knew the truth, was struggling with the conflict of obeying his orders, or staying loyal to the oath to serve and uphold the principals of the USN charter. After some agonising, he decided that his orders were in direct contravention of everything the USN claimed to stand for and that his Oath came first.

While Frost ordered the ship to proceed to Epsilon Eridani 4 to resupply, Echo Team took on the job of informing Delta Team about what they had uncovered (leaving informing the crew to Frost). Whether Delta could be trusted or not, they deserved to know the truth. Some of them took it better than others. Glock trusted Rhino and Frost, and although surprised by the information, stated that it made sense from a tactical perspective. It didn't make it right though.Psipher and Chameleon had suspected something was going on for some time but not something of this scale.Sawbones, just shrugged, not seeming to care one way or the other. As long as Gloc .. er .... her team needed her, she would stay with them. Mouse did not take it well, locking himself in his room for an hour after hearing the recording of the Science Section calmly planning his termination. And as for Gryphon, well he seemed to be okay with it ...
"Heroes get shot, stabbed, burned, bludgeoned, poisoned, infected, disintegrated, irradiated, electrocuted, exposed to vacuum and fall from great heights. Being a hero is a tough job."
- Alternity GMG, Chapter 6 (Damage and Injury)

User avatar
blaster219
Henchman
Henchman
Posts: 201
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2003 9:16 am
Location: Manchester UK
Contact:

Re: Project Apex

Postby blaster219 » Sun May 15, 2011 7:45 am

S01E07 - Consequences, Part 1

As the Drake (the name of the ship that Frost has "borrowed") approaches Tau Ceti 4, Frost orders the crew to engage the ship's "covert mode". This involves the smart-paint on the ship's hull to alter it's pigmentation, giving the Drake a new colour scheme. At the same time, the ship's IFF transponder altered its signature to that of a civilian transport ship. Frost also ordered everyone to don civilian clothing while on planet. Military uniforms would stand out on the colony world. Once they landed, the crew set about resupplying the ship, the recruits were left to their own devices with explicit orders to "stay out of trouble".

Frost disembarked in order to "handle some things in the city." Most of Echo team still didn't trust Frost entirely, and the decision was made to follow him covertly. Working as a team, they left the spaceport and followed Frost into the city, managing to remain hidden from him.

Eventually, he was tailed to a public communications booth where he composed an email. The Brothers Psi (Face and Terminal) wanted to know what was in the email and who it was being sent to. Face did this by scanning the General's surface thoughts, picking up what he was typing as the composed the email mentally. Terminal hacked into the comm booth and monitored the keystrokes in real time. The email was being sent to someone on Earth, based on the recipients email address. It was a disposable account with a relatively innocuous name, nothing incriminating. The text of the email also seemed innocuous as it jumped from topic to topic, a seemingly random personal email. Given their training, it was clear that the email was a coded message to someone but no one could work out what the code was. Since it wasn't a mathematical encryption, Terminal was unable to break it by brute force hacking. Normally, Face would have been able to get the real message by scanning the General's mind as he mentally enocded the message. However, it appeared that Frost had received some level of training in order to conceal his thoughts from telepathic probes (odd that).

Ghost at this point mentioned that Mouse was adept at breaking codes and ciphers, even ones such as these. If they want to find out what was in the message he was the best bet. They returned to the spaceport to seek Mouse's assistance.

Just as they arrived at spaceport, Hawkeye spotted Gryphon leaving. Their eyes met for just a second before he disappeared into the crowd. Thinking nothing of it, they continued towards the landing pad where the Drake was docked. Approaching the ship, they could see that the rear airlock, three stories off the ground, was open. Snake also suddenly smelt the distinct scent of fresh blood.

Fearing the worst, they hurried towards the airlock. Inside they found Mouse lying in a pool of his own blood, bleeding from a vicious open head wound and his chest. He had virtually been gutted. Summoning help, they swung into action; Snake doing his best to stabilise Mouse whose wounds were the very definition of fatal. While Rhino stayed behind, the rest of Echo Team set off in pursuit of Gryphon, guessing that he had been responsible.

When Delta Team arrived at the airlock, they too were shocked by what they found. Sawbones knelt down to assist Snake in treating Mouse and as she did so, she found a piece of paper clutched in Mouse's hand. It was bloodstained note, purporting to be from Ghost, telling Mouse to meet him at the rear airlock. It wasn't in Ghost's handwriting and either way, Ghost wasn't on board when the attack happened.

Meanwhile, the team was still tracking Gryphon. Terminal had wirelessly hacked into the city's network of traffic cameras and had managed to locate Gryphon. He was heading at high speed (thanks to his abilities) towards the USNDF garrison located near the colony' Quantum Transceiver station. They stole a car from the spaceport car park and followed; wondering what the hell Gryphon was doing and why he had attempted to kill Mouse.

The second question was answered by those left behind on the Drake. Chameleon had access the ship's computer system and called up security footage which clearly depicted Gryphon attacking Mouse, tearing open the younger boy's chest with a single strike. It also showed that while Mouse lay on the floor, bleeding to death, Gryphon had pressed the attack, striking at Mouse's head with a degree of precision. He seemed to use his wolverine-like claws to remove something from within Mouse's head.

Snake confirmed that the Quantum Transciever that had been linked to Delta Team's control chips had been removed. Since they hadn't got around to removing Delta Team's chips yet, Mouse's QT could have been used to remotely disable all of Delta Team's abilities (or activate the kill switch function of the chips).

In their stolen vehicle, the chase team caught up with Gryphon. The former Delta Team member wasted no energy on conversation or explanation and immediately went on the attack. It was a hard fight, a brutal fight. Gryphon was more than a match for them individually and it took their combined efforts to overcome him. He didn't go down easy either. With his regeneration, subduing him was virtually impossible. They were forced to kill him.

They loaded his body into the boot of the stolen car and returned to the spaceport. Mouse remained in critical condition despite Snake and Sawbones' efforts. By this time, Frost had returned to the Drake and had taken charge. He ordered the Drake to take off immediately and flushed Gryphon's body (along with the stolen car) into space.
"Heroes get shot, stabbed, burned, bludgeoned, poisoned, infected, disintegrated, irradiated, electrocuted, exposed to vacuum and fall from great heights. Being a hero is a tough job."
- Alternity GMG, Chapter 6 (Damage and Injury)

User avatar
blaster219
Henchman
Henchman
Posts: 201
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2003 9:16 am
Location: Manchester UK
Contact:

Re: Project Apex

Postby blaster219 » Sun May 15, 2011 10:39 am

S01E08 - Consequences, Part 2

With both Delta and Echo still reeling from the events on Tau Ceti 4, the Drake leaves the system far behind. They pay a brief visit to a USNDF military base on Epsilon Eridani 2 to replenish their supplies which they were unable to complete on Tau Ceti 4 following Gryphon's betrayal. Using General Frost's authority, they requisitioned ammunition, fuel, life support materials along with food, water and medical supplies. They managed to get half of it loaded before the base's security force (alerted by eagle-eyed dockworkers noticing that the loading was being carried out by a bunch of teenagers) arrived. There was a brief exchange of gunfire and the Drake blasted off.

They were chased into orbit by a squadron starfighters who attempted to disable the Drake. Disobeying a direct order from Frost, Terminal headed to the Drake's hanger bay where six Sparrowhawk microfighters were docked. On the way, he bumped into an invisible Chameleon who apparently had the same idea as him and together they jumped into the cockpits of a pair of fighters and engaged the enemy.

The Drake took some damage during the battle, but Terminal and Chameleon managed to fight off the USNDF fighter squadron. Chameleon's Sparrowhawk took damage to its propulsion system and was unable to move under its own power. Terminal was able to nudge it towards the Drake but without propulsion, it would be unable to dock in the hanger. That was when Terminal noticed a spacesuited figure learning over the open docking hatch. It was Psipher. Pushing his telekinesis beyond its normal limit, he TK'd Chameleon's Sparrowhawk into its docking cradle, collapsing as soon as she was safe. He would need several hours of bed rest to recover and Sawbones strongly (and loudly) told him never to push himself like that again.

Following the battle, the Drake needed repairs. It's hull was damaged in several places and it needed drydocking for repairs. It took several days to limp to an appropriate place to put in for repairs, Trade Station Beta-2 in the Vega system. The Drake, under the cover of a different civilian transport ship, docked and began to set about repairing the damage done by "pirates."

During the week long process, external security cameras picked up someone paying a little too much attention to the Drake. It was a boy, roughly 14 years of age. Concerned by his activities, Ghost and Face left the ship using their various concealment abilities and approached him behind, adopting a friendly demeanour. Face asked why he was so interested in his dad's ship. The boy responded that he was interested in different types of ships. It was a rather lame reason and Face could easily tell he was lying. After pressing the issue, both Ghost and Face could tell that he was hiding something, something big.

They brought him on board and began to interrogate him. Using Face's telepathic abilities, they managed to get the truth. He was interested in ships, but the reason he was interested in their ship in particular was that he recognised it as a class used almost exclusively by the USNDF. Face detected a significant deal of hostility when the boy thought of the USN. By the end of the interrogation, the got the boy to admit that he was spying on ship's coming into the docks for his uncle. It took a lot of convincing to make him tell them why his uncle was so interested. His uncle had taken him and his younger brother in after their parents had been killed by USN soldiers. He told them how their parents had worked at a lunar base used by one of the groups that were agitating for increased political autonomy for the colonies. In the middle of night, armoured soldiers had attacked the base killing everyone. The only reason why he and his younger brother survived was that his father had held off the soldiers long enough for them to escape on skibikes, As he spoke, Rhino realised with horror precisely what he was talking about, Echo Team's first mission.

Being confronted by the consequences of the first mission shook Rhino and she left the rest of the interrogation to the others. They decided to alter his memories about the Drake and those on board. A few minutes with Psipher and the boy remembered nothing about being brought on board and believed that there was nothing untoward about the ship and the crew.

Keeping him in a suggestible state, they took him back to the residential section of the station, pointed him towards home, and sent him on his way. Meanwhile, in the Drake's sickbay, Mouse's eyes snapped open...
"Heroes get shot, stabbed, burned, bludgeoned, poisoned, infected, disintegrated, irradiated, electrocuted, exposed to vacuum and fall from great heights. Being a hero is a tough job."
- Alternity GMG, Chapter 6 (Damage and Injury)

User avatar
blaster219
Henchman
Henchman
Posts: 201
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2003 9:16 am
Location: Manchester UK
Contact:

Re: Project Apex

Postby blaster219 » Sun May 15, 2011 5:52 pm

S01E09 - Consequences, Part 3

With the matter of the pint-sized "terrorist" resolved, the repairs to the ship almost completed, everyone settled in for the night. Just past midnight, an alarm woke everyone. A massive computer failure had knocked out all ship systems except emergency life support. Face and Terminal assisted the ship's flight crew restore power. They had just managed this when Snake called down from the sickbay; Mouse had vanished.

Delta team began a thorough search of the ship. Face tried to bring up footage from the ship's security system but ran into a problem. The computer system was trashed, the data irreparably corrupted. Most of the damage was centred on the security system, preventing anyone from determining who had hacked their network. He was able to determine that most, if not, all the data stored on the network had been downloaded.

Terminal meanwhile had a similar idea to Face, except he wirelessly hacked into the station's security system to see if anyone had tried to board or leave the ship. He had more success than his brother. The footage he recovered showed Mouse apparently leaving the ship, met in the hanger bay by a group of individuals, two of each Terminal recognised as being amongst the group of Commonwealth agents that had been encountered on New Bethesda. Mouse and the group of agents then left the hanger bay. This had happened less than ten minutes earlier.

A combined force of Delta and Echo set off. They tracked the Commonwealth agents to a cargo storage bay on one of the lower levels. A stand off ensued. On the surface, it seemed to be a Commonwealth rescue mission, but the theft of the Drake's computer data left an unsavoury after taste. Especially since it contained information on Echo Team and the rest of Delta Team. Throughout the stand off, Mouse remained silent, standing behind the agents. There was something off about him, his expression and demeanour was much colder than normal. It was Face the realised what was wrong. Mouse wasn't Mouse. Or more accurately, the consciousness in control of his body wasn't his own. They already suspected that the Commonwealth had sleeving technology, now it appeared that they had the ability to hijack the body of someone with cybernetic implants.

Things kicked off, the Commonwealth agents unwilling to leave without Mouse, Delta unwilling to loose another team mate. As the battle kicks off, Terminal has a flash of inspiration. Mouse's extensive cybernetics make his brain part computer and he can almost affect it with his abilities. But if he worked with Face, they might be able to find out what has happened to Mouse's consciousness.

Retreating to an overhead gantry, they combined their abilities, projecting their consciousnesses into Mouse's brain. A feat that neither of them had tried before. They manifested in what appeared to be a boy's bedroom. It appeared utterly normal apart from the incredibly sleek and advanced looking computer on the desk. Looking out of the window they could see they were in the suburb of a colony. It seemed to be a regular, Earth compatible planet. No sign of a dome or any type of large-scale life support infrastructure. There was something something odd about the construction of the buildiings, something about the way they all had solar panels pointing straight up on fixed mounts. That was when they noticed Mouse sitting in the garden looking bored and frustrated.

He was pleased to see them, saying that he had been locked in this place for what seemed like days. He thought it was a simulation of some sort and was unable to leave the grounds of the house without running into an invisible barrier. It hadn't occurred to him that he wasn't physically there, but mentally locked in.

Between the three of them, they were able to break out of the simulation and entered Mouse's mindscape where they could access his cybernetic implants and work out just who had hijacked his body. They discovered a quantum transceiver, one that had been buried deep underneath all his other implants. It was of a different design from most of his implants, matching the design of his original Commonwealth neuralware. Accessing the diagnostics, it had been physically disconnected three years ago but the head injury inflicted by Gryphon, along with Snake's and Sawbones' healing abilities had restored the connection. Before they could go anything further, the sleeved Commonwealth agent appeared in the mindscape. After a brief argument over the ethics of kidnapping brainwashed slave children and returning them to a family they didn't remember. Mouse dropped the bombshell that because he and the agent where sharing the same neurons, he could tell that although she was telling the truth about a Commonwealth rescue mission and wanting to return him to his family, she was lying about who she was working for. She was actually a double-agent for something called The Circle. That nugget of information angered the agent, and marked Mouse it seemed for death.

Face and Terminal fought the agent in Mouse's mindscape. A new battleground for them but one they quickly adapted too. Using skill and trickery they managed to out manoeuvre her; although Mouse had to sacrifice his original memories that had been locked away in order to weaken her to the point where they were able to banish her completely by forcing her back through the Quantum Transceiver.

With Mouse's mindscape back under his control, Face and Terminal returned to their own bodies to find the fight in the real world over, Echo and Delta victorious. Together they returned to the ship.

If they were hoping for a breather, they were wrong. Frost had news. The ONI agent that they had met a month earlier during the Synergistics mission had been touch. He and the General had been old friends and after being told the truth about Apex, had agreed to help them. The agent was on his way to the station having come into possession of some highly important information. Delta and Echo were not the only Apex recruits. Two more batches were process of going through the enhancement procedures. By all accounts, Foxtrot and Golf had been recruited in the same manner as Delta and Echo. That wasn't all. There was a Charlie team as well. Unlike those that came after them, Charlie was the real Apex deal. Grown in a lab and bred specifically for the project. They were all currently under the age of two years old. There was worse. After Delta and Echo's escape, the Security Council had finally come to their senses. If the truth about Apex ever got out, it could destroy the government. There was already political dissent amongst the colonies and if it became known that the USN had abducted children for use in a horrific military experiment it could just be the spark that ignites a full-fledged rebellion. Consequently, Project Apex was to be buried. The research data archived in the deepest vault, and the "prototypes" destroyed.
"Heroes get shot, stabbed, burned, bludgeoned, poisoned, infected, disintegrated, irradiated, electrocuted, exposed to vacuum and fall from great heights. Being a hero is a tough job."
- Alternity GMG, Chapter 6 (Damage and Injury)

User avatar
blaster219
Henchman
Henchman
Posts: 201
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2003 9:16 am
Location: Manchester UK
Contact:

Re: Project Apex

Postby blaster219 » Mon May 16, 2011 7:18 am

S01E10 - Bastille Day, Part 1

With the arrival of the ONI agent, they began to plan what to do next. Rescuing the other Apex prototypes was a given, but one does not just simply walk into the most secure facility in known space. They were also on the clock as they didn't have much time before Special Weapons Division shut down the project and disposed of the test subjects. This was a job too big for Echo and Delta to perform on their own, they needed help.

It just so happened that they knew at least one person who was a member of a group who had a beef with the USN, the "pint-sized terrorist". They paid a visit to his apartment where he was sitting down to eat dinner with his uncle and brother. In order to skip the whole "who are you, what do you want" thing, they brought Psipher along to reverse the memory edit they had performed on him (Apparently the ethics of mind-wiping kids is lost on those who've had it done to themselves, go figure).

They explain who they really are and what the situation is. At first, the uncle is understandably skeptical, but after a quick demonstration of their abilities he is convinced. He's brought back to the ship, introduced to Frost and the rest of Delta team, and they ask for his help.

Over the next few days, they formulate a plan to infiltrate the Io base, rescue the test subjects, steal all the research data, and destroy Project Apex completely. To aid them, the uncle brings in a number of trusted men. They too need convincing that a bunch of kids are really capable of what they say they are. A mock combat in an empty cargo bay soon makes them change their minds. Delta Team recover the pirate shuttle that Echo Team had used to escape from the pirates a couple of week previously and had left abandoned, drifting in space. The ONI agent provides access codes that will get them on to the base and Terminal details the security arrangements he had observed whilst on secondment to the base.

During the preperations, it's decided to use a SlipSpace Bomb to ensure the complete destruction of the base, as well as sending a message to SWD. Terminal, Mouse, Face, Chameleon work together to modify the SlipSpace drive core of an old shuttle to function as a bomb. They are confident it'll work, but they'll only find out for sure when it comes time to use it.

Eventually, they run out of time. The best time for the attack is when Io and Ganymede are on opposite sides of Jupiter. The USN fleet and Ganymede will have trouble reacting to a security alert from Io in time. The correct orbital configuration is in a couple of days and won't occur again for several weeks, which by then may be too late. To act as a diversion, Delta Team take the pirate shuttle to attack the prison facility on Europa where Snake's father is wrongfully imprisoned. If all goes well, they should tie up the USN security forces in the Jovian system long enough for Echo and their separatist allies to complete the mission.
"Heroes get shot, stabbed, burned, bludgeoned, poisoned, infected, disintegrated, irradiated, electrocuted, exposed to vacuum and fall from great heights. Being a hero is a tough job."
- Alternity GMG, Chapter 6 (Damage and Injury)

User avatar
blaster219
Henchman
Henchman
Posts: 201
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2003 9:16 am
Location: Manchester UK
Contact:

Re: Project Apex

Postby blaster219 » Wed May 18, 2011 5:48 pm

S01E11 - Bastille Day, Part 2

Using the access codes provided by the ONI agent, the Drake successfully landed at the Project Apex research base on Io. The base was currently on night-shift, and with the impending shut-down, none of the scientists were working late. The hanger itself was only guarded by two soldiers. Face and Ghost, activated their various concealment abilities and stealthed off the ship as the Drake's adult crew (along with the separatist backup they'd brought with) attracted the guards attention. Two two teenagers crept up invisibly behind the guards and attempted to subdue them.

The guards, who were equipped with next generation armour and weaponry from Synergistics and Magellen Arms, were not exactly the pushover they were supposed to be. It actually took the combined efforts of the entirety of Echo Team to take them out.

While they were doing this, Terminal attempted to hack the base's security system. This too was harder than he expected. It seems that the security protocols had been changed since he had last been on the base and the ONI agent had not been able to provide access codes or passwords for the base's computer network. He managed to break into the system just as the last guard hit the floor.

Snake and Face proceeded to strip the guards of their armour while Rhino headed towards the security station that lay between the hanger bays and the base proper. Terminal had quashed an alarm raised by a vigilant guard in the security station. Rhino charged into the station, surprising the guard and breaking his neck. A second guard, out of view of the security camera, dropped his coffee mug in shock. Wasting no time, she leapt over the desk and dispatched the man. The rest of the assault time joined her and quickly secured the station. With their exit route safe, they could safely proceed with the rest of the mission.

Since they had three objectives, they split into three groups. Rhino and Snake would proceed towards the lab section of the base. This was where the candidates for Foxtrot and Gold Teams were kept, along with the nursery for the infant Charlie Team. They didn't know what condition they would be in so Snake was needed on this objective more than any of the others. Rhino went along because a female face is friendlier than a male one.

As well as rescuing their fellow augments, they wanted to gain access to every scrap of data Project Apex kept on the enhancement process on and on the test subjects themselves. For this reason Mouse and Terminal were tasked with accessing one of Apex's three servers to copy the data. Mouse was coming along on the assault mission with Echo Team due to the 100TB of internal data storage build into his neuralware. This would come in handy for carrying the data.

While Hawkeye would stay are the security station to guard the exit route, Face and Ghost would proceed to the far side of the base to secure Main Security Control and seal it, and the maglev tunnels connecting Apex to the main SWD base 5km away. They needed to move fast and stealthily through the most densely inhabited part of the base and they were the only two with the abilities to do this.

Because it was night-time, the teams only encountered roving patrols of two or three guards (along with the odd guard dog). Taken by surprise, they were no match for the enhanced teens, although a few of them got a lucky shot or two, mildly injuring one of them.

Rhino and Snake managed to get to the "barracks" where Foxtrot and Gold were houses. It wasn't quite what they remembered. They remembered army style barracks, not prison cells fronted by polysteel windows. Whether Apex had remodelled since they had been here or if this was another facet of their faked memories was a question for later. They quickly roused the kids, many of whom were groggy and some of whom had difficulty walking and needed help. Thankfully, a quick look by Snake showed no major injuries, just physical and mental exhaustion. In one cell, Rhino found someone a little too old to be a test subject, Doctor Marshall, Ghost's father.

Meanwhile, Face and Ghost had reached the MSC to find it quite busy, even at this time of night. Face used a looted radio to send a fake call for help from the main base, stating intruders had entered the base. An alert was sounded, and the majority of the guards manning the control room headed for the maglev. All they needed to do now was, eliminate the remaining guards, secure the centre, and seal the maglev tunnels. Easier said than done.

Terminal and Mouse's sub-mission was also underway. After dealing with a roving patrol (where Terminal used Mouse as bait), they had finally made it to one of the three server cores. Apex used three such cores, located as far away from each other as possible. Each server mirrored the other two in real time so that if something happened to one, the other two would be launched into orbit to preserve valuable data. This extreme action was necessary because the Io base computer systems were not linked in any way to outside network access. Should a disaster befall the base, this was the only way to ensure that the research data survived.

Terminal managed to hack the Apex firewall and open up an access port to download the data. Mouse plugged his smartlink lead into one of the server's spare network sockets and Terminal initiated the file transfer. Whilst the data was transferring, Terminal did a quick and dirty search for any and all data that refferred to him. He made sure that the files being transferred did not include that data and instead transferred it to a small flash memory drive.

Back at the MCC, Face and Ghost moved into the secure the centre. Their stealthy entrance was marred when Face ran afoul of a sensor system designed specifically to detect invisible intruders. It was a multi-spectrum scanning field linked to a series of pressure plates and particle beam trip wires. The system was designed to monitor each sensor and sound an alarm if something was picked up on one, but not the others. As soon as Face entered the scanners "field of vision" he was detected. Two laser emitters popped out of the cieling and "painted" him with the beams, showing everyone where he was even if he was invisible. A third device dropped from the ceiling, firing a sticky purple goo that rendered him visible. With the chance of surprise gone, Face and Ghost had to resort to the old fashioned way.

The server team met up with Rhino and her squad back the the hanger bay, both their missions complete. A quick radio message to the the MCC team told Ghost and Face that they no longer needed to hold the MCC and they quickly returned to the Drake. The Drake's flight crew were busy unloading the rigged SlipDrive when everyone returned. Rhino took control of the bomb's detonator as they blasted off. When they reached minimum safe distance, she waited a few seconds and then pressed the button.

The Project Apex base on Io vanished as a SlipSpace Rupture annihilated everything within 1.56km of the blast, leaving a semi-spherical crater. As soon as they had achieved orbit, the Drake jumped to SlipSpace and headed for the rendezvous with the rest of Delta Team.
Last edited by blaster219 on Fri May 27, 2011 6:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Heroes get shot, stabbed, burned, bludgeoned, poisoned, infected, disintegrated, irradiated, electrocuted, exposed to vacuum and fall from great heights. Being a hero is a tough job."
- Alternity GMG, Chapter 6 (Damage and Injury)

User avatar
blaster219
Henchman
Henchman
Posts: 201
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2003 9:16 am
Location: Manchester UK
Contact:

Re: Project Apex

Postby blaster219 » Fri May 27, 2011 6:34 am

S02E01 - Medical Emergency

Wednesday, July 11, 2418
Somewhere in Interstellar Space


It's been two days since the assault on Io base and both the Drake and the Remora have arrived at the designated rendezvous point midway between Sol and Fomalhaut. They had just met up with the ship belonging to the separatists (who would be more accurately described as "devolutionists") and arranged for their allies to take the infant members of Charlie Team into hiding. Lacking the ability or capabilities to look after half a dozen toddlers, it was felt that they would be safer as far away from the Apex Renegades(TM) as possible. Furthermore, the separatists promised they would be well looked after, adopted into caring families who would hide them from the authorities.

With the infants and the separatists gone, thoughts turned to what to do next. A general meeting of Delta and Echo team members, along with General Frost, the Drake's crew and ONI Agent Simon Barrett, was called in the Drake's auditorium. A little used room on the ship, but one that had been designed for such occasions.

The argument raged back and forth, become heated at time. In the end, the agreed on two course of action. "Rescuing" any surviving family members of the Apex Renegades, which would require significant planning in order to carry out in anything approaching a fast and efficient fashion. And while there was some dissension about what to do once they had rescued their families and where to house them, there was no argument about the second thing. Releasing information about Project Apex to the public. Political tensions within the Union were already high, and this was the sort of bombshell that could bring down the government. There was the danger that it could galvanise political opposition to the USN in the colonies and trigger the beginnings of a full-scale colonial revolt, but everyone felt that the people had a right to know what had been done. They couldn't let the Security Council get away with terminating the project and trying to "bury the evidence."

After settling on a potential course of action, Frost (on Barrett's advice) set a course for the Epsilon Indi system. ε Indi was an uncolonised system some 6 light years away from their present position. The system was also home to Safehouse 98, a former gas mining station "appropriated" by ONI. Delta disembarked to pilot the Remora to the system, aiming to arrive some 30 minutes behind the Drake.

Safehouse 98, Epsilon Indi, 11.8 light years from Earth

The agent transmitted the clearance codes as they approached the station and they docked without incident. Frost took Terminal aside as the Apex Renegades began to explore their (temporary) new home. The safehouse had quantum links to the planetary computer networks of Earth, Ganymede and Epsilon Eridani and unlike commercial links, these were real-time two-way links allowing network access as if you were on the planet itself. The General wanted Terminal to set up a firewall on the links preventing anyone (namely the rescued civilians) from accessing any communication services such as email and messaging. For the time being at least. This was barely a five-minute job for the hacker who finished just in time to be accosted by Snake.

Snake's highly developed sense of smell had detected a rapid build-up of Carbon Dioxide in the station's atmosphere. A quick check on the station's systems reported that all was well but that wasn't reassuring enough. Face and Snake went down to the station's bottom deck to check on the life support machinery manually. They discovered that one of the station's air scrubbers was malfunctioning, severely impairing the system's ability to reprocess the station's air.

Although the station didn't have spares, it's systems had been brought up to the minimum spec required by the USNDF. Consequently, the scrubbers onboard the Drake were compatible. With a bit of work, the scrubbers were removed from the Drake and installed on the station. The downside was that now the Drake's ability to recycle the air was impaired. This wasn't as big a problem as Frost decided to offload everyone onto the station and take the Drake back to TSB4 in Vega to get a new scrubber. The round-trip shouldn't take more than four days.

With Delta and Echo left in charge, the Drake departed and people began to settle in. Terminal shut himself away in one of the rooms, preparing a "data bomb" filled with information on Project Apex. Face and Rhino began talking to the rescued kids. Rhino "laying down the ground rules" and making sure they knew what was going on, and Face trying to get to know them and work out if they had any family. Snake spent his time going over the data retrieved from the Project Apex and trying to get the various rescued kids to agree to a medical exam. Oddly enough, the traumatised, kidnapped teenagers were wary about being alone in a room with the strange forked-tongue boy. Ghost ventured down to the gym, alone. Not comfortable with other people.

Eventually, attention wandered to the rolling news footage being streamed over the QT from Earth. The incident at Io was the lead news story. It was still being reported as a "devastating volcanic eruption" which was a plausible cover story given that the moon was the most geologically active body in the Sol system.

With a growing sense of indignation that the government (specifically Special Weapons Division and the USN Security Council) was on the verge of getting away attempting to bury Project Apex, the (perhaps hasty) decision was made to release Terminal's data bomb. The package was dumped onto the computer networks of Ganymede, ε Eridani and Earth. They also sent copies to major media outlets and the 2418 version of wikileaks. After this, they sat back and watched the fireworks.

The reaction was slow, it took half an hour before the first snippets of information began to be broadcast. Obviously, the mass of data was taking time to percolate. But soon enough, like a ball rolling down a slope, it gathered momentum. By the time people begin drifting off to bed, the story has the beginnings of a major scandal.

The next morning, people are woken by cries for help coming from one of the bunk rooms. Rushing into the room, they find a girl calling for help while crouching next to a bunk containing a scared-looking teenage boy. She explains that Salim (the boy), was feeling ill last night and went to bed early. He woke up this morning and found that he could barely move and had little or no strength in his limbs.

They move Salim to the station's medbay and Snake and Sawbones begin to examine him. His initial symptoms of loss of muscle coordination, partial paralysis, irregular heartbeat and difficulty breathing are at first difficult to diagnose. Eventually, after a thorough examination, they reach the conclusion that the problem lies with Salim's nervous system. They bring in Ghost's father, Doctor Marshall to examine Salim, but the boy still sees him as "one of them" and panics when the man approaches, babbling incoherently in Arabic (which only Face and Terminal can understand). Face manages to calm Salim down enough to allow the Doctor to examine him while Snake looks through the data retrieved from Io. Between them they discover:

  • Salim's nervous system is dying as his nerve cells are being destroyed by a smart virus, specially tailored to target him and him alone.
  • The virus is spreading along his central nervous system, killing nerve cells as it goes.
  • Terminal detects a cybernetic implant in Salim's neck that is acting as a bridge between two severed parts of his spinal cord.
  • The virus was injected into his spine approximately a week ago (5 days before his rescue) but until now lay undetected. The infection has now reached "critical mass" and the effects of his impaired nervous system are now becoming apparent.
  • Current symptoms are only the beginning and will get progressively worse leading to full paralysis of both voluntary and involuntary muscles requiring Salim to be placed on total-life support. He will not even be able to digest his food and will need to be fed intravenously directly into his blood. The safehouse does not have the necessary medical equipment to provide this level of intensive care. He has three days before his condition gets to a point where he will not survive without life-support.
  • According to the information in the records, he was supposed to receive regular injections of something called biosilica but since Project Apex was cancelled shortly after he was infected, he never received the injections.

Doctor Marshall explains that biosilica is a silicon-based microbial lifeform from Beta Centauri 2. It has the unusual distinction of being the only known organic superconductor. In its natural habitat it forms a symbiotic partnership with more complex life forms by bonding with their nervous system and feeding of the electrical energy. Because it is a natural superconductor, its vastly more efficient at distributing nerve signals, increasing the sensitivity of nerve endings and reducing response times. It also has the capability of "regenerating" damaged nerve cells.

He goes on to say that he spent six years researching biosilica to see if it could be used as a medical treatment for those with degenerative nerve disorders (he glances at Ghost whilst mentioning this) but gave up when he discovered that biosilica only bonded with dead human nerve cells. You'd literally have to kill the patient in order to apply the treatment. Unfortunately, knowing what he knows now, he's not surprised that the Apex scientists decided to use such a dangerous procedure on an otherwise healthy person.

Realising that Salim didn't have long, Echo team began to look for a solution. They only had two options; take Salim to a medical facility where he may end up spending the rest of his life on life support, or find a source of biosilica and administer the injections themselves. Doctor Marshall told them that according to the medical data, they couldn't just pop over to Beta Centauri 2 and scoop of a beakerful from the nearest slime pool. They needed the processed version, the kind used in wetware computing research.

Terminal got on the net and located a number of likely locations. The first was at Synergistics Interplantary's main research labs on New Bethesda. The second was the USNDF fleet yards at Ganymede. The third option was a research company on Serpens in the Wolf 1061 system. NXG Systems, a subsidiary of Magellan Arms, was working on a drone weapon system proposal for the USNDF following the lifting on the ban on autonomous combat vehicles that had been in place since 2228. Echo chose to go with NXG since it was located outside of the Sol system and was likely to have the weakest security of the three.

They loaded up the Remora, leaving Delta in charge of the safehouse. It was decided to bring Salim along since Snake could begin the injections as soon as they had retrevied the biosilica. Rhino set the course for the colony, sliding into the pilot's seat before Terminal could and within a couple of hours they were approaching the traffic around the systems sole terrestrial planet.

Thursday, July 12, 2418
Serpens, Wolf 1061, 13.8 light years from Earth


Entering orbit, they were challenged by traffic control on the planet below and Face was able to negotiate landing permission (using one of Terminal's many false accounts to pay the landing fee).

Serpens was a minor colony in the Union. Roughly 350'000 inhabitants planetwide, most of whom lived in the colonial capital and only about 10% of the population lived in smaller settlements scattered across the planet. A political and economic backwater, the colony had chugged along nicely, minding its own business, since its terraforming and colonisation 70 years ago.

Pretending to be civilians, they had to (at least appear) obey the local weapons laws which forbade the carrying of weapons larger than a handgun. This meant that Snake and Face couldn't bring their guns with them. They had grown quite attached to the weapons they had "acquired" during the Io Assault (Face now used a sniper rifle and Snake had taken possession of an assault rifle). Even if they had armed themselves with pistols, they could have attracted the wrong sort of attention since the local laws also forbade minors from carrying lethal weaponry of any kind.

Keeping a low profile meant they had to take public transportation to the industrial complex on the far side of the city. The NXG Systems building was isolated away from the rest of the complex and would be difficult to approach undetected. Online investigations had revealed that since it was primarily a research complex and not a manufacturing facility, there were would be little activity at night so it was decided that any attempt to breech its security should take place then.

Accessing its internal computer systems was hindered by the fact that most of its internal network was physically separated from any external connections, especially any network that might contain research data. Perhaps as a response to corporate espionage. Furthermore, it made little use of wireless networks; any hacking would need to be done from within the building.

To overcome this, they acquired a cheap 5 cred wifi dongle from a nearby electronics course and following a crash course on basic computer usage, Ghost activated his stealth field and entered the building. Ghost snuck in behind a worker returning from lunch, shadowing him through the building towards an admin area. Making sure he was unseen, he quickly plugged the dongle into the back of a computer terminal and installed the relevant drivers. Terminal now had backdoor access to NXG's computer network.

He used this access to get the lowdown on security and building layout. Terminal quickly located the basement biolab where the biosilica was likely to be stored but since he didn't have access to the research network, he couldn't confirm it. He also noted that the building also made use of semiautonomous security drones.

Bringing the information back to the group; they formulated an attack plan. The quickest way down to the basement lab was via the cargo elevator that ran the height of the building from the basement to the roof landing pad.

Under cover of darkness, Hawkeye flew the Remora to the factory and the team leapt onto the pad. Terminal buy this point had hacked the security grid to the point that not even a thermonuclear blast would trip the sensors so entering the building was a piece of cake.

After dealing with the a pair of guards (during which Rhino noted with some discomfort that Terminal had shown little restraint), they entered the biolab. What they found was quite shocking. As well as the storage tanks for the processed biosilica used in the drone research, they found ... something ... in fluid-filled pods along the walls of the room. Some sort of alien creature either in suspended animation or being preserved. Snake was insistent that they get the research data, but was only allowed to get it if he concentrated on drawing the biosilica samples they needed. While he did this, Terminal retrieved the data from a nearby computer and once everyone was done, they evacced to the roof where they were picked up by Hawkeye and they broke atmosphere.

Salim was injected with a large dose of biosilica but it would be a while before any effects would show themselves.

Rhino set course for the safehouse and they jumped to Slipspace.
Last edited by blaster219 on Fri Jul 15, 2011 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Heroes get shot, stabbed, burned, bludgeoned, poisoned, infected, disintegrated, irradiated, electrocuted, exposed to vacuum and fall from great heights. Being a hero is a tough job."
- Alternity GMG, Chapter 6 (Damage and Injury)


Return to “M&M Story Hour”



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests