Eclipse Phase - Apocalypse

Rooks and Pawns


Post-Meeting Reconstructive Analysis
Data Collation Complete
File Copy: Rook to King’s Bishop 3

Reconstructed timeline of events:

  • Nuclear event destroys the Tirion Gate shortly after a team flagged as Cognite researchers, including one neo-octopus test subject, arrives from Tirion. Cognite ID data readily determined to be false. Falsity too obvious not to have been actually provided by Cognite.
  • Celestin Vermette, along with entourage including famous socialite-philanthropist Aeryn Taft-Crowley, Tari, and a neo-octopus operating under a pseudonym spend three days in the spotlight of Martian tabloid journalism in the company of Leandra Maartens as part 2 of her attempt to position herself as the compassionate side of the Oaxaca-Maartens family
  • Tari contacts me, using Blackvein’s name, seeking in-person meeting, dropping hints of useful data.
  • Tari, accompanied by Aeryn, Marja deWinter-Satori Teagan-Saòirse Wednesday, Ricky Thompson, and the neo-Octopus Argo (nearly the entire Venusian Firewall Sentinel Cell) arrive at the meeting. Tari gifts me with Rael Duvalier’s cortical stack

It’s rare nowadays that I’m truly, completely surprised by anything. I’ve been expecting Tari to attempt to contact me for at least a month, and I generally try to be on top of whatever the local Firewall servers are up to. I was marginally surprised that Firewall would bother to launch a full-nuclear assault on Tirion, of all places, but the surprise was more for the scale of the attack. Subsequent analysis reveals old Rael was up to more than was generally advertised.

Being handed his cortical stack on a silver platter, however, was a deep and profoundly pleasant surprise. I made it quite clear to Tari that the value of her gift increased commensurate with its exclusivity. If I were in her place I would try to profit by selling it multiple times, and I could see the battle in her eyes to give up that potential in exchange for increasing her capital with me, but she ultimately agreed. Although I will obviously be deeply disappointed should I discover Rael’s ego floating around in someone else’s hands, I’m reasonably certain she values our newfound relationship highly enough that she’ll keep any copies she may have carefully to herself.

The ego contained in Duvalier’s stack is priceless, of course, even though it apparently managed to escape his demise via emergency farcaster. Someday I’ll have to discover how they recovered the stack notwithstanding the explosive nature of emergency farcasters. I suspect the fact that Aeryn had medically-cauterized stumps instead of hands had something to do with it. The tabloids certainly made a big deal over his injuries. I think the current theory is it’s a fashion or artistic statement. Whoever he’s renting that morph from would be upset if not for the increased visibility. They can claim it’s an art-statement and increase their business revenue.

I can only imagine what a talented psychosurgeon such as Aeryn might have already done to Rael’s ego. I similarly imagine that Tari exacted revenge many-fold for her abuses at Rael’s hands. She as much as confirmed that she has recently been one of his victims. I suspect “Blackvein” made use of her for that purpose precisely because she was created with a Cognite-implanted control system. I’ll have to be wary lest she export some deep-seated resentment from Blackvein to me.

Still, she appears to value the increased status that association with me brings. I imagine she sees herself as a potential mate. We’ll see. Her meteoric rise in influence and apparent capability are certainly attractive enough. I’ll need to exercise due caution lest she end up selling MY cortical stack to someone even richer and more powerful than I am.

I imagine it was Tari’s choice to give me Duvalier’s stack, and so the greatest benefit of my gratitude went to her. Still, she could not have accomplished it without the support of her fellow Firewall sentinels, and so I rewarded them with suitable data.

Aeryn wanted information on Regina and her crew, which I gladly provided. The mere question revealed the reason behind Firewall’s extreme response to Tirion. It would appear old Rael has been tinkering with the exsurgent virus. Again, moderate surprise, but not too much.

I told Aeryn and Saòirse that their Venus forks will shortly be receiving an important visit. They’ll know soon enough that it’s the heads of Nine Lives-in-exile, Ellegua and Bertand Theo, coming in response to an exsurgent outbreak on Legba that coincides with the Vittrad outbreak here on Mars.

I informed Ricky that his contact within Oversight, Simone Takahara, was engaged in a very dangerous attempt to infiltrate Ozma. I suspect he may try to aid her in that.

I arranged to provide some additional security for Argo’s daughter on Atlantica.

Projections indicate that Firewall will consider the Legba outbreak to be the highest priority, while relegating Regina’s acquisition to a secondary role. I will leverage my own network to have assets in the vicinity.



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