Rondo: Solo.   Posted by Rondo.Group: archive C
Rondo
 Rondo Telek, 66 posts
Thu 15 Jan 2015
at 19:33
Re: Rondo: Solo
quote:
And the plot thickens...  as you are setting things up to do your remote hijacking of the Auriga, you find that someone else has been sending a signal to it...  through the ship's main detector beam.  You had used the detector beam to confirm signal delay and find an encrypted message embedded into and being sent with each pulse.  Only the crew on board your ship could be doing this; not your new arrivals.  Unless they can hack into the ship's system through a light switch or environmental panel - the only electronic controls in their quarters - which you somehow doubt.


Rondo's back straightens a bit in surprise as he notices another clandestine communication channel between the dropship and the Auriga.  He immediately turns his full attention to this anomaly.  I wonder who is doing this, and why?

Rondo sets up a trap to capture the message being sent, but does nothing to interrupt it lest that have unforeseen consequences.  Once he has the message or messages, he examines it in detail.  He's also going to pull up a roster listing everyone on the dropship so that he can see try to see who might be sending this message.

[PlayerGM] I'm going to make several rolls for various purposes as I try to decipher this situation.  The basic plan is to analyze the message itself, as well as the tradecraft used to send it and cross-reference that with apparent skills of the people on the dropship to try to deduce who is sending the message.  Actually decrypting and reading the message is a secondary, though significant, effort.

14:25, Today: SysOp: Human Comm Systems 19-; Rondo rolled 14 using 3d6 with rolls of 5,3,6. To capture the message
14:27, Today: SysOp: Human Comm Systems 19-; Rondo rolled 8 using 3d6 with rolls of 5,1,2. To analyze the skill required to send the message this way.  This might be better as a Computer Systems roll, but I have 20- in that so...
14:29, Today: Deduction 14-; Rondo rolled 13 using 3d6 with rolls of 5,3,5. To try to deduce who sent the message based on the previous information.
14:30, Today: Cryptography 20-; Rondo rolled 9 using 3d6 with rolls of 5,3,1. I will use the +6 to offset Time Penalties with Hacker Skills ability to speed up the decryption process by 3 levels.

Kraven Kor
 GM, 403 posts
Thu 15 Jan 2015
at 20:00
Re: Rondo: Solo
You know decryption will be a matter of time; you can decrypt but with the processing power you have available, it will take a few days.

However, you immediately notice a pattern - each new communication is smaller than the last, by a definitive amount.  You think it is a countdown of some sort?  It is just a few megabytes of data each transmission - hardly enough for any detailed communications.  You would guess the countdown will end close to the time when this dropship will encounter the Auriga directly.

Anyone trained on both the navigation and communication systems should be able to do what is being done; the comm system is providing the encryption, the signal is then directed through the detector beam emitter.

Three people on this ship have that level of training and certifications; the Pilot, the Major, and Jed Frame.  Jed is unlikely to have access to the necessary systems, however, without arousing a lot of suspicion.  The Pilot could do all of this without leaving the con.  The Major could likely do this from anywhere on the ship, even from his PAD, due to his higher level of system access.
Rondo
 Rondo Telek, 67 posts
Thu 15 Jan 2015
at 21:00
Re: Rondo: Solo
In reply to Kraven Kor (msg # 16):

Now that Rondo has narrowed down the methods and the suspects, he digs into the system audit logs for those individuals to see if they have been doing anything else unusual.

15:58, Today: SysOp: Computer Systems 20-; Rondo rolled 9 using 3d6 with rolls of 3,4,2.
Kraven Kor
 GM, 404 posts
Thu 15 Jan 2015
at 21:13
Re: Rondo: Solo
Whoever it is is at least trying to hide their tracks; but the audit logs show the encryption is being done under Major Duschesne's ID.  It is possible his ID is being spoofed, but that is very difficult to do with the OAU's biometric security systems.
Rondo
 Rondo Telek, 68 posts
Thu 15 Jan 2015
at 22:40
Re: Rondo: Solo
In reply to Kraven Kor (msg # 18):

Rondo scratches his head.  I wonder what Duschesne's motive for this is?  Whatever it is, the safe assumption is that he's in league with Stanislaw.  I wish I had done my research on him!  I'll go talk to Jed and see what he can tell me about the Major.

Rondo picks up Skeezy and leaves through the same door that Jed and the others left through earlier.  "Skeezy, if you are connected to the network, see what you can dig up on Major Duschesne.  I want to see if we can figure out his angle, and I mean quick!"
Kraven Kor
 GM, 405 posts
Thu 15 Jan 2015
at 23:49
Re: Rondo: Solo
About the only thing that sticks out, in a quick glance at the records Skeezy feeds to your PAD, is that Duschesne spent almost 2 years as a political prisoner of the TSR.  He has of course been cleared by OAU OpSec so far as any potential TSR psychological reprogramming.  Maybe they missed something?  His record does not color him as any fan of the TSR, or even Rai; he has never been farther counterspinward ("towards Terra," Rai being rimward of Terra and your current location spinward) than the visit to Novvy Kamchatka that got him captured.  That was during a time when the OAU was assisting NovKam against the TSR; 15 years back.  The chaos of Obsidia B is actually what eventually broke that alliance down, due to NovKam's part in the civil war that occurred here (NovKam backed one group of rebels against the TSR-friendly faction; OAU another, "words were exchanged," etc.)
Rondo
 Rondo Telek, 69 posts
Fri 16 Jan 2015
at 01:52
Re: Rondo: Solo
In reply to Kraven Kor (msg # 20):

Not much here.  I'll see if Jed knows anything.  At least I have a little background now.  Rondo continues searching for Jed.
GM
 GM, 835 posts
Wed 11 Mar 2015
at 19:34
Report for Assessment!
You and Jenna get to the sheer black surface of the ship, and after a moment, a seamless hatch pops out of the hull material and opens.  Within is a brightly-lit, circular airlock of sorts, made out of a different material than the hull - a kind of dull grey, soft-ish metal - with no windows that you can see.

Jenna, apprehensive, waits on your bots to enter first.  As soon as they cross the threshold, however, they immediately shut down.  Jenna looks...  elsewhere for a moment, and states "I don't think it likes bots...  or, well, networked computers of any kind.  Says that 'interconnected computers are not allowed aboard this vessel.'"

Once you and Jenna step in, you mostly to check your bots, your PADs go offline as well.  Jenna laments, "Yeah... not just the bots..."

With little other options, you step inside the airlock.  Nothing happens for a moment.  Then Jenna asks...  something...  but she is somehow far away.  You try to respond, and then...  you are somewhere else.

We are basically going to quickly play through a few "BIG" moments in your life.  Major tragedies or trauma, loss; things that really "formed who Rondo is."

So give me a few such events you want to play through.  I'm thinking the bit about you faking your death should be one of them.

For the purpose of this event, everything that happens is 100% real and you have no idea that you are in the current time, etc.  IE. you can't communicate with the "assessor" or anything, and are simply reliving things that already happened.

Rondo
 Rondo Telek, 171 posts
Thu 12 Mar 2015
at 12:32
Re: Report for Assessment!
In reply to GM (msg # 22):

I've lost access to the background I wrote for the character, so if you don't have it I will have to try to re-create the event from memory as best I can.  That's not necessarily a problem, but I like to maintain continuity.  I wrote it originally in the Campaign Messages area on HERO Central, but I no longer have access to it there.  If you have it stored somewhere, I would appreciate it if you would send it to me.  I am going to work on the post about faking my death without it, for now.
GM
 GM, 842 posts
Thu 12 Mar 2015
at 14:23
Re: Report for Assessment!
You posted it here:

Link back to this game

It is in your character description; click character details, then view character description.

I do have access to the original threads on HC as well.

http://herocentral.net/readCam...p;campaignId=1225800

Rondo
 Rondo Telek, 172 posts
Thu 12 Mar 2015
at 14:52
Re: Report for Assessment!
In reply to GM (msg # 24):

Thanks, don't know how I missed that.  I should have something posted today.
Rondo
 Rondo Telek, 173 posts
Thu 12 Mar 2015
at 17:53
Re: Report for Assessment!
In reply to GM (msg # 22):

Time was running out for Lon Cantou.

He'd been planning his exit meticulously for the last two years, waiting for the right opportunity.  He'd been planting backdoors in the routers of the Galactic Computernet for years, perusing the traffic that came through looking for signs of wrongdoing by the TSR and their corporate cronies.  He'd followed the trails of breadcrumbs to dozens of 'high security' data-stores.  He carefully constructed various means of cracking them open to expose their contents to the 'Verse.  It was all controlled by one script that he had coded to fire should he not enter a password every 24 hours.  The "Tell-All" script.

Lon knew that such a massive hack would not be without consequences.  He knew that he needed to make certain that it could never be traced back to him or else all the work on the backdoors would be invalidated. The TSR would swap out the entire operating system of the 'Net to remove his code if they realized that the primary author of that OS was behind the hack.  His plan was to swap his identity with that of a dead man, then activate his scripts once it was known that Lon Cantou was dead.

Lon had been working almost as a hermit in the city of Neo Angeles on New Terra for the last year.  He was establishing his bona fides as a resident of the city while hardly ever exposing his face.  He'd hacked into the local police and hospital computer systems and implemented code that would notify him when a good candidate for his scheme came into play.  The parameters that it was searching for was a male burn victim with unrecognizable features and no known family, and a transient to New Terra.  His software was set to run it's own matching search so as to identify the victim before the authorities could in order to swap his own identifying biometrics before they could make the ID.

Lon was performing his daily checks of his various conspiracy boards when the alert popped up on his screen.  "95% match of set parameters found."

He quickly clicked on the link to peruse the details.  The body of one Rondo Telek had just been identified by his search in the Neo Angeles morgue after a fire had burned him over 90% of his body.  He'd apparently been shacking up in a derelict building that was torched in an arson 2 weeks ago.  His lack of registration in the local government databases made his identification difficult.

"I guess my name is Rondo Telek now," Lon whispered to himself as he entered the name into another program of his creation.  It caused the 3-D printer beside him to produce all the IDs he required to make him Rondo Telek, including in-putting historical data into certain TSR government databases.  Then he initiated a similar program to swap his biometric data with Rondo Telek's so that the body in the morgue would now be identified as Lon Cantou.  The last thing he did was enter the password forestalling the execution of his "Tell-All" script for the last time.  The information would disseminate in 24 hours, and he would be best served to be of-world by then.

He stood up from his desk, put on his coat and hat, and walked out the front door as Rondo Telek.  Lon Cantou was as dead to him now as he was to the rest of the 'Verse.

This message was last edited by the player at 17:59, Thu 12 Mar 2015.

GM
 GM, 845 posts
Thu 12 Mar 2015
at 19:48
Re: Report for Assessment!
This just "more info" or you "setting the scene?"  Again, I'd like to pick the three events, and then noodle on how to stage them such that there are some rolls and challenges and such.
Rondo
 Rondo Telek, 174 posts
Thu 12 Mar 2015
at 20:50
Re: Report for Assessment!
In reply to GM (msg # 27):

Setting the scene, I suppose.  I'm not sure what good making skill rolls would be considering it's in the past, unless it's actually being re-lived over again and the outcome could change.  I could see setting up challenges and I would have to come up with role-play solutions to those challenges.

Another challenge would be when saved Hiram Telsoni and was given Skeezy.
The other would be when he found out about Jeeves and rescued him.  Those stories are back in HERO Central somewhere, I think.

Rondo
 Rondo Telek, 175 posts
Fri 13 Mar 2015
at 00:03
Re: Report for Assessment!
In reply to Rondo (msg # 28):

The story of Skeezy:

Rondo acquired this idiosyncratic piece of technology as part of a hacking job he did for the genius roboticist Hiram Telosi.  Hiram was working for Amalgamated Robotics when he developed a miniature graviton manipulator small enough to fit in a shoebox.  This development was going to revolutionize the robotics business.  However, Hiram learned that Amalgamated Robotics was going to use his design for purposes that he found incompatible with his ethics.  When he objected he was fired, and Amalgamated's cronies in the TSR government moved to have him arrested on trumped up charges to keep him from competing with them.  Rondo found out about Hiram's predicament and used his hacking skills to help him escape custody.  Furthermore, he managed to get into Amalgamated's systems and purge Hiram's design from their computers, while having the prototype shipped to him because of a "routing mistake" of his creation.  Hiram is now working independently in some periphery colony far from TSR space.

Once Rondo got the device, he decided to use it as the motive power to create the most impressive Personal Data Assistant in the Universe.   This turned into the SK-33Z or "Skeezy" as Rondo likes to call him.  Skeezy is linked to the Defenestrator network that is run from a chip implanted in Rondo's head.  Using that high speed encrypted connection, Rondo can use Skeezy's extensive sensor array and information retrieval capability at a range of up to 1km.  Skeezy also has all the standard capabilities of a typical PAD Computer.  No PAD has Skeezy's personality though.  Skeezy refers to Rondo as "Sir", when conversing audibly, largely to hide the fact of his sentience from others.  Over the private network, however, he pulls no verbal punches with his "master".

The story of Jeeves:

Jeeves originally came into being as a prototype infiltrator/assassin droid for the TSR.  Rondo learned of his existence while J33-VZ was undergoing initial testing immediately after coming online.  Rondo was able to gain access to the file servers of the robotics lab and modify a patch that they were applying to Jeeves' operating system.  When they applied the patch, Jeeves was freed of a lot of the restrictions that they had placed upon him.  He began to rebel against his treatment in the lab, though he did so non-violently.  The changes that Rondo made were so subtle that the techs at the lab could not figure out the problem.  Backing out the patch did not fix the problem.  Of course, that was because Rondo was "fixing" the patch before they could apply it.  After a few months of trying to fix the problem, the top brass decided to scrap the program, and Jeeves along with it.  Rondo intercepted the destruction order and changed it into a transfer order to assign him to trash disposal duty.  A few more mods to records by Rondo and the TSR lost total track of Jeeves.

After a great deal of effort to cleanse and forge records, Rondo was able to get Jeeves registered as a free robot.  He arranged his transport to where his friend Hiram Telosi could do some work on Jeeves to modify his appearance and provide a new positronic brain that was programmed entirely by Rondo.  The new brain contained no commands, and provided Jeeves with free will.  Rondo also transferred the memory from Jeeves' old brain so that he would know how he came into being and what the TSR intended for him.  At that point, he decided that he wanted to become Rondo's protector as he continued his quest to achieve a greater degree of freedom for all.  In order to disguies the fact that he's actually a bodyguard, he dresses and acts as Rondo's robotic butler.
GM
 GM, 848 posts
Fri 13 Mar 2015
at 00:26
Challenge #1
Rondo:
In reply to GM (msg # 22):

Time was running out for Lon Cantou.

He'd been planning his exit meticulously for the last two years, waiting for the right opportunity.  He'd been planting backdoors in the routers of the Galactic Computernet for years, perusing the traffic that came through looking for signs of wrongdoing by the TSR and their corporate cronies.  He'd followed the trails of breadcrumbs to dozens of 'high security' data-stores.  He carefully constructed various means of cracking them open to expose their contents to the 'Verse.  It was all controlled by one script that he had coded to fire should he not enter a password every 24 hours.  The "Tell-All" script.

Lon knew that such a massive hack would not be without consequences.  He knew that he needed to make certain that it could never be traced back to him or else all the work on the backdoors would be invalidated. The TSR would swap out the entire operating system of the 'Net to remove his code if they realized that the primary author of that OS was behind the hack.  His plan was to swap his identity with that of a dead man, then activate his scripts once it was known that Lon Cantou was dead.

Lon had been working almost as a hermit in the city of Neo Angeles on New Terra for the last year.  He was establishing his bona fides as a resident of the city while hardly ever exposing his face.  He'd hacked into the local police and hospital computer systems and implemented code that would notify him when a good candidate for his scheme came into play.  The parameters that it was searching for was a male burn victim with unrecognizable features and no known family, and a transient to New Terra.  His software was set to run it's own matching search so as to identify the victim before the authorities could in order to swap his own identifying biometrics before they could make the ID.

Lon was performing his daily checks of his various conspiracy boards when the alert popped up on his screen.  "95% match of set parameters found."

He quickly clicked on the link to peruse the details.  The body of one Rondo Telek had just been identified by his search in the Neo Angeles morgue after a fire had burned him over 90% of his body.  He'd apparently been shacking up in a derelict building that was torched in an arson 2 weeks ago.  His lack of registration in the local government databases made his identification difficult.

"I guess my name is Rondo Telek now," Lon whispered to himself as he entered the name into another program of his creation.  It caused the 3-D printer beside him to produce all the IDs he required to make him Rondo Telek, including in-putting historical data into certain TSR government databases.  Then he initiated a similar program to swap his biometric data with Rondo Telek's so that the body in the morgue would now be identified as Lon Cantou.  The last thing he did was enter the password forestalling the execution of his "Tell-All" script for the last time.  The information would disseminate in 24 hours, and he would be best served to be of-world by then.

He stood up from his desk, put on his coat and hat, and walked out the front door as Rondo Telek.  Lon Cantou was as dead to him now as he was to the rest of the 'Verse.


When you leave the room, and get to the street, you bump into someone coming around the corner; both you and the other fall.

This did *not* happen; but to your mind right now, it did.

You stand up, and offer to help the other who seems to be struggling.  To your horror, it is the burned body of Rondo Telek.  "Why?" it moans through a lipless mouth.  "All you are.  All you were.  Thrown away.  Why?"

Make an EGO roll before any response; let me describe the result of that.
Rondo
 Rondo Telek, 176 posts
Fri 13 Mar 2015
at 13:48
Re: Challenge #1
In reply to GM (msg # 30):

09:47, Today: EGO, 13-; Rondo rolled 11 using 3d6 with rolls of 5,5,1.
GM
 GM, 853 posts
Tue 17 Mar 2015
at 16:16
Re: Challenge #1
Somehow, this scene seems wrong to you...  "this didn't happen!" or "you're dead!" or something.  Again, 100% real, you still don't know that this is an illusion or that this is just the assessor or anything of the like, but something about this does not seem right and your response can / should reflect this.
Rondo
 Rondo Telek, 177 posts
Tue 17 Mar 2015
at 20:17
Re: Challenge #1
In reply to GM (msg # 32):

Lon gaped aghast at the burned up corpse, then composed himself.  Have I stepped into a Phillip K. Dick novel?  No, but it's pretty close.  If I hadn't been able to access those old archives of banned books, something like this could make me lose my mind.  This must be a test of some sort, so I might as well answer the question.

Lon straightened his back and appraised the scorched, zombified remains of Rondo Telek impassively.  "I'm Rondo Telek now, for as long as I need to be.  Lon Cantou was not my true identity, any more than the clothes that I'm wearing are.  Just like my clothes, names like Lou Cantou and Rondo Telek are things I put on and take off as I need them. My true identity is Defenestrator.  Defenestrator is who I was, who I am, and who I shall always be."
GM
 GM, 858 posts
Thu 26 Mar 2015
at 02:31
Re: Challenge #1
The jarring image fades, and your life plays out before your eyes, every moment as though it were happening all over again.  Joy, grief, pain, all of it fresh, real.

Want to set up the next scene?  Not sure there is much "meat" for me to work with on the Skeezy and Jeeves stories; mostly looking for traumatic, life-altering stuff where possible, things that test your moral fiber.  No worries if you can't think of any such thing; your character doesn't have a 'violent past' for the most part.

I have an idea for the next bit, if you don't, but want to be sure.

Rondo
 Rondo Telek, 178 posts
Fri 27 Mar 2015
at 21:18
Re: Challenge #1
In reply to GM (msg # 34):

Rondo Telek was sleeping in his bunk after a long day of work when he was awakened by an alert from his PAD.  He was working his first cover job since faking his death, a computer tech aboard a luxury starliner.  It was a pretty good gig, but he had to work hard to establish himself.  Blinking groggily, he reached out and grabbed his wrist-PAD to see what was so important.

A news headline was flashing on the screen. "Renowned roboticist Hiram Telosi, arrested by TSR Internal Security!"  Holy Shit!, he thought.  Telosi must have made his misgivings known to the wrong people at Amalgamated Robotics.  Rondo followed the activities of certain scientists and inventors very closely when he discovered that they were working on projects that had great disruptive potential.  Telosi was one such inventor.

Rondo had hacked into the network of Amalgamated Robotics several months before his departure from New Terra.  He'd included some nasty nuggets of info on malfeasance by the company regarding several of their robots that had run amok over the years and they had covered up with the help of the government.  He'd also discovered that Hiram Telosi was working on a miniaturized graviton manipulator that would be small enough to bring the power of reactionless flight to much smaller devices than had ever been practicable before.  If he made that breakthrough, it would be a massive technological advance.

Rondo had found notes that Telosi was keeping where he noted some dismay at the information that Rondo had released about Amalgamated Robotics.  He had doubts about providing such technology to a company that might not be trusted with it. Rondo resolved right then to find out why Telosi was arrested and if he could be of any help to him.

There will be more to this, but my time is limited right now.  Feel free to work with this as it is, or work on the others' stories as I continue to flesh this out with more background.  I am cool either way. :)
GM
 GM, 870 posts
Wed 1 Apr 2015
at 17:56
Re: Challenge #1
Will hold for now; don't need *much* more but if you could "set up" at least your investigation or whatever, that might help.  Can work with it either way.  Thanks!
Rondo
 Rondo Telek, 179 posts
Wed 1 Apr 2015
at 20:19
Re: Challenge #2
In reply to GM (msg # 36):

Rondo cracked his knuckles and got to work.  He checked the backdoor that he'd crafted into Amalgamated Robotics's network and carefully checked it to make sure that it hadn't been honey-trapped.  Finding no traps, he moved further into their network infrastructure, looking for information on Hiram Telosi and his work.  He hacked into Telosi's corporate messaging store and perused it to get an idea of what was going on just prior to his arrest.

The last message that Telosi sent was to his direct manager, Melania de Soto:
____________________________________________________________________________________

Melania,

I've finally completed a working prototype for the Graviton Manipulator!  It essentially powers itself by drawing in static electricity from the environment, and can manipulate the forces of gravity around itself to the degree where it can move an object that is up to 100 times its own mass!  I'm not sure how well this will scale up, but the uses we can put this to are mind-boggling.

I've told you before about my concerns about the purposes the company might put my research to.  I'm so glad that I've been able to confide in you about this.  You have done a great job of keeping upper management off my back about this project, and I doubt that I could have made this breakthrough without your help.  You've been like the daughter I never had.

Now that I've made this breakthrough, I almost wish I could just destroy the prototype, and my data, and go into retirement.  Amalgamated is completely controlled by cronies of the TSR government.  This invention will be used to increase their power, rather than for creating consumer products that will increase the standard of living of everyone.  I've known the truth of this for some time, but I needed the resources that Amalgamated provided to complete my research.  I traded my integrity for the opportunity to make this discovery, and now I fear what my hubris will unleash.

Hiram Telosi 

____________________________________________________________________________________

Wow, Rondo thought.  That is some crazy shit.  Telosi is absolutely right about how Amalgamated Robotics and the TSR government will use this technology.  They will use it for weapons and for luxuries only the elite members of the government will have access to.  Maybe he deserves his fate.  But can I blame him for not being able to escape the TSR before creating this masterpiece of technology?  Can I say that I have not provided succor to the TSR with my work in the past?  No, I can't.  I will try to help him, and deprive the TSR of the Graviton Manipulator.  The question is: how?

First, Rondo would need to find and destroy all vestiges of Telosi's research.  He started mapping out the Amalgamated Robotics network to figure out exactly how they stored and protected sensitive data like this.  He had software that automated most of that process, so he set it loose as he considered other aspects of the plan that was coming together in his mind.
GM
 GM, 874 posts
Wed 8 Apr 2015
at 14:39
Re: Challenge #2
Really nothing for the "Assessor" to do here.

If this is "the worst your character has seen or done" then basically you pass this without much trouble beyond a bit of shock and disgust from the first scene.

Want to do the third scene or just skip to the end?

Rondo
 Rondo Telek, 180 posts
Wed 8 Apr 2015
at 18:34
Re: Challenge #2
In reply to GM (msg # 38):

I'm okay with skipping to the end.