NASA launched the Echo I passive communications satellite on Aug. 12, 1960.
The radio signal-reflecting satellite was constructed by
General Mills of Minneapolis, Minnesota, when they weren’t making cereal.
I dearly hope the spring has been a pleasant time for you all. There are so many ways to enjoy it from days in the park with the family, getting a start on that garden, and a somewhat sneezy, somewhat breezy commute to work while listening to a new podcast.
Take a long trip by car or sea, remember your keys, and sit back in the theater for sci-fi shenigans because I have a new list of shows in store to keep us blooming through the rest of spring until the summer starts.
Looking for something fresh to please that sudden thirst for audio storytelling? Look no further as PodCake has six more podcasts you’ll certainly love.
An alternate reality game about a dispossessed spy sending distress calls to her former team. Help Holly survive homelessness and assassins by sending money or advice
Incoming transmission from OAKPODCAST, a new interactive medium created by the mad geniuses at Crossroad Stations. OAK is an excellent choice for listeners with a taste for personable and emotional tension all beautifully performed by lead Regan Adler.
If you’re enthralled by the drama of Rover Red, this show’s fondness for audience participation will be an instant fave for you. So study your morse code and listen closely.
2. Lake Clarity
Five teens head up to Camp Clarity to celebrate their last summer together, but little do they know they’re about to stumble on dark secrets that surround the lake.
Get around the campfire and listen to Camp Clarity’s horror tale. On these grounds, there’s more to fear than mosquito bites as our leads Seth, Ally, Mike, Erin, and Brandon get wrapped up in the mystery of why their beloved camp shut down.
For those looking for a good old fashion summer story, Lake Clarity’s fondness for caves, concrete structures and chaotic forces of evil might be up your alley. So pack up and stay up late to follow them on their trail.
3. Big Data
What if someone stole the internet? This comedy caper takes 100% real concepts, like the seven keys to the internet, cyber police, relay calls, photocopier black boxes, 419 scams, and more, and turn it into an anthology of nerdy crime stories tied together by a global plan to end the internet. it’s a series of heists ranging from hijacking top secret military satellites, to stealing a dude’s pants.
Comic artist Ryan Estrada gives us Big Data, a crime-comedy spectacular dabbling into the absurdity of the internet. Based in part by real events and the inspiration of Estrada’s own imagination comes a fun and funny story for those looking for a good time and good case to keep you tuned in.
Be on the look out for multiple actors in the podcast scene known worldwide such as
Paul F. Tompkins, Felicia Day, Cecil Baldwin, and Lauren Shippen. Make a big deal about Big Data and get logged in today.
4. The Theatre of Tomorrow
A sentient ship stolen in the night! A private eye chases corruption on the moon! Hear an interview with a man from the afterlife! Anything you can imagine is on stage at The Theatre of Tomorrow!
The theatre is open and has plenty of stories to share for audio drama fans. In this collection of short stories covering sci-fi to mystery with just the right amount of laughs, the audience will be spoiled by excellent audio editing, acting, and a variety of formats and tales to unwind.
As far as recommendations go, Hadron Gospel Hour fans who love inspired and varied takes on multiple genres and homages to some of the best in the business will be quickly enamored. So take a seat and enjoy the show.
5. Neon Nights: The Arcane Files of Jack Tracer
Jack Tracer is a hard-boiled private eye out to solve the strange cases of Neon City, but under these bright lights, darkness looms.
Mystery with a supernatural twist! Be it the Man in Black or the House of Joy, this private eye has the wits and tools to crack any case and crack your boredom with story after story of suspense and drama.
Fans of The Penumbra who can’t get enough of Juno Steel’s adventures will easily fall in love with our caped caper catcher Jack Tracer. And if you’re just a fan of the noire aesthetic, Neon Nights has plenty of style to spare.
150 years ago, the S.S. Cumberland disappeared in the Pacific Northwest. A lifeboat from the ship with four skeletons inside just mysteriously showed up in Marrow Passage. Reporter Daisy Bonham attempts to solve the mystery and find out what other secrets are lurking just below the surface.
It’s time to set sails with Passage, this cryptic tale into the deep secrets of the S.S. Cumberland and the reporter dedicated to cracking the case. With just the right amount of creepy with a touch of comedy, Throw’m In The Puget Productions has an interesting tale to spin.
If you like The Bridge and suddenly can’t get enough shows about seaside themed mysteries, but a touch more British, then Passage will eagerly let you aboard.
If one of the sixty-three member races of the council wanted to legally wage war, their soldiers were obligated to wear a uniform designed by the council itself. While the overall form differed among species, one of the common elements was a camera tucked into the right side of the helmet. It recorded everything the soldier did for the entire conflict, and had served to decrease the occurrences of war crimes and had made documentation and archival of conflicts easy and painless, since it was all run through a unified system.
Unfortunately, the system had a single drawback; it was all run through old communication satellites, as launching an entirely new galaxy-wide system of military-grade satellites was deemed unnecessary and cost prohibitive, since local governments would have to pay for their construction and operation. These old satellites that the warcasts were beamed through were notoriously weak in terms of safeguards. Before long, hackers found their way into the system and were uploading the funniest, coolest, or goriest warcasts to the G-net. And it was this way that the Interstellar Marines of the United Colonial Federation got their awful reputation.
No one thought humans were outright stupid. Sure, there were stasticial outliers like in every other race, but as a whole, humans integrated pretty well into the galaxy. And their military was far from the worst in the galaxy, but due to a few tremendous screw-ups that made their way to the net, they were now the laughing stock of the galaxy; the Federated Fuck-Ups, as they were known.
A couple of the most well-known? Chief among them was a docking incident at a Council staging base, where a UCF Marine misjudged the distance between two ships and caused a domino effect as the next six ships in line slammed into one another. The vessels were out of action for two weeks for repairs. The other most publicized screw-up came from the frontlines of the Vok Incursion, where a crate of gynoids meant for civilian pleasure-seekers was mislabeled as combat androids. When the VTOL dropped that crate and out popped a bunch of naked metal men and women, it made for some rather amusing confusion.
Which is why when the Govyyk Invasion occurred, no one was really expecting a whole lot from the humans. Of course, other militaries knew they could count on humanity–fuck-ups happen all the time, it was simply unfortunate that hackers had chosen to single out the UCF–but the civilian population was always waiting for the next warcasted disaster, maybe set to Benny Hill music.
So it was with considerable surprise when the Govyyk Invasion reached its climax, and a warcast popped up depicting a lone UCF Marine squaring off against the four meter tall Govy leader. The Marine’s helmet had been knocked off; viewers could see his comrades lying on the deck, with he and the Govy squaring off in the background.
“I know your kind,” the Govy said, looking at the patch on the Marine’s arm. “The condenser is charging. In three minutes, the center of Council power will be a new black hole. Not even you can fuck this up for me.”
The Marine sneered and unsheathed the blade resting on his chest. “I’m a UCF Interstellar Marine,” he said. “It’s my goddamn job to fuck it up.”
And after two minutes and thirty-two seconds, with the knife plunged into the Govy’s throat and the body thrown into the condenser’s power turbine, the Marine upheld the reputation of the Federated Fuck-Ups, much to the relief of the galaxy.
Pairing: E-2 Harrison Wells/Reader; Harrison Wells & Reader
Credit: Personal imagine
A/N: When I wrote this, I wasn’t sure how the relationship would play out but reading it over again, it could read as a slow burn scenario. The inspiration for this came from a scene in Leverage.
looked up and frowned as he heard the tell-tale sounds of unwanted crutches
clicking towards the Cortex. Sure enough, you were hobbling into the Cortex
from the infirmary, having obviously made your escape from Caitlin’s watchful
eyes. “I thought Snow had you on lock-down?” he asked as you let yourself fall
into Cisco’s chair with a small whimper.
went home hours ago and I needed to get out of there. Besides, it’s just a
sprained knee,” you said idly, propping your bum leg on a stool and grabbing
the nearest keyboard. Harrison looked down at the leg that been locked in a
brace for over a week since the last metahuman attack left you injured.
tore the ACL in that knee,” he reminded, remembering the panic he felt seeing
you clutching your leg and fighting back tears.
a sprain,” you retorted, narrowing your eyes at the computer screen. Harrison
tossed his screwdriver aside and walked over to the computer station to yank
the wireless keyboard from you. “Hey!”
you even take your pain pills?” he glared, holding the keyboard out of reach.
You made to reach forward and grab it from him when your bum leg shifted. White
hot daggers of pain stabbed on either side of your knee and you fell back into
the seat with a softly hissed curse and a grimace. “I take that as a no as
well. Do you ever listen to anyone about anything?”
glaring at the keyboard he was keeping away from you, you instead grabbed the
water bottle sitting next to you (pretty sure it was Harrison’s) and took a
drink from it. “Can’t take anything that will slow me down,” you countered. “Gotta
be sharp, on the quick, can’t get attached to anything I can’t walk away from
in 30 seconds when I feel the heat coming around the corner.”
awkward silence followed as Harrison stared at you with an amused look.
“Did…did you just quote Heat?” You
pointedly ignored the slight blush coloring your cheeks.
hacked into your Netflix queue and watched it three times.” You thought a
moment. “No…four.” You looked back up to see him staring at you with a raised
eyebrow. “Told you I was going stir-crazy.”
think?” Setting the keyboard on the table, he rubbed his tired eyes from under
his glasses and sighed. “You need to rest and let your leg heal, Y/N. You’re
not Barry, you don’t have regenerative healing abilities. We can get by without
you for the time being.”
eyes fell to your lap and the stabilizing brace on your leg. “That’s what I’m
afraid of,” you whispered, remembering the events that led up to your knee
wait a minute, that’s not what I meant, Y/N,” Harrison stated. “Do you really
think you’re not an important part of this team? Since you’ve been here, I’ve
seen you reprogram the security systems of this lab, code a metahuman tracking
program, and hack into government firewalls for vital information we need.
Hell, I sat beside you on Earth-2 and watched you hack military satellites so we
could nail down where Zoom’s lair was. Without you, we wouldn’t have been able
to find my daughter or Zoom. I don’t know what this team would do without you.”
Cupping your face in his hands, he continued, “I don’t know what I would do without you.”
brighter as you reached up and held his wrist. “I’m still going stir-crazy,”
you added. Harrison smiled and nodded.
talk to Caitlin and see if she can’t lift the restrictions a bit. Meanwhile, since
you’ve pilfered through my queue, think you can do the same to someone else’s
queue?” You grinned at the mischievous smile on Harrison’s lips.
I could hack into the Queen of England’s Netflix queue,” you boasted, grabbing
your crutches. Harrison shook his head, though the smile stayed as he helped you
up without pain.
Gather ‘round chummers, as I tell you the tale of a lone technomancer with a grand vision. A technomancer who dreamed of the day when the sixth world is at long last released from the oppressive grip of the global megacorporations, leaving the cyberpunks to take back the streets. This is the story of how he set a plan in motion to make that dream a reality - a grand scheme involving espionage, deceit, a stolen orbital kill satellite, and a passionate desire to see the world burn.
A bit of background is needed first, to explain how our team found itself in the position to try bringing the megacorporations to their knees. Our intrepid team of shadowrunners consisted of the following:
I played Bloodworx, a Turkish Ork Street Samurai. High on painkillers and low on empathy for his fellow man, Bloodworx was a directionless, nihilistic ex-corporate bodyguard who found himself running because he couldn’t figure out what else to do with his life once budget cuts caused his employers at EVO to give him the boot. Bloodworx tried his best to come off as an emotionally distant killing machine operator, but a few minutes to talking with him would make it evident that he was just incredibly frustrated at his inability to make a difference in the world around him.
Our Face was a man who went by the title “Boston Lau,” a smug, slightly cybered, streetwise Chinese American Human who did his best to hold the rest of the group together and formulate the big plans. Even when the situation around him was clearly fragged six ways to sunday he did his best to convince himself he was still in control, since figured it was the only way he could convince the people around him of the same.
Our Mystic Adept/Infiltrator was an dwarven woman who went by Daze, an outgoing thrillseeker with more piercings in her face than my street sammie had cyber in his body. She was by far the friendliest member of our group, but also in constant need of reassurance and positive feedback from others lest she become obsessed with trying to prove her worth to the group at large.
And lastly, there was our hacker - a human technomancer who went by the handle of “Tass”
“Tass” was the phonetic version of the technomancer’s real handle, “T.A.S.,” which stood for “Terms and Services.” He took the name because he always felt that people were ignoring him.
A little bit of time around the guy was it it would take before it was clear WHY not many people paid attention to what he had to say. While he was a wonderful hacker, he was a hardcore anarchist who refused to ever shut the fuck up about his dream of bringing down the megacorporations. Everything about the guy bled pink mohawk, right down to the fact that he literally had a dyed mohawk. (Albeit one in what he called “matrix blue” instead of pink)
Whenever Tass got the chance, he would ramble on about how the rule of the Megacorporations was temporary, how someday the pigs in their ivory towers would be dragged kicking through the streets by the people they once bled dry, and other entiments that led to Boston Lau establishing an official “Tass never speaks at meets” rule. While Lau thought the technomancer’s mannerisms grating, Daze and Bloodworx both found Tass endearing: Daze because he appealed to her thrill-seeking drive, and Bloodworx because Tass’ anarchist enthusiasm reminded him of his own, less jaded days shortly after being fired from EVO.
Either way, Tass was not the kind of guy you wanted handling sensitive corporate information. And yet, through a series of missteps and coincidences, our crew found itself caught up in one of Aztechnology’s most secret projects.
The overarching plot that our GM had set up for our campaign revolved around the mysterious destruction of several communication satellites, which was causing a major stir among the corporate court. The destruction of comm sats was something that hurt all the AAAs, so the shadows were abuzz with rumors of the corps scrambling their best men to deal with the threat.
Through a series of investigations, our team uncovered the truth behind what was going on: Aztechnology, looking to gain an edge in their war with Amazonia, had infiltrated Renraku and stolen the plans for technology that would let them mask the signal of a Kill Sat they hoped to position over the rival nation. A corrupt executive within Aztechnology looking to move up the corporate ladder infected the navigational software of the satellite with a virus, however, hoping to bring down the satellite, frame the man in charge of the project for incompetency, and take his place as the head of Aztechnology’s space division. However, due to some shenanigans with experimental self-upgrading virus protection, the Kill Sat developed an AI instead, and began shooting down anything that got too close.
Once we had successfully uncovered the corrupt exec’s involvement in the Kill Sat’s grand malfunction, the GM originally planned for Aztechnology to task us with taking down the traitor and then paying us off to keep quiet about the whole thing while an internal team fixed the AI problem.
That would have been the finale of the campaign, had we not done a few things to massively derail the GM’s planned conclusion.
First, during a mission early in the investigation, we had accidentally gotten the Aztechnology research team responsible for fixing the satellite killed by a Tir strike team while trying to help them fix a hidden node used for spying.
Secondly, we had accidentally tipped Renraku off to the fact Aztechnology had stolen their cool cloaking tech, making them a bit suspicious and resulting in them sending agents to infiltrate Aztech’s R&D department. We let Aztechnology know this had occurred (not letting them know we had given Renraku the tip) once it became apparent this had been a bad idea, but the damage was still done and Renraku’s agents were still looking into Aztech’s possible involvement in all the events going on.
Aztechnology was now without a team to fix the satellite, and also on a timer to get things under control before Renraku discovered the role they had in the communications satellites getting blown up. Not wanting to tip off Renraku’s inside men, Aztech was forced to outsource the job to shadowrunners to get the job done. A few days later we got word that a “mysterious contractor” was looking for shadowrunners to pull a mission in deep space, and Boston Lau called in all his favors from all the political contacts he amassed to make sure we got that run. We were in for the biggest paydays of our life, he assured us.
And so, the four of us were off to space, on a top-secret mission to get a rogue AI in a signal-jamming Kill Sat under control.
Tass was brought onboard because we had managed to sell him as one of the best hackers around, and the three of us were brought on as his security to make sure our “mysterious contractors” didn’t try anything funny in the name of maintaining their corporate secrets.
We were flown to Aztechnology’ Spindle, (The command and control center for their military satellite relays) then took a shuttle out to the last known location of their trigger-happy kill sat. We were accompanied by six Aztech representatives - the project lead and his bodyguards - who came along to make sure things went their way.
Once we tracked down the satellite using a backup link established between it and the Spindle (and barely avoided getting shot down ourselves), it was time for us all to suit up. Lau, Bloodworx, and Daze were tasked with physically anchoring the satellite to the craft, and Tass was tasked with jacking directly in to fight the AI and download a list of people who had accessed the satellite since its launch to help flush out anyone involved in the sabotage.
Tass had a tense matrix battle, immediately followed by philosophical debate on the nature of control. It turned out that Tass and the Artificial Intelligence were of like mind when it came to the AAAs being douchebags. Meanwhile, the rest of us did our job in meatspace (and narrowly dodged some stray space debris). By the time the rest of the crew had re-entered the ship Tass had triumphed over the AI and brought it under his control. Once our technomancer confirmed to the men inside that we had finished the job, the Aztech exec who accompanied us gave the order to flush the AI from the system.
Tass had other ideas. He had taken a liking to the AI, a kindred spirit in hatred towards the megacorps. The gears were turning in his head, and while the successful completion of the run could potentially be the biggest payout of his life, his current position offered him an even greater opportunity…
A few seconds after the exec gave the order to reset the satellite’s systems entirely, Tass sent his response.
“You know what? Frag off.”
The party was just about as stunned and confused as our employers, who were additionally really pissed off at the hacker’s sudden bout of stubbornness. The exec repeated the order, and then Boston Lau begged for Tass to listen, but the technomancer threatened to open the channel they were using for communications up for the AI and letting it make its way into the ship if they didn’t back off.
Having none of that, the exec ordered for one of his goons to turn of Tass’ oxygen. Boston Lau tried to negotiate with him to give Tass some time to calm down, but the exec was having none of that. This was an incredibly delicate operation, and they couldn’t afford any unbalanced jackasses jeopardizing it because they didn’t understand the gravity of the situation.
Being an unbalance jackass who didn’t understand the gravity of the situation himself, this was the point where Bloodworx drew his weapon and dropped one of the bodyguards before they had an opportunity to react. At the time he was acting on his impulse to keep his teammate alive and by the time he realized how much the mission was boned now it was too late to take it back. A brief skirmish erupted in the shuttle that Daze jumped to join (it was fortunate she was just as good with close range combat as she was with magic, since magic doesn’t work in space) and soon enough all of our employers were dead.
Lau began screaming at us and telling us that our collective actions had ensured all four of us would die in space. Not even counting how much Aztechnology would want our heads once they found out what just happened, none of knew how to pilot a spaceship.
“I do!” Tass chimed over the commlink. It was true. He’d had points in Pilot (Aerospace) since the start of the game.
Once we were back inside the spacecraft, there was a good deal of arguing, mostly between Boston Lau and Tass, over what we had just done. Once Tass had finished explaining that the AI was a brother in arms for his struggle to fight the corps and Lau realized that there was absolutely no way to salvage the mission at this point, we started planning our next move. Tass insisted that the AI deserved a say in our next move just as much as anyone else, at which point Lau threw his hands up in the air and said “fine, sure, whatever.”
The AI said that, greatful for what we had done, it would help us with whatever we wanted it to help us with. The AI reccomended helping it take control of one of The Spindle’s communication satellites, so that it could help us return to earth safely and begin work erasing our presence from Aztechnology’s databases. This seemed like a fair tradeoff for the rest of the group - we lost out on a big payday, but we gained a benevolent AI friend hidden away inside a global communications satellite to help us with all sorts of things in the future.
Once again, Tass had other ideas.
Tass gleefully told the AI that he needed its help in a very important task, which would ensure it would never have to worry about the corps trying to kill it again: the destruction of Zurich-Orbital.
Some general knowledge, combined with some knowledge checks in corporate secrets and corporate politics makes it evident to everyone how insane a request that is.
Zurich-Orbital is the home of the Corporate Court, as well as the Zurich-Orbital Gemeinschaft Bank. It’s THE symbol of corporate authority, the place where the AAA’s most sensitive deals go down, and the processing center for global currency. The reason why shooting it down is an insane move should be obvious right off the bat - blowing up the station would crash the nuyen market worldwide. It’s half the reason why the Corporate Court is situated there, since it would be mutually suicidal should anyone try something funny on board.
Additionally Z-O is probably THE most heavily defended and protected facilities on or off the earth. It’s home to the Court’s grid overwatch division, aka the most sophisticated matrix security system ever designed. Physically, the facility is protected by an array of kill sats and defense drones, and the station only issues warnings once to ships too close. Getting onboard without clearance is impossible, period: biometric scans and background checks are required just to get on a shuttle going there, and cargo is weighed to the gram.
On top of that, only the top corporate brass even know where the station is half the time. Almost all communications between the station occur using glaciered, dedicated communication relays that transmit signals to important people on the ground to let them know the big Z-O is overhead. Not even world governments can contact the station - for everyone but the biggest corporate bigwigs, the communications are one way only, automated from the station.
And Tass wanted to take it down.
Boston Lau was having none of that. He quickly tells Tass that his pink mohawk is on way too tight, and asked the rest of the team to slap some sense into the technomancer who was determined to get them all killed.
Bloodworx and Daze aren’t so quick to judge, though… at the end of the day, Daze’s mohawk is almost as pink as Tass’, and Bloodoworx is enough of an asshole to want to see if it could be done. Lau couldn’t believe his ears, but he COULD believe the gun that Tass quickly shoved in his face as he told the frightened face that his skill was required for the plan to work.
Surrounded by a group of insane cyberpunks bent on crashing everything, and being shit at combat himself, Lau quickly fell victim to his own cowardice and agreed to help as long as he was allowed a way to get off this wild ride before shit really hit the fan.
Step one of what Tass called “Operation: Shutdown” was returning to the Aztechnology Spindle and taking it over. This was accomplished by “persuading” Boston Lau to use his voice modulator to convince the men back at base that the exec onboard was still alive , the situation was a-OK, and that they should let us dock with the satellite. As soon as we got within range of the ship, Tass threaded an exploit into the station’s panic situation alarm and blocked outgoing transmissions from the base. By the time we’ve docked, our technomancer had let the AI loose in the station’s security systems, allowing him, Bloodworx, and Daz to slaughter their way through security personnel while the AI took control of all of the station’s security drones and Lau cowered close behind. The four man takeover of an entire security station should have been an impossible task in and of itself, but once we physically eliminated the security spiders nothing was stopping the AI from conquering the entire system and dealing with most of the guys who would give us trouble.
Step two was locating Z-O This actually ended up being a harder task than killing the security team of an orbital military command center. Tass scouted the database in the station for coordinates of the base, but it was soon clear that the information wasn’t there. The best information he could find, in fact, complicated matters: there were a series of dummy stations built to hide of the real Z-O from space scavengers, each almost as well defended as the real base for authenticity.
We were reminded once more that the only confirmation almost anyone gets to the location of the real Z-O are timed, pre-recorded transmissions on secured channels.
What we were able to find, however, was a list of Aztechnology personnel currently situated in space. This didn’t include the location of Z-O, but it DID include the name of Aztechnology’s corporate court rep. At this point, Lau started begging Tass to give up and go home, but the gears were turning in Tass’ head. He pressed his gun against the back of Lau’s skull, brought him over the the station’s command deck, and used the dead exec’s credentials to open up communications with Aztechnology’s chairman.
Tass forced Lau, pretending once again to be the dead exec, to report in with a “disturbing development.” We forwarded the list of suspected conspirators found in the satellite’s access logs, now spoofed to include the name of Aztechnology’s corporate court rep.
Finding this information confusing, the chairman started calling his men to figure out when the last contact between their Court rep and the ground had been. There was no way he could be in on the conspiracy if he had been aboard Z-O the last six months, where nobody could directly contact him.
We monitored his calls via a hacked Spindle comm satellite, and eventually one of his office grunts pinged him with Z-O’s last credential check-in location.
We sent a message that the crew sent into orbit was coming back to earth minus one hacker, who was staying behind in the spindle to help decompile some fragmented data found in the satellite. Tass helped the other members of the crew board an automated shuttle back to earth, and told them to get the hell out of dodge before Aztech figured out what was going on. Everyone was more than willing to comply, and the AI offered its services in wiping their records once all was said and done. Boston Lau said was going as deep underground as he could, hoping to wait the chaos out in case Tass actually succeeds. Bloodworx and Daze are content to take part in the riots to come, and watch the world burn.
Leaving the AI in control of the Spindle, Tass set out again in the ship with the kill satellite anchored to it, destination locked on Z-O’s last known location. Considering Z-O has its own entourage of killsats, and comms relays, it doesn’t take long for somebody who knows what they’re looking for to identify the station. Tass managed to catch up with Z-O right as it was finishing its orbit above the CAS and beginning to pass over the UCAS. It was at this point the GM gave Tass the rundown of the situation. Even with the satellite’s systems masking his ship from radar, the second he fired he would expose himself to Z-O’s close range sensors. And there was no guarantee the one burst he’d fire before Z-O’s killsat array lit him up like a noir street sign would hit its mark.
But Tass had gotten this far, and he wasn’t giving up.
Tass’ player looked to the GM. “If the satellite wasn’t hiding my signal, would Zurich be in range to send a warning?”
The GM confirmed, and the Technomancer declared he was going to try hacking Z-O’s communications relay. The GM reminded Tass that he was trying to hack the most sophisticated security system in the world, but Tass insisted he just needed access to their comms, not the ship’s actual internal security systems.
With some well-edged rolls, Tass managed to thread a sneak and exploit into the communication relay’s host server (technomancer 2 stronk). There wasn’t much he could do with it, since the thing just spat out of unidirectional transmissions on delayed feeds, and getting any further into the system would require more dice than he could throw even if he still had all his edge.
“Has Z-O passed over the UCAS yet?” Tass’ player asked
The GM said not yet, but that it would be over the UCAS in less than a minute.
“Can I crash the next outgoing transmission?” Tass’ player asked.
The GM confirmed that was about all he could do with his current level of access.
Once Tass had confirmed that the impending transmission to the UCAS was blocked, Tass’ player smiled.
“I rev up my killsat and orbitally bombard Kansas City.”
On command, the satellite set its targets and fires bombardment set to wipe Kansas City off the map. As the shots fired, Z-O’s defense relay immediately lit up and sets its sights on Tass’ ship. A barrage of orbital missiles scream into the small spaceship, blowing it apart and sending the satellite spiraling out of orbit. Tass is flung into the vacuum of space. Tass, in a damaged spacesuit quickly losing oxygen, burns an edge to maintain consciousness just long enough to see the immediate result of his actions.
Only after Tass’ ship has been pulped to the security spiders realize the attack wasn’t targeted at them. They scramble shift their defense relay away from Z-O and towards to shoot down the missiles fired towards the earth, but it’s too late. An orbital bombardment fired from a radar-cloaked satellite that the UCAS never had a chance to see coming touches down and obliterates half of Kansas city.
Immediately, the UCAS military focuses its scanners in on the aerospace where the shots originated from. They run a trace for a potential source, but the only thing in the area showing up on radar is Zurich-Orbital.
Zurich-Orbital, which nobody has any way of contacting directly.
Zurich-Orbital - which has just been prevented from transmitting its credentials to the UCAS and proving that it’s Zurich-Orbital.
The UCAS military fires off every earth-to-space missile it has in retaliation, directly at the unidentified hostile space station.
What followed was possibly the most triumphant moment I’ve ever witnessed in a Shadowrun game.
By the time Z-O realize their credential transmission has failed and get it back online, it’s too late. As soon as the UCAS receives the delayed transmission, they scramble in vain to shoot down the missiles they’ve shot off. Corporate communications around the world explode with word that the UCAS just targeted the Corporate Court. Everyone scrambles to figure out what’s going on. A single individual puts the pieces together just as the missiles breach the atmosphere, and realizes its too late.
As he watches the missiles fly, slowly slipping away, Tass receives a buzz on his commlink.
>Connected: Hans Brackhaus >“What have you DONE?”
Tass replies with a smiley face, and loses consciousness right as the first missiles slip past Zurich-Orbital’s defenses.
The missiles hit, the global economy crashes, the corporate power fractures, and anarchy washes over the streets.
And that, chummers, is how to end a Shadowrun campaign in style.
Whenever I’m feeling down (like last week, when I realized my Girl Scout cookies had gone stale), I just pop in one of my favorite flicks, curl up in my Tardis Snuggie, and escape. No matter what I’m going through, someone’s always got it worst – like Luke finding out his dad is an intergalactic serial killer, Frodo walking barefoot across Middle Earth, and Indy being hunted down by Nazis. My boy Barry has been channeling Eeyore lately after the whole Zoom fiasco, so I thought it was time to reinstate Cinema Cisco and give him some perspective. Movie time, baby!
I hooked up a prototype 4D ultra high-def television in Barry’s recovery room and downloaded Forrest Gump, Million Dollar Baby, and The Theory of Everything – you know, real heartfelt, motivational stuff about people overcoming the odds and showing the world who’s boss. I thought their triumphs would give Barry some hope and lift his spirits (my man Dr. Phil says a broken body can’t heal with a broken spirit!). Turns out that was a bad idea. Just as little Forrest was being fitted with those metal leg braces, Barry asked me to turn it off. Apparently, Cinema Cisco was only making Barry feel worse about his situation. Back to the drawing board!
I stepped outside and hit up Joe. He said that when Barry was feeling low as a kid, they’d just go outside and shoot some hoops. Well, that definitely wasn’t happening, but it gave me an idea. For some reason, STAR Labs never sprung for the ESPN sports package, but I channeled my inner Luther Stickwell (Ethan Hunt would be nowhere without his baller skills) and was able to bounce the Central City Miners vs. Star City Thunder game off a nearby military satellite onto our screen. Toss in a couple pair of replica Oculus Rift virtual reality glasses and it was like we were sitting courtside! I’m sure the US government won’t mind – I mean, it was for a good cause. Ethical hacking at its finest, right? Plus, it did the trick! Barry’s mood lifted as he got sucked into the game and – believe it or not – he actually jumped up in triumph when the Miners scored a last-second free throw and won the game! Dr. Phil is a straight-up genius. Three points for Cisco!
I fetched Professor Stein’s old cane (he hated that thing!) from storage and we got Barry to take a few baby steps across the cortex, me at one end and Caitlin at the other. It was slow going, but I blared the Chariots of Fire theme over the speakers and it totally worked. When he collapsed from exhaustion, there was a definite light in his eyes that reassured me Barry was on the mend. Just goes to show even superheroes need the love and support of their friends, amiright?
Gordon is written as having a genius-level intellect and naturally possessing a photographic memory. Prior to the character’s career as a vigilante, Barbara Gordon developed many technological skills, including vast knowledge of computers and electronics, expert skills as a hacker, and graduate training in library sciences. She is a skilled hacker, capable of retrieving and dispersing information from private satellites, military installations, government files, and the properties of Lex Luthor […] While Oracle serves as the basic head of operations, Black Canary becomes her full-time employee and field agent.
Felicityis an intelligent, ambitious, hard-working and tech-savvy woman who is highly confident in her computer skills. Though she doesn’t go looking for trouble, she is also not one to back away from danger. Felicity is an intellectual whizkid, as evidenced by the crucial role she plays in The Arrow’s team, as well as her enviable skillset in tasks such as information retrieval, computer software and technology and the creation of customized gadgets, among other things. As a member of Queen Consolidated’s I.T. department, Felicity has proven herself to be a highly skilled computer expert. She was able to recover valuable information, such as the blueprints of the exchange building where the Unidac Industries auction was being held, from Floyd Lawton’s damaged laptop, despite the fact that it had sustained bullet holes. Felicity is a highly-skilled computer hacker, capable of hacking into any computer system, which makes her a valuable asset to The Arrow’s team.
The Russian Ministry of Defense has released footage of Monday’s Rokot launch, which deployed three civilian communication satellites and a classified payload. Launch occurred at 9:48 AM EDT from Launch Site 133 at the Plestek Cosmodrome, 550 miles north of Moscow.
The three Gonets-M satellites were deployed two hours after launch, marking the 21, 22 and 23 members of the Gonets constellation to achieve orbit. Kosmos 2499, a classified military satellite riding piggyback, also rode into orbit, although the Defense ministry did not release any further information.
Rokot is based off the SS-19 Stiletto ICBM used during the latter years of the Cold War. During the mid-1990′s, decommissioned SS-19′s were modified for commercial launch purposes. The addition of a Briz-KM third stage allows Rokot to launch payloads into Earth orbit.
This was the 24th orbital flight of the launcher, which will be decommissioned in 2016.
The Atlas family of rockets debuted in 1957 with the SM-65 as an ICBM, before evolving into a vehicle to launch satellite payloads into orbit. In 1958, an Atlas booster would launch the first communications satellite, SCORE, which would broadcast President Eisenhower’s Christmas message calling for peace and goodwill around the world. As well, SCORE also signaled the United States ability to launch payloads into orbit, peaceful or otherwise, a message to a the Soviet Union after their successful launches of Sputniks 1 and 2.
In the early 1960s, the Atlas booster, with it’s heavier lift capability, would be during NASA’s Project Mercury used to place astronauts into orbit. A task the previously used Mercury-Redstone was not capable of.
After several iterations and evolutions, the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle known as the Atlas V would go on to become one of the United States most successful expendable launch vehicles, used in everything from civilian payloads and planetary exploration probes to launching classified government and military satellites. The Atlas V is expected to continue service until replaced by the proposed Vulcan series in 2019.
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 with 295 people aboard was shot down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday by a surface-to-air missile, American officials have confirmed. The plane was traveling at about 30,000 feet, according to tracking information from a military spy satellite. The satellite was unable to detect where exactly the missile was fired.
Military and intelligence analysts are using mathematical formulas, high-speed computers and other sensors to try to pin down the missile’s point of origin. Other analysts will work with the Ukrainian authorities to recover and analyze pieces of the missile and the aircraft to help determine what kind of missile was fired, the officials said.
The plane — Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — crashed and burned in an eastern Ukraine wheat field near the Russian border, in an area roiled by fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces. There were no known survivors. Ukrainian officials immediately called the crash an act of terrorism.
The furiously unfolding investigation centered on Ukrainian separatists or Russian troops as the missile operators. The Ukrainian authorities said they had intercepted communications that indicated separatist involvement. But the reason for the attack — whether it was a deliberate strike or a tragic accident — was unknown.
“What we still don’t know is what were they thinking,” one official said.
“This is truly a grave situation,” said Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. of the United States, speaking in Detroit. “It’s important we get to the bottom of this sooner than later because of the possible repercussions that can flow beyond from this, beyond the tragic loss of life.”
Ukraine’s president, Petro O. Poroshenko, called for an immediate investigation and asked the Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, to send experts to assist. “I would like to note that we are calling this not an incident, not a catastrophe, but a terrorist act,” Mr. Poroshenko said.
Malaysia’s prime minister, Najib Razak, said, “If it transpires that the plane was, indeed, shot down, we insist that the perpetrators must be brought to justice.”
A fateful meeting brings Felicity Smoak, an Empath, into the life of Oliver Queen.
AU eventual Olicity. Rated M for violence and language.
Flashbacks will be made bold and italicized.
Previous Chapters can be foundHERE and on AO3 and FF
The soft murmurs of conversation and the clinking of glassware floated around the restaurant. Oliver walked in looking across the length of the room for the two people who meant the world to him. His mother and his … father. He was so grateful to be able to say that, Father. He took a deep breath as he walked towards them and prepared himself for their inevitable questions. His mother was always hoping to hear that he was dating or had met someone special. His feet faltered as an image of eyeglasses and a blonde ponytail flashed through his mind. You best not go there, Oliver reminded himself, she’s your doctor.
His parents sat in a cozy corner of the restaurant, heads close together, relaxed in their love for one another. Oliver had always admired his parents relationship. The trust and friendship they shared. He wanted that someday. He slowed down as he realized he was actually thinking of a future. Maybe there was hope for him.
As he got closer to their table he caught the eye of his father’s bodyguard, John Diggle, who stood inconspicuously off to the back of the dining room. Dig, as Oliver had called him from his first day at work with the Queen family, would always be family to Oliver. His primary job was watching his parents, but the entire Queen family was kept under his umbrella of care and protection. Dig’s quiet nature allowed him to blend in even with his tall, strong stature. He was an imposing figure, yet Oliver knew he could be gentle enough to sit with the youngest Queen, his sister Thea, when she woke, scared from a nightmare.