Barsoomian Dawn

Characters

Alexander Mercer

Played by: Elround4
Subfaction: Restrictionists
Current Morph: Synth (synthetic mask, brain box)
Muse: (disembodied female voice with a complex pattern of glowing circles over a nebula as an avatar)
Network Ratings: c-rep: 90, r-rep: 50
Character Thread

Born on earth to a wealthy family before even the first true longevity treatments, Alexander Mercer grew up with sufficient luxury to fully peruse both academic and persuasive endeavors. He managed to manuever himself into a nice niche between the The Tharsis League and what later became the PC. However, when the Fall hit his world view was utterly shaken and forever changed. The numerous deaths of 95% of humanity because of both the actions of humans and technologies shattered any full progressive outlook he had and turned his viewpoint toward a more cautions bent. Likewise, many of the sudden mass adoption of resleeving unnerved him as his philosophy never really accepted that it did anything more than produce a copy. Granted, he viewed such copies as still people, referring to them as "analogous to asexual reproductions, who inherit memory and personality," yet the very idea felt far too much as a strange form of suicide (worse in the case of destructive uploading). Never-the-less, as a rational man, he still invested in backups and a gene spliced body cloned from his brain cells as the "ultimate last resort to ensure some agent of legacy can posthumously continue life's endeavors." Despite these changes he still leaned between Precautionists and progressives in terms of desiring ethical risk managing laws instead of any true banishing's.

Clarence "CJ" J. Spencer

Played by: NPC_Villian
Subfaction: Heritagers
Current Morph: Yeoman Flexbot
Muse: Captain Howdy (brash teddy bear with a wrench)
Network Ratings: g-rep 50
Character Thread

Yeah… I’m old, so what? My time started when Mars was young and beautify back then, kinda like when the earth was young and different countries where using spheres of influence in African and it’s natural resource. Somethings never change. I was one of the original Martians that help build mars what it is today. I started as a terrofing colonist, promoted to Soldier during the habitat wars, After that I enforced the law as a Maritain Ranger for the outback area. Newly terrorformed area that showed promise to various miners.

My work pod is large enough to have a fully working lab in it, I make things like I said earlier and I’m allowed into most closed communities by way on the fringe. They like me because I don’t talk, and if I see something… I don’t. People like that and remember it when they need something. I find things too… things that you said that was lost and I return it back to your habitat. I try not to damage the property being returned but it happens sometime. So if you need some work done, I’m your man… for a small but yet nominal fee.

Elijah Zhuang Muromets

Played by: Diagoras
Subfaction: Anarchists (Extropian)
Current Morph: Olympian
Muse: Justice Ibrahim (somewhat-damaged infomorph of a legendary Extropian Justice)
Netowork Ratings: @-rep: 100, c-rep: 50
Character Thread

Elijah is quiet yet amiable enough in most circumstances. He's reserved, but does not object to company so long as it doesn't demand too much of him. He avoids discussing his profession, as the best he's likely to get from strangers is blank incomprehension ("Wait, so are you a soldier, a judge, or a priest?"), and especially avoids politics. Once his trust is earned, however, he can even open up to those who aren't one of the People. A dry, yet sharp sense of humor comes into play, with the telltale twitch of at the corners of his mouth being the only sign that he speaks in jest. The famous Extropian argumentativeness also shows up, sometimes even growing to a blustering belligerence, albeit a good-natured one likely to collapse into laughter. Yet a simmering anger lurks under the surface, albeit one that is tightly controlled, though it can erupt to the surface given the right pressure - with anarchists being the most common provokers.

Faridah Duran

Played by: Midboss57
Subfaction: Heritager
Current Morph: Olympian
Muse: Jolly Jumper (cartoon horse from Lucky Luke comics, somewhat snarky)
Network Ratings: @-rep: 80, c-rep: 20, e-rep: 60, r-rep: 40
Character Thread

Faridah grew up in one of the several clans that made their existence in the northern plains. Her grandparents had been among those original colonists that had been egocast from Earth as indentured workers. While not a Maker, she learned much about mechanics in order to be able to perform maintenance of the gear used by the clan, in particular, the Environmental Domes and other survival equipment used by her clan mates. She also saw the rise in the number of indentures and came to believe that this was the future the Consortium had for Mars (and possibly for the rest of humanity). Not wanting this to happen to her fellow clanmates, she left and went to join the Movement. Since then, she uses her survival skills towards the cause. Be it guiding fellow Barsoomians and allies through the desert towards their mission (or away from problems), performing reconnaissance on PC sites and even occasionally smuggling items for them.

Liliana May

Played by: TheFred
Subfaction: Anarchists (Extropian)
Current Morph: Splicer
Muse: Information Missing
Network Ratings: @-rep: 95, c-rep: 40, e-rep: 60, f-rep: 65, g-rep: 40
Character Thread

Liliana began her career as a small-time entertainer, a singer and dancer, but the high-powered media crazy of the hypercorp glitterati left no room for an amateur to break in, even in the local bars and little diners of nearby Martian neighbourhoods. Like many young people, Liliana fell in with a "political" crowd, anarchists and the like who spoke of throwing off the shackles of the Planetary Consortium and seizing the future for themselves. With her own hopes of success stifled by those off-worlders, Liliana couldn't help but agree, eventually joining the movement as an activist in her own right.

The Movement was growing by itself, and would have done without any of Liliana's involvement, but that allowed her to ride the wave as a major figurehead - in certain circles. With a band of loyal supporters at her back, Liliana seeks to grasp the future with both hands and live it as hard as she can, before the Planetary Consortium can crush it as they have done in the rest of the Inner System.

Sal Nathaniel Maddox

Played by: Hunterindarkness
Subfaction: Heritagers
Current Morph: Splicer
Muse: Karen (friendly, somewhat-flirtatious woman)
Network Ratings: @-rep: 80, c-rep: 10, g-rep: 70
Character Thread

Sal Maddox was born into the Maker clans that call the martian outback home. The Maddox-Belanger maker clan was an independent clan that performed surveys and collected Geological data for supplies and willing to trade or sell this information to the highest bidder. They ran afoul of the McDowell hypercorp and went into major debt, which Sal helped to pay off with six years as an indenture. During the Fall he served as a TITAN hunter in the Martian Devil Dogs militia unit, a unit which would eventually be incorporated into the TITAN Busters. At the same time, Sal had a falling out with his son Reyna who went to work for the Planetary Consortium which created a persisting rift. Today, Sal travels the outback looking for work and keeping up ties with old friends.

Yvette Lacroix

Played by: Amora
Subfaction: Undecided
Current Morph: Exalt
Muse: Angelique (calm, patient, and efficient female personality)
Network Ratings: @-rep 25, c-rep 80, e-rep 25, f-rep 50, r-rep 80
Character Thread

Confident and secure in the prowess of her mind and the augments further enhancing it. She has come to believe that there is no problem that cannot be approached intellectually and resolved in a similar manner or through the delicate application of mankind's most prized evolutionary advantage; technology. This confidence hasn't blinded her to the uglier truths of Transhumanity such as it's still present capacity for violence, slothful conduct, and other destructive or wasteful tendencies. It is this realization that propels her time and again to reluctant acknowledgement that technological progress requires some sensible regulations and regulatory bodies to be put in place. The Hyper-corps and the debacle of the Futura Project that she experienced first hand having proved this to her beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Her own intelligence is as often her curse as while intellectually she can acknowledge the merits of every argument she feels she speaks from a superior position given her extensive education and own life experiences. It has the side effect of making her confidence come across as arrogance and an sense of entitlement rather than simply what it is. Ultimately, however, she prides herself on being reasonable in the face of properly evidenced arguments.

Mars%20Map.jpg

NPCs

Agostinho Zabala

Affiliations: Barsoomian Movement (Anarchists)
Current Location: Little Shanghai, Valles-New Shanghai, Mars

A Barsoomian activist in Valles-New Shanghai. He's a full-on anarchist but also definitely shady. His Tharkian Fighters are a group of Protuguese and Hispanic guerilla fighters who engage in guerilla sabotage. They are against direct violence but they do have considerable resources and are not above property damage and dramatic displays. During the abduction of Sgt. Nibhanu-Bruhn, he and his group agreed to provide a distraction across town.

Alexi Provost

Affiliations: Barsoomian Movement (Argonauts), Martian University at Valles-New Shanghai (faculty position), devoted to Yvette
Current Location: Valles-New Shanghai, Mars

Alexi has been a colleague of Yvette's since Site 23 and all through the durance that the Futura Project proved to be. Like Yvette, she is a graduate of the University of Mars in Genetics, Biology, Computer sciences, and Morphological engineering. She also pursues a passion for historical reenactment and fictional pieces in VR. Their relationship has long since evolved from one of colleagues and into lovers. One can note easily though that Alexi serves as a fine foil and companion for Yvette simply because she is not so much of a busy body and pursues her own passions and studies at a more leisurely rate than her hyper augmented paramour. Despite her reserved nature, Alexi has allied herself with the Barsoomians and assembled the team of troubleshooters with Matrona Pelagiya.

Alyse McCaig

Affiliations: Extropians, Fujin Couriers
Current Location: Extropian Mission House, The Bund, Valles-New Shanghai, Mars

Miki Pontecorvo's assistant, in a highly-modified splicer morph. She has stretched, almost stick-like features and thin metal insect-like arms embedded in her forearms. She looks somewhat like a mantis (though thoroughly human) and is fiercely protective of her position as the gatekeeper for Fujin Couriers.

Sgt Akash Nibhanu-Bruhn

Affiliations: Thasis League, Planetary Consortium, Valles-New Shanghai People's Militia (VNSPM)
Current Location: Valles-New Shanghai, Mars

A suspicious officer in the VNSPM seemingly tied to the crackdowns on anarchists and Extropians in the city. He is likely an outsider and might even be working for a more clandestine group like Oversight, directing efforts against radicals in Valles-New Shanghai for some reason. Every Tuesday he worships at the Temple of Ardhanariswara in the New Shanghai dome, and it is here that the Barsoomians are planning to abduct him.

Dherghos

Affiliations: Mercurials, Neo-neanderthal Cultural Movement
Current Location: Valles Marineris, Mars (last seen)

Dherghos is the leader of a band (or seima) of neo-neanderthals that were caught up in the raid on Pilsener City. He managed to negotiate help from the team in getting out of the city with his people, ending up swayed by the Barsoomians' generosity and promising to "tell others" of the common cause between the Movement and the Mercurials.

Hyeong Walker

Affiliations: Extropians (business), Mercurials
Current Location: Valley of the Apes, Red Jakarta, Valles-New Shanghai Metro Area, Mars

A neo-primate hacker who frequently works for Miki Pontecorvo, Hyeong is discrete and practical. She also is currently stuck in the Valley of the Apes, however, because of the Bioconservative blockade of that community.

Katrina Elene

Affiliations: Barsoomian Movement
Current Location: Unknown (last seen in Pilsener City)

A strong-willed woman in a fury morph who led a group of Barsoomian commandos out of Pilsener City during the raid. While she's willing to work with other Barsoomians, she also made it clear during the raid that she was most concerned with her group's needs and considers her mission paramount.

Ling Chan

Affiliations: Barsoomian Movement, bodyguard to Alexander
Current Location: Alexander's side

She is very stoic. Along with this, she'll also speak only she feels it is absolution necessary—pointing out safety issues, giving some insightful perspective when others are having trouble, or when her stoic mindset reaches its breaking point. She also takes her job very seriously, though in a more calm Zen-like demeanor, and tries to be thorough whenever she can (e.g. always looking out for possible threats and acting accordingly).

Matrona Pelagiya

Affiliations: Barsoomian Movement (Heritagers), Nano-Ecologists
Current Location: Valles-New Shanghai, Mars

A genehacker and outspoken proponent of the Aerophany agriculture movement, which sees locally-sourced Martian agricultural products as a way to find a balance with the planet. Matrona is also one of the two people that assembles the troubleshooting team, along with Alexi Provost. During the attack on Pilsener City, Matrona was shot and seriously wounded. The team stabilized her and trasnported her to Valles-New Shanghai for medical attention, which they received secretly from Miki Pontecorvo at the Extropian Trade Mission building. She recovered and was well enough to participate in the abduction of Sgt. Nibhanu-Bruhn.

Miki Pontecorvo

Affiliations: Extropians, Fujin Couriers, Masorti Justices
Current Location: Extropian Trade Mission House, The Bund, Valles-New Shanghai, Mars

A hard and competent businesswoman of Italo-Japanese extraction. She is the spokesperson for the board of representatives of the Extropian trade mission in Valles-New Shanghai. She is a tough negotiating opponent, but plain in her dealings. She knows Elijah because her Italian mother was an Ashkenazi Jew who supported the Masorti Justice movement on Extropia. Her company, Fujin Couriers, is a popular service in Valles-New Shanghai with widespread connections. Miki herself has a less ostentatious appearance than her assistant Alyse, but her Olympian morph is custom made to reflect her ethnic background and with novelty pointed ears and yellow eyes. These last affectations are mainly for the public, she claims, who expect "something weird" when they visit the Extropian Tradehouse.

Miki helped with Matrona Pelagiya's wounds after she was shot during the attack on Pilsener City. This was done at some small risk, since it involved using the Trade Mission's private healing vat and the Extropians were already under scrutiny by the authorities in Valles-New Shanghai. If Elijah were not part of the team, it's unlikely she would have taken nearly so many risks for them.

Sanjica Marić

Affiliations: Barsoomian Movement (Anarchists), Night Cartel?
Current Location: Pembroke Gardens, Noctis-Qianjiao, Mars

An Extropian-friendly graphic designer who lives in the Pembroke Gardens neighborhood. She has collaborated with Liliana on projects in the past, both for the Movement and for private ventures, and would likely help out again. Of course, Liliana has also heard that she has some connections to the Croatian branch of the Night Cartel but she hasn't been so gauche as to ask.

Locations

pilsener-city.jpg

Pilsener City

  • Pilsener Suq: This crowded area is where most locals do their shopping, drinking, and socializing. It is also the target of the raid on Pilsener City, being a natural congregation point for "hardcore" Martians.
    • Ka'unhane Brothers Public House: A pleasant bar owned by two brothers, Jonah and Mark Ka'unhane, where Matrona and Alexi assemble their team.
  • Taiyo-machi: The south-facing "Sun Town" is where most visitors enter the city, making it a mercantile hub.
    • Southern Berths: These vehicle berths are where team members parked their vehicles on arriving at Pilsener City, and where they have to run to when the raid hits.
vallesnewshanghaimap.jpg

Valles-New Shanghai

  • New Shanghai: The largest and most impressive dome complex of the metropolitian area, bissected by the artificial River Ares.
    • The Bund: This brick-for-brick reproduction of the famous waterfront in old Shanghai on Earth is the political and administrative heart of Valles-New Shanghai.
      • Extropian Trade Mission: Miki Pontecorvo's offices form the administrative node for all Extropian corporations with offices in VNS.
    • Temple of Adharaniswara: A Hindu temple devoted to an aspect of Shiva where Sgt. Nibhanu-Bruhn worships every Tuesday.
  • Little Shanghai: A chaotic and blinding mass of sprawl, parkour parks, and neon-lit red light districts.
    • Zabala's Safehouse: Agostinho Zabala's safehouse (at least the one he's told the team about) is located in a non-descript neighborhood in Little Shanghai.
  • Valles Center: A corporate park on a massive scale where hypercorps reportedly hide all of their secrets.
    • The Exchange: The center of the dome with impressive office towers and expensive housing. The tallest buildings on Mars are here, a trio of spires called the Trident which extend three kilometers above the dome.
  • New Pittsburgh: A working-class and industrial dome with several prominent non-Consortium companies.
    • Burgh Center: A lively central area with microbrew pubs and ice hockey at Rail Eos Stadium.
    • The Yellow Bridge: A span of arched girders crossing the Allegheny Public Reservoir that is a common meeting and socializing place.
    • Red Jakarta/Valley of the Apes: A box canyon in the northern cliff face of the New Pittsburgh Mensa has been covered over and filled with lush tropical forest. Technically it's a separate community, but the people of New Pittsburgh tend to sweep it in with their dome complex.
  • Nytrondheim: The entertainment and fine-dining portion of Valles-New Shanghai with impressive and innovative architectural designs.

Plot Threads

The Black Budgets

  • Matrona and Alexi have found some black budget accounts in various Consortium hypercorps. According to Matrona, "They are in all the companies on the Hypercorp Council and they seem to be buying things in bulk. There are also paramilitary forces in the outback in a few key locations. They're moving against us."
  • Matrona mentions before the raid that mercenaries are being hired in Valles-New Shanghai and that there is "increased activity" around New Dazhai.

Autonomist Crackdown

  • Both Agostinho Zabala and Miki Pontecorvo have reported increased attention for the groups by the Valles-New Shanghai People's Militia. They are being searched and raided more often, but also framed for crimes and disruptions they didn't have anything to do with.
  • The man responsible seems to be Sgt. Akash Nibhanu-Bruhn, an officer in the VNSPM but likely with strings to something higher up. It's possible he's a plant entirely for Oversight or a similar group since his mesh history is somewhat sketchy.

Biocon/Mercurial Standoff

  • The bioconservatives of Valles-New Shanghai have blockaded the Valley of the Apes in Red Jakarta, refusing to let people, material, or mesh signals in or out. So far, the VNSPM has stayed out of the conflict since it's technically outside of their jurisdiction.
  • The hacker contact that Miki Pontecorvo recommended is currently trapped in the Valley of the Apes behind the blockade.

MuseNews

Below are some of the other big news items going on…

Mithuna 5

The day after the attack on Pilsener City as the PCs arrive in Valles-New Shanghai.

  • Authorities report that a new drug called Viscaria is present on the streets of Noctis-Qianjiao and Olympus. This drug is one of the so-called "petals" that criminal organizations have previously brought to Mars. Viscaria is reportedly from the nomadic fleets of the Outer System and causes extreme hallucinogenics. More on the psychological effects can be found in our Science Today! section.
  • Our journo in orbit, Marwa Kader-Claes, is reporting on demonstrations aboard the orbital Mèng Zǐ at the Martian L5 point. Protestors cite the recent action in Pilsener CIty as the reason for their demonstrations and they call for a referendum about officially seceding from the Planetary Consortium. So far the protest has been peaceful, due in no small part to the dominant Confucian attitudes of Mèng Zǐ citizenry, but local authorities are reportedly not taking any chances. Ms. Kader-Claes full story can be found on her editorial blog.

Mithuna 12

The day the PCs kidnap Akash Nibhanu-Bruhn

  • Several independent mesh new agencies have reported increased noise on their networks that many attribute to a higher degree of monitoring by Tharsis League Cybersecurity. These precautions, blamed by many on the terrorist activities in Valles-New Shanghai, have brought criticism from civil rights groups. League officials said they could not comment without compromising the security of their member cities.
  • Fa Jing directors announced today that they have successfully developed a cost-effective model of the popular Martian-Standard or "ruster" morph which will not require the genetic service packs that all such models have used until now. Critics say that the move is a blatant attempt to curry favor in the face of the anti-corporate demonstrations in Pilsener City and Noctis-Qianjiao but most in the rural areas of Mars are glad for the announcement whatever the reason. Juan Curerro of the Argyle Terraforming Union said that he was glad that the Tharsis League listed to the local population's grievances and passed them on to Fa Jing. He said that he was proud his people did not resort to violent measures to achieve this victory, no doubt referring to the recent terrorist activities in Valles-New Shanghai and the raid last week in Pilsener City.
  • A spokesperson for the New Shanghai lifelogger community called ViewShanghai released a critical polemic today against the restriction of mesh traffic by the Valles-New Shanghai government. The release followed a meeting of lifeloggers, a so-called Crossover Meetup, in which two dozen popular mesh personalities met to discuss the issue. While conversation ranged across many consequences and topics, a notably large fraction of time was spent criticizing the Barsoomian Movement and their recent terrorist activities "that have caused the government to take these drastic steps."
  • Authorities in the remote northwest of Charybdis Chaos warn that a new drug called Yellow Iris may soon be seen in Martian cities. The drug is a combination of narcotics and programmed psychotropic responses in the wide range of illegal stimulants popular termed as petals. No word yet on what action the Tharsis League Drug Enforcement Agency will be taking.
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