The Paxton Gambit

Patrol Division

Patrol Division: Week One

Dressed in the standard gray uniform of the Peace Officer Corps, Liam was escorted into the dusty office of Jake Jackson, the Head of Patrol Division. His papers were piled high in neat stacks. Jackson himself was a rail-thin ramrod of a man who expected the utmost in discipline and integrity. Jackson informed Liam that, “TRG is a decent division, but I think you may be too accustomed to using violence to solve issues. I’ve assigned you to Lt. Amura to help you out. She’s new, but as good as they come. I know you’re experienced, and that you outrank her, but I think it’s important to know that you can follow as well as lead.”

Introductions didn’t take long. The lieutenant was pretty casual, and smiled easily. “Kaitlyn Amura. You the punk I’m supposed to keep an eye on?” she joked. “You like to drive?” She held up a jangling keyring as an offering of friendship. With that, Liam was off to the Prospects, which she promised with a sly grin, was the best place to work.

So, an hour later, Liam found himself in the midst of an anti-executive rally. Four angry looking men, haggardly dressed, were blocking access to the central transit hub that allowed access to the upper terraces. They were waving signs that read, ‘PEACE RIVER: MORE THAN PAXTON!’, ‘MAMOUD FOR EQUAL EDUCATION’, ‘CUT OUT THE CASTE’, and ‘I AM A CORPORATE SLAVE’. They were also handing out pamphlets that had pro-BRF propaganda and prompted readers to attend a larger rally in one week on the second terrace. They pointed to an extranet address: x:/iconocaste.i.

Amura pulls you aside. “If we don’t break this up quickly, it could turn ugly.”

Her words come moments too late as one of the men spotted them. “Hey! It’s the grays! Did you come to arrest me? Or just walk on my back some more?!” There are angry mutterings, several of which sound supportive of the blonde haired rabble-rouser.

GM
Your call here. You’ve got 4 men who are clearly upset, a transit hub that needs to be cleared and a rapidly growing audience who are becoming increasingly agitated. How do you want to handle it?

Liam
Gentleman you are here by ordered to disperse. No one wants trouble here today, lets just take it easy. I don’t mind your opinions but there is a time and a place for it. It is not here and not now.

ME: I want a streetwise check and a notice check as well. He is standing calm and composed, his hands in front of him folded over his belt.

GM
Streetwise and Notice checks have been made and accounted for.

Liam nodded his agreement to Officer Amura. He knew it wasn’t wise to upset them needlessly, but something did have to be done. Before he spoke, he noticed the scruffy blonde leader of the group glance off to his right. His gaze locked for a moment with a rangy, bearded man who wore a Paxton Workers uniform. Based on the oil and grime, he guessed he worked in the Industrial Sector… a comrade, perhaps?

He had no time to contemplate further, but stepped forward from behind the gathering crowd and spoke. “Gentlemen… You are hereby ordered to disperse. No one wants trouble here today, let’s just take it easy. I don’t mind your opinions, but there is a time and place for it. It is not here and not now.”

The blonde man brushed his hair out of his eyes, then threateningly, “This is just a peaceful gathering, peace-man.” He spoke the two words separately, mockingly. “Or are our executive overlords taking that right away too now?”

The man took a confrontational step forward, and his three companions fell in step behind him. The crowd looked agitated. Liam could tell he was treading on dangerous ground here. The situation could erupt at any moment. He wished they had called for backup. He could feel the weight of his Paxton Liberator sidearm on his belt, enticingly. The next move was clearly his. He felt he’d better make it a good one.

GM
Streetwise Info: You’re from the Prospects, so you understand where these people are coming from. They don’t like being pushed around. Liam used to be a member of the worker caste before he got his job with the Peace Officer Corps, so he knows how it feels to be on the bottom. (One of the perks of being hired is you get elevated to Management Caste.) Peaceful gatherings are fine, this one just doesn’t have the look of it. The main problem is that they are blocking the entrance to the Transit Hub, so people can’t get on or off without being harassed.

So… the men aren’t backing down. What now?

Liam
Listen Gentleman, i know how you are feeling. And no one is taking your right to speak away from you. All that i ask is for you to move your protest 10 feet to your left or to your right. your blocking traffic from entering and exiting. i know that you hate the Establishment. but do the people who work, like you, have to pay? how many people are going to be late and lose their jobs because you want to prove a point? and what we absoulty dont need is for a confrontation here. lets be civilized here shall we? no one, especially me, wants to get hurt.

The gathering crowd grew quiet, waiting to see what the peace officer was going to do. Those coming off of the transit hub stopped, rubbernecking so that it started getting crammed inside the Hub proper. There were a few muted grumblings of people trying to get through. Those who made it, suddenly stopped, witnessing the breathless tension that hung like a pin held too close to a balloon.

Lt Amura gently pulled on Liam’s arm. “Sergeant, maybe we should come back later.”

Liam shied out of her grip. “No.” CityHe could sense Amura tense. He paused, taking a moment to scan his surroundings in case things were about to turn ugly. The lane was filled with people. Beyond the crowd, several street cars had stopped to honk or shake their fists at the jam. The building behind he and the lieutenant was a tall concrete job, with lots of pillars and geometric shapes. It would be the closest place to take cover. Wires for makeshift electrical connections hung from the bottom of a skywalk above them. Above, people leaned out of their windows, trying to see what the commotion was.

Liam’s voice was level and calm. “Listen gentlemen, I know how you are feeling. And no one is taking your right to speak away from you. All that I ask is for you to move your protest ten feet to your left or to your right. You’re blocking traffic from entering and exiting. I know that you hate the establishment. But do the people who work, like you, have to pay? How many people are going to be late and lose their jobs because you want to prove a point? And what we absolutely don’t need is for a confrontation here. Lets be civilized here shall we? No one, especially me, wants to get hurt.”

The blonde man looked to his left, then back to his right, as if realizing for the first time the scene around him. He seemed chagrined, then smiled at Liam. “Yeah?” He seemed to be trying to confirm his minor victory.

Liam just nodded. “Yeah.”

The protester scratched his week-old scruff and nodded his head off to his right. We’ll take this side. He then turned around and walked to the side of the hub entrance and resumed his clamor. His fellows followed. The crowd dispersed. The street cars ceased their honking and moved on.

“Good work, Sergeant.” Amura seemed genuinely surprised. “I thought we were in big trouble there. You serve in the Prospects before?”

Liam’s senses were still drawn taut. “Something like that.”

“Well, good work. I’m hungry, let’s grab something.” She took a step toward Lanner Row, an avenue with several tasty food vendors that served as fronts for the Forzi Cartel. (or the BRF, they weren’t sure which.)

Liam followed her, casting a single glance back. The black bearded Paxton worker from earlier was nowhere to be seen.


SNS NEWSFEEDLATE EDITION
“It’s Friday, Winter 11, 1936. I’m Tober Masterson, and this is what you need to know about the latest craze in Eastern Apparel. Our own Helen Luka is visiting designer Rince Cavoun to tell us more. Helen?”

“A diplomatic function has been scheduled in the next few weeks for a Basalite delegation from the Eastern Sun Emirates. The delegation is led by the beautiful Victorya Hiro, who always dresses in latest in Eastern chic. For those not in-the-know, our own Rince Cavoun hails from Okavango, the emirate nearest Basal. Rince, what can you tell us about Victorya’s fashion?”

“Well Helen, Victorya is known for favoring the classic Eastern sora, which is a long colored sash worn from the waist, typically made of skipper-silk. Since swamp skippers are only native to the jungles of Okavango and nearby areas, the best sora’s typically come from there. But that’s why I import exclusively from Okavango. Those who want cheap knockoff’s can get them just about anywhere these days – but those don’t have the same feel and quality that the real thing do.”

“Where can those watching get the real thing, Rince?”

“At Cavoun-Nash, on the first terrace.”


Patrol Division: Week Two
Sgt. Liam Mason was driving his Bulldog Patrol Car, looking for trouble. Riding shotgun next to him was his partner, Lt Kaitlyn Amura. They were driving the streets, not following any prescribed route. They were talking about one of Liam’s favorite subject’s: Gear Dueling. Lt. Amura didn’t really follow it that much, but she was curious, and so Liam talked on about tactics, favorite teams, specs of different gears and why they had advantages. For a while, he thought he might be boring her, but she said he wasn’t. When he stopped for a moment and looked over though, he could see her deep in thought. He stopped talking about his favorite team playing this week in Khayr ad-Din.

Kaitlyn turned to him seriously, suddenly reaching some conclusion in her mind and asked, “Hey, would you like to be my boyfriend?”

The question took Liam aback. He hadn’t really looked at her like that before. She looked at him with deep seriousness, out of character for her easy joking. She was pretty, with short, champagne-colored. Her face was narrow and well defined. She had soft brown eyes.

It was totally inappropriate, of course. Work liaisons were highly frowned upon. The question itself seemed so out of character for her. Liam suddenly felt very awkward.

GM
How do you respond to her? From what you can tell, it looks like she’s not joking, and this is your chance to describe why Liam is still single and what he looks for in a woman. Is he interested in her? You would probably say that Valeri, from your old unit was more attractive, but you never got together with her (Or did you?) How come?

Treat this is an opportunity to flesh out the character’s romantic past and current interests.

ME
Valeri and i dated for about 8 months but broke up when we each realized that while we liked each other, working together made it impossible for us to remain objective while on duty. the break up went smooth and we talk often. we see each other as very close friends. Liam is still single because he still has a crush on valeri and if he was to date someone she would have to be better than her(you move up, not down). that and it always brings up questions about his tattoo’s. valeri knows about then and what they represent. right now he is not sure what he wants. he wants to date valeri but he has not herd from her since he got demoted. he wants attatchment but is hesatent to go for it cuz he himself does not know what he wants.

Liam
“Pray do tell why a beautiful girl like you would want to date a dishonored cop like myself? and normally don’t people usually go on you know…dates before they become involved? and what brought that up?” Liam flirts.

Liam thought of Valeri for the briefest instant. He was still interested in her, but they hadn’t communicated much for the last couple weeks. Maybe he needed something else. He didn’t want to make things awkward around his new partner, but also didn’t want to reject her outright. She was fairly attractive, after all.

“Uh… " He started, “Pray do tell why a beautiful girl like you would want to date a dishonored cop like myself? And normally don’t people usually go on you know…dates before they become involved?”

Kaitlyn looked taken aback. “I…” she faltered, “Sorry I didn’t clarify. I just broke up with my ex a few weeks ago, but I can’t seem to get rid of him. I think I need to give him some motivation to stay away from me.”

Liam absorbed this as she followed it up with, “But you think I’m beautiful, huh?” She chuckled. “Sorry, I can’t date you. I don’t date co-workers.” She stole a glance at him, gauging his response.

GM
What now?

Liam
"oh i get it you want me to call your ex and tell him to back off…so your using me. and girls say its always us guys who use girls. but in reality its the other way around. and yes you are beautiful. and i agree that dating people you work with is not the best idea…it makes things…complicated. so give me this guys number so i can tell him to back the hell off.

Liam nodded in understanding, “Oh i get it. You want me to call your ex and tell him to back off…”

“Right.” Kaitlyn confirmed.

“So your using me.” Liam continued, “…And girls say it’s always guys who use girls, but in reality it’s the other way around.”

“Yes, precisely.” she stated, agreeing with him. She smiled deprecatingly. “So, will you do it?”

“Yeah. Give me this guys number and I’ll tell him to back off.”

“Thanks.”

Liam gave her a wry grin. “And I agree that dating people you work with is not the best idea…it makes things…complicated.”

“It can.”

“And yes, you are beautiful.”

Kaitlyn didn’t know how to respond to that, so she went back to their previous conversation. “So, the Dune Hammers, huh? What makes them such great gear fighters?”

“Duelists.” Liam corrected. “They’re called Duelists.” He glanced over at her. He wasn’t sure if she was blushing.


SNS NEWSFEED: LIFE IN THE CORE
“Tonight we highlight the Chief Executive Officer of Paxton Arms and the official leader of Peace River, President Gerald Simosa. President Simosa was born into the executive cast in TN 1869 and his life differed little from his peers. Following graduation from the Peace River Business Academy he started climbing the corporate ladder, finally becoming President in 1918.”

“As a young executive, President Simosa served on the Badlands Affairs Bureau. From his travels, he’s stated that he feels that Badlanders deserve more than the crumbs of violence the polar leagues have provided them. Some in the Habitat Core have stated that he’s guilty of the same crimes of exploitation of his own people, however.”

“The period from TN 1933 through 1935 have proved hectic fo his leadership however. TN 1933 saw a BRF terror campaign that claimed the life of Chief Financial Director, Fidel Jacobi on the very eve of elections, allowing Simosa to sweep the elections, with the mandate of reform for the worker caste.”

“Over the last 15 cycles, Simosa has introduced a measure of social mobility through competitive entry to the management and executive academies, and other small changes, but some claim that it simply isn’t enough and call for a complete abandonment of the corporate structure.”


Patrol Division: Week Two
The mountain of sand blasted futilely against the shutters of the Stormwall. It was fully extended, shielding the entire city with it’s protective shell. A ceiling of red sand blew over the vast city and the remaining dust and grit rained down, silhouetted like miniscule rubies against the glowing blue and violet luminescence that permeated Peace River.

The Chesseur Apartments on the second terrace were tucked in a niche that hung out over the third terrace, where green and amber lights could be seen blinking on the rooftops of skytowers far below. The fine particles fell on the shielded shutters that protected each pane and cascaded down where it would be collected, and cleaned from the streets and rooftops by automated systems and machines.

Within the apartment, Liam listened to the <click> of his datacomm as Kaitlyn’s arrogant ex-boyfriend hung up on him. He had refused to comply with Liam’s demands, saying it was ‘none of his business’. He was now going to have to do something further if he wanted to help Kaitlyn.

The datacomm hummed to life in his hand. Clearly, the prick didn’t get the chance to tell him off enough. He answered, but was met with Valeri McCormick’s familiar, “Hey stranger. What’s up?”

GM
What do you say to her? Any plans on what to do about Kaitlyn’s ex?

Liam
Holy shit look who is alive. long time no see pretty lady. i miss you.

ME
he is going to flirt with her and try to set up some kind of date. then he is going to ask for a favor. he wants to get all the guys together put on their tactical shit with the markings covered. tactically enter to this pricks house and scare the living shit out of him and let him know, with out kicking the shit out of him, (unless it is required) that he is not to contact her ever again. and if he does we will pay a little visit to him, one that will be far less enjoyable.

Liam was shocked. “Holy shit, look who’s alive. Long time no see pretty lady.”

“Hey Liam.” Valeri greeted him. “I hadn’t heard from you for a while. You haven’t dropped by the bar or called anyone on the team. Just thought I would check up on you. See how things were going.”

“I miss you.” Liam said.

There was a slight pause on the line. “Yeah? Well, we miss you too.”

The two caught up for a few minutes. Things were still tense with the BRF. They had been called in to help with riot control recently at a gathering on the third terrace that had turned violent. Jyan had ended up with some cracked ribs, but the rest of the team was fine.

She asked how things were in Patrol Division. He wanted to tell her it was fine, but she knew better than that. His boss treated him like a trainee, the work was long and strenuous, and in the times it wasn’t, they got to inspect the maglev train cars for a day. It was a long and tedious process that ensured he would do anything to get out of it. Favors were traded frequently among the officers for those willing to take a shift performing the duty.

Liam told her about his new partner, then suddenly got an idea as to how to take care of Kaitlyn’s ex. “Hey Valeri? I need to get rid of my partner’s ex? Any chance you wanna help… encourage him?”

“Oh… are you interested in her?” Valeri asked plaintively.

“No, nothing like that. She just can’t get rid of him.”

“Encourage him… how?” She asked.

Liam wondered if she could sense him grinning. “Mm… maybe get the team together in full gear, then find him and scare him senseless.”

“I don’t think that’s such a good idea right now.” Valeri said, explaining. “Justice Thorn wants us to be a little more… diplomatic.”

Liam figured he shouldn’t be that surprised. “Oh. Well… Okay. I just thought I’d ask.”

Valeri changed the subject. “I’ve been trying to pull a few strings for you – with Commander Bain’s help of course.”

“Oh?” Liam’s hopes rose immediately.

Sensing his thoughts, she clarified, “Don’t get your hopes up. You won’t be reassigned to TRG anytime soon. I think we may have found something more constructive for your time though.”

Liam was curious. “Such as… ?”

“You should find out tomorrow.” she said elusively.

“My day off is tomorrow.” Liam complained.

Valeri chuckled lightly, “Oh? Well – we’ll see.”

“That’s it?” He asked

“For now.”

“Okay.”

They talked for a few more minutes, while Liam flirted shamelessly and tried to wheedle more information out of her. She wouldn’t budge though. She said they would talk later, and that was it. He went to bed wondering what tomorrow would bring.

GM
When you wake up, you’re slightly nervous, but you don’t have any new calls or missed messages. What do you want to for the day? Peace River is a big city. Where are you going to go and what will you explore?

ME
i am going to wake up, take my dog for a run, (with my pistol in my leg holster by my thigh, i may live in a nice neighbor hood but i am not stupid. peace river was not what it once was). after that i will head to the gym and work out a bit. then i am going to go to the bar and see if any of the guys are there. play pool for a while. and place a large bet on the dune hammers to win. (muhahaha)

It was dark outside when Liam’s scheduling program came to life, bringing him awake with a gentle hum and increasing the lighting dimly. They would increase their luminosity over the next few minutes. He checked the time on the base of the lamp. A digital display read 5:30. He’d slept in a bit.

As he clambered out of bed, the trideo came on, displayed on a wall near his bed. The morning news was clamoring about an upcoming debate that administrator Hitashi was involved in. At the bottom of the screen, he was informed that he had a bill from the Second Terrace Municipal Hospital for one Lance Vizel. He turned it off immediately. Today was his day off. He wanted peace and quiet – at least to start out with.

He walked out to the kitchen. He made an omelet in a skillet and had it with glass of fresh kiwani juice. Max, Liam’s dawg, trundled in with a leash in his mouth. He dropped it at Liam’s feet. “Yup. You know it’s time for a run.”

Just then, the sun crested over the storm wall that enfolded Peace River. It shone in his picture windows that took up most of one wall. Looked like the storm had abated. Sometimes they could last for days.

He strapped his datacomm on his wrist and put the leash on Max, being careful of his three large fangs. Unlike their Earth counterparts, dawgs on Terra Nova were much more aggressive and are never truly domesticated. Having one wander freely about one’s home was unthinkable. Max was a singular creature. Genetically cross-bred with the drop lynx made him much calmer, but no less imposing. Like other dawgs, his faceted eyes gave him an excellent range of view and he had keen hearing as well. Liam had had him trained by POC as a guard dog, and he knew how to sniff out explosives as well. Succinctly, Liam wasn’t afraid of having his condo broken into.

“Let’s go, boy!” He tossed Max a small, dead lizard, which he caught in midair with gusto. They stepped out of the home into the cold morning. Liam clicked the door shut behind him. It locked automatically with an audible ‘whirr-click’. He started for Overlook Park at a dawdling jog.


Liam was on his way home at a much brisker pace when the call came. He was wondering if Valeri was interested now that he wasn’t on her team and if not, if he really wanted to get involved with a partner he worked with. She was attractive, but very different from Valeri.

His datacomm pulsed once. He glanced down at it. It read: ‘POC – Cap Tightass’. Looked like Captain Jackson was giving him another call. He wasn’t a fan of the captain. He treated the other officers just fine, but he constantly singled Liam out, making him feel as though he were being addressed by a parent. It was annoying. He had pulled two extra shifts recently at the Captain’s request, with the hope of getting on his good side. It hadn’t worked. So, he ignored the call. Today was his day.

When he got home, he gave Max another treat, and unleashed him. He immediately cuddled up on a cozy mat in front of the entertainment center. Liam headed for the bathroom, where he took a warm shower, reveling in in warm water. On the lower terraces, not everyone could shower with water. They had to be blasted by sand and warm air. Then you got to pick the grainy leftovers out your hair and from in between your toes. He had done that all growing up in the Prospects. He didn’t miss it. Water was an extra luxury that was worth paying for.

When he got out, he had a message on the datacomm marked ‘Urgent’ from Jackson. “I’ll bet it’s urgent.” Liam thought ruefully. He cued the message. “Liam, sorry I missed you, blah blah blah – PaxSec blah blah blah -”

Wait. Paxton Security? Peace River’s secret police and private security force? What would that have to do with work? Liam tracked the message back a bit.

“Liam sorry I missed you, I’ve received a call from a Captain Blayne with PaxSec. He wants to see you today in their offices in the Executive Tower at 9:00 sharp. Not sure what about.”

What would PaxSec want with me? he thought. He checked the time. 8:02. He was nervous.


The closest entry to the Executive Tower on the second terrace was lavish. Six blockish columns stretched upward four stories, flanking the set of eight impenetrable black glass doorways. On either side of the glass, a fountain of clear water emerged from the walls in a small waterfall that ran down a pair of narrow aqueducts that conjoined under a wide bridge built of a dark polished stone material. Two small trees stood on either side of each column, swaying in the desert wind.

The entry was tightly controlled. Liam stood waiting, as various lavishly-dressed executives passed him on their way inside with a narrow look of superiority. Two masked PaxSec officers checked Liam’s identification, running it through various checks. He was sure he was going to be turned away. He’d only been in the Executive Tower twice before. Each time it had taken his breath away. This time was sure to be no different.

One of the black clad officers drew a bright orange bracelet from behind the podium he stood at. He motioned to Liam, who drew closer. “This bracelet will grant you temporary access to the Executive Tower. Don’t take it off while inside. If you choose to remove it, the results will be… unfortunate.”

“You are to report directly to PaxSec HQ on level 23, section A. You will be under surveillance.”

Liam nodded his understanding, then proceeded across the bridge alone. While he’d been inside before, he’d never done so alone, and before he had been in a rush. He walked between the rushing waters to stand before the glossy black doorway. Even this close, he couldn’t see through it. The automated doorway suddenly whisked open and he stepped through into the tower of power.

The interior was like being in another world. The first thing that struck him was the air. It was like a wall of coolness washed over him. For the moment, it no longer felt as though he lived in a desert wasteland. He went in a little further.

The walls were covered in digital signage that slowly scrolled along, advertising services for the ultra-rich. Everything else was a glossy white enamel. It was a pristine environment. Sanitized. From the glances he received, he felt like he was the one thing out of place. A Peace Officer? Here? This was PaxSec’s domain. He ignored them.

Liam walked to the edge of the glass balcony that stretched for nearly a mile around the cylindrical building of executive suites that stood like an impenetrable pillar of enamel and glass across a chasm of open space. Once at the edge, he looked down, even though he knew the sight would terrify him. He looked down a cliff of glossy white
for nearly a quarter mile, that space punctuated by luxurious hanging gardens and water features. Several vast waterfalls cascaded far below. Somewhere above, a pair of hang gliders meandered with plenty of room to maneuver. A digital blue sky tricked him into believing a tempest hadn’t been here the day before.

It took a moment to find an elevator that would take him the 100 plus stories down to level 23. The glass elevator whooshed him down at an electrifying rate. From here he could see the electric veins that pulsed in Peace River and made the city live. He felt close to the heart of some monolithic organism.

He could tell when he reached the PaxSec offices because all of the glossy white surfaces became glossy black surfaces. He became aware of security cameras stalking his progress as he drew closer, as every few feet he saw a new one positioned in a different corner. Another whooshing black door made way for him and he was inside. The foyer was spacious. Two staircases led up to offices on either side of the building. A receptionists desk was further in, on the main level. An attractive woman stood behind it. As he drew closer, he became somewhat enamored with how beautiful she really was. Her skin wasn’t just smooth, it was perfect – perfectly smooth. It was obviously fake. Some kind of synthetic skin? He wondered for a moment if she might be some kind of android until she addressed him with a cursory nod. She noted his wristband and pointed to an office behind her and far back in one corner. “Room eleven. That’s where the others are gathered.”

Liam discovered that there was a total of seventeen others. All peace officers from various districts who had been directed to come here. They waited. Liam could tell that all of them were fidgety and tense – though they pretended not to be. Liam just pretended a little better than most.

GM
Now that you’ve arrived, what do you want to do?

Me Liam is going to take a seat. he does not care where. he is going to look and memorize everyones faces.

Liam so how are we all enjoying our day off?
Me, liam is just going to make small talk to try to calm everyones nerves a bit before they people come in.

OfficeLiam scanned the faces of each individual, one by one. There were seven women, ten men, and himself. All wore bright orange wristbands. They stood in a stark, oddly shaped office, filled with posh furniture that had unique dimensions. He took a seat next to a young man with sharp, eastern features. Instead of a Peace Officers uniform, he was dressed in a dusky caravaneer’s surcoat, which hung open at the neck, and was cinched at the waist by a leather belt. He sported a thin beard and glanced around warily. Liam sat next to him.

“So, how are we all enjoying our day off?” Liam asked. Some scowered, but the young man just smirked. “Seems like PaxSec wants us for something, but is working up the nerve to ask.”

Liam nodded, still scanning faces. The young man stuck out his hand in greeting. “Niko Lasseur.” Liam shook his hand. “Liam Mason.” After a moment of empty silence, Liam asked, “So… you don’t seem to match everyone around here…”

Niko smiled. “I don’t, do I? Probably why I’m a bit edgy. I… have had some bad run-ins with your Peace Officers before. I’d really rather not be here.”

“Yeah? Who sent you an invite?” Liam asked, wondering.

“Let’s just say that this is an option of community service I was offered. It beats cleaning, office work, and jail time.”

Liam wondered at that. Why were they here? He suspected that question would soon be answered when a dark-skinned man walked into the room. His head was shaved and he work the black uniform of a PaxSec officer, inverted peace emblems and all. The crowd made way for him and he stopped behind the white desk that dominated the room, preferring to stand rather than sit. The man scanned the room for a moment, apparently counting heads. He didn’t waste time getting to it.

“You’re probably wondering why you’re here. Your departments have identified you as ‘extras’. Those they could spare, off-duty, or in a transitionary period. Right now we need extra boots on the ground, and you’re it. So listen up.”

“You may have heard of the delegation coming from Basal. For those of you who don’t watch the news – Basal is a city-state in the Eastern Suns and is currently engaged in a bitter civil war with that lunatic, Masao. Their leader, Nigel Shirow, is sending some of his people to do business with us. They are expected to be here for a week – maybe a little more. During that time, we need to see that their people are safely accommodated. That’s where you come in. You’re on security detail. You may consider yourselves directly under the command of Colonel Lenaris and I am his liason to you at this time.”

There was some conspiratorial whispering at the name of Colonel Reichter Lenaris – Niko turned to Liam, “Who’s Colonel Lenaris?”

“He’s the commander of PaxSec.” Liam answered quietly.

“All Paxsec?” Niko asked.

Liam nodded in confirmation.

Blayne continued, “You’ll report to the Executive Tower airport tomorrow morning at 13 am. Are there any questions?”

GM
Captain Blayne will field questions for the next few minutes. In addition, you can talk to Niko, or try to meet a few other people. If you have direct questions for me about what’s been presented, let me know.

Liam
what possible threats are we dealing with here? bombs, sniper fire, all out assult?…have there been any threat letters sent?

me
Liam is going to talk to NIko some more and see if he has a place to stay, if he doesent he can stay with him. i am going to talk to all the people there and invite them to the bar later that night just to get to know eachother a little bit more and get some trust and a feel for their team. if there are any threat of bombs then i am going to bring duke with me in the morning.

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