Blimp Bombs

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Frank and Luca decide to repair the Flying Fish. While Frank does the hull, Luca will add a neural jack uplink to the Fish's electronics.
There's an explosion on the bridge, and a slightly scorched Luca emerges. She admits she's done an oopsie and accidentally connected the main power supply to the sensitive electronics. Both the entire suite plus the neural jack interface are blown. The Fish will not be usable for the next few weeks.
A very pissed of Rick has the Fish towed to a nearby wharf, and gives himself a few days off to unwind.
Alex has the pheromones biomod fitted in Haven Hospital.


Rain season has started, and a thick heavy monsoon pours down for days.
Party gets invitation from Devon Gray to celebrate they survived the expedition
At 2200 they arrive at Devon's very luxurious apartment at the HIST.
Devon receives them graciously, and tells them that Kettmann has declined his invitation, and he has not invited the twins.
Devon tells them Lau will be joining them later. Raijha is a special case, he has developed a fear of water and has become even more instable than he used to be.
Lau enters, and dinner is served.
During dessert, Devon asks them for advise on a problem he's got.
Recently, Lau has gotten a new colleague, Edmund Johnson, in the lab of the xenobiology department of the HIST.
He is not really sociable, but one time when Lau tried to make small-talk she saw him quickly clicking away a document which featured the GenDiver logo. Also, he is behaving distinctly paranoid lately.
This in itself is not strange, but Lau got a bit worried when she heard that 2 weeks ago two of his associates died when on a field-trip.
Johnson claimed the died from a stonesnake attack. Lau tells the party that while this is possible, stonesnakes are seldom sees this far east.
All this made Devon a bit nervous, and he fears that Johnson may pose a threat to Lau.
Devon wants he party to find out what Johnson's connection with GenDiver is, what really happened to the dead associates. They agree on 1500 cs/day, plus expenses.
Lau provides the party with information about Johnson: He is specialized in Blimp biology. She'll provide them with info about the blimps.


Luca and Frank take the MagLev to Haven CBD to find commcore access from which they can hack into the HIST archives to see what Johnson has been working on.
It appears the HIST is very secure. It takes 6 tries from various computers until Luca finally sees a flaw in the security. She finds payroll information on Johnson, his address, data on his associates, a mass of information on blimps.
One of the documents details on the location of the field trips that Johnson and his associates took. Frank downloads everything they found to his bodycomp.
Frank notices an unfinished one-month old treatise on how the immune system of Poseidon's indigenous species reacts on implants.
While checking out Johnson's email box they discover certain entries have been deleted.
Meanwhile, Lau arrives on a very nice jumpbike. While Rave is drooling about the machine, Lau hands Alex a dataspike which can be uploaded in a survival guide. The dataspike contains all info she could find about blimps.
The jumpbike was a present from Devon for Lau's birthday. Rave asks pretty please and is allowed a testrun as long as he keeps to the ground.
Seeing Rave enjoying himself, Alex wants to have a go as well and nearly crashes the jumpbike into a tree during a less than perfect executed turn.
Alex asks Lau to ask around after Johnson. Has he always been like this, or has his behavior changed recently.
Lau leaves, and a few hours later Luca and Frank arrive with the information they found.
After some discussion on what all this information can mean ("He is socially handicapped and is now trying his luck with Blimps", the phrase "BlimpFucker" is coined) they decide to pay a visit to Johnson's apartment. Preferably when he's not home.
While Rave and Luca wait on the campus in one of the cantinas Alex and Frank check out the block where Johnson lives.
The frontdoor is locked with an electronic lock. Alex notices a camera mounted above door and urges Frank to move on; when they round the block (meanwhile discussing what to do) they see a resident punching in a code and entering.
Frank hurries to the door, switches his cybereye to infrared and sees which code sequence was punched. He quickly repeats it and the door opens.
The enter the stairway, where Alex cautions Frank to take of his wet coat, and dry his shoes so that they will leave less traces.
The inner door is locked with a conventional lock. Alex quickly picks it.
Inside, there is a small hallway with a bedroom on one side, a closet and restroom on the other and at the end the door to the living.
Frank checks out the computer and the dataspikes on the desk. Alex quickly finds a safe behind -where else- a painting.
The computer is secured, and Frank can't get in so instead checks out the dataspikes. He copies them all to his bodycomp, but find one is encrypted.
Meanwhile Alex has cracked the safe. Inside is a small amount of money, a copy of all of Johnson's scientific papers and a printout of a GenDiver email thread.
As Frank cracks the code on the dataspike, and Alex makes a holo of the email conversation they hear the front door is open and close.
Franticly thinking what to do (the apartment is on the 2nd floor; too high to jump) they hear the restroom door being opened and closed and next someone humming.
Quickly the documents are put back in the safe. Frank takes a dump of the encrypted spike with him and they quickly tiptoe out of the house.
In the hallway Frank trips over the Johnson's umbrella and lands with a crash on the floor. Alex pulls him out of the doorway and slams the door shut.
They make it to the stairs just in time. Rave will comment later : "Frank got lucky; Desmond's was caught with his pants down" Frank: "In my line of business that's normal"
Back at Orchard Enterprises the catch is analysed. The email thread with GenDiver starts with Johnson offering to sell a 'brilliant idea' to GenDiver; to which he had received a reply that he would be contacted to explain his idea.
The next mail -2 weeks later- is GenDiver declining the offer. The project was interesting but GenDiver in not interested. Johnson requests the reason why.
The next email is a few weeks later still. In an aggressive tone Johnson demands to know why GenDiver has rejected his brilliant project.
GenDiver responded by clearly stating that this kind of tone is uncalled for and that all contact will now cease.
The last entry in the thread is by Johnson: He's ranting to the stupid sods at GenDiver; they are morons; he'll take his project somewhere else; and they'll be sorry de turned is offer down. So there.
The data on the cracked dataspike turns out to be porn of a highly questionable nature. Rave is left to sample the spike, and his clearly nauseated comment is "I did not know you could do that with stick monkeys." Yuck.
According to the recovered data the location of Johnsons field trips is on Cairo, a mere 35 km from Haven. The group decides to take the Albatross to check it out.
During recon from the air they spot a large shed in the jungle near where a small river. Luca lands the craft on the beach some 50 m from the shed.
Rave proposes to take a detour through the jungle to avoid being spotted. When they approach the jungle edge they see a group of large beetle-like critters.
Some of the beetles seems to be locked together. According to Alex' survival guide these are chain beetles. They feed on plant matter and are not considered dangerous to humans.
Somewhat relieved the group decides to be careful nonetheless, and take a slight detour around the beetles. The beetles clearly have other ideas and attack.
Alex fires a shot in the hope to drive them off, but the chain beetles are undeterred. A chain of 6 beetles attaches to his left leg and starts to chew happily away.
While the remainder of the groups pulls out guns and starts to shoot at the beetles Rave helps Alex to get rid of his attackers.
A few minutes later the beach is littered with beetle-goo, and Frank binds Alex' wounds. Alex wonders why it is always him that gets attacked.
Continuing their investigation, the group finds the shed is actually kind of boathouse. The large front door is closed, but there is a small pier which leads to a door .
As the door is carefully opened the hear a faint sloshing sound and a soft whistling.
Frank switches on the light. A small blimp (15m in length) floats above the water inside the shed. A workbench and computer terminal line the far wall.
As they look at the blimp -never have they seen a blimp from this close- they see rays of light flashing off of metallic attachments to its airflippers and nosecone. Johnson has fitted the blimp with what looks to be remote control.
The computer terminal contains a log of the research. All entries up to 2 months ago are scientific and orderly, detailing on how the blimp has reacted on the implants.
2 Months ago, one of Johnsons associates reported seeing a strange creature in the water during a foraging foray. According to the entry, both of his associates were killed during a subsequent stonesnake attack.
After the incident the entries become more erratic, and the ideas wilder. Johnson is convinced that blimps can be converted into bombs powerful enough to level cities.
Group analysis is that the same happened to Johnson and his group as what happened to them during their expedition with Devon. Frank thinks the aborigines can excrete a neurotoxin which makes native life hostile and can make humans insane.
The group make a dump of the computer logs. Luca is in favor of releasing the blimp, but the rest of the group disagrees. They do not want to leave evidence of having been in there.
Back in Haven, the group visits Devon and Lau and present them all information which they have found: Johnson has gone insane and is performing questionable though not illegal experiments; and has quite peculiar sexual appetites.
Devon decides to pull some strings to have Johnson moved to a different room than Lau's, but to leave him be for the moment.
He compliments the party on their quick and thorough work, and throws in a small bonus.
That night, Rave is suffering from nightmares involving stick monkeys assaulting him in unpleasant ways. His cries are bad enough that Frank and Luca decide to spend the night in the Albatross.
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