Wednesday, 31 December 2014

The Repo-Man - Part 5 - A First Law: Override Short Story

- Part 5: The Suspect

The sun began to set overhead as Redd's Cobra left the two hundreds and entered region 399. The hunters knew that this was the region where Core-Gen held their consultation office which serviced Villa and Klein and it was with a renewed vigour that Redd drove to their destination.

The site for the Core-Gen consultation was much the same as they had seen in the two hundreds. It's walls were a mixture of clean steel interspersed with reinforced plastiglass while it's signage was small and subtle. As they parked the Cobra they stepped out into the reddening sky and breathed in the air. To Redd it felt natural, not like the pollution filled foulness of the six hundreds, or even the O2 enriched air he had experienced in the two hundreds, here in the three hundreds, even if it was just by a single number, the air felt natural.

Together the pair entered the building through a sizeable clear glass door which opened automatically as they approached it, creating a woosh sound that would not have been out of place in a science fiction film from back on Earth. Inside they were greeted by a large reception area with yet more metallic and plastiglass decor. Looking ahead at the reception desk they noticed an obvious lack of receptionist and in it's place a sheet of plastiglass that glistened as if filled with opaque blue crystals.

Redd was the first to approach the reception when the figure of a humanoid materialised within the crystallised glass. At first it was small, as if far away in the distance and both hunters observed as it appeared to walk towards them getting larger and larger with every step.

The humanoid appeared to be a female Hydan with pale green-yellow skin, large oval eyes and the traditional bone-like structure that crested their heads. She was wearing a dark grey two piece suit with a formal white shirt and equally formal black tie. As she approached she turned to one side facing the reception desk and appeared to sit behind the desk. After what felt like an almost uncomfortable moment she spoke in a soft; clearly human tone.

"Greetings and welcome to Core-Gen" she smiled warmly "I am Genevieve and I am pleased to have you" she paused briefly as the image of her head flicked between the two hunters

"...two here" She smiled once more before carrying on her welcome speech "Please tell me... Paul and... Christopher" she continued looking directly at Paul and Redd in turn "what we can do for you?"

Redd visibly winced at the use of his forename and Paul noticed, taking lead.

"Thank you, we'd like to speak with someone about the dermal implants done for Villa and Klein" Paul flashed his badge once more. Genevieve briefly looked in it's direction before allowing Paul to continue "it's about the murder of Miss Caroline West".

Genevieve glanced momentarily at both hunters before replying "of course" she said "I have been made aware of these terrible events, but I am afraid I am unable to comply".

Paul tried to intervene but Genevieve continued "it appears your badge is only applicable to the city state of Free Port and therefore does not provide you with jurisdiction within Region 399 of our tower residence". Paul had never heard The Block or any region within being referred to as such. Genevieve continued "so if you wouldn't mind leaving and handing yourself to local law enforcement for improper use of the Bounty Hunter Licence; code 49 sub section 3. Thank you".

With that Genevieve stood from behind her table and appeared to walk away from the pair until she was little more than a speck on the crystallised glass and then she vanished all together.

"Well... Fuck!" Shouted Paul, clearly agitated "that's just great! Bloody great!"

Redd nodded and pulled his leg mounted sawn off shotgun and smiled before levelling the gun to eye height and pulling the trigger unleashing both barrels simultaneously into the crystal glass wall that consisted previously as Genevieve. Instantly and alarm sounded from all around but was quickly silenced as a short man in a dark blue suit, clean swept hair and a neat trimmed beard appeared from behind a plastiglass door located behind the reception desk.

"Gentlemen!" The man smiled smugly with a strong Eastern European accent "there is no need for such violence" he held out his arms as if offering an embrace to the two hunters "this is a place of innovation and healing, not violence and destruction".

Redd reloaded his shotgun and flicked out a cheap cigarette from his pocket before placing it between his lips, calmly lighting it and raising his gun in the direction of the suited man.

"I've had enough of receptionists" muttered Redd, dragging deep on his cigarette and breathing out in the man's direction "and I've also had enough of people in suits". Redd cocked his shotgun, still aimed at the man in the suit.

The man in the suit changed his posture, his welcoming arms raising themselves above his head as if in surrender.

"Of course" the man replied, a faint unease in his voice "I understand you want to speak with someone about Caroline West?" He asked "well I was her technical support agent. I will gladly answer any questions you may have". Slowly he lowered his hands and gestured behind him to the door he had only just left "please come into my office".

The door that the man had entered from lead to a corridor which was lined by nearly fifteen further doors on both sides. Towards the far end a single room stood open and as the man followed by the bounty hunters entered a plastiglass door closed gently and quickly shifted to a mat-black colour.

The man turned to face both hunters and gestured to the single moulded smooth metal chairs that stood before his plastiglass desk.

"Please sit" asked the man complete with an undertone suggesting that this request was more of a demand than anything else "or would you prefer to shoot up this room with your weapons?"

Both Paul and Redd sat and the man mirrored quickly afterwards. The man nodded sternly and then moved a hand across his desk. Behind him a promotional video began to play.

"I am Doctor Stackov, but you can call me..." The man stopped and looked over both hunters carefully "...Dimitri"

Paul had been busy taking in the building and the suited man. He had established that they were located on the outside wall of the facility and based on the faint noises they had passed entering this room there were manufacturing or perhaps fitting rooms between them and the reception area. Most surprisingly this Stackov had not called law enforcement. This he was sure as he knew that if they had by now both him and Redd would be tucked out of sight in a collection van on its way to a depot, probably never to be seen again.

Paul wanted to hate Redd for pulling the stunt he did by shooting the artificial receptionist screen, but he knew that given their current situation it would be weeks if not months before they would be granted jurisdiction in the Block, and even with the support of the 602 Law Office there was no way those in the three hundreds would listen to them, especially when they were just about to implicate them in a serious crime.

"What do you know about illegal repossessions of dermal implants?" Paul's question was sudden and almost unexpected. Stackov appeared almost surprised by the question but Paul had his suspicions that Stackov had expected about this sort of thing when he lead them to his office.

Stackov pyramided his fingers together, breathed in and began tapping his finger tips against themselves.

"Dermal implant repossession?" Stackov asked

"Yes" replied Paul.

"Well I can't say I am personally familiar with the direct act itself, but if you were asking about it; should we say, indirectly? Then I would say it was a necessary evil of our profession".

Both hunters were almost stunned into silence by the response, before them sat a man dressed in a smart, expensive suit, in a smart expensive office, and was pretty much confessing his guilt to the use of illegal repos.

Stackov stood and began to pace around his office, behind his chair the promotional video had continued to play. Where as previously it was show casing a beautiful woman, now her skin had been made clear in certain locations, namely an eye, part of the skull, an arm and part of the neck revealing a number of mechanical implants.

"I am assuming that you have found out about what happened to Miss West?" Stuckov continued "such a shame, she would have made a wonderful poster girl, but I guess that is just what happens when you default on your repayments".

"What is?" Barked Redd at Stuckov, clearly unable to retain any composure.

"Repossession of course" came Stuckov's reply. "To be honest, I'm amazed it's taken someone this long to catch on with our man, he's been out there for longer than you think, and yet you are the first ones to start knocking on our doors".

Paul felt a sinking in his gut. This was not a confession at all, neither did this Stackov see himself as guilty of any crime, more so he clearly saw himself as immune from prosecution.

"I can tell by your faces that you did not expect any of this, is that correct?" Stuckov continued "it's not been easy walking around with all of this, just waiting for the time we would have to call in a favour, but alas that time is now it seems".

Paul was turning pale but in comparison Redd was enraging, his fingers scraping against the metal of their chairs "we're going to string you up, you fucker!" Shouted Redd as he lunged out of his chair in the direction of Stuckov who waited before him with a single finger raised and wagging in disapproval.

"Nuh,uh, ah!" Came the far too confident reaction from Stuckov who effortlessly moved out of the direction of Redd's bull-like charge "you see, you're at Core-Gen, and at Core-Gen we are..."

There was a glint in Stuckov's eye for a moment and Paul's gut finally sank as he realised what was about to happen as a familiar whirr of a heavy automatic rifle began from the other side of the nearby outside wall, the next moment the entire office exploded in a mixture of bullet fire, metal composite and plastiglass fragments.


- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Monday, 29 December 2014

The Repo-Man - Part 4 - A First Law: Override Short Story

Part 4 - The Case Opens

It was early afternoon when the pair of Bounty a Hunters were arriving in region 214. It had taken then multiple hours to pass through the three hundreds checkpoint and the view on the other side was breath taking. Redd had never been past the three hundreds checkpoint and despite being the driver of his precious Cobra he could not take his attention away from the sights that surrounded him; most important of all was the genuine sunlight that beat down on them. On more than one occasion Redd caught himself thinking about how beautiful it was in the two hundreds and how angelic the one hundreds must be in comparison.

When Paul and Redd arrived at Villa and Klein's the sky was beginning to darken and they both knew that their time was short if they wanted to question the victim's employer. Before then stood the Accounting firm, it's walls made out of white-polished steel that reflected the setting star of the Honos system with an orange glow. Set within the walls was a door of deep brown genuine wood carved with adorning curls and markings that seemed to serve no functional purpose.

"Leave the talking to me" Paul politely ordered to Redd "You've never dealt with anyone above the three hundreds. Either your tongue will swell or you'll insult them".

Redd nodded looking slightly embarrassed but knowing Paul was right. With a dry throat he paused open the door and the pair entered the lobby.

The reception area was covered in a plush burgundy carpet, it reminded Redd of the type of furnishings that he had seen gang bosses use so that it his blood stains. The ceiling was bone white arches adorned with golden filigree that lead down to red wood panelling that fed back to the burgundy carpet. In stark contrast to the 601 mortuary, there were eight single person chairs, each one upholstered in the finest of padded comfort and surrounding a small yet sizeable circular wooden table. Redd couldn't tell by looking but he was prepared to put his take on this job that these tables were not attached to the floor.

At the far end of the reception area was a manned desk, a youthful man who sat upright looking directly at the Bounty Hunters with a perfectly polite smile, thin rimmed glasses and an Air-Pad that floated on the desk to which the receptionist typed away quickly and precisely. At that point neither Hunter had ever seen an Air-Pad before, but they had heard many stories about the richest of the rich who had devoted a digi-pad who's processor was mounted into a dermal implant on the back of the user's hand. This allowed the user to type in thin air without requiring a physical device. Of course initial tests had proved problematic and so the Air-Pad v2 had been created; the one this receptionist used, which emitted a faint hologram allowing the user and any viewers to see what was being 'typed'.

As the Hunters approached the reception desk the man smiled warmly. Everything about him had been tailored to create the most 'perfectly polite' experience for the customer from his hair style to the not too-whiteness of his teeth.

"May I help you gentlemen?" Asked the receptionist. It was impossible to place his accent. He wasn't British, he wasn't American and he certainly wasn't European or African, instead his voice seemed to be all of these at the same time, and yet none of them. A perfectly polite accent so no matter your own country of origin you felt welcomed and safe.

"Yes, we're looking for..." Paul paused and pulled out his digi-pad "Caroline... West?"

"I'm sorry" replied the receptionist looking genuinely disheartened at the news he was about to break to the men "but Miss West is no longer with the agency" the receptionist paused too while he glanced at his Air-Pad and tapped away quickly "perhaps you would like to speak with Ms Hu instead?" The receptionist looked at the hunters expectantly.

Paul shook his head and pulled out his Bounty Hunter badge before replying in the most serious tone he could manage. "That's not good enough, maybe we could see Caroline's boss instead?"

The receptionist glanced at his Air-Pad again, his perfectly polite demeanour slowly slipping from his face "I'm afraid Mr Thaits is not available at this time" his perfectly polite smile returned to his face as he cocked his head ever so slightly to one side "perhaps you would like to make an appointment?"

Paul stared into the receptionist's eyes trying to get as best an understanding of the man as possible. The receptionist was clearly human and alive, but his face and reactions were as calculated and cold as that of a Reborn cyborg.

"Maybe I didn't make myself clear" continued Paul, placing both hands firmly on the desk "this is about a murder, one that we believe Mr Thaits holds crucial information about!"

"One moment please" the receptionist did not look phased or surprised in the slightest and continued to tap away at his Air-Pad before nodding as if agreeing with some unknown voice. "Mr Thaits will see you now. Please take the elevator behind you to the thirty third floor" the receptionist gestured behind them as an elevator door soundlessly opened and the two bounty hunters quietly obliged.

No sooner as they had stepped inside the elevator did the doors close and the carriage began to climb. At least the numbers above the door were switching from Ground to Second, then Third, Forth and so on. If it was not for these numbers neither Paul not Redd would have known they were moving due to the total lack of turbulence the carriage suffered as it transitioned smoothly and cleanly from floor to floor.

The inside of the carriage looked much like the reception area of the building with plush burgundy carpet and ivory walls. There were no buttons present within the elevator nor any controls of any kind signalling to both occupants that this was completely controlled by the perfectly polite receptionist at all times. It caused Redd no end of discomfort to think how much at the mercy of a single person they were at that point.

After what seemed like half way between no time at all, and far too long a wait the elevator's digits stopped at sixty fourth floor and the doors slid open. Ahead of them was yet more burgundy, ivory and gold and they were presented with a neatly square room devoid of any furnishings beyond a single dark brown wooden desk behind which sat a man who at first glance appeared to be in his mid to late twenties. He was sat staring directly in the direction of the two hunters, but it was clear his focus was not on them, instead his eyes darted around them as if focusing on images and information that only he could see.

Paul had seen this behaviour before; this man had been chipped with a dermal implant, something quite similar to the one presumed missing from the victim and it was clear from the mid air tapping the man's fingers made while using his Air-Pad that he was currently in the middle of work. By his side Paul heard Redd mutter something under his breath, something about pencil pushers and desk jockeys to which Paul nudged him reminding Redd of where they were and to leave any conversation down to him.

As the two approached the desk the man made a large sweeping motion with his right hand and promptly placed both hands clasped together on his desk, looking directly at the two with a smile that seemed to mirror that of the receptionist below them.

"You must be the bounty hunters, yes?" Asked the man. His perfectly tanned blemish free skin hardly moving as he spoke.

The man did not stand or even extend a hand in greeting, instead he moved his left hand in a brief circular motion and in front of the desk two upholstered chairs extended out from the desk the man sat behind.

"Please have a seat. I believe you wanted to speak with me about a..." The man paused as if looking for the right words "a murder. Yes, let's not mess about with words, shall we?"

"Mr Thaits is it?" Enquired Paul, gesturing for Redd to seat in one of the chairs, while he promptly took the other.

"Robert Thaits, yes" replied the man. "How can I help you?"

"We're here about Caroline West" stated Paul. There was no emotion in his voice, he was cold and exacting in his demeanour.

"Of course" replied Thaits "a terrible state of affairs that. Such a tragedy when someone so young looses their life".

Paul began to question how this man knew of what happened to the victim, but before he was able to utter more than a handful of words, Thaits continued.

"Yes, yes. But first may I ask what it is that has brought two bounty hunters to our office? Are you not usually preoccupied with chasing down bail dodgers or wanted criminals rather than investigating into who committed the crimes?"

Paul paused for a moment to collect his thoughts. He was used to dealings within Free Port where due to a lack of recognised law enforcement it was left to the hunters to perform all the work in tracking down those who committed crimes. He had forgotten that here in the Block that was normally left to law enforcement, complete with any corruption that came with it.

Paul nodded calmly and began what he hoped would be a suitable reply "we're here on request of the father. Six One Two law enforcement are aware of our involvement and are happy for us to take lead on any investigation" Paul took a breath observing any reaction from Thaits "you can contact them if you so wish?"

Redd stayed quiet as he watched Thaits listen intently to Paul. Throughout the entire brief explanation Thaits didn't react in the slightest until the offer of contact was made, it was in that moment Thaits' pupils dilated then contracted and for what looked like an instant his cheeks flushed with colour.

"No, no" reassured Thaits "that will not be necessary. So what can I do to help you both?"

"We understand Caroline was working for you?" Asked Paul, his manner once again precise and controlled.

"Not for the past..." Thaits paused, his fingers tapping into thin air "two months" Thaits continued. "Yes, tragic affair. She was let go on the most unavoidably sad circumstances".

Paul cocked his head to one side "circumstances?"

"Drugs" came the abrupt reply from Thaits "we regularly have drug screening here at Villa and Klein's, standard procedure. And sadly on more than one occasion little Caroline failed the test" he turned his head in the direction of an outer wall as if staring out of a window that did not exist "so terrible".

"I see" replied Paul "and if I can ask, did you know she was chipped?"

"Of course" came an abrupt reply from Thaits. "That's standard practice here. Everyone is chipped"

Paul nodded in reply before following through with another question "and how is that financed?"

"Privately" Thaits answered "during employment we issue new starters with a discount voucher at our specified supplier but the actual finances are worked out independent of the company".

Paul nodded and gently stood from his seat. Redd followed suit. "Thank you" said Paul bowing slightly "you have been more than helpful".

Thaits nodded in reply and swiped his right hand back again presumably returning whatever work he was previously occupied with.

"Oh but if I may?" Asked Paul giving Thaits a rude interruption "which company is that who supplies your chips?"

"Core-Gen!" Snapped Thaits back at the pair as he continued to work.

Paul bowed once again and the two returned to the elevator. Inside Paul gestured for quiet as the descended to the ground floor, nodded a fair well to the receptionist and returned to Redd's Cobra.

Once inside Redd turned Paul "So what is it boss? I haven't seen you pull the mac-trick in ages. You're onto something aren't you?"

Paul nodded but did not look pleased. "Our victim, Caroline West? She was chipped with her dermal implant at Core-Gen, then thanks to a drug problem was let go. Two months later she's found in the six hundreds with signs of living rough as a prostitute, stab marks from what appears to be a mugging turned murder and a hidden surgical mark from a chip extraction done just prior to her death?" Paul paused to take in Redd's reaction.

"You think this is a repo job?" Answered Redd.

Paul nodded "No way did the Wests have the funds to pay for that sort of chip work outright. Hell I doubt Mr Fancy-Pants in there could afford that. It would have been a repayment plan for sure".

Redd continued where Paul had left off "and when she got kicked out of work with a drug problem she had two immediate concerns; get her next fix and continue her repayments?"

"Exactly" stated Paul "she must have taken to the streets to pay for her drugs, but her repayments on the chipset must have fallen by the wayside. Core-Gen aren't happy so they send someone to reclaim their goods".

"And hide the whole thing by making it look like a mugging!" Exclaimed Redd.

Paul nodded thoughtfully before continuing "and as repossession of implants is illegal everywhere outside of Free Port, we've got one hell of a case on our hands".

Redd smiled, back in Free Port he had seen so many people having their lives destroyed by the repossession of implants where it was not done with appropriate care and medical attention, leaving the previous user no better than a vegetable. In Free Port however it was not illegal and as long as the owner was not killed in the process, fully legal. In the Block however this was not the case, and he was certain they would make both Core-Gen and whoever committed the crime pay for it.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

The Repo-Man - Part 3 - A First Law: Override Short Story

Part 3 - The Implant

It was morning by the time the mortician returned to his place of work, but when he did he was very surprised to see the two bounty hunters waiting for him outside their car. It looked like they had both been up all night and the one with the beard looked like he wanted to pick a fight. Rutherford gulped a dry throat as he neared the pair.

"Is everything alright?" Rutherford asked. Neither of the pair said anything but the younger man responded by flicking the remains of a half smoked cigarette into the road and approached Rutherford briskly.

"Doctor Rutherford" Paul enquired "we need to ask you about something with the body" Paul paused briefly "something not in her file".

Rutherford looked surprised, shocked and appalled at the implied accusation, but lead the men back into the mortuary, dismissing the custodian. Together the three approached the table with the now modestly covered body and Paul proceeded to peel back the covering cloth and expose the small surgical slice on her neck. Rutherford went pale.

"This is a surgical cut, isn't it?" Asked Paul "you did this didn't you?" Paul looked like he wanted to punch the mortician "you did it and you kept it out of your notes. Why?"

Rutherford's complexion went from pale to green before he finally replied "you have to believe me, I have never seen that before".

"What did you do?!" Paul demanded.

"Nothing!" Begged Rutherford, an air of desperation in his voice. "Look" Rutherford continued "I've seen that sort of thing before, it's the removal of a dermal implant" he paused "by the looks of the bruising..."

Rutherford paused, composed himself and his entire manner had changed, as if he realised whatever he feared was not an issue.

"This was done before he died" Rutherford continued "but only just, we are talking maybe minutes at most".

Paul nodded at the mortician before enquiring further "so the killer did it?"

Rutherford nodded "from the looks of the placement we are dealing with a cortex aid; something to help her calculate numbers or maybe assist with dyslexia".

Paul nodded, turned on the spot and began to walk out of the work room, Redd quickly following behind. He turned as they reached the door "thank you Doctor" Paul said "we'll let you know if you need anything else".

As they reached the street Redd opened his door to the Cobra before settling down in the drivers seat. Paul followed closely behind in the passengers. After the long night they had both were clearly released to be leaving the mortuary behind.

"So boss, what now?" Redd asked before yawning heavily.

"Let's get back to the store and get ourselves some rest. I'll page this in to head office, get the paperwork drawn up. Something tells me we have a case here, and it ain't just a mugging turned murder".

The ride back to 612 felt longer than on the journey there. The overhead lighting was growing in intensity creating the illusion of a sunrise and there was a tension in the air. Paul had often tried to explain this feeling to Redd before, how when they were on the verge of something big, it was as if the air itself knew it and would crackle in anticipation.

When the Cobra pulled up outside the Bounty Store there was something very surprising waiting for the bounty hunters; the homeless guy, James West, the father of the dead girl, he was sat upright in the chair he had been left in and he was awake reading what looked like a book but the front cover was far to crinkled for anyone to make it out.

Redd stayed in the car but quietly and carefully pulled his shotgun from it's holster as Paul exited the car and approached the man. There was something about James West that was different this time compared to the night before. Where as previously he had looked like a homeless person living off rats and mould, now he looked almost respectable and this unnerved Redd to no end.

Paul stepped carefully to wards West one hand resting on his side arm when West opened his mouth and quite eloquently began to speak.

"It's alright" West said reassuringly "I'm not here to cause any bother" West ran a hand through his greasy but tidied hair "I figured now that I slept the drink off I should come and see what you found" West stood up suddenly almost surprising Paul who took a slight step back "she was murdered wasn't she?"

Paul hesitated "we think so, but there's a few things we don't understand first"

"Of course" replied West "ask me anything".

Paul lead West back inside the store while Redd kept his shotgun close to hand, never once easing his vision away from the man. West looked like a business man who had been dragged through a sewer backwards, he was clearly the same man they had dealt with last night, but his manners were totally wrong.

West sat once again on the store's couch before Paul began the line of questioning.

"Where's your family from?" Paul began.

"Originally?" Asked West "two oh three".

"What are you doing here?"

"I was searching for my Carole".

"Why was she here?"

At that question West looked like his heart was ready to break when he replied.
"I don't... I don't know" West finally said after a pause. "She had a respectable well paid job at Villa and Klein's. You know? The accounting firm?" West paused again waiting for the pair of hunters to acknowledge the name, when they looked back at him with blank, un-recognising stares he continued "she had been working there for years, was doing really well, then one day she just up and leaves!"

Paul didn't ask any more questions, he thanked West, retrieved contact details and let the man out. One alone Paul turned to Redd a look of puzzlement on H's face.
"Accounting" Redd said to Paul with a smirk on his face "give me death over that Pee Oh Ess job any day!"

Paul smiled and nodded in agreement "but it explains the implant, she probably had it installed to help her perform better at her job".

"So where's it now?" Asked Redd rhetorically "and why was it removed in the first place? Fuck, maybe it was a mugging after all and they wanted the rich girl's implant?"

Paul shook his head still looking puzzled "no it can't be that" Paul replied. All dermo implants are configured for their user, it would have been useless to anyone else if it was stolen. But why was she here in the six hundreds anyway?"

Redd unbuckled his holster, dropped it on the floor and walked towards the door leading to the residential area of the Bounty Store before turning back to Paul.

"Maybe we should pay a visit to this accounting firm?" Redd asked "but first, I gotta get me some fucking sleep".

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

The Repo-Man - Part 2 - A First Law: Override Short Story

Part 2 - The Victim

The mortuary appeared like a forgotten mausoleum. It was built out of a solid metal that at one point may have been shiny or even reflective but after years of pollution and decay had turned a dull grey, almost stone like colour. It's massive eight foot high doors were imposing and acted as an almost deterrent against the legion of homeless that Region 601 held. It was with an excruciatingly loud squeal that these doors opened when pushed allowing Paul and Redd access to the mortuary.

Once inside the building the reception was no more welcoming. A large bulletproof window covered an opening in an almost totally intact wall. On the other side of this window sat a girl who no older than her early twenties had been haggard by drugs or alcohol or possibly just poor living conditions. The small microphone in front of her picked up the tinny sound of a cheap radio that had been placed just out of sight as it played what the Bounty Hunters could only assume was supposed to be passable for modern day classical music. Beside the girl an old rusty fan oscillated and groaned it's own industrial tune as it blew a slight breeze onto the girls face. On the other side of the glass was the waiting area which consisted of a small space no bigger than ten feet by five and housed an old metal table; apparently welded to the floor, and a single plasteel chair, also welded to the floor.

Paul approached the reception window while Redd remained near the door. As he approached the receptionist the room behind the girl became more obvious. It was nothing bigger than a box to house it's occupant with nearly enough space for the girl to turn on her chair. Paul took note of the digi-pad she was reading. It appeared to be displaying a novel or a short story, something by M. R. James of all people. Paul smiled as he saw the title header Whistle and I'll come to you one of his favourites. The girl looked up from her digi-pad.

"Can I help you gentlemen?" Her voice was nasally and she only moved one side of her mouth when she talked.

Paul leaned against the wall to one side of the window.

"Yes we're here to see the body?" He paused before flashing his Bounty Hunter badge in her direction, leaving it long enough for her to see what it was, but not long enough to see that it only held jurisdiction in Free Port, not the Block. Tucking the badge away Paul continued; "Caroline West, twenty five years old? Should have been brought in about two days ago?"

The girl swiped across her digi-pad and it switched from yellowed white in colour to surgical blue, she ran her fingers down the pads spine as it scrolled through the list of bodies currently held on site. The list was astounding.

"Yer, here we are" the girl said in an almost drone "I'll page the mort, get him to bring her up for you".

With that she swiped her index finger back across the pad and it switched back to it's yellowed white colour. At the same time there was a loud horn as a panel in the metal panelling alongside the window opened with a shunt revealing a long dimly lit corridor.

Paul thanked the girl and gestured to Redd who removed himself from the doorway and accompanied his partner down the corridor.

At the far end of the corridor was a single wooden panelled door from behind it the deep haunting sounds of Bach's Air on a G String seeped out. Redd carefully pushed the door open and the pair peered into the poorly lit workroom ahead.

The room was large, about twenty feet by ten but was cluttered with rows upon rows of work tables each one draped in a medical green cloth which presumably kept a body hidden from view. At the far end of the room there stood the mortician, a man roughly six feet tall who wore hospital scrubs, an operating hat and mask complete with safety goggles from which lights were attached which illuminated the corpse on the table before him. He looked up at the two as they entered and gestured with a blood soaked rubber glove for them to approach.

"Come in, come in!" Called the mortician in an elderly English accent. He sounded like the type of man you would expect teaching as a professor of history or some other humanities subject in the films from the twentieth century.

"I'm Doctor Rutherford, and you are?" The mortician continued before gesturing at the hunters.

"Homes and Redd" Paul replied pulling out his badge once more. Rutherford nodded and carefully removed his gloves before replacing them with a sterile pair. Rutherford then turned away from the men before limping his way to a nearby table.

Pulling back the medical cloth Rutherford revealed the body of a young woman, no older than the girl on the front desk but with skin as white and pristine as porcelain.

"It's not often we get one of these in here" stated Rutherford with a grim tone in his voice. "This girl isn't from the six hundreds. Based on her skin alone I'd put her up high, maybe even in the one hundreds regions".

Paul stepped closer and eyed the body up. There were marks showing signs of injury. Some of them were recent, maybe even related to her death. Others were much older, most of them treatment scars from fat and blemish removal. The doctor was right on this one, she was not from the six hundreds.

"Doctor Rutherford?" Asked Redd "mind if we have a look at your notes?"

The doctor nodded and pulled out a digi-pad before cycling through about 18 pages and then in a upwards swipe transmitted the data across to Redd's own device.

"Knock yourself out" replied Rutherford, "but you won't find anything new in there, she was a victim of a mugging gone bad, nothing more".

Redd studied the notes from his wrist mounted Personal Assistant, his forehead wrinkling into knots. It took many moments before he said anything;

"Doc...?" Asked Redd finally "you said here that she's been working the streets? A prostitute?" Rutherford nodded "why would a socialite from the hundreds be pulling tricks in the six hundreds?" Continued Redd.

Rutherford shrugged and turned his back on the body returning slowly to the cadaver he was working on when they arrived.

"Take your time, there's nothing you'll find on her that's not in the notes" ended Rutherford before replacing his gloves one more time and resuming his work.

Minutes turned to hours and Redd grew impatient as Paul went over the girls body inch by inch. On more than one occasion he stopped to examine a wound before passing over another and then studying a further one. After what felt to Redd like half a day and Rutherford had already finished for the night leaving a custodian to maintain watch on both the building and the Bounty Hunters, Paul finally said something to Redd.

"Here; the neck. See it?"

Redd crouched down low over the neck of the girl. He held his breath to avoid the smell of preservative. He couldn't see anything on the girls neck.

Paul shook his head in almost disapproval before sliding a finger alongside her jugular before lifting an almost invisible flap of skin. It was only about a centimetre in size but appeared cleanly cut and not there by design.

"What we have here" stated Paul, and air of authority in his tone "is the remains of a laser scalpel wound" Paul paused "this girl had some surgery here, and by the looks of the bruising on the inside" Paul gestured inside the small wound "it was done recently".

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Monday, 22 December 2014

The Repo-Man - Part 1 - A First Law: Override Short Story

Part 1 - The Case

The sign above the doorway bled light into the surrounding alleyway like rot. At one point in time the sign would have read Bounty Store but now due to disrepair, corrosion and vandalism it was only B unt S ore. From inside the small single storey apartment two men sat on bent and broken plastic chairs, resting large workboot covered feet against a small beaten table rested empty crushed beer cans and piled high ash trays. One man was younger than the other, no more than thirty years old with cropped hair, stumbled face and a bored expression. The other man, the older one, roughly forty to forty five with absolutely no hair at all, an unkept beard and a face covered with deep and long scars. The two men had not been located within this site for long having recently acquired it from its previous owner, and the empty pin-board labeled Jobs reaffirmed this. Back in Free Port these two were well known; Paul Homes and Redd, the best Bounty Hunters this side of the Block. Of course within the Block itself that reputation did not spread and so the two sat for days waiting for a phone call, a vid message or maybe even someone to walk in off the streets, in the meanwhile they knew exactly what they were going to do; drink the leftover beer and smoke the left over cigarettes.

"Damn this shit is awful" complained Redd as he sucked on cigarette. It burned fast and let off an almost black smoke.

Paul laughed heartedly before chugging the remains of his drink "sure it is" Paul replied "it's free ain't it?"

If anyone had asked they would have been told by the pair that they had 'inherited' the Bounty Store from it's previous owner. The truth however was much more convoluted including Paul and Redd following a job that lead from Free Port to the Block. Whilst there the resident Bounty Hunter for that region of the complex had taken offence their presence and tried to have them killed. When the previous hunter failed and died in the attempt the local law enforcement had given it to Paul and Redd as an under the table deal to save them on additional unnecessary paperwork. They now owned the Region: 612 Bounty Store including everything within it from the beer and cigarettes to the empty job board and bug infested furniture.

A flat-toned electronic buzz sounded the opening of their front door as an tall thin man stumbled in. His clothes were in tatters, his skin dirty and he looked like he hadn't eaten in days. The man leaned on the open door and with a fragile hand reached out across the filthy room at the men wasting away their evening. Before either of them could tell him that they didn't give out charity the man collapsed on the floor.

When he finally awoke the man had been placed on a couch in the rear of the store, he reached into his dirty coat pocket and pulled out a tattered photograph of a young woman wearing graduation clothes from the New Brasilia West University. He spoke with a dry throat through dirty teeth.

"My daughter" the man spoke with an almost whisper "murdered" he continued.

Paul did his best to hide his pleasure; here was a job. Not one that would pay well, but local law enforcement paid commission for jobs like this and reduced any rental fees for properties like the store itself.

The man closed his eyes and relinquished his grasp on the photo as Paul gently took it from him. Within moments he was in a deep sleep and had begun to snore loudly.

Paul handed the photo to Redd who in turn took it and placed it within their Comms unit which jumped into life with a bright flash of green light. The unit emitted a whirr as it scanned the photo before displaying its results on it's screen:

Name: Caroline Katherine West
Age: 25
Occupation: Unemployed
Home Address: Unknown
Current Status: Deceased
Page: 01/23

Redd flicked through the displayed pages getting as much information as he could before grabbing a nearby dark green mack and black leather leg holster complete with sawn-off shotgun. Redd turned to Paul.

"Vic's name is Caroline West, daughter to James West" Redd nodded in the direction of the man asleep on their couch. "Her body is currently held at the 601 Mortuary".

Paul nodded as he picked up the man; James West from their couch, slung him over his shoulder and carried him out to the battered old chair that rested outside the store. He was more than happy to do the job, but he was far from willing to leave the man alone with opportunity to ransack the store, even if all he would get away with was piss-water beer and tar filled smokes.

Placing the man on the chair, Paul returned inside and grabbed his own coat complete with side arm and returned outside where Redd was waiting inside their Cobra 43-Neo Refurb.

Redd loved the Cobra, it was the first car he had ever acquired legally and felt an immense sense of pride at this knowledge. The car began its dust-off and reached the mid-way in little time. The mid-way was a free floating series of high speed roads that connected the many different regions of the Block. Currently they were leaving region 612 heading east to region 601.

The car ride gave the two plenty to talk about, they passed a number of different regions, each one less prosperous than the last and each region with a higher and higher concentration of pollution. Redd's expression was that of total sadness by the time they reached 601 and the meter-reading revealed the outside pollution was strong enough that he would need to deep clean the Cobra once this job was over.

With a sudden jerk, Redd pulled the car out of the Mid-Way and descended to ground level where the car park entrance to the mortuary resided. Carefully he parked the car and opened the door before staring at the streaks of corrosion already building up on the side of the vehicle. Redd shook his head and muttered to himself "No job's worth this shit".

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Twenty Hours of Gameplay Later - Alien: Isolation

Greetings friends!

For those who tuned into my Twitch Channel last night this will most certainly not be news, but for those who didn't; last night I completed Alien: Isolation the super stressful game of cat and mouse with you (Amanda Ripley) hiding from Giger's iconic Alien, following twenty hours of nail biting, heart stopping and hair pulling suspense.

That's right; twenty hours of gameplay was gleaned from this beast of a game - and I was playing on Easy, so god knows how much longer that would have been on Hard, or God forbid: Nightmare difficulty.

In due course I will be doing a proper write up to both give the game its dues while also laying it's flaws out to bear.


Now already someone has pointed out to me that Alien: Isolation was the game for my #FridayNightHorror feature and yesterday was most certainly not Friday (even though I certainly wish it was). So I suppose it does deserve an explanation:

Firstly the game devs have recently put out an update with additional difficulty levels namely Nightmare where the gameplay itself changes including having your motion tracker (the one tool that saved my life more than any other) provide false and inaccurate readings, while the map system is 'offline'. Obviously I wanted to try this game mode out, but because of the limitations of Alien's save system this was only doable after completing the game normally - more on this when I do my proper write up.

Secondly I was enjoying the game too much! I had read that the levels that followed where I was on Friday were going to be some of the most amazing in the game (they were not wrong) and like a child waiting for Christmas I wanted to play with my toys NOW!!


Of course this leaves me with the question about what I can do for this Friday.

I'm leaning one way or another.

I really want to carry on with The Evil Within, which I do feel is a more traditional horror game but I am wondering if a 1 off Nightmare Mode play through of Alien would actually be the best. Start at the very beginning on max difficulty and see how long it takes for me to die.

- In fact that could be it! Stream the cast for as long as it takes for my first death on Nightmare mode! Maybe it will be within the first 20 mins, or maybe 3 hours? Who knows!

Regardless I hope you will join me tomorrow (19th Dec) at 2100 GMT at and for extra info and notifications there's my Twitter account for my streaming: @Loxbotlive

Until next time!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

LoxBotLive & Friday Night Horror

Greets friends!

So last Friday I brought back my temporarily displaced #FridayNightHorror show on LoxBotLive my twitch account.

Suffice to say it was wrought with technical issues that I wasn't happy about.

For starters the day before my computer had encountered problems when I had tried to update the graphic software and was only fixed by restoring to an earlier system restore point.

I thought that had fixed things, but turns out it hadn't so I had to purge the computer of graphic software and start again from scratch. Thankfully this time it worked, however my streaming client fell over when it came to streaming my game of choice - Alien: Isolation.

I didn't know if the problem lay with Alien: Isolation which had recently been updated, or the client which had also recently been updated, but I knew I had to try something else.

Bring on about an hour of tweeting and tuning as I tried to set up Open Broadcast Software (OBS) to work properly while on the fly.

Up until then I had experiences massive issues while running any game and OBS at the same time, which is a damn shame as it is clearly the most versatile of all streaming software.

Well roughly an hour after the scheduled start time I managed to get the stream working; turned out I needed to reduce the streaming resolution buy 0.1 and reduce the output quality from 6/10 to 5/10, doing so turned the game from an unplayable mess of terribad frame rate to something pretty damn smooth.

I am hoping these settings can be applied across the board, as I much prefer to use OBS. For starters it doesn't tie the stream to the game, so the game crashing doesn't cause the stream to cut out.

This Friday I should be resuming my #FridayNightHorror show, however I did decide to do a sneaky-beaky game last earlier this week on Monday. I had read that the level following where I had left off in Alien: Isolation was supposed to be pretty damn awesome, and no word of a lie - it was! I am going to try and upload that to my YouTube channel so you can all view it to your hearts content.

Once I am done with this playthrough of Alien: Isolation I am either going to try and replay through the original Outlast, or continue my Evil Within playthrough - or if I happen to get anything during Steam's Xmas sales then it may be something entirely new!

I hope you'll join me: remember you can subscribe to my twitch channel and be notified as soon as my stream begins, so you never have to miss out on any of the fun!

Till next time!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Friday, 12 December 2014

A Socio-Political World View: Through the eyes of a Grade-A Bastard

Greetings friends!

If you didn't already know; I am a Grade-A Bastard.

I do not mean this in the paternal sense; rather the is not a nice person sense.

The way I see it, there is a fuck-tonne wrong with this world and in recent years we have seen a lot of people stepping up claiming to want to fix it.
- Or in many cases, being held up by others who say that this person wants to fix it.

Before I go on about this, let me tell you a little bit about myself. It is my hope that with this understanding of me, you will understand why and where my point comes from.

In my current opinion, belief is bad. So many people are precious of their beliefs, so much so that they are quite literally willing to kill and/or die for these beliefs. I see that as bad, no one person is infallible, and to be infallible a person needs to be able to admit they were wrong and with a belief a person is unwilling to ever admit that their belief might be wrong - that's largely the point of a belief.

I think religion is based mostly on belief.

I think the cult of celebrity is just a modern religion.

I think YouTubers and their fans are just another form of the cult of celebrity.

I host a YouTube channel.

The closest thing I have to a religion is Chaos Theory, but even then I am not a Chaos Theorist.

I am open to the possibility that there is a God or Gods, but I am not Christian, Muslim, Hindu or Agnostic. Neither am I an Atheist.

I think that as a culture what is currently reviled in the form of psychopathy should actually be something sought after and celebrated. Life without guilt, what better life and society would there be? To do 'good' things, to not cheat on loved ones and not steal and to make those decisions because you choose to rather than being simply afraid of suffering guilt afterwards!

I think that the market should be a free market. That if something is successful it should be because it is popular with the people and if you don't like something you vote with your wallet and don't buy it.

I think that everyone should be accountable for their actions and that those who blame their bad choices because of a bad childhood or a case of abuse are just looking for excuses and sympathy.

I think that once you are an adult you should work for everything, nothing should be given out for free.

I think that we should support those who contribute to making society better and not support those who do not.

I think that contributing to society can be anything from working and paying tax, to simply making another person smile.

I think that anyone who has ever improved another person's life for the better has done the greatest thing possible.

I think that we are all the most significant things in existence while simultaneously being the least significance.

I think that if corporal punishment could be scientifically proven to stop crime then it should be implemented.

I think that everyone has a voice and retains the right to speak it.

I think that everyone has the right to ignore anyone else for any reason.

I think that Human Rights was the worst thing to happen to Justice.

I think Justice is subjective.

I think that hypocrites are the lowest of the low.

I think you should never judge someone based on appearance.

I think that most 20 something's and below have ridiculous hair and should have stones thrown at them until they shave it off.

In short I am a Grade-A Bastard.

You know what else I think?

I think that people have the right to their own opinions and if we are to ever move forward as a culture we need to accept that there will be different opinions.

We are currently seeing so much of this in the Western World. With the issues tied up with Third Wave Feminism and the gaming community to bloody UK politics with bloody Russell Brand of all people going on about a cultural revolution and the evils of the 1%.

What are we seeing around those who follow these socio-political movers? Essentially it's just a self-righteous echo chamber. One person after the other congratulating the fellow like minded about how aware they are and how they get the real issues of the world. We also see a shit-tonne of clubbage and in-out grouping going on, all based around a single concept:
"I'm a good person and I think 'X', therefore if you do not think the same you must be a bad person

And as we all know, society doesn't like bad people.

But should things be that way?
In my opinion absolutely not!

Every single person is different, and with that difference comes value and consequence. If we are supposed to aspire to be better than our cultural representatives need to represent the culture itself. Yes even the Commies and the Nazis! Even the nut jobs and the bleeding hearts, hell; even me and you.

But you know what we need?

It has become very popular to say that we need to put people before the pound, that we need to focus on the environment not industry, that we need to give to the needy.

It has also become very unpopular to say that we are going to take from anywhere that is not labeled by the modern 'free thinkers' as 'bad people'.

I say this is largely bull shit!

We do not need another social commentator talking about the ills of the modern government.

What we do need is someone to come up with answers and real suggestions; and no "putting the people before the pound" is not a suggestion, it's an ideology.

But these people don't want that, the last thing they want to do is provide solutions to the problems; why? Because they do not have any solutions, only the before mentioned 'holds no water' ideologies.

Instead they want our continued support and admiration. They want add revenue and patreons.

Those who follow these people claim to be free thinkers, with open eyes and eager minds, but they are the first people to attack when someone disagrees with their latest idol.

There's a word for that: fanaticism.

Where does this fanaticism come from? The way I see it; affluent guilt.

These people are comfortable enough that they don't have to worry about where their next meal is coming from or if they are going to have a home to go home to, and how do I know this?
Just check out the hierarchy of needs. It's is practically impossible to concern yourself with ideologies when your basic needs are not taken care of.

These people come with a 'privilege' and they are ashamed of it. They feel a guilt over it and they want to try and quash that guilt the best way they know how - latching on to whatever is the current hot topic of protest. That way not only do they feel like they are trying to make a difference, but then others can see them trying to make a difference.

It angers me, it enrages me to no end to see this bullshit going on and these people being lauded as wonderful amazing people when subconsciously they are being the epitome of selfish - they want to feel good.

But what can you do? Nothing!

What right do I or anyone else has to silence these people? None whatsoever.

What right do I have to respond to these people by giving my counter argument? Every right in the world.

On that note, good night and if you got this far; thank you.

Feel free to respond, comment, critique for I would love a healthy discussion about this.

Just remember: I'm a Grade-A Bastard...

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Gang War: Gameplay

Greetings friends!

Well today is the day you've all been waiting for: the Gameplay breakdown of Gang War for First Law: Override.

Or at least part of it (more on this later).

A Typical Turn
Gang War like many modern skirmish games makes use of the Activation system of each player taking it in turns to activate a model, perform any actions it may take and then de-activating it.

There are a few reasons why this was chosen; it may not be very revolutionary, but I like it, and why mess with a system that works?

So now we know that a turn comprises of a series of Activations, what can a model do during one of these?

An Activation comprises of 2 Action Points; these are split into two categories:
- Utility Actions
- Combat Actions.

Now let's look at these in more detail:

Utility Actions
Utility Actions are options available that involve only your own model and very often involve setting yourself up for your Combat Action.

There are to date the following Utility Actions available:
Walk - Your model may move up to it's Speed in inches in any viable direction. Eg: Tim has a speed of 4, so Tim can Walk 4" in any direction.
Run - Your model may move up to 1.5 times it's Speed. Doing so grants the model Defence+1. Models that Run may not make a Combat Action. Eg: Tim has a speed of 4, so Tim can Run 6" in any direction. Until the end of the turn Tim rolls +1 Defence Dice if attacked.
Aim - Your model stands still but takes aim at a target. Doing so grants +1 Attack Dice to any Ranged Attacks your model makes this turn. Eg: Tim Aims at his target with a K-Type Pistol. Normally he would roll 1d6 to shoot his target but thanks to aiming he now rolls 2d6 in a single Damage Attack.
Rapid Fire - Your model stands still but fires two shots at a single target. Eg: Tim Rapid Fires at his target. Therefore he rolls 1d6 Damage Attack, followed by - second 1d6 Damage Attack.
Berserk - Your model gains +1 Attack Dice in melee but receives -1 Defence Dice until the end of the turn to a minimum of 1. This can only be done if already in melee. Tim is locked in melee with his target. Normally Tim would roll 1d6 Attack when using his Shiv, but as he is preparing for a Berserk Attack he now rolls 2d6. Under normal circumstances Tim would roll 2d6 Defence Dice because of his light armour, but now he will roll 1d6 Defence.
Defend - Your model gains +1 Defence Dice until the end of the turn but received -1 Attack Dice for any melee attacks dealt this turn to a minimum of 1. This may only be performed if activating in melee. Eg: Tim is locked in melee with his target and tries to Defend himself against any incoming attacks. Normally Tim would deal 1d6 Attacks with his Shiv, Defending would normally reduce this by 1, however as it is already 1, Tim's melee attack does not change. If Tim gets attacked however he will now roll (2d6 for Light Armour +1d6 Defence) 3d6 in Defence.

As you can see there are a lot of Utility Actions available, however 2 are movements, 2 are shooting and 2 are melee. It is my current hope that this gives players plenty of choice without being too restrictive or confusing.

Combat Actions
Unlike Utility Actions there are only 3 types of Combat Actions.
Shoot - You shoot your ranged weapon of choice at the target.
Melee - You attack your target with a melee weapon of your choice.
Use - You use a device either in Base to Base contact with your model or equipped.

By now we have already covered how Activations are performed, but now we are going to look at how they play out. For ease of use we are going to assume that both models interacting with each other have passed on their Utility Actions and are just straight up attacking their targets.

Model A has a K-Type Pistol with an Attack of 1d6 and Light Armour with a Defence of 2d6. Model A's Ranged, Melee and Toughness skills are all 2.

Model B has a K-Type Assault Rifle with an Attack of 2d6 and Basic Armour with a Defence of 1d6. Model B's Ranged, Melee and Toughness skills are also all 2.

Model A shoots at Model B.
Model A rolls 1d6 based on his weapon's Attack. To hit Model A needs to roll equal to or under it's Ranged Skill.
Model A rolls a 2 and hits Model B.

Model B rolls 1d6 to defend against the shot based on his Armour's Defence. To defend Model A needs to roll equal to or under his Toughness.
Model B rolls a 3 and fails to defend.

As Model A only hit with 1d6 which was not defended against, Model B suffers 1 point of damage.

Model B shoots Model A
Model B rolls 2d6 due to his Weapon's Attack.
Model B rolls a 1 and 2 hitting with both dice.

Model A needs to defend with 2d6 based on his Armour's Defence.
Model A rolls a 2 and 4 Defending on 1 of the 2d6.

As Model A only defended against 1d6 not 2, Model A takes 1 point of damage.

Range Modifiers
All Ranged Weapons have modifiers based on the range of the target. Your standard Assault Rifle gives +1 Attack to anything within close range (6") +0 Attack to anything at medium range (12") and -1 Attack to anything beyond to a minimum of 0.

In short if you are attacking with a K-Type Assault Rifle (2d6 Attack) at close range this becomes 3d6 but at long range goes down to 1d6.


And that (as they say) is that! Straight forward rules for a straight forward, but with hope a complexity rich, game.


What is missing/has issues?
Ok so obviously nothing is perfect straight out of the box, and the same is true here. You will notice that I have yet to cover Line of Sight (LoS) rules. I already know that the game will use the magic cylinder rules rather than 'True' LoS which frankly in a game that doesn't have an official miniature line is a recipe for bad bad news!

What is still missing are rules on elevation and how you can see/Attack those who are either higher or lower than you on terrain.

The issue here is that I have yet to ever encounter a magic cylinder LoS game that has good or simple rules for elevation and combat/LoS. This is because when you use the model's base as the measuring device you start entering a complex maze of mathematics that would only make sense to Pascal and Pythagoras.
- This is where True LoS stands head over shoulder in terms of simplicity. If your model can see the target, then it can see it. But what if the target is on a raised or custom base? This will increase the visibility of a model compared to those on flat bases.

One option is to use the Height rule; by giving all models a Height stat representing a number of inches high, elevation is dealt with by True LoS but rather than the model it is based on a 'phantom point' either on, or above the model representing the top of the Magic Cylinder. As both models will have a Phantom Point, if both Phantom Points can 'see' each other then you have a clear LoS. If one can only partially then it is obscured (Attacker receives -1Attack) and if they can not see any part of the Cylinder below the Phantom Point, then the target is hidden and can not be attacked.


Anyway, that is it from me for now; I welcome all feedback so please let me know what you think!

Until next time; stay safe and I'll see you Fringeside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

FL:O - Gang War (Weapons & Weapon Types)

Greetings friends!

Today I would like to chat with you about my upcoming game Gang War for First Law: Override. This time however rather than races and sponsors I would like to cover the weapon varieties available to characters in the game.
Disclaimer: This is not a comprehensive list, many more types available moving forward.

Now one of the things I always liked about the sort of games was how there were hundreds of types of weapons available. This is the type of thing I would like to capture here however to remove analysis paralysis not everything will be available on gang formation.

Weapon Grades
In FL:O weapons are graded into a series of different types. These grades represent different types of ammunition and firing mechanisms, they do not represent the type of weapon (pistol, rifle etc) nor do they represent branding.


In the time that has gone by from present day to when FL:O is set we still have the standard gunpowder based weaponry used in the modern day. These are labelled as K-Type or Kinetic Type in reference to the projectiles fired.

K-Type weapons come in the following formats:
Automatic Rifle
Sniper Rifle
Shoulder Mounted Cannon

K-Type while being the cheapest type of weapons are cheap to produce and therefore a favourite for Raider gangs.

K-Type weapons are to be treated as the standard for which all others are graded. As such this list will also include melee weapons.


One major development in weapon manufacturing was the wide use of electromagnets. Originally used for tank mounted cannons known as Rail Guns the firing mechanism was refined and miniaturised allowing for a greater selection of use.

Mag weapons are not cheap to produce but due to their reliability and popularity are being mass produced by many manufacturers meaning their numbers are never in short supply.

Mag-Type weapons come in the following varieties:
Automatic Rifle
Sniper Rifle
Shoulder Mounted Cannon


A new development in weapon manufacturing sees Pulse Type weaponry becoming more popular with the Human gangs on Honos.

Created by HMC in an attempt to recreate Hydan technology using Human equipment Pulse-Type weaponry is very dangerous to use due to the radiation emitted from the backpack required to power the weaponry.

Pulse-Type Weaponry are only available in rapid fire varieties due to the need to discharge shots in small blasts to reduce the explosive tendencies of it's power generating backpack.

These varieties are as follows:
Automatic Rifle
Heavy Rifle


Developed by the Hydan Crystech weapons use a series of crystals to generate a usable energy which can be released in a variety of forms.

The technology behind creating Crystech Weapons is a closely guarded Hydan secret and as such these weapons are crafted off world and shipped to Honos. For this reason Crystech weapons are almost exclusive to Wraith gangs however it is not uncommon for these weapons to be utilised by UEF forces and the Red Claw are always trying to intercept these shipments when possible.

Because of the wide range use of Crystech these weapons are found in the following varieties:
Melee Blade
Automatic Rifle
Sniper Rifle
Shoulder Mounted Cannon


Developed hundreds of years ago by the Kratel; Vol is a synthesised material that is heavily resistant to physical damage, temperature extremes and energy blasts. Traditionally used as armour, Vol is also used for weaponry to a lesser degree.

Vol-Type weapons have an unusual appearance often looking chitinous and shell like in appearance. To non Kratel it is unknown if this is a byproduct of Vol itself or by design to match their layered shell like armour.

Vol-Type weapons are available in the following varieties:
Melee Blade
Automatic Rifle
Heavy Rifle.


All weapons will come with character modifiers, so the larger items will reduce your speed for example, so should you wish to kit your leader out for example with a 2-handed sword and a heavy Pulse Rifle then you can, but they will not be travelling very far any time soon.
- Of course while your stats will be effected by your equipment, so will your skills

Going into extremely basic terms: Skills will be split into different categories, such as Strength, Dexterity, Accuracy, Toughness Technical and Endurance.

When you earn enough XP to learn a new skill for your gang member, you will roll on the skill table of your choice and depending on what you roll depends on what skill you get. So if you have a Recruit who is carrying a heavy weapon, you may want to give them an Accuracy skill to help them hit, or you may want to give them an Endurance skill to lighten their load increasing their mobility.

The skill table chosen is entirely up to you allowing you to tailor the skills your gang members gain, but exactly what skill they learn is random and determined by the dice roll.

To eliminate the issues of double rolling; say you already have the 'Pack Horse' skill allowing you to half the amount equipment slows you down, you will then get another special ability for rolling Pack Horse again, in this example you would get 'Juggernaught' allowing you to take no negative modifier for carrying gear and a resistance to things like knock back.

Note: There is another table called the Special skill table is for particularly interesting abilities. These are acquired through acquiring a set number of other skill combos. For example should you obtain Juggernaught from Endurance and Super Strong from the Strength table, you unlock the Wrecking Ball combo allowing you to charge through enemy models knocking everyone around you to the ground.


I hope this insight into the weapons and brief overview of skills and how they effect weapons has been of use.

I've already received some interesting feedback from some people and I thank everyone for what they have provided so far.

Some of it I have already embraced other bits I am analysing and seeing what merits it holds, how easy it would be to implement and what sort of effect it would have if implemented.
- I must say however; there is no such thing as a bad suggestion! If you can see a good feature that you would like to see in the game then let me know!

Until next time; stay safe and I'll see you Fringeside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Monday, 8 December 2014

FL:O - Gang War (Recruitment)

Greetings friends!

So with hope by now you have read my post from yesterday where I unveiled the initial announcement about my spin off skirmish game for First Law: Override - Gang War. It is also with hope that like me you are excited about learning more about how this will play and when you can get your hands on a QuickStart rules pack!
- Hint: If all goes to plan I will have an alpha testing QuickStart Rules pack available in time for my blog's 3rd Anniversary in January.

Well over the next series of weeks I hope to cover the basics of rules. This should help you as players understand how the game works, and for me how to create the QS Pack.

Today I want to discuss the first bit of playing the game:
Recruiting a Gang

So before you begin you need to recruit a gang to play. These will represent the characters and models you will want to be playing.

First you need to decide on a faction: Accord vs Reavers.

As I've covered already in previous posts, the Accord are largely focused on law and order, while the Reavers tend to represent chaos and civil unrest.

Of course this decision will instead more likely be determined by the Sponsor you want your gang to be:

UEF: Medium tech militant Humans
Wraiths: High tech Hydan infiltrators
HMC: Low tech human industrial workers.

Raiders: Low tech Human outlaws
Red Claw: Medium tech Kratel freedom fighters
Unity: High tech Reborn cyborgs.

Once that is decided you need to start recruiting.

Later on you can start filling in your gang with members from other allied sponsors or even non-allied independents, but for now let's stick with your sponsor.

In our example we are going with Accord: UEF, so Humans.

First you are going to want a leader or boss. This character is a one off and you can never recruit another. For this reason they are free. If they die then they will be replaced within your gang.

You get a credit cache of 100 credits. This is what you use to hire more gang members and their equipment.

Now as you have your gang boss for free, this does not mean their equipment is free as well.

So you are going to want to hit the armoury and start buying them some stuff!

At the armoury you will find a range of weapons and gear including expensive heavy weapons, moderately priced medium weapons and more cheaply priced light weapons. This included melee as well as ranged. How much you spend on your Gang Boss is up to you, but in our example we're going to buy them some moderate armour giving 3 Defence Dice (3DD) a mid range mag-rifle and a short ranged kinetic pistol plus an electro-scope for the rifle.

Because I'm playing UEF these weapons and gear are pretty cheap-ish and only cost about C25 (25 Credits).

Next up I'm after some sort of bodyguard, so I'm recruiting a Veteran who comes in at C15 and I'll be picking up for them a Pulse Cannon, a medium ranged, high damage heavy weapon, this comes in at C15 meaning our Vet has cost us a total of C30.

Including our Gang Boss we are now looking at a total of C55, only C45 left in the cache.

Let's add to this 2 Gang Recruits. These characters are cheaper than a Vet but with lower starting stats. The Recruits costs only C10, so C20 in total (only C25 left in the Cache).

We need to equip these two with gear, so let's give the first a mag-rifle like the Boss' (C10) and the second with a two handed blade for some melee mayhem (C10) this leaves us with C5 in the cache.

As the second Recruit is going to be running into the fray a lot they will need some armour, so let's give them some light armour (2DD) at a cost of C5.

This takes us up to C100 and we are ready to take our UEF Gang of 4 (1 Boss, 1 Vet & 2 Recruits) into the Gang War.


Now when you recruit for other Sponsors you will find a few changes. Wraiths for example can buy Crystech weapons (higher accuracy) for the same price as the UEF can hire normal weapons, however hiring the actual characters for Wraiths are more expensive.
- these sort of minor changes apply to all the Sponsors meaning every one has a slightly (but not game breaking) feel straight out of the box.

The major exception is Unity. As the wildcard within the Reavers when you hire for a Unity Gang you must also purchase an augmentation, this will give Unity members a special ability straight away; it can be a speed boost ability, or a damage prevention or anything out of the many augments available. This puts every Unity member at roughly double the cost of the other Sponsors, and then you have their equipment and gear on top.


And there we have recruitment.

For those familiar with the Campaign-led GW games from the late 90s a lot of this will seem very familiar and for those not, I hope it will be a welcome change to a lot of the more rigid model selection games we have now.

Of course we have lots of variety available to you should you want it. Should you need it you could spend all your credits on just your Boss giving them a tonne of weapons and gear. Or maybe you would rather buy lots of cheap weapons allowing you more bodies in your Gang?

The choice in these situations is entirely up to you!

Until next time; stay safe and I'll see you Fringeside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Sunday, 7 December 2014

First Law: Override - Gang War

Greetings friends,

So today I'm going to talk to you about something that I've had brewing a short while and have hinted it but until now not confirmed:

Gang War - the Competitive Skirmish Game set in the First Law: Override universe.

I know what you're thinking; why make a skirmish competitive game when the main game isn't finished? Well it's simple: the main game has a lot of complicated game mechanics in order to enable the AI system, by creating Gang War the side project it allows me to create stat profiles and rule systems without needing to touch on the more complicated systems.

So what can you expect from Gang War?
Well in Gang War you will be controlling a group of characters; no more than 5-10 per side as they fight for control of their region of Honos.

The gangs playable will be all the groups we've already seen featured in First Law: Override:

The Accord
The United Earth Force: Medium cost Humans who specialise in ranged combat with medium armour and medium quality tech.
The Wraiths: High cost Hydan who specialise in stealth with low armour and high quality tech.
The Honos Mining Corp: Low cost Humans who specialise in low quality weapons and tech but heavy armour and strong melee.

The Reavers:
The Raiders: Medium cost Humans who specialise in medium quality weapons, low quality armour and medium but fast vehicles and tech.
The Red Claw: Low cost Kratel with medium quality weapons and armour and low quality tech
Unity: High cost Reborn with high quality tech and armour.

Your gang will be composed of mainly the same group; so if you are playing a Red Claw gang it will be almost exclusively Kratel, however you can recruit from other Reaver sponsors at a higher cost. As a Red Claw gang you would be unable to recruit from Accord sponsors. There will however be independent contracts available to allow you to recruit members that are unaffiliated. So in said Red Claw gang you could recruit a Hydan (normally associated with the Accord) who was sympathetic with the Reavers).

Unlike a lot of modern skirmish games; Gang War will include a rolling campaign system who's function is 2 fold:
1). Introduce an experience and skill system in a much more toned down version to how the main game will appear.
2). Introduce a story progression system in a much more toned down version to how the main game will appear.

Essentially it is a stepping stone to allow for better rules development o the main game, and as mentioned before; allows for rules and fluff development without the pains and trials posed by the cooperative restrictions of the main game.

There will be differences; the members of your gang for example will not be any way as tough or strong as your Sponsored Agent in FL:O, instead we are looking at rank and file people. There will also be a lot less customisation, the aim being that you will put as much customisation into your entire gang as you would your singular Agent.

So I'll leave you for now, but I will be back soon with more information.

Until next time; see you Fringe side!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Personal Catchup

Greetings friends!

So enough time has passed that I think it's time for a bit of a personal post. You know the kind; where I post how things are with me and what I'm up to?

Well if you remember about a month ago things started falling apart and now that the ink has dried per se, I am able to reveal what had happened.

To many this may not seem like a big thing, but at the start of November we learned that the parent company for our nursery was shutting our nursery down with only 4 weeks notice given.

Now there were lots of reasons why this was bad. For starters as anyone who has gone through the job of finding a nursery (any at all, never mind a good one) you almost always need to give them more than 4 weeks notice. This is down to their attendance rules and how when term starts they have older students leave allowing for younger ones to join. We knew that not only would there be no vacancies, but at this short notice we knew that the waiting list for January would also be full.

But it's more than that. Our little Moo had been going to this nursery since she was 6 months old, the staff there were like family to us. So not only were we having to leave them behind (and their own predicament of also being given 4 weeks notice of redundancy) but somehow we had to explain to the little Moo that the place and people she loved going to and seeing five times a week she would at best be able to see on occasion (other kids birthday parties etc).

All of this was heart breaking and we didn't know how we were going to pull the fabled rabbit out of the proverbial hat.

Thankfully things turned around and quite literally at the last minute we were told by a nearby nursery who's fees were doable within our very tight budget, best of all was that they would take her from the start of December.

So that was great! One major issue resolved. Of clues we still have the 'trouble' of a little Moo who is too young to understand redundancies and closures and all she wants to do is go back to nursery with her friends.

But I'm sure that is normal for any parent who has to make a change with a Youngling, so we're doing our best to keep home life stable and encouraging her to make new friends at her new 'Pre School' (we found referring to it as Pre School allowed the Youngling to understand it better, that she wasn't being taken away from her old place, instead she was progressing to the next stage - just like when she turned 2 and moved from the babies area to the 2+. Turns out the Pre School have an issue with us calling it that, but the way I see it; we pay for her to go there, so if we want to call it Magic Faery Land then they can just suck it up and deal with it).

So that's that.


Then there was the issue with my exam.

For those of you who've been following along at home you will know that I've been studying for the past 3 years for AAT Level 2. The past year has been spent doing the single module of Basic Accounting Part 2 from the AQ2010 syllabus.

Well I sat the paper back in April and seriously made a pigs ear of it.

So I studied and resat it again in October.

Again; another pigs ear.

Things were looking bad! That was 2 attempts and I was not making progress, plus I received news that they were ceasing the AQ2010 syllabus. Anyone who was still studying 2010 would be automatically moved to the 2013 syllabus at no charge, but there was 1 issue. 2013 had an extra exam that 2010 did not have. If I was not Level 2 Qualified by the end of December 2014 I would need to pass 2 papers, not the 1 I had outstanding to qualify.


So I did the only thing I could think of: I got my head down, studied my ass off and did practice paper after practice paper!

I sat one paper online complete with the answers in Word.doc. After each page I went through the answers to see if I got it right. If it was I left it as is. If if was not correct I made a note of the question, where I went wrong and what sort of formula or rational was the correct one. I then left the answer as my original incorrect answer. This way when I finished and the exam calculated my score I would see how well I did even with the wrong answers.

I was going to take these answers away and study them. Then in a day or 2's time sit another practice paper and do the same. I made note of any wrong answers I made twice in a row and any new ones. I also made note of any I got wrong before but this time got right and how 'easy' I found these ones.

Then a third paper, every time I did this I was amazed to see that not only was I getting a pass mark on the practice paper, but I was always getting new questions wrong, not repeating old mistakes.

In other words I was learning from my mistakes and only falling over when confronted with either a question that asked for new information entirely or tackled an old question from a different direction.

I wrote and re-wrote my notes each time putting them down in a way that not only told me the answers I was looking for, but also why they were the right answer: what was the Why and Rational behind these answers and therefore allowing me to not only know the correct answers, but to understand why these were the correct answers.

Then came the big day; Saturday 29th November 10:00.

I was sat in the room with my hands trembling. The clock had started and I began making my notes:

Sales = Dr SLCA, Cr Relevant (Sales), Cr VAT
Purchase = Cr PLCA, Dr Relevant (Purchases), Dr VAT
Irrecoverable Debts = Like Purchases, but against the SLCA rather than the PLCA
VAT: Treated like Control Accounts

That sort of thing.

Then I sat the paper.

Part 1, Questions 1-9 I had no problem with, I sped through them knowing EXACTLY what to put where. There was no guess work or arrogance. I had answered these questions a thousand times before and I knew what to put where.

Question 10: Journals & the Trial Balance.
Easy I thought. The Trial balance had caused a few issues before, like Sales, what were sales? A credit or a debit? I mean surely making a sale counts as Income right, so a credit? Hold on! But it also increases the amount in the bank, and isn't your bank an Asset? Wouldn't that make it a Debit?


I had read so many guides over the past few weeks and I found an explanation that worked for me. I knew not if it was right, but it made sense:

Sales: Selling off (reducing the volume held) of Stock (Temporary Assets).
A reduction of Assets? Ha! That's Credit!!

From there the rest is easy! Purchases and Sales Returns are the opposite of Sales, and Purchase Returns are the opposite of Purchases. Then you have VAT on Sales and Purchases as well as Cash sales etc

So I did that, moved on to Part 2, did all 8 questions and clicked Finish.

My heart jumped, was I right to click finish? I still had an hour on the clock. Fuck! What if in my haste I had just screwed myself!

So I went to the admin office, got my print out and had to ask the admin clerk to double check that it was correct.

GRADE: Competent

Now in these exams there are only two grades: Competent and Not Yet Competent.

In other words I had passed!

My final AQ2010 AAT Level 2 exam and I had passed it!

Then I looked at the break down: 80% of the questions I had excelled beyond the requirements to pass the paper! If we were looking at an actual grade this would have easily been an A, maybe even an A+! I have never in my entire life scored that high on any academic paper!!

So here we are! Less than a week away before my birthday where I turn 31, a youngling who has a new pre school sorted, my Xmas shopping is done (except for a couple of presents that I'll be sorting out tomorrow) and for the first time in a very long time I feel like I can finally rest and enjoy myself!

On that note, this is Level 2 Association of Accounting Technicians qualified Dr Loxley - signing off!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

First Law: Override - Lore Update (Faction: The Reavers)

Greetings friends!

Carrying on from my last post about the factions that comprise The Accord, I'm now here to present you with the opposing faction.

The Reavers
The Reavers are a new group to have established themselves in the Outer Fringe.

Comprising of individuals who disagree with the major players of the Accord, these groups of individuals formed together and attempted to splinter off as their own alliance.

Originally acting through peaceful means, the Reavers sought separation from the Accord and recognition as their own group so that they could settle worlds and towns in their own right under their own banner. The Accord however denied this representation and instead decreed that all worlds in the Outer Fringe was property of the Accord.

Ever since the denial of representation the Reavers have worked tirelessly to be given the rights and respect that they feel they deserve.

As with the Accord, the Reavers are made up of three main sponsors:

When Humans arrived in the Outer Fringe they were under the protection and control of the UEF. Out of the numerous Arc ships that arrived to settle Honos there was a single ship that disagreed with this rule enough to leave the fleet and settle as far away from the UEF as they could.

The Ship in question was the UES Okami captained by long term UEF Colonel Benjamin Russell. Col Russell believed that while military rule was a necessary evil during the AI War, with the new world to settle and new boundaries to establish, only with a purely democratic government without leaders who are more aligned with military motives and less with their people would he and his crew be willing to pledge allegiance.

It was for this reason that the Okami landed in the Badlands on the furthest point away from New Brasillia. At this new site Col Russell and his ship of deserters settled the first independent town on Honos; naming it Free Port.

Calling themselves Raiders, as an abbreviation of 'Col. Russell's Raiders' they proceeded to make their own rules and laws within Free Port. It was within this time that Free Port began to prosper. There were no taxes or even direct currencies, instead everything was bartered via trade on what the owner of one item, talent or location believed said item, talent or location to be worth.

After two years of prosperity however, things suddenly took an unfortunate turn. On the anniversary of Free Port's founding a squadron of UEF Gunships arrived mid celebration and demanded that the citizens of Free Port surrendered to UEF governance. It was Col. Russell himself who met the negotiators in person to reject their proposal, for his disobedience the gunships opened fire on the celebrating populace; decimating their numbers and killing Col. Russell.

Since that night, an event denied by the UEF media to have occurred claiming it to be Raider propaganda to smear the proud and noble name of the UEF, the Raiders have been led by Col Russell's second in command Lieutenant Colonel Aiden Carter.

Lt Col Carter has since done much for Free Port including establishing a new mentality of might makes right and where as the town previously kept to themselves in peace now engaged in aggressive raids against UEF settlements.

It was after the anniversary attack on Free Port that the Raiders were invited to join the Reavers at the request of the Red Claw.

The Raiders are always welcoming to all races and classes providing they do not support the UEF. As a Sponsor, the Raiders will provide you with a wide range of repurposed weaponry and a robust but not very fast all-terrain-buggy allowing you to take part in raids on Accord settlements and reap the benefits from sowing seeds of fear and unease among the UEF supporters.

Those of the soldier class are highly viewed due to their skills with weapons, however the Slicker with it's stealth, brawling and black market connections are seen as too valuable to turn down, along with the skills presented by the Hacker in terms of spreading anti UEF propaganda.

The Red Claw

Consisting of a Kratel majority, the Red Claw were the original founders of the Reavers but will welcome into their ranks anyone who is willing to align themselves with their lofty goal of bringing an end to the Kratel Empresses' Matriarchal rule.

For longer than any living Kratel can remember, the males of the race have always been treated as second class citizens. Both smaller in height and muscle mass the male Kratel have been pushed around by the ruling female class, treating them as no better than slaves and breeders.

It was this way of life that was believed by all Kratel to be how things should be with the strongest ruling and the weakest serving. It was also because of this attitude that the Kratel believed they should have been the masters of their Hydan neighbours who were physically smaller than them, and also treated both genders as equal.

Over time there had been attempts at revolution, including the infamous storming of the Imperial Palace; where a large group of male Kratel had gathered under the cover of night and attacked the royal palace with nothing more than the rags on their backs and the claws on their hands.

The ferocity and determination of this attack were so great that despite the superior training, armour and weaponry of the Empress' Praetorian Guards, the revolutionaries had managed to fight their way to the Royal Antechamber before being incapacitated with nerve gas and later executed.

The after shock from this attempted Revolution was so great that the entire Empire feared for it's life. For this reason two steps were taken to ensure no uprising of it's like could ever happen again.

Firstly every male Kratel was lined up in rows within every Kratel city and town, with every second male being executed via firing squad. It was believed that this would thin their numbers drastically enough that they would not have the combined strength to attempt another uprising.

Secondly, for fear of future generations a biological agent was released simultaneously into the atmosphere across the Kratel homeworld and their imperial colonies. This agent while appearing to be harmless at first effected the very genetic structure of the Kratel meaning 80% of any future males would die during gestation; drastically reducing the number of males that would be born from then on.

It was only when the Humans arrived in the Outer Fringe that some Kratel began to question their ongoing tradition, and started speaking out about embracing the concepts of equal rights and a classless social system.

Most of these Kratel were quickly silenced, but one of their number; Lady Ekta Tramn who had previously been sent to the newly colonised world of Honos as a diplomatic ambassador, instead sought asylum on Honos before speaking out across Kratel communications about what she had seen first hand.

Lady Tramn spoke about the slavery experienced by the male Kratel, and how her time on Honos had shown her that both genders could be treated equally and that both the Humans and the Hydan were not weak by allowing both males and females equal opportunity. This caused outrage across the Kratel worlds as thousands of governesses called for Lady Tramn's title to be revoked and for the Humans to extradite her into Kratel custody so she could face trial for committing crimes of incitement against her own people.

The UEF refused allowing Lady Tramn to remain on Honos indefinitely and issuing a statement allowing any Kratel amnesty on Honos should they wish it.

As was expected and feared this caused a sudden surge of traffic to Honos comprising mainly of male Kratel and those females who were sympathetic to their cause.

It was shortly after that Lady Tramn created the Red Claw, a group designed to further the fight for male equality in the Kratel Empire, however the Empire was far from accommodating to its members and quickly labelled them as terrorists and outlaws.

In an attempt to set themselves apart from the oppression of the Empire, the Red Claw attempted to create it's own political station from which they could colonise worlds and begin both political and financial exchange. This group was named the Reavers.

As the head of the Reavers; Lady Tramn sought separation from the Accord wishing for their own triumphs and accomplishments to remain their own and not be subject to Accord taxes and tolls. The Accord however rejected the request for separation, deeming that both the Red Hand and it's umbrella operation; The Reavers owed the UEF and by political ties, The Accord reparations for their amnesty on Honos.

Desperate for freedom from what they saw as a new form of oppression orchestrated by the alliance of Humans and Hydan, Lady Tramn sought out the Raiders and took up residence within The Block; a super structure located within the Badlands used to house the Humans who could not afford to live within New Brasilia or it's UEF settlements.

Setting themselves up as Honos' black market, the Red Claw soon developed a name for themselves as infiltrators, traders and smugglers who are on the constant lookout for new agents to fight back against he Kratel Empire and the Accord whilst giving their own people a future they never thought possible within their own lifetime.

If you accept the Red Claw as a sponsor, you will gain access to Kratel technology including heavily armoured vehicles and a particular focus on melee weapons developed from their uniquely special metal alloy.

Your experiences will range from undercover smuggling rings to Imperial Supply raids and everything in between.

While the Red Claw will accept all races and classes, their melee focussed military will favour the Warrior subclass of the Soldier class while their subtly and smuggling ties will see the Slicker class perform exceptional well.

The Reborn, much like the Kratel Empire have many strong ties with the Accord, however are not official members. They regard themselves as the next stage of organic evolution and welcome everyone who is seeking to further their own existence.

Shortly after the arrival of Humans in the Outer Fringe however, a splinter group of the Reborn grew apart.

Calling themselves Unity they are lead by an individual Reborn who calls himself The High Father. This Reborn found that the numbers of nonReborn who were receptive to their message was drastically reducing with every month that passed. In some cases those who were previously receptive and therefore placed on a 'watch' list would go on to be unreceptive, something previously unheard of.

It was under the leadership of The High Father that Unity began it's forceful recruitment plan.

Where as The Reborn would only recruit willing people who were receptive to their message; Unity began to actively seek out those who showed the signs of receiving and through a course of abduction, mental conditioning and biological reconfiguring, forcibly adapted the receptive to become one of their numbers.

Due to these heavy handed techniques, Unity are now swelling in numbers, each one devout in their following of The High Father and his own perverted message of Reborn origin.

It was three years ago that Unity approached the Reavers for membership and cooperation, stating that if they agreed; all Reaver settlements and colonies would be spared from their recruitment drives.

Initially the Reavers disputed this application; Unity was feared as a terror organisation and any ties they held with the Reavers would bring them into question as well. This disputed ended however when Unity launched an unprovoked recruitment drive against a Reaver research station in the Frozen North. Not a single body was left and to this day it is unknown just how many; if any of it's inhabitants were receptors.

Reluctantly the Reavers appealed to the Accord for assistance but were rejected giving the Reavers little choice but to accept Unity's request for membership.

In the years that have followed Unity have proven themselves both fearful and useful allies. Their technology though unknown in origin far surpasses those of the other sponsors but is largely an untapped potential to those who are not Reborn.

To those who seek sponsorship from Unity there are many benefits including access to their technology including authorisation to utilise their biological and technological repurpose generators, turning both organic and technological enemies into temporary friendly agents.

Unity are welcoming to all races, but will favour other Reborn; utility their existing bionics to unlock greater usability from their technology and devices. That said, Unity are more than aware that Reborn are still regarded as outsiders by almost all of the Outer Fringe races, and as such are actively encouraging Agents to accept sponsorship without any form of recruitment necessary.

Joining their ranks will send you on Recruitment Drives where through initial diplomacy and later use of force you will swell the numbers of Unity in order to spread The High Father's message. You will also be dispatched to far flung locations in order to research long forgotten technology in the name of The High Father.


And there we have it!

Both factions detailed out as best as I can. Hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the Outer Fringe and I look forward to sharing more with you in future.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley