Prologue: ActivationMature

Based on Posthuman Studios' Eclipse Phase RPG.

Five sentinels are sent in the depth of the Martian TITAN Quarantine Zone to search for a lost team.

John Hendricks sat quietly in his simulspace office, reading the latest news bulletin and planning his next meeting. The place was lifted strait from an old Noir detective flick, outside the window, a rendering of a busy Chicago nightlife played, despite being a computer generated environment, it smelled like cigarette and the damp odor of the rain. It wasn't much but it reminded him of home, before it had been turned into a crater during the fall. Mars might have become the new home of transhumanity but it just wasn't the same to him.

[Mr. Hendricks, you have an incoming communication from the Eye.] His muse notified him. These AIs were constantly part of modern transhuman life, serving as secretary, psych, adviser and bookkeepers. Mentally, he sent the command and switched to a more secure server.

#User Login; Authentication successful, welcome John-of-many-faces#
#Firewall Message Incoming#
#Quantum Decryption in progress...#
#Playing message#

A screen opened in the simulspace, displaying an icon of a stylized eye. "Hello John." The voice spoke softly, but confidently, it's tone neutral in term of gender. "Earlier today we intercepted a message escaping the TITAN quarantine zone."

#Displaying message#

The screen changed, displaying a vocal oscillation line. The voice that came through sounded tired, but it's tone was urgent, it's words interlaced with static. Although the man spoke in Spanish, his words were translated in real time by John's muse.

"This is Lieutenant Enriqué Velasquez of the Direct Action corporation. Can anyone hear me? Repeat, can anyone hear me? My team has been stranded within the TQZ, we have taken heavy losses. We have acquired vital Intel and are in dire need of Evac ASAP..."

The message cut and the Eye logo was once more displayed.

"The message continued in a loop for six minutes before ending. Mr. Velasquez is one of our Sentinel, he was deployed along with his team nine days ago to scout an anomaly. Eight days ago at 17:32 we received the data but the team gave no other signs of life, his team was resleeved."

"What do we need to do?" John asked, chewing his lips.

"Ascertain the situation, extract the survivors and Intel or dispose of them if the team has been compromised, the most important is to acquire what ever Intel they may have acquired and either transmit it or destroy it in order to avoid it being taken by the Consortium, the Lieutenant and his team are of secondary importance. We are making any five of our available sentinels of your choice at your disposal, equip them as you see fit. Do you have any choices in mind?"

"I'll take Bellerophon, Fixer, ScrapGrrrl, Haze and since fixer will be on scout duty, Sarlo."

"Sarlo is currently unavailable. But we can offer you the service of one of our newest hacker, you will not be disappointed we can promise that."

John repressed a groan, he didn't like the idea of sending someone green zone stalking. But he acquiesced regardless. Looking at the new sentinel's spec that his interlocutor transmitted. His muse took over from there. [Activating Sentinels.]

The End

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