"Listen, you must stop that transmission
"In that case they will kill their hostages in the studio."
"Can anybody hear us?"
"No, Minister, this line is completely secure."
"It better be. It is better to have clean martyrs than a pile of
shit, shit that can dirty your own clothes. This farce is damaging
our diplomatic relations with the PRC, as well as destabilizing the
world system. It is worth much more than their lives."
"The terrorists seem to have solid evidence to back up their
claims about illegal governmental nanotech research..."
"It doesn't matter that the claims they make are true! The
transmission must end -- I don't care how you do it. The damage has
been done, now it must be limited."
"Thank you for calling, Minister. Oh, by the way, I lied. I
taped this whole discussion. Come and get it."
Setting Up Shop
A logical first adventure might be the founding of the PC's cell.
This adventure could serve to bring them together, perhaps due to
mutual goals and ambitions, perhaps due to mutual enemies or even
chance. It might be quite possible to run a whole adventure about
just getting in touch with the Concordat and convincing two cells
to sponsor them. And even when they have joined up, their position
is still weak and unsafe. How do you set up a cell? How to get
resources, IOUs, physical security and information? How to combine
being a fighter in the InfoWar with one's official identity? Who
can you trust? All these questions must be resolved.
A Spectre is haunting...
Where's your revolution plan?
The cell is involved in subversion, growing a network of contacts
among people to resist FOG and the activists. The work can involve
recruiting people to TU-friendly groups, spreading subversive ideas
to people of the right inclinations, finding other groups with
similar goals, avoiding infiltration or being uncovered. Setting up
black market -- Market connections, earning IOUs and play money to
finance the operation could also play an important part. As the
network grows, it becomes harder to organize: can the cell keep it
under control, or is there a risk that over-eager people reveal too
much or go off and cause trouble? How to deal with other subversive
networks? And what if it becomes obvious that the Big Day is
coming? Lemming Lore, Charisma, strong crypto and Management might
win the day -- but can the PCs also avoid making revolution mean "a
360 degree turn"?
Where's your need to make a stand
To finalize, to synchronize?
Front 242, Hymn
The team consists of Interfacers and others involved with the
Market, making a living through organizing deals and fixing
transports of contraband across borders. Adventures could include:
pure trading, trying to gain Credibility, influence and wealth
through the Market. The paranoid and exhilarating business of
smuggling banned devices across the world between secretive
Concordat cells while the FOG tries to stop the trade using all
possible means. Gun-running from "free" countries to other places.
The cloak-and-dagger potential when the team realizes that
one of the cells they deal with has been infiltrated -- but
which one? Quick wits, entrepreneurship, contacts and several
passports are essential.
Research and Development
In the InfoWar, scientific inquiry can be subversion. The cell is
involved with the attempts of the Underground Academy to develop
technology further and disseminate the results to the world -- the
truth cannot be hidden, no matter what politicians and corporations
would like. The characters could be researchers, trying to go
further (motivated by everything from burning ambition over
curiosity to social responsibility) despite the oppression or
people supporting the research for various reasons (a cure for
disease? a way of paying back? truck-loads of money? faith?).
Beside the research, it is a the dangerous business of
disseminating the results, finding necessary resources or even
stealing from the government, corporations or even other groups of
the TU. Science ethics can be less dry than one thinks.
Knowledge of the spirit-world is to be obtained by
divination; information in natural science may be sought by
inductive reasoning; the laws of the universe can be verified by
mathematical calculation: but the dispositions of an enemy are
ascertainable through spies and spies alone.
The InfoWar is far from a conventional guerrilla war, not even an
urban guerilla war. The main battlefield is in the minds and
world-views of people, waged with weapons of information,
misinformation, contacts and politics. Some members of the
Concordat work against the System through subtle means inside its
own structure. This is the kind of adventure where the protagonists
wear suits and tie, and make their attacks during power lunches,
cocktail parties and in closed meetings. The intrigues can range
from worming one's way up in a corporate hierarchy, gaining
influence and allies to subvert it from its old course over
stratagems like making sure a truly incompetent person is promoted
to an influential position in order to paralyze the organization to
planning counter-manipulations in the media against the FOG. Allies
from outside the steel and glass buildings can be essential; as
long as you play by the rule you are harmless, but when you change
the rules you become deadly.
Mei Yao-ch'en, commentary on Sun Tzu
What is going on? In a world where information is power, secrecy is
the ultimate power. If it can be breached, power will be
redistributed. The team may be investigating what is being planned
in government, international organizations and metacorporations.
Not everything is a conspiracy, but there is enough dirty secrets
out there to bring many down. What are the secret agendas of groups
like Green Nation or Church of the Holy Cross? What are government
agencies cooking up in secret laboratories? Are there links between
ecoterrorist groups and those in power? Is the Concordat free from
infiltration? Is Kommando Ragnar D.Skjöld really so nice as it
appears? Is WETF really behind everything nasty, or are the
Concordat groups blaming them for their own projects? This kind of
adventure can easily become pure paranoia, a kind of X-files in
reverse. But it can also be played as a classic investigation (just
who attacked the fileserver and why?) or even information gathering
(what are people thinking, and why?). You better find the answers
fast, or it will be too late to do anything about them.
Sometimes things are misplaced. Now somebody has made a big mistake
-- a piece of powerful technology or dangerous information has been
lost. With all the paranoid schemes of blind drops, couriers and
network trickery used by Concordat it was bound to happen. Now the
Concordat needs to get the thing back, before it falls into the
wrong hands. But where is it? How dangerous is it? Could somebody
already have found it, and where did it go?
Some people are right in the middle of the whole mess. As the
cataclysm moves closer you have to move swift and sure. Technology
is there for the taking, use it but don't get caught. There are
many groups who want to stop you or twist your goals to their ends
-- and vice versa. This kind of adventure involves hostile (but
probably rather subtle) action against enemy groups: sabotaging the
plans of technosupremacists like WETF to slow them down, attempts
to bring down the deadly Knights of the Oppressed Earth, raids
against FOG research labs and computer systems or media
manipulation. The danger is much more direct, and tactics is
crucial for survival. It can involve high-tech guerilla warfare
with the Ghosts, raids against ecocorps a la Knight of the Double
Helix or even helping the revolution in Togo.
The world is changing. The Concordat is changing. What will happen
to it? How will it develop? What will happen to the cell? What will
happen to the characters? They better try to take charge over their
destiony before somebody else does it.