Cloned But Not Forgotten

Level: 3
Start: Iwo, Port, København

Introduction

A woman believes a ship has crashed in The Wreckage. However, she seems oddly reluctant to explain how she knows. Is there something behind her story?

The port is a busy and bustling area whatever time of day or night someone visits. Shipwrights confer about lost technologies while wreck runners bring in scavenged resources and potential breakthroughs in ship design from their forays into The Wreckage. Today, however, the usual background noise is punctuated with the wreck running supervisor's booming voice echoing angrily from the squat building that houses his office.

As you and several other onlookers watch, Iwo emerges from the derelict vessel that makes up the building towing a middle-aged woman with him. With one hand holding her collar and the other firmly gripping her belt, he tosses her out into the dust of the paved roadway.

Iwo says: I've told you a hundred times woman! We are not a rescue operation here! If your half-witted, space-crazed mind imagines someone crashed, then take it up with Security! Now get gone!

Iwo stands for a moment, beard bristling and glaring at the woman as if daring her to respond. She, however, sits in the dusty road and looks back at him with an odd mix of dejection and determination. With a loud harrumph, Iwo stalks back inside and slams the door. As he retreats back to his office, you can hear his loud booming voice complaining, presumably to the universe in general.

Iwo says: The Black take this week! Every damn loon in the quadrant has decided to bang on my door!

Iwo's muted voice continues to grumble as he moves further into the building. The woman in the street remains in her seated position, idly patting dust off her legs and running a hand through her hair as she appears to ponder her situation. After some moments, the rest of the onlookers to the scene realize that today's snippet of entertaining drama is done and begin to disperse, casting bemused glances at the woman sitting in the road, her elbows now resting on her knees.

New goals: Help the lady up.

You have accepted the "Cloned but not Forgotten" mission.

Go to the Port and talk to Anita Dio

Next NPC: Anita Dio, Port, København

  • Look at Anita Dio
  • Return to Harbor

Look at Anita Dio

  • Offer the woman a hand to stand up.

The woman, who your CORETECHS identifies as Anita Dio, looks up at your hand before accepting it and standing up. She dusts herself off and looks at you, offering a slight smile of gratitude. Brown, curly locks frame handsome features that are punctuated by a pair of large green eyes. She looks into your eyes for a moment, as if she is sizing you up, before speaking.

Anita says: Thanks, I guess I can't well sit in the road all day. I was just trying to figure out what to do now. I guess I was a little too pushy on that Iwo fellow.

New goals: Talk with Anita Dio.

  • Leave her to it.
  • Speak with the woman.

Speak with the woman

Me: Is something wrong?

Anita doesn't immediately answer. She watches you for a moment, perhaps wondering if she should bother you with her problems or trying to determine if she can trust you. The port settles back into its noisy humdrum of routine around the two of you with shipwrights and wreck runners moving to and fro. Finally, Anita speaks.

Anita says: To be honest, it's rather a strange problem I have. It requires a need for trust and accepting what I say. Most people just aren't willing to do that, but I have no choice in the matter.

Anita sighs and takes a deep breath. She sees that you are still listening so she steels herself and continues.

Anita says: The truth of the matter is that a ship crashed into the area they call The Wreckage. This happened several cycles ago, and, I suspect, it went largely unnoticed. I can neither tell you how I know, nor can I go to security. But I need someone to go and find the wreckage for me. I do have some credits saved up; I am more than willing to pay these over to someone who can find the ship for me without asking more questions.

Anita stops talking and waits. She watches you with her large, green eyes while she bites her lip and shifts her weight nervously from one foot to the other.

  • Offer to assist.
  • Leave her to it.

Offer to assist

Me: Sounds a bit strange, but I'm willing to help

Anita's eyes widen in mild surprise. At the same time a large amount of tension seems to leave her. Her shoulders settle into a relaxed pose and she breathes a sigh of relief.

Anita says: Wow! I…thank you! I'm sorry, it's just that from all the possibilities I dared to hope to try, all the avenues, I did not conceive of the chance that a stranger would simply offer to help! Thank you! Thank you so much!

  • Ask for clarification.
  • Ask for insight.

Ask for clarification

Me: You said we can't go to security?

Anita says: I can't explain why, this is part of the necessary trust I mentioned earlier, but suffice to say that Security would simply ask the kind of questions I am not allowed to answer. The ship is out there, it's in the Wreckage, but if you want to help, you will need to find it yourself. I'm sorry for the vagueness of my information, but you will understand once you locate the vessel, I promise!

Ask for insight

Me: So where do I start?

Anita says: The tricky thing is that several cycles have passed since the ship fell. My own memories of the incident are sketchy at best. Perhaps someone in the area might remember what happened? The ship is there, it's just the small matter of finding it. Of course, if you have any better lines of investigation, do feel free to explore them!

New goals: Investigate The Wreckage for signs of the ship Anita mentioned.

Go to the Port and talk to Nils

Next NPC: Nils, Port, København

  • Look at Nils
  • Ask Nils for information about a missing vessel.

Me: I’m looking for some information on a missing vessel.

The port authority rep, identified by your coretechs as Nils, is a lanky looking belter. He listens to your request with an expression of mildly piqued curiosity. The prospect of your minor mystery seems to be a welcome change to the routine goings on of the port and he happily shifts his attention to you. He sucks in the stale and slightly acrylic air, flavored so by the many engines that cool off in the area, through a large gap toothed smile for a moment before speaking.

Nils says: Well now, that's an unusual request. Some cycles ago you say? And there was nothing official in the way of rescue ops and the like? No report to security?

Nils furrows his brow for a moment, considering the conundrum. He scratches a wispy and scraggly chin beard for a moment before snapping his fingers.

Nils says: Now, if a ship arrived on the station but never left, I bet I could cross reference entry and exit records and find a missing log there!

His eyes take on a very slight reflective sheen that suggests he is accessing the mesh via his coretechs. His hand waves in the air in front of him as he manipulates the UI within his field of view. Several moments pass and Nils seems to be enjoying his digital hunt for information. Finally, he lets out a little whoop of triumph.

Nils says: Ha! I knew it. There she is, the Tongs of Hephaestus, landing clearance granted - exit never requested! Aaaand, I can actually go one further. Last contact was made en route to the northwestern quadrant of The Wreckage, a routine check in.

  • ”She flew to the Wreckage? From inside?"
  • Thank him for his time.

”She flew to the Wreckage? From inside?”

Nills: Oh sure, old Købe was the jewel of the shipbuilding industry back in the Before y'see. Lots of internal routes and extra spacious flyover zones to various areas for smaller vessels. I suspect, back then, there were likely quite a few of them zipping around the interior. Not really something you see so much these days though.

Thank him for his time

Me: Thanks very much! I'll head right there.

Nils grins and doffs his cap, seemingly happy to have had a part to play in your little mystery.

Nils says: Hey, sure thing! Maybe you come back and tell me what happened when it's all done and dusted. Nuthin much else happening these days at the port. Though there was that crazy fella runnin' around. Wonder if they ever caught up to him …

Go to the Wilds

  • Search the area Nils mentioned.

(Stamina check)

You scour the area. Keep trying!

  • Search the area Nils mentioned.

(Stamina check)

After many segments of searching, you finally locate it. A giant vessel, burgundy in color and bearing a mark you don't recognize, is perched precariously on one side, its front half buried in the upper levels. As you look around the area, you finally locate a smaller ship matching the description Anita gave you. It seems to have crashed more recently than most of the vessels in the area, its broken hull having gouged a long groove in the surrounding debris.

  • Investigate the crashed ship.

The area around the vessel is sooty and black, indicating a likely fuel fire spreading around. As far out into the Wreckage as this is, you doubt anyone was likely to see the flames. As you look over the vessel itself, you note that several bullet holes permeate the hull. On each side, a sheet of metal seems to have been attached to the pockmarked surface of the exterior. One of the sheets hangs loose, revealing the logo of Hephaestus Weapon Tech beneath.

As you approach the front of the ship, you can see that the cockpit window has been shattered, revealing the unlucky pilot within. A skeleton stares out at the broken landscape around, its legs crushed beneath the broken and twisted bulkhead at the bow of the vessel. Your CORETECHS scans the lone occupant and a name hovers over the skull, Anita Mia.

Manipulating the name via your CORETECHS, you are able to access the pilot's profile. An image that bears the exact likeness of Anita Dio is accompanied by a tool-tip proclaiming the pilot missing, presumed dead.

  • Call Anita via CORETECHS.

Your call is picked up almost immediately, a translucent image of Anita coalescing at the side of your vision. When she finally speaks, her voice is soft and somber.

Anita: You found … it.

Her phrase is not even a question, but a statement, spoken with a relief tinged with something deeper, almost melancholy.

Anita: Could you show me?

  • Show her.

Me: This is you.

You activate the vision processing module of the call to allow Anita to see what you look at. You look over the ship before directing your gaze into the cockpit. Anita stays silent for a moment before finally replying to you, her words pouring out like a torrent of water after a river finally breaks through its dam.

Anita says: It is. I…Even now the memories crash through my mind. Everything about that moment, that day are burned into my head with more clarity than any other instance of my…of her life. Ironic isn't it? They say that when you die, your life flashes before your eyes. But after, if you…wake up again, the strongest memory is of your death.

Anita grows silent for a moment as the images threaten to overwhelm her. When she speaks again, she seems to be struggling to hold her voice steady.

Anita says: You know, it took me four days to die.

  • Ask her to go on.
  • Offer comfort.

Offer comfort

Me: I’m very sorry. That must have been horrible.

Anita says: It is … not my fondest memory. It is also one of the many reasons we believe the act of cloning is anathema, it is unnatural that a person have to remember their own death! I would not have chosen this, not in a million cycles. But it was not my choice. Hephaestus Weapon Tech has a cloning clause for all its top tier pilots, especially when they partake in … sensitive retrievals.

  • Push for more information.
  • Ask her what she means.

Ask her what she means

Me: Sensitive retrievals?

Anita says: The operation was not what you might call entirely legitimate. HWT often deals with scavenged weapons technology. Half of their stock is retro-engineered stuff from pre-catastrophe designs. Not that many official channels to secure that kind of merchandise. As you might imagine, the people you end up dealing for this stuff are seldom your most moral and upstanding citizens. The inevitable double-cross shouldn't have come as a surprise. Hell, my finger was hovering over the on-board weapons systems the entire time my contact was making the trade..

There is a pause on the line. The kind of heavy silence that may well be filled with particularly vivid memories rushing through someone's mind. Finally, Anita continues.

Anita says: What did come as a surprise was the heavy ordnance they leveled at my ship. I guess they figured they could keep their guns and fish out the credits from whatever wreckage was left of the Tongs.

  • Push for more information.
  • Tongs?

Tongs?

Me: Sorry, the Tongs?

Anita says: Yes, The Tongs of Hephaestus … Name of my … of the ship. HWT has a very, well, 'on the nose' approach to naming their vessels.

Push for more information

Me: You mentioned 'we'. Who is we?

You hear Anita take a deep breath. There is a pregnant pause, almost as if she is steeling herself. Finally she speaks, her words tumbling out in a rush.

Anita says: I am a Promethean. I mean, this is the philosophy that I adhere to, this is my belief system. The Promethean Sect teaches that cloning is wrong. Life cannot and should not be prolonged. We are gifted one life, to live beyond that is a sin. It is…cheating if you will. Thus…my previous life ended with my death. I cannot return to it. The only way I can reconcile my having been thrust into this new form is by starting life anew.

  • Surmise.

Me: That's why you needed someone else to find the ship.

Anita says: Yes. It is an odd thing indeed to have belief in a time without religion. Not old religion at least. There are no guidelines, no rules set down centuries ago by old men in a cave. I have a belief, I am guided by what feels correct. My morals are dictated by will rather than dogma. I can only do what I believe is right.

Anita says: Now to my final request. I want my family to be able to move on, to grieve my death and start their own lives anew. All I need you to do is to log the location of the crash with station security via your CORETECHS. It will be official then, my wife and our daughter will be informed very soon.

  • Agree.
  • Decline.
  • Convince Anita to return to her family.

End 1

Agree

Me: Of course, I can do that for you

There is an audible sigh of relief on the other end of the line. It is a long and heartfelt sound, the result of cycles of pent up anxiety and loss. Finally, Anita responds.

Anita says: I … Thank you. I can start now, anew. I miss my family, but this is the way it must be. I know that in my heart. In the ship, there is a secret compartment. I will send you the frequency that unlocks it. It is the credits that I was to use to secure the weapons tech for HWT. They are yours my friend, as is my thanks. We will not, I think, meet again.

After a moment, the call ends and Anita is gone. As promised, you receive a coded frequency soon after. It unlocks a hidden compartment beneath the twisted metal of the cockpit floor where you discover a generous stash of credits. Anita's skeleton watches silently, a grim mirror to the dead and silent city that surrounds you. The broken skyscrapers and twisted behemoth corpses of the vessels stand guard as you leave Anita and the Tongs of Hephaestus behind you, making your way slowly out of the Wreckage of København's past and back to present day.

You have received 134.00 credits.

You have completed the "Cloned but not Forgotten" mission.

End 2

Convince Anita to return to her family

Me: These are your beliefs. Is it fair to make the decision for your wife and daughter? Don't they have the right to decide before they go through the grief of losing someone they love?

There is a long moment of silence, long enough that you are unsure if Anita is still there. Finally, she replies in a hushed and dejected tone.

Anita says: I…I don't know. Perhaps you are correct. I always found the old stories of men warring over religion to be ridiculous. People trying to force their own beliefs onto others and disagreeing over their views on philosophies that are completely intangible. I think…I think I cannot do what I wish without affecting others who may not share my own belief, my partner, she is not Promethean and our daughter is too young to have made such a choice.

Anita lets out a deep and heartfelt sigh. It is tinged with sorrow, but also juxtaposed by an inhalation of determination.

Anita says: No, you have the right of it. I must steel myself and talk to my family. If that word, family, is to have any meaning, then we must be guided by each other in matters of such…impact. I thank you friend, you are a stranger but, I think, someone who views the universe with a unique wisdom. We shall not meet again I think, but as a token of my gratitude I will send you a frequency after this call closes. It unlocks a hidden cache within my old cockpit. The credits you will find within far surpass what I was originally going to pay you. Be well.

After a moment, the call ends and Anita is gone. As promised, you receive a coded frequency soon after. It unlocks a hidden compartment beneath the twisted metal of the cockpit floor where you discover a generous stash of credits. Anita's skeleton watches silently, a grim mirror to the dead and silent city that surrounds you. The broken skyscrapers and twisted behemoth corpses of the vessels stand guard as you leave Anita and the Tongs of Hephaestus behind you, making your way slowly out of the Wreckage of København's past and back to present day.

You have received 134.00 credits.

You have completed the "Cloned but not Forgotten" mission.

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