My Only Hope

A bartender is knocking the side of one of the bar's cleaning bots and cursing. She looks like she could use some help.

Level: 1
Start: Eleni Llywelyn, Bar, Tau Station

Introduction

A frustrated bartender is squatting next to one of the Oasis' cleaning security bots. She keeps whacking the side of it, but it isn't reacting.

  • "Maybe I can help."
  • "Not my business."

I can help:

You wander over to the bartender's side. She's wearing a fierce scowl on her face, and a name tag that shimmers to read, "Eleni" then morphs to, "What'll it be."

She says: Blasted thing, what is wrong with you?

Me: Can I help you with that?

Eleni looks up in surprise at you, then looks back at the bot and shakes her head.

She grumbles: There's something wrong with it, but I can't figure it out. I don't have time for this! ugh!

You have accepted the "My Only Hope" mission.

  • Take a look at the bot.
  • "This is not my problem."

Take a look:
(Intelligence check)

You open a side panel on the bot and find that a ton of its wiring has been pulled loose. You make short work of fixing the strands back into place. The bot lights up, and makes a pleased whistle noise. Its display reboots, then prints out an error message.

It reads: Error TA54x: Compromised Thermal Actuator. Replacement Required.

With a whirling chirp, the bot promptly shuts down once more.

Eleni says: I do NOT have time for this! I can't go to the market right now for a thermal whatever-ator!

  • "I could go for you."
  • "This is not my problem."

I could go:

Me: I could go pick up the part for you.

Eleni's bright green eyes light up at your words.

She says: Really? You would do that? I would be so grateful! I could give you all my tips from the past segment. I'll connect and order the part from Norbert. All you'll have to do is pick it up! Thanks so much, friend!

Go to the market and pick up the bot part from Norbert.

Next NPC: Norbert, Market, Tau Station

  • Get the actuator from Norbert.

Norbert's shop is a maze of parts, metal pieces, wheels, tracks, and robotic limbs. When you arrive, he is just finishing up with a customer. She hands him a stack of credits, and he slides a tiny robot across a table to her. The robot is shaped like a dome, with a multitude of arms sticking out from it at all angles. The words, “Shoe Polisher Extraordinaire!” glow a soft green along its side.

Norbert says: There you are, you're all set. Now then, good luck SS52-X52! You're going to love your new owner!

The new owner nods her thanks and sets the robot on the ground, then motions for it to follow. You step aside as they pass, catching your reflection in the shiny black surface of the bot.

Norbert says: Welcome to Bits and Bots! How can I help you, ser?

  • "I'm here to pick up a part for Eleni."
  • "What kind of bot was that?"

What kind of bot:

Me: What kind of bot was that?

That, ser, is my top of the line SS52-X shoe cleaner! There's no better way to keep your shoes shiny and new looking! Save yourself the trouble of all that bending, scuffing, shining, and polishing! My SS52-X does it all, and I can set you up with one, or more, at an incredibly reasonable price!

  • "I'm here to pick up a part for Eleni."

Me: I'm here to pick up a part for Eleni.

He nods, saying: Yes, of course! I have it right here.

He pulls a small box out from under his desk and passes it to you.

He says: There's an instruction scroll inside with directions on how to swap out the old part. I was so sorry to hear that SCB503 wasn't functioning properly! Please let me know if you need any further assistance.

Return to the bar to fix the security cleaning bot.

Next step: Bar, Tau Station

  • Talk with Eleni

The bar is busy when you return, and the bot is no longer in the place where you last saw it. Eleni catches your eye and holds up a finger, in a “I'll be with you in a unit” gesture. While you wait, a commotion starts to break out next to you. A man stands from his seat and sways. He shouts, “You did so!” and swings at the person next to him.

You are suddenly on the edge of a very boisterous-looking bar fight!

  • Sit back and watch.
  • Join in.
  • Try to stop it.

Join in:
(Agility check)

You whirl into the brawl, laying about yourself with well placed kicks and punches. Suddenly, a whooping alarm goes off and a woman's voice, crisp and official sounding cuts through the din.

She says: Attention citizens. Disengage at once, or earn a free trip to the brig!

  • Keep fighting.
  • Melt into the crowd.

Melt into the crowd:
(Agility check)

You melt into the crowd and find an empty seat near the bar, which you slip into. You grab an untended drink nearby and pretend that you've been sitting there the entire time with it.

As you watch, the crowd seems to split in two. Half that aren't ready to stop fighting, and half that hurriedly tries to distance themselves from the fight and the security officers that suddenly flood into the bar. After a few moments, the excitement is over and people either return to their drinks or leave in restraints with Security.

  • Give Eleni the part.

Eleni says: Ugh, can you believe that? Gorram ice miners. They come in when they're on leave and blow all their credits, get drunk and get into fights, then ship right back out and the cycle begins anew. At least you don't see them again for months at a time.

Me: I have the part.

She says: Ah, excellent. Come on, I put the bot in the back room so no one would knock it over and do more damage.

She takes the box from you and waves for you to follow and leads you into a small back office, which is empty of people. And bots.

She says: What the … Where is it?!

  • "I've done enough here."
  • Search the office and the bar.

Search:
(Intelligence check)

You thoroughly search the office and the bar, but the bot is gone! You return to Eleni with this information.

She says: I can't believe this! Someone stole my security cleaning bot? Who would do that? I mean, that's just so dumb. The thing has a tracker in it.

A man pokes his head into the office and calls out to Eleni.

He says: Eleni, break's over! We need you out here!

She says: Ugh. Again, I don't have time for this! Listen, I know I already asked a lot of you, but if you wouldn't mind helping me again…

  • "Sure. I'll help."
  • "No thanks. Gimmie your tips."

I'll help:

Me: Sure, I can help you find it.

She says: Oh, thank you so much, ser! Okay, now where did I put…

Eleni starts looking through a desk, then pulls out a small round device. It's mostly flat, with just a screen on the front. She activates it, and it pings gently as she waves it in a slow arc before her.

She says: Okay, you can use this tracker to find the bot. It'll let you know when the bot is in range. Hurry, before they go off-station with it? It's probably a prank, but it could be someone trying to steal the poor thing for parts.

Use the tracker to search the station for the cleaning security bot.

Next step: <go from area to area> on Tau Station

  • Search for the bot

You pull out the device and turn it on, then scan the area. It makes a gentle pinging noise, but the arrow on the tracker tells you that it's not in this area. Keep searching!

<go to next area and search for the bot>

Next step: Residences, Tau Station

  • Search for the bot

You pull out the device and turn it on, then scan the area. It makes a gentle pinging noise, which is then followed by more pings, in rapid succession. The bot is nearby! You follow the arrow in the direction it points, and the tracker leads you to the Cone, the residential area for the station's elite and well-to-do. The pinging on the tracker is getting louder and more insistent, so you mute it so as not to alert the thieves to your presence.
You follow the arrow and eventually reach the central plaza. You move swiftly past people lounging by the fountain, its sprays of light sprinkling color on the simulated trees and plants. The tracker leads you to one of the central lifts, and you're just in time to see its doors shutting with the bot behind them!

  • Take a lift and follow them!

You take a nearby lift and what seems to be the slowest chase ever ensues as you watch the bot's lift through the glass walls of your own. Your lift is only a floor behind its, but someone gets on yours, causing a slight delay. You keep your eyes on the other lift, though, and finally manage to get off at the same floor.

  • Search this level.

You take out the tracker and scan the local area. It blinks excitedly at you as you wave it to your left, so you head that way. You're just in time to see a woman pulling the bot through a doorway!

  • Call out to her.
  • Follow discreetly.

Follow:

She pulls the bot into the doorway, then glances around to see if anyone saw her. Your eyes meet and a look of shocked recognition passes over her face. She hastily slams her door. Her residential unit has a front window next to the door, but metal shades are drawn shut right now behind its glass.

  • Break down the door!
  • Knock on the door.

Knock:

You knock gently on the door, and it is suddenly opened quickly, sticking a bit on the chain that holds it closed.

The woman growls: You. Why are you following me?

Glancing down, you realize she's pointing a gun at your abdomen.

  • "I just want the bot."
  • "You have something that isn't yours."

You have something:

Me: You have something that isn't yours.

She lets out a huff of air.

She says: What's it to you? Pretty sure it's not yours either.

Me: I've been tasked with bringing it back.

She looks up and down the hall, sees no one else, and shuts the door. You hear the sound of the chain being released, and then she suddenly has a fist full of your shirt and she's yanking you through the door.

She slams the door shut behind you, her gun trained on you.

She says: She sounds more panicked than angry, but she also looks like she's thinking about shooting you.

  • Convince her to tell you what's going on.
  • Show her you're not afraid.
  • Knock the gun from her hands.

Convince her:
(Social check)

Me: You look like you're in some trouble.

She says: You're a master of the obvious.

Me: Maybe I can help.

She sighs heavily. Finally, she lowers the weapon, sinking down into a plush chair next to the door. She looks over at the bot, which you realize is right next to you and shakes her head.

She says: How did I let it get this bad?

  • Speak to the thief.

The woman puts her head into her hands, and shakes it as though she can't believe her predicament.

Talk to the thief

  • "Who are you?"
  • "Why did you steal the bot?"

Who are you:

Me: Who are you?

Sighing, she says: I'm Lotta. Lotta Olofsdotter. Lieutenant… Lotta Olofsdotter, of the Office of Special Investigations.

She sighs again and glares at the bot.

  • "What's the Office of Special Investigations?"
  • "Why did you steal the bot?"

What's the Office of Special INvestigations:

Me: "What's the Office of Special Investigations?"

She says: It's a division of the Consortium Security Services. We handle things like corporate crimes, fraud, forensics… and corruption. I'm actually head of the unit that deals with corruption. Can you imagine what the response would be if word got out that I was meeting with a Gaule representative? I am going to lose my job. They might even court martial me. I could go to jail…

  • "Why did you steal the bot?"

Me: Why did you steal the bot?

She says: I… had to. It saw me and my … and someone I shouldn't have been spending time with. I should have known better than to go to a public place. Then again, are there any places on this station that aren't public and monitored?

  • "Who were you with?"

Me: Who were you with?

Bitterly, she says: Someone who wasn't worth my time! He certainly isn't worth losing my career over.

She looks at the bot again, then shakes her head.

She says: His name is Abre. Gaule Embassy representative, Abre Jones.

  • "Why can't you be with Abre?"

Me: Why can't you be with Abre?

She laughs bitterly, saying: You mean, aside from the fact that that's basically consorting with the enemy? Look, there's peace right now between the Consortium and the Gaule, but it's tenuous, and a lot of people think it shouldn't exist at all.

She says: Anyhow, the bot saw us together at the bar. And recorded Abre kissing me. In what I thought was a nice, dark booth. That damned fool! I always knew his stupid romantic gestures would…

She trails off, then says: I tried to steal the bot earlier in the day, but you and that bartender got in my way. I had to start a fight just to get it out of there! Listen, I need to destroy this bot. You either help or get out now.

  • "Yeah! Let's trash it!"
  • "I'll leave."
  • Suggest a better option.

Suggest a better option:
(Intelligence check)

Me: Actually, I think I might know a better way.

She looks up, hopeful: Oh?

Me: Why don't we just wipe its memory. Then I can bring it back to the bar, and no one will look into this further.

She says: That… actually might work. Do you know how to do it?

Me: Not a clue.

She says: I actually know someone who might. Listen, if you'll help me, I'll owe you. I don't want to leave the bot by itself, and I don't trust you here alone with it. Will you… go talk to a friend of mine? I think she can help with the wipe.

  • "Who do I talk to?"
  • "Actually, I've done enough."

Who do I talk to:

Me: My goal is to keep this bot in one piece and return it to its owner. Who do I talk to?

Lotta lets out a breath, and says: Thank you. My friend's name is Fellie Norbrush. She works for Benevolent Dynamics. If there's something to know about tech, BD knows it. I'll reach out to her and let her know you're coming. She's at the Port. You can't miss her. She's the only Harsene wearing the Benevolent Dynamics uniform.

Travel to the Port and speak with Fellie Norbrush.

Next NPC: Benevolent Dynamics Field Technician Fellie Norbush, Port, Tau Station

  • Talk with Fellie.

Fellie smiles brightly as you approach, her wide, iris-less eyes tracking you as you draw near.

She says: Hello there! Benevolent Dynamics would like to wish you an astonishingly pleasant day.

  • "What's Benevolent Dynamics?"
  • "Lotta Olofsdotter sent me."

What's Benevolent Dynamics:

Me: What's Benevolent Dynamics?

She says: We're the company behind your CORETECHS device! And many other technologies you're probably used to using every day. Benevolent Dynamics is at the leading edge of the latest technological innovations, in order to give humanity their best fighting chance! Our company was founded by Maya Von Christova, thirty four cycles after the Catastrophe.

  • "Lotta Olofsdotter sent me."

Me: Lotta Olofsdotter sent me.

Fellie nods enthusiastically, sending her copper and purple curls bouncing.

She says: Oh right! I've got the item she needs. She reached out to me while you were making your way down here.

Fellie turns and reaches under the table she's standing next to. She pulls out a small device and hands it to you.

She lowers her voice, saying: Now, I've modified this so that it will wipe the bot's memory banks. It's keyed to the serial number of the bot, so it'll only work with that particular one. So you don't have to worry about wiping out your CORETECHS by mistake or anything while you're carrying it. All you do is press that button there, after attaching it to the data port the bot has. Make sure you put it in the right place. It's only got one charge!

  • "Did you just say 'wipe my CORETECHS'?"
  • "Thanks, Fellie,"

Wipe my CORETECHS:

Me: Did you just say 'wipe my CORETECHS'?

Fellie laughs, saying: Don't you worry. I was mostly joking. This device isn't powerful enough to do damage to your CORETECHS. Your CORETECHS is protected against this sort of thing, though hopefully you'll never need that protection!

  • "Thanks, Fellie,"

Me: Thanks, Fellie.

Sure thing! And tell Lotta I'm wishing her luck? Poor thing sounds pretty frantic.

Return to Lotta in the Residential area to use it on the bot!

Next step: Residences, Tau Station

  • Return to Lotta.

You return to the Cone, and ride the lift up to Lotta's floor. When you get there, she opens the door at your first knock, as though she was waiting right behind it. Her eyes dart up and down the hall, then she yanks you into her quarters.

She breathes: Did you get it?

Me: Yes. I have the device.

She says: Great! Let's get to work.

  • Search the bot for the port to plug the device into.

(Intelligence check)

The two of you search the bot, opening panels and pulling open hatches. Finally, you find one that matches the base of the device that Fellie gave you. Gently, you attach the device and press the button. The bot lights up, and you see the words, “Do you wish to make a backup?” appear on its screen. Lotta hastily selects “No,” and then the screen displays, “Erasure of Memory in progress…”

The two of you wait, breathless, while the little device wipes the memory banks of the bot. Finally, the device pops loose from the memory port. And begins smoking.

  • Grab the device before it lights the bot on fire!

(Agility check)

You quickly grab the device and pull it from the bot. As you do so, it grows so hot that you are forced to release it. Before it even hits the ground, it detonates with an incredibly tiny explosion. A puff of smoke, a brief burst of flame, and next thing you know, you're wiping ash and metal fragments off your clothing.

Me: Fellie didn't mention that part.

Lotta says: We did it! The memory banks are empty! Okay. Time for you to get this little guy back to where he came from. Wow. What a day. Listen, I owe you. Big time. I won't forget this.

  • "You're welcome."

Me: You're welcome.

Time to return the bot to Eleni at the Bar.

Next step: Bar, Tau Station

  • Return the bot to Eleni.

You return to Eleni, carrying the heavy bot across the station. Miraculously, Eleni isn't swamped with customers this time. Her eyes light up when she sees you enter with the bot.

She says: You found it! Excellent! Bring it into the back room so we can put that part in it and get it back to work.

You follow her into the office and set the bot down. Eleni hands you the box with the thermal actuator.

  • Replace the thermal actuator.

(Intelligence check)

Digging into the box, you pull out the instruction scroll. Eleni reads out the directions to you while you open up the bot and replace the damaged actuator.

Eleni says: And that's that! Let's turn him on! Uh… you know what I mean.

She types away at one of the bots' screens, and it lights up.

She says: Let's see what you saw, little buddy.

She navigates to the bots' footage screen, only to find it entirely blank.

She says: What's this?! Its memory has been wiped!

  • "It was all in the name of love."
  • "I tried to stop them!"
  • "I was too slow."

In the name of love:

Me: It was all in the name of love.

Eleni asks: What do you mean?

Me: A Consortium officer stole the bot to hide a relationship they're having with a Gaule representative.

Eleni looks around quickly, then checks the bot's current mode.

Lowering her voice she says: You keep that quiet. Lotta is a good woman, and Abre loves her dearly. You're lucky this bot isn't in Record mode yet.

  • "You knew?"
  • "Will do."

You knew:

Me: You knew?

She scoffs, saying: Of course I knew! Bartenders know everything that goes on on a station.

She stands up, wiping metal fragments and ash from her apron.

She says: Well, that's that. You did a good job, friend. I won't forget this! Here's your reward. And thanks again!

You have received 12.50 credits.

You have completed the "My Only Hope" mission.

Note:

Some building blocks of this mission are inspired by fragments from the 1977 film Star Wars.

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