Terraforming – The Gutters: Cyberz v Droids

“Ok Cyberz, be ready to move on my mark” came a voice from the custom short range comm Kiara had installed in her cybernetic ear. She knelt down, positioning herself to be ready to run. The lights cut out, as anticipated, and she activated the night vision augmentation in her eyes as she began sprinting around the corner. “10 … 9 … Meetle now” Kiara heard the voice counting down and focused on her steps to ensure she timed it right. She glanced up to see if everybody was in sync and looked back down to her steps to avoid being distracted by the chaos in ahead of her. Members of the Cyberz were streaming in from seemingly random corridors to criss cross paths in an attempt to confuse the Droids patrolling the hall outside of their wing. The voice continued ” 8 … 7 … Kiara now” to which Kiara made her move, she abruptly turned down a short corridor where she slapped a small device onto a door before turning to flee. A large factory Droid, modded to wield weaponry, moved to block her escape. “Do not resist. Trespassers are not welcome. Punishment is forthcoming.” boomed the monotone voice modulator of the Droid. Fearing her fate, Kiara backed away until her back was agains a wall. At the last moment, she turned and activated the device, sending out an EMP that disabled the droid. There was a moment of deafening silence as all the activity in the halls ceased, followed by multiple Droids crashing to the floor before a flurry of activity swallowed the quiet. Before they could reboot themselves, the Cyberz managed to remove multiple components from the Droids and flee the area. “Great work Cyberz, these parts are going to take us to the next level” crowed the voice on the comm, “meet at the rendezvous point and we will open the tunnel.” As she made her way, Kiara couldn’t shake that feeling that something was wrong, as if the task was too easy. At the last minute, she decided not to meet with the others, and she took her spoils back to her secret shop to see if there was any proof to her theory.

Welcome back to Terraforming, and to The Gutters. I am Randal, and I thought we could take a look at some of the chaos that ensues when the Cyberz decide that they want to make more advanced augmentations by using The Droids for parts.

GM Note. Previously we introduced the The Gutters as one of the lower levels of Absalom Station. The Cyberz and The Droids each only received a paragraph description, but ever since I have been wondering what would happen when they began to interact on a larger scale. I see this as just the beginning of what is likely to become a problem that spills out into The Market, affecting those that live there as well as possibly drawing the attention of  “The Suits” (Absalom Station Water and Waste Recycling) from above. I wanted this area to have a bit of a cyberpunk feel to it, so I felt going a little dark renegade with the Cyberz and leaving the motives of “The Suits” and “The Droids” open to interpretation gives it that edge. Additionally, I am purposely, for now, not setting a species to each of the Cyberz to make it easier for us (me, you, and other readers) to let our imaginations wander and see what ideas we can come up with.

The Cyberz.
A gang of “teenage” Cyberborns that would rather steal than work for a living. They currently reside in the old amusement park (which they dubbed “The Muze”) and have been working themselves up to an assault on the Droids.

  • Sparks. The current leader of the gang, Sparks’ name comes from the legend of a custom cybernetic hand that can spray a shower of sparks at enemies. Sparks founded the Cyberz five years ago at the age of 18 and is constantly pushing the boundaries of augmentations, both constantly tweaking existing ones as well as looking for new ones to implement. While every member is recruited by Sparks, none of the current members can actually claim to know what they look like. The main theory is that Sparks hides in plain site as one of the gang, but keeps everybody in the dark to ensure safety should anybody be captured. Lately, though, a rumor is making the rounds that Sparks is actually a Droid or, worse, a Suit.
  • Meetle. Likely the smallest of the Cyberz, Meetle more than makes up for it in sheer speed and agility. With very little technical skills personally, Meetle relies on his friends to maintain and upgrade the modifications that make him the acrobat that is his claim to fame. These augmentations come in the form of custom legs and adrenaline boosters. He considers himself simply one of the crew, and as the smallest, he is constantly trying to prove his worth while also making sure everybody else knows they are also a part of the team. He has no idea how popular his charisma and attitude has made him with his peers, which Sparks has been using ever since Meetle joined up.
  • Kiara. Currently the #3 member of the Cyberz, Kiara is something of an outlier in the gang. She joined up two years ago when she left home in search of her missing brother. She was a well behaved kid, great student, and had considered studying law in college. She underwent a number of changes in order to join up and fit in with the Cyberz. These mostly include smaller augmentations to her senses that help her cognitive and perception functions. Over time, she began to notice how Sparks was manipulating them, but she never really could tell if it was just paranoia (she had been told her whole life that augmentations led to paranoia) or if there was some hidden motive behind Sparks’ actions. She doesn’t like how Meetle is being manipulated, and tries to make him aware, but she always gets shy around him and so she continues to do what she can to keep him and the others as safe as she can while she continues her search.

The Droids. This group is made up of a particular model of factory droid that became self aware enough to realize that the only thing separating them from androids was a soul. They setup residence in The Gutters after learning about the contemplative that had made its home there. The dozen entities are still considered fugitives for leaving their posts, and so they do their best to stay hidden while they try to learn the ways of meditation in hopes of achieving the spark that will make them whole.

  • XJ-95Alpha. The first of the line, and also the first to become self aware. He set the stage for the revolt in the factory that ultimately destroyed half of his siblings during their escape. While he would happily rotate guard duties with his brethren, he understands that it is his calling as spiritual leader to be the first to gain the spark to continue showing them the way.
  • XJ-95Beta. She follows XJ-95A blindly, but has taken on the role of healer/defender of the group. She is the first to realize that the Cyberz were going to be a problem in their new home, and so she is in charge of organizing the patrols and defenses. With the loss of limbs that Theta and Double Omega suffered recently, she is changing her tactics from pure deterrent to one of aggressive defense.

Where would you like to see this plot line go? What sorts of conflicts do you see in their intertwined futures? Let me know what you think! Please continue to join us at our Discord server https://discord.gg/Rt79BAj.

Randal Meyer

As a lover of crunch (rules and numbers), Randal is always tinkering with rules options. His love of magic users has led him to always fuss with the mechanics of magic and magic items. Years of GMing on the fly have given him endless ideas and content from which to draw on for adventures (ideas, plots, NPCs). When not working, gaming, or playing with his kids, Randal is likely working on improving Sage (his Discord bot for immersive play-by-post gaming that you can see in action on Know Direction's Discord in the Know Direction Societous PFS channels) over at https://www.patreon.com/rpgsage!

PaizoCon 2019 - Dungeon Design Dissection