IC RECENT OCCURRENCES

Cindy

the snail inside your ear
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Ursula Townsend
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"Kafka"
// Post here when something has transpired on server that you feel other people should know about.

// Try to keep your posts from an IC perspective—Perhaps you’re describing a rumor, or describing the occurrence outright for those who might have witnessed it. Get creative!
 
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Lawrence

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Aelita Pasternak
An infant American Robin chick disappears from a nest near to the XIC tents. The song of its mother had fallen silent days before. The cries of the orphaned chick were a despairing reminder that even among the animals of City 553 the young do not long survive.

It is likely to have died, as do most small and fragile things, in a world that cannot use them.
 

blooregardo

ball so hard they thought I was a fucking nutsack
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Sinclair

The Shaman
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On Wednesday, October the 11th, gunfire and flames erupted near the gas station CivPro Outpost during an XIC operation. An armed and masked individual fired upon the workshift. At least one attacker was struck by a CivPro Jeep - and was taken off in Combine custody. Rumors circulate among onlookers that the gunman’s back hung “like a wet noodle” when the cops pulled him out from under the vehicle.
 
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straylight

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Angela from Library of Ruina
From the most overworked and underpaid goons of the local Citizen government all the way to the brass of the Civil Protection division, everybody has their vices and desires... and everybody has a way to get what it is they want.

Though it's all officially under-the-table, a bit of finesse and a willingness to read between the lines will score you the fact that an old hag somewhere in City 553 has taken up the mantle of the de facto primary source for all Union-loyal sin. There's an unofficial agreement at hand, one where both benefit: she can keep doing her business, and in turn the Union gets to benefit from her supply and sources.

Want some seasoning for your slop? Maybe a new set of headphones for the cassette player you also probably bought from her? A book that's halfway intellectually stimulating, or a pin-up that's miraculously avoided being destroyed by the elements? Ask around and you might find yourself with a veritable world of luxury at your fingertips... should you be willing to hold up your end of the bargain, of course.
 

blooregardo

ball so hard they thought I was a fucking nutsack
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What seems to be impossible music from a long-dead rockstar has been circulating in the streets of City 553.

Curious citizens and longtime fans looking into the source of these strange CD's found that the evidence pointed them towards a mysterious biker bar on Joyce Street, "The Black Lodge". As soon as the bar eases their exclusivity and opens to the general population, the seedy regulars begin to clash with the new customers. A bar fight breaks out. Shots are fired. Civil Protection raids the location.

Nothing unheard of, except for the speedy arrival of some Combine APCs. Not the rustbucket, last-generation hand-me-downs, but newer combat models without a speck of rust on them. The kind rumored to be sent on off-world deployments. The kind without steering wheels. Out the back hatch, black-and-blue clad Combine soldiers storm the bar. The secretive Data Recovery Bloc. You might have caught glimpses of them in the past, but not in this backwater city. Within nineteen minutes, they leave the bar toting vaccum-sealed static-proof evidence bags and seal the building off.

Rumors begin to circulate about what happened in the bar, every one of them from someone who heard it from someone who was there. The most exciting and tantalizing rumors involve a long-defunct resistance cell.
 
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Katerina Kuskova, 'Symes'
Last night at around 22:00 hours, residents of Section 14 experienced a spontaneous blackout lasting upwards of 30 minutes. Although infrastructural mishaps are a common occurrence in C553, what draws attention is the nature of this 'accident'.

The talk around CEC GROUP 9 is that an unknown assailant broke into the local power center/warehouse and sabotaged a backup generator, causing a cascade of power failures which rippled outward and ran the possibility of initiating a fatal dark energy incident within the warehouse itself.

The only trace of the crime is an unconfirmed account of a rope ladder, hanging from the rooftop window. Even then, it could've just been a trick of the light (or lackthereof).

Strangely, nothing is reported to have been stolen.
 
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Katerina Kuskova, 'Symes'

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As of October 28th, Socio-control Station One has effectively been compromised.

Multiple individuals have been identified in what appears to be a breaking-and-entering operation for the purpose of stealing equipment. Several firearms, grenade tubes and multiple high-caliber weapons are rumored to be missing from the local armory and are now at large in the hands of sources unknown.

In their wake, lies a trail of breadcrumbs; a crate-hauling cart, fragments of synthetic oil, leftover thermite boxes, mangled doors, a broken-down getaway jeep abandoned at the shoreline, and finally, the foul residue of a vortigaunt, apparently seen in black robes.

Particularly condemnable is the deliberate infestation of the ventilation network; releasing noxious xenotheric compounds that have resulted in agonizing deaths and mutations of several officers who had the misfortune of spending their recreational time indoors without a mask. It will take XIC several visits to clean up the mess; and no guarantee that the place will ever smell the same again. Officers have been advised to make use of alternative sociocontrol stations for off-duty activities until the immediate biohazard is contained, but will otherwise continue to use SC1 for official activities.

The last time something like this happened in 553 was so long ago, that anybody who could tell you the story has long been relocated by now.

Some say this will bring Stabilization Control out of their localized slumber. You might shudder at the thought. After all, there is a certain freedom in being neglected by the higher authorities. One that may be lost, if these attacks don't stop.​
 
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blooregardo

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Randall Fieldman, Jeremy Winch, FANG-4, Valued Cardholder
Curious citizens and longtime fans looking into the source of these strange CD's found that the evidence pointed them towards a mysterious biker bar on Joyce Street, "The Black Lodge". As soon as the bar eases their exclusivity and opens to the general population, the seedy regulars begin to clash with the new customers. A bar fight breaks out. Shots are fired. Civil Protection raids the location.

Nothing unheard of, except for the speedy arrival of some Combine APCs. Not the rustbucket, last-generation hand-me-downs, but newer combat models without a speck of rust on them. The kind rumored to be sent on off-world deployments. The kind without steering wheels. Out the back hatch, black-and-blue clad Combine soldiers storm the bar. The secretive Data Recovery Bloc. You might have caught glimpses of them in the past, but not in this backwater city. Within nineteen minutes, they leave the bar toting vaccum-sealed static-proof evidence bags and seal the building off.

Rumors begin to circulate about what happened in the bar, every one of them from someone who heard it from someone who was there. The most exciting and tantalizing rumors involve a long-defunct resistance cell.

Ever since the Black Lodge shootout, there have been sparse sightings of the Data Recovery Bloc in City 553. Rare, but just frequent enough to remind the denizens of City 553 that they are being watched. Enough that rumors are starting to spread, rumors of the DRB's eyes in places their transhuman agents choose not to be seen.

Rumors of black vehicles with dark windows, slowing down to get a good look at citizens passing by along the street, passing through on their way to another district. Many dismiss this as paranoia; driving around in black Suburbans and being generally shifty seems like a tactic of the three letter agencies of the pre-war governments. In all likelihood, it's just a couple citizens lucky enough to have cars and the wherewithal to use tinted windows in a surveillance state, and these rumors are the conjurations of those who watched too much X-Files before the portal storms. Though another rumor has it that DRB takes their transhuman stock from former intelligence agents and secret police, much in the same manner that Stabilization Control preferred to make use of former soldiers.

Another popular DRB-related rumor has circulated of DRB inserting informants within the various organizations of City 553's Combine Overwatch, including the Engineer Corps, Infestation Control, and even Civil Protection. Some of the more sensational rumors have it that these spies have the same augmentations as DRB, augmentations that let them interface with and remotely control electronics and turn spies into walking wiretaps. The most ludicrous of these rumors involves the idea that all DRB agents have a small semtex charge in their heads that detonate their brains upon death (or the utterance of a secret code phrase!), so that Vortigaunts cannot try to read the contents of their mind from their still-fresh corpse.

Never mind the fact that this is not something Vortigaunts are capable of (at least as far as you know, those shifty aliens could be up to anything) and it's a plot point from the 2001 game Deus Ex, the rumor always comes from a guy, who knows a guy, who heard from a guy that swears he saw a CEC forklift operator's head explode after a grisly industrial accident.

Yet, against your better judgement, you can't help but shake the feeling that there's a morsel of truth somewhere in all the lies.
 
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Lawrence

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Aelita Pasternak
Early on on a cold and quiet Saturday night, a few gunshots echo from the basement of the mall, and a small party from a widely advertised in-section CEC detail, depart to the warehouse with their cargo in tow.

Not long after, the section suffers a momentary power disruption, and distorted images appear on televisions across the local network. Those near the warehouse might see a black vehicle pull up nearby, and then withdraw not long after. Its occupants remain out of sight of most citizens, but the rumor mills start up again: DRB is in town. The reasons as to why they came are as spurious as they are numerous. They just had strong feelings on power disruptions and gave the CEC a piece of their mind. The work detail ran into the wrong kind of snag, and everyone involved was disappeared. The work detail found something they shouldn't have - and were also disappeared. DRB broke up a local luxury shampoo smuggling ring, which was actually a cover for the distribution of coded messages inside the bottles by members of the long-dead, but still infamous and legendary ZFT.

The outlandishness, and escalating absurdity of these rumors, create counter-accusations in the bars and shops where they're spread that the rumors themselves are ops to disguise from the true reason behind their intervention.

But all agree that if the DRB is involved - it's nothing good.

And somewhere much further away, both on this planet and not, a worm pings, and pings again. Waiting for another response, dispatching coordinates, using the relay point, finding a dead signal and then, at last, falling silent.

It concludes: It shall not mate yet.
 

blooregardo

ball so hard they thought I was a fucking nutsack
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rp_ineu_valley2_v1a0018.jpg


It's been a week since a workforce detachment from City 553 arrived in Sector 261 External Workforce Hub 19, or, more simply The Hub. A week to adjust, mingle with the occupants, learn the lay of the land, make note of key players in the town hierarchy, overhear the town gossip.

You have learned of several key locations in the area:

The Hub - Formerly a small mining called Mackinac, the main portion of town has been surrounded by an electric fence, which is supposedly meant to keep the xenians out rather than the workers in. Inside these barriers are housing, maintenance facilities, a ration machine, a materials refinery, a workshop/garage, and even a bar. There's also a path that leads to the nearby mine, so that mine workers.

The Mine - on the West end of town, there is a path that lead up to a ridge, where a small mine sits. Long before the Combine, this mine connected to a much one that was the source of prosperity to the town until it closed in the 90's. Now, the Combine want it for minerals that went ignored by the previous occupants. The mine closest to town is relatively safe, but over-mined.

The Old Mine - This is the larger mine that the one in town was once connected to. Behind multiple cave-ins are presumed to be a wealth of raw materials, guarded by two warring antlion packs and the numerous hazards of a mine left abandoned for over thirty years.

The Refinery - An old chemical factory in town (also shut down in the 1990's) converted into a processing plant for the Combine, allowing them to refine ore and manufacture composite materials needed in the production of resin, among other things.

The Dam - The Dam provides facilities that house the Cooperation Enforcement Division (sort of like the "State Trooper" version of Civil Protection), the Combine Engineer Corps, and Stabilization Control. It is the nerve center of the Combine in this area. It is also the bedrock of construction for a new Spire, and all of the material extraction and processing operations in and near the Hub serve the construction of this Spire.

When one listens to enough gossip and rumor from a variety of sources, a foggy picture of the truth sometimes emerges from the consistent details between each story. Here's what the newcomers have generally come to accept as truth:

-The full name of the Hub implies is under the jurisdiction of either City 261 (formerly St. Louis) or City 650 (Formerly Kansas City, under the same sector as City 261) which would likely put them somewhere in Missouri, or possibly as far as Eastern Kansas. It seems those from City 553 are a long way from home. Those who have checked on the Combine's records in the last year or two might note that this is alarmingly closer to the North American Exclusion Zone.

-From the first day in The Hub, many noted the lack of people seen in the main area of town. After talking with those few that remain, it seems that most of the workforce was displaced. There are several different stories, one claims that there was a worker strike, another claims it was an armed mutiny, yet another claims that workers were deliberately dragging their feet with their work to sabotage the Combine. Each story you hear implies some sort of dissidence among the workers. Speculation on their fate varies similarly: some say they were executed on the spot, others say they were turned into stalkers. A particularly banal theory sticks with you: the dissidents were sent off to another city, transferred to another after a few days, and again, and again. Never staying in the same city for more than three days, constantly in transit to random destinations. Forever.

-Since your arrival, more have come from nearby cities, each ones without Citadels: City 257 (Winnipeg), City 498 (Indianapolis), and a group of workers from as far as City 268 (Havana, Cuba). As of yet, no one has any guesses as to why these cities were chosen to pull volunteers from. So far, the largest groups have come from City 553, followed by City 268.

-The current Overseer, Ticonderoga Fontentot, seems initially friendly, yet aloof and somewhat buffoonish. Those who have interacted with him very little beyond their introduction to The Hub might still see him this way, but this assessment, you notice, is in conflict with his reputation. Some who have worked with him personally note an insincerity or disingenuousness to Overseer Fontenot, a vague sense of disdain the workers notice in him that they struggle to articulate further. Those who check records might see that his performance running the Hub is exemplary, consistently meeting and often exceeding the milestones set for him by those he answers to in City 261, and further up the Combine food chain. Exemplary, at least, until whatever happened to incite the events that caused the labor shortage. An intrusive thought enters your mind: how many chances does the Overseer have left, if any?
 
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blooregardo

ball so hard they thought I was a fucking nutsack
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News reaches you about the same time you see a helicopter combing the forest in search of suspects. Overseer Fontenot has been assassinated while driving back from The Hub towards the Spire construction area. Supposed witnesses give conflicting reports, some saying that multiple shooters were attacking the Overseer's vehicle, others saying a feral vortigaunt was involved, others saying they saw green lightning arcing out of an experimental weapon. One claims they saw Fontenot escape into a cave system, but this person you know for a fact could not have been present. One thing is consistent in all of these stories, that the Overseer's truck was armored, and he was only killed when he opened the door and exposed himself to attack. But, as he always reminded people, his door is always open.

Due to an obscure and surprising clause in a contract signed with the new influx of workers, a representative from the Citizen's Advocate will be standing in as interim Overseer until the Combine approves a new Overseer.

In the past, the Hub had mostly been left to their own devices save for the occasional announced inspection, though now it has been seeing more interaction with various enforcement and security arms of the Combine. AIRWATCH flyovers are now a more common sight, as well as CED patrols in and around the Hub.
 
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Katerina Kuskova, 'Symes'

EXTERNAL WORKFORCE HUB 19
STABILIZATION REPORT

12/19
Brought to you by the Communications Commission.

ANTLION MIGRATION ALERT
Residents are advised to be wary of increased antlion activity at the Northern Gate. Accounts from excavation crews suggest many of these creatures to be the 'losers' in a conflict between two hives, the scales of which have been tilted as a result of recent Combine activity in the Old Mines.

Primarily, these creatures appear to be fleeing their old nest in search of another. However, they are known to act with hostility under desperation, and should be treated with extreme prejudice.

There is concern that they will find the caverns adjacent to Hub 19 suitable. XIC has been ordered to increase patrols in the area as a preventative measure.



VOLUNTARY CONSCRIPTION
Various residents have been conscripted into the newest mining crew by order of Overseer Kuskova, including at least one non-citizen. Devised as an emergency measure against the impending Xen invasion from inner NAEZ, these workers find themselves sent on dangerous resource extraction missions and research expeditions. While the crew are provided with the best amenities Hub 19 has to offer, there is resentment over the compulsory nature of their work, and those with contempt for it have openly taken to calling it 'slave labor with extra steps'.

Some say Overseer Kuskova cares more for surpassing her predecessor's labor quota than the lives of the chosen crew. The Communications Commission reminds the community that the Spire construction project is vital to the welfare of all H19 residents.



CONSEQUENCES OF SOCIO-ENDANGERMENT
Following the assassination of the late Overseer Ticonderoga Fontenot, officers of Cooperation Enforcement Division have been issued directives to increase their search quotas by 300%. The responsibility for the attack is claimed by anti-citizen group 'VALIS', whom the interim Overseer strongly rebuked as 'a band of maniacal xenofetishists who will face the proper sentence for their actions'.

Residents in possession of firearms have been asked to register their weapons with C.E.D or Stabilization Control to avoid the risk of confiscation on suspicious grounds.



JOB LISTINGS: HUB 19 OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
Several positions are currently available for the 'Hub 19 Oversight Committee', a recently established body of citizen volunteers upholding lower administrative functions on behalf of the Overseer. Below is an up to date list:

Director of Community Wellness Bureau (Responsibilities: Larval extract production, healthcare, etc.) : VACANT
Director of Asset Allocation Bureau
(Responsibilities: Control of ration intake, advocacy for small establishments, etc.): VACANT
Director of Workforce Intake Bureau
(Responsibilities: Mining operations, voluntary conscription programs, etc.): A. PASTERNAK

All citizens are eligible to apply. Interested parties should contact Overseer Kuskova for more information & recruitment.

BOUNTY LISTING: WILD VORTIGAUNTS
Hub 19 citizens with access to weapons are encouraged to bring in any feral vortigaunt they encounter in the wild for a substantial reward from the Overseer.
Note: All subjects must be brought in alive.
Note_2: 'Feral' designation applies to all vortigaunts not bound by Combine dampeners (colloquially known as 'shackles').​
 
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