Tall Tales at the Downside (Interlude)

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Koshnek
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Tall Tales at the Downside (Interlude)

Post by Koshnek »

Location: Central Chicago, Aurora Barrens, the Downside
Time: Saturday June 2, 2095 10:47 PM
Weather: A light rain pitter-patters against the building and can occasionally be heard when conversations die down.
The Downside
the Downside - Exterior.jpg
the Downside - Interior.jpg
The Downside is busy tonight, and its occupancy is quickly approaching standing room only. Locals and regulars congregate in tight clusters between crowded tables, but they all maintain the most distance possible between themselves and other patrons. A dull roar fills the room from all the chatter. The locals don't have much to hide and understand the establishment's reputation, so their conversations aren't hushed. The rest speak more quietly, but their numbers are sufficient enough that they contribute to the overall noise level.

Kit
Kit.jpg
As the tap flows and Kit bustles about the room serving drinks, lips loosen and stories are shared. Some flow from one group into another as people begin to overhear their neighbors, and the environment softens into a more normal night at the bar. What tall tales will be born at the Downside tonight?

GM Instructions
It's interlude time! We're going to handle this a little bit differently than usual. Work together to tell the story of how one of your jobs went down. This is a is a sequential collaborative storytelling exercise, if you will.

The first poster sets the scene. What was the job? Where did it take place?
The following posters put their own twist on the story. Were you jumped by gangers en route to the location? How was it handled?
The last poster wraps it up. Was it a clean get away? Did your employer follow through on the payment, or did he try to leave you hanging?
Edit: No rolls are needed, interludes are narrative. Jump right in and describe how awesome your characters are.

Anyone who drops a good two to three paragraphs of story can take a Benny for completing the interlude!

The Carrot: Each player who includes in their interlude how their character messed up or found themselves in danger during this job can receive an additional reward. Tell us how another character came to your rescue, and you still take a Benny, but your character also gains the Common Bond Edge.

The Stick: Nothing is free, omae. I'll work with each player who chooses to take the Common Bond Edge bonus to figure out an appropriate consequence for the "bad thing" which your friend saved you from. This will probably take the form of a hindrance, but it won't require an advance to buy off. If you receive an enemy and you eventually neutralize the enemy in some manner, you can buy the hindrance off immediately.
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Black Swan
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Re: Tall Tales at the Downside (Interlude)

Post by Black Swan »

A steely eyed romeo leans over the bar and calls to Kit. "Hey Kit, what's the story with the table of hotties over there." His eyes move over Black Swan, Emi, Caelia, Whiskers, and Kat.

Kit glances over and shakes her head. "They're professionals, you don't want to get sucked into that scene. No, not that kind, the other one. The three little ones? I heard everyone one of them is deadly in close combat, and I've seen the other girl throwing darts. She can nail a bullseye from across the room. The guys are all pros too. They come here to relax, so don't bother them."

A bit too full of himself, he gives her a challenging glare. "If they are pros, why haven't I heard of them?"

"You have," comes the reply.

"Huh?"

"That dustup at the Jersey Heights Complex, with the bio-horrors." Kit nods as his eyes widen. "So like I said, leave them alone Romeo."

Kassandra Krane, better known as Black Swan, though she goes by Kas among her friends, hears a decent portion of the conversation. "Wow, that job just keeps coming up." The others look to her questioningly and she continues. "That snatch and grab with the exchange at Jersey Heights." Immediately all of them know, vividly, why that would come up. They did manage a few Cleaner-type jobs after that, and Chimera was leaving them alone - so it wasn't all bad.

She'd hired Kat because of her marksmanship, Bright for the dual utility of healing and a good combatant, Whiskers for his skills as a driver and hacker, Shift for his mind bending zeek abilities, Emi for her ninja skills, and Caelia is a goddess of close combat. Caelia, Emi and Kas handled extraction, while Kat, Bright, Shift, and Whiskers waited in the vehicle they'd borrowed for the night. Then they'd driven to the Jersey Heights apartment complex, a collection of four 5 story buildings with an alley going between them and a parking lot that would host the drop off. They'd dropped Kat, Shift, and Emi off for recon, while the rest stayed put and waited. Once everything looked good, the second group drove the van in.

From there it all went to hell. "I tell you, that was one hell of a shot Kat, I felt the bullet pass my ear and nail that bio-horror dog thing straight in the eye."
Note to the other players
There's a lot to cover, plus the escape. Pick it up and let's tell the tale. Basic outline is as follows:
My basic idea was a run gone wrong that we pulled out of, but not cleanly. And that we got one over on the client who was trying to off us. Basic idea is a snatch and grab that ends in a prisoner exchange gone wrong as they basically try to take our prisoner, not pay us and leave some bio-horrors for us to clean up. But they only thought they got away. We found them, got our money, and a little gear for the trouble. The prisoner exchange and bio-horror fight is the stuff of stories and legends around the bar, but the group doesn't really advertise it was them. Partially because fan boys, partially because it's the opposite of relaxation to do so.

stage one, grab target
stage two recon switch off place
stage three, hand off target and get boned
stage four, get paid by our employer at gun point mostly by stealing his stuff but letting him go
Black Swan
Black Swan Bioroid Fixer and Combat Negotiator
Parry: 7, Toughness: (Armored Jacket): 11 (2); (Tactical Armor): 13 (4)
Benny/Conviction/Wound/Fatigue
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Kat Novak
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Re: Tall Tales at the Downside (Interlude)

Post by Kat Novak »

Kat chuckled briefly before answering. "Yeah, sorry about that.. " she smiled at Kas before continuing. "I'd run into those things before, up in Arlington. Learned the hard way that if you don't get them in the brain pan they take a while to die." Kat turned, looking to rest of the team, particularly the melee specialists. "Or decapitation, that works pretty good too but man does it make a mess. I bet Caelia's real glad you decided not to use her van, I don't know how she'd have ever gotten it clean again."

Kat sobered, turning back to Kas. "Did you ever confirm whether they'd been trained or if it was the zeek that had them leashed?" It had been evident by the way the dogs had been hidden without making a sound that they'd been either been trained for ambush situations or the zeek the bad guys had brought had had them under control somehow. Neither was a comforting thought but it would be good to know for certain.

Without waiting for an answer, Kat continued. "And that fragging hacker.. Nearly shut me down hard after I got that shot off. That feint on Caelia's 'ware was genius, good job Whiskers here is smarter." She grinned over at the mousiest member of the team, raising her glass in salute.
Kat Novak
  • Pace: 6(d6); Parry: 4; Toughness: Toughness(Armor) 14(4)/15(5)
    • BKI Combat Fatigues: 14(4) Torso, Arms, Legs
      BKI Combat Fatigues plus Armoured Combat Vest: 15(5) Torso, Arms; 14(4) Legs

    Combat-Relevant Edges & Abilities: Danger Sense
    Wounds: 0/3; Fatigue: 0/3; PP: 00/00
    Bennies: 6/3; Conviction: 0/1

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Whiskers
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Re: Tall Tales at the Downside (Interlude)

Post by Whiskers »

Kat Novak wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 12:27 pm Without waiting for an answer, Kat continued. "And that fragging hacker.. Nearly shut me down hard after I got that shot off. That feint on Caelia's 'ware was genius, good job Whiskers here is smarter." She grinned over at the mousiest member of the team, raising her glass in salute.
Whiskers blushes a little, their cheeks going a bit red at the compliment.

”Well,” they say, ”I’m just glad you all had your IFF tags on, and that we were all on the same VPN.”

Pointing at their head, Whiskers continues, ”Not a lot of folks outside of the corp and military industrial complex can match the gear I’ve got in my head. NovaBoMb3R was pretty good, despite that stupid name, but it was an unfair fight from the get go. Which, of course, is the only good kind of fight.”
Whiskers
Cyber-Mouse Hybrid Hacker
Pace:6; Parry: 4; Toughness: 6(1); Street Cred: d6
Notes/Edges: Danger Sense; Hesitant; Tier 3 TAP/IDS; Steel Wind motorcycle un-Hackable (no comptuer system)
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Caelia Seacoal
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Re: Tall Tales at the Downside (Interlude)

Post by Caelia Seacoal »

Caelia removes her left hand from her pocket and puts both hands on the table. "Kit, I'll take a water. Thanks, nakama."

"I cannot agree more Kat. I practically live in my van. I'd be better off sleeping on the streets than in the mess we would have tracked all over Ash."(the name of her van). "The thing that is driving me crazy is why? Why set us up? Why go to all the work of having us snatch our target, what was her name? Some relative or perhaps heart throb of that Deson-vici guy? The guy whose perfect face is always on the feeds. It wasn't him, he probably has all sorts of protection, I've been running it through my head over and over. The grab target must be someone this Petrus Desonvacce cared for? A lover or illegitimate daughter perhaps? She would have fit in amongst us hotties."

"We were given an IP address -- track down the IP address, break into the premises, extract the live source, leave no trace, make no sound. Nothing to it. I mean, you had your standard security measures, nothing that Whiskers and Emi here couldn't handle. Hack in, fake-out the cameras, make everything seem copacetic and then you create the distraction. Distract, and then enter, and quick as can be, like a magician, you pull the trick -- that's where I come in -- up close and personal. A quick one -- two --sweep the legs a quick jab to the neck -- then pressure points and compressing the lungs to knock the air out surpressing a scream or sound -- followed by the knockout blow or a quick chloroform cloth to the face. Lights out. All that happens almost without thinking -- muscle memory. It isn't until after they're out that the emotion catches up with me -- who is the target? This is the mystery-- who the IP source is--the target-- always gets me. I like the job better when the source/target fits in to your stereotypical bad guy. I get less satisfaction when the target seems like it could be someone I could get along with -- young, attractive, female--with money and privilege. Maybe I should have gotten something besides a water?" Caelia looks at her empty glass and sighs.

"Man, what I'd do to have grown up living in a place like the digs she had. Did anyone take the opportunity to make it look like a typical break-in? You know, lift some of the tech and crypto from her digs?"
Caelia Seacoal
Caelia SeacoalCybermonkParry: 8, Toughness:w/ armored jacket: 09(2); w/ ME Suit: 13 (6)
3 Bennies, 0 Conviction, 0 Wounds, and 0 Fatigue
Beginning 3
  • Expenditures/Gains
  • Expenditures/Gains
  • Expenditures/Gains
0 Conviction
  • Expenditures/Gains
Wounds: 0/3 (-0 to all rolls) Fatigue: 0/3 (-0 to all rolls)
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Bright
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Re: Tall Tales at the Downside (Interlude)

Post by Bright »

Bright is wandering back from the bar with a fresh beer, sipping the head as he listens to the tail end of @Caelia Seacoal’s recounting. ”Oh man, are you guys talking about that Jersey Heights job again? What a drekshow that was. It felt like an eternity for those of us sitting in the van during the infil, when the coms went down. We thought you’d all been greased and were ready to run in like the cavalry when Whiskers got the coms back up, and we heard you high-tailing it back. We were barely ten feet away from the van when those dog things surrounded us.”

He squints, thinking for a moment. ”Those dogs were...something else. A product of a sick mind. Who would gene-splice a dog so it was half the size of a bear, grew spikes and could spit acid -- and did you see the one with six legs? I don’t even know how that thing ran properly, but it definitely almost ate my face off. Glad I brought my mono-sword on that run...I’ll never leave it at home again, that’s for sure.”

Bright takes a sip of beer and then resumes. ”While I was fending off that devil-dog, I didn’t see those other bozos with the guns. I went down like this with my sword,” he demonstrates the motion with his non-beer hand, as he’s probably done many times before, ”the head of that dog flies off like in an old-time samurai movie, and just as I think I’m in the green, a 9mm round catches me right on the inside of the arm.” He mimes wobbling and holding his arm. ”Didn’t find out till later that it nicked my brachial artery. Who’d have thought that the medic would be the one bleeding out on the pavement! If it wasn’t for the quick work of our girl @Emi patching me up with a tourniquet and a slap patch -- sure, I talked her through it, but she did great -- *I* would have been the one who was a grease stain.” He gives @Emi a wink.

”Hell of a thing, that job. It was just last week that I was telling a gal at the bar about it, sure gets the attention of the ladies!"

"Before I knew it, we were high-tailing it out of there with the mark, a van full of bullet holes and acid-eaten upholstry and me with a few less liters of blood. Who would have known that the swap would have gone worse that the smash and grab, though..."
Bright, H2 Medic
Pace: 6(d6); Parry: 5; Toughness: 13(5)
Combat-Relevant Edges & Abilities:
  • Luck: Draws one extra benny.
  • Common Bond: Can transfer bennies to other team members.
  • Cyberware Filters: +4 to resist airborne toxins, diseases and poisons.
  • All Thumbs (tweaked): -2 to all actions using right arm. Removed after next mission.
Wounds: 0/3; Fatigue: 0/3
Bennies: 5/4; Conviction: 0/1
Cash: 800 crypto
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Whiskers
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Re: Tall Tales at the Downside (Interlude)

Post by Whiskers »

Bright wrote: Fri May 08, 2020 7:02 pm "Before I knew it, we were high-tailing it out of there with the mark, a van full of bullet holes and acid-eaten upholstry and me with a few less liters of blood. Who would have known that the swap would have gone worse that the smash and grab, though..."
Whiskers rolls their eyes a bit, remembering. "Ugh! The swap!"

They shake their head. "Like, I know at that point we hadn't done a lot together, but a swap is supposed to be easy, right? Easy! You bring the target, they bring the money, everyone brings too many guns, and then we all go home. Simple."

Their exasperation showing through, they huff again. "But who brings a frakking Golemmech to pick up a little girl? Who did they think they were dealing with? And a Kensei! It's not like the city is exactly crawling with those things. And that sprite! Man. Nothing like a military-grade sprite..." Whiskers' tone has switched to an almost dreamy longing as they continue, "You can't even buy those things, you know? I've never hacked anything like that before."

Again, they sound a bit wistful before catching themself. "Oh. But, um, obviously it would have been better if they hadn't tried to double cross us and I hadn't had to hack the Golemmech. Obviously."

Unable to help themself, though, Whiskers lets out a bit of a contented sigh.

"Of course, then there was the shooting, which was, on the whole, a lot less fun. That Golemmech pilot wasn't super fond of me being in his controls, you know? I thought I was super, super dead when he lined up that shot. I didn't even see @Black Swan until she was pushing me out of the way. I mean, drek, I was there, but it still blows my mind sometimes. We should all be dead. Or at least, I should. And maybe @Bright, too." They give Bright a playful wink.
Whiskers
Cyber-Mouse Hybrid Hacker
Pace:6; Parry: 4; Toughness: 6(1); Street Cred: d6
Notes/Edges: Danger Sense; Hesitant; Tier 3 TAP/IDS; Steel Wind motorcycle un-Hackable (no comptuer system)
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Black Swan
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Re: Tall Tales at the Downside (Interlude)

Post by Black Swan »

Kas laughs at Whisker's last little jab at Bright and himself. "Well if you weren't so good at dealing with the hacking, I probably wouldn't forgive you for being so oblivious at times. It was definitely far to much firepower. Of course their play was with all that firepower, why would we fight back? I mean you come prepared to use what you've got, but I'm sure they felt we'd just lay down and be screwed over. I mean what crew fights with those odds. Besides us. Still, solid work by everyone. I'm still impressed with how @Shift found that executive running the show after he escaped. Surviving that drekshow was great, but making that jerk take that trashed out van his people had shot up and selling his car and everything in it to the chop shop to cover costs was awesome. Hopefully they all realize not to screw people over. Still he got what he paid for." She grins and giggles at this.

"That was some fine work right there. I knew every one of you was a good pick for the job, but I never would have guessed we'd have worked so well together."
Black Swan
Black Swan Bioroid Fixer and Combat Negotiator
Parry: 7, Toughness: (Armored Jacket): 11 (2); (Tactical Armor): 13 (4)
Benny/Conviction/Wound/Fatigue
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Shift
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Re: Tall Tales at the Downside (Interlude)

Post by Shift »

"It was fortunate I was able to sharpen our bullets to be able to penetrate that Golemmech's armour," Shift agreed. "It was lucky I found the executive when I did, I was almost out of zeek juice by the time I managed to track him down.". His eyes glazed over, he did not like how helpless he felt after draining his psionic abilities. He quickly downed his drink and stood up "Next round is mine,"
Shift
Pace: 6(d6); Parry: 8(3); Toughness: 15(4)
Combat-Relevant Edges & Abilities:
  • -4 Cover when shield active
Wounds: 0/3; Fatigue: 0/3; PP: [color=#0080FF4/15[/color]
Bennies: 4/3; Conviction: 0/1
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Emi
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Re: Tall Tales at the Downside (Interlude)

Post by Emi »

Emi listened and nodded to herself as the others recounted. She then spoke up and said to Bright, "Thank you for being so quick to fire on the dog-things. My gear wasn't designed to deceive smell, and I didn't spot them in time. I'm very glad I was able to save your life."

She then looked at Whiskers and added, "When they hacked my goggles and blinded me, I thought it was all over for me. It wasn't a simulation, it wasn't an exercise...I really thought I'd die. You shut them out just in time for me to get out of there."

"What I have trouble understanding is how they can do something like that and still have people agree to work for them. I would predict such behavior is ultimately self-defeating, as it ensures that skilled assets will not risk being betrayed, leading to competitors have exclusive access to higher quality assets, leading to the betraying organization operating at a disadvantage."

Emi looked at her plate then. "But that does not seem to fit the facts. After all that chaos, and the senseless destruction of personnel and equipment, they suffered no consequences."

"...that would suggest that betraying one's hired agents may be commonplace.Acquiring their services without compensation could also lead to an advantage, so long as there were no other consequences in play."

Finally she looked up at each of them. "Will this happen again?"
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Shift
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Re: Tall Tales at the Downside (Interlude)

Post by Shift »

"As with anything, our reputation grows, we will get a higher quality clientele. Either that, or they seriously underestimated our capability to defend ourselves. What they brought was surely enough to finish most other runners." Shift stared down at his beer. He looked forward to not needing to fight like that again.
Shift
Pace: 6(d6); Parry: 8(3); Toughness: 15(4)
Combat-Relevant Edges & Abilities:
  • -4 Cover when shield active
Wounds: 0/3; Fatigue: 0/3; PP: [color=#0080FF4/15[/color]
Bennies: 4/3; Conviction: 0/1
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Black Swan
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Re: Tall Tales at the Downside (Interlude)

Post by Black Swan »

"Oh it hurt them. Last I heard that guy suffered a very big reduction of status. I think he's cleaning toilets now, more likely he's overseeing the sanitation workers. The amount of assets he wasted to save some cash in his black budget was far larger than the op was slated to pay. The corps don't like it when things cost more than they project. I heard through the grapevine that they had no intent to pursue anything. Funnily enough I think they actually bought that vehicle from the chop shop, at the going rate. Or the guy I know working there was pulling my leg, but I think I can believe him in this case. One thing that worked in our favor - they managed to get away with the target once we'd extracted our pound of flesh. As far as they were concerned, we completed the op. I actually got a thank you back from my initial contact. I decided not to press the issue."
Black Swan
Black Swan Bioroid Fixer and Combat Negotiator
Parry: 7, Toughness: (Armored Jacket): 11 (2); (Tactical Armor): 13 (4)
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Koshnek
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Re: Tall Tales at the Downside (Interlude)

Post by Koshnek »

Location: The Free City of Chicago (Wherever your character may be leading up to the meeting with Kit)
Time: Sunday June 3, 2095 - 7:00 AM (or whatever time is appropriate for your character to make the 8:00 AM meeting with Kit at the downside)
Weather: Last night's deluge has knocked some of the humidity out of the air, but the warm early morning reminds you that summer is just around the corner.

Image
Image
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Image


For those present at the raid of the Downside hours past, the early morning daylight comes all too soon. Unanswered questions linger, and the prospect of getting those answers is a double edged sword. On one hand, you might discover who was responsible for the raid. On the other, today's job could put you at odds with these operatives, or their masters, again.

Those who were lucky enough to have avoided the battle have almost definitely heard about it. For a generally tight lipped community, shadow operators are gossiping like school children. Mentions of late night raids in sketchy areas across Chicago are all the rage on the DataNet this morning and a hot topic of discussion in the Deep.

As you make your way to the downside, you have ample time to draw your own conclusions about what's really going on. Why was the Downside attacked? Who is Kit, really? How did her bar become a hotspot for the local shadow community? What does the Downside mean to you?

Welcome back, Nakama! We have a full group now, so I thought I'd give y'all the opportunity to get a benny and drop some narrative!

Here's a brief recap of what's happened thus far: the gang met up at the Downside, a bar in the aurora barrens frequented equally by aurora locals and the Chicago shadow community. This was the group's first chance to get together for a celebration of their recent success on the infamous Jersey Heights job.

The team had barely finished reliving their memories of the job when a seriously equipped black ops team opened the bar up like a can opener. They opened fire, no questions asked, and an epic battle ensued. The casualties for the good guys and bystanders were at a minimum, but the bar was trashed and no one really knew what was going on. Kit informed Black Swan that she would have more information, and a job for the team, in the morning.

We have new faces who will soon have new characters, so here's a chance to get to know one another and contribute to the story! This interlude is pretty freeform at the base level. Do you or your character have any thoughts or opinions about who this mysterious black ops group is, who they report to, or what their goal is? Feel free to share it!

What about Kit and the Downside? She displayed some serious skills during the fight, threw some major street cred at Tiger and the Angels, and both her saferoom and its network are next level, bleeding-edge stuff. Remember that until last night/early this morning, all Kit was to each of your characters was a cute neko girl, bar owner and possibly fixer. How does your character feel about warm, reserved yet somewhat flirtatious Kit flipping the uncouth, vengeful murderhobo switch?

More than the above suggestions, however, I would really like to read about your character's connections to the Downside. Have you ever been there before? How did you find your way there the first time? If you've never been, what have you heard about the place and/or its owner-operator Kit? Does the bar mean anything to your character, or is it just a convenient spot for someone in your line of work?

Anyone who completes this interlude can take a Benny. Due to our mid-quarter start time (or later), this Benny will carry over into next quarter if not used this quarter.

But wait, there's more! This is more for the new players/characters. The original team members got an opportunity to snag the Common Bond Edge for "free." I'd like to extend the same opportunity to the new comers.

The Carrot: Each player who hasn't already received it can collect an additional reward. All you need to do is tie another player's character into your interlude.
There is an OOC Chat thread that you can use, PM them, or use our game's discord. Please don't OOC in this thread.
to figure out how their character helped you out of a tight spot or otherwise came through for you when you really needed them. If you choose to do so, you can add the Common Bond Edge to your character's sheet!

The Stick: Nothing is free, omae. I'll work with each player who chooses to take the Common Bond Edge bonus to figure out an appropriate consequence for the "bad thing" with which your friend helped you. This will probably take the form of a hindrance, but it won't require an advance to buy off. If you receive an enemy and you eventually neutralize the enemy in some manner, you can buy the hindrance off immediately.
IZ3 GM Bennies 4/4
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