Her Undying Majesty
Welcome to the Tournament!Congratulations! You’ve been selected from a pool of candidates to participate in Gerlach’s fifth annual Breakout: Crisis tournament! You were chosen because you have exhibited exceptional skills, and have the opportunity to put those skills to the test! Think you’ve got what it takes to win the grand prize? Can you overcome a dangerous environment, outwit deadly enemies, and complete your mission alongside comrades you won’t even know until you’re in the mission? Will you be able to escape Outpost Sigma?
If you think you’ve got what it takes, you’ll want to send a fork out to the Gerlach habitat in Venus orbit! Your fork will be assigned to a squad of other lucky contestants, chosen at random but to best compliment each other’s skills to give you all the greatest chance for success. You’ll be waiting in simulspace lobby for as long as it takes to get you into a match, and then you’re off to face the ultimate test! Your fork will barely be away any time at all, and will have a hell of a story for you when they get back!
If that wasn’t enough, there are prizes on the line! Our sponsors have generously created a pot for the team that scores the most points in addition to completing the challenge - which will be no walk in the park. Teams that manage to complete their mission and score the most bonus points will return to their hab of origin having an entire pot of credits to divide between them, and maybe even a selection of exclusive-license fabber blueprints!
Please ensure your fork arrives within an hour of the tournament beginning. Further details have been enclosed with this file...
Sentinels, this is Starglass. As you likely know by now, you’ve been ‘randomly selected’ for a private gaming tournament on Gerlach. You’ve all been on operations before, but it’s been decided among the Proxies that you all should get some sim-time in together, and that means getting all of your egos in one place. To do that, we need you to dispatch a fork to Gerlach, Venus’ primary orbital habitat, where you’ll be instanced as an infomorph on secured servers being rented by our front hypercorp putting on the company.
The servers, even the tournament, is private, but efforts have been made to ensure no one has a reason to look too closely; you’ve all been registered under false identities as Breakout enthusiasts from your respective habitats, as have enough of our fellow sentinels to throw off suspicion. You’ll all be slotted into the same team together and given your choice of morph (within reason) to load up as a simulmoprh. From there, you’ll play out the mission as though you were on an actual op.
There’s one other thing: you’ll be ‘randomly slotted’ with two other operatives that we want to keep an eye on. One of them is an Argonaut named Abigail Hammond - yes, of those Hammonds. She fled to Venus to get out from under their thumb, and she’s been content to work with hypercorps on Shukra, but she’s just too good at what she does to not see how she’d fare on an op like this. The other one is Marcus Speidwagon. Why are we inviting the Extropian racing pilot out to play Breakout, you might ask? His ego’s been flagged all over the belt lately, involved in activities that have nothing to do with racing, and we want to get to know him better in case certain hunches prove justified. Pay attention to how they react to the shit that goes down in the sim, and decide for yourselves if they’re sentinel material or not.
It might get rough at points, but it’s just a game, so you should be fine. That said, I haven’t been told what the prize blueprints are, so you might want to give it a solid go, huh?
Salaam, Abigail Hammond. This is Yasmin al-Rundi. We have recently been informed that you have been invited to participate in the Breakout: Crisis tournament being hosted in Venus orbit, aboard Gerlach station. The Institute for the Study of Emergent Trends has signaled to me its interest in having its members or fellow Argonauts participate in the yearly tournament, and since you’re the lucky winner, they have asked me to encourage you to accept the invitation and send a fork up to Gerlach. Any winnings would be yours to keep, we only ask you keep your inserts recording so we can study the XP data as well as debrief your fork upon her return from Gerlach.
Information on the actual sim is limited: the hypercorp hosting it has kept those cards close to their chest and we haven’t considered it worth breaking in to find out. In fact, information on the hypercorp itself is rather limited: part of the reason we’d encourage you to accept the offer is to get in there and try to find out who might be hosting the game. It’s our understanding that you will be assigned to a group at random, but try to find out what you can about the comrades you’re assigned to and about the hypercorp hosting the tournament.
I don’t know if there will be many opportunities for you to put those hacking skills to use against the simulation itself, but I must discourage you from attempting to hack the simulation itself if the opportunity arises: they will likely be monitoring the system for any attempts at subversion and will likely eject you from the sim if you are caught. Besides, you’d forfeit the possible prizes, and who knows what might be waiting for you?
The important thing is to find out what you can about your comrades and the organization putting on the tournament. We have some suspicions, but we need you to go in and find out more. Good luck in there.
[Marcus Speidwagon, you have a new task. You are to report to the Nysa Egodrome and dispatch a fork of your ego to the Gerlach station in orbit above Venus for a simulation game tournament that you have been invited to. You are to participate in the tournament and investigate who is hosting it. Acquire what information you can on the players you are assigned to the team with and the hypercorp hosting the tournament. I will inspect your XP data upon your return.]
[Your focus will be the players assigned to your team and the hypercorp hosting the tournament: acquire any information you can on who they are and their associates for further investigation. Breakout: Crisis is a simulation game modeling the Fall, however the level you will be performing in will be set on a Lunar outpost. It will feature hostiles from the Fall, the exact nature of which have not been revealed. It is modeled on reality: do not expect to do anything in the simulation you cannot do in reality. However, as it is a simulation, I trust it will be well within your ability to complete. Any winnings are yours to keep, but I will expect a full report on your return from Gerlach.]