Blackout Sector

The following page is a secret brief that is only available to those intimately familiar with Blackout. It represents a significant investment of IC time and effort. Please do not copy and paste the contents to other players.

With that proviso you may feel free to communicate the information IC using your own words. Of course, your neighbours may not like their private affairs gossiped all over the ship, and if you are caught doing so you may face significant IC consequences.

Chaos territory Quaking in Their Boots [New Turn 13]

Chaos territory has a new man in town: Quake. A huge, armoured, masked man has been taking out the trash in Chaos, and he has earned himself the Duke's coat. A bootleg vid is doing the rounds, with a grainy picture of Quake giving a passionate speech to a crowd:

”… you see, people of Blackout, you have lived in impenetrable night your whole lives. Every day spent engulfed in the dark that your petty Dukes have kept you shrouded in. But those times are changing, can you not feel it? The bedrock you have lived upon is shifting, and the corrupt men will tremble and grow to fear that quaking! I am Quake, good people, and I will lead you out of the darkness and into the light. I am here to bring the dawn!”

Duke Duncan's Old Territory stabilised [New Turn 13]

After months of fighting it looks like a new Duke has finally emerged in Duncan Red's old duchy. The man known as The Geriatric, having embraced the new Marshal presence in Blackout as a stabilising force, has brought the area under his control. Marshal patrols are allowed free passage (indeed they're welcomed) and any criminal activity is dealt with by a combination of Marshal action and The Geriatric's cybernetically enhanced 'community support officers'. In recognition of his new legitimate status, The Geriatric has revealed his name to be Tobias Black.

In similar news, Blackout personalities 'Six Fingered' Jack and Ace Black have also been seen working with the Marshals, apparently the 'law and order' bug is catching in Blackout!

Marshal invasion [New Turn 12]

Chief Marshal Samuel Red has started leading patrols through the parts of Blackout closest to Red. And some people seem to be quite taken with this new law and order thing, preferring it to the almost monthly changes in leadership under the previous regime.

Although accounts are confused, it is clear there was some sort of firefight at Acheron, and now they're using it as the new Harmony headquarters. Once the other dukes sort themselves out, expect a united push-back against this latest affront to our dignity.

The Council of Five [Updated Turn 13]

The Council of Five is the grand term given to the meeting of the five “dukes” who lead the gangs. It is convened on an ad hoc basis as matters arise. While petty squabbles and even border skirmishes are common between their men, the Dukes are unfailing polite and congenial to each other. To do otherwise would be a great breach of etiquette and result in the other four dukes combining forces to punish the offender.

The five dukes and their gangs are:

  • Duke Victoria Grey Duke Hades Black Duke Rocksalt Skull Head Marshal Samuel Red controls the upper part of Blackout adjacent to red sector, including the (once) lucrative BoB combat arenas on level 29.
  • Duke Duncan Red Duke Crazy Dan Duke Tobias Black/The Geriatric has consolidated his control of the lower part of Blackout adjacent to red sector, with the help of Marshall Samuel Red's patrols and a surprisingly large store of cybernetics. The black market retail outlets near the level 4 exit have officially been closed, but the area's still seeing a lot of thoroughfare and the area's economy is relatively strong.
  • Duke Alice Viteri controls only a small area spanning only 10 levels in the center of Blackout. Her power comes from complete and enforced control of the only functional large fabbers in the sector. Unlike those in the rest of the ship, these fabbers are completely unrestricted and can be used to produce anything from designer drugs to weapons, subject to sufficient resources and access to the relevant designs. All waste from the sector and anything that can be bought, scavenged or stolen from elsewhere is brought here for recycling. Alice's men have access to the most dangerous toys reverse-engineered from Marshals' captured weaponry, and this is one of the few items not for sale in Blackout. Tales of gruesome torture enforce this rule. By having the biggest guns, Alice walks a delicate line by not seeking to advance even one step beyond her small enclave.
  • Duke Matthew Black leads a large community of committed Children of Earth followers who reside in Blackout as it is outside the remit of Computer, controlling the upper levels adjacent to the Oxygen Forest. They are largely self sufficient and fight to defend their territory rather than takeover their competitors. None the less, they have significant muscle if push comes to shove. Those who are cybernetically “perverted” are not welcome in Matt's territory, and indeed the entrance hallway often has the artistically displayed body of the latest trespasser suspended above it.
  • Duke Chaos controls the lower levels adjacent to the Oxygen Forest. Considered by many the “deepest” part of Blackout, it is certainly the most desperate, with no sources of external income to sustain it. Chaos's territory is largely one where might makes right, and survival from one day to the next is the focus of thought. Almost nobody is here by choice, some are on the run, others have no useful skills, some were just born to it and know no better.
    • Update (Turn 9): Duke Chaos is dead; a new Duke Chaos will be chosen from the strongest who vie for the position. The entire territory is currently consumed by rioting.
    • Update (Turn 10): Hades Black has assumed Dukedom and has appointed as a lieutenant Jon Blackout. The control is tenuous, however, since Jon Blackout is not respected by the local residents as having achieved the position through his own strength. A challenge to the position can't be far away.
    • Update (Turn 11): With Hades dead through underhanded means, the position is wide open. It is likely that a public challenge to Jon Blackout will secure a solid starting position for a new Duke Chaos.
    • Update (Turn 12): Jon Blackout has apparently perished during a firefight at his base, though the killer remains unknown. Before his untimely demise he had essentially established himself as the new Duke Chaos.
    • Update (Turn 13): A new challenger appears! A mysterious man called Quake now sports Duke Chaos's coat.

Duke Duncan's old territory in chaos [New turn 11]

It seems Crazy Dan was taken out in the “unfortunate” neurotoxin incident that took out Hades. Rocksalt is busy consolidating his control on Victoria's old territory, so has been unable to claim all the lands that once belonged to Hades. This leaves a number of factions vying for control of his old territory:

  • The Children of Earth under Matthew Black are expanding their borders, evicting any who get in their way.
  • A man in a mask calling himself “The Geriatric” has seized control of the central area, including Duke Duncan's old headquarters. Currently seems to be the leading candidate to become Duke.
  • Some Skull loyalists are still fighting their own corner, hoping for backup from Skull central in Acheron.
  • A skilled hacker calling himself Prometheus has carved out his own area, protected by a number of armed BOBs apparently under his own control. Having lived in the area for a long time he has the support of many of the traders. Cynically many believe he's offering them lower rates than his competitors are likley to demand.

Hackers Looking for Work [Updated Turn 10]

A pair of hackers (should be easy to recognise - one male, one female, both quite tall), apparently new to Blackout, have recently been wandering around offering their services to anyone who needs them. Apparently they are quite skilled.

Update: Apparently the hackers were seen entering Duke Alice's territory, intending to offer her a deal. They have not returned.

The Geriatric - The Hero We Need? [New Turn 10]

A mysterious masked figure known as the Geriatric has been sighted in Blackout this month solving crimes. Is this another face of Masked Blackout? Or someone new entirely?

Duke Chaos Dead [New Turn 9]

Duke Chaos has been killed by a mystery assailant. By the traditions of the Chaos Dukedom, the strongest shall fight until there is a victor, and the strongest will claim the Duke's position over Chaos territory.

Reportedly many of the followers of the old Duke Chaos are willing to pay a pretty sum for the head of whoever killed the last one. Whoever it was, they were female, athletic, and were spotted fleeing the scene wearing a mask.

Chaos territory is now engaged in full-scale riots.

The Great Upheaval [New turn 6]

  • A great raid led by many ACTP members including Marshals has wiped out Duke Victoria Grey.
  • The new Duke Hades Black is now consolidating his hold on her old territory, and seems to have won the loyalty of her old men: at least those who yet live.
  • It seems the other dukes annexed several floors and other compartments during the confusion.
  • The Council of Five have declared this to be an act of war by the Marshals. The agreement with them is null and void.
  • There is a respectable sum for the head of any marshal or enforcement officer visiting Blackout.
  • Assisting the marshals, including failure to attempt to kill them on sight, will now be punishable by death.

Hades Black at war with Duncan Red [New Turn 9]

They've been at it like lizards in a pit, those two. Apparently Hades came out the better, but not by much. Duncan's dead, but Hades has lost a lot of manpower doing it and is going to have to consolidate his new territory. He's installed Crazy Dan as the new Duke, but it's clear to everyone who's really in charge. What's next for Hades? If he can pull this together he'll own half of Blackout within a year. Maybe all of it.

New Marshal Art Teaching Disrupted [New Turn 5]

The teachings of a wise old woman passed down through a new and spectacular branch of Marshal Arts have been brought to an abrupt halt following a lethal attack by a group rumoured to consist of the skulls led by Masked Blackout himself, with none other than Piers Red for backup.

Several of the students seem to have died of wounds taken when they tried to defend their master from this attack. Of the master herself no sign has been seen: is she in hiding, or did she die of her wounds?

Hades Beats Marshal Rumour [New Turn 4]

The news is all over Blackout. Hades and the Skulls have put to bed the rumours that they're working with the Marhsals by ambushing them and beating them unconscious. With cries of “pictures or it didn't happen”, vids are released that show Hades and the Skulls laying into a female form on the floor with assorted improvised weaponry. Another video of a known enforcement officer getting beaten up by Hades is also released.

Rumour has it that a guy who knows a guy who knows a marshal has confirmed that they've been attacked in Blackout.

Explosion near Red Sector [New Turn 3]

Blackout was shocked when an explosion in a medical laboratory caused warning sirens to activate. This even seems to have brought some marshals to investigate, and they reportedly have one Dr de Aglaia in custody for questioning.

Attack on Alice's Recycling [New turn 2]

The sector is abuzz with the news that the Skulls went for a raid on Alice and her fabber. Seems that they dressed up as normal punters and managed to sneak into the shop, but someone got to a panic button in time to activate the defences.

Then one of the largest Marshal squads heard of in Blackout in recent times attacked the Skulls in the rear, they didn't stand a chance. Seems the Skull's leader escaped without injury though, makes you wonder if those rumours that he's turned mole for Computer are true, and he's setting his men up to be taken down by the enforcers.

Hacking on the Hackers [Updated turn 2]

News has travelled quickly throughout Blackout that some crazy Friend of Computer cultists came in the Red 29 entrance, and immediately started knocking over hackers, carving “Thou shalt not hack” into their chests with a knife and nailing them to the walls.

The fanatics were eventually seen off by a group of Duke Victoria's men, but not before they'd gotten 5 innocent traders with the rest now operating underground.

Have they upped the ante?

Upon stumbling drunkenly into a storage room one evening, one Blackout resident was quickly sobered up by the reek of two corpses, stripped of their possessions, dumped unceremoniously in a corner and starting to decompose. It was later revealed by those who knew them that the only thing they had in common was that they were both moderately accomplished hackers known for peddling their services to the highest bidder. This suggests one of the anti-hacker factions was behind it.

Life in Blackout [Updated Turn 6]

Blackout is carved up into five “dukedoms”, the domains of the five dominant gangs who offer what degree of law and order exists in Blackout.

The Marshals used to operate in Blackout under a “live and let live” policy with the Dukes, going in only for major criminals and the odd unlucky sod. However, since their all out assault on Duke Victoria in November (turn 5), a state of war now exists between them and the Council of Five. Rewards are offered for dead Marshals and Enforcement Officers, and assisting them is punishable by death.

By paying your dues to the local Duke, you can reasonably expect to claim a compartment for your own use and have the locks on the door respected — assuming they are substantial at any rate. Likewise, if you pay your dues you may operate your business without hassle from the local thugs, and are reasonably guaranteed that no large groups of bandits are going to try and mug you. The Dukes even operate an alternative form of currency, in the form of metal discs stamped with their personal symbols - though as always, Stolen IDs are taken everywhere.

They also operate a zero-tolerance scheme where murder is concerned. If you haven't gotten their permission before killing somebody, they see it as a challenge to their rule, and will end you as publicly and messily as possible. Severely crippling your opponent in self defence is however perfectly acceptable. Almost all Blackout locals carry some form of concealed weapon, so one-on-one harassment is rather directly discouraged. Theft on the other hand is common place, and if you are perceived as weak for whatever reason you will become a target — at least until you shoot the first one to try it.

While border skirmishes between the “Dukes” do occur, they are sporadic and typically only occur every few months with little ground gained or lost. Local residents typically barricade themselves inside their compartments and let the various thugs in the streets commit bloodletting until one side has won.

Getting in and out of Blackout

There are three well-known entrances — the ones on levels 4 and 29 to Red Sector, and the Ascent/Descent shaft on level 33. All are well guarded and well known.

For a small toll, one can pass through the Red Sector entrances to the more commercial districts (the gambling pits and other entertainments aimed at out-sector tourists). If you know where you're going and have the right passwords you can get into the real Blackout.

The A/D Shaft entrance is used almost exclusively by Marshals and Blackout locals. The shaft below level 33 has been physically blocked in several places and many exits are welded shut and/or barricaded.

It is whispered among the folk of Blackout that there are more private exits into the low gravity zone and the Oxygen Forest, but the exact location of these is a secret. Of course, like most secrets the location can be bought for the right sum if you know the right person.

Blackout and the Cosa Nostra

The Cosa Nostra have made it very clear that they do not wish to be involved in the petty territorial disputes in Blackout. Instead they operate on a level above the usual riff-raff and operate across the entire district. This is not to say that they are without power in Blackout, just that they prefer to work through the local muscle where possible. As they view things, their territory is the rest of the ship, and Blackout is just a convenient outpost for some of their facilities and deals.

This convenient arrangement also makes it a lot easier to convince any representatives of Computer who come looking that Blackout isn't the home base of the Cosa Nostra. No need to have Marshals sticking their noses in any more than they already do.

Recognising a Fellow Blackout Rat

The mutually agreed term for someone who has grown up in blackout is a “Blackout Rat”. The agreed symbol for those belonging to Blackout is to tap the right temple of their forehead with their hand.

A String of Murders [Updated Turn 1]

Death is a part of life in Blackout, though one to be avoided wherever possible. The occasional person turning up dead is normal, if unfortunate. A string of murders, on the other hand, is enough to concern the most hardened of Blackout residents since it usually means there's a nutjob on the loose.

A number of people have started turning up throughout Blackout, mostly unknowns working at the bottom of the pecking order, and all killed by being garrotted. The trouble is, while normally the Dukes have people for taking care of this sort of thing they've all come up empty-handed or worse—dead. Word has been put out on the quiet to members of Harmony that this may need taking care of before it becomes more of a problem - a desperate measure indeed given our arrangement with them - and the rumours have it that the person who tracks down the killer will earn the favour of the Dukes.

Towards the end of June these murders abruptly stopped with no apparent cause.

Gang Activity On The Rise

A number of new gangs have increased their activity within Blackout recently, probably looking to take advantage of the confusion and upset caused by the Inversion and the ACTP. The Dukes are keeping an eye on things and have expressed hope that pointed reminders about Blackout's hierarchy can be avoided.

New Girl in Town [New turn 1]

There’s a new girl on the BOB scene. She jumped into a pit with three of them, and just went mental! Well, yeah, she lost bigtime, but that’s not the point. She’s seriously hardcore. WTF is she doing in Blue? We need her here!

—Soren Black, street gossip.

sector/blackout.txt · Last modified: 2013/02/26 16:21 by gm_gemma
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