ID Code 885xz7, "Carillo Wu" Report
Primary asset remains in place. Secondary assets beginning to cohere into a useful whole. Can't say my first official "gatecrash" was to an exotic and unexplored world. Instead we were smuggling weapons on behalf of some direct-action anarchist allies of Love and Rage. Our exobiologist, Dr. Pinfeather, has allies in the neo-avian science station on Solemn and found a path to Rorty via the Solemn gate, permitting us to access the colony of Mockingbird without having to explain ourselves to either TerraGenesis or Fa Jing (or, y'know, bribe them). In exchange for a crate full of electrical-discharge weapons capable of surviving the plastic and metal eating microbes of Solemn, they were happy to open the gate for us to transport a half-dozen crates of more conventional arms slated for the Mockingbird colonists in case they ever felt like rising up against their corporatist masters (or, you know, just defending themselves).
Turns out, it's a good thing we had those crates, particularly the crate of smart-grenade launchers.
We got to Rorty (terrible ice-ball, you already have the files) and noticed that there was nobody at the gate, nor was there a local mesh. As we moved through the driving sleet in our environment suits Marco and Naomi spotted a large shape moving in the snow. Some recon later revealed a hulking synthmorph with six legs, two heads, and an assortment of telescopic appendages. Someone (I don't remember who) said it was the size of a moose. Fortunately by the time it sprang to attack we were prepared and we lit it up with seeker-grenades and Marco's adorable little pistol. Our Infosec specialist, Aquila, said she couldn't get anything from its local systems, but indicated its cyberbrain was something of a custom job, and had some 14 egos squashed into it. This is consistent with reports from the last batch of exhumans to attack Mockingbird a couple of years ago… crazy gestalt-mind whackjobs.
We moved closer to the colony and set up a fortified base camp to protect our scientists while Alexi Oda, Luis Acosta, and Chloelia Octavia scouted ahead. Alexi found a buried mesh-relay and managed to get it booted up. She sent us the data from the gate facility when it came under attack by three of the hulking things which we were now calling a "laser moose." Mockingbird had plenty of advance warning to set up defenses, but were somehow surprised. Chloelia noticed some sort of exotic energy field being projected in a dome around the silent colony. Further analysis of the dead morph's wreckage discovered that these moose-morphs can generate a lot of heat, and Naomi figured maybe they burrowed through the ice. Sure enough, some scouting and Alexi found the tunnel.
We crept down the ice tunnel and it came up right under the generator hab-building. These laser-meese must have some serious T-ray emitters to navigate through all this ice. Anyway, Marco scouted up and found a laser-moose standing right above us plugged into the colony's main fusion generator. Luna's backup-singers, now armed with smart-grenades, provided covering fire while Marco and I popped up to finish the laser-moose off. Sadly, the thing was generating that weird field, and a lot of power was flowing through it. It exploded, trashing the reactor and the hab-building and fucking up Marco and me with shrapnel. The rest of them came out of the tunnel, and the third laser-moose was nowhere to be seen, so we assessed the damage.
Our suits were leaking air. Alexi pulled a particularly jagged bit of shrapnel out of Marco leaving a nasty sucking chest wound. It looked like maybe the two of us would need to retreat, but then Alexi did something… traumatic. That synthmorph of hers has all sorts of shape-adjusting capability. She grabbed one of the smart-material environment-suit patches and shoved her hand into Marco's chest. Apparently the nano-adhesive on those things also sticks to blood-slick organ-flesh because she patched his lung directly using her hand as a surgical instrument, then slapped another suit-patch on his outer flesh to hold his blood in, then slapped a third patch on his actual suit to keep the air in. It was the damnedest thing, but it seemed to hold him together pretty well. I opted out of similar treatment and permitted Mercury to escort me back to the scientists through the tunnel.
I'd barely made it back before Acosta came to base camp overland indicating the colony was secure. Apparently the third laser-moose had gathered all the colonists where were stunned, apparently by the expansion of that weird energy field. The thing was systematically extracting their cortical stacks and… ingesting them. Alexi took the things apart and found the cartridge of stacks. Apparently they weren't getting overwritten, just copied into the gestalt. So. The colonists were mostly recovered and resleeved. They were duly grateful. You should contact Ferdinand Ramos, Assistant Director of Colonial Affairs for TerraGenesis and collect the reward money for my part in saving the colony.
The colonists seemed rather surprised to see these exhumans again. Apparently Ultimates have been patrolling through the area fairly regularly, but have stopped coming of late. I'm not sure why, but apparently the exhumans who attacked Mockingbird a few years ago got bold enough to try it again. I have to wonder what's caused the Ultimates to disrupt their patrol and hunt patterns to this degree.
Anyway, not much else to tell. We made it back to Carnivale via Solemn. Another ego-hunter came looking for Naomi and was duly diverted. Karim Jalal is still here, but I'm keeping an eye on him.