Dor kept her head down as the sec team ran a sweep of the exterior of the train. A pair of them went over the hull inch by inch with micro-scanners while the rest held their weapons threateningly towards the passengers. The windows were transplas of the highest caliber, unlikely to shatter under a few shots, but a barrage of armour-piercing rounds? Dor kept her head down.
The man in the purple tie had been led away and was sitting on a comfortable station bench. He had his PAD out but was looking at it disgustedly. Quarantine protocols, no signals in or out until the alert was lifted.
The passengers on the train weren’t doing well, and Dor moved over—slowly—toward the harried woman. She was definitely from Earth, well, maybe Luna, and she was breathing heavily.
“It’s going to be okay,” Dor said, patting the woman’s hand lamely.
The woman raised her head and looked Dor over. The woman’s eyes flicked from surprise to barely hidden annoyance. “I’ll be fine. Mind your business.”
Dor nodded and eased herself back into the seat opposite the woman.
“How long are they going to keep us here, anyway?” the woman said, her voice sharp with frustration.
“Something set off the internal sensors. Could be anything, but once they’re done checking the exterior, they’ll come in here and interview us. Odds are a few hours.”
“A few hours?” the woman said in a hushed, angry voice. She pulled out her PAD and tried to dial out then raised it over her head and threw it at the ground. It was well-made though, nothing cracked as it smashed into the floor of the train car.
The wait lasted another five minutes before something changed. The two scanning crew were abruptly moving toward their garrison with a containment unit. The containment unit was a one-foot cube of transparent blue material with a touch-screen terminal on top. It could run scans, and it could block transmissions.
They passed right by Dor’s window, and she caught a glimpse of a small mechanical device within the unit. It looked sleek and unassuming, but whatever it was, it had caused all the trouble.
One of the sec team stepped toward the car and released the doors. She had some sort of rank insignia on her shoulder, but Dor had never paid much attention to the quasi-military arm of the Weyland Consortium.
“Sorry for the inconvenience, ladies and gentlemen. I’m Lieutenant Sellers, and we’ll be taking you in for statements now.”
“Lieutenant, I am a Weyland executive,” started the harried woman, “and I demand to…”
Sellers cut her off with a sharply raised hand. There was a physical presence to the officer—something that said “I am well-trained, well-armed, and your job is to listen.”
“All in due time, I promise. For now, we’ll be taking you out one by one and asking you a few questions. Two of my grunts will be on hand to see to your needs. We expect that the wait will be short. Thank you for your cooperation.”
Sellers left, and two more sec force goons stepped in. They had a lot less of the Lieutenant’s refined power, but their big guns more than made up for it.
One of the goons pointed his hand directly at Dor. “You’re the pilot? Dorsey Johnson?”
Dor nodded, and she could see the other passengers leaning away from her in her peripheral vision.
“You’re up first. Corporal Piebald outside will escort you.”
The walk across the train terminal was tense. Every eye was on her, and Dor felt like each step made her smaller and smaller and smaller.
The Lieutenant’s office was utilitarian. The space was dominated by a silver desk that was attached to the left wall. Vid screens covered three walls, one showing news, one showing statistics, and the third showing a hatch of security cameras in and around the train terminal. The containment cube was pushed to the side of the desk. There was also only one chair, and Lieutenant Sellers was sitting in it, a PAD out in her hands.
Dor walked in and stood awkwardly in front of the desk, trying hard not to look at anything.
“Pilot, Dorsey Johnson, Jemison Astronautics,” Sellers said in a firm, no-nonsense voice.
“Yes, that’s me.”
“Any relation to Kingston Johnson?”
“Yes. My brother.”
Sellers grunted but didn’t elaborate.
“Do you know what your Oberth payload was hauling?”
“Prefab materials for a new Blue Sun reactor to go topside,” Dor said, feeling more comfortable as the conversation took form. “They’re going to put up a power generation unit twice as strong as the network Bradbury relies on right now.”
“It’s good work. Why would you want to stop that?”
“What are you sorry for, Ms. Johnson?”
“Uh… I think you lost me. I was just sent to repair some in-transit damage to the rocket and then babysit it down to delivery.”
Sellers stared at Dor for another few seconds. A long few seconds. Then she gestured to the containment module. “Do you know what a Sneakdoor module is?”
“Digital access point that someone can use to remotely…” Dor gasped. “That thing’s a Sneakdoor? How did it get on the train?”
“It wasn’t on the train, Ms. Johnson, it was on your Oberth, behind a recently repaired panel.”
“That son of a bitch!”
“What son of a bitch is that, exactly?”
Dor was furious. “Caliban Carver, my copilot. He’s the one who did the arms-length inspection of the Oberth. It had to have been him.”
“And where is he?” Sellers asked, pulling out her PAD again and keying in Carver’s name.
“He disembarked at Daedalus and said he was going to a pub.”
Sellers turned her PAD towards Dor and held up a company profile on Carver. It showed his work history, address, rank, specialties, education, and a recent photo. “This him?”
“Yes, that’s him.”
Turning the PAD back to her, Sellers grunted. “Clan Aeneas.”
“Is that important?”
“It might be.” Sellers stood up and pressed some hidden button on her desk. The door opened and Corporal Piebald stepped in again. “Take Ms. Johnson to holding until we can verify her story. Treat her well, she’s a witness to a crime against the Weyland Consortium.”
My first stab at building a Khondi Plaza deck was to put it in NEH and go mega sideways. I spammed assets and built a scoring remote and put Khondi there. It was a really unbalanced, sub-optimal deck. There wasn’t enough ICE to make Khondi really worth it, and I had included Mumba Temples which were doing pretty much the same thing but better.
Then I was listening to Run Last Click, and once again Eady mentioned something cool.
Khondi in a Blue Sun Off the Grid deck!
Suddenly I had this super cool, really thematic deck idea of a Blue Sun office in Khondi Plaza as the only net-access point to an unassuming dome out in the Martian wilderness. What’s in that dome, you ask? It’s where Weyland pushes through all the best agendas. Like a Government Takeover that will cement them as the only true power on the red planet. Or maybe they’re working on a movie. Either or.
Obviously this deck suffers the most from random R&D accesses. Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure out what to cut to fit in a Snare. I’ll just move forward and hope that I rarely hit that random Takeover steal off of R&D.
But let’s talk about how this deck pulls itself together. I mean, Commercial Bankers Groups aren’t going to last very long—they’re a big target and they’re cheap to trash. But when the runner is going after those instead of your R&D, you’re laughing. PAD Campaigns and Public Supports will last a while, and if you can get them out just before the runner really has to run HQ, they turn on Khondi very well.
Crisium means twice into HQ before they trash your Off the Grid, and if you remember Chris from RLC’s suggestion—you can put two Off the Grids in your remote and rez the second once the runner has finally gotten through HQ twice.
Since we’re Blue Sun, we’ve also included Oversight and Elizabeth Mills. Mills also hits our Bulwark bad pub now, so that’s cool.
For ICE, we’ve got all the good things. Bulwark, Chiyashi, DNA Tracker, Tollbooth, and Archer. Some cheap gear checks in Ice Walls and Enigmas, and just a whole lot of uber nastiness.
Plus, thanks to the new MWL, we’re not really expecting to see Sifr around all that much—good time to be in the power business.
Empowered Mars (Khondi Plaza)
Blue Sun: Powering the Future
1x Eden Fragment
1x Government Takeover
3x Hostile Takeover
2x Project Atlas
1x Vanity Project ●
3x Commercial Bankers Group
1x Elizabeth Mills
3x Jackson Howard ●●●
3x PAD Campaign
3x Public Support
3x Crisium Grid
2x Khondi Plaza
3x Off the Grid
3x Hedge Fund
3x Oversight AI
1x Chiyashi ●●
3x Ice Wall
Code Gate (5)
1x DNA Tracker ●●●
2x Tollbooth ●●●●
13 influence spent (max 15, available 2)
20 agenda points (between 20 and 21)
49 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Daedalus Complex
Deck built on https://netrunnerdb.com.