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The Sydney Scroungers Prologue: Sylvie Mansen

Sydney Shatterdome: June 14, 2019, 10:00 PM

Sylvia Mansen’s hands shook as she fitted the protective plates on the pilot suit, feeling them lock into place. She’d done this many times before, suiting up before locking into the piloting simulators, but somehow it felt entirely different here. She checked the suit over one last time, trying to distract herself from what she was about to do.

Not to mention what she’d just done. Don’t go there, she thought. You’ll deal with it later.

Part of her was yelling that she should give this up now, sneak out and abandon this crazy idea before she did something she’d regret even further. But she might never have a chance like this again. One of Vulcan Specter’s pilots, Carrie James, had been injured in a training exercise and Vulcan was grounded until a replacement pilot could be found. There was no active maintenance on the Jaeger and it was just sitting there, unused and put on hold. Practically begging Sylvie to come and try it out.

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An Introduction to The Sydney Scroungers

Due to some requests from some people, I’ve gotten permission to share these stories with the public. What I am about to start posting is an adaptation of a FATE Core Roleplaying campaign, set in the Pacific Rim universe. This campaign is conducted over Skype and I have taken it and edited it to flow as a single narrative story. I am a single player in this campaign, and the inputs of others belong to them.

This post will serve as an introduction to the world and major characters. I highly reccommend that anyone wanting to read the story to come is familiar with this information - as the narrative and characters will work under the assumption that the reader is familiar with what is going on.

I DO NOT TAKE CREDIT FOR MOST OF THE STORY OR CHARACTERS IN THIS WORK. ASIDE FROM MY OWN CHARACTER AND MINOR EDITS FOR NARRATIVE FLOW, THIS WORK IS A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT AND BELONGS TO OUR GROUP.

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The Sydney Scroungers: Session #1

((Click here to read the Introduction to this story. Highly recommended!))

—ACT 1: Shakedown—

It’s February 2021, a relatively mild summer by Sydney standards. The Kaiju war rages on around the Pacific; the Jaegers, once thought invincible, are starting to show cracks in their armor.

It’s a tense time. Around every hole-in-the-wall bar in Sydney, there is talk about the future of the war, the effectiveness of the Jaegers, and the madness that is the Anti Kaiju Wall project, just now in its preliminary construction on both sides of the Pacific.

In this milieu, there is an event that would once have been unthinkable, but has become prosaic: A Kaiju attack.

Ironsides, a stocky Category II Kaiju, trundled out of the breach on a lazy Sunday morning and made its way towards Sydney, making landfall about a hundred miles north-northeast of the city proper. It crashed along the New South Wales coastline, quickly encountering the Australian Jaeger Echo Saber.

One of the most brutal Kaiju fights to date ensued. Ironsides, true to name, was a tough beastie; Echo Saber was able to put it down, but at a heavy mechanical toll. The Mark-4 won’t be fighting any Kaiju for a while yet; in its place, standing sentinel over Australia, are Vulcan Specter and the newly commissioned Striker Eureka.

A week has passed since the attack, and the city is still abuzz. Newsfeeds on storeroom TVs are showing helicopter footage of the fight, still, and the country collectively winces at the sight of Ironsides tearing ragged metal chunks out of Echo Saber’s side.

But in the Sydney underworld, a different kind of buzz is happening. According to rumor, something very important fell off of either the Kaiju or the Jaeger in their melee royale. The PPDC, it is said, are looking for it far and wide.

But Katie Horner wants to find it first.

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The Sydney Scroungers: Session #2

((Click here to find the previous sessions!))

Scene 1

A few days after the meeting at the club, at Sydney Harbor docks, around sunset, an outwardly shabby, but freshly painted, short-hop freighter bobs in the waves, gangplank extended. A group of five has gathered once more on the pier, looking up at the vessel they’ll soon be boarding.

Seiko is dead pale looking at the shabby ship. He fights down the urge to throw up. Boats themselves are bad enough, but this one looks about ready to go under at the slightest touch.

Sylvie shoulders her all-too-heavy duffle bag. “This is it then? It’s… not much to look at.”

“It’s sure…something,” Eleanor says. The attempt at optimism falls a little flat thanks to the uncertain look on her face.

"It is most definitely something.” says Katie, slightly defensive of her ship. “Onboard wi-fi.  About five different remote-sensing instruments. A fully-equipped laboratory.  Plenty of hidden weapons and compartments. Quarters’re a bit cramped, but we’ll get used to it.”

Miranda nods approvingly, confirming each of Katie’s claims. “It’s not the most glamorous ship, but from what I’ve seen, it should fit our needs quite well.”

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The Sydney Scroungers: Session #3

((Click here to find the previous sessions!))

Night has fallen over New South Wales.

The Tranquility cuts through the water south of Port Stephens with a grace that belies its appearance. The crew has passed the time – what wasn’t spent bickering with one another – planning how they’re going to get in and grab the Jaeger piece before either being spotted or scooped.

But their plans go over the railing immediately upon arrival.

The PDCC picket is there, all right. But it’s in shambles. At least one of their ships has a plume of smoke rising from it, barely visible in the darkness. And new, unfamiliar ships are there as well. Gunfire crackles over the bay, washed out like a staticky radio.

It seems the Sydney Scroungers were neither the first or second to try and claim the prize sitting beneath Port Stephens….

It remains to see if they’ll be successful.

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The Sydney Scroungers: Session #4

((Click here to find the previous sessions!))

Scene 1

The Sydney Scroungers are in a bit of a tight spot. Their easy snatch-and-grab turned into a tense operation in the middle of a turf war between the PPDC and Karen Wulagu’s black market syndicate. They hatched a plan to suborn one of Wulagu’s ships, but the boarding party got split up mid-crossing.

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Animated Versions: Sylvie // Syl-V

Sylvia “Sylvie” Mansen is an AI programmer who used to work for the PPDC. An aspiring Jaeger pilot who lacked drift compatibility, Sylvie programmed an artificial copy of herself, known as Syl-V, to serve as her drift partner. However… an unfortunate after hours incident involving sneaking into the off-duty Vulcan Specter and a nearly-fatal failed drift session saw her kicked of the program and on the run from the law. 

She joined the Sydney Scroungers not long after that.

Sylvie’s Current Aspects are:

  • Wanted Drift AI Programmer
  • Tempted By Tech
  • I Am My Own Drift Partner
  • Seriously Skeeved By Seiko
  • Underworld Uncomfortable

The Sydney Scroungers: Session #5

((Click here to find the previous sessions!))

Scene 1

Within a few key clicks, Sylvie’s got access to the whole database. She downloads all the data she can find, and cuts the communication with the other ships in their fleet. Then she sees the on-ship communication program. With a few more clicks, she’s pulled up access to the crew’s earpieces. And decided to send them a message: the highest-pitched tone she can get as loud as the volume will go.

All across the ship, the Wulagu goons begin screaming and clutching at their ears. A few quick or clever ones manage to rip their earpieces out in time, but even they are woozy, disoriented, and deafened.

"You’re welcome," Sylvie says quietly to no one in particular, a small smile on her lips.

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swamp-spirit
swamp-spirit:

Yesterday was the fantastic Emmalyn's birthday so I drew Eleanor, her character for the Sydney Scroungers RP game. She's an ex-therapist who is currently working with our little gang of black market scavengers.

swamp-spirit:

Yesterday was the fantastic Emmalyn's birthday so I drew Eleanor, her character for the Sydney Scroungers RP game. She's an ex-therapist who is currently working with our little gang of black market scavengers.

The Sydney Scroungers: Session #6

((Click here to find the previous sessions!))

The Tranquility is proving a bit of an ironic name, as personalities begin to clash. The Sydney Scroungers have just finished retrieving dangerous information from a Wulagu Syndicate ship. Now, some ways behind them, a battle between the PPDC and the Wulagu Syndicate rages on, firelight reflecting across the waters of New South Wales. The battle seems to be shifting somewhat in the PPDC’s favor, but things are still far from settled.

However, the crew of the Tranquility has more pressing matters, namely the wounded prisoner that they dragged off of the Wulagu ship who has just woken up down in the hold.

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