Sydneous Balta

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Sydneous Balta

Aliases: #REDIRECT [[Sydneous Balta]]


[[Sydneous Balta]] :: [[Syd]] :: [[Balla]] :: [[The Squid]]

High Concept: Autistic full service lunar smuggling operation
Trouble: Magpie: The Shiny Is Oh So Tempting...
  • Where No-One EVER Knows Your Name: Owns Umbra - the go-to bar on Luna Alpha for truely private interactions - including illegal trades and information brokering
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Has detailed knowledge of how automated infrastructure works on Luna Alpha - especially customs and quarantine - and the tech make it serve his ends.
  • Where does he get those wonderful toys...: As a collector of rare and advanced tech there's a good chance he has the most expensive, prototypical, or highly experimental version of whatever. Some of these are integrated augments.
  • Rebecca Gets Me: Ally and awkward friends with Rebecca Blackburn. They often pass business to each other where materiel and information smuggling intersect.
  • Sleight of System: I use scripts to make logistical, tracking, and identity systems see what I want them to see using rare and expensive script-kiddie exploits.
  • Another Way In to the Breeding Pits: Situational Aspect, w/2 boons.
Fate Points
Refresh: 4 Current Total 2
Careful Clever Flashy Forceful Quick Sneaky
+5 +3 -2 -1 +1 +5
Sophant Characteristics
  • Augments are people who have altered themselves significantly from baseline for their species, or the specific alterations they have made to their bodies and minds. The most common augments are mechanical/cybernetic, neural, genetic, or chemical. Augments begin with 24R for approaches and abilities, 4R of normal Refresh, and 4L for their Unstable Augment limitation (28R/4L). They can take up to 44R/20L. This kind of min/max character is likely to be very fragile.
  • Unstable Augment (4L): Every time you alter your aspects, abilities, or resilience using augments, there is a chance that the change gets messed up. This is a 4 point limitation (uncommon, damaging) so the DC for the roll is 4. The player can use any approach to overcome this DC as long as they can justify it narratively. The final roll is /roll 4f DC-4 +Approach - as long as it is narratively justified. A failed roll adds the aspect Unstable to one of the character's augments - not necessarily the new or changed one.
  • Autism: Common, Inconvenient (3L). An almost total inability to interpret or understand body language, social cues, or the emotional states of others. This would be a damaging limitation if not for the heavy lifting done by his lace.
  • Neato Incognito (1R): Once per session my holographic generator can disguise me as a specific humanoid person, provided I have met them, or have access to high resolution videos of them
  • Stealth Squid (1R): +2 to sneakily create the advantage "You can't hit what you can't track." by spewing forth an impossibly black aerosol cloud that pours out a jamming signal and confuses all kinds of sensors.
  • Rain Man (1R): Once per session, Syd can discover otherwise unfathomable, deep patterns in vast chunks of data with which Syd has access.
Magic: Spells and Powers
Augmentation: Genetic and Cybernetic
  • Enhanced Vision: +1 to Carefully focus on subtle body language and physical reactions when I attempt to detect deceptions. (Overcome. May stack with other senses.)
  • Enhanced Hearing: +1 to Carefully focus on subtle vocal changes and body sounds that betray emotional queues when I attempt to detect deception. (Overcome. May stack with other senses.)
  • Enhanced Chemosenses: +1 to Carefully focus on subtle scents associated with emotions when I attempt to detect deception. (Overcome. May stack with other senses.)
  • Enhanced Kinesthetics: +1 to Carefully move with amazing precision because of my amazing body awarenesss balance, and sensitive sense of touch. (Overcome)
  • Smart Dust Perfusion (4R): With a sensor mote on almost all neutrons, this lace provides excellent sensitivity. This brain-computer interface (BCI) has very good resolution reading your brain, and is snuggled up to your thoughts and feelings, interpreting them effortlessly. It's ability to influence your brain is limited, however. Lace-produced AR and VR objects lack detail, so emotions and other qualia feel like they are being imposed, not coming from within.
  • Vulnerable to concussions. Any physical stress that involves accelerating the head automatically causes a 2 Point Consequence called "Concussed: With each invocation of this consequence choose from one of the following effects: loss of concentration, disorientation, dizziness, nausea, confusion, sleepiness, or loss of coordination." (Gain 4R)
  • Once per session, +3 to any one IRL action. (Cost 3R)
  • +1 to Sneaky actions in VR and AR gestalts. This bonus applies to Attack, Defend, Overcome, and Create an Aspect rolls. (Cost 2R)
  • Full Sensorium Implanted AR Interface: +3 to Carefully act in VR and AR gestalts. This bonus applies to Attack, Defend, Overcome, and Create an Aspect rolls. All nerves sending signals into the brain are wrapped in induction coils that allow for a full sensory overlay. These interfaces are shielded against ambient interference, but can be disrupted or hacked. This is a very complex and expensive procedure with significant costs. (Cost 6R)
  • Magnetic Disruption: Vulnerable to strong (1T+) magnetic fields that disrupt or damage the lace. +1MS and +2PS from strong magnetic fields (treated as attacks). (Gain 3R)
  • Faraday Cage: A nanowire mesh is installed outside the skull to provide a faraday cage, isolating the brain from external electromagnetic noise.
  • Lace Firewall: Nobody gets through my firewalls.
  • Lace Intrusion Detection: I tend to notice attempts at unauthorized access to my lace.
  • Lace Hardened: All lace systems are hardened against attack.
Damage Resistance and Healing
  • Turtle (1R): 2DR vs Kinetic damage. When I curl up into a fetal ball, a mobile sphere of nanites surround me in darkness and blunts incoming kinetic attacks. When active, Turtle prevents me from taking physical actions. (Cost 2R/1L:1R)
  • Well Off (2R): Having patented, marketed, and sold the 'pet rock' of the 2020's "moon rocks!", Syd is a multimillionaire, but most of his wealth is tied up in his collection and Umbra. He has ready access to enough money that buying a ticket to a far off location at the spur of the moment is no issue. Ready cash in the μB10000/B0.01 range. You have enough money to buy your way out of many of life's issues. In many cases you don't need to make a purchase: your wealth works for you to open helpful doors and seal damaging portals.
  • I Own Umbra (1R): This bar is an ode to the '80s. Seats 80 in the main room, with on demand privacy shields One small privacy shielded room (10 people) and the Big Private Room (BPR) holds (40 people). There is a secret entrance to the BPR that The Squid takes you to in a sealed autonomous vehicle.
  • TALOS: The Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) is low-profile powered combat armour. It provides the wearer enhanced strength, endurance, and speed, with almost no encumbrance. It provides near immunity to small and medium arms and explosives. The Self Contained Hazardous Environment Protection (SCHEP) can handle 100m of water or vacuum and includes an integrated AR system. The suit consists of several layers that work together to turn a soldier into a heavily armoured mobile weapons platform.
QAL: The Q-A Layer is worn against the skin. It consists of a Quasi-Organic External Nervous Integration Muscle suit (QOENIM) that enhances strength, speed, and endurance, and an integrated Advanced AR Haptic Suit (AARHS). The combination causes the muscles to feel and respond as if they were part of the soldier's body.
SCHEP: The Self Contained Hazardous Environment Protection layer is sized to fit over the QAL in the TALOS platform.
Liquid Armour Layer (LAL): This layer is pliable until an impact causes it to stiffen. This provides significant damage resistance at medium to high accelerations, in small areas (bullet impact) or large (grenade, vehicle crash).
Power Assist: Increase strength, speed, and agility.
  • +2 physical Forceful (+2 QAL) (2R)
  • +2 physical Quick. (1R)
AR Haptic Suit (Advanced): This skinsuit is sleek enough to be worn under normal clothes and may not be noticed until the head is enveloped. It provides full-body touch and force feedback sensation to the wearer. It is worn by the user, allowing the wearer to interact with the real world and virtual world. Advanced AR suits are expensive, requiring some wealth or serious savings, like a luxury car. Made of artificial muscles, sensors, and haptic sensation generators, advanced models can handle eating, excretion and sex. They can be worn for 24h without side effects. It can isolate a person into a full VR environment with audio, visual, and haptic experiences. +1 to actions in AR and VR. -1 Hacking and Metamancy. (Cost 2R)
Weapon Platform: Hardpoints all over. Backpack is an armour plated module carrying 80L.
Sensor Suite: A wide range of active and passive sensors tied into the AARHS. (6R)
  • Enhanced Vision: +2 to Quickly see something tiny, obscured, subtle, or distant with my amazingly sharp sight - even in dim light. (Overcome)
  • Enhanced Hearing: +2 to Quickly or Carefully hear something quiet with my amazingly sharp ears - even in noisy environments. (Overcome)
  • Enhanced Kinesthetics: +2 to Quickly or Sneakily move with amazing precision because of my amazing body awareness balance, and sensitive sense of touch. (Overcome)
  • +2DR vs Extreme Temperatures (2R)
  • +3DR vs Kinetic Attacks (not orbital velocities) from LAL (2R)
  • +2DR vs Explosives up to big chemical from LAL (1R)
  • +1DR vs Radiation and EMP (1R)
  • Slow To Suit Up: Suit up is 15 minutes for experienced operators with full Space Engineering Technician support teams. Roll Quick for the SET and the operator. Subtract the worst score from the # minutes (e.g., if they roll -1 and +3, the total time to suit up is 15-(-1) = 15+1 = 16min). Corners can be cut to lower the time to suit up. For each minute trimmed from the base time this way, the operator takes a Consequence related to the skipped step. (e.g., skipping the scrub-and-stick for the QAL might save 2min and adds a 2 point Consequence, "Tactile responses dulled and slowed."). (6L Common, Damaging)
  • Painstaking Calibration: The QAL must be properly configured to each individual user. This can be done from scratch in many hours (roll Quick vs DC8 to see how many hours), or with the addition of the person's phone under 2h. Any attempt to use an uncalibrated QAL acts like an attack roll against the operator each round (forceful (+3) or quickly (+2) rend and batter the body inside me (3L Rare, Fatal)
  • Locked Up: On a critical hit to the (4 or more damage dealt in one blow) the LAL may freeze up for an extended period as the active systems are overwhelmed. Even if the physical stress is soaked, an additional 4 point consequence is taken: Freeze Up: Some or all of the armour solidifies, preventing the operator for taking an action. (4L Uncommon, Damaging).
Trade Offs:
  • Only when worn (3L): The benefits and weaknesses of this armour are lost when it is recharging or not worn. (Common, Inconvenient).
  • Very Expensive: Each suit costs millions to build, operate, and maintain. (6L)
  • Expert Support Team: Each suit requires a large team of highly trained SETs to maintain operational readiness and make repairs. These teams are expensive to train, expensive, and staff retention can be hard. The number of TALOS soldiers deployed is severely limited by the availability of support teams. (8L Common, Damaging)

Secondary Tranceiver: - 100m of low bandwidth transmission, only can be decoded by Umbra (and me) - unknown to all but me.

Kevin Boon: - Can only be used to make Kevin *HAPPIER*

Stress: Mental Max 1 Stress: Physical Max 2
1 1 2
Consequences (Max 6)
2: Shielded by Brad's Firewalls*: Now Syd sees what _Brad_ wants him to see.


A very handsome, late 20s aged human wearing the same dark suit with a slight shimmer.


Sydneous Balta is a socially awkward, accidental multimillionaire who was able to parlay his geeky love of collectables and geek collectables trading from his youth, knowledge of technology, and physical location on Luna into the fad Earth sensation of 2029: the pet moon rock. As the need for his product on Earth ballooned, Syd searched for means to fulfill the frenzy - both legal and quasi legal - and was able to find some loopholes and make some shady acquaintances to help it happen. His newfound wealth was reinvested in his business, especially the tools that made illegal freight logistics easy (and fun) and pretty soon, as his hobby sales flattened, he was approached by some of his shady friends to move some product around with his moon rocks - and VOILA! - a new business was born....and along with it, the Squid. At first, Syd the Squid was entirely online and faceless - until the miniature holo generator fell into Syd's lap. It projects an appearance different that his physical characteristics, so he is constantly projecting an image slightly different from his own.

The Squid was everything that Sydneous was not. He was edgy, he was attractive, and he had friends...or at least people that wanted to connect with him and that he could please relatively easily. Best of all, he occasionally got access to some cool and interesting new tech when a client was loose lipped, and could be convinced to share or trade. Having little need for money, Syd will often take interesting tech in trade for services. So Syd did what cool, successful people do - he opened a bar and called it "Umbra". And again, somewhat accidentally, Syd stumbled upon a successful business vector - and a brick and mortar store front for his smuggling empire. Filled with the best technology for keeping secrets, Syd and The Squid came out into the world with a new face, image, and business model. A few trusted associates know that Syd is The Squid. Most of The Squid's smuggling is negotiated online, while Syd's privacy services are very much in person.

Never trusting his own flawed intuition about situations and people, Syd upgraded his senses and concentrated on acquiring technology, algorithms, and scripts to analyze data, assess people, provide access, and create opportunities. Never shaking the collector and collectable trade mentality of his youth that provided him with his success, and the only social experiences of his early life, Syd still collects all sorts of tech and geeky items - and now has capital to afford them all.

During the inaugural party of his new bar and image, he also had the good fortune to meet Rebecca Blackburn. Over the months that followed they were able to strike up a mutually beneficial relationship in the smuggling data and item realms. They continue to watch each other's backs in the unsavory world in which they now work.


Personal Events

Date Description
Date Description
2034-03-04 0800LT After Action Debrief King Henry's avatar was remarkably clear and responsive. He sat at the head of the large table, working through a traditional English breakfast while chatting quietly with the Duchess and the Queen, who sat to either side. The room was filled with many quiet conversations. Some small groups disc
2034-03-03 1900LT A Private Dinner Following the events of the day, the surviving Grenadier Guards, RPOs, and Boeing civilian staff had dinner with the Duchess. When the tone of the evening turned gloomy, Dex stepped in to shift the mood. Speaking with one soldier, he pitched his words to be heard, and gradually drew
2034-03-03 1125LT Preparing for the Final Push “This way,” Dex said, painting a path in the gestalt. Figuring out escape routes and bolt holes was one of the first things he’d done to prepare for the mission. There was a small pumping station about 400m away. It was a little off their direct route to the main entrance of the breeding pits, b
2034-03-03 1110LT Arrogant Oopsing Independently and privately, Syd and Fong both decide it's a good idea to connect to Yutu.

Fong threatens the AI with death and destruction. He ends the rather one sided conversation happy that he has a real advantage over Yutu.

Syd attempts to stealthily manipulate the AI's systems in
2034-03-03 0900LT Preemptive Counterstrike The Grenadier Guard and Royalty and Diplomatic Protection Group hit the Warren Spaceport.


Preemptive Counterstrike against Chinese Lunar Base called the Jade Rabbit Warren.


1. Remove launch capacity of the Jade Rabbit Warren spaceport.

2034-03-02 1300LT Plan Of Attack The day is spent planning the attack on Yutu and the Jade Rabbit Warren. Mission objectives are:

1. Destroy the Warren's Spaceport so they can not launch an attack on Luna Alpha.

2. Destroy as many Clone Drone Warriors as possible.

3. Gather resources to build a NC Thul army.
2034-03-02 1200LT Conversation with the AIs The characters have a conversation with the AIs, talking about what their mission is and why it is important that the moon continue to host human life.
2034-03-02 1000LT Splitting Headache 68 boomfly drones deliver a small explosive charge to the base of the skull of humans. 956 birds, spiders, frogs, and other insectivores explode at the same time.

The remainder of Dr. Fong’s team are killed. It is messy.

16 Royal Guard were killed, even in their armour. The flies got inside. [[Dal
2034-03-02 0900LT Waking Up Dead At 9AM, the mosquito drones delivered their nerve agent payload. Mycroft immediately reported over 100 casualties, including several Royal Guards and two of Fong’s team. The whole of the city was immediately locked down as if the biosphere was exposed to vacuum. This (Building codes require every h
2034-03-02 0845LT Connections Are Found Dale was very reluctant to share more information with Syd, but did he have a choice? With the new data from Mycroft and INCIS, Syd reports that there were a dozen colonists who were both Chinese sympathizers and connected in some way to Brian William. Investigation and seque
2034-03-02 0400LT Political Leverage Kevin dealt with Ms. Smith’s attempt to put him at a disadvantage.

With significant assistance from Dex and Syd, Kevin was able to slip past the leverage Ms. Smith was trying to hold over him. It took a lot of effort, though, and neither was happy about helping the big man.

After all that, he wen
2034-03-02 0100LT Revelations Syd worked as an analyst for Dale at Kevin's recommendation. Syd's work was top notch, despite the isolated, read only, no-storage, heavily redacted limitations on the data he was given. He was on his way to "TOP UNTRUSTED ANALYST" status when Kevin and Ms. Smith had a showdown a few ho
2034-03-01 1200LT Scary-Man Homecoming Most of the day was spent figuring out how the mission went so well.

Note - Kevin was not talking to the real leader.

Dex negotiates a real job.

Syd contacts Brad / JakJak for help.

2034-03-01 0900LT A Haven Revealed To Be Something Else Dex and Syd independently discovered that the human overseeres in the Warren are much more tightly integrated into Yutu than they would be able to sustain. It would not be enough to demonstrate the right outward behaviours. They would also need to think in a manner consistent with the mental
2034-02-28 2300LT The Returning Heroes Syd and Dex refused to leave the Warren with the others. Their deep infiltration into the social network of the Warren had them very cofident that they cuold dive deep into the details of the enemy operations while maintaining an airtight cover. Over the next ten hours they came to r
2034-02-28 1800LT A Visit To The Jade Rabbit Warren Rebecca braced herself for the increasing gravity as the APC was pushed down the linear accelerator. The last time she's ridden one was a few years ago, and it had been unpleasant, to say the least. "This launch will be a civilian Gs, ma'am," Dale said. "You will feel it, but it won't even be u
2034-02-28 1330LT Kevin Is Impressive Dale knew he didn't like or trust Kevin before. This cemented his opinion. "Get into position," he barked. Dex, Syd, and Rebecca were clearly confused about what was happening, and were ignoring the glowing lines arcing over to a large concrete building. He turned toward them to reit
2034-02-28 1300LT Kevin Is Impressed Kevin couldn't remember the last time he's had this much fun. TALOS was 100% fucking awesome. "Listen Corporal," he said, cutting off the large man with a sharp gesture. "This isn't my first ride. I know you have a schedule to keep. Right now? It waits." He pointed his heavily armoured arm
2034-02-28 1100LT Signs Point To China Seismologists from Boeing quickly determined that there is a large tunnel leading out of the base. It terminates under the South East corner of the Al/O2 plant. It goes South. The only other structure on the moon is the Chinese base at the South Pole. Kevin racked his mind for where
2034-02-28 0920LT Emergency Community Support About 100 people donned EVA Work Suits or Civilian Armour and rushed to the scene. There were few serious injuries. Heat and radiation burns were most common, along with lace problems from the EMP. Dex and Syd were both a bit addled by the magnetic field used to contain the plasma. [
2034-02-28 0915LT GTFO it's gonna blow The plasma weapon that fired off emanated from below the house. It blasted a hole upwards into the roof at the edge of the biodome, excavating almost 100m of concrete and rock. The top of the biodome is over 500m down, so the chance of loss of pressure was remote. Still, emergency procedures were tr
2034-02-27 0800LT Called in for questioning Author’s Note: These narratives are mostly character development, not finished narratives for the books.

Brian William

“Good morning, Mr. Willam,” Dale said. The faceplate on his armour was fully transparent to the well dressed man sitting across from him in the interrogation
2034-02-26 1530LT I just breathed human remains Earlier, Mycroft informed Syd that Brian and Phil were both missing for over an hour, but that he was not allowed to investigate their disappearance until they were off the network for three hours. That would be 1700LT. Syd asked Kevin to help figure out why the Vault was full of gr
2034-02-26 1230LT Syd Reroutes Brian's Package Transcript from 2018-12-12 and 13, retconning what Syd did with the package.

vampyr [01:23]

Well Syd would be a dog with a bone on BURF, "The package", and the highly suspicious players - like the PD, and DQE.

He was able to get a sample from the package, and wants to kno who the fuck and w
2034-02-26 0930LT After Breakfast Realizations The three of them compare notes on the events of the past night.

Rebecca raises the concern that Dexter "saw through Syd's disguise" and then asked probing questions about what was going on. She believes she got him to back off.

Kevin is not so sure. He thinks Dexter must be a spy, planted at Umbr
2034-02-26 0900LT Breakfast planning Kevin woke from a surprisingly good night's sleep. The bed was large and just the right firmness. The covers were heavy enough to feel like a hug, and the air was perfectly cool. He completed his morning ablutions quickly. His AR informed him that Rebecca was on her way to a large, buffet style
2034-02-25 1730LT This is how you stealth “Follow me,” Syd said, still wearing Kevin’s form. His lace picked up his desire to go to the big private room, and taking partial control of his body, started walking to the passageway through the aquarium. They were all still in the privacy field, so they couldn’t see anything around them.
2034-02-25 1730LT This is how you stealth “Follow me,” Syd said, still wearing Kevin’s form. His lace picked up his desire to go to the big private room, and taking partial control of his body, started walking to the passageway through the aquarium. They were all still in the privacy field, so they couldn’t see anything around them.
2034-02-25 1710LT Containment is Attempted “I don’t get it,” Syd said. The lace-enforced calm left his voice flat. “What’s the problem with Kevin Cahn knowing Rebecca Blackburn?” Kevin noted Syd’s unnatural stillness, and his alert but emotionless expression. It was creepy. He considered how much to tell them about his h
2034-02-25 1700LT What are YOU doing here Rebecca saw Shauna sitting on a bench as she approached Umbra. Aun hopped up as she pushed her bike into a rack, and air kissed her boss on both sides. “It’s been a while since you had a double-Umbra day, isn’t it?” Her voice was low and rich, somewhat at odds with her short lean fra
2034-02-25 1600LT Big Man Trouble Has a Pint Kevin has a drink and some banter with Dex. Kevin is sure Dex is a con artist of some sort, and Dex is sure that Kevin is not just a tourist. The conversation is devoid of any real meaning until the surprise arrival of some special guests.
2034-02-25 1500LT Rebecca has a concern Rebecca carefully concealed her anxiety and anger as she pedalled lightly down the broad, open-air cobbled road beside the Henry River. She was on her way to Syd’s bar, Umbra, from her bordello in the South side entertainment district, not far from her theatre complex. Riding in one
2034-02-22 1700UTC A delivery is arranged Background: Phil Bertrand is a Genetek SVP, on his way to Luna Alpha for a vacation. That's what the records show, anyway. He had a bit of hand luggage that was to make it's way to Brian William's control without undue scrutiny. They hired Syd to make it happen. After a bit of ne

Data for Category:Characters stored in Special:CargoTables/CHARACTER with the Form:Character Sheet and Template:Character Sheet

Notes From The GR

2019-01-23 FP Accounting

  • 14R/3L Approaches
  • 20R/14L Abilities
  • 6R /0L Stress
  • 3R XP (2R Approaches, 1R)
  • 24R Base + 17L +3R XP = 44R total capacity
  • 40R Spent
  • Refresh 4
  • Current FP 5

CHARACTER SHEET BALANCED: 24Base + 3XP + 10L = 37R Available 14Approach + 13Ability + 6Resilience = 33R Spent 37R-33R = 4 Refresh per session / rest