Thursday, January 16, 2020
SOS: Tommy Tripps and the Triple Ts
(The character's name is 0-0-0. He was my inspiration for this post.)
The Birovan underworld is full of bounty hunters, assassins and all sorts of other unsavory types who will do anything, for the right price. Wet workers are a dime a dozen, if you know where to look. But even among the scum of the Birova Sector, there are some standards. There are some things even cold-blooded killers won't do. Some jobs are just too dangerous, inconvenient or ugly for the run-of-the-mill cleaner. For some jobs, you need a specialist.
And among the underworld's blackest, there is a certain duo, sometimes a trio, that specializes in really messy jobs. They take the kind of work that no one else will. They'll do anything, as long as the price is right and the job interests them. They are effective, if unsubtle assassins. Most of the time, however, is spent on retrieval jobs. They are excellent at kidnapping and trafficking unwilling victims anywhere they need to be taken. The other most common type of job they work is information retrieval or enhanced interrogation, depending on what euphemism you prefer.
They are known as Triple T, or 3T for short, and they are available for hire.
Captain Thomas "Tommy" Tripps aka "Captain Tripps"
No one is sure what he is Captain of, at first. He doesn't seem to own his own ship or be a military man in anyway. But cross Tripps and you'll soon realize he is captain of the boat taking you straight to Hell.
On the outside, he resembles a butler robot, albeit one that looks very human-like. He very closely resembles the type that magnates and oligarchs often have at their elbow, ready to translate whatever needs to be said. He will top off glasses, serve meals, massage his master's shoulders, read contracts and of course, translate. If you don't look closely, or don't know what you are looking for, you will probably overlook him entirely. This is what he desires, as he thinks it is absolutely hilarious when the truth is revealed. To complete the illusion, he pairs it with an abnegating, servile demeanor and acts as if he is always eager to please. To an extent, this isn't that far from his actual personality. His mask mostly consists of him being very docile and seemingly obedient.
But as history shows, this is nothing more than a mask. Thomas Tripps is a psychopath and a serial killer. He views all other living creatures as nothing more than tools, to be ignored, used, abused or discarded at will. He is also rather arrogant, though he conceals this well behind his self-effacing demeanor. Those who truly know Tripps will realize that his eager-to-please nature is actually a cruel jape, a way of mocking the other person he is talking to, a form of elaborate burlesque that only makes him laugh.
That's fine with Tripps though. He doesn't want you to laugh. He wants you to scream.
Tripps works for money, but its' never been about money. He only does it so he can evade prosecution for crimes. Tripps loves to hurt people and derives an almost erotic enjoyment from the acts of torture and murder. He is the least well-armed of his cohorts for this reason, as Tripps prefers to work with his victim tied to a chair or strapped to an examination table. Despite this fact, Tripps is still a terrifying foe, his cybernetic body enhancing his speed, strength, toughness and senses. Along with that, he is equipped with many gruesome instruments that he will be eager to show you.
Weakness: Tripps is a narcissist, among other things. He thinks of other people as tools, and thus, he doesn't understand them. Tripps is easily blind-sided by those who can skillfully manipulate others, as he doesn't expect a tool to try and affect him. He will never see a betrayal, double-cross, or verbal trap coming. The dialogue between groups and ideas would be incomprehensible to him, if he actually cared to investigate it at all. In short, he thinks you are much dumber than you actually are. He will underestimate you the first time he faces you.
Atk Blink Pistol (1d8, save vs firearm) + Gauntlet Blade (1d6+2) or Instruments of Torture (special)
Saves 10 or less is a success
Cybernetic: Tripps is a cyborg. His body can be hacked, though he has some very impressive firewalls. He does require air, sleep, food, water and rest, but the amount of these things he needs are limited. When he is at full health, he can survive in space without the need for any additional equipment, though only for about 10 minutes. He is only vulnerable to poisons or diseases if they somehow get past his metallic shell.
Hunter's Eyes: Tripps' cybernetic eyes let him see in low-light environment. He also has thermal and binocular vision.
Instruments of Torture: Tripps' cybernetic body conceals many small tools that are only useful for torture. Tripps is more often recruited for his skills in breaking prisoners then his assassination skills, for this reason. His Instruments of Torture are not incredibly dangerous, but are not useful against someone who isn't helpless. As such, if the creature the Instruments of Torture are being used on is restrained or helpless, they take up to 2d10 damage from being touched by them, though Tripps is careful enough that he can toggle the amount of damage done, as long as he does at least 1. Against someone who is not helpless, the Instruments of Torture only do 1d4.
- Let others take the risks
- Never endanger yourself
- Target the weakest
- Separate them and drag them away
Bryan Trant aka "Broken Bryan" aka "BB"
Bryan Trant was born to a relatively wealthy family of wealth managers, or "Goldeners". They were the sort that made nothing themselves, but instead were responsible for stewarding the assets of their much greater clientele. A comfortable, if dull existence awaited Trant, were it not for the actions of his Father. For reasons that are largely unknown, Trant Sr. decided that he was tired of his modest lifestyle. He wanted to live like a Prince, so that's what he endeavored to do, through a combination of smoozing, borrowing, embezzling and making risky investments. For a while, he achieved his dreams, sending his sons to prestigious academies, buying his wife beautiful fabrics and glittering jewels, but most of all, finally being respected by those who had looked down on him his whole life.
But then the market suddenly declined. Not long after, creditors came knocking. Then authorities took a closer look at his books. Before the Trants knew it, they were on the run from some very wealthy, very angry people who weren't getting their money back. Not that those wealthy people knew this at the time. They thought Trant Sr. had hidden the money somewhere, so they hired Captain Tommy Tripps and a pack of cold-hearted, well armed men to find it.
After torturing Trant Sr. to the brink of madness, Tripps realized that the man was telling the truth and there really was no money left. It had all been lost or spent already. When Tripps reported this fact, his client ordered Trant Sr. terminated. Tripps was more than happy to oblige. He then proceeded to systematically murder every single member of Trant Sr.'s immediate family, with one exception, before finally killing the man himself.
Yet despite Tripps complete ruthlessness, he did not kill Bryan Trant. He saw something in Bryan, a seed of hate. For him, and for the world at large. For some reason, Tripps thought he could use that, so he spared the boy and carefully tended that seed. And after years of abuse, elective surgery and cybernetic modification, he feels he has succeeded.
From the outside, Trant is a pathetic figure. He resembles a rich man in a Grav-Chair, clad in faded robes, his lower body shielded by a blanket. If this blanket is shifted or you feel underneath, you will see that Trant's body ends at the waist, everything below having been amputated. Trant was then permanently attached to the Grav-Chair, which has been heavily modified to keep him alive. Trant is plainly and obviously miserable in this state, resenting the loss of his body. He will never walk again, never experience the touch of a real woman he doesn't have to pay again and never not be looked upon with pity. As such, he goes out of his way to make himself look as bad as possible, rarely changing his robes, letting his hair grow long and unkempt, never cleaning it so greasy locks hang down into his face. His fingernails are long and jagged, as he chews on them when nervous or angry. Trant hides behind his veil of greasy hair and rarely speaks at any volume above a whisper.
Tripps likes to use this appearance to their advantage. The two of them often use the pathos aroused by Trant's condition to evade suspicion. When people look at them, all they see is a crippled rich man and his robot butler.
This would be their first, but certainly not their last mistake. Trant's Grav-Chair has also been heavily modified to accomodate dozens of concealed weapons, including a missile launcher, two incinerators, a Grenade Thrower and a pair of Heavy Stubbers. Trant is sitting on top of enough firepower to reduce an entire company of soldiers to a bloody ruin. And he likes to use it. Trant doesn't care for pain or torture, but he does love to watch people die. And he doesn't mind if he has to kill them himself.
Weakness: Trant despises most people, especially those who have what he does not. Namely, these things include, but are not limited to: whole, able bodies; families, friends, loved ones; healthy, loving relationships, romantic or otherwise; clear consciences or solid moral principles. If he believes that it is not an incredibly terrible idea, he will try to kill anyone like this. He also despises Tripps, but is too scared of him to do anything. But if Tripps were going to die, Trant would not help him.
Atk Collapsible SP Rifle (2d6, save vs firearm) or Concealed Arsenal
Saves 9 or less is a success
Cybernetic: Bryan Trant is a cyborg. He does require air, sleep, food, water and rest, but the amount of these things he needs are limited. His cybernetic body parts could be hacked, but the security around them is impressive. More importantly, his body is only kept alive by his cybernetic components. If these were destroyed or deactivated, he would die. Tripps has the ability to switch off Trant's life-support at will, because of the secret backdoor he installed in the Grav-Chair's software. If this were discovered, Trant could be easily neutralized.
Concealed Arsenal: Trant has many weapons concealed in his modified Grav-Chair. As a free action, he may activate any of them and use them in place of his rifle. His arsenal includes:
- Missile Launcher: Does 4d6 explosive damage in a 30' sphere, all within must save for half. He has 1d4+1 missiles at any given time.
- Incincerator: Fires jets of burning slime that sticks to everything and cannot be extinguished by water. Does 2d6 damage in a 30' cone, with an additional 1d6 damage a round until the fire is extinguished or the slime is scraped off.
- Heavy Stubber: An anti-infantry weapon that easily makes mincemeat of all but heavy infantry. Does 1d12 damage, save vs firearm. Trant may make an attack on an additional target with this weapon, if there is an additional target adjacent to his first.
Hover: Trant's Grav-Chair hovers off the ground.
Large Size: Trant's Grav-Chair is cumbersome, making him count as a large creature. Additionally, his chair is noisy and prevents all attempts at stealth, as it is easily heard.
Shields: Trant, as an action, may activate a force shield around his Grav-Chair. This shield has 3d6 HP and is immune to acid, cold and sharp damage. It also takes only half damage from blunt sources, not counting projectiles from SP weapons, unless the projectile is from a sufficiently powerful weapon, or bigger than a man's fist. The shield is vulnerable to heat. But if subjected to too much heat energy or fire damage, it will fail and overload, requiring 1d3 rounds to cool before it can be reactivated. Trant can restore his shield to full HP on his turn as an action, but while his shield his up, he cannot make an attack on anyone outside the shield. He can drop the shield as a free action.
- Pretend to be helpless
- Use your rifle from long range
- If confronted with a larger force, use 'Concealed Arsenal'
- Use your 'Shields' to make a getaway
wall paper up
Truncheon isn't actually a member of Tripps' crew technically. Tripps and Trant are partners. That's because "Truncheon" is a robot. Specifically he's a combat robot, a Mark 6 Montana-Vickers Armored Combat Model, originally designated as ACM 176547-A. Tripps and Trant found him when on a job to capture and interrogate a corrupt military officer who has part of a smuggling ring. He was part of a platoon of robots that were being decommissioned. But unlike all the others, ACM 176547-A had suffered only minor external damage. The only real problem was to his crystal computer, which had been slagged in combat. Since his computer was toast, the only way to fix him would be to install a new one, but those cores cost much more than the actual robot. So they decided just to scrap it, along with what was left of the other robots in the platoon.
But one man's trash is another man's treasure, and Tripps wasn't going to miss his chance to get his hands on an almost undamaged combat robot. So he and Trant killed half the people in the scrapyard and blew up a couple of the main buildings, all to steal this robot. In truth, they mostly killed those people and destroyed that building for their own amusement, but it did achieve the primary purpose of covering up the theft.
From there, they gave the robot an immature paint job and decorated its' chassis with human bones, strips of skin and other gruesome charms. Then they programmed the robot speak and gave it the orders for it to be relentlessly cheerful when responding to them and to appear dim-witted. Then they dubbed this new robot "Truncheon".
Tripps uses Truncheon as a blunt instrument and a sacrificial lamb. If he needs someone to buy time, do something excessively risky or do something simple, he sends Truncheon to do it. And each time Truncheon is destroyed, he and Trant gather up what remains and fix him. After a couple of times, Trant pointed out with the amounts of replacement parts, Truncheon was barely even the same robot. After debating the Ship of Theseus for a couple of minutes, Tripps got bored and declared that they were actually constructing a new robot, named Truncheon 2. They have done this several times by now.
Truncheon, of course, doesn't have an opinion on this. He is a robot, after all.
Atk Wrist Lasers (2d6 fire, save for half) or Steel Fists (1d8/1d8)
Mor 20 (will only retreat if ordered to)
Saves 8 or less is a success
Robots: Robots do not need to eat, drink, sleep or breathe. They do not possess minds to read or influence with magic, so they ignore all charm, fear or other spells or abilities that affect the mind. They do not get scared or tired. They can be hacked.
Programmed: This robot is programmed to obey orders from Tommy Tripps and Bryan, overriding orders from the latter in favor of the former. This robot know how to fight, sneak and use somewhat clever tactics. It is no genius, but it can stage an ambush and use stealth, though that's kind of hard for it.
- Charge in
- Be jolly
- Never be afraid of anything
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