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Character Discussion - Tempo 
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Post Character Discussion - Tempo
I thought about asking this in the general Loroi QA thread, but since it's specifically about one person...

In my personal opinion, Tempo is perhaps the most interesting/intriguing character of the lot and by far the most complex and mysterious, yet very little attention is paid to her. Please do feel free to add anything Tempo-related to this thread, but let's keep is serious and civilized, ok?

I've noticed a peculiar gesture Tempo makes on at least two occasions - http://www.well-of-souls.com/outsider/outsider071.html frame 5 and http://www.well-of-souls.com/outsider/outsider104.html frame 6 - discretely touching her temple/fiddling with her hair curl. It's the same gesture in both cases but quite different circumstances.

What do you guys think about it? A generic subconscious gesture, a tick, or is there more to it? Could she be concentrating on a particular psi skill while doing it? Observe that she's not using a psi-amp and her eyes are not glowing like when Fireblade was using an active psi ability.


Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:16 am
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Post Re: Character Discussion - Tempo
I find Tempo interesting too, but something about her really rubs me the wrong way. People in the intelligence field are often incredibly skilled at deception. Maybe that's what bothers me. I'm terrible at lies, so people who are capable liars give me goosebumps.
She's got that "I'm actually a ridiculously high rank and everyone is afraid of me, but you don't know that" aura around her, especially during her first view panels.
She obviously has some kind of higher rank decision maker than stillstorm and the implications so far are that storm is basically a hero among the Loroi.

Everyone has a kind of "Hrk!" visible behavioral reaction when Tempo is involved, too.
Beryl's reaction to her coming on the shuttle, for example.
Storm's reaction to being sanzai told to "stfu" (or at least that's how it seems). Storm's face is from what I perceive basically pure rage.
Even the reactions of the other races to Tempo are a mix of hostility and surrender.

She's also the one that makes many diplomatic statements that would usually be reserved to the highest ranking officials, like recognizing Alex as the terran envoy.
I don't think it's just the 'coincidence' of her being there, but her actually being of some kind of ridiculously important rank.

The character info page says she's an intelligence officer, but to me it's obvious while she is that, she's also something far more dangerous.
Maybe she's the Loroi's version of an inquisition officer?

It's possible her behavioral tick is a kind of practiced action meant to 'sooth' others. People in intelligence gathering positions are often taught ways of moving/acting that are meant to put others at ease.

Blegh, maybe she's some kind of Loroi CIA agent?
Maybe it's just the fact the Loroi seem to have a serious apprehension to lying in general/a bad history with deception, yet her job is literally 'intelligence officer.' Something most people equate with being a spy.

Edit: Looking back, Beryl's shock is even more interesting on the shuttle because her concern was originally about Stillstorm- you'd think seeing Tempo wouldn't have been that big of a deal, but it was obviously something that bothered Beryl. That could all just be because Beryl wanted the free time to run her squishy pink terran sanzai tests and having Tempo there might limit that, but who knows.


Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:08 am
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Post Re: Character Discussion - Tempo
True, she can rub one the wrong way, however, part of the appeal and beauty of fire is knowing how dangerous it is and how to handle it safely. In a real life scenario where I'd have to serve with/under someone like her or be supervised by someone like her, I'd also very much dislike her and would like to be as far away from her as possible, but in fiction all of that is what makes spies/intel appealing and interesting to the audience (outside observers).

Scynix wrote:
The character info page says she's an intelligence officer, but to me it's obvious while she is that, she's also something far more dangerous.
Maybe she's the Loroi's version of an inquisition officer?


It isn't stated black-on-white in the comic nor in the insider, but should be pretty clear to everyone that she's the Loroi equivalent to an MIB, a high-ranking NSA/CIA/KGB agent, extent of who's authority can only be estimated (her rank's equivalent to a Colonel by the way, so I like to refer to her as such to keep it in perspective), but to me she feels much more grimdark, closer to an NKVD Commissar or Gestapo Colonel. She does have Admiralty level clearance and is formally Stillstorm's superior officer (in practice - the rock hung on Storm's neck by the Admiralty to keep her in line).

I would like to think, that Tempo's tick is more than just a tick, something she does when concentrating on something specific and masks it as a harmless tick or adjusting her hair...

As far as I know, intel officers are or should be taught to be inconspicuous, to not stand out, be indistinguishable from one another and thus should not have behavioral ticks. But that would more apply to field agents of lower rank. In fiction we often see intel officers having such ticks, like fiddling with lighters, pens, checking their watch/phone in a peculiar manner, etc. How much that translates to real life, I would not know.


Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:42 am
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Post Re: Character Discussion - Tempo
Scynix wrote:
I find Tempo interesting too, but something about her really rubs me the wrong way. People in the intelligence field are often incredibly skilled at deception. Maybe that's what bothers me. I'm terrible at lies, so people who are capable liars give me goosebumps.
She's got that "I'm actually a ridiculously high rank and everyone is afraid of me, but you don't know that" aura around her, especially during her first view panels.
She obviously has some kind of higher rank decision maker than stillstorm and the implications so far are that storm is basically a hero among the Loroi.

Everyone has a kind of "Hrk!" visible behavioral reaction when Tempo is involved, too.
Beryl's reaction to her coming on the shuttle, for example.
Storm's reaction to being sanzai told to "stfu" (or at least that's how it seems). Storm's face is from what I perceive basically pure rage.
Even the reactions of the other races to Tempo are a mix of hostility and surrender.

She's also the one that makes many diplomatic statements that would usually be reserved to the highest ranking officials, like recognizing Alex as the terran envoy.
I don't think it's just the 'coincidence' of her being there, but her actually being of some kind of ridiculously important rank.

The character info page says she's an intelligence officer, but to me it's obvious while she is that, she's also something far more dangerous.
Maybe she's the Loroi's version of an inquisition officer?

It's possible her behavioral tick is a kind of practiced action meant to 'sooth' others. People in intelligence gathering positions are often taught ways of moving/acting that are meant to put others at ease.

Blegh, maybe she's some kind of Loroi CIA agent?
Maybe it's just the fact the Loroi seem to have a serious apprehension to lying in general/a bad history with deception, yet her job is literally 'intelligence officer.' Something most people equate with being a spy.

Edit: Looking back, Beryl's shock is even more interesting on the shuttle because her concern was originally about Stillstorm- you'd think seeing Tempo wouldn't have been that big of a deal, but it was obviously something that bothered Beryl. That could all just be because Beryl wanted the free time to run her squishy pink terran sanzai tests and having Tempo there might limit that, but who knows.


It's probably because the Mizol caste have the authority over diplomacy (and intelligence), and they have the narrow authority to override the military commanders of the Torrai caste, who appear to be neither trained, nor care much about diplomacy, and wider politics. So in her case she had multiple hats on the Tempest, as the strategic analyst, liaison to non-Loroi allies, standard intelligence duties*, and after Alex being recovered, the diplomatic representative of the Loroi government.

It's quite different from the current human standards in the generic West, where military officers usually have very limited diplomatic authority when dealing with foreign governments, even if they flag ranks, like Stillstorm, but meshes with the Insider article on Loroi rank structure, which is quite Byzantine by our standards.

* intelligence officers are not necessarily spies, nor even involved with spying. They can do a lot of things, including counter-espionage, aka looking for enemy spies/plants, or other information gathering. You can bet, that Tempo and her Mizol subordinates keep a watch on the other crewmembers of their ship, gauging morale, loyalty and listening to the rumor mills.


Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:17 am
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Post Re: Character Discussion - Tempo
entity2636 wrote:
As far as I know, intel officers are or should be taught to be inconspicuous, to not stand out, be indistinguishable from one another and thus should not have behavioral ticks. But that would more apply to field agents of lower rank. In fiction we often see intel officers having such ticks, like fiddling with lighters, pens, checking their watch/phone in a peculiar manner, etc. How much that translates to real life, I would not know.

That's again depends on what do you mean by intelligence officer, what they do, and how public the position is. The officers running the S2 section in a military unit, which uses the continental staff system won't do much undercover work, because their names are on all kind of rosters, sometimes even public, or semi-public. They on the other hand could organize informant networks among their soldiers for counter-intelligence reasons, but they'll have to keep those connections separate enough from themselves.

Similar can be said for civilian intelligence services too. In many cases, the top level leadership is public, even to a few managerial levels, and even lower positions can be public, depending on what they do. Field officers and agents on the other hand, who wrangle the undercover networks, identities are well guarded, and that's where you'll see officers abruptly pulled from the position, when their cover is blown.


Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:33 am
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Post Re: Character Discussion - Tempo
Another question for Arioch would be, could a Mizol be trained in diplomacy and "deception" well enough to fool humans, who have lived their entire lives and generations with such abilities, vs. the Lorori, who normally cannot lie and view words as tools of deception? Would Alex know if she was being evasive or are we to assume Tempo can lie with the best of them (humans)?

CJSF


Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:18 am
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Post Re: Character Discussion - Tempo
cacambo43 wrote:
Another question for Arioch would be, could a Mizol be trained in diplomacy and "deception" well enough to fool humans, who have lived their entire lives and generations with such abilities, vs. the Lorori, who normally cannot lie and view words as tools of deception? Would Alex know if she was being evasive or are we to assume Tempo can lie with the best of them (humans)?

I think Alex knows very well that Tempo is evasive on some issues. He couldn't not notice the way she cut off Beryl from explaining what Mizol are for example.

It's interesting how the most human like Loroi of the bunch is the one the audience automatically distrusts. Lieing and misdirection are human qualities it seems. So a Loroi possessing them sticks out from the rest of the unsubtle spergs.


Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:39 am
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Post Re: Character Discussion - Tempo
Werra wrote:
cacambo43 wrote:
Another question for Arioch would be, could a Mizol be trained in diplomacy and "deception" well enough to fool humans, who have lived their entire lives and generations with such abilities, vs. the Lorori, who normally cannot lie and view words as tools of deception? Would Alex know if she was being evasive or are we to assume Tempo can lie with the best of them (humans)?

I think Alex knows very well that Tempo is evasive on some issues. He couldn't not notice the way she cut off Beryl from explaining what Mizol are for example.

It's interesting how the most human like Loroi of the bunch is the one the audience automatically distrusts. Lieing and misdirection are human qualities it seems. So a Loroi possessing them sticks out from the rest of the unsubtle spergs.


I mean in the more subtle ways, obviously. And yes, interesting observation.

CJSf


Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:41 am
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Post Re: Character Discussion - Tempo
entity2636 wrote:
I've noticed a peculiar gesture Tempo makes on at least two occasions - http://www.well-of-souls.com/outsider/outsider071.html frame 5 and http://www.well-of-souls.com/outsider/outsider104.html frame 6 - discretely touching her temple/fiddling with her hair curl. It's the same gesture in both cases but quite different circumstances.

What do you guys think about it? A generic subconscious gesture, a tick, or is there more to it? Could she be concentrating on a particular psi skill while doing it? Observe that she's not using a psi-amp and her eyes are not glowing like when Fireblade was using an active psi ability.


I think I mentioned that one in the Page 104 discussion thread. To me it looks like she has an earpiece/wireless comm she's activating.


Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:25 am
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Post Re: Character Discussion - Tempo
Werra wrote:
cacambo43 wrote:
Another question for Arioch would be, could a Mizol be trained in diplomacy and "deception" well enough to fool humans, who have lived their entire lives and generations with such abilities, vs. the Lorori, who normally cannot lie and view words as tools of deception? Would Alex know if she was being evasive or are we to assume Tempo can lie with the best of them (humans)?

I think Alex knows very well that Tempo is evasive on some issues. He couldn't not notice the way she cut off Beryl from explaining what Mizol are for example.

It's interesting how the most human like Loroi of the bunch is the one the audience automatically distrusts. Lieing and misdirection are human qualities it seems. So a Loroi possessing them sticks out from the rest of the unsubtle spergs.


Alex definitely has his suspicions that she's not completely upfront even earlier on and carefully controls the flow of information in every direction. There, for example, she cut off the Barsam Ambassador as he was on the verge of spilling that one big secret we as the reader suspect but Alex has no idea about.

With Loroi saying left and right that "words are tools for deception", they do know the concept of concealing the truth or outright lying, and intelligence is a big part of warfare as well, so the caste of Mizol and Tempo do have a reason to exist.


Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:32 am
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Post Re: Character Discussion - Tempo
I've been rereading the bridge scene lately. We all assume that Tempo has dubious intentions towards Alex, but what if she is actually sympathetic towards him? Some scenes get a different meaning then.

Look at her reasoning for Alex staying on the bridge.
Perhabs her angle on Stillstorm wasn't so much political gain but genuine sympathy for Alex loss. Stillstorm could have been angry because Tempo brought up Stillstorms own losses and griev.

At the very least we can all agree that she would be the space elf looking best in a SS uniform, right?


Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:01 am
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Post Re: Character Discussion - Tempo
Scynix wrote:
She's got that "I'm actually a ridiculously high rank and everyone is afraid of me, but you don't know that" aura around her, especially during her first view panels.
She obviously has some kind of higher rank decision maker than stillstorm and the implications so far are that storm is basically a hero among the Loroi.
...
Storm's reaction to being sanzai told to "stfu" (or at least that's how it seems). Storm's face is from what I perceive basically pure rage.
Even the reactions of the other races to Tempo are a mix of hostility and surrender.
...
She's also the one that makes many diplomatic statements that would usually be reserved to the highest ranking officials, like recognizing Alex as the terran envoy.


She's a Political Officer of sorts. She has the authority in diplomatic situations due to, well, imagine Stillstorm being charge and I don't need to explain more. As such she represents the Emperor in a more direct capacity than the others do.
When it comes to diplomacy the buck stops with her and she can pull all the ranks she wants.

Quote:
Beryl's reaction to her coming on the shuttle, for example.


Beryl wanted her alone time with Alex. Tempo being around means that a lot of Alex's time is going to be occupied AND Beryl will have a chaperone of sorts. Much harder to sneak an anatomical study session in while the teacher is watching.

Quote:
Blegh, maybe she's some kind of Loroi CIA agent?


Kinda? I'd liken it more to KGB, since the CIA is more directed outwards, while the KGB did both.

Werra wrote:
I've been rereading the bridge scene lately. We all assume that Tempo has dubious intentions towards Alex, but what if she is actually sympathetic towards him? Some scenes get a different meaning then.


I think that's a little unfair. Tempo's intentions are likely to do what's best for the Loroi, as long as Alex is useful to that end I feel that he's perfectly safe in her hands. I suspect she's extremely willing to lie freely to him, but she does want him safe and intact.


Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:07 am
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Post Re: Character Discussion - Tempo
cacambo43 wrote:
Werra wrote:
cacambo43 wrote:
Another question for Arioch would be, could a Mizol be trained in diplomacy and "deception" well enough to fool humans, who have lived their entire lives and generations with such abilities, vs. the Lorori, who normally cannot lie and view words as tools of deception? Would Alex know if she was being evasive or are we to assume Tempo can lie with the best of them (humans)?

I think Alex knows very well that Tempo is evasive on some issues. He couldn't not notice the way she cut off Beryl from explaining what Mizol are for example.

It's interesting how the most human like Loroi of the bunch is the one the audience automatically distrusts. Lieing and misdirection are human qualities it seems. So a Loroi possessing them sticks out from the rest of the unsubtle spergs.


I mean in the more subtle ways, obviously. And yes, interesting observation.

CJSf


If I were to answer this in place of Arioch, I'd say that most Mizol would find themselves right at home with the Humans and vice versa.

The Mizol appear to be well trained in blocking their own thoughts against other mizols reading them and, as I understand their background, primarily use spoken language back at home (their domestic conflicts were always mizol vs. mizol and telepathy was considered unsafe). Thus they should be quite comfortable with big and small lies, "deception", also humor, sarcasm and figures of speech. If we take Tempo as an example of most mizols, then yes, she is the most human of the bunch. In return I'd say that most humans, especially intel types, politicians and pretty much any businessman/woman, would quite quickly figure out who they are dealing with when speaking to a mizol and play at their game.

novius wrote:
I think I mentioned that one in the Page 104 discussion thread. To me it looks like she has an earpiece/wireless comm she's activating.


I don't think so, unless the comm is implanted, which I doubt, because loroi are strongly against implants and augmentations of any sort. On Page 106 we can clearly see her left ear and there's nothing in or behind it, not even an earring that could hide a comm unit.

Werra wrote:
At the very least we can all agree that she would be the space elf looking best in a SS uniform, right?


Indeed, she'd look absolutely stunning in pretty much any dress uniform or a woman's business suit with heels.

Tempo - "my uniform doesn't conform to regulations? I am the regulations"

By the way, I recently showed the "Bridge Scene" to somebody completely unfamiliar with Outsider and who is who, and they instantly recognized Tempo as an Intelligence/State Security type. Arioch did a good job there.


Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:38 am
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Post Re: Character Discussion - Tempo
How do you guys see Tempo ending up on the shuttle? The way I see it there are two big options.

Either Stillstorm "politely" told her designated Gestapo minder to leave her ship or Tempo told Stillstorm to be nice while her designated NKVD officer is away.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:34 pm
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Post Re: Character Discussion - Tempo
Probably a combination of "Stillstorm might have me 'accidentally' spaced if I stick around" and "The most important event for decades is going to be happening in the Imperial Court when pinkie gets there, I want in."


Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:35 pm
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Post Re: Character Discussion - Tempo
I'd go for a combination of "this is a matter of national security", "The most important event for decades" and Tempo being on the top of Stillstorm's shit list after her performance on the bridge during the initial stages of the Battle of Naam. I tend to think that Tempo herself was at least confined to quarters during the transit from Naam to Leido because noone came to check or talk to Alex during this time.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:09 pm
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Post Re: Character Discussion - Tempo
entity2636 wrote:
I'd go for a combination of "this is a matter of national security", "The most important event for decades" and Tempo being on the top of Stillstorm's shit list after her performance on the bridge during the initial stages of the Battle of Naam. I tend to think that Tempo herself was at least confined to quarters during the transit from Naam to Leido because noone came to check or talk to Alex during this time.


Totally agree on all of this.

Even without making in the top five of Stillstorm's shit list (The top position might be reserved for Alex, though), Tempo surely wouldn't have let go of the chance to have a hand in what could turn out to be a defining moment in Loroi history - for better or for worse. And, of course, losing such an opportunity because that single alien everything hinges on being spaced by a spiteful CO or in the hands of a young and inexperienced Listel Tozet wouldn't help matters.

In addition, I still think that she has some sort of communication device - because having an odd tic would be as devastating as a 'tell' on a professional gambler - and she showed that gesture in moments where making a progress report to a contact would make much sense. Like

  • "Didn't go as planned, he didn't crack", right on returning to her station on the bridge
  • "I'm in", on entering the shuttle

Could very much be that Mizol do push down their disdain for implants in favor of having a distinct advantage. Especially when, say, sanzai doesn't provide a totally secure line of communication.

My other assumption had been that her mannerism is comparable to a human woman unconsciously fixing her hair when she sees someone she does find attractive (or consciously doing so when she's actively flirting with/trying to seduce someone) - that one to 'doll up' herself a little in an inconspicuous way. But seeing her doing that the moment everyone had been dismissed on the bridge (and mainly Alex's attention isn't on her anymore) pretty much disproves that idea.

On the other hand, if it is a nervous tic of her it means that Loroi put much less stock in body language and maybe only react to overt tells (like getting into someone's private space) but very much miss subtle cues.

Hmmm... Following that thought Humans would have a distinct advantage in reading Loroi, and Loroi might even be baffled or scared by a human's ability to gauge their intentions without sanzai.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:15 pm
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Post Re: Character Discussion - Tempo
Jeckas! You guys sure have Tempo pegged as an ambitious and underhanded snake, ready to step on the fingers of anyone on the metaphorical ladder with her! Is there a GURPS sheet or something that's informing these character analyses? I mean, we can infer some things from the comic, but wow!

CJSF


Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:01 pm
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Post Re: Character Discussion - Tempo
novius wrote:
In addition, I still think that she has some sort of communication device - because having an odd tic would be as devastating as a 'tell' on a professional gambler - and she showed that gesture in moments where making a progress report to a contact would make much sense.


Would concepts like "tells" even make any sense to a race of people who can effectively sense the motive of their counterparts? Of course, even if they did, those tells could also be misdirections.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:28 pm
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Post Re: Character Discussion - Tempo
Don't forget that telepathy is a powerful tool, which is why the Loroi don't always use it. Spoken language was and is still used in instances where a Loroi doesn't trust another well enough to allow their minds to connect. So in a setting where tense diplomacy was taking place it's entirely possible, if not probable, that spoken language would be used.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:54 pm
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Post Re: Character Discussion - Tempo
From what I've seen in the comic, the loroi use telepathy (sanzai) mostly for communication as an improved alternative to speaking, but speak aloud when the distances are too large, records must be kept, clear orders given, the other party is not telepathic or when sanzai as a means of communication is for whatever reason suboptimal.

They also display prominent use of gestures, mimicry, body language and all sorts of mannerisms much like we do, so I would not dismiss them having "tells".

@novius - you could be right about an implanted comm device that she activates by touching her temple and is masking the action as fixing her hair. It could even be an implanted psi amp, although I don't see anything hinting at it in her GURPS sheet. The big question then would be, who could she be reporting to. It would be very low power and highly scrambled so the signal won't stand out in the sensor logs, thus rather close range.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:47 pm
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Post Re: Character Discussion - Tempo
It would have to be in system as there's no FTL comms. It's doubtful that she's communicating with someone IMO.


Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:05 am
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Post Re: Character Discussion - Tempo
Quote:
@novius - you could be right about an implanted comm device that she activates by touching her temple and is masking the action as fixing her hair. It could even be an implanted psi amp, although I don't see anything hinting at it in her GURPS sheet. The big question then would be, who could she be reporting to. It would be very low power and highly scrambled so the signal won't stand out in the sensor logs, thus rather close range.


It just takes a relay beacon on the Tempest to amplify the signal and send it off elsewhere.

Even worse, one could imagine that the Mizol managed to slip in a 'backdoor' in every comm system's software, so that any Loroi ship or relay in range would propagate the signal without alerting the comm officer. How easy it is to hide away some nefarious piece of software in a complex system? No need to look further than to a Volkswagen Diesel in these days for an example. If someone is versed in programming, I'd warmly encourage to have a look at the Underhanded C Contest to have an idea how deeply one can hide a malicious function in an inconspicuous piece of code. And we're talking about today's real-life tech -- computers in sci-fi are supposed to be incredibly more complex, though even if they appear easier to use.

And about Tempo being that underhanded? Well, character sheets don't offer up much to discern a character's motivation (unless you put down their alignment), but being in the spy trade and being a diplomat does require some moral flexibility, and she's definitely not afraid of butting heads with Stillstorm - and have her relent, at least momentarily.

(Addendum)

Now, feel free to take the idea a bit further. Lets say the Mizol as a whole did manage to subvert the design of comm systems to build up their own 'shadowed' comm networks. Possibly even with messages hiding themselves in the courier ship's computers until the jump, and then to be relayed further towards their destination.

Plus, they're viewed much like the late KGB agents which were embedded in military ranks to ensure the military's adherence to 'the line'. Distrusted, reviled, but vested with enough power to bypass chain of command and countermand the CO's orders.

Now... does someone else get the idea that the Mizol caste would be in a good position to rule from behind the throne or start a successful coup if things get iffy?

Tempo seems to be self-assured enough to suggest that she has considerable backing.


Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:16 am
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Post Re: Character Discussion - Tempo
Werra wrote:
How do you guys see Tempo ending up on the shuttle? The way I see it there are two big options.

Either Stillstorm "politely" told her designated Gestapo minder to leave her ship or Tempo told Stillstorm to be nice while her designated NKVD officer is away.

Probably a combination of being on Stillstorm shitlist, and officially got replaced, and as others mentioned, made a decision to follow with the alien on his way to Seren, so she can both keep an eye on the other Loroi(so they don't accidentally spill information), and to allow time to learn more about he alien.

novius wrote:
Quote:
@novius - you could be right about an implanted comm device that she activates by touching her temple and is masking the action as fixing her hair. It could even be an implanted psi amp, although I don't see anything hinting at it in her GURPS sheet. The big question then would be, who could she be reporting to. It would be very low power and highly scrambled so the signal won't stand out in the sensor logs, thus rather close range.


It just takes a relay beacon on the Tempest to amplify the signal and send it off elsewhere.

Even worse, one could imagine that the Mizol managed to slip in a 'backdoor' in every comm system's software, so that any Loroi ship or relay in range would propagate the signal without alerting the comm officer. How easy it is to hide away some nefarious piece of software in a complex system? No need to look further than to a Volkswagen Diesel in these days for an example. If someone is versed in programming, I'd warmly encourage to have a look at the Underhanded C Contest to have an idea how deeply one can hide a malicious function in an inconspicuous piece of code. And we're talking about today's real-life tech -- computers in sci-fi are supposed to be incredibly more complex, though even if they appear easier to use.

And about Tempo being that underhanded? Well, character sheets don't offer up much to discern a character's motivation (unless you put down their alignment), but being in the spy trade and being a diplomat does require some moral flexibility, and she's definitely not afraid of butting heads with Stillstorm - and have her relent, at least momentarily.
(Addendum)

Now, feel free to take the idea a bit further. Lets say the Mizol as a whole did manage to subvert the design of comm systems to build up their own 'shadowed' comm networks. Possibly even with messages hiding themselves in the courier ship's computers until the jump, and then to be relayed further towards their destination.

Or it might be simple data recording device and/or analyzer. OR a link to an onboard one. As for backdoors? I don't think so they'll need it, when they can simply have high enough privileges to have their data classified (and encrypted) as some important piece of information, for yourMizol eyes only, prioritized to be sent back on the first available time.

Besides that, to whom does she send something at Naam? The only ones present were the Barsam courier, and Umiak. Talking to the latest is a no go, and she made clear that the Loroi trust in the Barsam have limits. Though if they can be made sure that the Barsam have no way to decrypt her messages, they might have been used as a courier back to at least Leido or other similar border system which is on the courier network. After all, before the Stray jumped on them, she had no way of knowing how long they would linger in the system, picking the wreck of the Bellarmine.

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Plus, they're viewed much like the late KGB agents which were embedded in military ranks to ensure the military's adherence to 'the line'. Distrusted, reviled, but vested with enough power to bypass chain of command and countermand the CO's orders.
Actually, that never happened, for historical reasons. The commissars' power to override the military commanders' have been removed in 1942, as experience showed that amateurs overriding the professionals lead to catastrophic defeats, and their duties have been relegated to morale matters, and spying for the party from that time, until the SU's dissolution. And the KGB haven't been created until 1956 too. The then relevant organization was the NKVD.

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Now... does someone else get the idea that the Mizol caste would be in a good position to rule from behind the throne or start a successful coup if things get iffy?

Tempo seems to be self-assured enough to suggest that she has considerable backing.

Per Arioch, the Empress is a Mizol, and a very powerful one to boot.


Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:50 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:53 am
Posts: 283
Post Re: Character Discussion - Tempo
folti wrote:
Besides that, to whom does she send something at Naam? The only ones present were the Barsam courier, and Umiak. Talking to the latest is a no go, and she made clear that the Loroi trust in the Barsam have limits.


If we continue this train of thought, even if it may be BS (I feel it is, but still) - the Umiak, Klicky-27 to be specific. He was hiding in Naam and has been following the 51st all the way to Leido.

If we look back at Pages 86 and 87 and pay attention to Tempo, on Page 86, when Klicky opens the channel, she looks more than just surprised, possibly a clamped down expression of being caught red handed, slight shock as if some of her plans just backfired.

She then turns around and is about to jump up but is ordered to stand down. After the exchange with Klicky, Stillstorm glares at her with clear anger and dismisses our team.

*Now what? Are we now painting Tempo a traitor?*

[Addition]

*Our party exits the shuttle after a hard landing on the Gora Relay and is greeted, to the surprise of everyone, by the station's commander and a detachment of marines with guns at the ready.*

Commander: Parat Tempo! On Admiral Stillstorm's order I hereby officially relieve you of duty *Shoots a completely startled Tempo between the eyes* You are charged with high treason and collaboration with the enemy. The punishment for that is death.


Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:44 am
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