ENTRY 065: Mme. Bleu
Madame Bleu is an establishment on most major and many minor habitats, a small podcasting service that operates discretely and does not advertise through regular channels. It operates a single kind of morph, the eponymous Mme. Bleu—identical female pods with a few specific enhancements, as well as a basic cover identity and associated peripherals (ecto, clothing, living quarters, etc.). The Mme. Bleu pod is designed as a cover identity for conducting autonomous business at a distance. Clandestine and criminal elements have caught on to the nature of Mme. Bleu, so that the majority of professionals know what they are dealing with, even if they do not know exactly who is puppeting the morph. In this way Mme. Bleu has become something of a generic feature of clandestine communities, a mainstay whose presence signals an expectation of a certain level of professional behavior from both parties. Damage or destruction of a Mme. Bleu pod never results in physical reciprocation, but given that the pod’s identity is usually very well connected throughout transhuman space, the assailant’s rep usually takes a severe hit in response…at least until amends are made.
The standard Madame Bleu pod is essentially a pod version of a sylph (Eclipse Phase, p.140) with the Cyberbrain and Puppet Sock implants in addition to those standard for that morph, and the Social Stigma (Pod) trait for those aware of her nature; physical attributes are set at 15, with mental attributes provided by the puppeteer. If a character deliberately maims or kills a Mme. Bleu pod, their g-rep, c-rep, and @-rep scores take a hit – subtract 6 points, divided between the three scores as the gamemaster sees fit.
The hypercorp or group behind the Mme. Bleu pods is well-concealed, but not unreachable. The day-to-day operations on individual habitats is usually handled by an “office” of two or three local, detail-oriented personnel that take care of the Mme. Bleu pod and “her” cover identity; they report back to “corporate” and do not have access to the details of operations. If confronted or asked about the service, they can provide contact information for “corporate” and little else; company policy for “office” personnel is to comply with requests for information as much as possible.
Using Mme. Bleu
Madame Bleu is a puppet, designed for puppetmasters to interact with the player characters from a safe distance. As such she may approach the PCs with an offer of employment, or blackmail, or even be the mastermind behind whatever plot or operation the PCs are currently facing. In all such situations, she is the cut-out, the place at which the trail tends to end—if the PCs get too close, the puppeteer will simply leave and the PCs will be faced with a twitching and drooling lump of meat.
On the other hand, the identical nature of the Mme. Bleu pods also means that she is a familiar face, once the player characters may encounter many times, on many different habitats, for different purposes. This familiarity can be used to the gamemaster’s advantage; first as a surprise (How did she get there? Why is she dealing with the enemy?), and then as they discover the pod’s nature their compliance as they understand that they are dealing with a mouthpiece. Once the PCs accept Mme. Bleu, they will begin to look for her as the potential hook for an adventure—an expectation that the gamemaster may fulfill or subvert, as they see fit.