The Greed in the Hearts of Men — Behind the Curtain

The young man smiles and brings up his contacts in a commlink and dials one of them up. It rings a couple of times and then gets picked up.

Hello?” a man’s voice comes from the other end.

As it turns out, I am interested in making that purchase.” The young man says. “My final offer is for 40,000.

Well I was hoping that the it would fetch more after … the incident, but it will do. Just finalize the purchase …” He waits for the sale confirmation, which only take a couple of moments. “Lets meet at the parking garage over on 4th. I am meeting those others you pointed me to there later today. Lets meet up a little before that.

A grimace comes across the face of the young man. He thought to use his mind magic on him in their previous encounters, but decided against it. He is starting to regret that decision.

Very well.” he agrees.

The young man parked nearby and walked the rest of the way to the parking garage. He meet up with him in his Americar on the second floor. The two exchange handshakes and he passes a small box to the young man.

Excellent … ” The young man says as he opens the box. Inside was a mint condition baseball autographed by Bill Gardenos.

I was hoping that the incident with Pruitt would drive up the value of the ball up a little more. Gardenos was the original rookie sensation and when that good for nothing cybered junkie decided he was going to try and break his record. A shame though, his family …“. He was caught in the middle of the statement when the young man decided to finally use his mind magic.

The young man cast the spell and altered the guys memory to erase any knowledge of the young man. He left the memory of the runner team that was hired. He did not want the link between the them to exist. Just as he was finishing up the spell, he implanted the thought that he was sleeping into the other man’s head. Not moments later, another vehicle pulled into the garage and was making its way up.

Drek …” the young man thought. He quickly shut the car door and cast an invisibility spell to hide him. Just before leaving, his curiosity caught him and he decided to risk it anyways. He took up a position next to the wall and watched the scene unfold.

The runner team was cautious. The didn’t just get out to meet their Johnson.

Interesting…

After a few moments, an ork stepped out and opened the door. It startled the sleeping man awake. The exchanged the payment and went their own ways.

Once everyone had left the garage, he let out a hearty laugh. “Yes,” he said to himself. “This game is playing out quite well indeed.

Session 17 — The Greed in the Hearts of Men

Cast of Characters

  • Eternal
  • Walker
  • Sledge
  • Tatters
  • Acorn
  • Ace
  • Viking

He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.

-Socrates

The team finalized the plans to complete one of their jobs. They were hired to get baseball sensation Jackson Pruitt kicked out of the league. The developed a plan that would involve exposing him to the drug K-10 and triggering a berserk episode at the mall. Figured the destruction and public exposure would be enough for the league to take action against him. So Walker, Ace and Sledge go in the “rental” car to the boxing ring and pick up Pruitt on time. The cover story was that they were having a meet and greet with the public for a children’s charity. One the way there, Ace and Pruitt started discussing his family. They learned that he has a wife and 4 kids in Minnesota. The game tomorrow in NYC was going to be the first game that his kids would be attending.

When they arrive at the mall. Eternal, Tatters and Viking were parked in the bulldog near the entrance while Acorn was dropped off by Walker earlier. Walker and Ace escort Pruitt into the mall, and Sledge parks the car next to the bulldog at the entrance. The team used AR to mark the path and point where he becomes exposed. Once he was in the open, Acorn hit him with a manabolt to trigger the K-10 and with a solid hit, the drug quickly takes effect. Both Ace and Walker have already started to move away from Pruitt as he flew into a rage. It first started with him throwing punches at people that were nearby, completely catching bystanders off guard. Just as quickly, he pulled out a telescopic baseball bat from a hidden compartment in one of his cyberlegs and started swinging away.

By this time, Ace and Walker were about to leave the mall. Just then, Pruitt surprisingly drops his bat and pulls out a machine pistol from his other cyberleg, along with an implanted grenade launcher in his cyberarm. He let loose with a barrage of gunfire and starts launching grenades. Shoppers and onlookers at the mall started dropping and fleeing for their lives. Just as Ace and Walker walk out of the mall, a grenade flew through the front glass doors and slammed into a car that was parked in front of the rest of the team. The moment later, the car explodes, sending shrapnel and debris everywhere.

Ace, Walker and Sledge quickly jump into the bulldog and has Acorn meet them down the street. They called the rigger that they rented the car from and he piloted it home. When the team picked up Acorn and fled the mall, HTR and SFPD VTOLs arrive on scene. Tatters monitors the news feed and find that law enforcement quickly detained Pruitt. However, the dame has been done.

The team decided that this should be enough for Pruitt to be kicked out of the league, they contacted the Johnson to collect payment. A meet was set up for a parking garage to collect payment. The team, now geared up, and heads there. The approach a parked Americar and cautiously decide what to do. Dropping into the Matrix, Tatters finds only a single commlink in the car. Since it is not running, there is no Matrix presence for it. Sledge moved up to the car and opens the door. It startles the sleeping Johnson awake. They collect the payment and were on their way.

Sunday, the next day, they get another message from Calypso about a job for the team. They still have one more job that is pending, but is still a week or so away. A meet was set up at the MoonDust diner in South San Francisco. Their Johnson seemed to only speak with Sledge, since he was the only ork in the party. The job was to retrieve the thief that stole a particular painting from a nearby art gallery and the team agreed to take on the job, although some members were reluctant to do so. The details of the job were that the particular painting, named the Seven Deadly Sins, was stolen. The art gallery owner does not care for the return of the painting as he has already filled the necessary police report. He wants to have the thief brought to him, either dead or alive. There is a small added bonus if they are able to recover the painting undamaged.

They were given a copy of what the painting looks like and a copy of the video footage of the robbery. Sledge sent the footage to the rest of the team to review. With a shock, Tatters, Walker, Viking and Eternal all look at the footage and realize that the thief in the footage was Black Cat … Walker’s close personal friend and roommate. About the same time, Eternal gets a call about an expected shipment is coming in. He breaks away from the team and heads for the pier. While waiting around for the container ship and talking with some of the dockmen. Eternal turns around to catch a glimpse of the ship in the bay, just as a series of explosions occurred on the ship, quickly scuttling it. As the ship, and Eternal’s cargo, sinks to the bottom of the bay, he makes a call.

So with one job completed, another one on the horizon and now one that involves a close personal friend, what will the team do? To top it off, what will Eternal do to deal with his lost cargo.

~Calypso

Pawn to Rook 4 — Behind the Curtain

The young man surveyed the options that were available to him and took his time about it. The waiter, generally impatient, waited to take his order. There was something about him that gave the waiter pause. He was about to tell the patron that he would be back to take his order. The young man simply held up his finger while, causing the waiter to stop before he even spoke. The young man was dressed in an expensive dark blue suit with matching tie and shining black shoes. His dirty blonde hair was clean cut and styled to perfection. He had a rough start of a beard growing on his chiseled chin. He looks at the waiter with his sharp blue eyes and simply says “I will have the strip steak, real meat, medium rare with the blue cheese butter spread, again with real butter. Grilled asparagus, baked potato and a bottle of the 2013 red burgundy cabernet sauvignon.” The waiter took the order. “I would like the order delivered to my room please” and he closes the AR menu.

Yes sir,” the waiter says to the young man as he took the details.

The young man gets up and makes his way out of the restaurant and to the hotel parlor a couple of buildings down. He walked in, nodding at the guards by the door, and heads through the lobby and up the stairs. He got to his room and enters in with his keycard, looking around before he steps through the threshold. She was there sitting on the couch wearing a blue silk dress. A pair of high heels sit next to the couch. When he enters, she stands to greet him as she was programmed. He waived her away as he went to get cleaned up in the bathroom. Looking at himself in the mirror, he thinks silent thoughts as he decided that the woman would not do for his current taste.

He leaves the bathroom, opens the door and asks the woman to leave. Once she is out the door, he closes it and calls the front desk.

I am not satisfied with my order and have sent her back. I require the manager to see me immediately please.

Before the front desk clerk could even say anything, the young man terminated the call. It took about 10 minutes, but there was a knock on the door. He opened the door to a middle aged human of japanese decent, also wearing a suit.

Yes, come in Himura” he said to the manager. “I require something more than your current offering has.

The manager bows and nods. “What is it you would like?

Her” he said as he hold up the image of a young girl in her late teens. “I desire her.

A puzzled look comes across the managers face. “Sir … we have options available for that … age.

No Himura, I require HER!” and he thrusts the image closer to him.

A shocked look now shows as he recognizes the young girl. She was the daughter of a local mafia don. “ummm, she is ..

I know how the hell she is, dammit!” the young man interrupts. “How much?

Himura was a member of the Yakuza, whom run this particular bunraku parlor, and there has been a tentative peace between the Yakuza and the families since the occupation. However, he knew that this young man was possibly more dangerous than even the family. A moment passes by and the manager simply states “120,000 nuyen.

Done.” the young man states and sends the creds to the manager.

Yes sir, but please be patient as it will be a few days at least.

Very well” the young man said as he gestured towards the door for the manager to leave. “Please cancel my order with the Boulevard restaurant as well. I no longer have my appetite.

Certainly” the manager states as he left the room.

A few days pass with no word from the manager. On the third day, the young man gets a message that his order has been completed and is enroute. She will be wiped and chipped within 12 hours and ready for delivery tomorrow evening. A thin smile of satisfaction grew across his face.

The following evening, he refreshed himself and headed to the lobby to mingle with the other patrons and await his delivery. He was in the middle of a discussion with a couple of other individuals when the door was suddenly kicked in. Before anyone knew it, the guards at the door and two others by the bar were being assaulted. When an ork drilled one of the guards with a sledgehammer, they thought it best to flee upstairs and lock themselves in their rooms until law enforcement arrives. Together, as a herd of prey fleeing a predator, they moved as a group up the stairs to their rooms. However, the young man pauses on the stairs. He started to record the scene with his contacts. He had a feeling he knew why these people were here and wanted to know who they were. He caught the video of the shadowrunning team making quick work of the Yakuza guards. Without skipping a beat, they moved to the basement and within moments, young women were escorted out of the building. He slammed a fist down as he spotted his prize leave with these people. Moments later, law enforcement shows up and begins to start taking peoples statements. Then the explosion happened from the basement and it shook the building. Again, the patrons froze in panic, but were reassured by the SFPD that they have things under control.

The young man went back to his room and called the manager again. This time it took an hour or so for him to arrive due to the police activity.

I’m sorry, but there seems to have been some … complications ..” he says to the young man.

Understood … these things happen …” He looks directly into the eyes of the manager, who is strangely drawn in … almost hypnotically. “You understand my displeasure, correct?

Yes …” he says and nodding his agreement. The manager brought up his commlink and transferred a sum of 150,000 nuyen to the young man. “For the misunderstanding …

Thank you” the young man says and dismisses the manager.

Seething, the young man reviews the video of the raid over and over. “Yes …” he says to himself. These pawns were who he thought they were. They were the ones that were hired to eliminate Xiu Yang. “Curious” he thought to himself.” These also look like the ones that were hired to do those as well … excellent then, they will be perfect pawns in this game …” He smiles as he looks at the man wearing a ballistic mask. “Excellent …

Session 16 — Welcome to my Parlor …

Cast of Characters

  • Eternal
  • Walker
  • Sledge
  • Tatters
  • Acorn
  • Ace

Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes.

The team spent a few days planning for how to deal with the baseball player job and they have developed a pretty good plan so far. But as I said, I had another job for them. An enforcer for a local mafia family needed some help and immediately. He requested Havoc Squad specifically. The meet was for later that night at Morenos, an italian restaurant in South Bay.

The team went to the meet with a fully developed plan for the meeting with the baseball player the following day, so they were possibly open for another job. When they got there, Tatters noticed that the restaurant was a virtual fortress and that they were not alone. Both he and Eternal were waiting in the bulldog in case something went wrong. Eternal grabbed an image of the Johnson and sent it to one of his contacts. Apparently, what he got back caused him to tell the team to be on their best behavior and for him and Tatters to go into the restaurant.

With the full party there, which he knew of the others in the vehicle outside, he offered them a plate of food and to their surprise, the food was real and not soy-based like everything else in the 6th world. Walker grabbed a plate to go to bring back to Black Cat. With dinner out of the way, the Johnson made his pitch. The daughter of the mafia Don was kidnapped by the Yakuza and is currently in a Bunraku parlor awaiting to be mind wiped and chipped. The deal was made with no negotiation as Eternal immediately agreed to the terms. There was also a bonus deal for rescuing any other women there. Enforcer to enforcer, Eternal offered to bring acquire a “trophy” for him, which was accepted.

The team knew of the location of the parlor and what the target looked like. They decided to move on this immediately. The went made their way to the downtown parlor, which was a renovated hotel, and parked nearby. Walker and Tatters went Astral and VR, respectively, for some recon. Tatters located the building blueprints and the recent renovation plans. While in the host, he also found the security sensor suite on the front door and a file icon labeled “personalities.” There was also a magical ward discovered, however, Walker was able to force his way through successfully. The blueprints revealed that there was a new basement, so Walker went there first. He found the target and other kidnapped victims. He also witnessed, Astrally, one of them lose their essense as they got chipped. Tatters also came up with a clever idea to plant a data bomb on the personality file and the entrance sensor suite.

While the team started to go into planning, the developed a partial plan to get in the place and camp out at the bar, which was where the door to the basement was. However, Eternal had other ideas. He burst out of the parked bulldog, strutted up to the two guards out front and had his sword hilt deep in one of them before anyone could even act. Walker, used to his impatience, was able to get a spell of and was at his side. The others quickly made their way to the door, but Eternal already had both outside gaurds neutralized before even Walker got to him.

With the party now poised outside the door, Tatters feed the camera feeds to their HUD display. They now knew where each of the other four guards were. Tatters triggered the databomb to brick the sensor suite, which caused the guards to come on alert. However, he routed their commlink calls to his deck instead. Eternal burst through the front door, bypassed the two gaurds there, and pounced on one of the two guards by the bar. The rest of the team joined the raid. Ace took the full brunt of a submachine gun blast to the chest and went down. Once the four guards were relieved of their duties, Ace was patched up with a spell from Acorn, the team headed down to the basement. During the fighting, the parlor patrons fled upstairs.

There they found the kidnapped victims locked in a cage, a victim that was chipped is still in the chair and a yakuza doctor. Tatters popped the lock on the cage and Walker started freeing them, along with their target. Eternal beheaded the doc and took his ear as the enforcer’s trophy. With high threat response so quick to respond, the team fled the area, but not before Eternal placed some high ex grenades set on a timer in the basement. They were able to rescue seven other victims, along with their target Donatella, and dropped them off at Moreno’s as instructed. The team received a big payout and Eternal gained a valuable contact. Now they have the two remaining jobs to complete.

~Calypso

Establishing a Foothold — Side Run

Silver Tusk is by no means a large ork, but he still commands a sizable cell for the Bloody Tusks. He looks around his office, which is the actual office of the abandoned Paramount Theater, that he has been running his operation out off. Clicking through the tablet and reviewing the months take on the protection racket. “Hmmm, WaveRunner is still refusing to pay,” he said to himself about the harbormaster of the Oakland seaport. “I am going to have to have another chat with the ol’ chap.

Then from outside the theatre, a burst of gunfire erupts. Quickly, he ran from the office and down to the entrance. Standing over the body of a person, the two initiates that were on guard duty for the front door. One of them, designated as Worm, was standing over the intruder with his AK-97. The other, designated as Maggot, was just a bit twitchy and the stench of piss emanates from the fresh stain on his pants, was pulling himself up on the wall.

With, possibly a little too much enthusiasm, Worm looks at Silver Tusks and starts jammering on. “Quiet!” he shouted to him. “What happened here?

No idea Silver, this fragger just came up and said something, but then shot Maggot. I got a couple rounds off in him but he got me pretty good with that sword.” He looks down at the wound in his side.

He looks over to another ork nearby and whistles. “Tend to that” and points to the wound. The rest of you, get him inside.” He slaps a trauma patch on the intruder and takes a look around. He wasn’t worried about law enforcement or corporate security at all, but you never know if another gang is trying to infringe on their territory.

What the hell is wrong with you?” he asks Maggot as he finally gets up from the ground.

Hhheeeee, caauught mmmeee” he starts to say but his words are interrupted by his body still twitching from the stick and shock that he was shot with.

For frag’s sake …” Silver Tusk says while looking at him. “Thats it, your are now known as Twitch. Now get inside and get yourself cleaned up.

The other ork gangers around them start laughing and calling him “Twitch.

Silver Tusk stops by Worm and the medic as the others take the intruder to a nearby room. “How is he doc?

He looks up at him and says “He’ll live. Its looks like he took the monoblade all the way to the hilt and is still standing. It seems that the slice missed all the vital organs and was a clean cut. Just needs some rest and the bandages will stop anything from falling out and he should be just fine.

Good,” Silver Tusk says and looks at Worm. “Your new name is now Hilt. Welcome to the Bloody Tusks, kid.” and leaves as a smile grew on Hilt’s face.

As he walks up to the room, another ork is standing there looking at the intruder. He has him bound up in the chair. “I know this fragger, Silver,” he says in a flat tone. “That ballistic mask, that sword, this is the fragger that my cousin was talking about up in the Tir. He says that him and his team took down a building and drug lab for the Spanners there.

What the hell are you talking about Hoodie?” he asks.

This is him, this has got to be him, but what in sam hell is he doing down here.

Silver Tusk walks into the dark room and throws a bucket of cold water on the intruder. They have a discussion and start going back and forth about what he is doing here. The intruder, who said his name was Eternal, is working with WaveRunner and wishes to have him get out of the racket.

“Interesting…” He thought to himself. “Lets see just how connected this new player is.”

Ok, Eternal, lets make a deal then. To prove that your family is connected, then you will need to get me some hardware that we need. You see, there is also a new player that is moving against us. I know you aint with them, I can smell it. Being a family man, I know you would understand this. You see, the families and the Bloody Tusks had an alliance during the Occupation and did good together. This new player is a gang coming out of Los Angeles known as the Stiches. We need some hardware to hold them off, so if you can get me this, then we can come to an arrangement.

Eternal nods in agreement.

So what I would like is an Ares Thunderstruck and I need it within 2 weeks. Until then, I will lay off of WaveRunner and his dues. If you can get me this in time, then his past dues will be waived and he will no longer be required to pay his dues.” He looks at the bound intruder. “Untie him and get him his gear” he says to Hoodie. The ork goes and unties him and gets a duffle bag for him.

Eternal looks at him and agrees to the terms.

Great, but I only tell you once. Don’t fuck me, Eternal. Don’t you ever try to fuck me.” The pair nod in agreement and Eternal leaves.

Theres no way he can get one of those in such a short time” Hoodie says to Silver Tusk who responds with a sly smile “I know …

Mr. Saturday Night — Side Run

So I get a call from a suit that I know that wants to set up a meeting with Havoc Squad’s decker, Tatters, and only him. I thought it was strange that she wanted just him, but she hasn’t screwed me in the past, so I set it up. Duchess was working with the Havoc Squad on her job, so they should be fine without him. If she needs some Matrix support, she would let me know. She set the meet up for the 18th at 6:30 at a bar in Fremont.

The job seemed pretty simple, I guess. Tatters was needed to infiltrate an MCT research facility in Palo Alto. They are working on a classified project that was rumored to be a response to Knight Errants ACE units. He would be supported by a security strike team. All the intelligence has been gathered already and a plan developed. All they needed Tatters for was to access the host and acquire the research files. A little weary of this, Tatters discussed why they couldn’t use their own deckers. She simply said that he has a knack for this sort of thing and wants to test him out. Additional details were discussed and an agreement was made. A car would be picking up Tatters at the agreed upon time.

When the strike force picked up Tatters, they discussed the plan that was developed and what his role would be. There were four on this strike team all introducing themselves as Romeo, Mercutio, Tybalt and Benvolio. They also provided him a set of black full body after looking at what he was currently armored with. The plan was to have an aerial insertion from a VTOL onto the roof of the building. Tatters would hack the host and provide the access needed to their RFIDs. Once in there, Tatters would again hack the host through a direct connect and gather the data needed. Afterwords, the floor would be searched for any possible prototypes and assess their status. Evac would then be done by rooftop with the VTOL.

After a little tumble on the repelling, the squad gathered around Tatters to provide cover while he went VR. Mercutio, the mage, covered them with an invisibility spell and a mana barrier to protect his vulnerable body. With very little effort really, Tatters easily got into the host and set the RFID tags to have the correct clearance for the 54th floor. Mercutio then covered the team with a spell to mask any sounds. Once the picked the lock and headed down the stairs. Using a leap frog style tactic, the small team quickly made their way down to the 54th floor and into the research center.

Tatters hooked into the host directly, while the squad provided cover and security. This time, things were a bit more difficult in the host. While he did happen to get the correct files for the research project, it took time to defuse the databomb, decrypt and copy the file. However, he was able to without drawing the attention of the host or its deadly intrusion countermeasures.

The team then formed up in a diamond formation to survey the floor for any prototypes. They came upon a chamber with 4 stasis pods. One was empty, but the other three had a very large ogre and two extremely large giants in them. Only moments into surveying them, the red lights above them turned green and the pods opened. The ogre and giants came bounding out with an almost supernatural quickness.

Using suppressive fire and movement tactics, the team was able to secure their retreat in the stairwell. However, it did not go unnoticed that the firepower they had was insufficient and barely slowed down the trio. They took the bullets with a smile and kept on coming. Only when they had the advantage that the stairwell provided, did the assault stop. With a quickness the elite strike force and Tatters fled to the rooftop and to the waiting VTOL. As they were leaving, they spotted an corpsec HTR team aboard VTOLs as well descending on the building. They had left just in the nick of time.

Now with the threat of his life not hanging in the balance, Tatters made a copy of the files and reviewed them real quick. It seemed mostly project management stuff, project specifications, budget spending, nothing real .. wait. His train of though stopping on a dime as he noticed on some of the paperwork and photos a tattoo of some sort. He has seen this before … on Eternal …

~Calypso

Session 15 — Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Cast of Characters

  • Eternal
  • Walker
  • Sledge
  • Tatters
  • Viking
  • Introducing, Acorn
  • Introducing, Ace

So I am going to have to have a little talk with dear Aspen … The last run involving the bug shaman seemed to go pretty flawlessly, but afterwards, the team sort of imploded. After Bowjack decided to take on the SFPD all by himself, and failed, I had to get a replacement together pretty quickly. I got word a few weeks ago that Salt had a prospect that might turn out good. She was really green and, not to mention, a teenage girl. Since the team did so well with Duchess, maybe a more permanent solution might be to have her join. So I had Salt line it up and when this job came up, I decided to have her in with the rest of Havok Squad.

The job was set up at the downtown Hilton and the Johnson provided a Matrix code for the team to provide the valet attendant. Once the code was transmitted, the Johnson arrived in a stretch Americar, complete with minibar, and the team piled in. The Johnson, a middle-aged human male with a leisure suit and SF Giants baseball cap, proposed the job and pay to the team. The job was simple enough, to rough up an up and coming player and end his career. The Johnson made is specific that he does not want him killed, just wants to end his career. After the deal was made and the team agreed the details were shared. In a surprise rookie move, Walker asked the Johnson why he wanted this to happen. A quick retort from the Johnson about it being his business reminded Walker that his line of work was generally paid work with no questions asked.

Now anyone following the local sports news knows that the Giants have a player that may end up breaking the home run record for a single game. Yes, the target is none other than Jackson Pruitt. Another detail that was revealed is that the Johnson wants to have this done before Pruitt breaks the record. Since baseball season has already started, this could prove to be a little difficult. During all this, Tatters is already scouring the Matrix for info on their target .. and their Johnson.

After that meeting, the team is dropped off back at the Hilton, and they started discussing the plan. Only moments after, Sledge gets a call from Horatio, his fixer, asking what he got him into and the line goes dark after a hail of gunfire is heard. He slammed the commlink down on the ground and smashes it to pieces. Acorn, pointing out the obvious, suggested that they discuss this somewhere a little more private. Tatters suggested a nearby dive bar that had drek service and matching drinks, but would work for discussing any plans. When they agreed to meet there, Acorn started ahead of the team on her rollerblades. Caught by surprise, the rest of the team watched as she skated away and then made their way there. Sledge decided to go back to his car and drive there.

On the way there, it seems that Tatters offended Eternal in some way. The rest of the team paused as Eternal draws his Ares Predator on the decker. There was a sigh of relief when the two discussed something quietly and the firearm goes back in its holster. Downtown San Francisco really doesn’t need another HTR incident. When they arrived at the dive bar, they pack into a booth at in the rear corner of the bar. This bar, as Tatters mentioned, served only two things, beer and beer and the Ork behind the bar really didn’t care about anything else. Eternal took his ballistic mask, possibly for the first time in a very long time, and revealed the scarred flesh of his face. They started discussing various parts of the plan and when the timing would be. Based on the Giants game schedule, their target would not be back in the area until midweek next week. However, it appears that his agent does have an office in town. They decided to pay a visit to the sports promoter that happen to run a boxing gym nearby. Before they left, Tatters revealed his new tow, a PI-TAC, and explained how it works.

So on to the boxing promoter’s gym, who’s name was Kanner Leewee. Walker, Viking and Sledge walk into the gym while Eternal and Tatters wait in the car for Matrix overwatch. Acorn positioned herself nearby in case she was needed. They were directed to the office in the basement and proceeded down the stairs. Along the way, they noticed movement and sound coming from a meat freezer that is stuffed with hanging racks of meat. They opened the door and found a naked elf, bound at the feet, hands and wearing a burlap sack over his head, hanging from one of the racks. Due to the PI-TAC, everyone can see the video feed. Quickly, Tatters blotted out the more sensative parts for Acorn. Walker removed the bulap sack as Sledge attempted to lift him up off the meat hook. However, the elf’s body was slick with icy sweat and the ork gets a face full of elven private parts. A quick scan around, the team finds a bag of gear nearby that had the elf’s clothes are gear. Walker used a levitate spell to get him off the hook and they wait while he gets dressed. Apparently the elf, who introduced himself as “Ace”, knew Leewee and where to find him.

Ace escorted the team further down the hallway to the office, which caused Leewee to call out to the bum for getting loose. Ace decided to quickly leave the office and headed out of the building. The Leewee turned to the other 3 that here in his office. “What da ya bums want?” he asked out. Quick on his feet, Walker concocts a story that they have a business and wanted to book Pruitt for a Meet and Greet. On this queue, Tatters quickly jumps into the Matrix and throws together a website for their newly created business, along with credentials for Walker to use if needed. Just as this is going up, Leewee is confirming the story and looks at Walker “So when do you want to schedule this?” Their plan worked. After some back and forth, they got it scheduled for the end of the week on Saturday. Pruitt was already going to be in town for another event and will be flying out that night for a game in NYC the following day. With this part of the run scheduled, they team moves on to further planning on what they are going to do. However, it seemed only Acorn notice that Eternal went dark while Tatters was in VR. When he came through, there were some words exchanged and then Tatters went dark on the PI-TAC. After a few moments though, they both come back online, apparently after discussing something in private.

With nothing else to do currently, the team went their separate ways. A few days later, I got another job that specifically requested the Havoc Squad. Not by name of course, but by reputation. It seems that the team has gotten into some high demand as of late. So I messaged them all with the details. They all agreed to the meet and went to the motel where it was scheduled. Acorn just walked up and into the door, surprising the Johnson. They discussed what he needed and even though he was pretty vague in most details, they agreed to the job and the pay. It was then that more details were released. There was a trial coming up and he wanted the evidence in that trial destroyed so that the trial does not happen. A Simsense star, Janice Polk, had a stalker that tried to kill her. The trial is scheduled on June 4th, so the team had a few weeks to complete the job. So now the team has two jobs going currently and a few days to start planning on how to end the career of the sports athlete.

~Calypso

Session 14 — Bugs … Does It Have To Be Bugs?

Cast of Characters

  • Bowjack
  • Eternal
  • Walker
  • Sledge
  • Viking
  • With Special Guest, Duchess

The team had wrapped up the prior night by stashing the other runner team’s loot in their bulldog and leave it a few blocks away to return to later. After I provided Duchess with Tatter’s commcode (she could have just used the team to reach him but why not get the full runner experience by reaching out to contacts to get other tasks done), she arranged an immediate meet with him to hack through the commlinks for any useful intel.

Tatters sat listening with a great deal of incredulity that first, a fifteen year old was on the mission and also the johnson, and secondly that the team managed to take down opposition without any fatalities. Somewhat dazed from what I hear, he left promising to get back with any intel he finds by the morning.

Before the team reconvenes in the morning, Tatters sends some relevant comm conversations between the other runners, along with a record of messages left for what looks to be the Johnson when they have a captive to deliver. After spending looking over the messages the team meets up at the club and decide to walk the eight blocks over to the supposed warehouse location.

Eternal breaks off from the group and effectively vanishes into an alley, watching the ruined warehouse from the ground level. The rest of the team finds a rooftop to watch from while Walker goes to astrally reconnoiter and Bowjack sends his flyspy.

Walker scours the warehouse astrally spotting what looks like a tunnel with rubble built up around the entrance protected by a mana barrier across the entrance. When the Flyspy catches up, Bowjack sends it as far as he can before his connection starts to become spotty and leaves the Flyspy watching the tunnel.

The team decides their surprising discretion in terms of weaponry may not be warranted this time, and Eternal leaves to get some heavier hardware while the rest of the team keeps up overwatch. During this time, the Flyspy catches what was certainly the Johnson. The dwarf makes an awkward climb up the tunnel past the Flyspy, but stops before leaving the tunnel itself and seems to check his commlink before returning down below. Without everyone there, the team decides to hold and stick to the plan of heading down in force.

I wouldn’t normally say Runners need to watch more trids, but I think if the team had seen a few Ares Firewatch propaganda trids, they would have just bailed and called in a tip. Instead, they head down the tunnel, which I certainly wish I could have seen. If Duchess wants to run the shadows, she better get used to the dirt. Most of the team ends up slipping on the loose dirt of the steep entrance.

While the rest of the team struggles to get their footing, Eternal continues on ahead, undeterred by his team falling behind. He kept his uncanny ability to remain utterly stealthy, while most of the rest of the team is falling, cursing, and throwing an occasional tantrum over a dress (Duchess is really going to have to learn about run appropriate attire).

As it is, Eternal reaches a chamber up ahead, and notices under at least one of the piles of rubble and dirt in the room is just the slightest movement. As he moves sword ready towards it, two man-sized ants rise out of the rubble and converge on him. Aside from a screaming Duchess, the team keeps its cool and springs into action despite most of them being in the tunnel still (in defense of Duchess: Insect Spirits on her first run, poor girl). Eternal is undeterred by the two converging on him and he and the team make short work of the ants.

While the team tries to take a moment to process what’s going on and how to move forward, they begin to hear the clamberings of a mass of creatures coming from two of the three tunnels leading on. Bringing the bigger hardware proves worthwhile as two grenades (and some tinnitus) later, only one tunnel remains leading into the chamber (and further down into the hive). They leave the third tunnel and set up an ambush as they hear a different kind of shuffling coming closer.

Rounding the corner into view are two horrible mixes of man and ant, hybrid spirits, which the team opens up on. When it’s done: four hybrids are dead, Sledge’s armor has taken some acidic damage, and Viking’s fist is covered in ichor from smashing through one’s head. Hearing silence now, the team heads down further into a bit of a maze of tunnels while Bowjack says he’ll watch their backs from the room with his drones that have curiously not fired a shot yet.

As the team makes their way down, eventually come across the Shaman’s lodge, finding two of the victims in the process of being inhabited. They seem to be writhing in agony in their cocoons against the wall. Walker intuits that they need to disrupt the hive and recognizes that placements of high sugar foods & syrup seems to be marking the boundaries of the lodge. Everyone sets about disrupting the lodge.

The best part of this was Duchess was exploding with excitement to tell me that she summoned a spirit so strong that the whole ground shook throughout the hive. I didn’t really have the heart to tell her that a minor earthquake happened to hit the bay area while they were down there…

Anyway, after freeing two captives, the team starts to make their retreat and head back up. And they ultimately make their escape, although they never tracked down the Shaman responsible for this. Conveniently enough, I know someone in a good position to capitalize on this info.

After that, Duchess paid the team and treated them to a nice dinner. I helped her out with some gifts she wanted to present the team. She gave Walker a wolf pup in thanks for rushing to protect her from the drone the night prior. And for Eternal, a cache of high ex grenades, to replace the ones he left behind in the Shaman’s lodge and through the hive to collapse the tunnels.

At this point, I would be thinking that Aspen is either getting out of touch or was exaggerating his claims that this team was chaotic. Some outliers but otherwise it’s been a professional and competent team. And then I heard what happened next. It seems as though this team is pretty good while they’re on the job, but once they get to their own devices, well, things get a little more extreme.

~Calypso

Blaze of Glory — Behind the Curtain

As the team finished up their dinner at the diner in southern San Francisco. Walker and Duchess were leaving the diner and talking by his car.

Hey. Thank you for this. It was generous. Look… you have my comm code, and you’re always welcome to contact me. I do hope you got what you wanted from this whole… endeavour.” Walker says to the young mage while petting his new wolf pup.
Your welc ….” The words barely left Duchess’s mouth as Bowjack barrels out of the diner with people shouting from it. He jumped into his roadmaster, slams the door and peels out of the parking lot in a haste. The sounds of shouting and screaming came from the inside of the diner. As Walker and Duchess look in with a sideways glance to see a troll bouncer sitting … yes sitting … on Sledge. They were yelling at him to calm down and that the SFPD were on their way. From down the street, the sudden squeal of tires caught their attention and the roadmaster comes to a screeching halt.

Looking down the street, a pair of SFPD cars had arrived and blocked the speeding roadmaster in. Not knowing what was going on or why this vehicle was driving at such a high rate of reckless speed, they decided to block it in. Minutes seemed like hours as they stood there in a stalemate. The elf slams the roadmaster in reverse and whips the car around and bails the other way, just to come to a halting stop as another pair of SFPD cars block him in. Quickly flipping the car around again, he tries to make it down a side street, but that too was blocked by more law enforcement vehicles. Again, they all sit there in another stalemate. The whine of a an SFPD VTOL is heard and the two magicians look to the sky.

Drawn out by the commotion, the bouncers let Sledge off with a warning and step out to see whats going on. Viking finally got his food to go and heads out of the diner, nodding to Walker and Duchess as he passes, and down the street to his Harley. The troll does not want to have any part of what is going on. Walker instinctively grabs a hold of Duchess’s arm and pulls her next to his car. The wolf shaman sensing that this situation was about to get out of control. Just as he gets her to relative safety, the roadmaster starts revving his engine.

Inside the roadmaster, Bowjack looks at the surrounding police cars that are blocking the escape routes. He was trapped in. Looking up and seeing the VTOL hovering above, he closes his eyes and a calm serene feeling came over him. He thought about his drones, his novacoke and his assault rifle that is next to him. The young elf’s thought train goes to the young elven woman that he captured his heart. “What would Felicia think about this …” he said to himself quietly. “Ahh Frag it!!!!” he screamed! He grabbed the bag of novacoke in the console next to him, puts his face in the bag and inhales deeply. The burn of the novacoke hits his system and he looks out at Walker and Duchess standing there. “FRAGGIN WIZZARDS!!” he screams out at Walker as he slams on the gas. The roadmaster hurls in reverse and slams against a pair of cars, but doesnt break through. The stunned officers pull their weapons and the elf slams the gas and it barrels forward towards the other roadblock. This time, the officers were ready for him. The open fire on it.

Once the gunfire starts, Walker moves in to cover Duchess and pins her between the car and his body. Bullets riddled the roadmaster as it slammed into the other pair of vehicles. It hit so hard that the roadmaster recoiled and rolled back, stopping in front of the diner. Walker takes a peak over his car, just in time to see Bowjack do some more novacoke and grab his assault rifle. “drek …” he thought to himself as he moves back to cover Duchess. Bowjack steps out of the roadmaster with his assault rifle and opens fire on the nearby officers. They in turn return fire. From above, the whine of the VTOLs minigun winding up and firing on the roadmaster and the elf. Bullets riddle both Bowjack and the roadmaster.

Then there was silence. The stunned onlookers from the diner coming out from their cover to view the horrifying scene. Duchess and Walker slowly peer up from behind his car. “O..h… God …” Duchess says as she sees the bloody scene. Walker brings the young girl in close and shields her from the view. Viking, hearing the gunfire, moved to Walker’s side and surveys what they witnessed. There, in the middle of the street, destroyed roadmaster and the bullet riddled elven body of Bowjack. The assault rifle he carried falling on the ground next to him. Viking and Walker escort Duchess out of the area as law enforcement approaches and secures the horrific scene.