Cast of Characters
Coming off the showdown with the doctor and the subjects of Project Titan, the team took a few days to recover from their injuries – physical and interpersonal – before dealing with the art dealer. Tatters does light matrix work to track down the gallery in question and switch in an appointment to meet him.
Walker presses the team’s case with the dwarf owner. Art dealer opens with a hostile attitude, purposefully insulting the team with his initial offer. After considerable back and forth, Walker is able to reach a token agreement where the painting is returned, the matter closed, and a small payment for the team.
Calypso opts to give the team considerable time off as their pace has been rough with jobs and the intertwining matters with the doctor. After a shorter than intended period, she gets a line on a fairly urgent job. University researching needing a job out in the woods to deal with some trouble. Havoc squad is, unfortunately, the only available team available, but she reasons they should be rested enough, pending the details, to take a little road trip.
Dialing the Johnson on her commlink, a squirrelly, unkempt human with glasses appears on video. As he makes a halfhearted attempt to straighten himself out, he breaks into a hurried talk, “Hi. Uh, hello. You must be the – what was the term – oh uhh – Mr – erm – Mrs – Ms? – Johnson then. I would like to hire a squad of shadowrunners… Fixer! I believe I’m the Johnson. Yes, right, or wait no, am I the face? Let me check some-”
Her avatar interjected with a playful smirk (while she actually rolled her eyes and took a slow breath), “Dear, let’s not get so hung up on formalities. As you know, I’m Calypso, why don’t you take me through the job.” Adding with a purr, “…Mr. Johnson.” Johnsons like this were easy to pry extra details from.
Hearing her voice and accent, the Johnson appears momentarily flustered. With a nod, “So you see, I’m researching…” For the next twenty minutes Calypso listens to a mix of jargon about researching California Condors, explanations about the job, and one sided debates about life in academia. She takes her time to let him go when appropriate and steer the conversation where she can.
She agrees to connect him with the team after some quick follow up research. Stanford has records of research grants that match up and there seems to have been a series of incidents in the area – although details are light.
“Likely a bunch of kids vandalizing whatever they can, pretending to care about mother earth,” she reasons as crafts her message out to the team and to Duchess, who is on the way back to the bay area. She smirks as she imagines Duchess’ reaction to Eternal.
Hope you have all rested up my dears. I have a nice scenic job for you, thought you could use a bit of a working vacation and would enjoy seeing the sights of Big Sur. The Johnson is in the field and would like for to discuss the job over a comm call.
The usual, agreeing team responses trickle in with the exception of Tatters who replies, “Doesn’t look like it’ll need matrix support? If so, going to run down some stuff on my own.” Calypso responds back confirming that there is likely no matrix work.
The team holds a call with the Johnson, managing to talk up their pay and arranging to get the university owned Jeep Trailblazers from outside the club they originally met Duchess at in Oakland. Soon after gathering they set out, with most of the team in the front vehicle driven by Duchess. Sledge and Eternal in the rear vehicle.
They met with one issue on their road trip, a brief encounter with a go-gang on the 101 called the Asphalt Dogs. The go-gang typically looks for vehicles to hassle for a small toll and light robbery, but seeing Duchess driving the first jeep, they get the idea that this will be some easy pickings and rip out full force.
Unfortunately for the gang, the vehicles actually contain shadowrunners who make quick work in disrupting the attack between Eternal’s use of a flashpack, a fireball from Walker on the second wave of gangers, and a well placed ice sheet from Duchess causing all but the gang leader to wipe out on the highway. Acorn chewed some gum and focused on bothering Walker. Rott, the go-gang leader, is enraged by his gang’s performance but sees no option but to race away from the runners.
The rest of the trip passes without note and the team enters the area of the job. Duchess exchanges a bit of conversation with a guard in a group fortifying an unattacked, active farm in the area who advises them that everything is closed here due to some “eco-nuts” causing problems, but he lacks much more detail on anything, so they continue down the road.
After some debate, the team agrees to check one of the more recently attacked sites, choosing a public campground. Although AR messages inform the team that they campground is closed, the gate is unlocked and the team is treated to a scene of some chaos. Tents and such are strewn about and a small facilities building for restrooms and showers is partially demolished and heavily vandalized. Ace makes his way through the remains of the building but stops, seeing the next room partially flooded.
Sledge comes into inspect using his professional experience and is attacked by some oversized flatworms (later identified by Ace’s contact as Bipalium Viperidae, commonly called Flatworm Viper due to its single fang it uses to attack). Posing little threat to the orc, Ace and Sledge quickly dispose of them. Checking through the rest of the site, the team finds a breach in the security fence around the campground to the northwest, seemingly caused by some explosives on the fence. The camp otherwise looks to have been hit fast, with signs that some had potentially fled although there are spots that make it seem some were not so lucky.
With dusk coming, the team decides to sleep in/near their jeeps a bit down the road from the campground thanks to a particularly nasty feel to the mana in the campground itself.