A Stop at the Local Dennys — Behind the Curtain

Duane Sharpman was eating lunch at the Dennys in downtown San Francisco. It was a mild afternoon out and the Dog Shaman decided to stop in for a soyburger and fries. He was sitting there enjoying his meal and skimming through local news and social feeds, when a pair of teenage girls came in. They caught his attention because one was dressed like she was straight out of one of those cosplay conventions and the other one … are those … cat ears? Shaking his head, he went back to eating his meal. “What the frag is wrong with the youth today …” he says to himself. The pair of girls were sitting at a table on the other side of the diner with middle aged man in an armored coat. “Hmph … must be one of their dads …

A few minutes later, just after the waitress brings him more coffee, he got an alert from the Bounty Hunters Network. He glanced at the alert to see the new bounty for him to track down and nearly spit out his coffee. Keeping his composure he reads over the bounty notice. He brushes his blonde hair mullet away from his face and settled the trinkets that adorned his chest. The description matches, right down to the cat ears. “Acorn? … well isn’t that cute …” he says as he reads over the post. Wuxing is paying a huge sum of nuyen for this little girl. He takes a few images with his commlink of the individuals with her and shoots out an email to the rest of his team to meet him at the diner for a pickup. He takes a peek into the Astral and is surprised to see that the other girl is a mage as well, but not as powerful as he is. He continues to eat his lunch and keeping an eye on his mark as he waits for his team to arrive.

Before the team could arrive, the feed on his commlink freezes and a message shows up. “You’re late on this bounty. If you want any tips, I’m sure I could teach you a thing or two.

What the frag?” He says to himself. Looking back over to the other table, the young mage threw a pretty powerful spell on the mark, knocking her unconcious. The man goes to bind her up. “Drek!” he says as he realizes that he is losing a pretty good payday.

HEY! That bitch is my bounty!” He screams at them. Now the entire diner is starting to know whats going on. He pulls out his Ares Predator, but once he gets it clear of the holster, it starts to spark and smoke. “Fraggin deckers …” he mumbles.

Out of nowhere, a table flings into him, knocking him prone. He could only watch as the trio left the diner, but just before they cleared, a large Raccoon beast spirit manifests on the table that is laying on top of him. He is pinned beneath the spirit and table. “Fraggin mages …” he mumbles, just as they leave the diner. He musters up a spell and easily send the spirit back to his plane and tosses the table off him. He rushes to the door and goes to fling it open, but its stuck. A quick peak in Astral reveals why. The bitch mage threw up a barrier to keep him in.

He catches a glimpse of the car as it speeds away and tries to get a few images with his commlink before he does. Before long the barrier drops and his team shows up. Sharpman passes the images he captured over to his decker for analysis. The decker on his team finds that the sensors in the diner have been looped. “Frag, this guys good” he says. “But I am better!” The decker brings up a fairly clear image of the man and young girl. “Just let me run this through my deck and I will find out who these fraggers are.

Excellent” the bounty hunter says to his friend. “That fragger is dead when I get my hands on him … he bricked my Predator …” he says as he lets out a howl.

Session 26 — Lets Play Cops! (part 3) …

Cast of Characters

  • Glynn as Detective Johnson AKA “Hardline”
  • Matt as Detective Shepard
  • Naomi as Detective Smith
  • Kopf as Detective Kravec
  • Josh as Detective Rivera
  • James as Detective Combs

In today’s episode of “Lets Play Cops”, the task force is fresh off a scene on MCT property and headed for a laundromat in Oakland, which was determined to be the scene of the murder. But what will be waiting for the team when they get there?

With a couple of uniformed squad cars parked outside of the laundromat, the task force arrives to start investigating. Both Astral and Matrix are devoid any indication or presence within the building. Drones were sent in and also no reports of anyone around. The team heads in and starts to scour through the abandoned building. Although it once was a laundromat, it is now an illegal gambling den. It appears that someone has ransacked the place and there were scorch marks everywhere. Hardline was able to find a cyberdeck that was buried in the rubble and found some quite useful information. There was a commlink video stored on it that showed the last moments of what had happened here. A woman walked in and started shooting gouts of flame from her fingertips.

Now that they have found the identity of the attacker within the warehouse, they sent out an APB for this person. They found, through facial recognition, that she was 40 year old Melonie Stanton that lived in Los Angeles, PCC. Notification was also sent to PCC as well and the team ends it for the night.

A full day passes without any word and the morning of the next day, they get the call on another body that was found. When they reported to the scene, they also got word on the blue Mercury Comet that was registered to Melonie Stanton. Uniforms currently have her pulled over and awaiting HTR to join. The team was picked up by an SFPD VTOL and flown to the location. As they approached the vehicle, the woman stepped out of the car and taken into custody without incident.

In the interrogation of the suspect, it was found that she had a brother that was killed by shadowrunners. She started interrogating and killing fixers to find out who ordered the hit on her brother and why. She was not able to find any further information. When pressing further, Combs sensed that the Astral presence attempted to cast a spell, which faile. It then separated into two separate entities and tore itself from the suspect, knocking her unconsciuos and barely clinging to life. The almost demonic form seemed to reach out and strike fear into Combs. He screamed in terror and fled the room. Hardline called for threat response with magical support, along with medics.

When the response team arrived, there was only the Astral signature of the entity left in Astral space. The suspect was tended to and will face charges for the serial killings.

So the Crossword Killer was caught! However, was her actions her own or this mysterious Astral entity that seemed to possess her? What havoc could this spirit wreak on the streets of San Francisco, now that its loose? We return now to the regularly scheduled programming, but may return with an all new season of “Lets Play … Something” soon!

Session 25 — Lets Play Cops! (part 2) …

Cast of Characters

  • Glynn as Detective Johnson AKA “Hardline”
  • Matt as Detective Shepard
  • Naomi as Detective Smith
  • Kopf as Detective Kravec
  • Josh as Detective Rivera
  • James as Detective Combs

In today’s episode of “Lets Play Cops”, the task force starts the day off with another body that was found. However, one thing is not like the other in this game and there seems to be another player involved.

Answering the call from Capt Rivers, the team assembles at the site of the most recent victim of the serial killer. However, from the start, something is off about this one. This victim was carved up with the words just as the others were, but the arrangement was off. A new word “PINCH” was also carved into the body and it was missing the weird hand-carved tattoo that the others had as well.

The team goes to investigate the scene and identified the victim as Baylee Rowe, a 28 year old chemist from Los Angeles, PCC. Detective Combs was able to determine that there was an argument that led to the strangulation of this victim. Forensic analysis shows that the killer was much taller than the other victims and the words were carved post mortem. The words on the other victims were carved prior to their deaths.

The team spotted a sketchy individual that was pacing around the perimeter of the scene. Combs sent a couple of uniforms to question the troll, but the shadowrunner had other plans. Hardline was watching his Matrix presence as his weapon systems and wired reflexes came online. He pulled out an Ares Alpha and opened fire on the two uniformed officers, along with innocent bystanders that were in front of him. He then turned the machine gun onto the detectives, Shepard and Kravec, as they were following the uniforms. Shepard is able to dodge out of the way, but Kravec took a full burst and went down.

Panic ensued … The bystanders that were around the scene fled for their lives and the other officers dove behind vehicles and other obstacles. Hardline and Combs fell in line and took cover behind one of the cars. The shadowrunner and the cops exchanged shots, but it was Smith, jumped into her Bumblebee drone that unleashed a full burst on him. It seemed as thought the runner almost opened himself up to the hail of bullets as nearly every round slammed into him. The stick n shock ammo left the assailant unconscious and twitching as the others secured the scene.

After interrogating the shadowrunner, it was found that his name was Caleb Rowe and he was listed as the spouse of the latest victim. However, the team did not believe that he was the Crossword Killer and only a copycat. It seems that he was having an affair with the reporter on the last few scenes and learned of the killer. He wanted to kill his wife and blame it on the serial killer.

The next day, there was another victim found. This time is was found on MCT property. When the team, an some uniform squads, went to the scene, they were met with MCT corporate security response and denied access to the scene. After a warrant was issued to gain access to the scene, MCT allowed the SFPD to investigate the crime, but with MCT investigators as well and limited access to anything else.

The investigation revealed that the victim was actually killed in a laundromat in Oakland that was named Smith and Eastern. Cursory checks show that the location is owned by Richard Smith, Ricky Smith and Smith Rick, which was this latest victim. The team plans on going to investigate the laundromat, now that they are done with this scene. However, Hardline is able to convince one of the MCT investigators to get access to the MCT grid. He hops into VR to try and get some camera footage, which MCT previously denied access to. Unfortunately, the white hat hacker was met with tough host security and he had to abandon the search before he could gain anything … and before the dreaded IC was launched.

So with an increasing bodycount, and now copycats, will the team be able to find the killer before there are more victims? What is the connection with the words that are carved on the bodies? How is the laundromat connected? Stay tuned for the next episode of “Lets Play Cops!” to find out.