Category Archives: Session Posts

These are the down n dirty runs that that the team takes part in. Most of the time they are from the POV of their fixer, Aspen, but they will also be from the POV of other individuals.

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.

Session 24 — Lets Play Cops! (part 1) …

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”, we follow the San Francisco Police Department’s Task Force that is assigned to the brutal serial killer that is terrorizing the citizens of the Bay Area. Dubbed “The Crossword Killer”, the task force sets out under the leadership of Capt Frank Rivers. There are already 4 victims of that have been found bruised, beaten and strapped naked to area telephone poles. Each one with a strange, hand-carved symbol and words carved into their backs. The words were carved in the fashion of a crossword puzzle, one building on the other.

The task force was assembled in the conference room that is serving as the war room. An AR display shows the 4 victims and details on their cases. The team reviewed the various details and started to formulate theories on patterns. A quick search of the strange symbol revealed that it is an ancient Japanese symbol of POWER, but was not related to any gangs or organized crime syndicates. There also did not seem to be any theme or pattern determined with the words that were carved into each victim. The the 4th victim, which happened earlier that morning, Detective Combs, Johnson and Smith go to the crime scene while Kravec and Shepard head to the spouse of the first victim. The first victim was the only one that had a spouse.

During the investigation at the crime scene, Detective Johnson received permission to access the nearby traffic cameras and found when the body was dropped. All but one of the cameras only show the body rising out of nowhere and floating up to be strapped to the pole. The one camera was able to pierce the spell and shows the blurry image of a blue sedan. Detective Combs used his ability to see the history of items to see that the body was already dead when it was bound up. Then being put into a truck and floating to the pole. Peeking into the Astral realm, he was able to determine the Astral signature of the spellcaster. So based on this information, it was determined that the killer is Awakened and had multiple spells active.

The team met back up at the war room and more investigation into the previous victims were done. They noted on the board the time of death and the time they were strung up, based on camera feeds in each of the areas, and found that Victim 3 was killed and kept for a week before being strung up. This was far different than the other victims. Furthermore, they did some investigation of the victims vehicles and their last known locations. All were able to be determined with the exception of the first and last victims vehicles. They then decided to get a search warrant and investigate the residence of the last victim.

When they got to the one story ranch style house, they started to look around when Detective Johnson received an alert on his cyberdeck that he was under attack through the Matrix. He hopped in VR and easily handled the threat. Agent Smith’s bumblebee drone surveyed the outside of the house and using a variety of sensors, was able to find what looked like a cat on the counter. They team entered, per the terms of the search warrant, and found a dead cat on the counter. The drones went on high overwatch, but was not able to find anything suspicious. Further search of the house determined that the victim was last active there in the last 16ish hours and his GMC Phoenix was found in the garage. Detective Smith and the forensics team went into gather mode and the rest of the team called it a night. However, early the next morning they received a call that there was another victim found.

So after the first day of investigations, the detectives were able to make some headway in determining who the killer is. Now with another body and increasing terror in the city, will they find the killer in time to stop anymore murders? Stay tuned for the next episode of “Lets Play Cops!” to find out.

Session 23 — Escaping the Heart of Darkness …

Cast of Characters

  • Eternal
  • Walker
  • Acorn
  • Ace
  • Duchess
  • Sledge

After a second night’s rest in the woods, the team wakes up with confidence of the general area that the TerraFirst! group is likely making camp based on the pattern of attacks and the tracks Walker has been able to find at each site. As they debate their approach, Duchess decides to try something and throws a mana barrier around her before going into the astral.

Able to cover distance at the speed of thought, and well familiar with the corrupted mana at each of the attack sites, she’s quickly able to spot a few spots of corrupted mana, one that seems to line up with the Johnson’s research station and one closer to the team’s current location. The closer one is also the strongest background count seen yet, as she moves into investigate further, she spots a powerful toxic spirit coming towards and immediately races to her body in the mana barrier.

At the TerraFirst! camp, Melvin Cohen, a former PhD candidate at Berkeley, is alerted by his toxic abomination spirit of the intrusion. And he begins rousing the camp, yelling, “Interlopers come! They wish to stop our great transformation but nothing can stop our work! We will create a Terra that can be free of the poisonous megacorporations and treacherous governments.”

He orders all eight of his cell to lay an ambush on the direct approach from where the spirit saw Duchess retreat and then heads back into his tent to continue planning subsequent attacks while two spirits look over him and the camp.

Duchess readies two spirits, and Ace gets a serious headache failing to summon a spirit, and the team heads in the direction of the suspected camp. As they get close, the woods get very quiet and a couple of the runners hear some faint rustling ahead. Duchess orders one of the raccoon spirits to conceal the party, and without realizing it the team slips right by the ambush.

The team comes up on the campsite and as Eternal takes up a sniper position, Duchess’ manifested raccoon spirit suddenly begins screaming and thrashing next to her, as it is ambushed in the astral by one of the two abomination spirits in the form of a grotesque mockery of a wolf. The other manifests ahead of the team.

The raccoon spirits engage the astral abomination, and the team unleashes a volley of manabolts and the ineffectual swings of a sledgehammer on the manifested toxic spirit. The toxic shaman comes screaming out of his tent as the commotion, calling for his cell to come back while taking up a place in cover.

As Eternal plugs away with his rifle trying to take out the mage, the team continues to fight the spirits, with Duchess’ first raccoon spirit ultimately falling under the savaging. Duchess also feels the other raccoon spirit, still Astral, be ripped away from her as a horrible corrupting feeling comes across her mental link with the spirit. Soon after the other wolf abomination manifests, accompanied by a mutated and distended raccoon spirit, now corrupted by the toxic shaman.

Eternal is able to land a kill shot on the toxic shaman after flushing him out with a flashbang and then turn and blow a huge chunk out of the first wolf abomination mauling Sledge. Despite Walker’s rush to help, Duchess falls from the spirits attacking her but the team is able to ultimately put down the remaining spirits.

The team quickly moves into secure the camp, doing a quick search, before hearing signs that the rest of the cell is returning. The team quickly sets up an ambush position, and with a combination of a high ex courtesy of Eternal and a physical barrier to ricochet the blast around, a third of the returning group is wiped out instantly. Half of the remaining break and run, the other dropping prone, and those that remain are quickly taken out by the runners.

Between notes found at the site and a call with the Johnson, the team ultimately is able to put together that the researcher was doing work for Wuxing to test how various pollutants affect the mana of a natural area. Melvin was in the area planning some environmental protests against the logging operations but the increased toxicity in the astral opened the door for a toxic spirit to reach out to the frustrated environmentalist and corrupt him to a toxic path, which he was ultimately able to convince his group to fall in line with as they saw “results”.

Pay secured, along with the bonus of a jeep thanks to the team grilling the Johnson on what really went down, the team made their way back to the city. However shortly after crossing over the city line, the first vehicle with Duchess, Ace, Walker, and Acorn is pulled over. Eternal and Sledge drive on without incident.

The SFPD takes Walker and Ace in, although not under arrest, to speak with a Lt. Trish Rueben and allows Acorn and Duchess to go on their way.

~Calypso

Session 22 — Deep Within the Heart of Darkness …

Cast of Characters

  • Eternal
  • Walker
  • Acorn
  • Ace
  • Duchess

The team gets a peaceful rest under the overwatch of Duchess’ raccoon spirit who parts ways at sunrise. The team opts to head back to the campground and pick up the trail again. Under Walker’s lead they follow the trail leading to the burnt remains of a CFS Ranger station.

While checking the area and remains of the building, a twisted and corrupted Spirit of Man arises from the building remains. The spirit, covered in boils and oozing sores, appears humanoid but the limbs are unnatural proportions and twisted in a grotesque mockery of metahumanity.

Eternal is undeterred and immediately draws his monoblade, charges in, and in short order the team quickly dispatches the stray spirit.

Afterwards, Walker again picks up a bit of the trail to get a relative direction of where the attack came from. From here, the team decides to check the most recent known attack, and make their way up to a hiker’s aid station in the northeast of the area.

Taking the jeeps as far as they can off-road, the team then heads on foot, with Sledge to look after the jeeps. On the way, Walker takes a call from the Johnson. The Johnson is interested to hear their progress and continues to prod into what the team has encountered and found so far. He also, several times, reinforces that there’s no need to worry about his research stations. Suspicious from the call, the team sends off a message to Tatters to see if he can do some investigation into the Johnson (based on the information that he’s a researcher at Stanford).

The team reaches the aid station, and finds similar graffiti and damage to the area. There is some anti-Wuxing graffiti and Eternal notices that the map of the area posted for hikers has marks made at each of the locations that have been attacked. Two marks also appear at the known locations of the research stations in the north.

Once again, Walker follows the trail, this time a long distance until they get to the main road. Losing track of where the trail is picked up on the other side of the road, the team heads to regroup with the jeeps. On the way back to the jeeps, Raccoon and a few team members end up snickering at Duchess, who has strangely had a portion of the back of her dress turn brown.

Upon reaching the jeeps, Tatters has turned up some information that the Johnson is indeed a researcher at Stanford with a large grant from Wuxing, and his CV predominantly shows research into how environmental factors can affect mana & the astral.

Heading back to the road, Walker makes another attempt at finding the trail, and finally picks up where they re-entered the woods. They follow the trail a short bit to get an idea of direction again.

Before it gets dark, Eternal opts to climb a tree and see if he can spot any signs of recent activity, and does see some faint plumes of smoke to the southwest, likely near the logging camps. The team again takes the jeeps as far as they safely can, before moving the rest of the way on foot.

Eternal scouts ahead of the group, moving quietly through the forest. The first camp is quiet, although destroyed. Several large drones are busted, chemicals leaking out, some drums of chemicals damaged and leaking. Seeing no movement, he moves to get a view of the second recent attack and spots a mutated or diseased mountain lion gorging on a corpse. As the team starts to catch up, he fires a shot from his sniper rifle, causing the big cat’s head to explode instantly. At Ace’s request, Eternal provides him with the paw from the beast.

The team finds and helps a survivor who relates some of the attack and the team once again gets an idea of the angle of attack and retreat the TerraFirst! group used. Given the time, everyone retreats to the jeeps and settles down to rest for the night.

~Calypso

Session 21 — Enter the Heart of Darkness …

Cast of Characters

  • Eternal
  • Walker
  • Sledge
  • Acorn
  • Ace
  • Duchess

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.

~Calypso

Session 20 — Wrath of the Titans …

Cast of Characters

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

So the team was enroute to meet with the so-called “Puppet Master” at an abandoned warehouse in Oakland. They all meet, with the exception of Ace who was planning on an exit from the region, at a rendezvous point nearby and pile into the Bulldog. Eternal, with the help of an invisibility spell, moves along with the Bulldog, but on foot. Tatters caught glimpse of a fast moving vehicle that was on a collision course with them. He quickly tried to dodge, but the speeding Roadmaster clipped the rear of the Bulldog and sends it tumbling and flipping. The Roadmaster hits a lightpole, but is relatively unscathed, and pulls out to a stop. Out steps 2 huge giants and a large Ogre, all dressed in full-body armor and fully armed. As the rest of the dazed team straggles out of the ruined Bulldog, Eternal engages one of the giants with the Thunderstruck. However, the shot went wide and the giant drew a monoblade and moved to square off with him.

With the team now out of the bulldog and trading shots with the titans, things did not look to well for the team as their shots seem to be bouncing off of their armor. Tatters makes a quick check with the inbound Shakespeare strike team and they are seconds out. Eternal lands a blow on the giant with his monoblade and it tears into his ballistic mask. Caught off-guard by the giant’s familiar eye, he left himself open for a return strike. The giant buries his monoblade deep within Eternal’s gut and pierced through his back. The rage of Berserker, the revelations of the Titan project, the K-10 flooding his bloodstream and now laying in a slump on the ground, Eternal feels a burning sensation inside him. Berserker screams in rage inside his soul as the burn spreads across his skin. Eternal’s body begins to glow in a piercing bright white light. The burn is excruciating as he feels his skin rip and tear. When the bright light dims, the whole party can see that Eternal has gone through a bit of a change. SURGE has hit Eternal and his body is now covered in hundreds of quills.

As both Sledge and Eternal wail on the one giant, the other two Titans were trading shots with the rest of the party. Then a pair of Ares marked VTOLs show up, flanking the Titans. The warn them that they are engaged with an asset of Ares Macrotechnology and to cease all hostilities. The Titans responded by throwing a nearby wrecked motorcycle at one of them, striking the VTOL in the rotors and bringing it down in a fiery crash. Out of the other Ares Venture, Shakespeare team rappelled down and immediately formed a defensive barrier around Tatters. The Puppet Master attempted to use some mind magic, but it only opened it up to a massive lighting bolt from Walker. However, he was ready for the incoming bolt and attempted to counterspell it. The Puppet Master was not ready for such a powerful spell and eventhough he was able to successfully counter it, the effort took a painful toll on him.

Over the next few moments, the bullets flew, a furious swordfight and the mages took on the Puppet Master. The Titan that took down the VTOL tossed a grenade at the protected Tatters, but before it went off, Mercutio dove on the grenade. Even before Tatters could know what happened, the grenade exploded, instantly killing Mercutio and spraying blood and body parts all over. Back over to the swordfight, the Titan over reached with a thrust and fell prone. Eternal was able to counter and land a telling blow on the huge giant, dropping the Titan once and for all. Sledge immediately followed with a blow from his sledgehammer. That was one Titan down and two more to go.

Then, much to the surprise of everyone, Ace shows up with a car full of runners to assist. However, the runners were a team that the team already had a run in with. They recognized their Bulldog, which the team kept, and started firing on Eternal and Sledge and looking for the young mage Duchess. Unfortunately, Ares has had other ideas and the VTOL opened fire on the car. Ace jumped out of the car as it slammed in reverse and fleed the scene. This left him open as one of the Titan fired on him with the automatic shotgun, puncturing his armor, dropping him and leaving a bloody mess.

Now with the large giant down, Eternal fires on the ogre with the Thunderstruck. The gauss rifle easily penetrated the armor and dropped it. Walker and Acorn finish off the enemy mage. Tatters, escorted by the remaining Shakespeare team, headed to the VTOL to head up to the rooftop where the Puppet Master’s body was. The mind mage was unconcious on the rooftop when Tatters found him. He walked up, put his Ares Predator to his face and ended him in one fell swoop, He then threw his body over the side and down to the street below.

The final Titan hops in the Roadmaster and attempts to flee the violent scene. Eternal, on the other hand, fired on him with the Thunderstruck. The round pierced the windshield, the ogres head, the front seat, a backseat headrest, and through the back of the Roadmaster, finally burying itself in the side of a building. The threat of Project:Titan and the Puppet Master was over. However, Sledge and Eternal were not done. Eternal, still raging from the K-10, emptied the rest of the clip into the bodies of the Titans. Sledge, taking his sledgehammer, walks up to Ace. He called him a traitor as he buried the head deep into Ace’s chest, crushing his ribs and lungs.

Shocked by this sudden turn of events and the potential response by SFPD, Acorn flees the scene. Tatters grabs a medkit and starts to triage the teams wounds. The last two members of the Ares strike team grab the bodies of their fallen and load them up into the VTOL. They also lay claim to the bodies of the Titans and load them up before leaving. As they pass, they exchange words of sorrow and gratitude with Tatters. They gather up the items that the Puppet Master had on him, along with the commlink for Ace and Tatters gets to work. Noticing that Ace was indeed trying to assist the team with hiring the runners, he moved over to his limp body and immediately starts to resuscitate the fallen comrade, saving his life.

The team is bruised, battered and beaten, but still alive. The drain the Puppet Master’s bank account and funnel it into their team account, but also acquire his car and the painting that Black Cat stole. They will need to lick their wounds and tie up the loose end with the art dealer before taking on any more jobs, but how long with Havoc Squad have before they get another opportunity.

~Calypso

Session 19 — Sittin on the Dock of the Bay …

Cast of Characters

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

The team spent the day training up on skills, with Walker and Acorn building a magical lodge. The following day they started to discuss the job at hand that was coming up. They were hired by a Johnson to bring an art thief to him that stole a painting from him. They identified the thief as Walker’s close personal friend, Black Cat. The team decided to have Sledge try to renegotiate the terms of the run with the Johnson, since the Johnson would only speak to him. However, it did not go over well. Their proposal to bring in the guy who hired the thief had failed. They needed to bring the thief in or the Johnson will find someone else.

Eternal and Tatters decided to take the bull by the horns on the Family job, and attempt to recover the Thunderstruck. He taps into WaveRunner and rent a submersible drone that could open the shipping containers. Further, Eternal had some members of the Family on hand to offload any gear that they found. It took all night and a lot of luck, but they are able to locate the right container and recover a waterlogged Thunderstruck. A few hours of cleaning and Eternal was able to get it in good working order.

The next morning, after Sledge was done with his day job at the construction set, the team hatches a plan to find out more about the Puppet Master. The previous research with Tatter’s agent found that the doctor had an office at San Francisco General Hospital in downtown. They load up in the Bulldog, with the exception of Acorn and Eternal, and post up at a nearby parking garage. Ace heads to the hospital on foot, after changing his appearance, while Tatters hacks into the hospital’s host. He sets up the permissions necessary for Ace to access the hospital through the doctors only entrance. He headed down the the hall and located a locker room for the doctors. Intending on getting some scrubs or something to fit in better. Each of the lockers were keyed to the RFID tags of their respective owners. Tatters tries to assist and pop a lock, but fails. He tells Ace that he is on his own and reboots his deck.

Ace, between the blueprint that was provided and the hospital directory, located the office on the 14th floor. He makes his way up there, but stops on the 13th floor to plug in a direct connect for Tatters to be able to access the system easier. He ducks into a janitor’s closet to hide from a hospital security patrol and heads to the office directly below Doctor Dordan, which happens to be rhinoplasty clinic. He pops open the door and heads to the terminal on the other end of the office. Tatters directs him to where to put in the data tap, but before he can put it in, hospital security comes back around and notices the door is open. Ace was faced with a decision to either plug in the device and get caught or dive for cover. He dove under the desk as security steps in through the door. They turn on the lights and call for backup. Ace stepped out from under the desk and stated that the dropped something. Suspicious of this doctor that is in an office after hours, they scanned his SIN. It seems that Lady Luck did not smile on Ace this time and the check returned that the SIN was fake. Not seeing any other way out, Ace throws a manabolt at one of the officers and injures them. Just as the firefight was about to breakout, Dr Dordan shows up.

He defused the situation and used his mind magic to convince the guards that there is an incident in the emergency room that needs their attention and that it turned violent. Once the guards leave, he walks into the room and closes the door. It was just the Puppet Master and Ace now. He names off the entire team, except for Acorn, and offered to finish this game they are playing and gives them a location in Oakland to be at in 30 mins. He then turns and walks away. The rest of the team is now left hanging and prepare for a fight. There is just one word that hangs on the mind of both Tatters and Eternal … “Titan”. Tatters calls up a friend and asks for help. “Shakespeare is en-route” was all he was told. Eternal stops by his storage unit to pick up his gear, and his newly recovered Thunderstruck, and heads to the meet. Sledge, Viking and Walker do the same, while Ace and Acorn approach this more cautiously. Acorn offers to be nearby and will lend assistance if an opportunity presents itself. Ace, on the other hand, starts looking for an exit strategy and leaving the region.

And so the team prepares for what just might be the fight of they’re lives …

~Calypso

Session 18 — The Master of Puppets …

Cast of Characters

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

Master of puppets I’m pulling your strings
Twisting your mind and smashing your dreams

-Metallica (a 5th world rock band)

After Walker went home and played with the wolf pup that was given to him by Duchess, he waited for Black Cat to come home. She came in around 9 or so with takeout for dinner. As she got the take-out ready, apparently orange chicken from the takeout place was very good, Walker confronted her about her extracurricular activities. When asked about the art job, she willingly admitted that she did it. When further questioned on it, she said that she used Tatters to do some Matrix overwatch for her. She had a trideo of her meeting with the teams decker. She ran into him just after meeting with the Johnson. He gave her an RFID tag that she would use to get into the art studio. He also would arrange a window in time where he will loop the cameras to allow her some time to grab the painting. She sent over the video of her and the Johnson and of her and Tatters. They decided that she would leave town until this blows over, but she will not tell anyone where she was going. However, they were going to finish their meal first and is was indeed some very good orange chicken.

After dinner and Black Cat’s departure, Walker contacted Tatters to discuss the new information. After watching the trideo, Tatters looked and Walker and stated what the mage already knew … It was not Tatters on that tape. There were a few nuances that occurred that tipped him off to it. Walker confirmed his statement and decided to bring in Eternal. They explained that the team was being set up by someone, but for what reason. Either way, the three of them had to keep the rest of the team off of the trail on this until they figured it out. Tatters sent his an agent to scour the Matrix for everything it can find regarding the person in the trideo. The team still had the job to destroy the evidence for the Simsense stalker. They trio gets the rest of the team together and meet around the prosecutor’s office.

They got a plan together and, with Tatter’s and Ace in the same car, they started to put it in play. However, Ace suddenly got the urge to get some coffee from down the street. Tatters decided to look around at random stuff on the internet as well, instead of his standard host hacking activities. Eternal, weary of being near a courthouse in downtown San Francisco, decided to wait things out in a bar. Walker, Viking and Acorn were alone and nearby. Sledge was in his truck and eventually fell asleep. On the way to the coffee shop, Ace notices Acorn at a park bench and finally decided to ask about the cat ears. They have a short conversation and he offers to get her some coffee as well.

Meanwhile, Tatters receives a notification that his Agent has some search results and is continuing to work. Tatters brushes the Agent aside and continues to look at random internet stuff, not even thinking about the job or the host. Ace continued onto the coffee shop, but then spotted a street side game of 3 card monte and the compulsive gambler could just not resist. Through the PiTac that was set up, they all watched as he lost the first two rounds, and a total of 3,000 nuyen … However, the third round, he was tempted with an another offer. He can choose twice, but the bet is 10k. He agreed, this time Viking assisted him on the first selection, but lost track of the ball. Ace guessed incorrectly. On the second choice, he calls on Lady Luck for assistance and guessed … correctly. He won the 10k and received the electronic transfer. He then finally made it to the coffee shop and picked up the drinks. He brought Acorn’s drink to her and went to the car with Tatters. As he came up to the car, a wave washed over them, the sense of urgency over the job at hand returned.

Concerned about his recent activity, Tatters requested Walker to investigate. The mage projected himself into the Astral plan and sped over to their location. He found the cause of Tatter’s concern. Before him was another mage perceiving. The other mage projected into the Astral as well. The Astral signature for this unknown mage was familiar to Walker, he remember seeing it in the parking garage where they met their Johnson for the baseball job. The unknown mage calls Walker by name and started to monologue. He talks about how impressed he was with their team during the “fat bastard” job, referring to a previous job. He goes on about how he was involved with the baseball player job and how disappointed he was when they mettled in his Bunraku Parlor activities. Because of this, he set up Black Cat to take the fall on stealing a painting he wanted. A painting named “The Seven Deadly Sins.” He then mentions that he knew that Black Cat was headed for a train to leave the area … and before Walker could act, the unknown mage drops out of Astral space and then suddenly masked his aura. He effectively disappears from the mage. In meatspace, he could be anywhere. Walker returns to his body and informs the team.

Tatters decided to continue with the job. They two join together in the bulldog so that Walker can do Astral overwatch while the decker goes in hot sim VR. Tatters doesn’t hack the host on the first try and reboots. The second time, he does succeed in hacking the host and gains entry. He finds the file with the case load and is able to get a mark on it to noticed the encryption and the databomb that was in place. He moved to disarm the databomb, something he has dozen quite a few times now. However, this time he wasn’t able to disarm it and it goes off. The PiTac’s biomonitor started sending alerts regarding Tatter’s condition. Walker drops out of Astral and finds Tatter’s body shaking and bleeding out of his nose and eyes. Sparks and smoke was coming out of his cyberdeck. Tatters dropped out of VR and back into reality. He wasn’t dead, but he was severely injured. He let the team know that he was done with the job for now, headed to the back of the van, fired up the the medkit and started repairing the damaged cyberdeck.

Ace decided that now would be a good time to go into the office to scout it out. Just as he enters the office, the PiTac and PAN go down as Tatters turned off the deck for repairs. The secretary asked if she could help and Ace concocts a story that he had a package for the prosecutor. He was asked to leave it on the desk and sign it in. Ace decided that a spell would work best, but it failed to take hold. The secretary notices that he has no package and immediately demands to know whats going on. Ace flees the office while she screams out. He shoulder checks a pair of clerks on the way out the door and threw up a barrier to hold them off while he disappears into the crowd. He rounds the corner and ducks into the restroom of a nearby building and uses his magic to change the way he looks. As he leaves, the SFPD shows up at the law office. The team decided it would be best to disperse.

Later that day, Eternal gets a call from Gavino about the explosion and the sinking of the Estella Maersk. The ship was carrying a thunderstruck gauss rifle that was meant to secure the family’s shipping routes. He asked Eternal to gather his team for a job. Gavino was the Johnson and proposed the job to find who was responsible for the sinking of the Estella Maersk and have them delivered to him. The offer was 15k each with no specified deadline. They agreed with no negotiation attempts out of respect.

Tatters received an alert, after the meet, about the Agent that was still running and what it found hit the team at its core. The Johnson that met with Black Cat is a local doctor that is CEO of a non-profit charity, named Dr Alton Dordan. The charity was the beneficiary of the 2 million nuyen donation from the estate of the Johnson for the “fat bastard” run. Further digging into his info by the Agent revealed an online auction account that recently purchased an autographed baseball for 40k nuyen. The doctor was also reported as the surgeon that operated on Harvey Levi, who happened to be the Johnson for the Simsense job they were currently on. Levi had met an unfortunate end and passed away on the operating table yesterday. The Agent had hit on one final file. There was a meeting a few hours ago with an MCT executive. There was one word mentioned that sent a sense of dread through both Tatters and Eternal. The word was “Titan” …

So with the death of the Simsense Johnson, they decided to leave that job. They picked up a new job with the Family to find out who was responsible for the Estella Maersk and they still had the job with finding the thief for the painting. There is 4 days left for that job and even if they take the cred hit, along with the lost nuyen, they were well aware that the Johnson would probably just hire someone else to find her. Walker sent a quick message to make sure she was alright. She responded that she was and had to change her plans at the last minute and headed to a new unknown destination.

~Calypso

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

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