The Duchess Gets A Mustache …

[Present Day — Baltimore, UCAS — 2075]

So lets get back to the job that I am currently on.  As a recap, we were hired to steal a set of prototype cybereyes from a research facility.  We found a couple of engineers that were working on the project.  The first, we stole the lady’s cat and threatened her into leaving town for awhile.  Hopefully, BetaTest was able to get her some vacation time so she doesn’t lose her job.  I would definitely hate for that to happen.

During the time before the concert, I had to work a few days at the shop working with some foci.  I brought the cat with me so that I can keep an eye on it.  Star Feather gave me a curious look at first, but the cat seemed to like it there.  He would just lay around there, but didn’t seem nervous at all and kinda took over the place within a few hours.  After work, I didnt know if the cat would like it, but I took him to the park and all he did was just lay around and eat the grass.  I am sure that it looked weird to people that I had a cat on a lease, but drek, I have seen people walking pigs around on leashes, so why not a cat?  I stopped and picked up some his favorite food, along with some takeout, on the way home.

But anyways, back to the job.  We decided to go to the concert to see what we can gleam from that guy.  However, BetaTest was able to get more info for us.  Based on that, we planned on stealing a van and the gear from the HVAC contractor and that was going to be our way in.  So on Saturday, we went to the concert.  I tell you what, Electric Hazard turned out a pretty wicked show.  When they started to play Wageslave Ghoul, the crowd lost their fraggin minds!  I spotted our mark and met up with him on his way to the bar.  I tried smoozing him with a little flirting, but he didn’t seem to take the bait.  Times like this remind me just how young I look.  Kind of a bummer really, but Soren was able to get some information from him when he went out to smoke.  We didn’t learn all that much more from the mark, so we decided to proceed with the current plan. I stayed for the rest of the show and closed out the club. Sadly though, I wasn’t able to get to the afterparty.

The work order that BetaTest got has us posing as HVAC repairmen, complete with mustaches … which I didn’t totally understand how that would be included in a work order, but I went along with it anyways.  I didn’t sense any deception or anything and he hasn’t led us astray at all.  The work order was scheduled for midnight on Sunday, so we decided to break into the place around 9.  We needed to grab the necessary gear and steal one of the vans, but we needed to do that and get to the facility before it could be reported as stolen.  BetaTest easily enough made sure Kira, Freecoil and I could get into the place.  We grabbed some jumpsuits, air filtration masks and a box of air filters.  Kira grabbed a set of keys from a locked desk and headed out to get the van. Now that we have our way in, we needed to get to the facility and get in.

We pulled into the maintenance entrance and headed in.  At first the security guard was a little suspicious, and sleepy, of us but I quickly threw together a cover story about there being an office party for Steve’s birthday.  He called for an escort to stay with us through our work.  We already expected this, so we waited.  When he got there, we went into one of the HVAC rooms.  I convinced the guard to wait outside due to possible hazard debris.  There was not a way to get into the basement from here so BetaTest jacked into the system and caused some alarms to go off.   The guard knocked on the door and was a little curious due to the timing of the alarm and us going into the room.  I dont think he accepted my story, since he called in for some assistance.

When the other guard got there, we decided to take a little more drastic action.  The mention of using a grenade in the HVAC system made me think back to my time with Havoc Squad and Uncle Eternal’s love of high ex grenades.  I shook the thought from my head as we decided to drop a smoke grenade down.  It made a little bit more noise than I expected so I told the guard that he was distracting us and that if a tool fell down there, it could ruin the HVAC system.  A few seconds later, smoke started billowing out of the vents.  We said we needed to get to the basement to find out what is causing the issues there.  When a general alarm was raised, due to the smoke, the guard called it off momentarily.

As we were escorted down to the basement, we came to another security checkpoint.  Again, we knew this was here and expected it.  I got the sense that they were doing some scans and was relieved to remember that I did not have any weapons on me.  However, as one of the three guards moves in to detain Kira, I realized that the others on the team did smuggle weapons in.  The jig was up and our cover was blown at this point.  There was one guard in the area with us, another at the entrance and a third in a side area behind glass. Raccoon help us, I whispered to myself, as I got a spell readied.

The Duchess Gets Down and Dirty …

[San Francisco — 2074]

So in continuation with what I was saying previously. Calypso set me up with meeting the teams’s decker, Tatters, to get the data off of the other teams commlinks.  I think I may have caught him off guard a bit, but he was able to get some data off of them.  There was just some procedural info, but nothing really on the Johnson.  Later that day, I had the team meet up with me at the club to plan out the warehouse raid.  It was within walking distance, so we walked to it.  I felt like I was in one of those old western trids from the 5th age that Frank always talks about.  I must admit that I got a little rush out of it.

When we got to the area around the warehouse, we scouted the buildings and posted up on a rooftop.  Eternal scouted ahead and posted up just outside the warehouse, Bowjack used his flyspy drone to scout inside the warehouse and Walker scouted it out Astrally.  It appeared that the warehouse itself was empty, but they found a passageway that led down into a network of tunnels underneath.  It was warded so there has to be a spellcaster involved.  Eternal left to get some bigger gear and while we waited, the dwarf was caught on the flyspy coming up from deeper in the tunnels.  It appears that there is very little, if any, Matrix signal down there.

When Eternal arrived with his gear, there was a new person there.  They called in assistance from another teammate of theirs.  A troll that goes by Viking.  I made him an offer for him to join in on the run and it was accepted.  I still have a little in the remainder for what I wanted to do still.  You see, Walker risked his life for me the previous night with the drone an I wanted to repay him.  I had Calypso get me a wolf pup for him.  Hopefully she was able to get one on such short notice.

But anyways, now that the team is together, we proceeded into the warehouse and down the tunnel.  It was dark and dusty down there, but we cautiously moved down there.  I slipped a little on the way down and my outfit got even dirtier.  To make matters worse, another behind me slipped and kicked a bunch of dirt and mud in my fraggin’ HAIR.  What the frag, this will take FOREVER to get out.  Apparently speaking out my disgust was a bad thing since Eternal looked at me with that look that Frank gives me when he was disappointed in me.

We moved further down the tunnels and came upon a room.  Eternal started poking around at some mounds and some giant ass ants came up to attack.  So not only is my outfit dirty, I have dirt and mud in my hair, but now I have do deal with some damn bugs!  However, before I knew it, Eternal had the bugs slain.  For some reason, the troll Viking swept me up along with Bowjack and carried us into there.  Now this is starting to piss me off.  I scratched and hit him, but he just simply carried me in and put me down.  But there was more serious issues now.  There were a couple of tunnels leading from here and there were clanking noises, and alot of them, headed this way.  Eternal used some grenades to close down all the tunnels but one to limit their access to us.

Then came in the grotesque bugs that look more humanoid than the ants previously.  To prepare for the onslaught, I summoned a spirit in the form of Raccoon for assistance.  When I noticed that they were wearing armor, so I cast a spell that would affect them.  Unfortunately, the next wave wasn’t really affected by it.  Good thing that Sledge, Raccoon and Viking were there to hold them off.  I also seem to recall a pretty well placed lightning bolt from Walker as well.  After the waves were done, we moved further down the tunnel.  I had to remind the team that their job was to find out what happened to the kidnapped victims AND stop the threat.

It took some hiking around in the tunnels, thankfully Eternal marked the way down, we came across a large cavern.  There were a couple of people strung up that look to be in pain.  Walker pointed out that this is a lodge and that we needed to disrupt it.  The others started moving rocks and stuff around and I summoned an earth spirit to assist us.  Once the boulder materialized and started moving around, the whole place started shaking. When it stopped a few moments later, Walker confirmed that the Insect Shaman’s lodge was destroyed.  Eternal and Viking freed the captives and luckily they were still alive!

There were way too many tunnels to further explore and chances are the shaman has already escaped.  As we prepared to leave, I asked Eternal to use the remainder of his explosives to bring down the cavern and the tunnels.  I told him that I would reimburse him for the grenades and he happily obliged. So as we escaped back through the tunnels, he planted explosives with the help of Sledge and his construction knowledge.  Apparently, Bowjack had already left and met up outside the tunnels.  I wonder if the bit of shaking that we experienced frightened him.

So with the job done, I took the team out to dinner and paid them.  I was happy to hear that Calypso was able to get the puppy.  I also had her grab me some high ex grenades to give to Eternal and she would have them when I get the puppy.  I picked them up and met them at a diner in San Francisco proper, paid them, gave Walker and Eternal their gifts and provided dinner.  For some reason, Bowjack starts spouting off about the puppy and novacoke.  Walker and I left, along with Eternal, and apparently there was some commotion back at the diner with Bowjack and Sledge.  What happened next still haunts me ….

I must admit that for my first excursion into the shadows, this was a pretty good team, with a few exceptions of course.  I spent a few days more in San Francisco with Calypso and then caught a flight back to Baltimore.