[San Francisco, CFS — 2074]
I got word from Calypso that she had a line on a job, so I hopped a flight to San Francisco. Just before landing, we had a meet with the Johnson through the Matrix. He was a bookish researcher for Stanford University that was investigating condors or something. He was thinking that TerraFirst! was attacking and burning down nearby stations, farms and campsites and wanted them stopped before they endangered his research stations. He was providing transportation as part of the deal, but would let me keep one of the Jeeps … yet anyways. After the deal was made, I had Walker set up a rendezvous at the old church and headed out. There were a few … changes to Havoc Squad since I last ran with them. There is another girl there that was the same age as me with cat ears and skates, but the biggest change was that Eternal had quills! Apparently SURGE has hit him and now he looks like an overgrown porcupine with a ballistic mask and sword. I couldn’t help but to poke him, but the bad thing is that he poked back and dammit those quills hurt.
We piled into the pair of Jeeps and started making our way out of the city. Along the way, we had a run in with some bike gangers, but we were able to easily persuade them to stop pursuing us with an ice sheet and some fireballs from Walker. After we left them in a pile of wrecked bikes, we proceed on to the area where the attacks were taking place.
We past by a little farm that looked like it was run by Wuxing and there were some armed gaurds patrolling. I pulled over to see how things were going and if there was anything that we should be worried about ahead. The gaurd was talking about how everything was closed due to some eco nutjobs. I directed us back to the freeway, but we continued on. When we arrived at the first campground, there were plenty of notices in AR that said the campground was closed, but we decided to investigate. It looked like a whirlwind blew through the campground. Tents and debris were strung all over and some of the buildings were demolished. Ace and Sledge were attacked by some snake. Not sure why there was so much commotion, it was just a fraggin snake, not like it was bugs or anything. Assensing the campground left me feeling uneasy about it. The mana in this area seemed … off … seemed corrupted in some way. I convinced the team to leave the campground and spend the night just outside of this place. I asked a raccoon spirit to watch over us while we slept in the Jeeps.
The next morning we picked up the trail that lead to the remains of a Ranger station. There was a spirit of man there, but it was unlike any spirit of man that I have seen. It was all twisted and covered in oozing sores. Eternal used his sword to dispatch it with ease before it could attack us, and before I could really get a look at it. There was definately something corrupted about it.
We investigated further, going offroad with the Jeeps and alot of hiking, but ended up at another destroyed logging camp. There were animals here, but they were also corrupted and toxic. It was sad to see these beasts in this state. We easily dispatched these spirits as well. For some god awful reason, Ace wanted the paw of the cougar. We found a survivor of the attack and got some details on it. The attackers were using explosives and seem to attack with a speed that caught the guards sitting on thier asses. They easily mowed over them and the guards fled.
The next day, and some more research and scouting, we narrowed down where the attackers were encamped. I decided to zip there Astrally first so that I could confirm that it was the location we were looking for. I ran into a corrupted spirit there as well, so it was the place. I retreated back to my body and worked to get a plan of attack going. I asked for help from a pair of raccoon spirits and they assisted us. Ace, who apparently IS some sort of mage, tried to summon a spirit as well. From the start, I could tell that his gestures were all wrong. One thing about spirits, if you dont respect them, they will refuse to help you and it can be painful, even deadly. With the furry little trash pandas as support, we snuck into the encampment and engaged them.
The spirits were less effective than I was hoping. I pained me to see one of them get tore up by one of the corrupted wolf spirits and … how could this happen … The enemy mage corrupted my other raccoon. Ace ran and hid his bitch ass behind a rock and the others engaged the mage and toxic spirit. I was distracted by the events with my poor raccoon spirit that I did not see the attack coming. The spirit tore into me and I went down. The last thing I remember was the distorted black mask of the raccoon spirit and a splash of my blood.
I woke up in Walkers embrace some time later. He healed my wounds and kept me safe while the rest of the team finished off the enemy threat. We eliminated the threat and got alot of the research notes that the toxic mage had. Sledge and Ace found a stash of commercial explosives and loaded them up in the Jeep (not mine). When we contacted the Johnson, we were able to secure more money for these notes AND get one of the Jeeps for me! Such a nice guy he was. With the job complete and pay secured, we headed back to the city. Sledge and Eternal were in the Jeep with the explosives and Walker, Acorn, Ace and I were in my Jeep. Just after we entered the city, I spotted an SFPD cruiser behind us. We took the offramp, while the other Jeep kept going. The police car followed me off of the freeway and pulled me over. I quickly switched from my fake SIN to my real SIN. Apparently, they wanted Ace and Walker for questioning or something. They took them into custody and let Acorn and I go. We held hands as we walked back to the Jeep and left, making sure that the Jeep’s pilot system was controlling and not me. Walker shot us a message to let us know that everything was fine, but I am not having it. Need to come up with a plan, but first, I need to get out of these clothes and cleaned up.
I mentioned to Acorn that Calypso and I were headed to a rave in an old warehouse and asked if she wanted to join. She was down, but also needed to change first. I got a hold of the elusive Tatters to help with cleaning the Jeep and making it mine. One of these days, the two of us will be on a run together, but for some reason, he never wants to go on runs that I am involved in. Not sure how I feel about that yet, but he seems pretty solid and Walker trusts him, so I am good with that. After I got cleaned up, I got a cab, picked up Acorn and headed to the party. I pulled Calypso aside before hand and discussed what was going on with Walker. Between her and Tatters, we should have enough to bail (or rescue) Walker from the SFPD. I will work with them, and the rest of Havoc, once we know more, but for now, I need to drown myself in reggae music and the smell of pineapple rum.
P.S. I wonder how I can steampunk out the Jeep ……