Well Bon Homme, the time has come to bid farewell to the members of Havoc Squad. We had a good run of just over two years, but now is the time for it to end. This blog will remain open and archived for reminiscing on our adventures. I would like to thank all of the players that have dedicated their Saturdays to playing, without y’all, this would never have been so much fun.
It’s that time again … Havoc Squad will be on its Holiday Hiatus through the rest of the year. We will return in January for more Louisiana Shadowrun action!
Cast of Characters
- Bathtub Mary
The group is in the basement of Cajun Joe’s Pawn Shop and had just acquired the prototype weapon. While they were there, they decided to grab some other equipment that was available to them. They each grabbed an item and left before NOPD could arrive.
Now the team had the prototype they were hired to get, they needed to find the person that pawned it off. Glitch reviewed the data provided from the financial records that were pulled previously and came up with a short list of possible entries.
The team starts working down the list by contacting the commlinks listed in the pawn entries. They knew that the person that pawned the item was a shadowrunner, so it was likely a fake SIN that was used. They used the stolen commlink for this and after a few tries, they located a potential suspect. The small group loaded into the vehicle and drove to the location. It was a small, single story home in a quiet neighborhood. The van pulled off the the side and started surveying the area.
Walker, the Wolf Shaman, projected himself into the Astral space and entered the building. There were three auras and one of them was fading fast. After a deeper look into the other two auras, the shaman realized they pair were very powerful. Once he was spotted, Walker dropped back into his body as the other pair slipped out of the house.
The four of them discussed the rest of the list and the potential impacts of going against another runner team. In the end, professional courtesy won out and the team decided that they will stop the search for the individual that pawned the item. They met with the Johnson and returned the prototype. When asked about the second objective, they stated that they could not find the person. The Johnson seemed good with the answer and paid them.
Now with some time off, the team prepares of Christmas and the transplants from the Bay Area continue to plant new roots in the Big Easy.
Cast of Characters
- Bathtub Mary
After leaving the island, the team headed back to Gator’s shack. It was a quiet ride on the airboat back. Both Walker and Acorn were silent, still shaken from the experience with the Mistress. Acorn went back to her studies, while Walker kept a watchful eye over her. Nain and Vigil were absent and off to their own devices. Glitch spent the next few days with his contact, Livewire, and mixing it up in the local clubs. Mary decided to spent some time with Gator and Bessie. She spent an entire day feeding Bessie her meals. Gator had her run a whole chicken fryer out and toss it to Bessie, then turn and run back over the fence. There were a few close calls as Mary struggled to keep her footing, but over all the feeding went well.
A few days later, the team got a message that Gator had a job lined up for them. They were to meet with the Johnson in a room at the House of the Rising Sun. Apparently, the Johnson was pissed about something and needed some retribution. The meet was for that night at 9pm. They showed up to the House and there was an orc synth jazz band playing. The AR displays around the club gave it an ambiance of a smoky jazz club of the 1920s. Glitch led the four of them, Nain, Logan and Vigil were not available for the meet, through the club and into the back. The guards in back knew Glitch and let him through. The group move into the back room where they meet the Johnson. The small plascreet room with a table and a single light were perfect for meetings such as these.
The Johnson was there waiting for them. The team was needed to recover a prototype and to tie up a few loose ends from a previous job. The Johnson had hired another team to acquire some research notes and a prototype, if it was available. The previous team reported that there was no prototype when they completed the job … however, the Johnson’s employer received word that the previous team had sold the prototype to a pawn shop. Of course, the employer was not happy about this and is requesting the group to recover the prototype that was stolen, find the runner that screwed them and to tie up the loose end. After some negotiation, they came to an agreement.
The team was provided with some of the details of the previous run. The schematics of the prototype weapon, which was an Ares Predator that was heavily modified and designed to attack armored targets and spirits. The gun was modified to use assault cannon rounds, but was still in the early stages of research. Mary reviewed the schematics and noticed a great number of flaws in the design. They were also provided the information on the pawn shop of where it was sold. One thing they were also told, about the previous team was that one of them was an albino troll.
The Johnson advised that the job should be done as soon as possible as this kind of tech should not fall in the hands of the public and excused himself. The team went into planning and headed over to the pawn shop. Cajun Joe’s Pawn Shop is a small, family owned place in the Gentilly neighborhood. The staked out at a nearby Soybucks and Glitch went to work on the shop’s host. Glitch did some searching and found a file with all of the transaction details. Unfortunately, he was not able to defuse the databomb that was attached to it. Luckily for him, his companion sprite took the blow for him. Another unfortunate event from this is that the file with the information was deleted. He pulled out and they discussed a plan B.
Now they decided that Glitch and Mary would see what they could find out inside the shop. The pair went in and started looking around. There was a grizzled dwarf behind the counter. After checking out the stock in the shop, which had no firearms at all, they talked to the dwarf. When asked about firearms, he was adamant that he didn’t have them because they just brought trouble. After multiple attempts to get information out of him, the pair left without knowing anything further. However, they discerned that the dwarf was lying about something.
Walker then went about to a few of the vagrants that were nearby and was asking about an albino troll. None of them provided any information, however it seemed they were more scared than unwilling to talk. At an impasse, the team decided on a more direct approach. Walker and Acorn would go in under the cover of an invisibility spell, knock out the dwarf and then break search the backroom. They were convinced that the dwarf had the prototype somewhere. Glitch covered them on the Matrix and Mary took up a sniper position outside of the pawn shop. The pair of mages went into the front door … however, they did not expect the door chime to go off, nor did they expect the dwarf to not see them. Just then a bullet from Mary’s gun shattered the broken glass and ricocheted off the shelves and tools.
The dwarf pulled out the shotgun that was behind the counter and fired a shot. The shotgun flame reached out and struck Walker in the side. The two mages hit the dwarf with spells and knocked him unconscious. Mary tied him up and they headed to the back office. Walker was able to find a hidden door that led down to a basement. Once they entered, the room began to light up as shelves and counters opened up to reveal the shop’s hidden cache of high end gear. This included the prototype weapon that they were after. Glitch, still in the coffee shop where people are notifying law enforcement of the shots being fired, estimates the team has a few minutes to grab and go.
Cast of Characters
- Bathtub Mary
- Introducing … Vigil
After a nice dinner with Gator on his island, the team go their separate ways until a message is received the next day. Gator had a job for them. It was the first for the imports from the Bay Area since arriving in New Orleans. The job was late at night and out in the bayou, so everyone decided to meet up at Gator’s island and then take Nain’s airboat out to the coordinates provided. After a few hours, the team arrives at the island where the coordinates are.
On the island was a traditional plantation house that has fallen into disrepair and was slowly being swallowed up by the swamp. The waters have already reached the west wall and the rear of the building There is still a good 4 or 5 meters to go on the east side before the waters are up against the wall. The front courtyard was still intact and leads out to the boat dock. An old stone fountain that is covered in moss, nearly 4 meters in height, sits in the center of the courtyard. There is a stone walkway that leads from the dock, past the fountain and up to the front porch of the manor.
The Johnson was sitting in an old rocking chair that creaks as he rocked. He was an aging human is dressed in long black robes with red velvet trimmings and adorned with various symbols. Peaking beneath these robes are a pair of bare feet with stubby mangled toes. His old wrinkled face is wrapped by his long stringy grey hair and topped with a traditional top hat. His left eye is milky white and his other is a dull blue-grey iris with a dilated pupil. The creaks of the chair seemed to echo through the bayou.
He spoke in a raspy, barely audible tone and with a thick Cajun accent and introduced himself as Styx. The party was greeted as they approached the plantation house and urged to have a seat with a sweep of his arm. A set of chairs, one for each of them, and a table with a rum bottle and glasses were there waiting for them. He began to tell them a story of his ancestors.
His ancestors were slaves on this very plantation. The mistress of the plantation, back in colonial times, forced her slaves to teach her ancient traditions of Voudoun … well those that knew of it. The ones that didn’t were tortured until she was satisfied that they were telling the truth of their knowledge. The mistress learned the tradition and grew in power. Upon her death, she became a powerful, vengeful spectre. Unfortunately, since the Awakening, her power has grown considerably. He revealed that he was dying and wants to have the spirit banished for good before his time is up. He is the last of his family line and wants the terrible events of the past to die with him.
The job was to find the spirit’s anchor, which was located nearby in the ruins of an old graveyard, and bring it to him. He will be able to use the anchor to permanently banish the malignant spirit. Once the houngan begins the ritual to banish the spirit, the team will also need to protect him since he will be vulnerable. The anchor is a jade brooch in the shape of a butterfly and was buried with the Mistress’s physical body.
He didn’t have much to offer them except a small box of trinkets, antique gold/silver coins and a pair of pearl earrings, but after some negotiation, which included mentoring Walker and Mary in the Voodoo arts and possession of the decrepit plantation house, they came to an agreement.
The team did some preparation before heading to the graveyard. Vigil took up a position in the plantation house, which was protected with a manabarrier, and would provide support astrally. He projected himself and followed the team out to where they were going. Acorn, still suffering the loss of her girlfriend, summoned up a raccoon beast spirit to assist them. Once the preparations were made, they headed to the graveyard. Since it was separated by water, they had to use the airboat to get there.
The graveyard is in the middle an open grove that was a good 20 square meters in size. Towards the back of the grove was more swampland and cyprus trees. There was an old wrought iron fence, broken in places, that surrounded the graveyard. The group park the boat and began planning. Glitch and Nain were staying at the boat with one of Nain’s drones flying overwatch. The rest of the team were going into the graveyard. Mary, whom originally planned on finding a sniper position, joined Walker and Acorn. Once all of them entered the grove, they all got extreme chills up their backs and they were filled with a feeling of dread.
The graveyard was a small plot with a dozen or so above ground tombs and narrow walkways. In the center of the graveyard was the largest tomb. The marble tomb was circular in shape, roughly 3 meters in diameter, and topped with a broken cross. The tomb does not show as much age as the other tombs here, but it has begun to get moss growths that dropped down from the top. As the three of them approached the tomb, Acorn caught a glimpse of who she thought was Duchess moving between the tombs. Walker too caught a glimpse of a pregnant woman, only he met her sorrowful eyes before she disappeared. The pair kept quiet and proceeded on with the job at hand. The stone walkway led right up to the tomb and mounted on the side was a plaque that read: “Here lies Jeannine Delsarte, devoted wife, mother and Mistress of Elmore Manor.” This was the resting place of the Mistress. There was a sigil behind the engraving that, after some searching, Glitch identified as belonging to Papa Legba, a Voodoo Loa.
The team needed to get into the tomb and, it just so happened, that Nain kept a sledgehammer on the airboat. Walker took a half-hearted swing at the plaque, but barely impacted it. Mary took up the tool from the “big, strong mage” and swung it. The sledgehammer struck the plague hard and a loud ring permeated the area. Before she could take another swing, Nain reported that there were about a dozen ghouls that were coming out of the water and headed towards them. The ghouls broke up in groups, some attacking the boat and the others ran towards the tomb. The party jumps into action and engages the ghouls. Vigil, from above the graveyard, protected the trio with a manabarrier and pelted them with spells.
Walker picked up the sledgehammer again and slammed it into the plaque. Again, a great ringing permeated through the graveyard. The noise momentarily stunned Mary and Acorn and started causing their ears to bleed. The ring also caused another wave of ghouls to appear in the water. Nain and Glitch launch the airboat back into the water and prepared to extract the team when they finished. In surveying the area, there was no better place than where they were. Unfortunately, while surveying, they found dozens of more ghouls that were making landfall on the other side of the island. The team needed to get off of it.
Walker again slammed into the plague. This time, it broke through and the tomb was exposed. A third ring blasted out from the tomb, only this time, the ghouls just … disappeared. Silence replaced the everything. An unnatural coldness came out of the tomb. Surprised at the sudden disappearance of the ghouls, they gathered their thoughts and went back to work. Walker used a levitate spell to get the brooch out of the tomb and continued to use it as they ran to the boat. Vigil noticed, once the brooch was free of the tomb, that this was indeed an extremely powerful item. The team, taking care not to touch the brooch, left the island and headed back to the plantation house. Only the sound of the airboat appeared in the eerie silence.
They parked the airboat on the docks and met with Styx. He had already had the spot for the ritual marked out with candles and symbols. He instructed Walker to place the brooch in an exact particular spot. The wolf mage carefully lowered the item where he was instructed. Once the brooch was in place, the sigils in the circle burst into power and lit the area. Styx instructed the team on what to expect and that the Mistress will likely attack once he began. They made additional preparations and were ready. Styx began the ritual and dropped into a rhythmic chant.
Immediately, the Mistress appeared. She appeared as an older human woman that is dressed in the finest of clothes from the colonial time period. However, to Acorn and Walker, she appeared differently. Walker seen a young pregnant woman with burn scars. Acorn seen a physically broken Duchess. Both of the forms pleaded with the mages to stop this and that the ritual was harming them. Mary took shots at the spirit with her sniper rifle, and was able to slightly hurt her, while Vigil attacked her with his weapon focus. Walker and Acorn both seen their respective ‘versions’ scream in pain as they attacked. The raccoon spirit also attacked the Mistress. In some weird irony, Acorn seen raccoon attacking Duchess and tearing into her. The summoned raccoon spirit was promptly dismissed after this. Acorn sat and buried her face in her knees, pleading with the visions to stop. She knew her love was dead and that this just wasn’t real. Walker stood there stoically with an outstretched hand. He too knew this wasn’t real but just couldn’t shake the vision of the pregnant woman from his past. He begged the spirit to stop while he held a spell and thumbed reagents into his hand. Nain and Glitch, knowing that there were ghouls involved earlier, kept watch for more to appear and in case one of the team turned on them.
As the ritual went on, Vigil and Mary were able to hurt the spirit. Duchess moved to embrace Acorn. She wrapped her arms around her and lifted her chin so she could look into her bright green eyes. The tears ran down Acorn’s face as she pleaded that this was not real. Walker warned the pregnant woman to stay back and that he didn’t want to hurt her. Vigil could see the Mistress start to draw the very lifeforce from Acorn and pleaded with Walker, since he was perceiving astrally, that this was just a spirit. However, his fear kept him from attacking her. The pregnant woman moved to embrace him, but that crossed the line. With a tear and an apology, Walker unleashed his spell that drove straight into the spirit. That was the point that the ritual was completed. Walker seen the pregnant woman burst into flames and get turned to ash. Acorn seen Duchess pull away from her and also violently turn to ash. The rest of the group seen the spirit lash out at them and explode in a burst of magical energy. She has been permanently banished. The brooch exploded in magical energy and also turned to dust.
Styx looked at the rest of the party and thanked them before he too disappeared, leaving only the box as payment. Both Walker and Mary hear a whisper with instructions on how to call on him to begin their lessons on the voodoo arts. Vigil, who was still projecting into Astral Space, seen the powerful entity zoom away. The job was complete and the payment was made, however, Acorn remained seated and crying as she watched her girlfriend die … again. Walker too was stunned at the impact of an event that happened so long ago suddenly pop back into his life. Glitch and Nain looked around at the grounds of a new safehouse.
“Glitch, he left with your hat …” the dwarf said.
“I know … I know” Glitch returned.
The mysterious figure looked down at the bloody bodies as he stepped through them and towards the door. The fresh smell of death lingered in the hallway. A slight moan from one of the bodies caught the figures attention. Immediately, the guard regretted allowing the sound to escape. The cold look from the bloodied ballistic mask was almost inhuman. The figure stepped to the guard and lifted her up. Their eyes locked as the figure ran the bloody edge of his dagger across the guard’s face. A soft chant rang in her ears as she felt her life get sucked out and absorbed by the dagger. Then she felt the cold blade get thrusted into her heart and her world fell into darkness. The figure dropped her body into the pile and proceeded through the door. On the other side of the door was an extremely large, open aired room. Scattered around the room was various crates, devices and a few animal carcasses. As he stepped through the door, a voice boomed.
“You dare enter my presence!!” the deep voice boomed.
The figure looked around and, not seeing anything, just nodded.
“And with what right doth thou have”
The figure lifted the dagger and chanted a few words. The dagger began to glow as blood poured from it. The steady stream of blood hit the ground and coalesced into the semblance of a small and horribly disfigured child. “… Power … Destiny … Revenge …” the figure said in a slow monotone voice. “Simply put … I am here for you … father …”
The booming voice released a sinister laugh as the head of a large lizard seemed to appear out of nowhere. The head was followed by a long neck, a scaly, gaunt body held up by four massive legs and followed by a long tail. The creature shook its bright blue-scaled body, unfurling a pair of wings. The dragon stared at the figure as it stalked around the room. The figure stood there, meeting its gaze and unfazed at the sight of a dragon before him.
“So … my progeny has returned … well one of them anyways. I have been expecting you for quite some time now. Your siblings were not as lucky as you in their quests, however, you are different. Perhaps the corps did something right with you.” The dragon shuttered its body, forcing its wings to unfurl more and more until they were fully outstretched. He furled them up again next to his body and still stalking about the room, never taking its coal black eyes off the figure.
Minutes pass as the two paced each other. Their eyes locked in a deadly gaze. The blood spirit, staying close to the figure, taunted the dragon in an unintelligible language.
“So it is power that you are after then, child. Then power is here for the taking.” The dragon bellowed. “Be forewarned, however, your siblings too wanted the same power …. and they FAILED!”
The figure smiled through the ballistic mask and drew his sword. The blood spirit squealed with glee and pounced on the dragon. The figure also pounced and engaged the dragon, each trading blows with each other. The blood spirit was squashed in the battle, but it was of little consequence. The figure had beaten the dragon to near death, almost at the cost of his own life, and stood there looking at the dragon.
“Well DO IT, you fragger!” it screamed. “You wanted the power, its here … its yours … TAKE IT … embrace your heritage!”
He dropped the sword and slowly drew the dagger as he moved in for the kill. A soft chanting filled the room as he plunged the dagger deep into the chest of the dragon, piercing the heart. The dragon breathed its last breath as the figure stood over it. He felt something within him awaken. The feeling is not new as he has felt something along these lines before, however, this time it was different. From deep within himself, he felt the change coming. Pain wracked his body as his skin became blue scales. His fingers elongated into sharp claws. He doubled over and squeezed his eyes shut as the pain became unbearable. The chanting of the dagger, which was still buried in the heart of the dragon, continued to fill the room. His eyes flew open to reveal new dragon eyes. His clawed hands grasp at his head as bulges began to grow and pierce the skin. The horns rapidly grew from his skull as he grasp at them. A scream escaped his lips as his back began to move and throb. The scream continued as the skin on his back stretched and tore open, exposing the tips of wings. The figure was now on his knees, arms stretched out, screams coming from deep inside of him, the bat-like wings sprouted and grew from his back. Once they were fully sprouted, the pain began to subside. He stayed kneeled before the dragon’s body, his breathing returning to normal, the screams and cries of pain stopping.
In, what seemed like hours, the figure was fully transformed. He stood back up and his torn clothes fell from his body. He walked over to the dragon’s body and removed his dagger.
“Thanks … father …” the figure quipped. He looked around and the realization of the moment was starting to fall on him. He was still in the research facility, killed everyone and their dragon. In the distance, the sounds of law enforcement and threat response was bearing down on the facility. Looking around, he grabbed some of the clothes from a dead scientist and hastily threw them on where he could.
He went through the motions of flapping his wings and looked over his new form. His large, razor-sharp claws extended from his fingers, his blue scaled body was still covered in quills from his last transformation, however, his tattoo of an elongated shield with an infinity symbol and the word “NEVER” on the bottom was still visible. In the pain of the transformation, he did not realize that he had also sprouted a thick tail that ended in an arrowhead shape. He walked over, picked up the monoblade sword and took another look around. As threat response began to appear, the figure unfurled his wings and began to flap them. He took to the air and burst through the magical barrier that was covering the open ceiling. He flew off as the threat response filled the facility, but they were too late. He was gone.
“Now on to the next task …” he thought to himself as he flew over a corner of Lake Pontchartrain and headed deep into the Louisiana bayou.
This was supposed to be a simple run … a little more than a milk run, but still a simple run nonetheless. The Johnson hired the team to break into a research facility for Turner Health Advanced Chemical Organization and retrieve some data chips and a few samples. For frag’s sake, that was not what happened. It was a small group. Only Caramel, Stump, Catnip, Glitch and Logan, but they were skilled enough in what they did. The legwork was completed and the plan was to an aerial insertion with Caramel’s new chopper. The facility was located on a small, secluded island out in the bayou. Figured using a watercraft would be expected and looked for, so it was decided to use the chopper and its newly installed modifications that made it almost completely silent. Glitch was able to acquire some satellite images of the island and there was a small area to the northwest where the chopper could land and, with the help of Catnip’s magic, stay pretty hidden.
That part went as smooth as could be. Landing was good, the magic hid the vehicle as it was supposed to and the insertion was starting. The island had decent security, but there were gaps that were found and exploited. Once inside the building, things started to go … weird. The layout of the building was nothing like what was found during the legwork. The blueprints, the floorplans, the locations, all of it. They were all wrong. The team was already too deep in it to pull out now, so they continued on. After some time though, the situation went from bad to soured milk. Security was alerted to the threat and everything went on lockdown. When it was decided to abort the mission, it was almost too late. The team was pounced on by creatures … not sure what the creatures were but they were vicious. To make matters worse, the closer they got to getting out, the more thick things got. A group of ghouls flanked them as they moved and trapped them in a small corner of a room. Stump held them off as much as possible. The troll and former pirate had a steady stream of bullets flying out of his assault rifle, combined with punches and kicks from his pegleg. Catnip, who generally just toyed and played with her victims, slung spell after spell at the horde of ghouls. Caramel and her drones provided cover for Glitch and Logan as they worked on a way to get out of this place.
There was a momentary window of opportunity for escape. Using her barrier spells, Catnip created a tunnel that would allow everyone to get out. Glitch and Logan were the first to go through the tunnel. Logan covered Glitch with blasts from his shotgun along the way. Stump made his way through and dragged a few of the ghouls corpses with him. Caramel and Catnip quickly followed him up. Unfortunately, they did not make it through the tunnel before the magic collapsed. The horde of ghouls fell on the pair, tearing them limb from limb. The horde quickly turned their attention to the other three. They were so close to the exit that they made a break for it. Glitch and Logan burst through the door. Logan took out a the pair of guard dogs with his shotgun as they headed away from the building. Once clear, they turned around … but there was no Stump. They were alone.
Stump seen the two make a break for it and went to follow them, however, a ghoul had landed a pretty solid blow on his side and it was bleeding profusely. He has always considered himself as their protector. A smile crept across the rough troll’s face as he seen the two had made it to safety. He closed the door behind them, turned to face the horde and unloaded with a stream of gunfire and expletives that would make his fellow pirates blush. It was his last stand. The smile on his face remained as the life flowed out of him.
Glitch and Logan ran like hell to the chopper. Neither one of them really knew how to fly it, but that is what autopilot was for. However, it was too late. As they arrived to where it was, they hid in the shrubs to make sure the area was clear. It wasn’t. They spotted a boat passing and a rocket launched from it destroyed the helicopter that was their way off this island. Almost defeated and out of options, they stayed hidden in the shrubs. Logan found a small alcove that was partially submerged. They could easily hide in there and avoid any further security patrols and plan on the next move. Luckily, the alcove wasn’t already home to anything else. The bayou was not exactly the place to just be jumping into the water, but there were no other real options. After a few days, they were able to escape by stealing a boat. As the sun set on the bayou that day, the pair left their fallen comrades on the island and went home.
After some needed rest, the pair needed to get back to work. Gator brought in a new rigger by the name of Nain, who was a transplant from Detroit. About a month later, Vigil joined up and provided Astral support. Its been three months since the incident and the mental wounds may still be fresh.
Cast of Characters
- Bathtub Mary
- Introducing … Glitch
- Introducing … Logan
- Introducing … Nain
Bathtub Mary shakes the pile of rubble from on top of her. The sounds of the sirens and first responders in the area start flooding her ears. She was hurt … really hurt. She could feel the broken hand and twisted ankle. It sent pain throughout her body as she crawled out. Once she got her bearings, she looked around and found Walker.
Walker felt the pull of a woman’s hand on his arm as the rubble gets lifted off his body. He too was extremely hurt. He felt multiple broken ribs in his chest. Pain shot through his leg a he stood and realized he had a broken foot as well. He felt Bathtub Mary drape his arm around her shoulder as she drug him from beneath the destruction.
She then found Tatters. He was unconscious beneath the pile of rubble. Mary and Walker start to clear the debris. Once he was cleared, they looked him over. He was still unconscious, but he was alive. He had some broken ribs, his arm was broken in multiple places and twisted in unnatural angles.
The two also found Boomerang. Unfortunately, he did not fare so well. His body was crushed beneath a Jackrabbit. The team was not able to find Shade anywhere.
Acorn stood in the safety of the warehouse, looking outside of the window at the destruction across the bay. The young mage still reeling from her recent revelation.
Mary and Walker carry the unconscious body of Tatters down the street. They knew they had to get out of the area a security forces swarmed in. Walker was able to muster enough energy to cast a few heal spells. Tatters was brought back from unconsciousness and the other two’s wounds were starting to heal. However, the spells didnt fix the broken bones they had. They made their way away from the destruction to a point where Tatters could call the Archangel to come and get them. Moments later, the VTOL swooped in and landed. The three boarded and flew back to the safehouse.
Flying over the downtown area, the team is able to see in the moonlight, the destruction that the Thor Shot did. Most of the eastern side of the city, and a large section of the Bay Bridge laid in ruins. Multiple aircraft, both security and news, circled the area. On the ground, first responders filled the streets. Bystanders were leaving out of the buildings that were still standing to assist with the recovery efforts. Along the way, Walker gets a message to call Calypso right away. It was then he, and the others, noticed that there were several missed calls from her. He gave her a call and let her know that they were good. They lost Boomerang and couldnt find Shade. Calypo suggested that they leave the city. Security is going to be extremely heavy and they may end up blocking transportation in and out of the city.
The Archangel pulled into a landing pattern and parked in the warehouse. Walker and Mary exit the vehicle. Tatters follows moments later. Noticing Acorn standing at the window, the Wolf shaman moved to see if she was ok. Acorn’ face was tracked with tears, her eyes swollen and puffy, her aura showing extreme loss. He comforted her, but she just stood there … silent … unmoving … just holding her commlink.
Tatters got hung up with Calypso. She has an associate in New Orleans that they can lay low with. The team needed to pack their belongings and leave as soon as possible. Walker and Tatters decided to liquidate the two vehicles, which Calypso will handle. Acorn already had all of her belongings in the warehouse, but both Mary and Walker needed to get their gear. Tatters filed the proper flight plan and prepared the plan for the journey.
Once they had their belongings, including Walker’s Wolf, they loaded up in the VTOL and began their journey. They flew out of the Bay Area and headed East. About an hour into the flight, there was a sudden jolt and the craft shifted dramatically to the side. Tatters was able to regain control and get the craft flying straight again. Not much was said on the six hour flight.
The VTOL landed, shortly after he sun rose over the horizon, on a small airport on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. Tatters circles around it and spotted the group of people they were to meet up with. He landed the craft next to them. As the others made their way off the plane, he pulled Walker aside. He needed to get the plane somewhere safe. He was going to stash it in the bayou until they can get situated. He nodded and left the plane with Wolf. The trio from San Francisco and the group from New Orleans were getting their introductions out of the way when the plane took off.
They continued with pleasantries as a voice broke through the teams PiTac network.
“MAYDAY …. MAYDAY …. ARCHANGEL ONE GOING DOWN AT CURRENT COORDINATES …. MAYDAY … MAYD ….”
Then the communication stopped as the connection to the network was lost. The team looks back and sees the Archangel explode over the bayous south of the city.
Gator, still shocked at the explosion but realizing that some heat may be coming down, advised the trio to say their goodbyes and load up in the truck. Before he could even finish the sentence, Acorn made her way right to it and got in. It surprised everyone so much that Gator stopped mid-sentence and they watched the girl with cat ears skate to the truck and get in. Walker and Gator meet eyes and give a nod. Him and his team pile into the van and wait for the other two to say goodbye.
Walker and Mary stand their quietly, not sure what to say. After some time, the two decided it was time to leave. However, they did not really say their goodbyes as they were suspicious of the decker. However, they need to get somewhere safe to rest up. The two got into the vans and they drove down the freeway to some docks. The two groups talked some more and loaded up onto a pair of airboats. Gator had some old FEMA trailers from the CAS on his property where they can stay. They drove through the bayous and came upon his island. There was a small house up on stilts next to the boat docks and on the other side were the FEMA trailers.
The boats pull up to the docks a Gator calls out to Bessie. He warned them of the behemeth and that she can get a little … bitchy around new people. The others seen the hugh gator, with cyberwear, came out of the water and into her pen. Even the one that knew Bessie kept a wide birth as they all walked into the house. Everyone sat down as Gator started to make some breakfast. His fiance would be home soon, he said as breakfast started to cook.
Moments later, another boat showed up. A woman’s voice was heard cussing out Bessie as she went up and into the house. The door opened as the same woman’s voice went almost silent.
“Walker??” she said softly.
The Wolf mage turns around as he noticed Lith standing there. She was different than how she was when he sent her away months ago. She was known as Black Cat back then, but was in danger in San Francisco, so Walker sent her away and did not know where she went. Here she was, now with a cyberarm to say the least, and engaged to Gator. She explained what had happened after she arrived here. She was on a boat in the water when a gator shot out and snatched her. The beast grabbed her by the arm and drug her under. Gator, along with Bessie, were fishing nearby when he heard the screams. Bessie attacked the beast as Gator pulled Lith’s limp body out of the water. The two of them have been together ever since.
Lith launched into a series of questions about what had happened. Where was Eternal? Where was Tatters? Where was Duchess? The mention of her name nearly caused Acorn to break down. Walker explained what had happened in San Francisco, what had happened to Eternal and what had happened to Tatters when they arrived here. So much loss ….
The group talked and got to know one another, even got Gator to tell the story of how he rescued Bessie, while they ate breakfast. Gator excused himself to take a call from Calypso. Just as they hung up, a delivery drone had a package. Gator looked at Acorn and expressed his condolences. The package was for her. He stepped out to get a small, plain, wooden box. Inside was a note from Calypso that read:
I am so sorry for what has happened, my dear. I was able to find the following stuff with Duchess’s stuff. I know she wanted you to have these. You were very important to her and she loved you dearly. It pains me to mention this, but Duchess had asked me to be a wedding planner for you two if you had said yes. Please let me know if there is anything that I can do for you.
Also in the box was a small ring fashioned with a dolphin and raccoon kissing, in which there is a diamond in place and a picture of the two of them taken while they were alone in the warehouse and looking up at the stars in the sky. She recognized the ring as a magical foci. Duchess had been teaching her more about summoning spirits and this was a foci to assist with that.
The young mage broke down and finally told Walker what had happened. Duchess was killed in the Thor Shot. Gator asked Mary and Walker to follow him to look at the trailers. The rest of the group had also left. Before Lith left, she placed a hand on her shoulder and let her know if she ever needed to talk, she was here for her. The trailers were decent sized and enough for them to stay in until they can get healed up.
The trio spent the next week recouperating. Acorn spent her time alone in the shed, with Walker occassionally checking in on her. At the end of the week, Gator had his runners over for dinner. He considered them family and would have dinners every Sunday with them. They all sat outside on a table with a nice spread of food. Gator and Lith at the ends of the table with the others sitting on the sides. Walker, Acorn and Mary were there, along with Glitch, Nain and Logan. There was an additional person sitting at the table that they have not met before. He introduced himself as Vigil and was a human male of average height with a stocky, strong build. His head is shaved bald, with a clean shaven, showing the ghostly pale hue of his skin. His eyes are a blue-ish grey and helped to contribute to a constant, sort of predatory look. He wore a simple metal chain necklace, leading down under a bulky, dark grey hooded sweatshirt. He wore utilitarian black pants with a number of pockets along the legs and ended in black combat boots.
Everyone was having a good time eating and drinking when Gator made an announcement. He has a job for them, if they were up to it.
Wuxing Tower, along with several blocks in downtown San Francisco, have been destroyed with a sudden Thor Shot that was invoked by the Grid Overwatch Division. Emergency services are on scene and investigators are enroute. Several thousand people are presumed dead and a monetary cost that is reaching into the billions of nuyen. Wuxing has released this statement about the incident. Officials are warning residents to stay out of the downtown San Francisco area. This includes ALL areas south of the Golden Gate Bridge, West of the bay and North of South San Francisco. Emergency Services are closing this section of the city off.
This also just in, part of the the Bay Bridge, which is Highway 80 that connects downtown districts to Oakland, via Yerba Buena Island has collapsed. The collapsed part is about a half mile of the bridge’s western end.
< video feed of news drones showing the collapsing bridge sections falling into the bay. Cars, bodies and debris fill the area where the bridge used to be. The feed then cuts to people flee on the remaining part of the bridge, leaving cars where they sit and running. >
Stay tuned for more information as it develops.
CFS officials have declared martial law in the city of San Francisco. Ares Macrotechnology has dispatched threat response teams to work with CFS teams. Ares Macrotechnology has also dispatched medical teams to assist with search, rescue and recovery.
The Kingdom of Hawaii has suffered from major volcanic activity as Mount Kilauea had three eruptions in the last 72 hours. Geologist and government officials are warning residents to stay indoors and tourist to stay off the big island as more eruptions are expected.
There are unsubstantiated reports are coming out of El Paso Texas, Aztlan of strange supernatural events centering in and around the town. Folks are reporting the sounds of a woman crying in the wind. These reports, again are unsubstantiated, and there has been no response to inquiries from the Aztlan officials.
This was a surprise … well supposed to be a surprise. I just had to get out of Baltimore. With all that has happened, the demise of her teammates, my beloved mentor Starflower, and my sanity itself, it would be good to spend some time with Acorn. Hopefully she doesn’t have any plans tonight as I made some reservations for dinner at that fancy restaurant on Pier 33. Reserved a private booth that overlooked the bay. It’s going to be nice to spend some good quality time with her as we never really been on a date since we got together. Damn, that feels like ages ago.
Looking out the window of the plane at the clouds, Duchess closes her eyes and drifts off into a daydream.
She must have been the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. Acorn was a little firecracker and thorny on the outside, but something about her eyes just made me melt. Not to mention the cat ears … those were cute too. We had just finished a run down in the Big Sur and returning home. Apparently some stuff went down that resulted in Ace and Walker being arrested. They let Acorn and I go, so we got back into the Jeep and left the scene. The team’s decker, Tatters, didnt like me much and wasn’t on this run. But he needed to know what was going on so he can help out Walker. We dropped off of the freeway and I grabbed my commlink to call him when it started ringing. It was Calypso and she was at a party that was hopping. Both Acorn and I were down, so we went to the club.
She must have really enjoyed herself. The way she moved on the dance floor was a sight to be seen. I joined her, along with Calypso for a bit, and we danced the night away. I was so enraptured by this girl, I just couldn’t resist her anymore. I went in for a kiss while we were dancing, and she returned. Apparently she felt the same way. We spent the following night together and it was AMAZING. Our two bodies seemed to be totally in sync with each other. In the morning … well mid-afternoon really, I remembered that I needed to get a hold of Tatters. However, Acorn and I had some other plans and had another encounter in the shower. Man, he was so pissed when I did get a hold of him.
Shaking her head back from the dream, Duchess noticed that they were already about to land in San Francisco
I need to change my panties after that, I thought to myself. I really cant wait to spend some more time with her. I am truly in love with her and just cant stand being away from her. So much so, that I have finally made arrangements with Frank to relocate to San Francisco. He didn’t like the idea of moving all the way to the other coast, let alone the CFS, but the arrangements were being made. While I am here, I need to find an apartment and stuff, which should be fun with Acorn.
The plane came in for a landing and I gathered up my luggage and met the concierge that was going to take me to the hotel. I had reservations for the week at The Palace hotel. Some nice digs, but I have some particularly nice things planned for while I was here and this place would be perfect for it. As much as I wanted to see Acorn, its way to freaking late to see her and I am jet lagged. I checked into the hotel and went up to my room to get settled in. I flopped down on the bed … oh god that mattress is comfortable! I changed out of my clothes and got down to just my bra and panties. My commlink has a picture of Acorn and I caught a glimpse of her. She might be up.
The hotel room had floor to ceiling windows, like my apartment back in Baltimore, so I dug out my commlink and went to look out them. This city really is pretty. I dialed up Acorn by pressing the dolphin icon on my commlink. I think its so damn cute that she found Dolphin. I just cant wait to show her the dolphin tattoo I got just below my belly button. I was pretty surprised when she answered the phone.
Moments later, there was a thundering roar coming from outside as a column of flame struck the Wuxing Tower a few blocks away. I could see the shockwave come towards me as it leveled the buildings. Drek, I am stuck on this one. I looked at Acorn through the commlink … god she looked so beautiful. I could feel the tears welling up as I knew I would not be able to see her again … would not be able to feel her skin on mine, to feel her soft lips, the hear that laugh she did when nobody else was around. I placed a hand on the window as the shockwave struck the building and looked at her. “Autumn … I love you” was all I could say before the windows shattered. My body was impaled with the shards of glass as the structure gave way. The last image I had was of my one true love as the hotel building collapsed all around me. I was time for me to see my friends again, I get to see Starflower again, I get to see my parents again. I get to run with Raccoon. However, my heart will remain with that beautiful Dolphin shaman with cat ears that I love so much. Goodbye, my love.