Burn It Down — Behind the Curtain

God this place sucks ….” Jason mumbled to himself. The smell of the scrapyard penetrated his clothes and never truly washes out. He half-heatedly walked on his patrol with his partner for the day, Davis, and the god awful mutt, Redd. Redd wasn’t your normal scrapyard mutt, he was a bitch of a hellhound. The pay sucked just as much, which is why he accepted the offer from the Russian fella. The side job was simple, to take money from his ganger connections and pass out packets of Tempo to them. The scrapyard owner set aside some space in one of the empty warehouses to store the stuff. Once a week or so, a truck load of the drek would get delivered and the warehouse would be restocked. When the shift ended, Jason would make his way back to the coffin motel room and drink until he passes out. Rinse, Lather, Repeat … Day in and Day out.

Today was just another day. Jason received a message from Gopher that he was just about there. He grabbed a bag of Tempo and stepped outside. The guard lit up a cigarette and looked about, waiting for the ganger to show up.

Frag this city” He muttered and took a long drag as he looked around, he spotted Gopher coming down the street.

Got a smoke, bro?” Gopher asked.

He fished one out and passed it over. The ganger lit it up and took a long drag off of it. “Man, today has been a rough day.

Oh yeah?” Jason asked. He didn’t really give a drek, but needed to stay on good terms with these fraggers for now. Before Gopher could get into the details, he pulled the bag of drugs from his pocket and looked around. Sensing that he didn’t want to hear his story, Gopher passed over the credstick in exchange for the bag. Jason checked the creds on it and nodded. He finished the cigarette and flicked it out into the street.

Gopher headed back up the street and Jason headed back into the scrapyard. He generally has to go and drop the credstick in the warehouse, but had to stop by the smelting room first. Redd likes to sleep in here. Jason personally hated it in here … way to fraggin hot. He woke the beast from its slumber and they proceeded over to the warehouse. He dropped the credstick in the box and left. Davis was waiting for him and they met up to resume the “patrol”. Not sure why they called it a patrol, it wasn’t like anyone could just look across the yard.

A few hours later, a message came in from Maximovich, the Russian fella. It was time to handoff and meet up with the rest of the syndicate. Jason grabbed the stack of credsticks from the box and headed towards the entrance. He could hear the Russian coming. That god awful classical music blasting out of his fraggin car. “Drek …” he thought to himself. He knew what was going to happen. He was going to get into the car and Maximovich was going to go on and on about how this era of music was the best there ever was.

Journey this … blah blah blah
Journey that … blah blah blah
Steve Perry … blah blah blah
Boston this and that … blah blah blah

Its the same drek over and over again. A visible cringe appears as the lyrics bounced off his eardrums.

Strangers waiting, up and down the boulevard … Their shadows searching in the night

Goddammit,” he mumbled to himself as he left the scrapyard. He jumped into the Ford Americar and they drove away. Twenty minutes later, Maximovich got a message on his commlink. “Stash is destroyed, location compromised

MOTHER FRAGGIN FRACKFACES!” he whipped the car around and hauled ass back to the scrapyard. The car squealed to a stop in front of the gate and he was out of the car and in the gate before Jason could even get unbuckled. The heat from the inferno could be felt out here. The smoke billowed into the sky. “What the frag happened?” He yelled to one of the other guards. There was no answer as he burst through the door. Everyone was working to put out the fire and nearly had it under control. The Russian was already on his terminal frantically pulling data from the host. He looked at Jason and started moving towards the gate. The pair got back into the car and sped away.

Get a hold of Gopher, need to have his crew find out who these fraggers are.” He displayed a playback of the sensors on the rear of the scrapyard. Most of it wasn’t useful, but there was a slight moment that he froze on. The image showed a bright red female figure with blue hair and … four arms … “This bitch shouldn’t be too hard to track down. I want her dead dammit… I want her DEAD! I want her family DEAD! I want her house burned to the GROUND! I wanna go there in the middle of the night and I wanna PISS ON HER ASHES!

Maximovich dropped Jason off near Gopher’s hideout. “Man, this lunatic is pissed!” He walked into the hideout and explained to Gopher and his crew what happened. When he displayed the playback, a very large troll stepped from behind everyone to get a closer look. Gopher looked up at him. “Say … isn’t that the person you fought the other day, Mutt?

Yes … Yes, it was” he said.

Jason looked them over. “So the boss wants this crew out of commission, so here is what we need to do …

Everything fades to black as everyone gathered around.

Session 2 — Burn It Down!

Today’s Session Dates: February 3 to February 4, 2075
Cast of Characters

  • Rainne
  • Kish
  • CoyHawk
  • Tors
  • Sprint

The tracker that Rainne had placed on the drug dealer pans out after a few days. The research and legwork from the tracker leads the team to believe that the storage facility for the Tempo drugs that are coming in is an old scrapyard near the old, abandoned stamping plant. The place was well within the gang’s territory and looked like a legitimate business by day. That Friday night, the team decides to post up outside of the scrapyard and see what they can find out. General recon of the place showed that there are multiple buildings within the walls. The outside walls were once, possibly, a chain link fence but has been reinforced with plywood, corrugated plastic compounds and iron plates. Rows of monowire are strung atop the fencing. Multiple guard towers were surrounding the perimeter. There was a huge main door at the front that would allow trucks of materials to enter and deposit loads of raw materials in piles, which would then be sorted. A second door is located on the side to allow the empty trucks to easily leave.

Sprint did some Matrix scouting and found the facility was well protected with sensors. There were mover drones in the compound moving materials from one location to another. Each of the guards had assault rifles and commlinks that were slaved to a moderate host. In fact, it seems that all the devices here were slaved to it. After the Matrix recon, Sprint remained on the park bench beneath a pile of papers and discarded blankets. He was waiting for another hand-off.

Meanwhile, Rainne and Tors were scouting out the areas around the facility. Rainne came upon an abandoned house near the rear that could possibly serve as a place to post up for more recon. However, there was a foreboding sense of danger. Instead, the adept hid near it and depended on the ultrasound sensor for protection. Tors was near the front when a truck pulled in. He spotted the guards scan the truck, but also another pair of guards inside with a very large black dog with red sunken eyes.

After a few hours, darkness falls and the traffic in and out of the scrapyard stops. Sprint spots one of the guards leave the scrapyard. He lit up a cigarette while pacing about. A few minutes go by and another person, wearing gang colors, walks up to the waiting guard. The two exchanged small talk for a bit. Then they each pass small packages to each other, then the ganger leaves the same way he arrived. Convinced this was the hand-off that he was waiting for, Sprint finds a commlink icon on the guard and tracks his movements in the facility. He had visited three of the buildings before resuming patrols. Tors spotted the ganger and recognized him as one of the Troll’s cronies from Shaw Park.

Kish has been posted up in a nearby abandoned house with CowHawk. She decided to scout the place on the Astral Plane to see if she could find anything. Kish promised that her body would be safe. The young mage fell limp and projected herself. She was able to identify the aura’s of the guards and of the beast that Tors spotted. There was also a beast spirit in the form of a junkyard dog present. Unfortunately, the young mage misjudged the situation. The spirit lunged and sunk its teeth deep in the mage’s leg. She screamed in pain and launched an attack of her own. Wanting to quickly dispatch this spirit and protect her team, she reached deep inside herself and cast a powerful spell. The bolt of magical energy struck true and caused the spirit to dissipate. After the spell was cast, the energy of the spell rebounded back towards CowHawk. The energy wafted around her as a mist that scratched and clawed at her body. The spell she casted was so strong that a black skull came out of the mist. The skull seemed to inhale the very essence of the mage, just before it buried itself in her chest. CowHawk dissipated and faded into the darkness.

Kish watched CowHawk’s limp body start to convulse. Blood poured out of scratches and tears that began to appear all over her body. Her eyes rolled into the back of her head as her chest collapsed on itself. Just as quickly as it started, CowHawk’s body suddenly went limp. Kish tried to find a pulse or some signs of life, but was unable to. The young shaman was dead. Realizing that their operation is at risk, Kish sent out a warning to the rest of the team.

The team does not know which building the drugs are in, and had no real plan of action, but Sprint acted quickly. Sprint had the remaining three members of the team meet in the rear of the facility on Rainne’s position. On his way over there, Tors heard the approach of a car. The Ford Americar was playing a classic from the Fifth World that he knew all to well. The sounds of “Don’t Stop Believing” blasted out of the car as it pulled up to the scrapyard. The guard that did the hand-off previously left and hopped into the car. Tors noted the details and identification on the car and proceeded to the rear.

In the Matrix, Sprint monitors one of the drones and causes it to accelerate into the wall in the rear. The drone slammed into the fencing and caused an opening to appear that would be big enough for the others to squeeze in. Unfortunately, this also garnered the guard’s attention as well. Quickly, the three outside the opening went into action … again with no real plan in place. Kish tossed a smoke grenade at the opening to cover their insertion and Rainne took a shot at one of the guards. The shot struck true, but was not enough to kill the target. The guard shouted out that he was shot and now everyone knew there was something going on.

Kish and Rainne prepare to go into the hole, when they hear a rumbling growl. Out of the smoke, a pair of bright red eyes appeared as the form of the hellhound came through. The rumbling growl came to a pitch that seemed to vibrate the ground around them. The two could feel it with every fiber of their being as the growl turned to terror. The two look at each other and start to run away. Tors shouted out to them in an attempt to calm them, but it was two late. The pair had already begun sprinting off. Sprint, during all this, monitored the Matrix but did not take any further action.

Now Tors was alone … well him and Mr Munnin of course and the hellhound. Mr Munnin spouted off that the puppy wanted to be cuddled, but it instead attacked Tors. The beast struck out with its jaws, but he easily dodged it. Now Mr Munnin was convinced that the puppy just wanted to play with them. In a weird twist, Tors confronted the hellhound and mimicked its posture. After a few minutes of back and forth, the hellhound turned on its previous masters. The guards fled in terror, allowing the team to seize the drugs from the warehouse.

Kish was able to locate materials to cause the warehouse, and the supply of Tempo, to burst into an inferno. Sprint grabbed a handful of doses first though. The team leaves the area and heads back to the NEST. Further research on the driver of the car revealed that the person’s name was Limonov Maximovich. Maximovich was an enforcer for a local Vory syndicate. While the link was weak at best, it was at least a direction to start. The team gets paid, including the negotiated bonus, and has some time off now. The syndicate has been here for years, albeit not very active, but why are they pushing Tempo in Detroit?

~QJ

Session 1 — Some Assembly Required

Today’s Session Dates: February 2, 2075
Cast of Characters

  • Rainne
  • Kish
  • CoyHawk
  • Tors
  • Sprint

These fraggin’ Fitzgerald crew is beginning to piss me off. They know the truce is to not go below 8 Mile and yet they do. Leviticus has pushed me to far. Furthermore, they dealers are getting more and more violent. Now, the rumors are that Leviticus has an arrangement with some underground entity to smuggle drugs into the area. Not just any drugs, but this tempo drek. Tempo is quickly becoming a plague everywhere. So now its time for me to push back. Now I don’t have the forces that Leviticus has, I do have some runners in my pocket that would work. Even have me some new blood that want to cut their teeth.

Now I am getting word of an attack nearby, so its time to strike back from the shadows. I am gathering a group of new, but talented, individuals that could do what needs to be done. I have received word that Leviticus and his crew are keeping his drek in some secret location. What I want the team to do is strike a blow against them and send them a message. They are to locate this secret storage facility and destroy their supply. I also want to know who their new supplier is. So I set up a meet down in the community center for tonight and giving these New Bloods a shot.

I waited in the room for them to arrive. I brought up the feed on the sensor in the hallway as they arrived, to get a sense of how they interacted. It didn’t look like there would be any conflicts and seemed to be a cordial meeting. Once they all arrived and were introduced to each other, I closed down the feed and unlocked the door, which caused it to go slightly ajar. As the group started coming into the room, my terminal beeped with an email notification. I quickly glanced at it and sighed to myself. “Drek …” I mumbled as they each took a seat. I will need to deal with that later.

I made the request to the team and we came to an agreement. A bonus from the negotiation was that they would quietly find out who the supplier is. Its going to cost me a little more than I expected, but it would be worth it as I don’t need any heat brought down on the NEST. After a few follow up questions, I excused myself from the conference room and left them to their discussions.

Rainne quietly, without saying much either, left the room and met up with a known contact at their gun range to discuss the gang. With this knowledge, the gun adept, went over towards the park.

The team made a plan to go into the Fitzgerald’s turf and see what they can find out. Based on what they know about the gang, they decide to rendezvous with each other at Shaw Park. The park is a known main hangout and they have semi-regular fights there. These fights are not exactly … regular, but happen a few times a month and are extremely violent.

The remaining members of the team break apart, but still within a short distance, and make their way to the park. Along the way, CoyHawk rounded a corner and ran right into a trio of Fitzgerald gangers. The shaman slyly avoided a direct conflict with them and slipped away. Thinking it would be best to avoid further conflict, she covered herself in an invisibility spell and met up with the others. They all met up at the park. The moment they each entered the park, they were filled with a sense of unknown rage, violence and pain. The members of the team that were Awakened immediately noticed that the park had a background count, likely due to the fights that were held here.

Tors decided it best to find the biggest and baddest person in the park and challenge them to a fight. He found Mutt, a 10ft musclebound troll with an assault rifle and full body armor. Mutt was flanked by a few members of his crew when Tors approached him. His first instinct was to strike out at this WeeMan, but instead felt the need to hear out his proposal. He did have a fight proposal, but it was for Kish and not himself. Kish, after sizing up the huge troll, determined that the foe was worthy and accepted the challenge. At first, they both thought of using their blades, but came to an unspoken agreement and dropped them. They were going to punch it out.

The two slugged it out, each holding their own against each other. Meanwhile, Tors was working the crowd trying to find out more about the troll. Sprint found a tree nearby and dropped into VR to assist with what he could. However, once he started poking around, he found that the troll was exceptionally protected. The only active device that the troll was running was a set of wired reflexes, but the concerning matter at hand was that it was protected by a cyberdeck. There was a decker nearby and if Sprint went about trying to hack the ‘ware, it could bring down some serious heat on the fledgling running team.

Once the two brutes beat on each other, the fighting stopped. It seems there was a mutual respect for each others skill and, despite the strong feelings of violence. However, the troll did invite Kish to the next fight club if she wanted to test her meddle. Afterwards, Tors notices that the troll partakes in some modern chemistry and the team decides to leave. Unfortunately, the fight club was days after their deadline for completing the job. They thought that they could find a dealer there that they could backtrack to the storehouse.

While all this was going on, Rainne wanted to take a bird nest position nearby. The highest point was the housing development towers at Lafayette Park. It was just the shell of what it used to be and has been overtaken by squatters and the homeless. The moment the building was entered, a sudden urge to throw came over Rainne. Able to push the feeling back, they pushed through and proceeded through the tenement. The scattered trash, feces, squaller and whatever was in the corner blurred by as Rainne pushed to the roof and fresh air. Once posted up, they surveyed the area for gangers that were dealing. It didnt take long to find a pair at the corner by the development. There wasnt a way to quickly get down on the outside, so Rainne went back through the building. Again, the urge the spew out stomach contents were suppressed.

When Rainne approached the dealers, they started pitching their product. However, before they would sell to a new person, they wanted Rainne to partake in the product first. After a hit of novacoke, the adept was able to acquire a few more doses of the drug, but more importantly, a tracking tag was placed on the dealer. Now the team can track the dealers whereabouts and determine where the warehouse was.

With the day’s activities complete and a good line on how to find the storage facility, the team regroups back at the NEST and plans their next moves.

~QJ