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

2 thoughts on “Session 2 — Burn It Down!”

  1. What was supposed to be a quiet recon sortie turned into something that was not quite a pear, but definitely had the same general shape.

    I had, as is my wont, made my rounds of the streets near the stamping facility. In hobo mufti, I shuffled about, all but invisible yet seeing all.

    And, sadly, smelling all.

    In spite of this olfactory assault–or, perhaps, because of it–I was only able to come away with one bit of useful information: about an hour into my watch, I spied a delivery, presumably of tempo. One of the guards looked familiar.

    We’ve seen that guy around, Mr. Munnin reminded me. I made note to follow up on this lead later.

    Turns out, later was only another 20 minutes or so from then: he left the facility in a car that was blasting that treacly Journey tune, Don’t Stop Believing.

    I took a mental snapshot of the auto’s make, model, and tags, so our decker could track it down after this run. I further associated this snapshot with the concept of douchewagon. Because seriously. The most overplayed song from their most overplayed album? This place has zero class.

    “Creeping Jesus, Mr. Munnin. I mean, even something from Frontiers would be a better choice.” His silence was agreement enough.

    Suddenly, Sprint yelled for everyone to converge on the east wall of the complex. Which was odd–I mean, how do you do yell with a subvocal mic? I dutifully crept my way there, meeting up with Stormy and Forewarned.

    Then things got stupid.

    Maybe our decker dabbles in technomancy, and wanted to show off his new spell: Summon Minor Forklift.

    Maybe this is a determinist reality, and from the time of the Big Bang, our cosmos had been meant to make a smallish hole through that wall in the loudest possible fashion.

    Or maybe Sprint is just really bad at planning.

    Whatever the case, the guards took notice of the noisy collision, and rather predictably began looking for what caused it. Forewarned and Stormy immediately opened fire, followed by the guards doing the same. Neither side seemed to do much damage, but at least they were having a good time.

    All of a sudden, Stormy and Forewarned looked up wide-eyed, turned ghost white, and fled at top speed. I pondered this deeply, unconcerned by the klaxons and gunfire.

    He looks friendly, Mr. Munnin said.

    Shaking my head, I turned to find a fell beast in the guise of a hound, several hundred pounds of angry meat glaring at me from practically eye-level. Though somewhat dog in shape, it was obviously enough not a dog to warrant some other descriptor–not a dog dog, but a not-dog “dog”. Whatever I called it, this was one big puppy that could probably swallow me whole without chewing.

    “Hey you guys,” I shouted at the retreating gunslingers, “it’s just a hell hound! I don’t see what the big deal is!”

    Briefly distracted by my faithful companion, I replied without taking my eyes from the not-dog “dog”.

    “No, Mr. Munnin. In this, diplomacy and empathy are key. And while that word is correct in the most *technical* sense, I doubt we’ll win heart or mind by telling this creature ‘yo mama is a bitch’.”

    Mr. Munnin huffed quietly.

    I breathed in the hell hound’s presence, it’s essence. The tightness in its eyes: pain become anger become aggression. A slight cant inward of the left front paw: broken shoulder that never set properly, possibly pinching a nerve, but definitely the cause of the pain.

    Slowly, unthreateningly, I began shifting my posture to match the creature’s. It began to understand: even though I was much smaller, smelled different, and was probably on its eat-on-sight list, I was it and it was me. We were the same.

    It snuffled quietly and gestured for me to follow it into the compound.

    “That’s my Skippy,” I said with a smile. “Good boy.”

  2. Kish winced a little as she walked back into the front room of the Lasy 8 Dos Rack motel.
    “Out partying a little hard?” Tim asked? He was, as usual, sitting on one of the two chairs in the seating area.

    “Nah, went for a bit of a run and I think I strained something. The ground was pretty uneven and I haven’t pushed myself that hard in a while.” She twisted and writhed her back as she stretched. Today Kish was wearing a light blouse and slacks. Reason was in its usual concealed holster against the small of his back, but the Colt, which was too new to have earned a name was in an open holster on his left hip. The assault rifle was tucked into a corner behind the desk. Out of sight, but in easy reach should something happen. It was a far cry from the full combat load she’d been wearing last night. He felt a twinge in his back… then a slight pop and the pain faded.

    Kish stopped as she noticed Tom watching her. Called Longhands by the staff, Tim wasn’t a guest. He just hung out in the lobby from time to time, and flirted with whichever person was on duty at the front desk. Kish though the man was some distant relative of the manager or something taking advantage of the warm place to stay.

    The bell on the front door dingled and a tall ork stumbled in, draped over a middle aged female human. The ork wore an armor jacket, which was common here in the lesser part of Detroit. The blood leaking down under it wasn’t so common, though. “I need a bed, in a quiet corner” the woman cried out. “Fast!”

    Kish started the processing for the customers. He placed them in lower level room at the end of one wing. It was one of their more heavily used rooms, and the carpet wouldn’t be too much worse off if the guy decided to bleed out all over it. She handed the guests their mag key and gave them directions to the room, then watched them walk out. He wondered what had got them, and if there were more coming behind in search of the pair.

    Returning back to the regular paperwork she thought back to last night. He found it frustrating that a simple surveillance would have turned so sour. Where did it go wrong? Was it that the cyber defenses were way out of expectation? Sprint should have been able to take out the cameras shouldn’t he? Kish shook her head. Covert ops wasn’t his thing. He had a little training in stealth, but that was more oriented towards getting the principle out, not getting into an area. If this is the kind of mission the team could expect, then perhaps, Kish thought, I should bone up on some breaking and entering skills. Or maybe we need to look into hiring a specialist. Kish wondered if his cousin would know of a Covert-op type looking for some jobs.

    Looking back he realized he probably should have been closer in. Somewhere in sight of the compound, where he and CoyHawk would have had some cover. Standing guard over CoyHawk while she was projecting wasn’t anything new, he’d done that many times over the past. Seeing the shaman suddenly convulsing and bleeding was new, and a bit scary. There were a lot of things that could go off with a projection, and Kish was no expert by any means. Finding that there was no pulse was a bit shocking. It really brought home the seriousness of the situation. Kish wondered what happened to her, something massive by the look of it.

    What was up with that dog though? That was one of the scariest sounds she’d ever heard, and when the ground started trembling with it, he couldn’t have stayed there if he’s tried. How did Tors get on good terms with it? First the bird, now the dog. What next, a tarantula? Why not the famed Balrog?

    The money was good, though and Kish thought about what she could do with it. Rainne had showed him  the personalized grips on her Pistol, and Kish thought that might be good. Not so much for Sin and Dex, but certainly for Hugnin and Munin. She was surprised at how much they’d gotten, for so little work. With more runs like that she could pay of Dani quickly, even get out of this boring, annoying job. Better to save some of it for later too. At that she paused, what’s the best way to store money where it won’t be traceable? Probably cred sticks. Seems a bit vulnerable. But it’s hard to track what isn’t in the system at all, and there are ways to hide things.

    The door jingled again, Kish looked up again, then sighed. Time to get back to work, it seemed. Four well dressed men in sober colors forced their way into the lobby, spreading out and dominating the small room. As She stood up, she checked that Reason was still firmly in it’s holster at the small of her back. “I really need to get out of this job before it kills me” she thinks, while feeling grateful that the desk had a hidden layer of reinforced steel to duck behind.

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