ACHEs and Pains

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ACHEs and Pains
Date2082-01-16
Location
Downtown, Seattle Metroplex
Status Threat Level: Medium
Factions Involved
ShadowHaven
Zigzag
Insect Spirits
00
Charon
Nogitsune
Rooster
Skimmer
Flesh-Form Caretaker Spirit
Insect Shaman
Casualties and losses
Flesh-Form Caretaker Spirit, Insect Shaman
This run featured betrayal and was considered a failure by the Johnson.


Summary

In which the runners are tricked into escorting an insect shaman and a caretaker into the bowels of the ACHE, before discovering the ruse and murdering them to prevent a catastrophe.

Background

In State of Decay, a team of runners from the Haven discovered and destroyed a fly nest below Slater Cryogenics (a Tamanous front) in Redmond. This nest was overseen by one Mr. Warwick, a necromancer-turned-insect-shaman and ally of Patricia Windthrope, the head of R&D for nuYou Biosculpting and an initiated shaman who has fled to Chicago (see: Minor Arcana, Introductory Entomology, and New Year, nuYou for more in this plotline). Warwick escaped the destruction of the nest, along with a flesh-form caretaker spirit inside a ghoul body, and he has sought refuge with the 162s, where Zigzag revealed to him the location of a recently-vacated Disassemblers clinic underneath the ACHE which she has heard of through the grapevine (see: Streetwise Hercules). Believing this to be the perfect place for a new nest, he tricked Zigzag (who is rather dim and does not know of the bug business) into sending some ghouls to scout the place out under the pretense of taking it over as new organlegging clinic - when they didn't come back, he paid her enough money to hire a team of runners from the Haven to escort him (along with the caretaker) to the site of their new operation.

The Meet

Zigzag has the team meet with her at the Slater Cryogenics building, which has been gutted by the explosion of compressed gas tanks stored on the premises after the events of State of Decay; she remains ignorant of the true purpose of the site, and chose it merely to illustrate the scale of what was lost and the need for a new place to set up operations. Everyone manages to arrive in the barrens without much trouble, and are met by the ghoul in the burnt-out garage - she is unaware that Charon was on that job, having been distracted from being there so she didn't get caught in the crossfire. After finishing off her lunch and tossing the bone to a gnawer (freaking the hell out of 00), she explains what she needs of them - escort a pair of VIPs into a secure, dangerous place in exchange for a relatively easy payday. Charon and Skimmer negotiate out a price of 16k nuyen along with some favors from the 162s (Charon wants living victims and a way to dispose of bodies, while Skimmer wants food deliveries for his mentor Nameless' colony of ghouls in Glow City).

The Plan

Once terms have been settled on, Zigzag reveals to the team where they need to go - first to Club Penumbra to pick up their VIP, then into the bowels of the ACHE to locate the gutted Disassemblers clinic. She remarks that it is far outside of 162s territory, but that Warwick insisted and that she knows enough not to ask questions of her bosses. Sending them off, the team hop into Nogitsune's jeep and drive downtown to the venerable club, managing to get past the bouncer and inside to meet up with Warwick (an exceptionally-creepy-looking individual who assenses as mundane, thanks to masking, and manages to pass for sane enough that the team attribute his behavior to being an organlegger rather than an insect worshipper). Warwick recognizes Charon from their last meeting, but says nothing for the moment, telling the group that his associate is waiting for them in the OU and that the group will need to devise a way inside the ACHE. Nogitsune has been inside before (and even recorded the route) during the events of Streetwise Hercules and is able to guide them to their destination, though some slight adjustment is needed to avoid a dangerous, partially radioactive section of the old tunnels, taking the team into unmapped territory; they agree this small risk is worth avoiding radiation, though all are wary of Warwick, especially when they pick up his strange masked companion.

The Run

After traveling through the Ork Underground and using Nogitsune's knowledge of smuggling routes to avoid Skraacha territory, the team arrives at a hole punched in the ACHE's foundations that was used for smuggling people out during the Shutdown, and which is still occasionally used to get residents out (or get shadowrunners inside). En-route, Charon DNI's Warwick and asks for a private chat once they're on foot. Finding a safe place for the vehicle, the team proceed inside the tunnals - Nogitsune takes the lead to scout ahead, Rooster and 00 keep a close eye on the strange masked ghoul with Skimmer taking up the rear. Lagging behind, Charon and Warwick converse privately - Warwick reveals he knows it was her at Slater Cryogenics and that she is responsible for the destruction of the operation and the death of his associates. She tells him it was just business and that she doesn't care what he's doing as long as she's paying them, smooth talking him into revealing some of his intentions and his connections to nuYou's operations in Chicago.

Listening into the conversation over Charon's image/sound link, Skimmer makes a call to Nameless, his spiritual mentor, and asks his opinion on bug spirits; after being told to cleanse them in holy flame, he responds with a complex full auto burst directed at Warwick's face. He's able to dodge thanks to danger sense, and the caretaker spirit manages to slightly confuse Skimmer before attempting to flee, dodging a shotgun blast from Nogitsune and soaking one from 00, but ends up put down by Rooster's SMG fire. Warwick meanwhile is knocked to the ground by more boolet form Skimmer and knocked out by Charon, who persuades him to let him live for the moment so that a contact of hers can attempt to get some information out of him.

While the team is subduing Warwick, a shadowy presence in the darkness (the villain of Streetwise Hercules, and the originally-intended OPFOR before the betrayal) uses its fear power on Charon, causing her to flee into the darkness; thanks to some quick thinking on 00's part, she is guided via AROs along the route the team took and doesn't end up lost and hunted by an even more powerful vampire, with the rest of the runners following close on her heals. They are able to get out of the underbelly of the ACHE and back into the OU, at which point they take stock of their situation and consider their options.

Aftermath

While Skimmer considers what sort of lie to tell Zigzag, Charon calls up Agamemnon and tells him what happened; he is initially incised, especially as he is tied to her actions after facilitating Charon's meeting with Warwick in her previous job, but after she offers to clear the slate of favors he owes her Agamemnon agrees to interrogate Warwick for his secrets and subsequently make him disappear to the best of his abilities (though he warns that this sort of person doesn't just disappear and that someone will come looking for him). The team makes their way to Loveland, taking steps to ensure they aren't followed, and meet up with Agamemnon's agent to get a magemask and magecuffs before Charon (along with 00 and Skimmer, who have been to Agamemnon's establishment before during the events of The Lotus Flower Blooms Far From the Sun) bring Warwick to him, having a brief conversation before leaving him to the banshee's tender mercies.

Skimmer calls up Zigzag and tells her that the VIPs are dead. She is obviously angry and demands to know what happened, and he asks if she really wants to know; she says she does, and he tells her that she owes him a favor, and that she knows better than to ask questions she shouldn't. She gets the point, and says that the failure is on him (and Warwick, who she told not to go into Disassemblers territory); she says she'll come up with something to tell her bosses and doesn't burn him as a contact (and in fact still offers to hold onto the other's numbers if they need her personal services), but the team isn't still getting paid and the failure will stain their reputations. They accept this as a consequence of keeping a bug nest from growing between the ACHE, and congratulate themselves on a job, well, done.

Rewards

  • 10 karma
  • 2 CDP
  • 1 notoriety
  • Optional Contact: Zigzag (C1/L1 "Mobile Body Disposal") for 1 RVP or 2 CDP
  • Optional Contact (for 00 and Skimmer): Agamemnon (C4/L3 Fixer) for 6 RVP or 12 CDP

Game Quotes

Player After Action Reports (AARs)

Skimmer

Bug Spirits. Did a number on Chicago a while back, and are a real problem there today. And now I find out that this guy is looking to do the same thing here under the ACHE, establishing another Bug City. I'm pretty sure I'm against that, but after all this teaching form Nameless, I begin to wonder if he thinks all life is sacred, including the bugs. So I unobtrusively call him up. Clarification is made with no room for interpretation. I shoot the head bug guy, he dodges; I shoot him again, he goes down with a bit of assistance from Charon. Other bug guy gets lit up by pretty much everybody, goes down as well, but manages to make me feel a bit off before doing so. Whatever, the Grey Mana makes what could have been a bad situation a minor inconvenience. Charon wants to transport the head bug to a guy he knows to glean more information, and I'm marginally okay with it as long as the end result is he's dies. Zigzag wasn't happy, my fixer wasn't happy, but it is what it is. I failed a job that shouldn't have existed. I'm okay with that. And the city is a little bit safer. I feel good about that.

00

“God, this run was a dumpster fire. Alessa calls me up, and already it's off to a bad start. Way she goes on about this, feel like I should have said no. Work for some really not good people, organleggers and ghouls. So, against my better judgement and with a look from the Wolf, I take the job. Get to the meet, blowing through the SIN scanners heading into Redmond without trouble, and meet the J. One of the other runners knows them. Simple job, escort some crazy fraggers somewhere in the Underground to let them set up a new organlegging clinic.

Heading out to meet the VIP, we head to Club Umbra. We almost played here, back in the day. Wonder what would have happened if had? Gah, no time for reminiscing. So we meet the VIP and the guy gives all of us bad vibes. His associate that we’re to also escort along? Even worse vibes. Turns out, the VIP was a fragging Insect Shaman and his associate was a fraggin’ Bug Spirit. So, Skimmer, one of the other Runners, makes a call, and talks with someone to, I don't know? Get advice maybe? Either way, he gets off his call, and then tries to blast the VIP and the Bug. Bit of a fight, but we put them both down. Charon has a contact that can extract more intel out of the VIP, so we get him to fraggin Loveland. Looks like Charon’s contact was related to the last job I did. We get the VIP to the contact, none of us get paid, and we might have an international crime syndicate wanting to harvest all of our organs. Just another day as a Shadowrunner. Yeah, just another day. End Recording.”

Rooster

This drek got good moe. We went to some burnt out crappy building in the worse barrens and met with some ghouls or some drek. They were eating bits of people as we went in. the job was to escort some guy into the guts of the big pyramid downtown. So then we went to a classy club and met with that guy. He was weird looking, but he seemed alright enough to me. He wanted us to get him to some spot under the ACHE so he could setup some sorta organ harvesting business. Whatever, that's his biz. The rest of the team seemed suspicious though. We went through with the job though, because we're professionals. HAH, just kidding. We started in on the job and then Skimmer straight up tried to murder the creepy guy we were escorting. We all joined in, and they ended up very dead. Well, the creepy guy ended up unconscious. I lit the other guy up as he tried to run. Turns out the fuss was because they were bug spirits or some drek. I ran into other bug spirits on another run, and they were nasty. The rest of the team wanted to take the creepy guy to one of Charon's contacts to be tortured before they murdered him. No drek though, as we hand this guy off to the contact I noticed that Nogitsune looked like a fox in the astral. Turns out that fucker was one of those weird paracritters, hiding in the group and waiting for his chance to pounce. I had thought that the fox tail was some sorta weird biomod. Needless to say, I hightailed it out of there.

Nogitsune: Well it was definitely something I was not expecting thinking of just helping some organ leggers get into a spots and start doing their trade I wasn't going to lose much sleep about it because well it's just the natural cycle of the six world .but so deal with the fact that these are insect spirits an even someone like myself I cannot fathom the idea of allowing these monsters to exist they were very anathema to nature and 77,000 lives would likely become prey to them I was not going to allow that to happen .I’m glad my team acted before I had to…of course that doesn't cover the fact that we Had someone over reacted I can smell in the fear emulating other days but I'm after all a demon up to worlds and I still show more humanity than most ,

Charon

Warwick. This guy again. Like, what, is he Mid Boss from Disgaea? Anyway, I almost managed to gank him on a previous job and now we gotta escort him to the pyramid for the 162s? Problem is, 162s deal with Tamanous and I know better than to trust those organ legging fucks. Not to mention bug spirits in general cut into my food supply. The second I start grilling him underground, I see what's going on and let the others know so they're not gonna go in on this blind. The elf kind of flew off the handle after that, I didn't see that coming. Fortunately, I'm not gonna swear allegiance to a bunch of cockroaches, so it's not like it was too much off my plate. Sure, I'm pretty sure I'm going to eat shit for this, but I did make up with Agamemnon by giving him some intel in the form of our VIP. God, I gotta say it was great to see him work his magic. Guy's really got a talent for spooking folks, and I'm not just talking about his banshee howling. I'm glad I spared him that one time, he's an asset and a half. Pretty sure he's gonna stab me in the back one of these days, but I'll enjoy the ride as long as it lasts.