Caldera Combat!

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Caldera Combat!
Date2082-05-12
Location
Puyallup
Status Threat Level: Medium
Factions Involved
ShadowHaven
Amrei Veidt
The Bloodshots
Barracuda Drago "Shiv" Genadi
Casualties and losses
One point of edge was burnt on Smackdown Drago "Shiv" Genadi


Summary

Barracuda climbs an active volcano and kicks an old friend's head off. After pleasing Leviathan in such a brutal manner, he was gifted a deeper connection to magic and a new focus to channel power from - and after getting back down, he hesitantly got into bed with Saeder-Krupp.

Background

Barracuda was once a member of a gang called the Bloodshots when he was around twenty years old. After participating in a number of muggings, petty theft, and various other crimes, the group was killed almost to a man after a rival gang tossed a barrage of live frag grenades into a club where the entire lot of them were gathered. Barracuda, thinking all his friends had died (again), left after waking up among the carnage, eventually coming to recognize the Leviathan as his mentor spirit in the intervening years. A previous run, Out of Balance, also led to him getting a house-call from a tall, suit-wearing human with craggy features, striking eyes, and a near-golden complexion while he was away, leaving behind a metal business card for Saeder-Krupp and an invitation to call Amrei Veidt for an investment opportunity.

The Meet

After a long day of moving a new, mostly-intact bed into his room after devil rats ate the old one (and, of course, murdering devil rats in the process), Barracuda was taken by a sudden, intense vision. He found himself in the agonizing situation of being fully submerged in lava, while his mentor, the Leviathan, demanded that he come to Mt. Rainier. After waking up in a sweat and dissuading his slitch of a roommate from looting his unconscious body, he set out for the volcano.

The Plan

Head up there, try not to die in the process, commune with this jackass lava monster. Simple, right?

The Run

Not simple. When he reached the caldera, Barracuda found that he wasn't alone; an ork with pulsing black and red LED tattoos and a matching synthleather jacket was hanging around the crater's rim, staring down into the lava. After wracking his brain for a moment, he found the memory he was looking for: This guy originally just looked familiar, but after realizing that he was wearing the colors of one of Barracuda's old gangs, the Bloodshots, he recognized the ork for who he was. Drago "Shiv" Genadi had been in the gang with him, and had even been the one to teach Barracuda most of what he knows about using bladed weapons - but the last time they saw each other, Barracuda was turning him over in a wrecked nightclub to find him seemingly dead from a number of shrapnel wounds. Approaching his old friend, Barracuda hesitantly struck up a conversation, discovering that not only was Shiv Awakened, but that night at the club had been the trigger for it. After coming to among the corpses of his friends, Shiv had found only one body missing: That of the supernaturally tough jackass that was currently standing before him. And apparently, as of late, he'd heard the voice of the Leviathan, calling him up to the caldera much as it had Barracuda.

As they spoke, the demands of Leviathan became louder and more violent, triggering a brutal rage from Shiv after it came to a head. In his berserk state, he charged Barracuda with his customized knife, landing a solid hit in the ganger's belly that was only saved from being a deep wound by the thickness of his armor and a well-timed block. A sharp kick to the side of Shiv's knee, powered by the red haze of Kamikaze, did little to quell his anger; another stab to the chest sent his opponent stumbling back, on the very edge of consciousness. That was when Leviathan cast its lot. The background count of the caldera shifted to align with Barracuda, allowing him to channel his power back into his deactivated Qi foci as he charged in for one last blow. A high, reckless kick with his combat boots, strengthened by the drugs in his system and the survival instinct screaming in his brain, stopped Shiv dead in his tracks. His head cleanly separated from his body, sailing off into the lava below. His body dropped the knife into the dense, packed ash at Barracuda's feet, and followed the head soon after with a slight push from his victorious opponent. Finally, exhausted and spent after the battle, Barracuda stepped back from the crater, collapsing into an unconscious heap moments later.

Aftermath

An hour later, Barracuda woke up, coughing up the ash that had collected in his respirator during his "nap". In his mind, he could feel the pride and pleasure the Leviathan took in his victory - though the memory of the victory itself was hazed with not only the Kamikaze in his system at the time, but the berserk rage and near-unconsciousness that motivated it. As a sign of this pride, he found himself with a new tattoo etched into the left side of his face along the burn scar he got from his last visit: Red lines radiating from his eye in a pattern reminiscent of the Bloodshots iconography. For a time, he remained at the peak of Mt. Rainier, recovering his strength before taking Shiv's ceramic knife from the ash and making the treacherous climb down the mountain. The only stop he made was to dissuade a pack of devil rats from considering him easy prey by stomping one of them into the basalt slopes of the volcano and using it to heal the damage the Kamikaze crash had inflicted on his system. When he returned, he found Twitch had, as expected, raided his room while he was gone. After retrieving the various, extremely expensive weapons from the fortified lair of the little goblin, he finally got a moment to rest.

That was when he made the fantastic decision to call up Amrei Veidt about the "investment opportunity" that had been mentioned on the S-K business card left for him. In short, she (and presumably, Saeder-Krupp by extension) wanted the Iceberg Hotel restored to something at least resembling a livable state. In return for Barracuda fixing the place up and allowing occasional (assuredly discreet) inspections, as well as housing Saeder-Krupp agents whenever required, the corporation would provide a starting budget of 100,000 nuyen for the project. After consulting with Gord, the only other metahuman resident of the hotel, Barracuda called her back not long after the pitch was made. While she was entirely unhelpful on the question of why S-K didn't just move in and kill him in the process, she did at least promise that any future visits from the corporation would be far more clandestine than the delivery of the business card. After a long, uncertain pause, Barracuda accepted, figuring that a headstart on rebuilding the future headquarters of his gang was a far better option than whatever S-K might do if he declined.

Rewards

  • Initiate Grade 1 Discount
  • Rating 4 Qi Tattoo, unbound (3 RVP)
  • Will to Live 3 (9 RVP)
  • 1 Karma (1 RVP)
  • 2 CDP
  • The guilt of killing a friend
  • 100,000 nuyen towards repairing the Iceberg Hotel (Narrative-only, not reflected in character's sheet)
  • A very uncomfortable deal with Saeder-Krupp

Game Quotes

Player After Action Reports (AARs)

Barracuda

... Never figured any of the lads survived from back then. I mean, Chief was a fine red mist after being the closest to the grenades. Shiv was closer to the door than I was; how the frag could he have gotten back up after that? Hell, I checked the body - wasn't breathing, far as I could tell, and he definitely wasn't looking like he was gonna wake up and stab me in the chest in the future. Thought I would've at least heard about it if one of my boys was still kicking around.

Eh. Whatever, what's done is done. Leviathan seemed pretty happy after that drek, at least, even though I ain't too pleased about how it went down. And now I got this S-K business to worry about. I'm not an expert on this "Frau Veidt", but from what I figured at the meet last time, she definitely doesn't frag around. Not that Lofwyr's lot ever does. Best case scenario, I come out of this a hundred thousand nooj richer, and I get some solid home turf under my belt without having to deal with too much dragon bulldrek. I got the resources, the contacts, and the cash - now it's just time to get this place together...

...

... I'll pour one out for ya, Shiv. You were a good guy to have at my back. Shame you were such a shit opponent.