Introductory Entomology

From ShadowHaven
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Introductory Entomology
Date2081-12-07
Location
Outremer, Seattle Metroplex
Status Threat Level: Medium
Factions Involved
ShadowHaven Insect Spirits Petrovski Security
Charon
C-Unit 537 - Hunter
Relay
Sp4rks
Flesh Form Ghoul Spider Security Guard
Casualties and losses
Flesh Form Ghoul Spider Security Guard x3


Summary

In which the runners investigate a missing person, and stumble upon to a bug infestation.

Background

Dr. Patricia Windthrope, head of research and development with the nuYou chain of bio-sculpting clinics, is a recently converted insect shaman (see: Minor Arcana) who is hell-bent on spreading the good word of the Invae and creating as many fly nests as she can. To this end, she has infested a client named Jasper Phillips – a security spider recently infected with HMHVV strain III and seeking surgery to look like a regular human again – with a fly worker spirit who can take advantage of his implanted deck and manage security concerns from a remote facility set up on Vashion Island, where her company has a clinic for wealthy clients to go and relax while healing from minor procedures away from the public eye.

Unfortunately for the quite-insane Patricia’s “plans”, Mr. Phillips surgery was sponsored by a wealthy friend who is quite concerned that he has been gone for longer than the week that he was supposed to be in for surgery. This friend doesn’t want to call Knight Errant for reasons of privacy (and because he knows that they probably won’t do anything about it, since Jasper isn’t rich like himself), but he is also an associate of Mr. Mack, a Johnson on ShadowHaven (see: Postmodern, Posthuman), who has offered to find some extra-legal assistance to the problem by hiring criminals to investigate the matter outside of the bounds of the law.

The Meet

Mr. Mack has the runners meet with him at DaVinci’s Delight, the art gallery he owns in Bellevue. Everyone is able to get there without much of a problem, though Charon cringes at the bright afternoon sunlight as she wraps herself up in cloak and sunglasses; arriving, they all manage to look relatively fancy for the rich crowd, though Hunter stands out a bit with his lack of etiquette. Mr. Mack has generously shut off the SIN scanner for their arrival, and pings the runners with the location of a secret elevator behind a bookcase which leads down to his lavishly decorated private chambers, where he and Mr. Johnson are sharing a drink by the fireplace. The team roll their eyes over DNI.

Mr. Johnson (a plain-looking man in a suit who works as an executive with a bank) explains that his associate, Mr. Phillips, went in for surgery that was supposed to last a week, but that it has now been 10 days and he has not been able to contact him. Charon takes the lead with negotiations, putting on her game face and getting the obviously-amateur J to spit out some details and cough up a bit of extra cash. The J says that Jasper is a ghoul and that his surgery was to disguise this (as well as a tetrachromancy treatment, to enhance his poor vision), and that he had elected to go to a private retreat while healing - he does not know where this retreat is, hence he will them to find out before going to investigate. For this he offers 10k nuyen each, which Charon is able to bargain up to 16k with a firm stare after showing off her teeth; the team accept these terms and are given a number to call if they have further questions.

The Plan

Relay suggests heading to a nearby club (Black Tie Affair, a private establishment of which he is a member) that the team can use to plan, and to relax and get out of the sun a bit in the vampire’s case. Since they’re all already dressed up, everyone thinks this is a great idea, and they head over to the piano bar to enjoy a bit of ambiance while waiting for the sun to set. After speaking with the owner (a contact of his), Relay is able to secure use of the back room as a hacker den so that he and Sp4rks can do a bit of legwork on the matrix while the other two chill out and enjoy the vibes.

After tag-teaming a T6 search on their target, Relay and Sp4rks put together a picture of the man they’re looking for and locate the Bellevue nuYou clinic where he arranged his surgery; the information on the retreat where he went to is located inside the host however, so Sp4rks pops psyche and prepares for some cybercrime while Relay smokes a bit of zen before going to listen to some music. The decker finds a destination host waiting for him, so he goes inside pretending to be a confused customer to distract his personal IC while looking for nested hosts, managing to find the employee’s only door leading to the security host where patient information is stored. He is able to mark it and slip inside before the IC alerts the host of his hacking, running silent and staying hidden from the patrol IC as he locates Mr. Phillip’s patient information (encrypted and data bombed).

Unfortunately the matrix gods are against him, and the data bomb rolls 6 hits on 10 dice against his 5 – the malicious code shreds the file and explodes in Sp4rks’ face, instantly bricking his deck and dump-shocking him back into meatspace. Relay – just finishing his zen cigarette – helps fix his deck and gets him into the valkyree module while Hunter mops up the blood and Charon proceeds to be an absolute boomer by requesting songs from back in her day and talking up the 20th century ambiance.

After a few hours the deck is repaired, the decker is (mostly) healed up, and the sun has set, so Charon plans a social maneuver to get them the information they need. Heading to the nuYou clinic, Charon poses as a wealthy socialite interested in bio-sculpting options, conning the receptionist into thinking she is who she says she is before intimating that “a friend” told her about a private retreat one could go to while recovering. After an edged con roll that just beats out a crazy number of hits on judge intentions, the receptionist is fooled into revealing the promotional information on the retreat, which the flyspy on Charon’s shoulder (which Relay is rigged into) captures in great detail – once she leaves, a thorough analysis with his mapsofts confirms that it is located on the coast of Vashion Island. Before setting out, Charon calls up her fixers Agamemnon and Marion, who each agree to pay for information from the clinic (Marion wants data files to sell to infobrokers, while Agamemnon wants blood samples to sell to syndicates as material links to rich people – both for blackmail purposes of course).

The Run

Having located where their target presumably is, the team now needs to find a way to get there. They look at options for acquiring a boat, but all are expensive and time-consuming, and so compromise with a plan to send Hunter over in Sp4rk’s chameleon-coated Dustoff drone (piloted by Relay to avoid the coast guard and such) while Charon uses her newly-acquired mist form ability to float over on the wind, with Relay and Sp4rks working remotely through the wireless, drones, and data taps. After some scouting by Relay using his flyspy/eye swarm, the team have mapped out the small facility (evidently guarded by a quartet of security mooks on a docked boat, which Hunter identifies as being from Petrovski before going into an MCT-murder-trance for most of the remainder of the run), the team is ready for the infiltration, with Relay and Sp4rks camped out in the former’s vehicle by the Downtown docks while the other two make their way across the Puget Sound under cover of darkness.

Managing to land the Dustoff without being noticed while piloting his own rotodrone over, Relay equips Hunter and Charon with a flyspy each so that he and Sp4rks can provide overwatch before the two of them stealth their way towards the facility. On the astral, Hunter spots out a watcher spirit, so Charon sneaks up to it and literally devours it with duel-natured unarmed combat. They manage to make their way inside the building, where they spot out a currently-inactive but wireless-on anthrodrone. Sp4rks GBoGH’s 3 marks onto it, and the now-bugged Jasper’s agent alerts the fly controlling his corpse to this, causing everyone to go to initiative.

Sp4rks beats out the bug-spider, throwing off a data spike, however it gets bounced away harmlessly – knowing he’s vulnerable however, the bug disconnects and causes all the drones to go on dog-brain. Hunter just deletes the drone with his Barrett, alerting the security goons outside, and the clinic’s rail drones light up the targets with automatic suppressive fire using gel rounds, forcing them both to hit the dirt before Charon decides to simply march up and shoot the drone off its mounting, then tears the other off with her bare hands. Relay uses his rotodrone to take out one of them before they’re even off the boat before being forced to dodge incoming fire from the clinic’s now-autopiloted one, while Sp4rks gets to work using the data tap Charon deploys to try to hack into the wired network.

Hunter shoots his way through the lock on the basement door down to the spider’s lair and feels around for the light switch, but Charon tags him out so he can go to engage with the Petrovski goons who no doubt heard his shot; outside he is hit with assault rifle fire from them, but ignores it due to his security armor and pain editor, proceeding to take shots at them with his own rifle. On the matrix, Sp4rks is able to squelch the manual panic button to keep it from sending out any signals before managing to locate a file containing the patient information (i.e. potential paydata for the team), but is thwarted *again* by a data bomb, ending up with his deck bricked and dumpshocked for the second time in 12 hours. Relay takes over overwatch support at this point while Sp4rks tries to get back online as quickly as possible, directing Charon towards the rigger cocoon downstairs which she proceeds to smash open – and finds it empty, except for the remains of a bug cocoon…

Before she can say anything however, Charon ends up shot from behind by the rigged-in rail drone which the bug-spider – under concealment and hiding in the corner, with her unable to notice his presence – is controlling. The vampire is turned into a red paste on the floor, and Relay curses before splitting his fire between two of the Petrovski goons and putting them on the ground; however he is then hit with a lucky shot by the stick-and-shock equipped dog-brained rotodrone the spider was controlling, ending up dumpshocked from his own drone and clutching his temples with Sp4rks back in the van. While Charon regenerates, Hunter finishes off the security team (minus one, who finds cover). The rail drone from downstairs comes up to engage Hunter, shooting him with ADPS through the wall, but he ignores the wounds and shoots it off its railing before it can fire again.

Downstairs, Charon recovers rapidly and attempts to find the spider, but is unable to do so – instead she smashes her way into a walk-in freezer and starts collecting blood samples. Relay, now jumped into her flyspy, is able to fight through the mental disorientation of biofeedback and spot something sneaking up on her on the sensors, throwing off a heads up and letting her attempt to dodge the incoming bone spike from the bug-ghoul – thankfully it isn’t a very good fighter, and Charon is able to tear the creature apart while Hunter drags the last (heavily-wounded) member Petrovski team inside to see what they were guarding (intimidating him into running away screaming into the night).

Aftermath

Hunter climbs into the Dustoff drone’s valkyrie module and immediately passes out, while Charon slaps a data tap on the Petrovski team’s Nightrunner boat so that Relay can pilot it (and his damaged drone) as well as the Dustoff back to them while she mist forms away. He is able to avoid notice thanks to vision penalties for darkness and rigger bulldrek, managing to get all the vehicles safely to the team, and proceeds to spend his reward money as well as some of his own resources getting the licencing and ownership privileges changed over now that the previous owners are no longer using it.

Calling up Mr. Johnson, the team give him the unfortunate news about Jasper (along with photos of the flesh-form corpse with visible tetrachromancy in one eye) – he is understandably shocked and appalled, but lives up to their agreement and sends the team their full reward. Charon is also able to sell the blood samples (as well as the paydata which Sp4rks later retrieved using the still-in-place data tap before blowing it up, as those files were not shredded due to the lack of Foundation backups) to her fixers and earn a few favors, as well as some optional bonus money for the team if they’re willing to compromise their morals a bit and accept blackmail money. Everyone walks away satisfied with the payment, though concerned about the potential for a bug infestation.

Rewards

  • 16,000 nuyen and 5 karma (if taking the original payment) OR 20,000 nuyen and 3 karma (if accepting blackmail money)
  • 2 CDP
  • Optional Gear Reward (for Relay): Aztechnology Nightrunner @ 2:1 RVP value
  • For Charon Only: +1 Chip on Agamemnon and Marion for blackmail material on rich people

Game Quotes

Player After Action Reports (AARs)

Relay

I watched a teammate get blown up--like, ribs sticking out of her chest. I watched another bleed out his eyes when his deck got fried, then he got hit a second time. And--at the end of the day--the guy we were sent in to rescue had turned into a bug.

I lost a teammate today. Thanks to being a friggin' vampire, she put herself back together...but any other teammate would have been put in the ground instead. We also got lucky because it's a kind of bug that doesn't seem to hive...but that means there are people in Seattle with the ability to infest human beings with bug spirits. We can't expect to be so lucky next time; we need to be prepared. The gloves need to come off. From now on, we shoot first and ask questions later.

Sp4rks

I'm not proud of myself on that one, i fragged up the hospital data, then tried to help out during the actual boots-to-the-ground time but got bricked onec again. Bricked twice by data bombs, it's so bad even charon commented i was the worse decker she worked with.. teach her well, she got reduced to red paste soon after.

Charon

So did anyone else see how I ripped an entire turret out with my bare hands? No? How about when I faced a fleshform insect and ripped it apart? Still no? Fuck you guys, you're the worst audience ever. This was a hard job to pull off, but thanks to Relay's drones keeping my back in check, we got out relatively intact. See, that's something these fraggers don't understand: I won't be stopped. Not by bugs or technology or anyone. I'll get my vengeance or burn the entire sprawl down, and this job is just one little pebble on the stairway to heaven. My heaven.

Press

Infestation Uncovered in Outremer