|Jawson Vorhees, unnamed Gecker|
|Casualties and losses|
|The structural integrity of several of Cold Hands' ribs.||Jawson Vorhees, the matrix persona of an unnamed Gecker|
A runner is hired to enter a Barrens street race, assassinate a notorious ghoul, and make it look like an accident.
The 162s are a gang of ghouls that plague the Redmond Barrens, having a profitable relationship with Tamanous' organ legging business. Jawson Vorhees is a particularly reprehensible example of the 162s, a ganger who is not at all shy about his bloody exploits.
Cold Hands is contacted not by her usual fixer, but by St1tch, a former shadowrunner with a vendetta against the infected. The proposed job is to eliminate one Jawson Vorhees, a notorious figure within the 162s. Jawson is to be participating in a Redmond Barrens street race, one organized by and for the various gangs of the district as a 'friendly' competition. St1tch asks that Jawson be killed in a way that makes it look like the ghoul was just another casualty in the no-holds-barred combat race.
Cold Hands will later subcontract Catharsis, having worked with the decker in prior runs.
Cold Hands' first call is to Dr. Tony Hanks, a charity doctor working out of the Barrens. She quickly obtains his enthusiastic cooperation when she promises a donation while informing him that her objective is to take out Jawson Vorhees. Having heard of the race, and having treated some its prior participants at his clinic, Dr. Tony Hanks informs Cold Hands that the race was organized by the Cutters and operated as a "peaceful" venue where the gangs and go-gangs of Redmond gathered in the dubious spirit of friendly competition. She also learned that Jawson Vorhees was a frequent entrant, whose favored weapon was a Blood-drinker Axe.
Having learned of the race's location, Cold Hands sets out into the Barrens to visit the site personally. She is briefly accosted by gangers in a muscle car, with whom she engages in an informal race as a warm-up to the upcoming festivities.
Once she arrives, she locates Jawson Vorhees amongst his fellow 162s, boasting of his exploits and showing off his modified, armored Harley bike. She also instigates an altercation with a Halloweener causing a scene at the registration desk, simultaneously humiliating the Halloweener while registering herself under the 'Red Mare' moniker. Cold Hands secretly hopes that the Halloweener will end up participating in the race.
Having seen that Jawson Vorhees is heavily chromed, and that every gang-sponsored racer is backed by support crew, Cold Hands decides to subcontract another runner for assistance. She places a call to Catharsis, who she has successfully worked with previously.
Catharsis makes her way to the site of the race in time for the event. She is briefly harassed by the Cutter guards at the gate, but the two women manage to convince them to let Catharsis pass as part of Cold Hands' support crew.
Cold Hands leads Catharsis to Jawson Vorhees, who is still preening in front of his bike. She finds some cover to obscure Catharsis as the decker enters the matrix, and it isn't long before Catharsis has placed undetected marks on Jawson Vorhees' bike while obtaining information on his decker support.
The race begins, with Cold Hands riding out as the 'Red Mare' and Catharsis monitoring the matrix situation from a hidden location. Jawson breaks out in the lead but soon the race devolves into multiple brawls. Cold Hands zeroes in on Jawson and the Halloweener, provoking the Halloweener into chasing her right into Jawson. The ghoul spots what she is up to, and soon the trio are engaged in a three-way battle.
Meanwhile, Catharsis' interference has been spotted by the ghoul decker and the two begin working against each other through the matrix. While Catharsis uploads dangerous code into Jawson's bike controls, she is marked and dataspiked by the Ghoul Decker. Suffering damage from the attacks, she is forced to unplug.
In the high-speed battle, Cold Hands targets the fuel injector for Jawson's old-school combustion bike, causing it to start leaking dangerous fluids. After a further exchange of blows, Cold Hands forces Jawson into a high-speed crash; the ghoul spots an opportunity to weave through the maneuver, but Catharsis' virus reverses his controls and he crashes spectacularly. While Jawson slowly rises from his hard crash, Cold Hands empties an SMG into his leaking, smoking bike, causing it to explode near Jawson and injure the ghoul severely.
The ghoul, however, still stands. As the other racers speed away, Cold Hands stays behind to finish him off. She attempts a ramming maneuver, but the powerful, augmented ghoul simply catches her bike, grinds it to a stop, and forces her off. The two are soon clashing, blade against blade.
In the matrix, the ghoul decker - overconfident from having forced Catharsis to withdraw - begins attacking Cold Hands' bike's systems. Catharsis uses this opportunity to mark the decker and prepare a retaliatory data spike of her own. By the time the ghoul realizes what is happening, Catharsis' matrix avatar is tossing a cartoon bomb his way. The attack destroys the gecker's matrix persona utterly.
The meatspace battle is going less well for the runners. At first dodging and blocking Jawson's attacks ably, Cold Hands finds that her sword strokes are doing little more than chip damage against the heavily armored and chromed ghoul. All it takes is one lucky hit from his axe to dislocate her shoulder. A second hard blow catches her not long after, barely blocked by her katana. Cold Hands feels ribs cracking as she flickers in and out of consciousness.
In that moment, she has a vision. The spectral red mare, a mentor spirit that appeared to her briefly during her Awakening and haunted her dreams since, fully manifested. At roughly the same time, Catharsis' attacks on Jawson's systems bore fruit, and the ghoul's arms began to spasm and deactivate.
The ghoul still refused to give up, and charged Cold Hands with gnashing teeth. She sidesteps the attempt, and cleanly decapitates the ghoul. While Cold Hands is dragging the body into the flames of Jawson's wreck, she sees her mentor spirit stamping its hooves near her fallen motorcycle.
She understands its message, rights her motorcycle, and speeds off to rejoin the race. Though the battle left her a full dozen seconds behind the other racers - a nearly insurmountable gap - Cold Hands was in the zone. The spectral horse rode beside her as she weaved through the Redmond streets, catching up with the surprised survivors of the no-holds-barred race. The three bikers burn towards the finish line, and Cold Hands wins by a matter of inches.
Jawson Vorhees is killed, under circumstances that paint him as an unfortunate but normal casualty of a weapons-allowed, full-combat biking race. Cold Hands is met with the cheering roar of a crowd, her AR motifs uploaded to the viewing screens by Catharsis. Both runners are paid in full by St1tch, who is appreciative of the traceless wetwork of a notorious member of an infected gang.
For Cold Hands
- 20k nuyen or 40k in magical foci (10 rvp)
- 3 karma (3 rvp)
- 1 street cred as the Red Mare of Seattle
- +1 loyalty with St1tch
- Discount on initiation grade 1
- 20k nuyen (10 rvp)
- 3 karma (3 rvp)
- Optional contact: St1tch at 5/1 (5 rvp)
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
"It's hard to disagree with St1tch's fantacism when she sends me against such scumbags. Jason Vorhees is the kind of foe I have no qualms taking on."
"I'm finding that I have a worrisome talent for provoking enemies. Elves have a particular reputation, and I'm sure my demeanor only adds to and reinforces that stereotype. But if knuckleheads really want to spend that much effort taking me down a peg, that only makes my job easier."
"What I once thought a product of fevered dream is real. I always knew that things were a little... different for me after I awakened. Incessant restlessness, strong urges to see what was just beyond the horizon or past the next bend, and legs more tireless and fit than when I was a teenager - I had a vague understanding that all of this was tied somehow to the change I underwent. But this is the first time I saw her appear during my waking hours, as real and as present as the pavement beneath my feet. I have a lot to think about."
"Glad to have had Catharsis' support on this run. I owe her one for coming on such short notice, and for sticking things through despite the danger and injuries we both sustained."
Cold Hands called on short notice, but seeing as I didn't have much better to do, I was able to show. It was my first real matrix fight post nearly getting geeked, and I nearly risked it again there--But I was needed as support so all is well that ends well. We took out that troll, and Cold Hands got some pretty nova footage of their mentor spirit. All in all, a good day to help a good friend.