Noir Days and Bright Nights

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Noir Days and Bright Nights
Date2082-01-28
Location
Seattle Metroplex
Status Threat Level: Medium
Factions Involved
ShadowHaven
Informer
Aztechnology
Delphi Aztechnology Blood Mage
Aztechnology CorpSec x2
Casualties and losses
Aztechnology Blood Mage, Aztechnology CorpSec x2


Summary

A Free Spirit named Informer visits Delphi after a kidnapped child sparks their curiosity. They dive into the dark underbelly of the Awakened world and find more mystery beneath the Metroplex.

The Spirit of Mystery

A dark night in Seattle, the neon light reflecting in the pools of acid rain serves only to extend the shadows of Loveland during the start of their shift. The door head bears a name "Delphi", this is who I am meant to find. Ever since I arrived in this city I've been seeking the truth, whatever's happening now is a new mystery, and I'm driven to solve it, but I need help, the help on the other side of this door.

Informer, a Free Spirit of Man in the form of a Noir detective arrives as Delphi's office and introduces themselves, including an odd effect that surrounds them, making things monochrome. Explaining that a child has disappeared. Kylie Martel, a 7 year-old elf with a SIN from Aztechnology had been attempted to be captured by a group of shadowrunners earlier in the day. However the shadowrunners had been torn apart by a sudden magical explosion that seemed to come from Kylie despite the girl not being Awakened. After the explosion however, an unmarked van pulled up to the park where this scene took place and grabbed Kylie, driving off before anyone could react.

Delphi, with the guidance of Oracle guiding her, agrees to assist Informer in their search for this young girl. Setting off for Mayfield Park, Delphi begins searching the Matrix. Finding that her parents work for separate Megacorps and that there is no history of magic within the family. She also discovers that there have been similar kidnappings, four others besides Kylie, that have all occurred the same way. Shadowrunners appear to try and kidnap someone, a large mana surge kills the runners, and an unmarked van grabs the exhausted metahuman from which the surge emerged. Tracing back some rumors that Delphi was aware of, she heard of an Awakened club called The Essence, where supposedly non-reputable shadowrunners can find jobs there, run by a former shadowrunner with a bad reputation herself, Lillias “Spear” Kozel.

The Game is Afoot!

A park, a place of child-like innocence, coated in the results of crime gone wrong. Corruption radiates from the authorities looking into this tragedy, seeking not the truth but a swift solution. Our eyes may fool us, but the Truth lingers just out of reach, hidden in the shadows.

Informer and Delphi arrive at Mayfield Park in Everett. The park is surrounded by Knight-Errant, including detectives regarding the crime scene for any sign of what happened. The park is littered with body parts of destroyed shadowrunners, but for there having been a magical explosion, there is no damage to the infrastructure of the area except some broken class in a few buildings across the street. Delphi gets an Improved Invisibility spell from Informer and sneaks past the KE guards to sneak through their cordoned off area and investigate the park. Opening her third eye, Delphi doesn't see any astral signatures, nor any sign of the child or the massive mana surge that was set off. Using the technology at her disposal Delphi collects an AR recreation of the event, seeing a large detonation that her search algorithm can only compare to half a ton of TNT.

Delphi continues to look around and finds a small stuffed rabbit on the playground roundabout and approaches it, using her ability to read objects, she delves into a vision of what happens, seeing Kylie playing in the park while her parents are on commlinks while four runners approach the young girl. One of them pulls a weapon and Kylie, frightened by the professional criminals, begins to glow with orangeish-yellow light that eventually moves outward violently, affecting the runners as though it was an explosion, but leaving the park perfectly intact. A van pulls up after the mana vanishes and grabs an exhausted Kylie, pulling her into an unmarked van and speeding away.

Delphi emerges from the vision and feels herself attuned to a background count that is attuned specifically to Kylie. She also quickly recreates the van using her photographic memory and discovers that it's freshly painted, and there's a small amount of green and yellow still showing that might be a part of the logo. Deciding to split up, Informer seeks out the logo and Delphi heads towards The Essence.

The Darkest Shadows

False images infest any city, logos and window dressing that covers the festering wounds that corrupts a place. Finding your way through those images is the first step to obtaining the truth.

Delphi calls Clyde and takes the cab towards the downtown area. Being dropped off in front of a shady alleyway where a flickering neon sign reads "The Essence". Delphi opens her third eye and finds that a large Earth spirit guards the door. Letting Delphi in, she's greeted by the vision of a dilapidated bar: broken tables and chairs, a dirty bar and shady customers. There's a sense of wrongness around the place and Delphi takes a moment to observe it closer. She finds that the motions of the patrons are stilted, almost like someone is controlling them, and eventually figures out that there is some form of illusion affecting her. Opening her eyes and breaking through the illusion, she sees a tall, pale individual that she identifies as a Banshee standing near to her, reaching for her head.

Now that the illusion is broken, Delphi sees The Essence as it truly is, a luxurious club that caters to the Awakened. Delphi sits at the bar and receives a drink from the Troll bartender. Inquiring about Spear, she starts asking questions and asks to see her. The Troll is hesitant, but sends the message through to Spear. Eventually Delphi is welcomed up and is greeted by the haughty Human Mystic Adept. Before the meeting starts, Spear takes out a bag of Laes and two bottles of dark liquor, telling Delphi to choose the one that the Laes is in. If Delphi is wrong, they'll both forget why they were there and Delphi will leave. Delphi assensing the bottles, finding a small essence of Laes on one of the bottles and choosing it. Spear pours from the other bottle and the two drink, unaffected by the memory altering drug.

As they discuss, Spear plays dumb about the kidnappings and her own connections to Aztechnology. Only cracking when Delphi's third eye opens and pierces the Mystic Adept's Masking. While not a blood mage as Delphi had initially suspected, Spear's aura is tainted by a Blood Magic Geas. According to Spear, while she was a runner she was captured by Aztechnology and forced into the Geas, forcing her to report to Aztechnology about all the runners that she'd ever worked with, leading to their untimely deaths or disappearances. Spear gives Delphi an address, a set of coordinates that seem to lead to a location underground, but close to the Aztechnology pyramid. As she exits, Spear pours herself a drink from the Laes-infused drink to forget the meeting with the PI.

As she leaves the room, she hears from Informer over the Mindlink they share that they have found the location of the logo, an old garage in the Redmond Barrens called "Lucky's". However they cannot get in easily, because the entire building is surrounded by a Mana Barrier.

The Ritual Below

It is in the darkest moments that we surprise ourselves. Cowards become brave, the weak become strong, and the determined lose their will. These are the moments that define who we are, it is here that we see our Truth.

Delphi heads to Lucky's while Informer checks out the the coordinates by the Aztechnology pyramid which Delphi has found is simply an empty lot. Trying to enter Lucky's but finding it locked, Delphi finds inspiration in her favorite trids and picks the lock, opening the door to the old mechanic's garage. Inside she finds paper magazines and a dusty and abandoned reception area. Taking some time to read the past of one of the magazines, she sees the past, all the way back to 2058 where the trid projector is showing a news story about the bomb being set off in Chicago. Delphi quickly experiences the next several years, where the mechanic Lucky goes about an average life until his eventual death and closing of the garage. In the last few months though, Aztlanders in suits come in with a drone with several drills. Unable to see beyond the reception in the vision, Delphi simply sees weeks go by where these individuals come in with power packs for the drone, before a few weeks ago when the Aztlanders remove the drone.

Coming back to her senses, Delphi sneaks forward to look deeper and finds a large hole in the middle of the garage, alongside the van she had seen in her first vision. Hovering over the hole is a Watcher that Delphi begins to prepare to fight, calling Informer back after they inform Delphi that the underground location is also surrounded by a strong barrier. Informer arrives at the garage and pushes through the barrier right as Delphi eliminates the Watcher spirit without being noticed, and the two of them descend into the hole.

At the bottom, the two detectives find that the walls seem to be pulsing with orangish-yellow energy, mana that is being concentrated so powerfully that it is visible even off the Astral. They move forward, coming across a set of minecart tracks that seem to have been removed and replaced. Eventually Informer stops, and cannot move forward. Delphi looks around and finds a small object placed in the rock ahead of them. The item is flickering several times a second, and using her magical knowledge, she determines it is creating the conditions of dawn and dusk, causing spirits to be confused and disrupted by the sudden shift. Reaching out and pulling power from her spark of magic, Delphi is able to temporarily disable the device and allow Informer to get through. Moving forward in this strange tunnel, Delphi finds her way to the end, where a Force 10 Blood Magic Barrier bars the entry to a lodge. Informer just barely manages to make their way through as they move forward and find a ritual in progress and five cages holding the kidnapping victims..

Delphi assesses the situation and considers her options, as well as the insanity of her situation. She identifies the ritual as an attempt to open a hole between this world and the Metaplanes using the prisoners as sacrifices. Remembering the effect of the mana surge she had viewed in her vision, and the physical manifestation of mana that is coalescing above the Blood Mage's head, Delphi takes aim with her weapon and fires at the mass of mana. The mass collapses in on itself and detonates, turning the Blood Mage and the other Aztechnology members who were fighting Informer to ash. Delphi takes a significant blow, but is far enough away not to die from the surge, and stands to find the Informer is damaged, but alive.

The two of them free the prisoners and gather up the commlinks of the Aztechnology mage and security, as well as the Blood Magic focus that the mage was using. Kylie Martel and the rest of the victims are emaciated and malnourished, and some of their blood has been taken, but they are alive, and with the help of Informer and Delphi, are able to get home safely.

As the day ends, Delphi discovers that the leyline that the mage was using was not on the map of known leylines in Seattle, and seems to have been a new direction...

Rewards

  • Initiate Grade 2
  • 2 CDP
  • 5 Karma
  • Contact: Informer (2/4 Free Spirit Private Eye) (5 RVP)
  • Option to purchase Chosen Follower (Oracle)


Game Quotes

Player After Action Reports (AARs)

Delphi

I knew there would be trouble the moment they walked through my door - well, glided would be a better word I suppose. Smoke and shadow followed in the spirit's wake, along with the faint smell of blood and the distant sound of music in the night...

Frag, now I'm doing it too. That was... a lot... I never thought that I'd meet a free spirit quite like Informer, but they took me down quite a rabbit hole and I still can't believe we both managed to survive - damn blood magic, kidnapping people and geasing runners... I'm just glad I could do something about it, even if it was just stopping one ritual and saving a few people, at least it's something I can feel good about. I defenitly needed that after my last few jobs. That poor little girl. I walked into this knowing it would lead places I didn't want to go just on the chance I could help get her back to her folks. She's going to have an interesting life, being Awakened now and on Aztechnology's radar - I just hope she'll be alright. That feeling of innocence was still there at least.

This all goes deeper than those kidnappings and that one blood mage though, they had corpsec there and it would take high-level geomancy to redirect lay lines and cause mana surges like what happened in the park, not to mention dig that tunnel in the abandoned garage and build that machine I found. I need to dig deeper into this, there were some files on those commlinks I took off the bodies pointing towards a deeper conspiracy here, and it's going to take some time to get to the bottom of it. It seems like they're using runners like Spear as pawns - I just hope killing that mage broke her geas and she can start working against them now. Not sure what I'm supposed to do with this chalice they were using as a focus for the ritual though - it's still overflowing with blood that keeps getting absorbed back into it, and I'm afraid trying to destroy it would cause another explosion of mana. Guess it'll stay on my shelf for now - hopefully the cat doesn't knock it over or I'll have some explaining to do to my landlord.

I'll need to put all this into a case file and do some more research to find out what's going on, but for now I'm going to do some reading - after walking along that lay line and tinkering with that device, not to mention the explosion of power, I can feel my connection to the manasphere starting to increase. Might be time to initiate again and try learning to mask my aura so I can make use of this focus I got from Herenight. Hopefully Informer can help me out - it'll be nice to have someone to watch trids with anyway.