Step Into My Parlor

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Step Into My Parlor
Part of Festering Infestation
Date2082-02-04
Location
Matrix, Public Grid
Status Threat Level: Medium
Factions Involved
ShadowHaven
Mr. Herenight
Tamanous
Delphi
Sp4rks
Polka
Tamanous Spiders
Casualties and losses
None The Widows, group of Tamanous black hats.


Summary

Runners extract crucial data about a Tamanous organ farm's location.

Background

Tamanous has operated a colossal organ farm in Seattle -- it's about time to shut it down for good. Finding is turning out to be a bit of a bitch, though.

The Meet

Mr. Herenight got a Skraacha member to post his job offer on the Matrix, but he himself meets the deckers in the flesh. In the ruins of Garry Foreman's (last featured in Nod Ya Head) now abandoned penthouse, he offers to give the team some details about the situation. They've managed to find the White Widow's host, a pseudo-famous black hat hacker that ended up vanishing for a few years and now re-emerged under Tamanous' payroll. He wants the three to go in, wreck shop and get as much information as possible. Everything they can rip out as a bonus is theirs to keep.

The Plan

Decking is a somewhat linear job most of the time, so while Delphi assists them in cold-sim, the other two take comfy seats in Herenight's temporary command center, a massive armored trailer as they keep on the move in case they're converged on. Polka and Sp4rks will move on in and do their thing, then get the frag out.

The Run

Things go bad before they even start. Delphi, the ever-curious spark, ends up checking the cigarette dropped by Mr. Herenight with her psychometry skill and suffers a flashback of him burning and chopping down a bleeding tree, tainted by the aura of blood magic in Foreman's garden before the team arrived. The vision is enough to make her sick and hurl in the restroom of the command center, something that didn't go unnoticed. As punishment for poking her nose where it doesn't belong, Herenight carves an alchemical sign in the back of her right shoulder during an inconspicuous-looking pat on the back. Delphi notices it soon after and does a panicked Matrix search for it, only finding a few stray mentions of an obscure dark grimoire where it's mentioned as a seal embodying harvest, wicker men and sacrifices. This is naturally spooking her to hell and back, but they have a job to do.

Sp4rks and Polka enter the host in hot-sim and find themselves in the middle of, somewhat predictably, a massive spider web, formed out of asphalt streets and city blocks instead of strands of silk. The roads take to the air, hoisted by nothing but the host's architecture itself. While they evade drider-looking monstrosities that are probably Bloodhound and Patrol IC as well as the White Widow and its agent, they go on a frantic search for the files. Sp4rks only messes up slightly when trying to snoop in on the spider's file editing, but that's all it takes in the 'trix. Alert rings immediately and the two engage the White Widow in brutal Matrix combat that ends as quickly as it begins -- a few data spikes later, Sp4rks sends both the agent and its owner out of the Matrix and probably bleeding out of every orifice with a colossal data spike that has the power to cleave hosts in twain. Probably. Don't ask me, I'm just the narrator.

Delphi does what she can to assist them with her agent, while Polka finishes his decrypting and sends the files for Delphi to speed read through. They find patrol routes, kidnapping locations and drop-off points, then peace out of the host as the foundation entrance opens and five other Widows appear, having finished with some host sculpting and now realizing their little sister's been attacked by intruders. All five of them prepare to fight, but fortunately Sp4rks is smart enough to leave when he's still in one piece and exits the host before rapidly jacking out.

Aftermath

The team had traced the White Widow before super murdering her persona, so they have the spiders' location. Herenight and Foreman, the two driving the command center start making their way toward Snohomish where the hideout is, then tell the team to wait in the trailer while they go deal with the loose ends. Through the sensors of the command center, the runners can only hear gunfire and horrified screams coming from within the building before half of it is demolished by a massive fireball. Once the infected Johnsons emerge, they tell the team to have fun looting what's left -- Delphi tries to ask for forgiveness from Herenight, but it's too little too late. Instead, she's offered a choice: remember and die or live and forget, complete with a vial of Laes. She hesitates for a moment, then accepts, drinking the whole batch. Polka, not knowing much about the situation, finds Delphi later and attempts to detox her, only partially restoring her memory. This will have consequences to come...

Rewards

For Polka and Sp4rks:

  • 52,000 Nuyen to upgrade cyberdecks
  • 2 CDP
  • 1 Black Lodge Reputation

For Delphi:

  • Rating 2 Attack Dongle
  • Positive Quality: Guts (10 RVP)
  • Negative Quality: Insomnia, Basic
  • 2 CDP
  • 1 Black Lodge Reputation

Player After Action Reports (AARs)

Delphi

Why?! Why me?! Why does this keep happening?!? That guy Hereknight tells me I'll never see him again, and not a week later I get called to Foreman's old apartment with a pair of deckers to help him continue the hunt for this organ farm... I'm not quite sure what went down - my head still hurts, and I can tell it was from laes - but Sp4rks and Polka told me some of the details and my notes filled in the rest. That bastard dropped his cigarette knowing I wouldn't be able to resist grabbing it - I can only assume it was some sort of test, and that I failed hard, because he *carved a sacrificial rune on my shoulder!* I could barely focus on helping on the 'trix from the stress, and had to grovel just to get him to remove it (with a switchblade, I might add...) Now I'm having fragging nightmares. Great. I can only hope it's the last time I have to encounter *those people*, but somehow I doubt it... this is far from over.

Sp4rks

Delphi is such a pain sometimes. I like her, dearly so, but when we meet a guy like the one we saw and she immediately follows it up by asking us not to search anything about him, it's hard to comply. AND JUST AFTER THAT she tries picking up a cigarette butt he dropped, i tried to distract him but to no avail, this guy has hawk eyes the motherfucker !

Whatever, everything goes fine and we just get down to a van where polka and i started to deck. Delphi looked uncomfortable, i feared it was somehow because of me but nah, right after polka started manifesting spiders all around the van and i understood why she was uncomfortable.

So, i do my thing, polka is rocking it, and i try to take a file from the spider. Bad luck, i failed and she saw me, not like it was any danger i dataspike her to hell and back, but friends of her appeared from the resonance ! at that point we had to bail, but goddamn if i didn't want to show 'em who's the boss.

At the end of the day, i'm keeping myself from searching more about the bastard 'cause i can't refuse shit to Delphi, but god knows she makes it hard sometimes.