The Harker Gambit

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The Harker Gambit
Date2082-07-17
GMSarcarian
LocationRedmond, Seattle Metroplex
Status Threat Level: High
Factions Involved
ShadowHaven The Hunters
Artemisia
Barracuda
Spider
Swerve
Hunters
Rival Runners
Spirit of Man
Rose of Sharon Howlett
Casualties and losses
Hunters x4, Rival Runners


Summary

In which a pair of Infected runners (as well as a suspected Infected) are hired by hunters to be lured into an ambush; thanks to careful diligence and ample luck, they are able to win the day.

Background

In Take Back the Night, Rose of Sharon Howlett hired some Haven runners to burn down a nightclub called Darklands which was frequented by vampires who used it to prey upon the patrons. One of those patrons, Mina Murry, has hooked up with a local group of Infected hunters, and has arranged to act as a catspaw in order to lure some of the runners who are either known or rumored to be Infected into a trap set by Rose and her compatriots, including a rival team of NeoHaven runners.

The Meet

Artimisia, Barracuda and Swerve are contacted by their fixers and told to meet with Ms. Johnson at a bar in Touristville after sunset; each manages to make it there without much issue (though Artimisia has to borrow some normal clothes from Cricket in order to not stick out like a sore thumb). Upon arrival, they find a seemingly-skittish young woman who puts on a convincing vampire simp act, subtly hinting at a fascination with the runners and a desire to help them. She says that she was at Darklands when it burned down, and that a vampire there with whom she was infatuated was among those killed - this particularly strikes a chord with Swerve, who recalls a friend and fellow neonate vampire who died in the same incident.

Mina tells the runners that she knows where a group of Infected hunters are based, and that she believes they are connected to the people who burned Darklands down (and who have been targeting several other known hangouts for the Infected in the weeks since); she is able to sell her con well, and though the runners are wary they all ultimately wish to take the job for their own reasons. Swerve offers to take Mina somewhere private and asks if she can probe her mind with detection magic for any other details - Mina is privately worried this may expose the ruse, but thankfully does well at hiding her true intentions, making it appear as though she's been laesed. However she does let through one image of a blond woman with distinctive scars across her face, which Swerve takes note of. The banshee privately offers to turn Mina if she wishes, and she says she'll think about it, leaving a commlink number to reach her at before taking her leave.

The Plan

Reconvening, the runners hop into Arti's van and drive around for a bit planning their next course of action. They decide to scout out the address they were given, with Barracuda doing the facing work for obvious reasons. Heading to Purity in Redmond, they notice patrols of "night watchmen" going about in twos and threes. Going up to one of them to ask what's up, he finds that they seem to be locals who have taken it upon themselves to organize and try to protect the homeless and squatters in the neighborhood. Managing to ingratiate himself to one of them, Barracuda meets up at a bar for a drink to learn more, using his natural charms and demonstrable tough-guy-ness to get himself an invite back to their nearby safehouse for a tour.

Inside, he finds a semi-fortified compound built from an old apartment block they seem to have taken over, with a dozen or more locals inside at any one time and tending to return and leave in groups. They seem to be well-armed and armored, and decently trained in the use of their weapons. After getting a good idea of the layout, Barracuda thanks them for their time and gets some contact information, saying that he'll return with some friends who are looking to help out the cause; heading back to the van, the trio drive off and debate what to do next - the idea of smuggling in a bomb comes up, as well as finding re-enforcements to help take out the group during the daytime when they don't expect it, and Barracuda calls up Cricket to ask for some help on the Matrix. She is unfortunately busy, however after a quick scan with her techno-eyes she tells the team that they seem to have a hidden icon near them; freaking out a bit, they search and eventually find a stealth tag that's been planted on the van.

Unnerved and fearful that they might be being watched, the team drive south towards Renton and split up for a bit. Barracuda gets himself a safehouse from his fixer, and Swerve calls her own to ask for help, saying that they may be being lead into a trap. Amelie and Jean-Baptiste put the word out to a few of their ghoul "courtiers" for aid, and after reconvening the group concoct a plan to try to lure out the hunters into a trap by the ghouls. Deciding that they need some more help, they call in Spider for aid on the Matrix, who arrives on the scene shortly.

The Run

After driving through Redmond for some time without much success, Barracuda calls the number he was given and a woman with a scarred face who Swerve recognizes appears on the screen; he keeps her talking for a few moments while Spider traces the call, finding that it comes from just east of Bargain Basement. Speeding off towards the ping on the map, they kit up for a potential fight, but find a seemingly abandoned safehouse waiting for them. Exploring inside, they find an office full of photos and maps which Swerve recognizes as cataloging the activities of Infected hunters in the area. Somewhat distracted by a few of the more gruesome pictures, she goes to investigate the desk, only to find that one of the drawers contains a pair of high explosive grenades left as a trap for the unwary.

With the mage nearly blown to bits and impaled by wood shards, the ambush is launched in earnest - the next thing the team knows, a fireball fills the house, and it's only the timely Harmonious Defense from Spider that saves them from being cooked. Outside they hear the sound of gunfire, and Barracuda has his shotgun blasted out of his hands - while Spider performs first aid on Swerve, Arti books it out the window, drawing a good deal of fire from the group of hunters assaulting the building from the front, as well as the team of runners hidden in a nearby sniper blind. She manages to nimbly dodge the bullets and grenades, and decides to shoot a rocket at her van to blow up the hunters who have taken cover behind it; meanwhile Barracuda emerges to draw sniper fire, dodging bullets left and right as he baits them out from cover. Spider pulls Swerve into the backyard, and she is able to get her conscious again and into the fight. Pulling themselves together, the team are able to flush the rival runners out of hiding and force them to retreat.

Aftermath

With both the house and van in flames and with much of their armor filled with bullets, the team make a quick retreat from Bargain Basement before more hunters, or KE, arrive to investigate the mess. They've earned the victory, but have little to show for their efforts except their survival, though Swerve brings the information she found to The Night Throne to help combat the hunters, as well as holding on to Mina's number just in case.

Rewards

  • 13 karma
  • 36 CDP

Optional Qualities (may purchase one of the following at chargen price using RVP):

  • Daredevil
  • Indomitable (any limit)
  • Quick Healer
  • Toughness
  • Tough-as-Nails
  • Will-to-Live

Player After Action Reports (AARs)