Use Every Part

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Use Every Part
Date2082-11-02
GMSarcarian
LocationHell's Canyon, Salish-Shidhe Council
Status Threat Level: Deadly
Factions Involved
ShadowHaven
Bellerophon
SSC Park Rangers The Forces of Nature
Black Samurai
Shine
Zenith
Salish Rangers
Spirit of Air
Spirit of Earth
Spirit of Man
Spirit of Water
Devil Jack Diamond
Great Form Spirit of Plants
Wyvern
Casualties and losses
Spirits, plus several drones Wyvern


Summary

In which the runners are hired to help poach a wyvern, and subsequently sold out for the bounties on their heads.

Background

During the events of Fortunate History, Black Samurai and Shine had bounties put out on them for theft of a Salish cultural artifact; likewise, Zenith has a price on his own head for a similarly brazen theft of a Tir cultural artifact during the events of You Only Live Twice. These bounties have not gone unnoticed, especially by Bellerophon, a bounty hunter with whom Zenith has worked before (see: Quarrelsome Quarry), who has put together a plan to exploit the runners for his own profit by luring them to the lair of a particularly fearsome wyvern under the pretext of hunting it - once they have taken out the beast, he plans to contact the SSC Rangers and alert them to the trio's presence, collecting both a finder's fee and the wyvern body for his trouble and flying off in the resulting confusion.

The Meet

Bellerophon first contacts Black Sam via his fixer, arranging to pick him up in Seattle before taking a flight to Montreal, where Shine and Zenith are enjoying a vacation together. This is rudely interrupted when Zenith receives a call from Bellerophon offering work and telling him to look outside, where his airship can be seen hovering over the city; Zenith, properly paranoid, begins to assemble his sniper rifle as Shine demands an explanation as to how they were discovered. Bellerophon tells them it was a serendipitous coincidence, that he had contacted their fixers and was told they were out of town and unavailable before returning to Montreal to gather a few provisions; he manages to sell a convincing enough lie to convince Zenith to put his gun away for the moment, though Shine remains intensely suspicious and plots to kill him at an opportune moment.

The pair are invited aboard the Pegasus, climbing up ropes which are dropped for them, and are surprised to find Black Sam waiting patiently on the couch. Tempted as they are to eliminate Bellerophon and take the airship for themselves, they do not fail to notice numerous defenses which would make it a difficult prospect at best. Instead they decide to hear him out, and he tells them of a massive wyvern (called 'Hotah' by the locals) which lairs on a mesa in Hell's Canyon national park which he requires their aid in dispatching so that it can be sold for trophies, reagents, venom, and every other highly valuable part he knows how to make use of. Promising them both a generous payday and a chance to take a nice safari in unspoiled picturesque wilderness has the desired effect, and after a few questions and bit of debate via DNI the trio accept the job.

The Hunt Is On

After being properly equipped with the needed survival gear, plus weapons to kill the wyvern without rendering the corpse useless for Bellerophon's purposes (Black Sam and Shine have specially treated swords, while Zenith elects to use a musket and combat knife), the trio are flown into Hell's Canyon National Park, enjoying the picturesque views and taking in the unfamiliar vibes of unspoiled wilderness as they follow the winding trail of the Snake River Canyon; the Pegasus drops them off in a wooded clearing about 10 miles away from the mesa where Hotah is known to lair, and Bellerophon wishes them good luck as he heads south. Once the airship is out of sight, Shine immediately disposes of the pi-tac attachment that they were all given, and Black Sam and Zenith follow suit.

Making their way through the woods, the trio of runners encounter a centaur from one of the local tribes, managing to bluff him and sell a story about being on a hiking trip; the centaur tells them that they should stick to the trails and avoid crossing the river into wyvern territory. They bid him good day, and proceed to ignore the advice, heading towards the river where they spot a drone hovering overhead and watching them. Shine shoots it out of the sky, and Zenith parkours his way down to the rocky ledge where it lands in order to recover the hard drive, however they are aware that someone is watching them, turning their gear wireless off.

Attempting to ford the river, the group soon becomes aware of the importance of cardio and proper swimming skills, quickly becoming quite exhausted; as they near the opposite shore, they encounter a Devil Jack Diamond, with Black Sam being forced to fight off the enormous fish and take a bite to the thigh before managing to get the other two out of the water and away from the angry critter. After resting up a bit, they continue on their way towards the high-peaked mesa just visible on the horizon; very soon they find themselves in the shadow of the enormous wyvern flying overhead, pulling out their weapons and preparing for a fight.

Zenith opens up combat with a musket shot, drawing the beast's attention and barely avoiding being impaled by its poison stinger - instead he leaps onto the tail and begins attempting to climb up the spines as Black Sam and Shine take slices at it with their swords. Using the power of edge and adept bulldrek, Zenith manages to reach the wyvern's wing and slash at the membrane with his knife, causing it enough distress that it's forced into a semi-controlled crash, right into Black Sam - he and Zenith manage to survive being crushed, impaling the wyvern fiercely in the process, before Shine finishes it off with a katana slice to the throat.

Catching their breath and patching eachother up from their various wounds, the team take stock of the situation as Zenith notices a flyspy drop a datachip into his hand before flying off. Slotting it, he finds a recording from Bellerophon, telling him that the rangers are coming and that they need to leave the wyvern corpse and flee. Cursing, the trio book it away as fast as possible.

The Most Dangerous Game

Not trusting Bellerophon's advice and certain that he must have sold them out, the team instead decide to flee north towards a nearby forest, well and truly exhausting themselves with fatigue rolls by the time they make it there. Black Sam notices a small plant spirit hanging out near the treeline and offers it some of his druidic reagents, and the little dude points them towards the interior of the forest - without any better options, they decide to follow the path, making their way as stealthily as they can. They soon find themselves in a shaded glade, and a quick look around with assensing reveals the presence of a very powerful plant spirit possessing one of the trees and watching them intently. Attempting to make peaceful contact, they tell it they have no ill intent, and in return it tells them not to move as it conceals them from the sight of a group of rangers making their way towards them.

Standing perfectly still, the trio watch as a quartet of rangers with dogs make their way through the grove, avoiding passing directly through it out of respect for the occupant. One of the dogs nearly smells them out, however they eventually move on, and the spirit quizzes them as to why they're being hunted - in order to better explain, it links them together with a mindnet, creating a shared mindscape to interact in. They convey their situation as best they can, convincing the spirit they mean no harm to it or the forest, and share in a bit of mutual character development in the process. The spirit tells them it will conceal them as long as they're in the woods, but that it can do nothing for them beyond that; they resolve to return to the mesa, reasoning that it's the last place the rangers will look, in order to attempt to get a decent enough signal to call a smuggler and get them out of the park.

With the plant spirit's aid and a lot of good luck, the runners are able to stealthily make their way back to the mesa, finding Hotah's corpse gone - Shine glances off into the sky, seeing the silhouette of an airship against the moon flying over the mountains and away to the east. Zenith contacts his fixer Argent, promising a truly exorbitant fee if he can get ahold of some smugglers from the Dog Soldiers who's services Zenith has used before (see: The Sound of Her Voice). Thanks to a truly silly number of hits on networking, and a five figure payment, Argent is able to secure them transport out of the park if they can get to a rendezvous point downriver in 12 hours. After a fitful night of rest and rotating watch, during which they are thankfully not noticed by the drones and spirits passing overhead, the trio head out.

A few hours of grueling wilderness hiking later, and the runners are nearly at their extraction point - though they attempt to be stealthy, they spot a drone which catches sight of them, shooting it out of the sky and deciding to favor speed instead. As they reach the edge of the river, they run into an ambush of spirits, plus another drone and a rifle-wielding ranger on the opposite ridge. Black Sam engages the spirits while Shine shoots at/dodges shots from the rigged-in drone and Zenith gets in a sniper fight; the two non-soak-tank adepts go down at various points, each slap-patching the other back to consciousness, however they manage to defeat or drive off their opponents and flee downriver towards the waiting pontoon plane.

Aftermath

Making it out of Hell's Canyon by the skin of their teeth thanks to the proficiency of the Dog Soldiers, the runners return to Seattle via a roundabout smuggling route through Sinsearach territory. They are somewhat surprised to find that they've been wired double the money they were promised by Bellerophon, along with a message that notices that they're missing and presumed captured/dead have been posted on various bounty hunting boards. Still not fully mollified, they resolve to get whatever payback they can in the future.

Rewards

  • 24,000 nuyen
  • 8 karma
  • 24 CDP
  • Optional Contact: Bellerophon (C4/L2 Paracritter/Bounty Hunter) for 5 RVP or 10 CDP
  • Optional Quality: Outdoorsman @ chargen price
  • Optional Quality: Sense of Direction @ chargen price

For Zenith:

  • +1 chip on Bellerophon for kinda sorta betraying you

For Shine and Black Samurai:

  • May buy off Wanted (SSC) for 10 RVP by actively faking your deaths

Game Quotes


Player After Action Reports (AARs)