Shadowrun Seattle

In Sight of the God of War

The slight passage of time had not changed the prisoner's mood an. Still uncooperative, the group decided it was time to cut him loose, but not without first pumping him full of roofies to try blacking out some of his memory then knocking him unconscious and implanting a dozen or so tracking devices under his skin and in his clothing, using magic to heal him up and hide the scars. After dousing him with booze, they loaded him into Ella's Troll Van and dumped his body down by the riverside in a bad part of town. Should the tracking devices fail, they also kept 3-Cil's bug drone on him, just in case.

It didn't take long before he was found by some locals who proceeded to rummage through his pockets and take anything of value, including but not limited to his boots. Shortly before dawn, he was picked up by a couple of Seattle's finest and taken downtown. Thankfully, the bug drone wasn't found and they were able to keep monitoring the ork as he was thrown into a drunk tank to sleep it off.

Conveniently, Niles happened to be at the police station looking information on the ork. From what RZR had tried to dig up, the ork was a ghost – no fingerprints or scans on file and his SIN, named John Smith, was only a few years old. Unfortunately for Niles, his friend the chief didn't have any more information but was more than happy to add the fingerprints they got from him to the system in case he popped up again somewhere else. His timing was otherwise good though as he was able to see an immaculately groomed elf in a high-end suit escorted the ork out of the cell and into a stately town car.

The ork and the elf traveled in silence but the tracking devices worked like a charm and led them to an upscale apartment complex in a nice part of town. A brief search by RZR revealed that not only was the building largely corporate housing for Ares employees but it was on top of the facility they had encountered in the sewers sometime prior. They pulled into the parking garage underneath the building which caused the signals on the tracking devices to start cutting out. Fortunately, the drone had been following them since the drunk tank and saw them parking then entering a secret elevator.

It was here in the elevator that the two finally spoke, the elf admonishing the ork for getting caught and the ork brushing it off as inconsequential. The elf ultimately agreed, insinuating that they had planted enough false information that they were in no real danger. He then surprised 3-Cil and those viewing the drone transmission when the elf focused for a moment and shorted the drone out with a faint electrical pop. Like his ork friend, there was apparently more to him than meets the eye.

Given the implications of all this, the group was now faced with a decision of what to do next. Ideas were tossed around like going into the woods until this blows over and hunting some critters for their magical bits, heading to Tokyo to do some runs and build up some money to buy better defenses, or pressing the Lazer Hawx for some information since they seem to have ties to Ares. What the right courses was, who knows, but it was apparent that they had to do something.

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Stranger Danger

Under normal circumstances, coming out of surgery is an already hard experience. When surgery was done in a street clinic by a couple of your friends, it's even more of a challenge. But when the bio-engineered magic gland they implanted into you activates a latent healing ability, things get a little better. When 3-Cil awoke from surgery, he found not only was his body healing much more rapidly than normal, his reflexes were quicker and balance better. The surgery was a success, though even with his newfound abilities he did still just have brain surgery so there was still plenty of pavement ahead of him on the road to recovery.

Meanwhile, the rest of the group was going about their lives in as normal a fashion as they come – Nil was learning kung fu, Evelyn was curing businessman and bro alike of unwanted hangovers, Ella grew bored bouncing at her brother's bar as there was very little excitement recently, Niles walked the black and white streets while a saxophone played in the background, and RZR continued doing god knows what on the matrix, including but not limited to changing his avatar to represent both a child and a pedophile.

Things spiced up a few nights later when the security system alerted Ella to an intruder at the Troll Mansion. Thankfully, she and most everyone was home. Ella rushed outside and, though she didn't catch the intruder unawares, she was much faster than him and managed to chase him down, tackling him to the ground and stunning him enough to bind his hands. Subdued, they brought the intruder to their gun basement for some questioning. And probably beating. Maybe some maiming? The night was young.

The intruder was a young ork, small for his kind but still quite big. He made a good show of acting like he didn't know what anyone was talking about when asked who sent him or what he was doing there, but the facade quickly fell away after Nil detected his magical aura – the ork was most definitely awakened, not as powerful as he or Evelyn but certainly more than some adept off the streets. Once he was found out, his belligerent innocent act quickly melted into a mask of snide stoicism.

This didn't sit well with 3-Cil who, after a few questions were answered with sarcasm, hauled off on the ork with a wrench to the gonads. Between this and the other beatings, the ork passed out. But that wasn't going to be the end of things as they convinced Evelyn to heal him so the beatings could continue.

While this was going on, RZR was doing his best to hack into the ork's comm but was finding it surprisingly difficult. It was clearly a top-of-the-line model but had security well above and beyond what those would typically come with. He enlisted the help of his hacker friend k1llahurtz to hack into it, giving him a copy of his private folder as payment; k1llahurtz gladly accepted. The two of them were able to crack the device but found an odd result – it was empty. The comm was brand new, still with all the factory settings aside from the enhanced security, and as far as the hackermen could find, no hidden software. Regardless, just to be safe, they wiped and reset the device.

About this time, Niles arrived back at the mansion where he found a package waiting. This made everyone understandably nervous as no one was expecting it, it had no labels, and it was deceptively light. Leaving the captive for a moment, the group took the package out back to deal with it as safely as they could. 3-Cil readied an insect drone to open the box while the mages constructed barriers, both mana and physical, to block any fallout that may come with opening it. All in all, it was rather anticlimactic for the amount of buildup as the box was largely empty, containing only a small foam package which itself contained a glass vial and a note. The note simply read "Drink Me In Times Of Need. 7234." The liquid in the vial was slightly cloudy and viscous, though no one was quite able to identify what it was.

That mystery solved for now, attention turned back to the basement and what to do with the unfortunate house guest.

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Lazer Hawx

The day began like any other day – a debate about whether or not to perform massive brain surgery. After some more research, Nil and Evelyn seemed fairly convinced that they could successfully implant the mage killer's gland into someone, and of their friends, only 3-Cil seemed to be a viable candidate, mostly because he was the only one plausibly willing and wasn't already filled to the brim with 'ware. Unfortunately, that would all have to wait because the toilet of the Troll Mansion wasn't exactly the best place to perform open-brain surgery. Thus, Evelyn began scouting locations for what would eventually become her street clinic which would hopefully have more sanitary conditions.

Meanwhile, RZR continued to work on his drone, adding a stealth suit, a suite of sensors and cameras, and probably a lot of other stuff. Ella continued working at her brother's bar which was experiencing an unusual lull in excitement, only five people had to be beaten and thrown out during the week – what gives? Niles, ever the enigma, continued investigating the disappearance of his lover, though the leads were running thin.

3-Cil visited Kagayaku for both a social call and to check up on the status of the racing scene. Akira and Kaneda informed him that the Lazer Hawx had recently laid off and the first race in far too long was coming up with the prize being some of the Ares material their gang had managed to procure – big prize for a big race. Of course, 3-Cil couldn't resist and spent the next few days tuning up his bike.

The night of the race, the gang took the Troll Van or their various bikes out to the race site with RZR's drone flying overhead, streaming to everyone's comms and god knows where else. The track was an old, abandoned, and partially collapsed part of I-90 consisting of two cloverleaf exits and a nice stretch of straightaway, both an elevated bridge and the road underneath it. The starting line was flanked by the spectators' cars, the race itself being a car show and just general party as much as it was a race.

Before long, the race was on. The pack was tight until the first turn of the clover where 3-Cil managed to pull ahead, securing a comfortable lead into the first straightaway. That means he was also the first to see the the road before the next clover was blocked by destroyed cars and four large bikes lined with neon and spikes, their riders similarly attired with helmets that resembled birds of prey – the Lazer Hawx.

Not wanting to face them alone, 3-Cil eased off the throttle to rejoin the pack while communicating the situation to the rest of the group. The Lazer Hawx opened fire on the racers assault rifles and undermoutned grenade launcher, taking a couple of the racers out but seemingly trying to cause chaos as much as they were attacking. As the racers approached, they returned fire but to a much lesser effect, most bullets ricocheting off the gang's armor. Seemingly satisfied with their actions and not wanting to take any more fire, the Lazer Hawx drove off, their bikes screaming into the distance.

Nil positioned himself to a place where he could see the action both in person and through RZR's drone and cast a mana barrier to create a convenient ramp over the barricade. The remaining racers safely cleared the jump and sped after the gang. One of the Lazer Hawx broke rank and turned around, charging directly at the racers. Just as he was about to reach the pack, he leapt from his bike and deployed a massive set of metal and neon wings, catching the air and using some sort of propulsion to launch himself high into the air. No sooner did he do this that his bike exploded,engulfing most the racers in flame, though thankfully 3-Cil had the sense to hit the brakes once the charge occurred.

The race now over and the damage survey, there were multiple casualties, including 3-Cil's friend Kaneda. Putting his gumshoes on, Niles investigated the scene of the crime and found a piece of the explosives used to detonate the Lazer Hawx bike. The explosives had a remnant of a serial number which Niles was able to track as an Ares product – how very convenient.

The following way, whether determined to gain the power to face a new foe or to gain vegeance for his friend or perhaps just a little brain-addled, 3-Cil agreed to let Evelyn and Nil implant the mage killer gland into his brain. The surgery itself was a smashing success in so much that the organ was implanted successfully and 3-Cil didn't die. The results otherwise remained to be seen.

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Down by the Docks

The following day was filled with lots of fun and exciting tasks prior to attempting a daring midnight robbery later that night, though only one of them actually had to do with preparing for the robbery.

Nil and Evelyn researched the magical gland extracted from the mage killer and came to two possible conclusions on its use – they could either implant it into someone and it would (probably) grant them some of the magical powers the best had or they could make a tincture from it that would enhance the imbiber's magical prowess, albeit temporarily. Both ideas sounded good but one conclusion couldn't be agreed upon so the gland continued to be safely stored in its new cryovac home.

Meanwhile, RZR spent a lot of money on some new drones and a variety of accessories for them. While waiting impatiently for those to be delivered, he hacked into the Seattle Port Authority's records and found some very not useful information on the ship arriving tonight. It looked to mostly be consumer goods from various Japanese corps destined for the shelves of Seattle's finest retail outlets, but there was nothing being shipped from Horizon and nothing marked as any sort of medical supply. Given the intel they had, the only conclusion was that someone was paying some decent nuyen to keep this under wraps.

That night, the gang took the Troll Van and their various bikes to the docks. RZR's new drone scouted far up above and saw ten very armed guards decked out with all sorts of 'ware that were most definitely not on the SPA's payroll. At the gate itself, keeping a semblance of normalcy, was a single security guard with a utility belt of gadgets but definitely still civilian.

Hatching a cunning plan, Evelyn made Nil invisible while RZR and Niles scouted from drone and rooftop. Thinking quickly on her feet, Evelyn made some ghost noises outside the gate in an attempt to scare the guard off, or something like that. It did certainly get his attention though and brought him close enough for the gate for Nil to blast him with a stun spell. The guard proved tougher than you would've guessed though as it didn't completely knock him out, only on his ass. After Evelyn hesitated with what exactly to do while the guard was attempting to radio for help, 3-Cil climbed the fence and bashed the guard's nose in, finishing the job Nil's spell started.

The group brought the guard into the guard house then connected a commlink to the computer there, giving RZR easy access to its systems and control of the gate and its alarm, letting the other and the Troll Van in. Meanwhile, the shipping containers started getting removed from the boat and the forklift drones began unloading the goods to a warehouse. When one of the crates was more closely watched and opened by the armed guards rather than dockhands, RZR hacked one of the drones to drive the guarded shipment out of the warehouse and another one to drive away the guards. The guards gave pursuit after the runaway drone but were enclosed in Evelyn's mana barrier which was far from impenetrable but did slow them enough that they were able to load the shipment into the Troll Van and get the hell out of there.

After removing any tracking devices from the shipment, they vanned home and were eager to see the fruits of their labors. Oddly, the big crate, like some bad joke at Christmas, contained only a small box which itself contained only four bottles of pills. Evelyn kept one of herself for research purposes while the other three would be turned over to her friend at EVO for a handsome reward. Not too shabby for one night's work.

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Paramilitary My Ass

The beast slain, the group searched the tunnel and picked the pockets of the unfortunate corpses left behind of the anons RZR had sent to their doom. Though Evelyn was eager to autopsy the beast and figure out exactly what secrets its manufacturing may hold, 3-Cil was more interested in trying to find where it came from and if there was a way into the Knights Errant facility somewhere above them. Evelyn was able to take a cursory search of the mage killer and found a multitude of obviously surgical scars though wasn't able to make any determinations off that without a more detailed search.

Following the beast's easy trail of claw marks through the stone, the group came to a collapsed wall in the old tunnel that connected to the city's sewers. Prior to actually venturing into the muck and filth, Nil left his body and searched the astral version of the sewers. He didn't have to search long before discovering a four-way intersection with one tunnel covered in a mana barrier through the floor and ceilings, quite a powerful one from its aura.

There was enough of a path presumably for city workers that the group felt safe traveling into the sewers and keeping their boots clean to check out the barrier. Evelyn and Nil both tried dispelling the barrier but were unable to overcome its magic. That failing, the rest of the party resorted to more traditional measures, firing their guns and Ella eventually throwing a high-explosive grenade.

The grenade didn't have its desire effect as Nil could see the barrier, though cracked, was still intact. However, he saw something more troubling as several forms started coming down ladders into the tunnel. The party hid around a corner and watched as two Knights Errant soldiers came out and began sweeping the area. Not wanting to give them a chance to be found out, the party attacked, firing bolts of mana and more traditional projectiles, taking a grenade and a few rounds back but ultimately prevailing. 

Unfortunately for them, this was likely an entrance to the Knights' facility and was therefore not something easily breached. As they checked the guards, a blast door slammed shut over the entrance, the echo of its closing being almost immediately broken by the sound of approaching drones. Nil quick threw up a mana barrier of his own and not a moment too soon as the drones rounded the corner and crashed into the barrier, engulfing the surrounding area in fire and shrapnel but failing to penetrate the barrier. Scarcely giving them a moment to react, the ringing in their ears was followed up by the pounding of dozens of boots from down the adjoining tunnels, more soldiers approaching.

RZR took control of 3-Cil's grenade-armed drone and flew it down one of the tunnels, seeing now fewer than ten Knights coming down the tunnel before they shot the drone down. 3-Cil unfortunately did not read the drone's manual very well as the grenade that detonated with the drone was a smoke grenade which did not slow the Knights in the slightest.

Eventually discouraging Ella from waging an assault, the party fled back to the old tunnels, bringing one of the Knight's and the mage killer's remains with them. In the back of the Troll Van, Evelyn did a quick search of the Knight's corpse and was able to find an implanted tracking device, sticking it to some unfortunate citizen's car before they fled.

The Knight was stripped of any valuable gear, his mostly intact armor and rifle, but ditched his body before returning home. The autopsy of the mage killer revealed that it was either a grown or modified human, not an entirely artificial organ. It had extensive and complete sets bioware organs, including some redundancies, all marked with a barcode but definitely not something you'd find on the market. Most notably, it had a small organ embedded into its brainstem that was something more likely to be found on a dragon or some other horrid magical critter – a small, bean shaped gland marked with a tracery of blue scars, similar to the lines of energy the creature demonstrated when it was alive. Assuming it would be useful, or at the very least valuable, Evelyn preserved the organ for further research.

It was a busy day and everyone took a well-deserved rest, aiming to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for whatever fun they would get into tomorrow.

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4Dchan and the Mage Killer

The evening started with the usual indecision when not on a job. Ella was working at her usually bouncing gig, 3-Cil worked on his bikes, Niles was out investigating some loose ends while probably wearing a fedora and trench coat (but like the kind that look cool), Nil was researching private nurses to take care of him while he astrally projected to the moon, Evelyn was doing something probably magical, and RZR was checking out some online boards while coming up with schemes that only the mind of a 14-year-old would come up with.

One of these schemes ended up panning out though as a thread he was following on 4Dchan ended with the streamer being attacked by some misshapen creature from the darkness. Pulling the streams geodata, he found the location of the incident below the outskirts of the Ork Underground and forwarded it to everyone to check it out (not after he sent a few anons there to meet an untimely fate, no doubt).

Before deciding to check this out, Evelyn met with her friend Suzy from her job at EVO. Suzy offered her a job to steal some samples of a new anti-rejection drug that Horizon was shipping in from their headquarters. The drug apparently was tailored so that it would only work to prevent rejection of Horizon-brand 'ware and EVO was very curious how they managed to pull that off.

Meanwhile, 3-Cil went to his local haunt to have a drink and get the latest word on the bike races. He met with Akira and Kaneda, two of the better racers from Tokyo recently come from Japan, who informed him that the races have been on hold lately due to interference from a go gang called the Lazer Hawx. They hadn't been attacking the races per se, no one had been killed and only a few bikes were damaged, but they had been interfering with the races to the point that it was impossible to determine a fair winner and people were getting fed up. Other than that, they offered 3-Cil some work if he was able to track down some new composites that Ares had pioneer for an ultralight personal aircraft they were developing. If they could get some and build a bike out of it, they would have an edge worth paying a healthy sum for. 3-Cil himself was, of course, interested in acquiring some for his own uses.

Given that these two leads would take some research and/or time to actually pull off, the gang met up at the location RZR sent them and were greeted by his personal drone. They traveled into the Ork Underground, Ella and 3-Cil leading the way past the merchants hawking their trinkets and interesting foods to the obvious non-natives, to the edges of the district into tunnels most know not to venture into.

The group decided to venture into them.

Rather than bumble about in the dark tunnel without a good idea where to go other than a general direction, Nil left his body and searched the tunnels through the astral plane. He found the faint trail of those who had come before them and followed it to a section of the city beneath the training facility of the Knights Errant who are, conveniently, one of Ares biggest contractors for private security and usually the first to get their new tech. The significance of any of this was lost on Nil though as he rounded a corner and saw the trails end at some sort of creature with an unusually strong astral signature, a creature which turned and saw him back.

Snapping back to his body to avoid whatever the creature was, Nil physically led the rest of the group down the same trail. The sickening sound of rending flesh and cracking bones indicated they had reached the creature. Readying for the attack, 3-Cil swung around the corner and fired, completely missing as the creature reacted with preternatural speed. Now in the full light, they saw the beast for what it really was – humanoid shaped with impossibly long limbs, finger and toes ending in curved claws, black leathery skin stretched too tight over its gaunt frame, only a slit for a noise above an overly-wide mouth with needles for teeth, and two eyes taking up half its face and glowing with a pale blue light.

It was a Mage Killer, a bioweapon created by Ares with the sole intention of killing mages (duh). Fortunately for the group, most of them weren't mages. Unfortunately for them, it was still incredibly fast and covered by some sort of magical barrier that still deflected their bullets as well as it did mana. Nil, being either brave or foolish or both, used his magic to distract the monster while 3-Cil and Evelyn shot it and Ella bashed it, revealed himself as a mage to the mage killer which promptly tried to kill him.

In the end, claws were no match for high-caliber rounds and the creature fell to the ground, its brains landing somewhere on the wall, as 3-Cil blasted it through skull. Taking a breather, the group was left to wonder if it was there by coincidence, or if the de facto Ares facility above them let it loose for some purpose.

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Fast Food Fight

The sun set upon Kickass Troll Manor with the smell of another lucrative night of work in the air. And probably some piss. And trash. Yeah, definitely some trash in the air.

3-Cil received a call from his contact [insert Japanese name] down at the [insert Yakuza bar name here] with the promise of a job for him and his fellow miscreants. Recently, a sullen elf named George Hampton had not too subtly been complaining about troubles with the a non-specific Mafia family and how he just wished there was somehow who could help. Oh, who would ever help go against the Mafia at a Yakuza bar? Again, real subtle.

Familiar with Hampton's business, Hampton Holistic Healthcare, 3-Cil took the job on behalf of the rest of his group, anticipating that the pay could be decent. After rounding up Evelyn, Nil, and Niles, and contacting RZR through his secure channel, the group headed for Hampton's shop off of Pine Street. The shop was closed though George lived in the apartment upstairs and the lights were on so someone was clearly home.

Though his shop looked like a typical shamanic lodge full of fetishes and herbs and probably a ghost or two, George's apartment and the elf himself were anything but. Well-dressed, albeit in a very rumpled sort of way, his apartment smelled more like cheap Scotch than hemlock and sulfur. Apparently he had been drinking his woes away at home as well as at the bar.

George's daughter, Moxie, had been kidnapped by Vincenzo "Vic" Fratelli, a small time enforcer for his family's branch of the mob. They were demanding a ransom far beyond what George could pay, though he was willing to pay plenty to the runners if they could get her back. The Fratelli's seemed to have a chip on their shoulder about their small stature and lack of wealth compared to other families, their main source of income was mostly, as RZR was able to glean from the Matrix, being money laundering through their Stuffer Shack franchises. George confirmed as much by suggesting they first check out their Stuffer Shack off Holman which seemed to be where Vic spent most his free time.

Not ones to waste time, the group headed to the "restaurant" to scope it out. Arriving first, 3-Cil, now joined by Ella, went into the restaurant and ordered some "food," their digestive tracts promising vengeance upon them for this decision. Vic stood out like a sore thumb in a cheap suit, nursing a cup of soykaf while reading an honest to god newspaper and keeping a wary eye on the trogs.

Meanwhile, RZR continued surfing his way into Vic's email, eventually finding some thinly veiled metaphors about the "package" arriving at the restaurant and trying to receive payment for it. A little work through the poorly secured system managed to convince Vic's higher-ups that the girl was to be moved and handed off to one of their agents as the restaurant had been compromised and Vic himself was turning into a liability.

Vic, ever eager to hold onto whatever power and status he had, took Moxie and left before any potential trouble could arrive, bringing her to the designated location. Fortunately, RZR led them to a very poorly lit location so that 3-Cil was able to act as the courier without being recognized.

With Vic now on the run and Moxie safely returned to her father, the gang collected their payment and was able to afford another month's rent. The Hamptons were likely to leave Seattle long behind them and the Fratelli's would probably keep slinging their "food" and cleaning the mob's cash without much of a change in Vic's absence. Life goes on.

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