The Plastic Jungle

Downtime and Loose Ends
Told from Ruin's perspective

The cast:

Echo – human female “matrix specialist” (ahem)
Zig Zag – elven male street sammie
Flit – transgender human street sammie
I’m Ruin, a human mage. I practice magic. The darkest magic. My soul swims in it. Kind of like this, but darker:
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In short, we’re 1/2 firepower, 1/4 magic support, 1/4 matrix support.

Finishing Up With Johnson

After having nearly lost Bam Bam and Zig Zag to Mr. Johnson and his crew, we were stunned to find that Johnson had the chutzpah to want us to deliver the toxic reagent to him again. We exchanged phone calls a few times. We pushed Johnson for more info on who he was working for but he kept quiet. He did reveal that he didn’t want us dead, but his superiors. I think our team wasn’t so hot on killing Johnson when this was revealed.

Johnson insisted that the attempt to kill us was “just business” and I decided we’d charge him 3,000 per runner for each time he said this. Sadly we couldn’t get him to agree to the extra 60,000 nuyen (5 × 12,000) for the delivery, but he did agree to 1,600 credit each (8,000 total) from the High Score equipment shop in the Crime mall in Seattle.

He tried to give us a location to meet at, but I obviously wasn’t going to play that game again. (Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice… )

We arranged for a dead drop in a dumpster of the mall. I planted the toxic reagent in a dumpster while obscured by a magical disguise (homeless ork, female). Flit, also in disguise, kept an eye on who went to pick it up. Turns out it was Mario, the proprietor of the High Score shop. Flit tried to get close to plant an RFID tag on Mario, but Mario was suspicious and held Flit at bay with a pistol, not letting Flit get close. Flit needs to learn some dumpster etiquette, perhaps.

Zig Zag and I rushed to High Score, but Mario was already there. ZZ spotted the bag with the reagent, and gave Mario something to look for in the back room. He then jumped the counter and went to place the tag. He almost got caught when Mario returned, but I hastily made ZZ invisible and Mario was none the wiser. RFID tag planted, we did some shopping at the store and then waited back at our homes for the reagent to get in motion.

Finally at around 8 pm it started moving. We scrambled to our vehicles and followed the tag from far away. It ultimately ended up near Boeing and disappeared. I know that Boeing is part of Ares, so I pressed my contacts on why Ares might want a toxic reagent. No one had a clue. Maybe it was a red herring, or maybe just too big of a secret for my friends to know about.

On the way back home we got funneled into a classic gang trap. Our cars were at a chokepoint and gangers closed in on all sides. Shots were traded, a toxic wave of mine exploded, and ZZ got us out of there with a sharp U turn. We killed a few of the gangers, but I caught a burst of automatic fire from behind. Luckily my armored vest absorbed most of the damage. Still left some ugly purple bruising, though. Sometimes this job sucks.

Downtime

A couple weeks passed. We all trained and collected gear. ZZ had some new cyberwear put in and got his sedan armored. Bam Bam headed off to do his/her own thing. Flit started swinging around a new toy, a monofilament whip. Davina disappeared to find Wall and never reappeared. She wouldn’t answer calls neither. I learned more about arcana and picked up a new Heal spell. I also got an expensive and useful set of Sleeping Tiger armor.

Catching Up With Bogart

Bogart wanted to meet up with us. He was very concerned that we hadn’t “cleaned” the VTOL craft before selling it. Rather than accept his part of the blame for this he threw us under the bus and talked about paying back 10% of our take.

We were hanging out at Thule’s old warehouse, when a strange young woman knocked on our door. Her name was Echo and she was a personable hacker who said she was sent by Bogart. Bogart wanted her with us so we wouldn’t make rookie mistakes again due to lack of matrix support. I have a good feeling for these things and could tell she was on the level. It was weird that she had no cyberdeck, though. She fell right in with the group and felt like a natural addition. Odd how she went from stranger to friend in just a few hours. That’s Echo’s special brand of personal magic – trust building.

Flit, Zig Zag, Echo, and myself headed to our meet with Bogart. He didn’t answer his bell and when we went in to check the situation out we came across “The Terminator” and a bunch of his goons. Only Echo knew who this guy was, but she filled us in. He was bad news – a vory member with 2 cyber arms. (Vory are Russian mobsters who were former KGB.) After they left the area we met with Bogart, who Terminator had just visited.

Bogart, who sounded a lot like James Cagney, explained that we’d need to meet with Terminator. He, apparently, was the buyer of the VTOL and he wasn’t happy that it wasn’t cleaned before sales. (People are so immature. They always point their finger at someone else, never accepting responsibility for their own mistakes.)

Bogart told us we were to meet with the Terminator by midnight. I was in need of a commlink, and Bogart gave me an Erika Elite in exchange for a later favor.

The Terminator

This guy had his goons all around him and we had to give up our weapons before we even got in the same room as him. Null sweat. Risk comes with the job. Flit and Echo charmed him with sweet talk and he became willing to give us a chance to make up for our mistake. Turns out Terminator didn’t really want money from us, but work. He might even throw us a little cash. I tried to help negotiations, but was distracted. I tried looking at the scene from the astral. As soon as I went dual natured I was attacked astrally and slapped solidly. I closed my third eye rapidly before I got slapped even worse. (These people show no hospitality whatsoever.)

Terminator wanted us to check out an Evo research base. It’s a 7 story tall base, with 2 stories above water and 5 stories below water. It moves from up north in former Canada to the Seattle area and back again. It comes near Seattle every 20 days. Terminator wanted us to figure out what they were researching and get their data. We accepted the run (as if we had a choice) and started researching.

Echo soon proved her value by getting some floor plans of the 5 stories below water. There was a main area, and the bottom 2 levels had smaller pods branching off. There was a watery access point at the very bottom level.

We talked to our contacts and came up with these three side missions:

  • According to Battle Ax, my fixer, Evo is known for having reagents of interest. Battle Ax would like whatever reagents they are working on harvesting.
  • Flit had a lead on matrix-enabled animals that we might encounter.
  • Echo had a financial offer for liberating a Killer Whale they had captive. Echo wouldn’t reveal which group was offering the reward. Hope that doesn’t mean they’re terrorists.

ZZ and Flit learned to scuba dive. ZZ got a lead on renting some underwater gear. I summoned a water spirit who could control the weather. We talked about how to best enter the place and achieve our goals.

It’s now 2 days before the research base is expected in the area. I loaned Flit 4000 nuyen and Echo 2000 nuyen. No interest on this loan, but Flit did have to give me a kiss. (I have my needs like anyone else.)

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Stronger, faster

Zig-Zag had a buttload of Nuyens in his credsticks and a few weeks to spend them. That was easy: new armor, new Oni-faced ballistic mask, a couple gizmos. Check. But something was missing: After dropping when shot point-blank during our last altercation with the traitorous Johnson (Just business my elven arse), the elf decided he needed to be more resilient….

So he took an appointment with Dr Butcher, his favorite ripperdoc. The infamous surgeon had just what he needed for the job: Bone Density Augmentation. The Alphaware grade Nanotbots canister was just fresh out of “fallen from the truck,” and still sealed to boot. That would set ZZ back quite a bit, but would also improve the street samurai’s survival rate by a fat notch! So he bit the proverbial bullet (not literally this time) and got the treatment started.

After a couple uncomfortable weeks (it felt like growing bone spurs for a while, something Trolls are probably familiar with all their life), ZZ was 10 pounds of high-impact polymer heavier, something he’d have to train to compensate for during Parkour, gymnastics and martial arts. But it was way worth it. Not only could ZZ wince away most unarmed hits, but even a baseball bat strike would barely phase him. Bullets would be a different matter, but he had his new punk fashioned leather coat for that. The Bone Density Augmentation also had a nice perk: punching, kicking and head-butting was a lot more powerful now.

ZZ felt like he was ready to have another talk with our dear Mr Johnson: just business, of course.

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Just another night in the Plastic Jungle
Where Ruin practices his newfound spell

Ruin waited in the shadows of an alleyway for a patient. He was in a section of the Plastic Jungle where a couple of street docs had offices, hoping to poach some of their patients without drawing attention to himself. It wasn’t til about 2 am til he found what he was looking for. The ork was tall and broad as a door, limping along. It wasn’t a drunken stumble, but more like a wound. He was probably headed to Tusk, an ork street doc a block away who worked for cheap and asked no questions. Ruin assensed the ork briefly and determined the ork was scared and in pain. Perfect.

Ruin stepped from the shadows. “Heya chummer. Headed to Tusk? Maybe I can help heal ya at a discount. What do you say?”

The ork recoiled and pulled his streetline special grunting “Who are you? What are you trying to pull?”

Ruin gave a formal bow. “Ruin, at your service. I’m learning to heal and I need people to practice healing. I can see the blood running down your leg and I think I can help. Best part is that you just pay me what you want.”

“What’s the catch?” The ork lowered his pistol slightly.

“No catch, pal. Just trying to practice my new spell. If it doesn’t work you pay nothing. If it does work pay me whatever you want. And don’t tell Tusk you found me here.” Ruin smiled broadly.

The ork hesitated a moment, then relented. Never underestimate the value of a smile, Ruin thought to himself. The Ork walked a few feet into the alley where Ruin was. Ruin stepped closer and looked at the wounded leg. Ruin could make out 5 or 6 little spots where lead had sunk into the leg. Probably buckshot blast and probably from long range, since it wasn’t bleeding very much. The ork’s pants leg was shredded, though.

“This will only take a moment.” Ruin’s hands glowed a dark purple neon and he made a loud humming noise that increased in intensity. Ruin laid his hands on the wound, and cried “Borahaz, naguilar!” There was a purple neon flash from Ruin’s hands. He lifted his hands and stepped away.

A few seconds passed, and some of the holes started to close. A few pieces of buckshot popped out. The ork squirmed with pain, then after a few seconds smiled with relief.

“You’re gonna want to stay off your feet as much as you can for a couple days, but that should take care of it.”

“And I just pay whatever I want?”

“That’s the idea.” Ruin smiled.

The ork raised his pistol and started grinning obscenely. “Ha ha. I know. How about you pay me? Give me your money, old man!”

“You don’t want to do that.” Ruin sighed.

Lights filled the alleyway and sirens started shrieking. 2 squad cars screeched to a halt around 50 feet away and Knight Errant officers started jumping out of the cars, weapons drawn. The ork panicked. He dropped the pistol and started running down the street, his limp forgotten. The officers fired a few shots at him and yelled for him to stop, but the ork kept running.

Ruin waited til the ork was out of sight til he dropped the illusion. The cops disappeared and the sirens stopped screaming. Trid phantasm saves the day again! Ruin giggled. He didn’t really need the money anyway, and liked the practice. He picked up the pistol and examined it. “This piece of shit is as likely to explode in my hand as fire.” Ruin tossed it into a nearby dumpster and sneaked out of the area before Tusk was alerted.


Out of character – During downtime Ruin increases his stealth and arcana by one rank and learns the Heal spell. He didn’t like seeing Bam Bam at his feet bleeding out and not having a way to help the dwarf.

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News from May 2074
Local 2 Morning News

Local- Seattle has been in turmoil as of late. With the Ancients increasing their presence on the Southern Freeways and local Knight Errant showing more force, it’s a wonder how anything is going unseen. A search is still on for the copy cat Green River Killer. With 15 known missing people of the evening even the Underworld is starting to care. Latest rumor is that some of these workers have been sought out over the Matrix.

Coming into the Summer there has been an unusual amount of rainfall. We are 30 days straight and counting. Glow City and the Barrens have begun to smell as bad as it looks. The number of rat attacks and other creatures has increased.

Regional-With the destruction of the nuclear plant in Mt. Rainier there has been good and bad news.
The Good: locals are happy this pollutant is gone and can’t wait for the Earth to be returned to it’s natural state. The local Native tribes have begun to negotiate with Shiawase Atomics to clean up the waste from the explosion and create a natural habitat.
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The Bad: Shiawase has put out a 100k reward for info leading to the capture or arrest of those involved in the explosion. They are willing to share some recovered info with anyone with a lead. Also discovered was a living toxic dragon and what appeared to be his kin. Found in the rubble of the explosion was a corpse of a young toxic dragon. Video footage released after the event shows an adult Toxic Dragon slaughtering many manifested entities who came to feed on Mana during the Yearly magical storm that passes over the area. It shows the beast heading towards Seattle. No sight of it since that day.

World: Hong Kong has experienced similar events as the trail of the Dragon has begun to light up on more days recently. Several doomsday mages have predicted that a Toxic Dragon could challenge the most powerful dragons in the world. No responses from Lung or Lwofyr have been noted.

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Hanging with Miss J
Flit's Shopping List

Flit casually pushed her way to the front of the line outside the Lusty Leopard ignoring the shouts and whines of the teeny boppers and wannabes. She approached the broad double doors with the neon cat flickering in the dark Seatle night. With a grin and wink, she passed a credstick to the looming bouncer, Theo, before slinking into the club.

Damn..Theos looking good, I might have to take him for a spin one of these nights she thought as the music washed over her in a wave. Without a second thought, her body began to move to the music as she crossed to the back of the club. She easily picked out Miss J’s shoulder length neon blue hair. Miss J sat alone in a booth casually sipping a drink, her fingers tapping the table in time with the thrumming beat of the music. As usual, she had a small half smile on her face as she scanned the room. Almost as if she was seeing things that nobody else saw.

Flit slid sensually into the booth greeting Miss J with a warm smile.
“Hey, girl. Great to see you,” Flit said in a low smokey voice while leaning in to brush her lips across Miss J’s cheek. “How’s business?”
“Wiz. Flit.” Miss J returned the smile. “I was glad to hear from you. It’s been a while. Is this business or pleasure,” Miss J asked resting her chin on the palm of one hand.
“Can’t it be both?” Flit’s smile turned mischevious. “But, business first I guess. I need you to find some items for me. Some of it may be a little hard to come by…but I know you relish a challange.”
“Ahh..you know me so well. Let’s see it.”

With a small mental nudge Flit sent the pre-generated list of merchandise to Miss J’s commlink. Miss J read through the list. Her lips pursed in thought her delightful ice blue eyes seemed to stare off into distance. Flit knew her well enough by now to tell she was running through lists of suppliers and inventory in heard. Flit waved over a waitress and ordered a margarita while she waited.

After a few minutes, Miss J. looked up at Flit, “Most of this should be doable….I don’t think I have a lead on the Mil-spec armor right now. That will have to wait. All in all this should cost you 33,400¥”
“I figured the armor was a long shot,” Flit answered. “We have a deal.” Flit mentally transfered over the nuyen plus a little extra to sweeten the deal. “Now that we have the business done should we have a little fun?” She asked raising an eyebrow at Miss J.
“Intriguing. What did you have in mind?” Miss J asked leaning over to take a sip from Flit’s glass, her shoulder lightly brushing against Flit’s arm. Flit let out a low chuckle as she grabbed Miss J’s hand and pulled her out of the booth onto the dance floor.
“Let’s start with dancing and see where the night takes us…”

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Krime Boss
As Seen on Newscast

She couldn’t believe they got in and out. “How did they get in here? How did they take my freedom?” She kept it together enough to fool her Bosses.. Renraku only cared about the bottom line. As long as she showed she cares about the business no one knew about her other self.

Alicia had to get her gun back. It was her way to escape this life. She burned her contacts to find it. Newbies never wiped it. Was just a mater of following the trail. She found some mage who had it. He was pretty well guarded but no match for her Krime wave. Set his place ablaze and the little guy talked. Nothing like a squished dwarf to tell the story of where she might go.

News TRID:

Hardened Renraku exec found dead near Mt. Rainier. She had disappeared from Renraku North America several weeks ago not to be heard of. She was rumored to be on Renraku’ North America’s list of those infected with CFD. For the last several months Renraku has been revealing her schedule to other corps and media. She, to no ones surprise, scheduled the demise of what she called “those who kept me from escape.”

She turned up in the UCAS. Captured on video, as part of a team that infiltrated EVO’s Manufacturing Facility.. Evo reports missing several VTOL ships. All ships have returned but but one. Seams the Ancients where ready to sell some new acquired hardware. Evo had the right contacts and regained the missing VTOL. They are currently looking for the final one. The Ancients are looking to find the fixer who set up the sale. Alicia was last seen in Seattle at the Renraku facility there.

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Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold
Flit's Idea of a Grand Ol' Time

The run is finished, and the post-run depression hits me like a ton of bricks, or a hammer, or the hand of the old man trying to “correct me” yet again. The first thing I do is head to the apartment. I’m ready to crash for at least a day. As I pull into the apartment parking structure, the growl of my bike echoes across the cold cement. I slide the bike slowly into my assigned spot, and with a loud screech, I scrape the side of the bike along the cement guide post, adding both another layer of color to the post and another scratch to the multitude of already collected scratches on the bike. I gingerly climb off the bike, still sore from where those shit-ass drones unloaded on me. Thank goodness for my armor. I make a mental note introduce the newbies to Rainbow. We need to get them some better gear. It’s too bad the dragon got that Thompkins bitch. I would have loved to carve that slitch into bite sized pieces and fed her to the betraying bastard of a Johnson. Too bad he got away. Oh well, another name for The List, I guess. At least we got paid.

I enter my access code for the elevator while thinking longingly of the shower in my near future. As the door open, I remember that Enid is hiding at my place from her ex. With a sigh, I prepare to face the inevitable slew of questions and concern, but when I enter the apartment, she is gone. I hope she didn’t go home, or worse, back to the abusive fuck. I make a mental note to check on her in the morning.

After a long shower, I collapse into bed, exhausted. Sleep is elusive. I toss and turn while the long list of people who need to face justice replays over and over in my mind like a broken AR feed. I close my eyes. As Enid taught me, I begin to breathe. I slowly inhale five slow beats. Pause five beats. Exhale five slow beats. I begin to build an image of the first name of The List. I picture his short graying hair, the hard gray eyes, the chiseled jaw, and the sly mouth always twisted in disgust when he looked at me. The large frame covered in the dark gray suit. I can almost smell the bourbon. For a moment, I relive the terror and feel as helpless as I once was and then I lovingly and carefully start picturing my justice. I envision how I am going to bring him to tears. I can smell the tang of blood, hear the screams and pleas for mercy and forgiveness, but my justice is relentless and inexorable. When it’s finished, I allow myself one small smile before I move onto the next name on the list. When sleep finally overtakes me, my face is a mask of contentment and peace…

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The Perfect Shit Storm
As seen by Bam Bam

We had the reagent in hand, and the briefcase was in place and counting down. The main entrances were booby trapped (I love that phrase, booby trapped), so we escaped the nuclear facility through an emergency exit. The sky was not as dark as it had been. That freaky mana storm had passed. It was raining, but this seemed like natural rain. The magic was still there, though. The plants were greener, more vibrant. Too vibrant, like all of nature was throwing one huge rave party. Ruin joined the rave, shining like a glow stick.

My watch beeped and I looked at it. Four minutes to detonation. Null sweat.

Flit went to Walker’s truck and got it started. Foolish me, I was hoping we’d have a clean getaway. Then a headless body fell from the sky. Well, maybe not from the sky, but from above the first floor. Two dudes shot at us from windows on the top floor. We returned the favor. One guy took so much lead he was cut in half. The other guy took a hit and retreated, smart fella.

Flit got all fancy and jumped to the top of truck cab. The rest of us loaded into the truck and raced off. At least, that’s what we intended to do. But something weird was happening. Some kind of magical beings were forming everywhere. They seemed almost invisible, like ghosts. They slowly transformed from ethereal to physical. Zig Zag did his best to drive around them, which slowed us to a crawl. My watch beeped. Three minutes to detonation. We needed to move.

As if we didn’t already have enough problems, some VTOL was dropping packages like a seagull dropping shit. These turds fell to the ground, an outer shell broke open, and then some kind of machine started to initialize. From out of nowhere, a dozen Amerinds appear and engage the machines in a firefight. The machines were running laser scans at the same time they were shooting the Amerinds.

A magical tree-like creature swung its branch into our windshield, shattering it. Zig tried to speed things up by seeing if we could move through these translucent creatures manifesting everywhere. An earth elemental thing came up out of the ground. Zig Zag drove into it and it was solid enough to damage the truck and bring us to a stop. Then one of those machines scanned us, and the beam landed on Davina. We heard through a speaker. “Subject identified. We have found her.” All the machines turned towards us simultaneously and surrounded our broken truck. Beep. Two minutes until detonation.

New plan. Ruin summoned an air spirit who could speed us up by a factor of six. We got out of the truck and planned to make a run for it. This was an excellent strategy. Then the plane descended and fired on the air spirit. Only Zig Zag was able to speed away before the spirit was destroyed (banished?). Typical elf—Zig ran off and disappeared into the woods.

The Amerinds were no longer the target of the machines. They stopped shooting and paused, taking it all in. I think they were trying to figure out what was going on and who we were.

Ruin and Davina recognized the pilot. Some troll from New York named Alicia. Was this revenge? That’s so unprofessional. Davina shot at the pilot, but the armor on the plane was far too strong, and the bullet just bounced off.

The machines on the ground started to shoot at Davina. We retaliated, but we were seriously outclassed. Flit went down first. Then Davina falls. Then Ruin. Zig Zag is nowhere to be seen.

I’m standing there, alone, with all of these machines now pointing their guns at me. The VTOL circled and came towards me. Another beep. Only a minute before detonation, and we were not clear of the fallout zone. We would be hit by chunks of cooling tower and we would breathe radioactive dust. This was assuming we would still breathing in a minute which seemed unlikely.

Then the Amerinds launched grenades at the machines. High explosive grenades. These guys are alright.

Just when it seemed the tide of battle was turning, the ground shook. What was going on? It was too early for the explosion. The earth ripped open, and another, much larger toxic dragon starting clawing its way out of the crevasse. Oh, come on! Seriously?!

I smacked a stimpatch on Flit. She woke up quickly, and we slapped patches on Ruin and Davina. We were almost out of time.

A giant loogey flew through the air and landed on the plane. Remember the classic movie Alien, where the alien’s blood is a super acid and it melts shit on contact? It was like that. The VTOL fell to the ground, crashing in front of the toxic dragon. Trolls are tough, so it was only a small surprise to see Alicia still alive.

This troll takes out a hand cannon and shoots the dragon. The bullet bounces off as if it were a pebble. The toxic wizworm hocked up another loogey just for her. Remember how the Wicked Witch of the West melted when Dorothy threw water on her? It was like that. The blast was only seconds away, but I took a moment to relish the scene.

The Amerinds were now waving us to follow them. Could we trust them? Not many options, so we followed them as they headed underground.

Then I heard the sweet music. The initial crack that transforms into an echoing, melodious rumble. The tremors beneath my feet. The brief reduction in decibel followed by the sound of debris raining down like the wrath of an angry god. It gives me goosebumps every time. I kinda wish I could’ve been closer so I could hear the glass breaking and the tower cracking, but oh well.

Zig Zag located his car and drove back. He found the underground complex and joined us. At first, we weren’t quite sure if we were guests or prisoners. Their shaman healed us and they gave us place to rest. They fed us meat and potatoes. Real meat and real potatoes. This is when I knew we were guests of the Salish-Shidhe and not captives.

They led us through their underground complex, to an open field where we met Chief Littlefeet. He thanked us for saving the Salish dudes that were up there fighting the machines. Mostly it was them saving us. They were our saviors. This guy thanked us anyway, and he meant it sincerely.

Littlefeet said the troll woman was their enemy. Zig Zag showed him the video of her melting. The chief asked if we had anything to do with the explosion at the power plant. We denied it. Well, it turns out he was glad it blew up and he was grateful to whoever was responsible.

The chief offered us some gifts and opened up the tribe’s resources for trade. Zig Zag asked for more meat and potatoes. He traded his ring for a bone and feather necklace. Flit asked if they had any mono-filament devices to trade, but they didn’t. Ruin went into full greed mode, trying to barter a rock-bottom price for reagents from the people who saved our lives. I think we won back some goodwill when we agreed to take the VTOL with us when we left his country. Littlefeet also arranged for us to have no hassles crossing the borders.

I disassembled the plane and put it on Walker’s truck. Meanwhile, Davina worked on a side job, harvesting the reagents that can be found after a mana storm. Finally, we head back to Seattle to deliver the product and get paid.

Ruin called Mr. Johnson, who wanted to meet us on the docks. That’s an odd location, especially open to ambush. Sounded fishy to us. The fences we called didn’t answer, but not surprising, as I think they were not especially beholden to us.

Davina called Wall to let him know she had the reagent he asked for. No answer. Not even voicemail. Something to worry about?

We decided to park the truck with the VTOL someplace less conspicuous. We put our heads together and came up with Thule’s safe house. Then we called Mr. Johnson again.

He was still resistant to change locations for the meetup. We asked him to meet us at the Hole in the Wall, the place where he offered us the job. He agreed to meet us outside the bar.

We knew Mr. Johnson was planning something shady. Flit went up to the roof of an adjacent building, with a nice view of the parking lot around the Hole in the Wall. The rest of us went to the meetup. We parked the car and found Mr. Johnson waiting for us next to a Ford Americar. We could tell there were others in the car. Johnson wanted to hear about what happened on the run, and Ruin told him. A dude in the back seat gave the credstick to Zig Zag. When I went to hand over the goods, two thugs jumped out of a 2nd car and opened fire. Mr. Johnson betrayed us, the fragger.

Zig Zag did a fancy move, sliding over the top of the Americar. He pressed his gun into the back of Mr. Johnson’s skull and said, “Call off your men.” Mr. Johnson said, “Uh, okay. Stand down.” Only he said it like he was asking a question, not making a command. Three men surrendered. Then the back window of the Americar lowered and a spray of bullets ripped through Zig Zag. He collapsed, blood pouring out of him like a faucet.

Flit started taking out the tires of the 1st car. We followed suit with the other tires, then the windows. Mr. Johnson ran to the 2nd car, blasted me with a burst of lead, and got into the car. I fell to my knees, then my side. As I lay there bleeding out, I saw him drive away. The bastard escaped.

The other car was in bad shape, but they still tried to drive off. Flit swung herself down from the roof of the two-story building and started to chase after the car. Davina wasn’t going to let the other fraggers get away. She tossed a grenade through the car’s broken window. The last thing I remember seeing was the car lighting up like a Roman candle. I thought, if I were dying, what a beautiful sight to behold as my last image on earth.

I woke up to find myself alive and considerably richer. We found a fence to sell Walker’s truck and the damaged VTOL. We each scored over 68K for those vehicles, plus the 7K we got for running that shit job. That’s one hell of a haul. Considering I almost died—we all almost died—I’m not sure I’d do it again.

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Into the Dark
As Seen by Ruin

The characters…

Ruin, a male Chinese human mage
Davina, a female Scottish human adept, specializing in sneaking
Fiit, a Transgender human street samurai
Bam Bam, a gender fluid dwarven adept, specializing in demolitions
Zig Zag, a male elven street samurai

Feel free to edit this if there are any inaccuracies or if it missed anything…

Phase 1 – Infiltration

The group talked over their plan and finally decided to approach the place at night. By this time Walker had moved into one of the two nuclear power plant silos. Ruin summoned a strong air spirit to conceal their infiltration. He also turned himself and Bam Bam invisible.

The group spotted two main buildings and the two nuclear silos. They decided to approach the larger of the two buildings, guessing that the other building was a control center. The characters who weren’t invisible wore chameleon suits. We approached stealthily, sounded no alarms, and Davina picked the lock for us to enter. We explored a bit and Flit easily knocked out a worker who almost spotted us with her stun baton. Ruin found a credstick and a wallet with ID in one locker.

We found access to lower levels and Davina used the fallen worker’s keycard to enter a large chamber holding chemsuits. The door closed quickly. Flit and Ruin opened the door again and rapidly entered, but this time something went wrong. Using the same card twice on the door triggered some sort of alarm. Soon enough 4 workers with submachine guns approached and spotted us through the windows.

Phase 2 – They Spotted Us!

These 4 guys were not difficult to fight, though the armor plate window they had for cover was not easy to penetrate. The group shot them and cast spells until 2 had fallen and 2 more were running away. We tried to pursue, but found out that the door only worked in one direction. We needed to be outside the room to open the door. Ruin levitated one of their passkeys and swiped it through the maglock, opening the door. Flit, Zigzag, Ruin and Bam Bam chased the fleeing people, while Davina hung back and opened the entrance to the lower level and entered it.

Zig Zag was in the lead of the chase and he heard some footsteps. Turns out it was reinforcements from upstairs coming to attack us. A firefight erupted between us and 3 more workers. Ruin blasted all 3 with a strong Toxic Wave. Their mage tried to hex Zigzag, but Ruin counterspelled the attempt. The group shot up the 3 guards within a few seconds. Meanwhile, Flit saw one of the fleeing workers. He panicked and couldn’t find out how to open the exit door while Flit killed him with gunfire.

We knew we had one opponent left and Zigzag and Ruin ascended the stairs. They were ambushed by the remaining worker and ZigZag took a nasty gunshot wound. Flit saved us by flanking the guard and taking him out with another burst. Bam Bam trapped the entrances to the building to prepare for more reinforcements.

We searched the upper level of the building and found living quarters, but little of interest. Davina called out for backup on her subvocal mic. The group joined Davina downstairs.

Phase 3 – Below

Davina had seen something moving in the dark, but nothing obvious was living down there. We found a supply room where we gathered shovels and containers to help harvest reagents.

We explored the lower level and found that the nuclear silos continued underground. We found large glowing radioactive vats and ramps covering a lower area. We found stairs down, and a small section between the 2 silos that had reagents, yet didn’t have the high background count of the silos. This area was special. It had both the toxic reagents and mixed in was something Draconic. There are a sort of ley lines associated with dragons, and we had stumbled onto one. We saw a passage springing off from this area which the ley ran down. We didn’t dare explore down there. Also we kept seeing the logo of the Draco corporation.

We stayed in the lower level between the 2 silos and Davina, Bam Bam and Ruin worked on harvesting a dram of reagents while Flit and Zig Zag stood guard. After 2 hours we successfully gathered one dram. Bam Bam left the bomb in one of the silos and set the timer for 10 minutes.

Phase 4 – Exfiltration

Just as we were leaving, we were attacked by three ghastly creatures. There was a huge ork with a combat axe, another ork with a sword, and some sort of goblinoid creature who turned out to be a toxic shaman. All of these foes had the Draco corporation logo on their skin. Davina, Flit and Zig Zag did most of the fighting at first while Bam Bam and Ruin hurried to catch up.

The lead ork with the axe took down Zig Zag with a single mighty blow, but was ripped apart pretty much instantly by automatic gunfire. The shaman threw a power bolt at Davina, wounding her. Ruin commanded his air spirit into the fight and it took on the shaman at close range with its elemental attack. The ork with the claymore waited around the corner. Davina approached the corner, and the ork charged her, nearly chopping her in half with his sword. She was unconscious and just barely alive. The shaman and ork fell soon after.

While all this was going on, one of the silo walls crumbled and through it pushed a deformed toxic dragon, which apparently thrived in the polluted environment. We never thought toxic dragons existed until now! It spat corrosive acidic goo at Bam Bam, but she dodged. The dragon awkwardly climbed through the silo, following the group as they ran. Luckily it couldn’t follow for long due to the small doorways.

Bam Bam carried Zig Zag and her and Flit made it out of the silo. Meanwhile, Ruin was left to carry Davina, and he hobbled along in the rear, barely moving under the load. Flit came to the rescue and took Davina from Ruin. The group made it away safely, and Flit gave Zig Zag and Davina some first aid. That seemed close to a TPK for a minute there!

Wall had explained something to Davina. There was a mana storm in our area. After it passed for an hour after all manner of reagents and awakened beings would be in the area. The mana storm was happening while we were inside the nuclear facility. Now maybe we can see the results afterwards?

In game time, we began this at around 11 am or noon, started infiltrating at 6 pm, and got back to our vehicles at around 9 pm.

View
Slowly We Turn
As seen by Ruin

The characters…

  • Ruin, a male Chinese human mage
  • Davina, a female Scottish human adept, specializing in sneaking
  • Fiit, a Transgender human street samurai
  • Bam Bam, a gender fluid dwarven adept, specializing in demolitions
  • Zig Zag, a male elven street samurai

Feel free to edit this if there are any inaccuracies or if it missed anything…

PHASE 1 – INTRO

Mr. Johnson contacted Flit, Ruin and Davina again and wanted us to meet at the same Ork bar as last run, “The Hole in the Wall”.

While heading there, Ruin’s uber was held up. 3 Ancients with assault rifles robbed the vehicle. Ruin resisted at first, creating an illusion of the cops and turning invisible and trying to escape. The illusion was easily seen through. The three of them fired on automatic at Ruin, but miraculously he avoided injury. He then thought better of resisting and surrendered. They took his remaining comlink, a 500 nuyen credstick, his pistol, and restraints. Ruin bought a burner phone quickly afterwards so he could stay in touch with the team.

This hasn’t been the only incident with Ancients lately. Flit got held up last game. Something is afoot with that gang.

The group bought some weapons. 4 flashbangs for Davina, and a Colt 75 light pistol for Ruin.

At the Hole in the Wall the bartender was as unfriendly as ever, and we met Mr Johnson who once again had a shotgun pointed at us while negotiating. With him were Bam Bam and Zig Zag, who he introduced as in the same field as our team.

The run this time was more complex. He wanted us to find an AmerInd trucker named Walker. Walker has been known to hang out at Finres Naucht, a bar in Tacoma. He would drive to a secure facility owned by Shiawase Industries near Mt. Rainier with the same cargo we investigated last run. He’d arrive in 2 days. Our job was to enter the facility, collect one reagent from the place and plant a briefcase at the lowest level. The briefcase was rigged with explosives. We were offered 6k each for the run, which we upped to 7k after some aggressive bargaining.

PHASE 2 – AT THE BAR “Finres Naucht”

The group went directly to the bar Finres Naucht. Flit disguised herself as an American Indian woman. Flit, Ruin and Davina entered the bar, staggering their entrance to make them look, unconnected. Bam Bam and Zig Zag stayed in the car.

The bar seemed to cater to the magically active. At least half the people there were magically aware. Being the only AmerInd, Walker was easy to spot and Flit took a seat next to him. She planted several stealth RFID tags on him as well as in his drink. She flirted. Checking his aura showed Walker was pretty drunk and had liver problems. Eventually Walker got so excited by Flit that he tried to embrace and kiss her. She wanted no part of it, and Walker got pretty upset by that. Walker made his way to the exit and we noticed that several people in the bar were keeping tabs on him.

He exited through the rear. Now we could see Walker’s truck and see him walking towards it. A bunch of guys ambushed him. There were 2 inside the bar and 2 more outside. One guy tried to tackle Walker, but he shrugged it off. Two of the people turned into bears and pressed their attacks. Flit and Zig Zag did much of the fighting close in to Walker. Flit showed off her talent with parkour, guns, and her stun baton. Ruin called up BBQ his fire spirit to attack one of the bears. The spirit severely wounded him with some flames and the bear nearly defeated the spirit with a powerful magical melee attack. Bam Bam flanked the attackers from the side of the building, and on her way to do this found 2 more attackers. She traded automatic fire with one of the guys, taking him out. Zig Zag dodged burst after burst, while landing his own bullets exactly where he wanted. Davina laid low and planted some stealth tags on Walker’s truck. After 4 of the attackers had fallen (including both bears), the other 2 ran off.

Walker got in his vehicle and the group followed him from afar using a tag locator. Bam Bam modified the detonator on the briefcase to allow for remote detonation.

PHASE 3 – IN SALISH SIDHE (pr. “Sal-ish Shee”)

Walker drove straight to Salish Sidhe without pause. We realized we’d need to cross the border. Luckily Zig Zag knows a coyote who could get us an entrance pass (visa) for only 250 each. Guns would have cost 750 each, so we decided to not get a pass for those and instead smuggle them in Zig Zag’s car’s smuggling compartment.

We approached the border as a group. Flit, still disguised as an AmerInd, did most of the talking. She raised suspicion by not speaking their tribal language. She claimed Zig Zag was her boyfriend and they were going to visit family. Everyone acted like part of an entourage for a wedding and our story held up well enough so they let us through without searching the car.

After a few more hours we turned onto a dirt road and eventually Walker parked. Ruin did some astral reconnaissance and found more than one 4 legged dual natured creatures. They spotted him quickly and started howling. The group remembered that Walker said he had hell hounds as pets. We decided we were at Walker’s home and figured we should wait for him to deliver his cargo. We got lodging at one room of a motel and got some sleep.

In the morning Walker started driving again. He got back on I-90 and headed towards Mt. Rainier. We followed covertly and eventually he parked. We parked a mile or two away and looked w/ magnified vision at the facility. It was a nuclear power plant. Several people were helping Walker unload his truck.

Ruin went in astrally and found the place devoid of life the closer one got. It could have been pollution or toxic magic. Ruin wasn’t sure til he went all the way inside and discovered it was toxic magic generating huge background noise. Ruin saw 10 life forms inside, 3 of which were awakened. Ruin returned to his body and the group started coming up with a plan to enter.

Some ideas for the beginning of next session:

  • Ruin should summon a spirit or two to prepare for infiltration. His spell casting won’t be very helpful with all the background noise, so he’ll mainly be using his pistol and spirits.
  • Before going into the toxic area Ruin can cast and sustain some spells to help the group, such as improved reflexes or invisibility. Once we enter new spells will be difficult to pull off.
  • What was that cargo we saw last time that’s being delivered? Davina took some photos. Let’s show the photos to Bam Bam, who knows more about mechanical subjects than the rest of us. Maybe Bam Bam can tell us the significance.
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