50 Leagues Under the Waves
|50 Leagues Under the Waves|
|Casualties and losses|
|3 guards, 1 mysterious crate|
|1 sea leech|
The runners were hired by a vampire to intercept a package and make sure it didn't reach its destination. Proteus was moving a roughly human sized crate from San Diego to its compound in Los Angeles. The package would be en route through underwater tunnels.
The runners successfully stopped the guards carrying the package. Three guards dead. One crate exploded deep underwater under Los Angeles. Mission success.
Much of Los Angeles is underwater. It is also a community where runners live stream their runs.
Proteus was moving some kind of living infected creature in a chem sealed crate.
Team member Rigs has a phobia about water.
They met the Johnson at a club in downtown Seattle. She knew the crate was going to be moving from San Diego to Los Angeles in the next week. She didn't know when, or by what route. She offered very little information about the crate beyond that it would be chem sealed and well guarded. She offered 18,000 nuyen and could not be swayed to pay more, but did agree to cover expenses.
They needed to make their way down to Los Angeles. She could provide tickets on commercial planes if they wanted, and would provide a rapid evacuation when the job was done. They'd have to be careful to not take more than they could carry.
Moth called Lt.Cmdr Yennefer Kerrigan and obtained use of the submersible tank since the job would be done deep underwater - an environment none of them were familiar with. Of the group, only Dandy could swim with any skill. Of note, they had to agree to pay for any damages to the tank that occurred during the job.
Relay would drive them down so they could smuggle their guns, drugs, and other supplies. He would send his vehicle back home via grid guide, since the Johnson had promised a hot extraction when they succeeded.
Using the Johnson's expense account, they each bought a dry suit and they bought 500 feet of universal connector cable so they could stay in communication underwater. (Though they would forget to use it...)
Rigs would drive so they could go at top speeds.
This plan required driving through the border between Sidhe-Salish and CalFree. This was a nervous moment as they had their guns and gear in the smuggling compartment of the vehicle. KE had a sensor of some kind that picked up their drugs. Relay delayed and distracted the guard, leaning into his wheelchair-bound plight. Moth was able to palm the drugs and con the guard into thinking the sensor was reacting to her strong (but licensed) tailored pheremones. They made it through.
In order to determine how to track and intercept the package, Moth and Relay team-worked some matrix searches, taking advantages of his vehicle's browse-enabled matrix link. They learned a lot of background information on Proteus. They got the location of the Los Angeles compound. They got information about Proteus' logo and branding so they could recognize the crate and guards. They learned about some Proteus projects like Project Vulcan, but none that were clearly relevant to this job.
They still needed information about common smuggler routes into the city. Moth reached out to her papa, King Midas, to get her a contact with the Ancients in Los Angeles. Once of the Laesa Syndicate's closest allies. He was able to connect her to Alex Bernard. Alex was able to confirm that the crate would be brought in through the Deep Lacuna tunnels. He was able to get them a three-dimensional map of the Deep Lacuna, though he noted it was incomplete and subject to change.
They studied footage of prior streamed runs for Proteus (nothing of note), and in the Deep Lacuna tunnels to better understand the hazards and probable routes. Dandy studied the footage for traps, and had some insight into the sea creatures most likely to be encountered like sea leeches and spark salmon.
It seemed likely that the crate would come through one of five paths.
After much study, they determined the best possible ambush point. It would be crossed by 2 of the 5 paths, and was near enough to a third to be able to still intercept.
They initially planned to use the goldfish drones to stake out the routes, so they could cover all five. However, they learned that they couldn't watch feed from goldfish underwater. They could only get uploads when both they and the goldfish were surfaced. Not very useful for surveillance.
They reluctantly agreed that Rigs had the best idea. They'd have to collapse tunnels at key points on the 2 routes they couldn't cover. That would force the crate down one of the three that they could watch. Towards this goal, Rigs acquired enough plastic explosives. Relay set up two goldfish to be explosive delivery units. But the goldfish couldn't deliver the explosives! After much investigation and help from Moth's friend The Steward, they learned that the Deep Lacuna is a very strange place. It is an 'alchera' - a place where the astral realm manifests into the physical. In this case, the physical should be solid cave, but the overlapping astral intrusion creates tunnel-pockets that can drift or close over time. They can't be harmed by mundane forces. Their movements are unpredictable. The good news was that the natural shifts in the 'alchera' had blocked the two paths they were trying to block. They could just focus on the three routes they could cover.
Knowing they would be staking out the area and ambush point for days, they focused on concealing the submersible tank. Both Relay and Rigs were skilled in vehicle stealth. Both Moth and Dandy were skilled in disguise. It was truly well hidden!
They also discovered that Dandy and Moth were the best navigators, and that only one rigger could be jumped into the tank at a time. Navigating the Lacuna was challenging but they managed, working together.
Dandy was able to drive them out of its grip and far enough away that Rigs could blow it up with one of the tanks mini-torpedoes. This was an explosive round. There were two kinds. Explosive and corrosive chemical. With the sea monster vanquished, Dandy, a skilled hunter, was one step closer to his goal of killing one of every kind of monster in the world. He wanted a trophy, so he swam out to pry out a tooth. All four of them forgot to hook him up to the cable that would allow them to stay in contact...
At this exact moment, the opfor arrived with the crate. Dandy was at the corpse of the monster, between the tank and the opfor.
A battle ensued! Relay fired the torpedoes, while Moth and Rigs kept re-loading the system. The team switched to chemical rounds, hoping to avoid puncturing the chem sealed crate. Dandy grazed one with an underwater sniper shot, before swimming quickly back into the airlock of the tank. He was in the airlock, cycling, so he could get fully back inside, while Relay killed a second guard.
Then, a truly terrifying thing happened. The blood trail from the one injured guard had been floating out behind him. Suddenly it vanished and he compressed like a juice box as he was horrifically drained. Uh oh. Another sea leech was coming. And they had a horrific power. Moth was in an absolute panic that Dandy was still out there, facing that, since they were out of communication and could not confirm where he was.
Dandy made it safely inside. The 4th guard abandoned the crate and came banging on the outer airlock door to try to get into the safety of the tank. Relay let him, but only inside the trapped space of the airlock. He might be infected, since they were suspicious that whatever was in the crate was.
It was time to get out of there. They'd successfully stopped the crate from being transported to the compound, but they faced a choice. Destroy it, or try to carry it back to ... somewhere. The group all agreed to destroy it. But if there was infection inside, how could they destroy it and not potentially expose themselves? They didn't want to open the airlock again, with the man trapped there. Dandy remembered the goldfish rigged with timed explosives that had not been able to be used. Could they shoot one out the torpedo launcher? Yes they could. The goldfish-timed explosive was successfully launched with instructions to sit on the crate while the timer counted down and they got far away.
As they headed for the surface, mission accomplished, Moth tried to interrogate the guard in the airlock for more info, but he only spoke Orzet. They reached the surface, called the Johnson, and an extraction seaplane arrived to return them to Seattle. The guard fled out the airlock door - now safe - as they were surfaced. They programmed the submersible tank - completely undamaged! - to return to its UCAS pick-up point.
The runners had survived. They were shaken, but unharmed. They got paid.
Deep beneath the surface of the water, a crate blew up. A massive explosion. And two red eyes could just be seen emerging from that explosion...
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Moth here! This was my 50th run! What an anniversary! And what better way to celebrate than a trip out of town with my sweetheart to a place as exotic as LA. Only, this was all rather absolutely terrifying. I was never so glad to be home. On dry land. With Dandy. Both of us alive and unharmed and not infected. I am never going to take that for granted. I am never going to forget to hook up the universal cable again. I am probably going to put flood lights on the pool so I don't have to fret about surprise sea leeches. Ick ick ick. All in all though, we got it done. Relay is as reliable as ever. Smart. A good partner in planning and searching. Rigs is a little crazy, but his suggestions about demolitions and explosives proved most useful. Dandy is - as ever - the best man in the world, and I am so glad he is a part of my life.
My tenth run under the Shadowhaven tag, paired me with moth and--for the first time ever--her significant other. A rarity, we got partnered with another rigger who just goes by Rigs. It was fun stuff to learn that--between two riggers who intentionally took a water-based job--we had zero aquatic drones.
I'll be honest, I felt like my lack of skill with a watercraft and my lack of aquatic drones made me a liability at first, so I was happy to drop some Nuyen on the problem. That doesn't help me pilot them, though. I'm going to have to practice. There were a few moments of tension, but I'm really glad that--when I let the opfor into the airlock--I was met with mostly approving nods. We don't always operate within the law, but there are things I'm not willing to do. I wish we didn't have to blast any of 'em.
...Well, I like dislike LA more. Had to go into one of them underwater smuggling tunnels and set up an ambush for some dudes. No matrix connection, no underwater drones. Kinda awful place to be. Those 18 grand were not enough for this... Anyhow thanks to Moth we get down there in a tank, real swell thing could get one for myself. So I got this brilliant idea that we bomb some of the tunnels and create a choke point, sounded good made some nice bombs, but it turns out that its some bomb-proof magic rock. Oh yeah we also got to fight a sea leech, you know those big things that suck your blood up like juice box? Yeah those things. Shot it with mini-torpedo, it died from it. Relay shot the dudes that carried the box and with spare unused explosives we blew it up.