A Roof Over Our Heads

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A Roof Over Our Heads
Part of Home is where the heart is
Part of The Farm and The Furious
Date2081-07-25
GMCrimson
LocationRedmond Barrens
Status Threat Level: Medium
Factions Involved
ShadowHaven
Redmond Rejuvenation Project
Toxic Spirits
Dee
Fierro
Fintan
Moth
Toxic Spirit
Casualties and losses
said toxic spirit


Summary

The runners were hired by Bruno Pereira to scout out an overgrown section of the Redmond Barrens that housed a few abandoned buildings amidst the thick forest. As he was planning to house his recently homeless refugee group there, he wanted the runners to find out if the place was occupied and to "secure it" as they saw fit.

The group scouted out the forest through astral and mechanical means, and after establishing friendly contact with a small group of refugees alredy settled in the buildings through the rescue of one of them, fought an evil presence that had taken the form of a toxic spirit underneath a destroyed building nearby.

Having successfully secured the buildings (the refugees would not be a problem to Bruno's group), the group returned to the less green part of the Barrens and got their payment.

Background

The Barrens have always been a drek place to live. Just imagine the worst slum in the world, then bomb it, have a radioactive waste spilloff there, a race riot, then bomb it again, reenact the Chernobyl disaster there, then have a volcanic eruption on it, then build a wall around it so the rule of law will not reach there, then bomb it again for good measure. Then you'd have an approximation of what the Barrens look like.

Sure, some areas might be relatively nicer than others, some places you might even be able of walk around for a couple of hours without getting radiation poisoning or getting shanked over a few nuyen (last one is rarer), but either way, gang war is an inevitable reality of these parts.

A gang war between two splinter Halloweener groups escalated exponentially one night. People dropping like flies and buildings getting torched. One of the buildings burnt down housed a group of survivors, people from the Barrens brought together mostly for survival. Many orphaned kids, squatting hobos and all sort of folk that were in a bad spot in life. Amongst them was their de-facto leaders, the Orks Bruno Pereira (aka Spotted Jaguar) and his wife Mist Whisperer. When the building was up in flames, the twenty-or-so survivors of the attack retreated to a more derelict zone of the Barrens for temporal shelter. Jaguar had seen that nearby the depopulation and overgrowth had created a veritable patch of woodland in the former urban sprawl. Exploring it led him to a small group of five buildings, but having seen some movement in there, he went back to his camp.

Desperately needing a home for his people to regain strenght and settle down, Jaguar contacted a group of runners from the Haven to scout out the place, figure out if there's any threats in the area and, if possible, to secure the building for his group.

The Meet

The group met outside the building where Jaguar's group was squatting. It was a derelict building sitting in the edge of the wilderness they were tasked with exploring. The building itself used to be about three stories high, but decades of neglect had turned it into a two-story building. The runners introduced eachother and headed to the building. Noticing how strange it was for a Barrens building to have a doorbell (an old, 2000s or 2010s doorbell, no less) Fierro attempted to make sure it wasn't rigged with explosives the only way he could figure out for such an old thing: ringing it and hoping he kept his hand. Unsuprisingly the doorbell didn't explode, and didn't ring either. Meanwhile, Dee used one of his drones to make sure nobody tried sneaking up on the group. Opening the door, the group entered a derelict hallway, from where a child, possibly 6 or 7 years old, was staring at them wide-eyed. Moth waved at the kid and told him they had to meet Spotted Jaguar, to which the kid replied by turning around and screeching at the top of the lungs "BRUNO!THE PEOPLE YOU CALLED CAME TO SEE YOU!", which the party heard repeated through the building as many other kids called out to Jaguar as loud as metahumanely possible as all Brazilian families do.

Jaguar went down the stairs to meet the group and explained them the situation: a gang war between two groups of Halloweeners ended with their home being burnt to the ground, and they needed to make sure if the buildings in the forest were safe to settle. Meanwhile, Fintan noticed that many of the people in Jaguar's group were injured, and offered his services to heal them. Jaguar told him to speak with Mist after the meeting, as she was in charge of patching the other refugees up.

During the briefing, Jaguar offered 3000 Nuyen per person once the job was complete, which was haggled up to 4000 per head by Moth. Once the pay was settled, Fintan went to talk with Mist, Jaguar's wife, and offered her his services with healing the refugees. He sang a Tír healing song[1] at the most gravely injured members of the group, which took instant effect in closing open wounds and setting broken bones. Once that was settled, the party entered Dee's car and drove to the forest.

The Plan

The plan involved crossing the forest path searching for any potential dangers and scout the ruins both from afar and from up close, making sure that the spot was safe for the refugees.

The Run

Once at the forest, Moth advised the group to load their guns with nonlethal rounds, just in case the people at the overgrown buildings were just more refugees. Walking through the forest towards the designated location, Dee sent one of his drones up to do reconissance, and Fierro noticed some markings on the trees that Jaguar had made with his knife while exploring. He told the party to follow the marks instead of the trail they were currently following, as that was the path the refugees were most likely to take, and if they were in any risk of being ambushed on the way there, it was through that path.

Once the group arrived at the location, they hid in the brush and took a look around. There was a clearing in the forest with four apparently abandoned buildings surrounding an overgrown courtyard, and a third building further to the right that had been caved in by a fallen, now rotting, tree. Fintan remarked the building with the fallen tree gave him a very bad feeling. The group observed the other four buildings from afar, and Moth saw that some windows had been boarded up relatively recently, indicating recent occupation. Fierro accessed the Matrix and managed to detect a very faint signal coming from the building, indicating that there was either a device with Matrix connection or something similar. Fintan summoned a Spirit of Beast in the form of a huge brown wolf (immediately referred to by the party as "good boy"), then went limp as he entered the Astral Realm to explore. The elf's spirit first avoided the destroyed building, instead exploring the other four. Two, he noticed, were empty, while one had a bunker or panic room on its basement, inside of which a mundane was lying unconscious. In the other building Fintan saw three mundane squatters minding their own buissness. Going back to the destroyed building, the feeling of wrongness grew stronger, feeling a very strong presence beneath the building. The shaman awoke and informed the party of this situation, and Dee sent his drone into the destroyed building, but apart from the huge rotten tree cutting through the walls and resting on the floor, he couldn't see any creature inside.

The group decided to go back to Dee's car and pick up all remaining explosives and drones from there before continuing. Fierro volunteered to keep guard and Fintan casted greater invisibility on him just in case. Once they returned, they decided, they'd go first to the four buildings. The unconscious man could have been there for longer than the other squatters, and in that case they could see the effects the spirit on the ruined building had on him. If not, then they could at least rescue him, and try to find out his relationship with the other squatters.

After entering the building the group found an old passage that led to a dark underground area, in there was a massive set of iron doors that made for some sort of panic room (or bunker), with the aid of glowsticks the resident hardware specialist Fierro managed to open the contraption by hacking an ancient artifact known as a "Windows 95", inside the group found an unconcious human that was slowly axphixiating, as they helped the man, rushed footsteps were heard coming down the set of stairs. Turns out the squatters were also running away from the gang war and a member of their group managed to lock himself inside the great vault by mistake while looking for supplies.

Both groups got out of the dark passageway and headed outside, the squatters explaining their situation and the runners talking about the group that was coming and inviting them to be a part of that small community, the second group was unsure but decided to hang around while the unconcious human recovered.

In the end the last obstacle was the crumbling building, trying something different Fintan used "detect enemies" to try and find the source of the bad juju... and that he did, a Toxic spiit was at the basement of the building, it had already manifested and was inching towards the surface, thinking fast the group came up with a plan to destroy the toxic spirit before it could cause harm, while the group gathered their explosives (plus a few homemade ones that the squatters intended to use to save their friend) Moth called her friend Roscoe West and with his guidance they managed to cause a controlled detonation that entombed the spirit, hurt, but not dead, the spirit burst through the rubble, a hideous creature that resembled a giant rat made out of sickness incarnate, the runners were prepared for this possibility and as soon as it appeared they oppened fire, with severe injuries already and a powerful strike from Good Boy the toxic monster was dispached quickly.

After the battle, Fintan decided to use Good Boy´s last favor to set him free as a token of gratitude, Good Boy responded with appreciation and decided to make that forest his home. When all was said and done the team had secured the location, helped its residents and killed a horrible abomination.

Aftermath

The runners regrouped with Jaguar after clearing the area and debriefed him on the situation, Jaguar was happy that they were all safe and that his group would be able to move out soon.

Rewards

7 karma, 2k Nuyen and an extra 2k from negotiation. Bruno Pereira as a 2/2 contact, 2 CDP.

Game Quotes

Player After Action Reports (AARs)

Fierro

Well that's what I consider a success. It's not often you get to do a run successfully AND feel good about yourself for it, but I think we did a pretty good thing today. I mean, we helped some refugees, saved a guy's life, reunited two groups, killed an evil spirit and probably saved the whole forest's ecosystem in the process. The group will probably have some decent game to hunt now that that thing's gone... Man... Real meat... I haven't eaten that in years... Also, Jaguar payed pretty decently, at least now I can pay rent!

Moth

Moth here! This was my 37th run. This was an excellent team. Cautious, thoughtful, kind-hearted. I was impressed Fintan helped heal Jaguar's people before we set out. I'm glad we were able to save the guy suffocating in the safe room. And how great that Roscoe could help! He's a good friend. And I got to tell him the good news that Dandy and I are living together now! He was so happy for us. And slightly alarmed that I was asking questions about explosives and a terrible toxic spirit so soon after my surgery, but I feel sure he was motivated to give good advice. And not tell Dandy I was doing something dangerous! I'm glad to have Jaguar as a contact. He seems cool. I'm glad we could help him and his people. And I'd be real glad to work with any of Dee, Fintan, and Fierro again. A good team!

Fintan

From what I've herd of the shadows, this was either an exceptionally feel good run, or my sources lied to me. Managed to help some squatters, practice my mojo. Even met a good friend in the spirit world, and cleansed some toxic spirit form the area. If running in the shadows is like this, with a team like this, then I can get really used to it.