A Ghoulish Case of an Ancient Grudge
|A Ghoulish Case of an Ancient Grudge|
|Part of A Ghoulish Case|
|Casualties and losses|
A ghoul community in Puyallup has been dealing with some recent harassment from the Ancients. Doctor O+ has asked a team of Haven runners for help.
The team arrives at a run-down apartment building in Puyallup. Suspicious of the ghouls within, they try to scope it out first; Mush and Skimmer by astral perception, and Vip3r by taking a look at their Matrix host. While the host is online, and does have a security system, all the equipment seems to be defunct.
Turns out, their apprehension is needless. The ghouls inside the building are friendly, and Doctor O+ greets the team warmly. He tells the runners that the Ancients have been antagonizing them, which is unusual, because the ghouls are relatively far outside of their turf and they normally leave them alone. He offers his services along with up to 40,000¥ worth of augmentations, and after some negotiation, the team accepts.
Skimmer calls his contact Argent, a Laesa associate with ties to the Ancients, and asks him if he knows anything about the recent conflict between the Ancients and the ghouls. "I don't want to talk about it," Argent says abruptly and hangs up his comm; a dead end.
Meanwhile, Viper makes a call to her fixer, David Yang, and asks him to put her in contact with someone from the Ancients who may be able to tell her what's going on. He has her complete a favor for him, and then introduces her to Rilitar Lialynn, a low-level Ancients member who earns some nuyen on the side as an informant for the Eighty-Eights Triad. Rilitar tells her that the individual causing problems is Pirphal Oririeth, an up-and-coming lieutenant transplanted from another city. Viper asks how Pirphal is generally regarded, and Rilitar reluctantly admits that they think he's an impulsive hothead before nervously terminating the call.
Skimmer calls Saint Nick and asks him what he knows about Pirphal. Saint Nick says that he's familiar with him and that he is a "very bad boy" who received coal from him last year. (The "coal" to which Saint Nick is referring is not actual coal, but a grenade.) He's not able to offer too much more information, but does give Skimmer another piece of "coal" to pass on to Pirphal.
Viper then proceeds to run a deep search on Pirphal. The bulk of her findings seem relatively uninteresting, except for some info about Pirphal's frequent hangouts and an old, pre-Crash 2.0 photo of Pirphal with a young human man. This human's image strangely fails to turn up any matches on a facial recognition search. Viper shares it with the rest of the team, and while they discuss who this person could be, Viper asks in a sudden burst of inspiration if it could've been Dr. O+. Fidem puts in a call to the Doctor, and confirms Viper's suspicion. He mentions he was very good friends with Pirphal while he was in med school, but Fidem gets the sense they were a little bit more than that.
As much information gathered as they can reasonably find, the team heads to a bar to meet with Pirphal.
Viper parks herself at a seat near the back of the bar, where she can keep an eye on the situation as needed, and sees Pirphal come in. Fidem trades her habit for some fashionable synthleather, and enters with Skimmer posing as a bodyguard. A number of patrons recognize her and ask her to dance with them. She assures them that she will later, and makes a beeline to Pirphal where he sits at the bar, telling him that she needs to talk to him. "I don't swing that way," he says, and she assures him that she's not interested in him like that.
She takes a seat next to Pirphal, and informs him that she's here on behalf of the ghouls, and would like to discuss the possibility of leaving them in peace. Pirphal is unwilling, even when she mentions his "old friend." Things begin to get tense. Viper notices that many of the Ancients members in the bar are reaching for weapons under the tables, and Mush, who has been waiting outside, takes up a post inside to help if necessary. He attempts to influence Pirphal with a spell. Pirphal immediately notices the use of magic but not its source, and fortunately Fidem is able to talk him down before things get violent.
She's eventually able to get Pirphal to agree to meet with Dr. O+. The negotiation goes reasonably well, and Pirphal agrees to back off.
20k nuyen or 40k in 'ware (10 RVP)
Doctor O+ (Connection 3) at Loyalty 3 (5 RVP) (10 CDP if you don't want him)
1 karma (1 RVP)
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
"You know what this run was really about? Contacts. Contacts can make all the difference in the world when a runner needs information, even when that contact really doesn't want to spill the beans. We learned enough from our contacts to put together the real story of this run, which was an elf who was embittered by the "loss" of a former lover due to the ghoul virus. Doctor O+ is a pleasant fella and still capable of maintaining a friendship, even if the physical relationship is sadly over. Pirphal on the other hand was seemingly unwilling to let go of the past, and punished ALL ghouls for the loss of his lover. It really is a sad story. Hopefully, they will be able to work something out, because they both deserve better. I don't know. Well done team, you really knocked this one out of the park."
There was truly a blessing over us this day that we were able to walk right into the heart of the Beast and emerge unscathed. We were hired by a charming ghoul doctor in order to investigate why The Ancients were causing an issue for the ghoul community within Puyallup. As it turns out, the reason was that one of that doctor's old friends was holding some resentments about our fair Johnson being infected with HMHVV. The team decided that it was best to be direct in this case, and simply approached the Ancients Squad leader.
It took a fair amount of convincing, and it was harder than I expected. Lord forgive my hubris, but it has been quite some time since I have come across anyone that was not attracted to me. Luckily between the calm composure of Skimmer, the helpful insights of Mush and the skills of Vip3r, we were able to convince the Ancients to open up a line of communication with the Ghouls and hopefully they can further expand the negotiations until peace is achieved.
Not my finest hour. My interventions are normally required to prevent violence, yet on this occasion they very nearly became the cause of it. Still, there was insufficient time to assense all the patrons present, and so I was forced to gamble upon working my spells most subtly. And yet, I still failed to hide my workings even so. At least I was able to save some face in the eyes of my companions by shrouding Skimmer in invisibility to assist them in pharmaceutically sobering up Pirphal before his call to Doctor O. Even so, I must do better if I am to become a permanent presence in the Seattle shadows.
What a twist, huh? Didn't expect this Pirphal guy to have a grudge against ghouls because his ex got infected, which... kinda seems like a bizarre thing to get violent about. I mean, that's not something you can blame on all ghouls.
Anyway. I'm glad this run went as well as it did. Our whole team did a great job of piecing things together and pulling off the meet with Pirphal, and meeting Dr. O+ and his community has really changed my view on ghouls. They're just people, and they're good people who are looking out for each other and trying to live in peace. Plus, the doc's offer convinced me to finally pull the trigger on the augs I was thinking of getting. Can't wait to see what I'm capable of once I'm healed up.