A Rain of Really Repulsive Renraku Reinforcements

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A Rain of Really Repulsive Renraku Reinforcements
Part of Head In A Jar
Date2082-04-26
GMAurora
LocationOutside Seattle
Status Threat Level: High
Factions Involved
ShadowHaven
Holly Rogers And Crew
Renraku
Samsara
Canis
Rabbit
Swerve
Milliam
Mages
Cyborgs
Spirits
Casualties and losses
2 Mages, Several Cyborgs and Spirits


Summary

The runners team up with Holly Rogers And Crew to end Renraku's newest crime against metahumanity.

Background

Renraku, seeking to get ahead in the 6th world corporate arms race, turned to a classic strategy, twisted and mad experiments. Using the removed brains of children, they discovered a way to make cyborg soldiers, encasing the operator almost entirely in steel. While effective, it's monstrous. These actions drew the attentions of Holly and her team. A previous run in the past had damaged their efforts, but still, Renraku carried on with their plans. Using her shadowrunner skills, she managed to discover the facilities used in the program. The first was a cloning station. Renraku, moving beyond simple child abductions, built the infrastructure to grow brains to serve as the neural material for the cyborgs. Only the brains. The other facility that they found was a training grounds for the newly created cyborgs. Doubtless, they figured there would have to be some horrid brainwashing and conditioning programs to make this plan possible.

Disgusted by what she had seen, Holly knew she had to put a stop to this. Unfortunately, her crew, while effective, was only one runner team. To make sure that both facilities would be destroyed, they'd have to be in two places at once. To solve this problem, she decided to contract out, hiring a second team of runners. Sending out the call, Holly got drunk, probably.

The Meet

The runners were called to an interesting location, a pirate themed pub. Seeming to try to capture an accurate pirate aesthetic, while at the same time being child friendly, it failed at both. Regardless, it fit the theme of their invitation, "Friendly Pirates". Heading inside, the team was waved into a back room that seemed to hold more alcohol and more drugs. Samsara, having previously worked with the pirate runners, approached them with a wave. Inviting the runners to their table, they were quick to offer alcohol and assorted drugs.

Peer pressure can be a potent thing and soon a large part of the team was intoxicated. Holly tried to offer drink to Swerve repeatedly, one of her crew even offering magical aid to get over her mysterious alcohol allergy. The situation somewhat awkward, she and Rabbit managed to fend them off, promising a party after the job to celebrate their success.

As the group partied, and drank, and drugged, and partied, and so on for about an hour, Holly remembered that she was a J that night. Focusing past the haze, she haphazardly moved towards a job briefing. She relayed information on what Renraku was up to, as well as the targets they needed to hit, offering the team their choice. The only real condition was that they had to attack at the same time, and destroy the place utterly to seriously hamper their works. In return, they'd do a good thing and also be paid a hefty reward in the form of golden doubloons.

The team discussed this for a bit, and ultimately chose to hit the cloning facility. As the conversation continued though, Samsara reached a moral crisis. Samsara, having been meditating on the proper use of violence and going through her own tribulations with revenge, did not like the idea of killing the people involved with the facility. Even though they did evil in the past, surely their talents could be turned towards a good cause? Growth is always possible, and who are we to take that away from them, acting as executioners driven by hate? The fact that she was both high on Novacoke and drunk also contributed. The sober members of the team tried to waylay her concerns and convince her of the necessary nature of the task, with a mixture of truth and deceit. After a while, a general agreement was made to proceed forward, with a promise to save whomever possible. The night of partying about done, the team departed to prepare for their journey a few days forward.

The Plan

The next day, as the hangovers and withdrawals from the night before set in, each of the team began to prepare in their own ways. They had decided last night to use Rabbit's submarine car to approach the coastal cloning facility, and Swerve had been on a run at sea before. Predicting potential issues, she went on a shopping trip for the team, going to grab life-vests, sealable plastic bags, and more reagents. Milliam, ran around, because.... reasons. Rabbit managed to arrange the explosives needed for the job, and finally, Samsara, blearily awakening after the prior night, talked with a very special person, her boyfriend Kenneth "Flamesaw" Murphy. Kenny, finding out about the run, asked to join up to put his sweet skills to work. Samsara, against her better judgement, but driven by his beautiful jawline, called the rest of the team for permission. Somehow, they agreed. It was time for Kenny to once again go to work.

A few days later, the runners gathered, heading into Rabbit's surprisingly luxurious submarine car. As they filed in, Rabbit and Swerve looked over maps to plot their course. As they finished up, Kenny shouted about a shortcut he knew about. Trusting in his skill, Milliam and Samsara immediately supported him. After thinking about it for a very short time, the rest of the team decided to not take it. Promising to head that way on the way back, Kenny was mollified.

With all the prep done, the team headed northward under the ocean, heading towards a monstrous place.

The Run

After a few hours of travelling, the submarine approached the target location. Peering outward, members of the team noticed something unusual. There seemed to be swarms of fish, making a boundary of sorts. Swerve summoned a water spirit to peer into the astral outside, and saw that the water was filled with water spirits. Somewhat concerned, Rabbit tried to pilot the sub around the fish, guided by the summoned spirit. Thankfully, they made it through without incident. Now inside the fish zone, most of the team departed the sub, using either FBA or rebreathers to breathe underwater.

The sub, likely to be discovered if kept so close to the facility, was expertly piloted back out by Rabbit, and she managed to swim back inwards without incident. She did notice however that Kenny's flamehand kept shorting out in the water, shocking him over and over. A talented hacker, she, after a surprising amount of effort, managed to deactivate the cyberware temporarily.

As the team worked to recombine, some of the fish happened to spot Swerve, as she waited in the water. She tried to hide, but ultimately failed terribly. The small silver fish approached, nearing her menacingly. Then it exploded. Taking a beating, Swerve ultimately knew she was fine. It was a nasty hit, but she could regenerate. Then she noticed a cluster of fish were following the lead. Panicked, she sent an explosion of lightning back, detonating the fish, but ultimately knocking her unconscious. While again, she'd heal, Swerve was being pulled away by the undertow towards a rather large bit of exploding fish. Before that nasty conclusion was reached, Milliam and Rabbit managed to pull her back to safety and she regenerated in relative peace.

The element of surprise now gone, the team raced towards the shore to attack the cloning facility. As they surfaced and reached land, they were struck by an ambush. Fighting off multiple water spirits, as well as a trio of the child-brain cyborgs, it was a difficult fight. Thankfully, due to the skills of the team, in both combat and attack decking, the runners managed to succeed. Seeking to save the children, Samsara leaped on the back of one of the cyborgs, ripping out the "football" that contained the brain, disabling the mech and saving the person. Unfortunately, the other two ended up perishing. They happened to be connected to the matrix, and while Rabbit was busy killing enemy deckers, it also harmed the active cyborgs destroying them as well. Disappointed and angry, but ultimately unable to blame Rabbit, Samsara focused further on the mission to come. While all of this was happening, Kenny was playing obliviously with Dumas, the cyber panther.

With trepidation, the team examined the football-shaped object containing the brain. Canis used his technomancer powers to connect to it, wondering if contact could be made, if it would even be better if they were incapable of it. Ultimately, the football responding, initially with just a serial number, J1-1003. After a few tentative responses by Canis, something changed. While still communicating its identification, it interspersed requests "to be given my teddy bear". Both horrified and slightly confused, after a quick search around where the cyborgs emerged from, a teddy bear was found on the ground. Canis, sending a picture of it over to the child, they confirmed that it was theirs, that they wanted it back. While trying to haphazardly create a camera for the child using a commlink, Canis questioned them further, asking for information about what they knew and about the bear.

Eventually, a story came together. The footballs periodically were removed from the drones and implanted in a machinery that exchanged waste fluids and refreshed the life support systems. During this time, the children were assigned tasks to do, but often found the loss of sensory information distressing. For this one in particular, a scientist created a video feed to the bear, to calm the child down and serve as a motivator. Having figured out enough, and needing to move forward before the rest of the security could organize, Samsara took the child and passed them to Kenny, begging and pleading with him to not mess around with it and actually keep it safe. After a few reiterations, she was somewhat satisfied, hoping, that he wouldn't throw the football around. Leaving him behind to watch the boat, the team headed inward towards the facility proper.

Fighting off several more spirits on the way there, the team approached a wall of the cloning facility and prepared a plan to breach and clear. Swerve scouted the area with a detect life spell and strained herself to summon a large fire spirit, communicating that multiple cyborgs remained, clustered on the other side of the wall. In addition, there were a few normal human ones lurking inside as well. Samsara, harnessing her anger, punched a hole in the wall and led the team forwards.

Breaching the facility, the runners were soon involved in a large scale combat, encountering multiple armed cyborgs with mage support. Rabbit, being extremely skilled, ran in and immediately eliminated a mage, setting the standard for the combat. She took most of the attention at the beginning, drawing away fire from the rest. Samsara ignored danger and prioritized saving the lives of the cyborgs, leaping to pull the footballs out of the drones. Inspired to be cool, Milliam tried as well, only to fail utterly. While Swerve stayed back in relatively safety, her fire spirit tried its hardest to roast a cyborg, to Samsara's distress. Thankfully, it hit nothing and ultimately served as a bullet sponge. As the fighting wound down, the team managed to disable more and more of the cyborgs. Swerve dismissed the fire spirit to hopefully not immolate any children, and with a few more well placed shots and grapples, the enemy opposition was defeated.

With the fighting over, the team headed towards the scientists desperately calling for aid in the room over. Cutting off their connection, Rabbit sealed their fates. As the team burst inside, they found four scientists, huddling and looking at them in fear. In a rage, Samsara strode forward, asking them for answers, just wanting to know what would case them to perform just horrid acts. Rather than contrition, the one brave enough to speak spoke with pride towards their work, calling it the next stage of human evolution. Instead of moving on, they cried out as the team destroyed their lab. Seeing their naked evil, their complete lack of remorse, was extremely distressing to Samsara. This needed to have justice.

As the team suggested just killing them, she argued them off. Death was a fate too easy, they needed to face the consequences of their actions. Briefly entertaining the idea of reporting what had happened here, of subjecting the scientists to legal proceedings, the team searched for prior examples of nations acting against agents of the Big 10 in situations like this. Finding nothing of note and realizing the depth of corruption in society, Samsara was at a loss. Trying to provide a way of punishing the scientists, Swerve made a not so subtle offer to transport them to her infected allies, where they could make sure the scientists would have an unpleasant end. Samsara, both disgusted at the idea and extremely stressed, exploded at Swerve, venting her anger towards her and basically calling her an utter monster. Swerve hastily backed away and fled the building to feel her emotions over that alone. While this all was happening, Canis quietly copied all the data. Sure the method to make it was horrendous, but why destroy what that sacrifice had made?

Aftermath

Eventually, minus Milliam who went to comfort Swerve, the team decided to make the scientists pay for their crimes by caring for the ones they'd harmed. They were experts in the twisted work they did, so they were the best equipped to make sure the victims could at least live. Heading back towards Seattle, the team called their DocWagon contact, the same one who cared for the brains found in the prior run, to take both the footballs and the scientists. To help provide for the children, Canis transferred copies of both the data in it's entirety and the subset required for the children's care to DocWagon. Whether they will use these resources responsibly or not remains to be seen.

The team did try Kenny's route on the way back. There was a sea monster. Kenny had fun though, and that's what really matters.

Rewards

20k Nuyen (10 RVP)

7 Karma (7 RVP)

2 CDP

Optional Contact: Holly Rogers And Crew 5/3 (7 RVP)

Optional Contact: Kenneth "Flamesaw" Murphy 2/3 (4 RVP)

May buy the following at chargen price:

Canis: Cyber-Singularity Seeker

Milliam: Sensei (Unarmed)

Samsara: Ambidextrous, High Pain Tolerance

Swerve: Quick Healer, Spirit Affinity (Fire)

Rabbit: Astral Chameleon

Game Quotes

Player After Action Reports (AARs)

Canis

...Sometimes I'm reminded that I'm one of the very, very fortunate ones, to be given a choice about my cyberization, and being able to make peace with it afterwards. Those poor kids though, they've been through hell.

The rest of the team was great; competent and knew what they were doing. Rabbit and Swerve gave me the heebie-jeebies, but were otherwise good to work with. Kenny was interesting.

Anyway, if I ever have to enter a submersible again for a job, that'll be too soon.

Swerve

I've seen a lot of terrible things, but this really is around the top. I know that I've been... twisted morally in many ways since my transformation, but I know I wouldn't wish this on anyone. At least we managed to save some. I don't know what kind of lives they'll live though. Maybe they can have something with the matrix.

A certain part of this job hurt in other ways, but really, I've always known deep down that this is what I am. That this is how other will see me. Perhaps this things like this are just inevitable. Maybe I should just stop pretending.