A Steller Discovery
|A Steller Discovery|
|Renraku Computer Systems|
|Casualties and losses|
In which the runners recover a fragment of Haley's comet which broke off years ago and has finally crashed to Earth.
Stella is an astrophysics graduate student who some time ago discovered a fragment of space rock in an uncatalogued field of debris - she has been tracking it ever since and, noticing it had not appeared in any public databases, took it upon herself to triangulate its point of origin. Her math suggests that it may be a small piece of Halley's comet, broken off when it passed by 20 years ago and left floating unnoticed in low earth orbit, and that it's both currently on a course for Earth and seems to be large enough to survive re-entry through the atmosphere. Charting out the projected landing site and finding that it should be in the Pacific Northwest just south of the Seattle sprawl, she looks for assistance among her friends and associates with recovering it (for science of course); she finds none, however her professor agrees to set her up with some people who might be able to help - enter the runners.
Stella meets with the runners on the Matrix in an otherwise-empty space-themed host. Everyone rezzes in on time and without issue, encountering a lone astronaut floating in the void. She tells the team that in about an hour and a half a comet fragment will crash land just south of the sprawl, and that she needs them to obtain it before anyone else can; in the course of the explanation, she admits that she plans to pay them from sale of a fragment of it, as well as its suspected origin. Stargazer can barely contain her excitement at this, disclosing that such a thing would be worth its weight in orichalcum, and gives Vip3r some fuel to push for more in the way of payment. Stella proves to be a shrewd negotiator however, and they settle on a price of 20,000 nuyen per head in exchange for retrieval.
The three runners individually head out from their homes, to converge in Loveland and then drive south out of the sprawl from there. Rewired and Vip3r are coming from Bellevue and make it without too much trouble, managing to avoid the 405 Hellhounds, and catch sight of a shooting star as they drive towards their destination; Stargazer however can't resist the urge to astrally project from up to the edge of the manasphere in order to get a closer look, leaving her body in her vehicle to be taken away by Grid Guide. She is rewarded with the fantastic sight of seeing the comet fragment up close, noting that it seems to have a glowing greenish-blue aura with orange veins, before realizing her folly and spending some time attempting to track down her body (sticking her head through random cars and having a near-brush with a vampire in the process) before rendezvousing with the others in Puyallup.
Vip3r calls up some contacts to assist with getting across the boarder - unfortunately for her she rolls poorly on her connection tests, and both Cascade and Freya end up being unavailable to provide their services. Rewired instead calls G-Old, who puts him in touch with members of The 24 Karat Crew; in exchange for 4k nuyen each, the Crew sends a rigger in a gold-plated Escelade to escort them across the boarder to their destination and return them in comfort and relative safety.
On the way south, Stargazer conjures an earth spirit to go search for the comet and Rewired sends a flyspy to the projected crash site - both find something of significance when they arrive, the spirit able to discern the presence of another spirit (who's aura Stargazer recognizes) and the flyspy (or rather Rewired using its sensors) able to detect the shimmer of ruthenium polymer and a ninja-like outline. Stargazer tells the others that they are likely from Renraku, who she is aware have something of a space program as well as a satellite monitoring station in Puyallup. Telling their ride to book it and prioritize speed over stealth, the 24K Crew rigger manages to successfully run the boarder and get the team there within the hour.
Arriving at the site of a small forest fire caused by the impact, the rigger discharges the runners and marks a nearby location on their map as their extraction point. Sneaking towards the crash site, the runners are nearly successful at hiding themselves... right up until Stargazer critically glitches her sneaking roll and walks right into the nearly-invisible ninja. Surprise checks are made and initiative is rolled as combat begins, with the ninja kip-up-ing to his feet while Stargazer gracefully rolls into the crater to avoid being stabbed. Rewired opens up on the ninja with complex full auto fire, and has the favor returned when the drone he failed to spot on the matrix does the same to him. Vip3r however does manage to spot out the drone, sending a forked data spike at both it and the ninja, attracting the attention of the security spider (a cyber-ninja, of course) protecting their PAN who arrives to join the fight in secret, tossing a ninja star from the virtual shadows at Vip3r but quickly gets spotted out by her.
From down in the crater, Stargazer tosses a stunbolt at the ninja while asking her earth spirit friend to engage the enemy air spirit (who's aura she is now sure is the same as her father's) and keep it from attacking the others. Rewired manages a glancing blow on the ninja and avoids the same from the drone, however the ninja seems more intent on geeking the mage first and leaps down at Stargazer, using the superior position to deal a severe wound to her with his sword; she responds by grabbing his head with her troll hands and stunbolting him into unconsciousness. As Rewired manages to take down the drone with his machine gun and Stargazer's spirit uses its fear power to send the enemy spirit running for the hills, on the Matrix Vip3r engages in a pitched cyber-duel with the cyber-ninja, pulling all the complex forms out of her bag of techno tricks and avoiding both a hammer-linklock-biofeedback-laden dataspike as well as the urge to dumpshock herself and flee from combat - instead she forces her enemy to flee by using puppeteer to make him jack himself out, allowing herself to claim a technical victory before disconnecting as well.
Stargazer astrally projects and goes after the feared spirit, sending witness-my-hate-laden stunbolts after it in a totally-not-attempt to deal with her anger at her dad; this seems to convince the spirit to flee, and it does not engage her in combat, instead zipping away as fast as it can. Returning to her body, Stargazer approaches the comet fragment, somewhat in awe that such a thing is really in front of her, and burns her hand slightly attempting to move it; with Rewired's assistance they are able to move the large-ish ~100kg space rock through the forest and make it back to their hired transport, staying off the Matrix to avoid being tracked via wireless signal. On the return journey, they glimpse an approaching helicopter through the vehicle's cameras, managing to stay hidden beneath the foliage as a Red Samurai squad approaches the crater to recover the ninja scout that was sent ahead and find the comet fragment gone. Again prioritizing speed over stealth, they book it as fast as they can towards the boarder, seeing an Ares Venture flying overhead and heading south just as they make it back into Seattle, and breathe a sigh of collective relief about not getting caught up in an HTR shootout.
Heading to "Steller Stones and Sunderies", the team toss a blanket over the 220lb space rock to be as inconspicuous as possible while moving it inside. Stella is overjoyed to see the product of their success, carefully taking a small piece of it to study and exposing veins of orange inside the rock; her eyes go wide, and she mutters something about "having to make some calls". Stargazer gets very excited as well, and asks Stella about the possibility of turning the piece into a power focus for herself - the talismonger seems enthusiastic about the prospect, and readily agrees to craft it in lieu of payment.
- 20k nuyen
- 2 karma
- 2 CDP
- Optional Contact: Stella (C2/L2 Cosmic Talismonger) for 3 RVP or 6 CDP
- F2 Power Focus
- Stella @ 2 Loyalty
- 2 CDP