All I Want for Christmas is K-10
|All I Want for Christmas is K-10|
|Part of It's Always Wednesday in Seattle|
|Casualties and losses|
|Horned Bear x4, Shardik|
|King Beef is now addicted to K-10 – this can only lead to good things.|
In which the runners help to save Christmas (oh and King Beef does K-10).
The team are contacted by their fixers and told to go to a cabin in the Snohomish wilderness near the boarder of the sprawl – each of them also receives a cryptic warning not to antagonize the Johnson or to “question his whole Santa Claus act”. Puzzled, but enticed by the promise of money for Christmas gifts, they make their way out to “Santa’s Workshop” – a picturesque cabin attached to a warehouse, complete with a coral outside filled with what seem to be raindeer (though an assensing roll from Charon determines that they are actually free and wild beast spirits) being fed reagents by a gnome in a green outfit. Out of the cabin comes Saint Nick, bellowing hearty ho-ho-ho’s and inviting them inside for (actual non-soy) milk and cookies.
King Beef (who made the interesting decision to bring “Princess Sparkles” - his cybered-up wolf pet - to the meet) is delighted to meet Santa himself, while everyone else plays along with the p-fix addict’s delusion. Nick explains that he and his elves wanted to get Christmas deliveries started a little early this year, but that one of his sleighs bringing gifts into the sprawl has crashed in a snowstorm (he doesn’t know how this could have happened – he even sent Rudolph to guide it!) He needs them to sneak across the boarder and retrieves the “gifts” (as well as the elf, if he’s still alive), and promises to pay them in the smiles of children on Christmas morning. Charon pushes for actual money, and Nick just chuckles, saying he can pay them 10 grand each – when she asks about “Christmas gifts” as well, he leads them into the workshop to reveal a bunch of elves (along with dwarves and gnomes) packaging weapons and drugs in brightly-wrapped boxes. Everyone grins at this, excited to help save Christmas.
Nick provides the team with a radio transponder which should lead them right to the crash site, as well as a picture of his “elf helper” (clearly a smuggler with the Ancients, judging by the green mohawk and jacket) and personalized ugly Christmas sweaters to keep themselves warm. Everyone (including Princess Sparkles, who King Beef wrestles into submission) hops in Nogitsune’s pickup truck and head towards the boarder of the sprawl; Charon hits the matrix to look up some information on how to safely cross, while Nogitsune uses his knowledge of smuggling routes. Between the two of them they determine that the boarder rangers are extremely skilled but have a lot of territory to cover and tend to use drones and spirits to supplement their forces – they are able to locate a path which is infrequently patrolled by drones which they decide to use to cross the boarder.
Nogitsune puts his wheelman skills and off-roading experience to work getting the team across the boarder as stealthy as possible – Dr. Trauma hears a drone passing overhead, but it doesn’t seem to notice them as it goes along its patrol route. Making their way through the snow-covered picturesque wilderness (leaving tracks in their wake), the team (who are otherwise matrix dark and not displaying SINs, for obvious reasons) follow the radio transponder to their destination and find a small smuggler’s plane crashed into a tree, with its contents spilling out onto the ground.
Unfortunately the team wasn’t the first to find the plane – a quartet of of horned bears have found it first and become rather high on the novacoke which is raining down from the treetops. As Charon and King Beef approach, they are assaulted by the charging coke bears – Charon, acting quickly, engages her vampiric Terrorscape power, catching both the bears and King Beef in its radius of effect and paralyzing three of the bears with utter terror. The remaining bear and King Beef get into a bit of a scrap, with the mighty minotaur (high on betakami, naturally) managing to atomize his foe with an ELECTRIC PUNCH. Dr. Trauma finishes the rest of the bears off by firing off a comet arrow which catches KB as well, dropping him and catching him on fire (he shrugs it off) as the trio of terrified high animals are murdered – Nogitsune double taps them, just to be safe, before claiming a paw as a trophy.
With the terrorscape still active, a spirit begins to materialize – a beautiful flying reindeer with a red nose, which immediately starts to scream in terror and freak out. Charon disables the power and mist forms up the tree to investigate the plane’s fuselage while Nogitsune uses his animal handling skill combined with his inherent knowledge of magical creature behaviour in order to calm poor Rudolph down a bit. As the fox does his totally-not-wild-empathy, Dr. Trauma gets to work harvesting reagents and talesma supplies with his alchemy skills, King Beef starts collecting the “gifts” (drugs and ammunition, of course) and putting them into the truck. Charon manages to locate the transmitter, but finds that the pilot is missing – while searching the plane, she finds a smuggling compartment which has been emptied out save for a single ampule filled with a viscous dark red fluid, which she pockets.
After calming Rudolph, Nogitsune locates the tracks in the snow leading north, and the team follow along with their new spirit pal. Unbenownst to everyone involved, they are walking towards a Geatronics dump site where the corp buried a bunch of heavy metals years ago (the toxic by-product of cheep lithium batteries and solar panel manufacturing); since everyone is Awakened, they all get to enjoy the sickening feeling that wells up in their stomachs as the background count slowly turns toxic. While precepting and stealthing along, Dr. Trauma hears a branch break before catching a glimpse of a terrifying sight – a spidermoose climbing down a tree, followed up by a herd of them descending upon the team. They prepare for a fight, but Rudolph saves them by leading the toxic critters on a chase through the woods, letting the team focus on rescuing Santa’s helper.
Sadly the elf, wounded by the crash and seeking shelter from the storm, took a strongbox of K-10 and wandered right into a shardik den – he was promptly torn apart, and the toxic bear is now high on the Blood of Kali. King Beef, now high on betakami as well as guts and a stim patch, decides now is the best time for him to try K-10 as well, having sniffed out the ampule on Charon. The vampire just grins and hands it over, and Dr. Trauma, recognizing the insipient disaster-in-the-making, begs him as a doctor not to do this. KB just shrugs off the concerns and injects himself with grade-10 kamikaze, immediately inducing a catastrophic drug overdose which causes 10 physical damage – he soaks all but one point of it and willingly fails the test to go berserk as the blood haze fills him.
Roaring with rage, King Beef charges at the cave entrance just as the shardik emerges and lets out a paralyzing howl – thanks to the guts he is fine, while Charon and Dr. Trauma manage to resist the magically-induced fear (Nogitsune, as a sniper, is far enough away that the magical effect has dissipated once reaches him). KB and the toxic critter get into a slugging match while Charon and Nogitsune attempt to shoot it with their bullets bouncing off of it. Trauma deploys another comet prep which catches both the shardik and KB on fire (making the situation simultaneously worse and more awesome), and the minotaur nearly goes down before a last-minute save from Princess Sparkles, who comes bounding out of the woods (having chewed through her chain with her junkyard jaw) to attack the bear and save her master from his well-deserved fate.
Working together, the team is able to overwhelm the shardik’s formidable defenses – Nogitsune manages to score the killing blow with his sniper rifle, and KB soaks the dying blow from it for PS as the massive creature falls on the both of them.
Dr. Trauma and Nogitsune get to work harvesting fangs and claws from the mighty creature as Charon makes her way into the cave to look for the Ancient (finding his mangled corpse and torn jacket, as well as the open K-10 strongbox); Dr. Trauma works to collect what remains of the elf (both from the cave and the bear’s stomach) for a proper burial. King Beef meanwhile endures a truly horrendous drug crash (coming a single box of physical overflow away from outright death and barely managing to avoid going permanently berserk by rolling a single hit on his 2 edge dice) and passes the frag out.
As Nogitsune works to reign in Princess Sparkles (who ends up running off), the team are ambushed by the SSC Rangers, who followed their tracks and heard the fight. The rangers order them onto to get on the ground, but quickly change their tone when they see the corpse of the toxic critter – a bit of negotiation later and the team are told to leave and that they were never here while the rangers claim the bounty on the creature for themselves. Charon is able to con the ranger escorting them to the boarder into not looking inside the strongbox (he knows they are smugglers, but she convinces him not to care enough to press the issue), and once they part ways Rudolph rejoins them with Princess Sparkles in his wake as they make their way across the boarder and back into the sprawl.
Returning to Santa’s Workshop, everyone receives a hearty ho-ho-ho of thanks as well as more milk and cookies, plus their promised payments and Christmas gifts curtesy of Nick’s “special helpers” (his sponsorship agreement with KRIME); he is dismayed to learn of the elf’s death, however he thanks them for bringing back the remains and assures them that he will receive the honors that are due to him. Charon even manages to network with one of Nick’s friends who knows a bit about classic cars who might be able to help her get the gift she’s been wanting. Trauma considers his oath to do no harm and thinks of destroying the K-10 for the good of the sprawl as a whole, but he ends up handing it over as well, ensuring that there will be more K-10 adventures in the immediate future.
- 10,000 nuyen
- 5 karma
- 2 CDP
- Gear Reward (“Christmas Presents”): 8k nuyen worth of weapons, armor, ammo, explosives or drugs (>14F) OR K-10 and KRIME products (>18F) PLUS 1 Ugly Christmas Sweater each
- Optional Contact: Saint Nick (C2/L2 “Santa Claus”) for 3 RVP or 6 CDP
- Optional Contact (for Charon, via networking): Frank Goldman (C3/L1 Gun Runner/Classic Vehicle Collector) for 3 RVP or 6 CDP
King Beef: [with the needle already in his arm] "I hear you chief, but that ain't how I roll."
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
I shall simply leave it at, there is no way King Beef should have survived that and I really shouldn't have let you know what get distributed into the city. Merry Christmas I guess.
Nogitsune:That's mission was something else...running across magical beasts and getting to put down that big one...makes me happy...but not sure what's this odd feeling like i did something wrong, what is K-10?
KB, you mad lad. Absolute unit, really. I'll leave the K-10 pumping for him, but spooking bears doesn't really sound like the kinda thing I signed up for when I went into the shadows. Whatever, we got the fucking drugs after a good ol' brawling match between the Beef himself and a mutated Fallout-looking headass in a cave. I find Nick's existence by itself kinda hilarious, but hey. It got me paid in dummy amounts of cash and a guy who might be able to get me that vintage Lamborghini from like 2004. A proper V8 engine with modern 2080s tech gotta purr like a god damn cat, so braving the Salish border and punching some irradiated bears for drugs is totally a job I'm happy to do to get to that.