All Our Days
|All Our Days|
|Part of String Theocracy|
Angela was worried that several of her technomancer students had gone missing, and most recently Red Rose. She hired the runners to find Red Rose.
They tracked the missing technomancer to a Cutters factory, and defeated her guards in order to rescue her.
There have been a number of kidnappings in the Redmond area; see related news report. Red Rose is the third student of Angela's who had been taken. One student, Pale Horse, had been found. One was still missing.
Of the runners involved looking for Red Rose, one had investigated two prior kidnappings in the area. Aristotle had helped find a kidnapped orc tech producer; see report; and a student kidnapped by the yakuza; see report. In both cases, the victim was given the drug Laes.
The team met Angela in her matrix host, which looks like a grand library. She explained that Red Rose was missing. She knew her real name was Scarlet, and that she lived in Redmond. She encouraged the runners to find Rose's friend (and Angela's student) Black Sun at an AR cafe. He might know more about her personal life, to figure out how and when she had been taken. Angela sent a sprite with Moth to help show that the runners were genuinely working for Angela. The team agreed to find Red Rose, and return her safely.
The team arrived at the AR cafe, The Getaway, which had a medieval fantasy theme. The team adjusted their appearances to match.
Aristotle, Scurvy, and Moth caught sight of a knight with a black sun on his tabard. Aristotle, Scurvy, and Wild Star watched the exits, while Moth approached Black Sun. He was happy to talk to her after she mentioned a quest to rescue Red Rose. He gave them her full name, Scarlet Ortega, and a description of her. He provided pictures of her avatars, but did not have one of her real appearance. He provided her address, and the information that her sister lived there also, and was likely devastated with grief. He confirmed that Red Rose had been in trouble with the law in the past.
Wild Star checked with her contact Harvey Sanders, and obtained Rose's file, including a picture of her true appearance. The charges were for drug possession, from kami to psyche. Wild Star attempted to summon a spirit to search for Red Rose, using the picture, but the spirit couldn't find her. They likely needed a better idea of where to search, and something personal for a material connection.
The team headed on to Rose's house. There was mail piling up, but the sister was home. She opened the door after Moth gently explained that they were investigating Scarlet's disappearance, and hoping to bring her home. The living room was a mess. Was this from grief? Wild Star could see from her training as a detective that it looked like the crime scene - a place where a scuffle had happened. Moth encouraged the sister to tell them what happened. She confirmed that Scarlet had been kidnapped from her home. A group of Lone Star officers came and took her. It was suspicious since Scarlet hadn't done anything wrong in some time, and Lone Star usually sent a single person to check in. Scarlet resisted arrest and there was a fight. It had looked like only three officers, but there was a fourth who had gone around back. They drove off with Scarlet.
Wild Star called in to Lone Star, as an active detective, and quickly verified that these were imposters. She checked the back where the fourth man had been, and verified his boots were not Lone Star issue. Scurvy investigated with keen vision, and found some kind of compartment under the floorboards in Scarlet's room; likely for her drugs. Moth asked the sister for any details she could remember from the fight that might possibly identify the imposters. The sister confirmed they were human, and remembered from the fight that one had a tattoo on his ankle. An unusual design. Moth did not immediately recognize it, but could tell it was some kind of gang or syndicate symbol; she called her father King Midas and he was able to confirm that the upside down spade (like the playing card) with barbed wire was the sign of the Cutters. Likewise, he knew that their turf was around Cottage Lake. That would help considerably in searching. Aristotle searched Scarlet's bedroom - with the sister's permission - for personal items that would help search for her magically, and took her trodes and a hair brush with her hair.
With the knowledge of the location to search, and the personal effects to make a material connection, they had the pieces needed for a more effective magical search. Aristotle called his contact Ariel Lopez, a shaman who could summon a spirit of man to search using the personal effects. She owed Aristotle a favor, and agreed to help. Moth arranged for them to use a Laesa safehouse near Cottage Lake to set up for the spell, and meet Ariel. Ariel arrived and confirmed for the team that Scarlet was nearby; she could lead them to her location. Scarlet was in an abandoned factory building in Cutters turf, back along a road barricaded by the Cutters.
Wild Star summoned a spirit of beasts - a gangly wolf - to help scout a path to the abandoned factory that bypassed the road barricade. The team would need to approach on foot, leaving Moth's car beyond the barricade. Moth helped them move stealthily, and they bypassed more Cutters as they approached, darting through the alleys of the area.
Aristotle switched to astral projection to scout the factory, with confirmation that Scurvy would tend and carry his body if needed. He scouted carefully, avoiding the watchful eye of a spirit over the warehouse. He found that the factory was a large open space, with abandoned equipment. There were four guards (two awakened - a mage and an adept), and one victim being guarded who was injured, and had been treated with Laes.
The team planned to sneak up to the warehouse, and ambush the guards. However, as they were almost at the door, they set off a trip wire, and were all hit by a grenade. Wild Star and Aristotle were particularly hurt and needed stim patches. The guards, alerted by the explosion, began to flee in the opposite direction out of the warehouse. The Cutter street samurai was carrying Scarlet over his shoulder.
Aristotle tagged the mage with a manabolt, and his fire elementals finished the job. The mage perished, and the mage's summoned spirit vanished.
Scurvy shrugged off shots from the street samurai and took out the fleeing opfor decker, with non-lethal.
Moth rallied the group, inspiring them to get a lot more done in the fast moving combat, and also realized that the street samurai was running for a van! He was potentially going to get away. He was running faster than they could keep up, and was able to dart behind the van before they could stop him.
Wild Star's beast spirit materialized in the driver's seat, to prevent the street samurai from getting in. Aristotle's fire spirits moved towards the van to try to prevent its motion, but with the caution from Aristotle to not doing anything that would hurt the unconscious girl.
Wild Star damaged the van's armor with a sludge spell, and took out its windows.
Aristotle tagged the street samurai with manabolts, injuring him, but he was still up.
The street samurai hopped onto the running board on that side of the van, and started it remotely, so it began to pull away!
Scurvy knew that stick & shock damaged the electrical systems of a vehicle and shot the van so completely, that it lost all handling, and came to an immediate stop!
The team ran up. As they got within about fifteen feet, the street samurai threatened to kill Scarlet if they stepped any closer. Moth began a tense negotiation with him, and convinced him to set the girl down safely and flee. He was willing to do it, if the rest of the team backed off. They all did so - everyone's focus was on safely rescuing Scarlet. The street samurai sprinted away, while the team collected the still unconscious Scarlet.
Wild Star called in to Lone Star that this was the site of the Cutters who had been impersonating Lone Star to kidnap victims. Likewise, she went to arrest the still living decker, but realized that the team needed to flee immediately, as the rest of the Cutters had likely heard the grenade and gunfire, and might be rallying this direction.
Scurvy and Moth caught sight of one of the very fancy VTOLs mentioned in the news about the Redmond area kidnappings hovering over the area; see news report. Luckily, they all had worn helmets with their armor, and could not be easily identified by the surviving street samurai, or the VTOL's footage.
The team made it to Moth's car, and were well away before Aristotle and Wild Star fell unconscious, coming down off their stim patches. Scurvy and Moth delivered Scarlet to her sister, and notified Angela who expressed her thanks, and paid the team.
Scarlet Ortega was safe, and returned to her family.
Angela was relieved, and took the information about the fancy VTOLs. The team asked if she could possibly search for and map where these fancy VTOLs were. That might provide a critical lead in finding out who was ultimately behind the kidnappings.
The team were inspired to keep investigating...
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Moth here; this was my 30th run. This was a good team. Lots of useful skills, and a real focus on investigation. All professionals, who stayed on task and did what was needed to recover the girl safely. I was pretty nervous that the street samurai was going to get away with Scarlet! But, we did it! I am so glad to see her safely returned to her sister. And to see our team safely recovering from their injuries. I made sure everyone had a good night's sleep and a good breakfast, and that Aristotle and Wild Star didn't need first aid in the night. What particularly caught my attention was that every kidnapping victim that we are aware of was treated with Laes. I think this is something I can investigate with Papa; all the Laes comes through the Laesa syndicate. When did the Yakuza buy it from us? When did the Cutters? I don't like seeing our signature product used to kidnap people. (Though, really, that is one of the reasons it fetches such a good price.) But maybe we can at least help track down who is behind this? The Laes and the super fancy VTOLs seem to be the two things that might help us track this puzzle back to who is paying for these kidnap victims. Someone is. The Cutters are contract workers. Who were they working for?
I think that this is much larger than we first thought, if someone had the balls to impersonate LS officers, they are getting paid fairly well. I'll need to put some feelers out, and see if there's anything Lone Star can figure out about these kidnappings, or the drone Moth told me about.
I felt a siren call to this job. The Sea washes me ashore in strange places with bad pay. It did turn into quite the good time I suppose, kicking those lily-livered frag-trapping gits to bits. Managed to scuttle their getaway, though it was a good thing that drone didn't pick a fight. Team dropped pretty easily, hope me next crew is made of sterner stuff.
I normally keep things to a professional and practical level with jobs, however the recent scourge of this nature plaguing the barrens hit a personal chord with me. I was glad to be able to lend aid where I could help, and make use of a favor a ritualist owed me to find the girl. There's too many vastly different criminal groups following similar patterns in the same amount of time, but also targeting different groups and doing different things, motives are unclear but there's a small string connecting it all together. It might be paranoia, however in my tradition these coincidences although small are way too unlikely to be unrelated, it does not bode well. Watch your backs out there in the barrens, I hope we'll be able to stop it soon if it doesn't stop on its own.