Burning Down the Dollhouse
|Burning Down the Dollhouse|
|Casualties and losses|
|Roadkill, Mute and Baron were hurt, but survived||Around 17 Yakuza|
Runners go gas a bunraku parlor and extract the dolls. Succeed while nearly dying in the process.
Roadkill, Baron and Shine had previously been to this parlor to extract a doll by the name of Valerie on behalf of a Johnson. Having seen firsthand the dolls being left behind, they couldn't in good conscious leave those girls still chipped, and the parlor not burnt to the ground.
Mute, Moth, Roadkill, Baron, and Shine meet at the Tiny Hoof in Redmond. Roadkill acting as Johnson pitched the situation. A bunraku parlor known as the Blossoming Orchid Mahjong Parlor, operated by the Yakuza was still functional after his last job where he helped extract one of the dolls, but leaving the rest behind didn't sit well with him, so he's gathering a crew to shut them down.
After a bit of meat and Matrix scouting, the team hatched a plan:
1) Shine scales the building with several canisters of Neurostun.
2) Mute hacks the HVAC system, sealing the building, and flowing the Neurostun through the rooms.
3) Moth and Roadkill will go from room to room, de-chipping the girls and pulling them out.
4) Shine will maintain physical over-watch on the building.
5) Baron will find and kill the Madame, and leave behind the commlink.
6) Mute will fabricate evidence that the Madame hired an extraction team to poach the girls for the Triads and find every scrap of valuable info and cred.
7) Everyone would assist in getting the girls into the rented vans for a hasty extraction. Possibly calling in Knight Errant to make the Yakuza's night an even bigger clusterfuck to help cover up our escape.
8) The dolls would be brought to a trusted clinic for treatment, recommended by King Midas (Moth's dad).
On the first go, Baron hit Shine with an Invisibility spell to help conceal his ascent to the parlor's roof, however, the attempt was called off when the talismonger across the street noticed her. Not wanting their hand to already be played, Shine called off the attempt and moved to try again another night.
The next night, the team tried again, this time Shine was not spotted in her climb up the building. Mute then worked his way into the Host, he was suspicious of the lack of Matrix security when he hacked the took control of the building's HVAC system, opening the ventilation hatch on the roof for Shine to dump in the Neurostun, followed by sealing all exterior vents to hotbox the building with the knockout gas. It was at this point that Mute found that there was indeed Matrix security that had eluded his detection, when he got Data Spiked into unconsciousness.
Shine, Baron, and Roadkill were dealing with heavy resistance as the exterior guards had become alerted to the chemical threat inside the building, with one katana wielding adept giving the team particular trouble with dodging almost everything that was thrown at him and seriously wounding Roadkill. Moth was able to stim patch Mute before heading out to assist with the brawl happening in the alley between Baron, Shine, the sword adept, and the remaining Yakuza. After some legendary efforts, the team was able to finally put down the Adept.
Mute on the other hand had readied himself for revenge against the enemy decker, determined to turn the tables, he was able to get some early marks on the decker while he was preoccupied, but unable to match the Yakuza spider's combat effectiveness, and received critical biofeedback for the effort.
Still conscious, Moth, Baron, and Shine were able to wait out the Neurostun before heading inside the parlor to extract the dolls, pile them into the van, before making their way to the Deireadh An Tuartheil in Tarislar where they met Dr. Isabel Wirth, the attending ER on duty at the time, who Moth talked into taking the dolls for PersonaFix treatment, and seeing to the injuries of the team.
Several dolls were brought relatively unharmed to the clinic where they would receive PersonaFix treatment.
The Blossoming orchid Mahjong Parlor is still standing, however is now short-staffed after the recent attack.
Roadkill and Mute received near-critical injuries but otherwise survived.
The team did not find a way to financially benefit from the run, and (Moth) even paid considerable expenses to facilitate what did happen.
>1 Street Cred
>Contact Dr. Isabel Wirth
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Shine: That was challenging to say the least. Machida Tatsuya is one tough bastard. He quite simply would not go down, and very nearly chopped Baron in two and was very close to doing the same to Moth before I was -finally- able to drop him. All the while we were engaged with Tatusya Roadkill was down and bleeding, and as the only other medic I was unable to disengage and assist. Fortunately it would appear that gentle Moth is not so gentle as she appears. I might even be justified in expressing the opinion that she surprised even herself with her marksmanship, which exceeded even my own. Furthermore, she was able to stabilise both Roadkill and Baron without my assistance. I would very much recommend our colleagues not to underestimate our Moth in the future. She is more than capable of holding her own in combat.
Moth here. This was my 8th run. I’d heard about this one on the chat.
Maybe a week ago, some runners took a job for a johnson to rescue one girl from a bunraku parlor. When they mentioned it in the chat room, some people wanted the place burned down. But I spoke up with the ones who wanted to see the other girls rescued.
When Roadkill put together his team, he invited me along. I’d worked with him before. He’s a level-headed combat medic. A good leader. I’d also met Baron before. He’s a magic type, and has money, which I always like about a person. The others who were new to me were Shine – a combat-focused woman with a French accent, and Mute – our technomancer who looked mostly to me like a floating eye icon. He’s good at what he does.
It was strange meeting with a fellow runner as our johnson. Normally I’m all about running up the price, but this was a totally different feel. We were here to help. To do a good thing. I told the group pretty early on that I’d cover the operating expenses. This needed doing, and doing right. All told, I payed ¥8,000 to support the run. And I’d do it again.
What they do to the bunraku women is horrible. They don’t consent to it. And then it takes away who they are. Their ability to know who they are. On some level that’s a blessing because it means they don’t suffer quite as much – not even knowing. But that just means it’s up to the rest of us who can still remember who we are to step in and help them.
I helped make disguises for the scouting. Got everyone hooked up with synthskin masks that made them look like generic Asian humans.
The main thing we learned was that (1) the place was on alert – no wonder, they’d lost a girl a week ago; (2) lots of lookout types on the exterior; (3) the mahjong parlor was a legit business in a strip mall of businesses. During the day, it was crowded with nice older folk who were just playing games and gossiping. They were innocents too. So that had to be factored in the plan. The good news was that several members of the team were on the first run where they saved the one girl. They knew the layout inside and out. And they’d placed a data tap we could still hit.
After a first oops where we tried to approach during daylight and got made by a talisman vendor across the way, we wised up and learned the hours of the street. We had a window at about 4:30 am when we knew the businesses were empty, and the least number of innocent people were around.
But the number of yakuza was still … intimidating. Inside and out.
We knew it was going to be rough to get the girls out of there. We needed a rental vehicle big enough to transport them all. We needed a place that would actually treat them. Papa took care of that. We just needed to get them to the hospital in Tarislar, Deireadh An Tuartheil, which – though resource strapped – was a good place that would do right by them.
We needed a ton of neurostun to make it possible to get in and out. We couldn’t have a shoot out around girls we were trying to rescue who had no control of their own personalities, and might absolutely try to fight back if it went hot around them.
Still, it was the best plan we had.
Now we had researched the Madame and knew she was unhappy. She’d reached the glass ceiling in the Yakuza. They aren’t great to women. We figured we could frame her for the job. Kill her, but leave a data trail in her files that she was running with the girls to set up shop elsewhere. That would cause them to look the wrong places. This was a good idea, but (spoiler alert) we did not get the chance. Now, she’s still a decent candidate for it, but we didn’t plant any evidence or kill her and hide her body or anything.
This fight to get in there and get the girls was about as tough a thing as I’d ever seen. Runners nearly died. Damn near. We came pretty close to all dying.
The neurostun did what it could. The vast majority inside did fall asleep. But their decker was in a protective box. He didn’t even know the others were neurostunned. It didn’t hit him until he got out of his bubble, and he didn’t bother until he thought he’d beat us, and our technomancer was unconscious and bleeding in the vehicle. One man down.
The rest of us were in the physical fight. I can’t begin to describe it all. It all happened so fast, and you know me. I kind of froze up at first. I was just supposed to rally and inspire the others. Which folks usually really appreciate.
But I could see the tide was going against us. Everyone was doing their best. This was a good strong team, but the yakuza were tough. And we were totally outnumbered by the ones who survived the neurostun. (If we had not used the neurostun to at least take some out of the equation, it would have been even more of a bloodbath!)
Roadkill was down and bleeding. That was two of us down.
Shine was pinned on the roof, shooting. Hurt.
The biggest baddest samurai of the group was stalking down our magician, Baron. No way he could survive that match up. I ran over to Baron’s side.
Now a clock was ticking down. The folks inside were hopefully mostly unconscious. But we knew at least one yakuza had time to call for back-up. For all we knew, an army of yakuza was going to be tearing down the street any minute. We had one chance to do this. And we were losing it.
I was just close enough to warn Baron to step out of the killing blow. (Spent 2 edge to save him; Lucky Duck maneuver). I pulled my gun. I killed one of the goons, taking some pressure off Shine. I was going to stand there and shoot that samurai until he cut me in half.
Baron just had time to pull a rabbit out of the hat, and get his spirit to conceal us. Because that samurai was going to kill us. No question.
When we disappeared, bad guy samurai just started walking away. He didn’t know that we didn’t have feds about to tear around the corner, and probably thought we had left. We wanted to kill him, but we had more important priorities.
The old plan was in shambles. Baron knocked himself out with the effort of it.
It was just me and Shine standing. But invisible!
We ran in to get the girls.
We were able to scout that there was one yakuza still somehow awake. About half the girls were unconscious, half of them awake. They … uh … have all kinds of crazy drugs and stuff that make them ignore pain and stuff. You don’t want to think about it.
But since we were invisible, Shine just walked right up to that one guy left. Placed her gun to the center of his forehead and shot him dead before he knew we were there.
I did some seriously inspired smooth talking with the traumatized girls, still sunk in false personalities, to convince them that the place was under attack (true) and they needed to come with us for their safety (true). Honestly, it was mostly calming them into seeing us as help, rather than a new threat.
Between Shine, me, and the girls that were still conscious we managed to carry the unconscious ones out and get them all in the truck.
Now … we had to make some fast hard choices there. We had intended to raid the place for valuable stuff to help compensate everyone for participating. We had intended to find and kill the Madame. Do the frame on her.
All of that … we just had to walk away. Sometimes you have to pick. We were there to save the girls. We saved the girls. And the team! We had people badly badly hurt. We just couldn’t risk facing another wave of yakuza.
It was pretty soon just me driving and everyone else crashing from their stim patches and other injuries.
But I was driving to a hospital. And, so far as I could tell, no one was chasing.
Did I take the time to run over that bad ass samurai walking away like he was the shit? Yes. Yes I did. Did he probably survive it? Probably. Did I have to pay for the damages to the rental vehicle? Yes. Yes I did.
That was a very near thing.
My heart was just racing.
I made sure everyone was stable on our team, and hustled the girls into the ER.
I connected with Dr. Isabel Wirth, who is good people. I explained the whole situation. She agreed to take care of the girls. It’s going to take awhile. And, they may not all survive. It depends on how long they were on the personafix. But we’ve given them the best chance we possibly could. I made a donation to the hospital to defray some of the expenses.
We delayed the after party at my house for a couple of days while everyone recovered.
But, I have to say, that was one brave team. And willing to do what it took to do the right thing. I’d run with any of them again.
I slept a little better knowing there were no more girls at that bunraku parlor. Not one. We got them all out.