Depleted Resources

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Depleted Resources
Date2082-01-23
GMSarcarian
LocationThe North Pole, Trans-Polar Aleut Nation
Status Threat Level: Semi-Prime
Factions Involved
ShadowHaven
Saint Nick
Toxic Cultists
0-K
"Dandy" Dale Hardin
Frag Face
Skimmer
Vichnozeleny
Wendigo Shaman
DU Snipers
Abomination Spirit
Barren Spirit
Noxious Spirit
Nuclear Spirit
Plague Spirit
Sludge Spirit
Casualties and losses
Wendigo Shaman, DU Snipers x4, Abomination x2, Barren, Noxious, Nuclear, Plague Sludge
Vic burned edge to smackdown a killing blow on the Big Bad.


Summary

In which the runners are sent to the north pole in order to recover depleted uranium rounds,

Background

A few months ago, associates of St. Nick working in conjunction with local smugglers planted a large cache of depleted uranium rounds near the geomagnetic north pole on Ellesmere Island in the Trans-Polar Aleut; the rounds were found by a wendigo shaman and became the centerpiece of a toxic cult formed around the shaman, who has amassed a small following of well-armed minions using arms and armor stolen from the smugglers cache. Now Saint Nick is sending a team to pick them up on a "milk run", unaware of the threat that waits for them.

The Arrival

The runners meet with Saint Nick at his warehouse in Snohomish, where they are briefed on the job and given hand-knitted mittens to stay warm before being flown to Winnipeg and from there to the Trans-Polar Aleut. The first part of the journey is relatively uneventful as the team get to enjoy the sights of the arctic from above and take in the display of the northern lights... until an anti-vehicle rocket strikes the side of the craft, sending it into a tail-spin and causing it to crash towards the water near Ellesmere Island. The pilot warns them to bail out, however he is unable to get out himself as he attempts to slow the descent. Everyone is able to put on their parachutes and jump from the crashing plane, but Dandy nearly falls to his death after he realizes he's grabbed a pack containing survival rations instead - 0-K saves the day with a spare parachute, managing to strap it onto him mid-descent and save him from a messy death. Frag Face meanwhile employs his new SpinGlobal "Parachute" jetpack, nearly crashing himself as he makes an uncontrolled descent to the snow below.

Thankfully the team manage to make it to the ground, just in time to watch their plane smashing through the ice and vanishing beneath the frozen water. Finding themselves stranded, they take stock of their situation and find that their problems are only just beginning. A spirit manifests, which the team at first take to be one of Saint Nick's friendly reindeer spirit friends who was sent ahead to guard the cache - however they quickly notice that it has mutated into something horrible just as it attacks, forcing Skimmer to fill it with bullets as Frag Face finishes it off with his trusty right hook. Catching their breath, the runners realize that was a toxic spirit, and groan at the realization that this isn't going to be a milk run after all, just as a cold-ball descends from the sky and forces them to run for their lives in all directions; all except Frag Face, who takes it without flinching, catching sight of a white figure floating above them before it vanishes into the polar night.

The Trek to the Pole

Examining their immediate vicinity, the team locate a nearby mountain which could be used to get a matrix signal out to Saint Nick so that he can arrange an extraction. Making their way towards it, they are shot at by sniper-rifle wielding toxic cultists using the very DU rounds they came to obtain; the runners manage to counter-snipe effectively and take down their opposition, making their way towards their camp to find a small two-man snowmobile and a hand-drawn map leading from the cache near the pole to their current position. While the rest of the runners examine their findings, Frag Face jetpacks to the top of the mountain, scrambling for purchase every 50ft or so but managing to not fall down and break his legs in the process. At the top, he is able to get out a call to Saint Nick, who expresses alarm and says that he will take care of everything; he says in his own fashion that they need to make their way to the coast to be picked up by pirates who will smuggle them (and the DU rounds) back to civilization.

After another brief exchange with the levitating wendigo (who retreats, thanks to the compulsion of its Disease totem), the snow on the mountain starts collapsing into an avalanche after being weakened by repeated close-range jetpack fuel discharges, forcing the team below to flee for their lives as Frag Face is attacked by a toxic spirit of fire sent by the Wendigo to take out the biggest physical threat, ending up with a face full of radiation after he punches it but managing to survive the encounter. After, he reconvenes with the team to deliver the news, and they resolve to reach the pole and recover the cache in order to complete the terms of their job (obviously planning to negotiate for a massive increase in hazard pay upon their return).

Journeying north, the runners take turns on the snowmobile in order to avoid tiring themselves out while Dandy and 0-K lead the survival and navigation efforts respectfully. The intense cold (not to mention the palpable background count) hamper them severely, but the runners are undeterred. As they approach the pole and make camp for the night, even Dandy and Vic can feel the tainted astral space - Vic reacts especially strongly to it given her past brainwashing by a toxic cult, slipping back into her S.T.A.L.K.E.R. persona and abandoning the team in the night during her watch in order to trek solo towards the source, caught up in her memories of the Monolith. Frag Face notices when he gets up for his watch, checking his drone footage to confirm that Vic stumbled off alone into the blizzard. Concerned, everyone collects themselves and follows close in her wake, Dandy leading their way by her recent tracks through the snow.

The Confrontation

While Vic approaches the toxic cult's fortified position, she is spotted by the sharpshooters waiting in the snow; thankfully (or not) the wendigo shaman has seen her approach as well, sending a toxic air spirit to escort her to its lodge. Meanwhile the rest of the runners are right on her heals, and end up being shot at with DU rounds as they seek cover to return fire, being engaged by toxic water and earth spirits as well to harry them while Vic encounters the wendigo in the flesh, stumbling towards the DU cache (the centerpiece of its twisted shrine to the pantheon of Doom, Pollution, Disease and Mutation, and falling to her knees in supplication as it prepares to drain her of her essence.

Outside, Dandy and Skimmer are able to effectively counter-snipe the cultists, while 0-K goes down to a punch from a spirit and is saved by a punch from Frag Face; working together, the runners are able to defeat the toxic forces and rush towards the wendigo's lodge to save their comrade. Vic however has no need of rescue - she manages to resist the effects of the essence drain and overcome her mental programming in order to recognize the threat for what it is. As the wendigo prepares to strike her down, she seizes the initiative and smacks down a shot to its heart, blasting a hole in its chest and causing it to let out a baleful howl as its put down for good.

The wendigo's death howl breaks the resolve of its cultists, who scatter and flee at the team's approach. Entering the lodge, they find Vic skinning the wendigo for its pelt while covered in its blood and muttering about the glory of the Monolith; catching sight of them, she gets up and grabs her gun to go delete as many of the fleeing cultists as possible (thanks to Combat Monster). While she finishes off their enemies, the rest of the team secures their prize; Skimmer and 0-K secure the shipping crate of DU rounds to a motorized sled which Dandy pilots away, while and Frag Face collapses the cave the lodge is located in and buries its evil for good.

Aftermath

Driving away from the pole, the runners make their way to the coast in order to rendezvous with the pirates. The journey is a harrowing one, with the team moving as quickly as they can and resting only briefly in order to avoid overexerting themselves, but they're still slowly worn down both by environmental fatigue and hit-and-run attacks by the remaining toxic spirits in the area (which end up shot to death by Dandy and Skimmer, who use their new DU rounds to great effect). Finally, with teamworked navigation rolls, they make it to the coast just as the midnight sun starts to rise over the horizon, where they find a stolen cargo ship full of pirates waiting for them.

Using the rest of their edge, the team are able to convince the pirates to accept 10% of the haul of DU rounds in exchange for transport, first to Thule for resupply and unloading, then to Iqaluit where they are put back on a plane to the UCAS. Returning the shipment to Saint Nick, they are able to negotiate for a significant increase in payment (Dandy manages to secure a big boost when he shows off his KRIME tattoo and Saint Nick pronounces him one of his "extra special helpers" - along with Skimmer, who already has his green outfit with bells on it and curly-toed elf booties. Thanking them for their help with the matter and apologizing again for all the trouble, the team receive their well-earned reward of cash and war-crimes bullets, along with some neat toys for the kids on the nice list.

Rewards

  • 40,000 nuyen
  • 15 karma
  • 2 CDP
  • Optional Contact: Saint Nick, C2/L2 "Santa Claus" for 3 RVP or 6 CDP
  • Optional Gear Reward: Depleted Uranium rounds
  • Optional Gear Reward: Krime Euskaldaunak Tankette
  • Optional Gear Reward: Any KRIME equipment >18F

Game Quotes

Player After Action Reports (AARs)

0-K

Who would´ve thought i´d hate the snow so much? Well actualy i still pretty much like the Cold and the snow, it actually as the presence of Toxic Cultists and a very concerning monster. At times i thought Odin himself was ready to come down to me and rescue me from this dire situation, but what great of a warrior would i have been, lieing around waiting to be safed? So we pushed on. I mean eventually i still got knocked out cold by a spirit but as i said: I was born in the snow and cold, ill die in the snow and cold, and at this point i at least had a battle, so it would have worked. Still, i had a great Team who got rid of the problem and together, along some nice stories about Stars i presented, we made our way back home, scaring some pirates to deter being robbed the last piece of cloth (litteraly) after a near death march through the Arctic and later having a stern word with Nick. I think he was really sorry, i saw some tanks in his garage, i suppose he really wanted to apologise. I myself cant make use of a tank (yet) so i focused on learning from experience. I think im ready to delve deeper into the magic that i work and that surrounds me, after such a shock and experience. Ill have to look around for contacts who an help me now.


"So Saint Nick says he's got a milk run for us; hop a flight to the north pole, pick up some crates, load them back on the plane and come on home. Milk run. He failed to mention the anti-aircraft missile that destroyed said plane, the harrying freefall in a hastily donned parachute, or the toxic spirits running amok in his wintery wonderland. It's a long, cold slog through the tundra to the site, and the entire way we are bullied by some dickhead toxic shaman with frozen balls, and his minions. Minions with Depleted Uranium rounds no less. And the spirits; I never thought I'd witness the day I would see Frag Face almost brought to his knees... But it happened when he got in a one-on-one fight with a Nuclear freakin' Spirit, chock full of radiation, and looking to turn our friendly ork tank into a crispy fried chicken. Meanwhile, the rest of the team is running willy-nilly from an avalanche. Environmental hazards? Check. Then Vic decides to go walkabout, and somehow ends up inside the shaman's tent while we are outside engaging his forces. We manage to drop them, as Vic finally snaps out of it and cornholes the Shaman with that giant rifle of hers. We get the gear and bug out, but not without more spirits popping up to try and ruin our little 'vacation'. Finally we make the meet with the pirates, and they can tell by our grim expressions that we are NOT to be fucked with. We finally end up back at Santa's shop, the job concluded, and 500 DU rounds richer for my efforts. I'll have to be more direct when pressing for information on the next 'milk' run Saint Nick offers..."

Vichnozeleny

Log number two zero six. The arctic made me think of home. I almost remember the lyrics to the depressing songs that we used to hear on the radio. Mmh hmm hmm... Lisää viinaa vaik' se veisi hengen. Me tehdään niin ku me tehtiin ennen. Mieli vapaa, viina virtaa, nyrkit nousee perkele ilmaan... it is too long ago to think clearly of it. I looked too hard at the familiar, sweet temptation of radiation. The invisible embrace of divinity was so close that I... I could not resist its call. Off I wandered, like a fool. I gave into the tempting call and thought I was back at the plant. Back in the sarcophagus. Back in front of the closest thing to a god in this world. What I found was just a pretender, lying through its teeth. And I put my team in jeopardy. Clearly, what I was drilled with back in Ukraine is not completely out of my head. Maybe I must live with this burden for the rest of my life. Maybe I cannot escape it, no matter how hard I work. If so, at least this time I could make something good out of it by saving my team from the monster's powers. It was a difficult fight, both mentally and physically, but I believe I came out of it stronger. That, and the airship will provide great vantage points. I asked Nick to upgrade it alongside Warboss. Most that I wanted have been done. Now, perhaps I will be able to provide more accurate support to these people I work with. Toxic cults... they never leave you once they have you once. I am no mage, but even now I feel their smoke within me. They will always be with me. This is what I must accept if I am to live longer.