High Tide Rising

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High Tide Rising
Part of Two Steps Ahead
Date2082-04-20
GMSarcarian
LocationVancouver Island
Status Threat Level: High
Factions Involved
ShadowHaven
Amrei Veidt
Holly Rogers And Crew
Pirates!
Master Morty
Shine
Stargazer
Vichnozeleny
Pirate Conjurer
Pirate Mooks
Pirate Spirits
Wusan


Summary

In which the runners are contracted by S-K to retrieve the formula of a free spirit from a crew of pirates.

Background

Amrei Veidt and S-K Prime have been planning an operation in the Vancouver Island area for the past several months, and all the pieces have fallen into place - all except one, that being a F10 free water spirit called Wusan (see: Fresh Fish) who makes its domain in their chosen staging area. Rather than simply disrupt Wusan (which runs the risk of angering the local spirits and deprives S-K of a potentially powerful ally), they have attempted to reach out to the spirit, who has rebuffed all offers of karma and reagents. Through her own information gathering network, Amrei has learned of a small crew of pirates who make their lair in the area that have managed to obtain a copy of Wusan's spirit formula, carved onto an ancient driftwood staff long ago, which they are using to compel the spirit to do their bidding. Having managed to narrow down the location of the pirate's base of operations, but not able to send in a full S-K team for fear of being discovered by the local authorities, S-K has instead contracted runners to do the job.

The Meet

Amrei contacts the runners individually and has them meet with her at E-Wasted, the matrix bar in the ShadowHaven host (she enjoys coming into the runner's house to flex), where she waits for them in her golden drake persona. Everyone is able to rez in without trouble, and Amrei explains what she needs of them - they are to secure the pirate's base of operations and bring her the spirit formula, in exchange for which she will pay them 20,000 nuyen each. Lacking an experienced negotiator or any leverage at all over her, the team still attempt to negotiate for more cash or perks, and Amrei tells them that if they do the job perfectly to her satisfaction then she will consider alternate remuneration in the form of access to one of S-K's bioware clinics. Satisfied with the arrangement, they accept the job, receiving a dossier of information from her that S-K has gathered on the situation and a number to contact her at once they're finished.

The Plan

Master Morty hits the 'trix in order to chase down any leads that S-K might have missed, using a mapsoft of the area purchased by Shine to help narrow down the potential location of the pirate's base from satellite photographs and meteorological data, as well as find information on the pirates and Wusan. Armed with this knowledge, and having located a narrow strait with a cove where the pirates are most likely held up, the team put together a plan: Vic volunteers the use of her airship for transportation, calling Legal Eagle to arrange legal passage into SSC airspace at the cost of 2 grand in bribes. Shine contacts Freya to have some burner identities whipped up for the team which will allow them to cross the boarder without scrutiny. Stargazer takes a short astral jaunt over to the area to scope out the place and commune with the local spirits before contacting Holly Rogers And Crew in order to offer them a share of the plunder in exchange for serving as a distraction/false flag attack to draw out the conjurer.

The Run

The blimp ride to Vancouver Island is a short, pleasant one as the team leisurely cruises through the skies to their destination, stopped only briefly by SSC Air Traffic Control to confirm their (forged) credentials. Upon arrival, the team spend several hours staking the place out, with Vic posted up with her Gauss rifle while Stargazer and her new water spirit buddy Neptune attempt to use Weather Control to hold off an ominous approaching stormfront, with Morty and Shine providing matrix and astral overwatch respectively. Morty manages to spot out the hidden gun turret emplacements near the cove, disabling them remotely so that the airship won't be shot out of the sky. As the storm begins to gather (brought on by Wusan's power, which vastly outstrips Neptune's own), Holly Rogers and her crew arrive in their own vessel just in time to meet the enemy pirates as a pitched sea battle begins in the storm-wracked seas below.

Vic has the blimp descend below cloud cover and manages to spot out the pirate conjurer on the bridge of their ship, however the shot is obstructed and the wind and rain hamper her further, such that she cannot get a safe shot that won't destroy the staff in the process - while she takes aim and waits for a clear line of fire, the team lend their assistance to Holly Rogers and Crew, with Morty providing them IATFs and Shine providing SmUT assistance over comms and Stargazer using her sunbeam spell to highlight the enemy ship as a target. As the battle turns against the pirates, the conjurer steps out on deck to beseech Wusan to appear and increase the magnitude of the storm, giving Vic the angle she needs to blow his head clean off with a single shot.

It's at this point the team realizes the massive flaw in their plan, as they now have no way to quickly lay hands on the formula. Just as they realize this, Wusan manifests and uses his Storm power to cause everything within a one mile radius to be subject to a suppressive fire effect due to heavy wind/rain/lightning - including the team's airship. While the team desperately attempt to maintain control as the pilotsofts fail in the face of the storm, below the pirates struggle to batten down the hatches and ensure their own survival as Wusan takes out his frustration at a being bound on all within his reach. Stargazer offers Neptune all the spirit cookies she has to go down and retrieve the formula - the spirit is naturally hesitant a this prospect, so both Shine and Stargazer leap from the blimp (thankfully equipped with parachutes) and into the storm with it, barely managing to survive the plunge into the icy waters below.

Struggling not to drown as Wusan finishes off the enemy pirates, the three are barely able to retrieve the staff and be pulled aboard Holly Rogers and Crew's ship. Wusan prepares to strike them down just as Stargazer takes hold of the formula, causing him to pause momentarily - Stargazer uses the opportunity to attempt to bargain, quickly contacting Amrei to inform her of the situation and ask what she wants of the spirit. She attempts to negotiate, but Wusan refuses to do so from a position of weakness, demanding the return of his staff. Rather than attempt to compel the spirit through threats, Stargazer kneels respectfully and returns it without asking anything in return, causing Wusan to end the storm and say that he will negotiate with her and her alone.

Aftermath

Calling up Amrei, Stargazer explains the situation and persuades her to send along a list of requests - Amrei is unamused at losing access to the formula, however the team have done half of the job at least by securing the site and Wusan's cooperation, so she sends along a list of services to be requested as well as offers of karma and reagents. Stargazer is able to negotiate a fair exchange of services, and the team all feel good about themselves since Wusan won't be enslaved to S-K's whims. Amrei agrees to send half of the promised payment as well as cover expenses for the job, but is clearly less than happy with the outcome as it introduces a potential wild card into her upcomming operation, and the team manage to return to the Metroplex without incident.

Rewards

  • 12k nuyen
  • 9 karma
  • 2 CDP
  • +1 S-K rep
  • Optional Contact: Amrei Veidt (C6/L1 S-K Prime Operative) for 6 RVP or 12 CDP (can upgrade loyalty by 1 if already have as a contact)
  • Optional Contact: Holly Rogers And Crew (C5/L2 Pirate Crew) for 6 RVP or 12 CDP (can upgrade loyalty by 1 if already have as a contact)
  • For Shine and Stargazer: Can purchase Daredevil @ chargen price for willingly jumping out of a plane in the middle of a massive storm.

Game Quotes

Player After Action Reports (AARs)

Shine

I jumped. Out of a fucking blimp. In a lightning storm.

I'm just going to let that sink in for a while before I say it again. I jumped. Out of a fucking blimp. In a lightning storm. To retrieve the formula stick for an insanely powerful water spirit, while it was floating in stormy seas, while the spirit in question was glaring down at me.

What. Was. I. Thinking?

Zenith never finds out about this. Never. And I'm not telling Harriot either. I really, really don't want to give that young woman any ideas.

Master Morty

"So yeah, I'm a professional right? Get hired to do a job, do the legwork, get the info, shut down the defensive systems, boost the team... For what, half pay? Bunch of amateurs."

Stargazer

I'd like very much to never have to work with S-K again, but given the message that I was sent, I don't think that's possible. For the moment I will simply be content with having returned to the mainland and not having died horribly in the middle of a storm.

Wusan is a great and powerful spirit, who has seen more power than most creatures on this planet will ever know, and I, for just a moment, held that power in my hand, but I remember my conversations with Babylon about spirits. Even if I had Wusan in my power, it would have ultimately come back to cause problems for me. Besides, it is probably for the best that Wusan's formula is with him rather than S-K as well. I sure whatever this G01d3nI figure would do with it after this operation she was speaking of would not bring peace to either the world or to the Spirit.

Also I have this great piece of driftwood that is astrally active that proves I deal fairly with spirits! That's cool.

Vichnozeleny

Log number two zero eight. I am surprised the zeppelin held together. It has been built hardier than I could have hoped, and it resumed from its true maiden voyage with flying colours. The team managed to get through the work without much issues, however... the spirit that appeared was incredibly powerful, even to what I comprehend of them. I must admit that I have not seen such glory since the Monolith first gazed upon me...