I've Been Followed

From ShadowHaven
Jump to navigation Jump to search
I've Been Followed
Date2082-03-03
GMAurora
LocationRedmond, Seattle Metroplex
Status Threat Level: High
Factions Involved
ShadowHaven
Informer
Aztechnology
Black Samurai
Delphi
Mara
Pulse
Aztechnology Security Spider
Beast Spirit
Blood Mage
Blood Spirit
Casualties and losses
Aztechnology Security Spider, Beast Spirit, Blood Mage, Blood Spirit x2


Summary

In which the runners rescue Informer from capture and sacrifice by blood mages.

Background

In Noir Days and Bright Nights, Informer (with some help from Delphi) stumbled upon an Aztechnology plot involving, what else, blood magic - they have been hard at work investigating the problem, and Aztechnology has taken notice of the snooping, sending a pair of blood spirits to capture them. Informer is savvy enough to know they're being followed, so they send out a call over the Haven's network from a public terminal in the Touristville library right before they're snatched. Enter the runners.

The Meet

The team are contacted individually and told of the problem by their fixers. Delphi and Mara, who have worked for Informer before (see: Bloom in Darkness are ready to help (though the latter is visited by an unfriendly spirit of man who gives her a slapping thanks to her Spirit Bane). Meanwhile, Black Samurai (who is enjoying some Taco Temple) and Pulse (who is being a matrix troll and forging notices that said Taco Temple failed to pass its health inspection) receive the call and accept the opportunity (after the latter ends up nearly converged upon due to being Wanted by God).

The Plan

After establishing a DNI conversation, the team arrange to meet at a cafe near Informer's last known location and each manages to arrive without issue. They decide to head to the library to look for clues, with Black Samurai staying outside to keep an eye out for trouble.

While Delphi and Mara head inside, Pulse drops into VR in order to take a look at the cameras and such and try to find a trail. Slipping inside the host, he manages to get the camera's history but finds that it's been carefully scrubbed of useful data - while looking, he also spots an encrypted file, triggering his Curiosity Killed the Cat and resulting in him being marked when he attempts to snoop on it. This puts the host on alert, and the Aztechnology spider who tampered with the footage soon arrives to deal with the hacker - cybercombat ensues, ending with Pulse tracing the spider back to his location and nearly being converged upon before dumpshocking himself. Resting up after the dain bramage, he tells the team that the footage was tampered with and that he has the location of those responsible for it.

Inside, Mara and Delphi assense around and feel a palpable tinge of violence to the background mana, putting them on edge. Mara is able to spot out Informer's astral signature, as well as a pair of unfamiliar ones which she takes note of and points out to Delphi; the latter decides to use psychometry on the scene, getting a vivid impression of the scene of Informer's kidnapping by what she recognizes as a pair of blood spirits. Going to throw up, she relays this information to the rest of the runners, who all prepare for trouble.

The Run

Leaving the library, the two elves return to the car, where Black Samurai spots a bloody spirit lurking on the astral ready to materialize and attack the still-injured Pulse. Pulling out his sword, Black Samurai slices at the blood spirit as it materializes while Mara slings lightning and mana bolts at it, managing to successfully disrupt it. While Mara and Delphi scrub signatures, Pulse quickly erases the footage from nearby cameras and the team quickly drive away towards the coordinates which Pulse traced the spider to, applying medkit and heal spells to the wounded decker en-route.

Arriving, they find an (open to the public, non-ET) Aztechnology facility; after scoping the place out, Pulse takes a dive into the host and is able to pull out some blueprints indicating that there is a small space in the rear of the building which hides an entrance into the basement, which the team theorize is the most likely place that Bad Things would be hidden. Juryrigging together a glass cutter out of tools from Pulse's hardware kit, the team sneak to the back of the facility under cover of invisibility, where Delphi is able to slap a data tap onto a sensor for Pulse to plug into and hack before cutting a hole in the window for the rest of the team to enter through. Sneaking inside, they find the hidden trapdoor and descend down through a ward to another locked door - while Mara summons an earth spirit to assist them in combat, Delphi picks the lock and Black Samurai sets up a dynamic entry maneuver.

On the other side of the door the team find an in-progress ritual with a blood mage having trapped Informer in a ritual circle. Black Samurai charges inside and slashes at the mage with Mara and her earth spirit right behind it, while Delphi assenses the scene and finds the knife serving as the anchor of the ritual, rushing towards it in order to find a way to disrupt it. Outside, Pulse is jacked into the host and contends with the security spider, data spiking him into oblivion before he can summon backup. In meatspace however a jaguar spirit manifests to attack the vulnerable hacker, pulling Black Samurai away to protect him and leaving Mara and her spirit to deal with the mage; he arrives just in time to slash away at the beast spirit thanks to his skimmers.

The blood mage uses the blood points from wounding Informer to overcast a clout spell and disperse Mara's spirit, putting himself into physical overflow in the process; Mara grabs his athame and rushes towards Delphi, who manages to successfully disrupt the ritual and free Informer just as the mage's blood spirit manifests over her. Black Samurai rushes back to the scene to slash away at the spirit as Mara and Informer sling manabolts; the spirit severely wounded by the assault and responds by hemorrhaging the room (including it's summoner, who dies in the process and allows the vengeful spirit to go free). With everyone wracked with pain, Delphi takes the athame and attacks the wounded spirit with it, doing just enough damage to disrupt it.

Aftermath

With Informer wounded but freed, the runners and the spirit high tail it away as quickly as possible, getting away before more nastiness arrives. Meeting back up at their Touristville office, Informer thanks the team for rescuing them; Mara (more than slightly miffed about facing blood magic) says that the spirit owes them one for going so out of their way to save them at such great risk to themselves, and they agree to return the favor in the future should the team need their assistance.

Rewards

Everyone but Delphi:

  • Informer (Connection) at Loyalty 3 (4 RVP) (+4 CDP for Mara, boost existing loyalty to 3)
  • 12 karma

Delphi

  • Rating 4 Weapon Focus (Unbonded) (7 RVP)
  • Quick Healer (3 RVP) (from accidental use of blood magic)
  • 6 karma
  • +5 REP with Blood Spirits
  • May spend CDP to raise Loyalty to 5 with Informer
  • Blood Magic spec in Magical Threats

Everyone:

  • 2 CDP
  • +1 chip on Informer

Game Quotes

Player After Action Reports (AARs)

Delphi

Informer said they'd be looking into this stuff with Aztechnology, and it seems like they stumbled across something they shouldn't have, because the bastards sent a pair of blood spirits to nab them and presumably do all sorts bad drek; I'm glad they managed to get a call for help out, and that such a good crew was able to answer the call. Never worked with Black Samurai or Pulse before, but both were really good at what they did and didn't balk at dealing with something like this for no payment - would gladly work with either agian. I was glad to have Mara on the team as well, she's clearly a capable mage and was already acquainted with Informer from that job we did for them a few weeks back, and she acquainted herself really well.

Frag, things got really hairy on this one though. I'd never seen a blood spirit before, and having one attack us like that was harrowing (to say the least - to say the most it felt like a horrid monster ripping the blood out of our veins before I stabbed it with a cursed knife and got a terrible rush of unholy power from it in the process). Keeping the athame is defenitly a stupid decision that's likely to get me killed (or worse), but it's got a bunch of bad mojo in it and destroying it would just release that back into the manasphere; hopefully it'll dissipate in time, but until then I should probably find a safe place to bury it and that chalice that Informer and I found on that job where we met. One more thing to worry about I suppose, not that I was lacking for any.

Mara

I need to find a way to start getting paying contracts. Though, working for Informer might possibly help me resolve my issue with that particular type of spirit. A hope and a dream, perhaps.

Apparently Informer managed to get himself spirit-napped. It seems the Aztechnology blood mages wanted to use him in some sinister ritual. Our team managed to track him and complete a rescue before they were finished. I was a bit annoyed at the amount of blood I had been coated in, but all's well that ends well, or so they say.

  • Pulse - Another decker from ShadowHaven and another fool hardy risk taker, it seems. More than once he seems to have found himself injured from his matrix activities and I suspect it was not because he was trying to be as expedient as possible. He was instrumental in getting us into the building, though, by hacking into the system through a data tap. Also provided some help with situational awareness when things become violent.
  • Delphi - My third contract with her. Always resourceful, it seems. Her artificial arm and tinkerer tendencies were also instrumental in getting us into the Stuffer Shack headquarters where our target was being held. In the end she kept the athame that the blood sorcer was using in his ritual. I strongly advised against this, though it seems to have fallen on deaf ears or run up against short sighted good intentions.
  • Black Samurai - We would all be much worse for the wear without him. Near single-handedly defeated two blood spirits, a beast spirit and a blood mage. Still seems very much to prefer to be told what to do rather than lead. Except when it comes to combat, which is lucky for us.

Pulse

Honestly, kinda confused why I got this job. I don't understand this spirit drek, though good to get some confirmation that the Azzies are blood mages. The stories are out there, in the shadows and on the Trix, but seeing really is believing. Delphi, Mara and Black Samurai were good to work with, and BS saved my life at least twice with all this spirit drek. I feel kind of bad that I got caught out by that Azzie Spider twice. The host got too hot and GOD doesn't like me hanging around anywhere for very long.

The blacksite we went to was weird, like spirits and bad vibes, and that whole giant blood magic spirit thing that Delphi killed with the weird knife. I may need to dive deep into the magic side of the world. If my skills as a decker are only going to be minimally useful sometimes, gotta rely on what I know outside the Trix sometimes.