I Want A Pony
|I Want A Pony|
|ShadowHaven||Locust Spirit Hive|
|Casualties and losses|
A job to steal a cybernetically-enhanced horse goes unexpectedly awry when the team discovers an insect spirit hive on the ranch.
A billionaire living in Seattle had a rivalry with another who owned a ranch in the area. He grew jealous of the special cyborg horses he kept there until finally deciding to hire some shadowrunners to steal one.
The shadowrunners were invited the billionaire's mansion, where he explained his desire to have one of the horses. He gave what information he had about the ranch and the horses, though it was pretty vague. The team decided to meet at an awful bar in the Redmond barrens after negotiating to have the billionaire arrange a driver for them, since none of them could haul a horse on their own.
RAT searched the Matrix for what he could find in term of public information on the rancher and his property. He found out the horses had CAS and Stirrup augmentations, allowing them to be controlled remotely or even jumped into by a rigger. While the approximate shape and size of the ranch could be determined online, it was censored from street view and satellite imagery. Dr. Marvel bound an air elemental and performed a remote viewing. She saw five augmented horses and a pasture guarded by three large guards armed with Krime lances. The ranch house was largely innocuous except for a ward in the basement that prevented her from casting her gaze beneath it. As she was about to end the viewing, she saw what appeared to be a hybrid form locust spirit walk out of it. She had her spirit look at the auras of the lancers and found them to be flesh forms that were masking themselves.
The team regrouped. They decided they would try to destroy the hive in addition to their job because it was a threat to everyone around, though they wanted to secure the horse before engaging them. Dr. Marvel wrote several sigils that would empower them for the fight to come, and Roadkill bought some insecticide that he loaded into gas grenades. Pell set up a sniper position uphill from the ranch, where Dr. Marvel joined her with a pair of optical binoculars. RAT stayed nearby in his Toyota Gopher, from which point he'd hack into the host the ranch had, which was likely protecting the horses' cybernetics. Upon securing the horse, the team would regroup to prepare for an assault on the hive.
RAT broke his way in and crashed the IC repeatedly while brute-forcing his way into a horse's CAS system. He rewrote its IFF to be afraid of its handlers and see the shadowrunners as friendly, gave it a command to head for the edge of the enclosure, and then took it offline. He then bricked every gun he could see in the host and disconnected. As the horse was extracted, Dr. Marvel, Pell, and Roadkill laid down a base of fire and bug bombs on the lancers, killing them in seconds from cover before they could organize a response.
Not seeing anyone storm out of the house to counterattack, they proceeded to the edge of the enclosure to press the advantage. RAT hacked his way through the front door with his deck (it was also a sword). It appeared to be deserted until they reached the basement, where Dr. Marvel shattered the ward, letting the team proceed unimpeded with their alchemical assistance. They found what appeared to be a rudimentary insect spirit hive. The hybrid form was there along with an insect shaman and someone mid-conversion in a cocoon. As they were in a C-security zone, the team decided to take a few minutes to decide what they should do and clean the place up. They killed the hybrid form and the shaman, who appeared not to have successfully summoned a queen yet. Dr. Marvel took a quicksilver photograph as proof for the team's client in case their reputation was called into question. The person in the cocoon was removed from the hive, and the spirit trying to inhabit them died of evanescence.
The cocoon victim survived, against the odds. The billionaire was appreciative that the team cleaned everything up, though the news of his rival whom he had a respect for perishing in such a gruesome way saddened him. He mentioned trying to acquire the estate soon and paid the shadowrunners as agreed.
- 7 Karma
- 2 CDP
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
I had heard of such horrors as these "insect spirits" before, though this was the first time I had seen one myself. At least, a living one. What terrible creatures, and how awful they have their shamans. What drives someone to drop everything they have ever known of the thaumaturgical arts, academic or religious they may be, and work to birth such horrors in our world? I fear to understand is to accept it.
So, bug spirits. Certainly wasn’t expecting those when I signed up to steal a ‘wared up horse for an eccentric billionaire. Met Roadkill again. The plan went off without an hitch and Rat’s Matrix support was great. Hope the butler gets better.
Also, I think I’m starting to fall in love with this rifle.