Kicking an Anthill
|Kicking an Anthill|
A Shadowy UCAS Government Agency.
|Casualties and losses|
|Ant Queen. Multiple Bugs|
The Runners are hired by a Shadowy Government Agency to assault an Ant Bug Spirit Hive based out of a Laser Weapons Research facility in Snowhomish. Their specific target is an Ant Queen.
Rumours of Bugs in Snowhomish have been ripening on Shadowhaven for some time. Yet when the runner's are contacted by their fixers Sarah Snow and Alessa P about a job for some "Men in Black", none of them are entirely prepared for the big reveal concerning their target.
The Runner's arrive for the meet, with Zenith providing overwatch over the meet location. Eyebrows are somewhat raised when three identical black SUVs with a single occupant each pull into the lot and demand to know the location of "number 5". Zenith puts away his rifle and zip-lines down to join the others. The team react to the instruction to don a blindfold and enter the vehicles with various degrees of suspicion, though all do. Relay's attempt to monitor their route using his drones is anticipated however, and countermeasures are deployed by the agents with the sort of professional calm that suggests they'd have felt insulted if Relay hadn't at least made the attempt.
The convoy pulls into an underground garage, and are escorted upstairs (some by means of the elevator, others taking the stairs) to a conference room near the top of the building. While some of them are thoroughly enjoying their brief glimpse into the world of espionage, all smiles falter when the woman who introduces herself as their Johnson reveals that their target is a bug hive.
The terms are generous, but the runners negotiated an up-front payment-in-kind to equip them for the task ahead. Suitably provisioned from their sponsor's armoury and stores, the Runner's gain some information as to the nature of their target in the form of satellite imagery and basic intelligence concerning the numbers and nature of the opposition. After being assured that any fleeing bugs would be detected and destroyed by their sponsor's cordon, the runner's retreat to Relay's bat-cave for planning and prep.
While Rabbitand Master Morty set about data-gathering information on the location and the surrounding sewer and utility tunnels, Relay, Shine and Zenith debate the merits of an above ground insertion versus an infiltration from below using the sewer tunnels. When Relay observes that the degree of noise underground would force himself and Mister Morty to follow at a close distance, but likely out of line of sight of the rest of the team, it's agreed that a traditional top-down Close Quarters Battle approach would be best.
After Rabbit and Morty finish their legwork, the team finish prepping their armour, weapons and drones, and retire for the evening.
The Runner's take the "hit hard and hit fast" approach, driving right up to the front door of the target building and leaping out of Relay's truck in full view of two guards. While Zenith shoots out the armour glass windows, the other's mow down the two guards. Rabbit steps inside, and is almost geeked when the grenades on the guard's belts begin to whine. Thinking fast, the runner scoops up both grenades and throws them deeper into the building, but it's clear the bugs have a Hacker. Relay and Morty go to work, and in the process of bricking the hackers deck, they locate a prototype orbital laser in the third sub-basement and brick that too. Just to be safe.
Rabbit, Shine and Zenith fail to coordinate their Breach of the doors beyond the lobby, and are subjected to an onslaught of laser fire and paint grenades. Yes. Actual lasers. It's Zenith's turn to throw back a grenade, but he exposes himself in the process to a furious fusillade of las fire and is hauled back into the lobby by Shine. While Rabbit assaults right with mono-whip in hand, Shine, Relay and Zenith shoot left. But despite suppressing fire one of the guards makes it to the lobby and throws a paint grenade. Zenith, in chem-sealed full body armour, throws himself atop the grenade in an unexpected display of heroism and is only saved in turn by yet another act of heroism when relay flies a drone straight at the guard to intercept the point blank shot that would have shredded Zenith. In moments, another 6 guards are down and the runners have yet to take any actual injuries.
While Morty hacks the lobby terminal and takes over the security cams, locates two ambushes on the sub-levels below, disables the turrets, -and- locates the Queen's nest, the other's plan on sending a few grenades down the stairwell and elevator shafts. However, it's clear they're not the only ones with that idea when the elevator "bings" open and a frag grenade shakes the corridors.
Knowing that fighting down three floors against prepared positions and in the presence of background count is unlikely to work in their favour, the runners elect to blast their way down through the floors with a series of shaped charges, dropping them in right on top of the Queen's position. While Relay's drone and the team's shooters descend to the third sub-basement to confront the Queen, Relay and Morty remain above to provide overwatch and coordination. In yet another feat of heroism, Zenith fires a Blight round straight down the Queen's throat while it tries to take a bite out of him. In the following seconds, a planar gate opens above them and begins to deposit yet more bug spirits into the Sixth World. The fearful aura of the Queen bug and it's brood proves too much for Zenith, who turns and flees, but in that very next moment Rabbit's monowhip severs the Queen's head from it's thorax, throwing it's brood into confusion and disarray. Seizing their moment, the three shooters, all adepts, cling to Rabbit's grapple and ascend to safety like a scene from an old flatscreen movie poster, while disembodied ant spirits swirl and howl all around them.
There's yet more tension when the team realise the building is surrounded by heavily armed agents while they exfil, but Relay makes it clear they are the runner-team before any of them step out and into the sunlight. The Agents, clearly surprised to find the runner's alive, move to secure the building while the Johnson lines them all up and offers her congratulations. Rabbit spots the Johnson assensing each of them to ensure they're not possessed, and decides to return the favour -and immediately regrets it. The runner stares at something altogether unnerving that's staring back, and feels their pulse skyrocket.
Shine, detecting a sharp spike in pulse, heart rate, and resps from Rabbit expresses concern, but Rabbit shrugs her off. Rabbit has a secret now. A deadly one. And not one they're feeling ready to share.
The team claim their rewards in nuyen or gear as they desire. That night, in her dreams, Shine is visited by an insectile presence. One that avows hatred for the Bug Spirits plaguing the Sixth World. In the darkness of the pre-dawn, a deal is formed. A pact between the like-minded, and though Shine ever-after feels unease concerning her choice, she can't deny the benefits of accepting her mentor's power.
80k nuyen of ANY gear or 'ware up to availability 18 or 40k nuyen (higher than 18 roll as normal through a contact) 20 karma 2 CDP Magic characters who get Deltaware here lose 15 RVP from this run. Magic characters without it can buy Mentor Spirit at chargen price Relay can buy Special Modifications 1 at chargen price Master Morty can buy I C U at chargen price
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Frag bugs. Seriously. Life wasn't hard enough for average folk without alien ghosts from the Astral taking over their bodies and killing people? I was a kid when the Universal Brotherhood fragged up most of the Barrens and left a lot of people scarred. It's stuck with me. So when the FBI brings a team of runners into their offices to hire us to kill a bunch of Ant Spirits, I'm not exactly thrilled, but killing bugs is better than leaving them alive. Especially when they're under Snohomish.
The team is great, never met Rabbit before, but she's crazy good. Relay and Shine are as reliable as ever, and Master Morty is skilled, and often far enough away from me that I can appreciate what he brings to the team. We make a plan to go in quietly, but as it turns out, assaulting a facility filled with alien ghosts makes stealth a little tricky, so we just start shooting. Notable moments include me throwing a grenade back at bugs, my jumping on a grenade, Relay saving my fraggin' life by sacrificing a drone, Rabbit blowing several holes in the floor, Shine explaining the finer points of blood-pressure and Morty bricking turrets and an orbital laser.
There was something nasty down below that building. I'm hoping the Feds do their fragging jobs and make sure this drek doesn't happen again, but I'm honestly not holding my breath.
Bugs? Ehh, they were tough, but they ended up getting squashed nonetheless. The kill team was all over them, and with Rabbit's help, the bug decker got his equipment ruined. And I bricked some kind of suborbital laser. Good times. Wasn't really present for much of the fight, being in the matrix and all, but I did see that guy Zenith take a grenade for me and Relay. Hero of the day, that guy is. Gotta appreciate anyone who puts their life on the line to protect mine, even if it is the meat. Got a sweet new deck off this job, and I am tickled pink. Still shocked at Rabbit's ability to blow a hole through three levels of flooring, but she's clearly walking the wild side. Strong finish on the Queen chopping her head off. Something to do with capsule rounds and some kind of drug Zenith used with a shot down the throat. Again Good times everybody, well done.
Humbling. I may only describe what happened as humbling. From the moment fear flashed through my soul on hearing what terrors we would face, to the very moment I lay awake in my bed the evening after.
Humbling. So often we in CrashCart held ourselves above the Shadowrunner rabble we often encountered in our work. And yet, yesterday, the rabble faced a threat that would have most of my former colleagues wetting their armour.
And yet they faced it head on. I had thought myself both skilled and blessed, a true adherant of the warriors way. Yet now I see I have been too cautious. I have seen with my own eyes what an adept may do when they are unfettered by their self-imposed limitations, and I shall strive to do better. Rabbit and Zenith have showed me that to which I must aspire, and we next we meet I shall greet them upon the same playing field.
I'd by lying if I pretended like I didn't see this coming. I lost the secretary in the parking lot before (see Bug4.sim) and this is the result. It could have been worse--maybe. I still haven't found Braeden Wyatt, but I will--and I'll put a bullet in his new form.
Zenith jumped on a grenade for us; I mean, it turned out to be a paint grenade, but it was still a pretty meaningful moment because I was DEFINITELY in VR and unable to defend myself. I managed to throw some metal in front of the spirit who was gonna geek him for it. He's almost becoming a good dude.
I'm thankful to my team for stepping up in a big way. Z and Rabbit are always professionals; I expected nothing less. This was my first time working with Shine, but we could probably stand to get that young lady a rifle...those SMG bullets don't penetrate the same way even when she was putting entire clips on target. Her mix of keeping people alive and being able to put iron on point is a heck of a strength.
Then there's the little gremlin, Morty. I think one leg is still deformed because apparently he rode me around the entire time I was in VR. He probably kept my dumb face from melting, so I'll leave it be.
This is the first step towards repaying my debt to society. Let's see if I can take out the other loose end.