Look how they massacred my boy!
|Look how they massacred my boy!|
|Part of Hail to the Pumpking|
|Shy redeemed a chip from Yennefer Kerrigan.|
Jack wants his boys back. Runners go get them, but things take a turn and they end up partially selling out to Shiawase.
Jack's been bleeding troops and as he tries to replace them, things keep going wrong. Eighteen of his Starscreamers were kidnapped and he wants to find them, bring them back and make sure they're alright.
Jack encounters the group at the usual parking lot, explaining that his boys have gone missing and that he suspects Shiawase of kidnapping them. He isn't too fussy about how the runners do it, as long as they get all of them back home in one piece. The team is a bit hesitant unless they get paid, so Jack offers his usual deal of stolen karma. Duchess in particular is very leery of this, so Jack scratches his head and thinks of alternatives. Homemade Dread, lifestyles, even a few Onotari Interceptors he got from Bolt McMuscle -- this seems enough to convince the group to accept the job. Before that, however, they also visit a nearby gas station where some Starscreamers and their Speaker are holed up. Speakers are somewhat unique Starscreamers in that they don't accept Jack's blessings when joining. This makes them weaker, but allows them to retain their ability to speak. As such, one often accompanies a group of Starscreamers to act as communicator, negotiator and interpreter to the gang's needs. If the troops try to communicate, all that comes out of their mouths are inhumane, nightmare-inducing sounds that bear a distant resemblance to distorted cries of help.
The Speaker, a sharp-toothed looking, slit pupiled Asian woman explains what she knows of the kidnapping. The technomancer of the Starscreamers extracted some snippets of traffic footage before Knight Errant scrubbed the records, presumably at Shiawase's request. Shiawase HTR wielding semi-automatic, high power rifles shot eighteen gangers with less than lethal ammunition and were seen handcuffing the incapacitated gangers when the footage cut off. Barracuda couldn't make out the models of the weapons, however. Knowing this, the team started using their connections to find out more.
Agustin Diaz came in handy when Barracuda called to him about Shiawase doing anything in particular recently. He thought of it for a moment, and while the artist was an Aztechnology corporate man, he knew a thing or two about rumors. He recalled hearing things of Asahiro Kunitoshi, a big wig of Shiawase that arrived only some days ago. Considering his recent arrival, it seems to be correlated at least superficially. After this, Duchess contacts Freya to do a search on the Matrix. Freya agrees to take a look and will compile her findings into a dossier. Yennefer Kerrigan, a fixer for Shy, will get them a meeting arranged if they have fake identities to work it with. Freya, a professional SIN forger, agrees to coordinate this through the runners.
Upon returning with the dossier and fake identities, Freya gets many thanks from Duchess! The dossier reveals Kunitoshi's type to be an honor-bound traditionalist that despises consumerism and materialism, delving deep into Shintoism and spirituality instead. As a result, the corporate news outlets have often carried controversial public statements from Kunitoshi that defy the direction of the megacorporation, while still staying true to its core value of improving the lives of all.
Getting a disposable vehicle from Kerrigan, the team enter the extraterritorial grounds of Shiawase in Auburn, meeting the traditional fortress of a complex head-on. Most surrender their arms, though a few keep stun batons and blades as such are permitted. A goat-like, glasses-wearing spirit manifests and guides the party throughout the castle which appears superficially traditional and old-fashioned. However, the complex bears new technological advances and electronics beneath the veneer of traditionalism. The spirit explains a few common threads in how to behave and swears vengeance if they defile the castle. With that said, the party enters the keep of the castle.
Kunitoshi is in the innermost sanctum, currently practicing traditional Japanese calligraphy with an ink brush. While at first the party attempts to speak up, he orders them to remain silent until he finishes. Once done, he takes his blade and goes around his table to sit in front of them directly. Barracuda and Shy take the initiative and navigate the etiquette-laden situation with Duchess' DNI advice here and there. Wrifter keeps an eye out for the shadows, having spotted shinobi-like guards hiding in the shadows, but fortunately none interrupt them. As the team attempts to broach the topic of the HTR team assaulting Sophocles, Kunitoshi explains that it was in response to the malign influence of the shadow spirit in the area. Barracuda takes a calculated risk and addresses him about Pump King Jack directly, offering him a chance to get in the ranks of the spirit's gangers and gain a direct feed of information by arranging a meeting. Instead, Kunitoshi makes a counter-offer: pulling a divider wall aside, two Starscreamer-like individuals drop on their knees and bow before Kunitoshi.
The corporate leader gestures towards the gangers and explains they're Shiawase-tailored spies, designed to be indistinguishable from the typical gangers. They've researched the captives and the astral taint within them, and now intend on slipping these two among the rest by staging an escape. He asks the team's aid in making this seem genuine and they agree, although Duchess intends on backstabbing Kunitoshi by informing Jack about Shiawase's planted agents as well. As they leave, sighing from relief after the tense encounter with such an influential figure, they spot the plan put into action already. They speed it out towards a secure-looking parking lot and talk about what just happened discreetly, paranoid about being followed. After they're sure about how they want to frame things to Jack, they return to Sophocles.
Jack is not happy. In fact, he's enraged and almost grabs Duchess by the neck into a strangling grip, only interrupted by Shy getting in the way and getting grabbed instead, pulled off her feet into a suffocating grip by the raging spirit. He's infuriated beyond reason about two of his people being left behind -- as the team tries to calm Jack, he rants on and tightens his grip, explaining that only 16 out of 18 gangers getting free isn't enough -- each bears a part of his presence, so intensive is his spirit pact with the members of the Starscreamers. By allowing two of them to remain captive, Shiawase may directly study him through them. Not having been told this, the team is naturally not feeling like they could've predicted this to be his response, and it's only then that Jack realizes he spoke more than he should've. Angered still, he cleaves a car wreck in half with a single strike to vent his anger, throws a box of Dread towards the runners and tells them to get out of his sight until he changes his mind about letting them live. Thankful for the opportunity, all four agree to leave ASAP. Fortunately, Kunitoshi's still open to rewarding the runners for going with his plan and offers them his boons.
- For Shy: GMC Sidewinder w/ Pilot Enhancement R4 (Shy has to pay 1,000 Nuyen for this out of pocket.)
- For Barracuda, Duchess & Wrifter: 26,000 Nuyen (52,000 Nuyen worth of Blades, Dread, Vashon Island fashion armor or Shiawase fake SINs or Licenses up to Availability 18)
- Optional Contact: Asahiro Kunitoshi, 6/1 Shiawase Nobility (6 RVP or 12 CDP)
- 2 CDP
- -5 Starscreamers Reputation
- 2 Shiawase Reputation
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Duchess: "Everything Babylon ever told me about those fraggers makes sense. Even Ether didn't seem too keen on my helping them out too much, and with them being a rival gang, even one we have no beef with, I most certainly wasn't about to go out of my way to make them stronger. So now Shiawase think they've cut a deal with some UCAs agents from Federal Zoning and inserted a couple of their agents into Sophocles under the guise of being StarScreamers. Well, I wasn't exactly going to sell out to the Corps, so I neglected to help Barracuda explain about Jack's mental and spiritual links to his little spirit-proxies and turned right around and told Jack that two of his guys weren't what they seemed, and even offered a little friendly advice about to use them as double agents.
But Jack was so pissed. He was about ready to kill Shy and I for leaving two of his boys behind and let slip that the connection he has with them works both ways. Anyway, I played the angle that we were helping him because now he knows more about an enemy he didn't even know he had. But I tell you what though, I won't be risking my precious and shapely backside riding any more runs for this nugget. Still, I've helped set up a "let's you and him fight" situation between the 'Screamers and the Shiawase and that sounds like a pretty damn good outcome to me. Only way it could've been better would've been getting paid twice."
Shy : God damnit it was a close one... The Run was good the Ltn Commander Kerringan is really good when it come to help for a run. We were basically offical of the UCAS for the day and even a Megacorp was fooled in the process. But this whole Jack affair it is a fucking mess now that Shiawase is in. I wonder if Kerrigan is actually gonna ask me to do some job to get Jack out of the picture.
Also did nearly die because Jack got into a tantrum...What i was thinking when i walk in front of him. At least now i understand the meaning of some of my vision...The benediction of Bishamonten it's gonna be useful now.
Wrifter : "Okay, where do I start ... Ah, yeah, the contract looked pretty complicated to begin with, although the tantalizing sight of our dear Jack-O's rocket launchers made us a little too relaxed about this job. However, I started to feel shit coming when we got too close to a conflict with a Japanese corporation.
I don't know anything about the "high castes", but as I told Duchess, I am far too young to die. After him and her, Barracuda, try a juicy trick. But hey, from what I understand, conflicts of interest in mixing magic and "batting spirits" don't mix.
Although I found Jack a lot of fun, he spooked us badly, horribly even. We all thought we were all exhausted with his anger, especially Shy, and I feel that he will get revenge soon in the future, we did not know that his "guys" were in the end more than simple thugs, but part from him. I understood his rage, but I don't plan on working for such a threat anymore."