Of the Goddess of Love

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Of the Goddess of Love
Date2082-05-31
GMOrionsRequiem
LocationDenver
Status Threat Level: Medium
Factions Involved
ShadowHaven
The Pantheon
The Laesa
Delphi
Mara
Tahki
Basilisk
Relay
Leasa Gangers
Relay and Tahki's SINs were burned by the border crossing between Denver's UCAS and PCC districts. Delphi is now addicted to Shade


Summary

In which the runners head to Denver to rekidnap someone who was already rekidnaped after being unknowingly kidnapped

Background

A few weeks ago Kathryn "Aphrodite" Riviera was in Denver for a special meeting on a train. This meeting ended with the train derailed and Kathryn losing her job as an Aztechnlogy Cyber Security specialist, and delving into the shadows of Denver. However the woman also caught the eye of the Laesa thanks to her associating with Delphi, and she was kidnapped by the criminal syndicate soon after beginning her shadowrunning career.

The Pantheon also want the Greek-born adept decker to join their organization as one of the the Gods, and Pythia has learned of her capture through divination, but cannot risk exposing her own organization to the Laesa as enemies.

The Meet

Pythia calls the runners via physical letters to a cafe located in the lobby of the Shiawase Seattle HQ. Relay and Mara immediately notice that the security around the lobby is heavier than normal, and ask Pythia if this is due to her presence, which she confirms.

Pythia explains that Kathryn Riviera has been captured by the Laesa and is being held against her will in Denver, and offers ten thousand to each of the runners to bring her back to Seattle. When questioned about if she was to be returned to Pythia or just to the city itself Pythia explained that so long as Aphrodite was safe. The team negotiate the payment up to 14k for the main job, and Pythia also explains that she will provide transport into Denver without the team having to go through SeaTac customs.

While the team splits up and go to collect their gear, Tahki and Basilisk both get private messages from Pythia. The seer promises the two of them an additional 10k if Aphrodite was brought to her once she was back in Seattle.

The team meet up at a private airport and get onto the Pantheon's private plane "The Chariot" and arrive at Devner's UCAS district.

The Plan

The team research the Laesa and find out through Argent that this group in Denver is an off-shoot of the official branch, and stole a shipment of three hundred bottles of Laes. Using the Matrix the team figure out that there is a bar in the UCAS district that Aphrodite was spotted in a few times. The team disguise themselves and prepare to walk into the bar but Tahki decides that it is better to kick in the door with her shotgun and demand answers about the criminal syndicate.

Much to everyone's surprise, the intimidation works and the team gets a list of three locations that the Laesa are holed up in. The first is an apartment building in the UCAS sector, the second is a warehouse in the PCC sector, and the third is what seems to be the Denver Laesa's HQ in the Sioux sector of the city. Heading towards the apartment, the team decide to scout it astrally, using Mara to astrally project, while Delphi takes Shade, and due to the interaction with the other drugs, is stuck in a state of forced Astral Projection for thirty-six hours. The two projecting find a mana barrier around one of the windows into the building and sleaze through, finding a Guardian spirit guarding the area. Mara distracts the spirits while the stealthy Delphi looks for signs of Aphrodite's aura. Failing to find anything, the team decide to next head to the PCC section. The SIN Scanners ping Tahki and Silas as having some form of irregularity with their SINs.

Tahki casts a large Force Euphoria and combat ensues, the team just barely escaping through Mara's use of the Shapechange spell on herself and Delphi's body, Tahki levitating and becoming invisible, Basilisk hiding in the smuggling compartment of Relay's vehicle, and Relay able to con his way back into the car, able to drive away. The team make up in a No-Tell Motel and begin to consider their next move.

The Run

After a quick scout of the warehouse by Basilisk, the team text Aphrodite from Delphi's commlink and, realizing that the Laesa have cracked it, they set up a potential "meet" where they will be ambushed hoping that it will draw the Laesa away from the warehouse. Able to move in quickly, Basilisk manages to dispatch the Laesa guards and rescue Aphrodite, who doesn't appear to have a heartbeat. Delphi is luckily able to see her aura and realizes that she's alive, though under the effects of Reaper.

The team load up a bunch of the boxes of Laes to return to the Seattle Laesa to avoid them turning on Delphi, and despite Basilisk trying to take Aphrodite to an airstrip where Pythia had instructed The Chariot to be moved to after getting a message from Basilisk, however Relay and Delphi stop the changeling from sneaking away and retire to the No-Tell Motel. As the team settle in for the night to figure out a way of getting back to Seattle, Tahki contacts Pythia and gives her their location.

Several hours later, the team is awakened by the destruction of the front wall of the motel, with Hercules and Hephaestus of the Pantheon appearing to try and claim Aphrodite for their group. Basilisk turns on the team and tries to tranq the rest of the team, while Relay kills Hephaestus using his rotodrone and specialized Barret. Tahki attempts to clear the entire space with a massive Euphoria spell. Hercules takes the unconscious Aphrodite and begins to leave, followed by the spiritual Delphi who is struggling to make the magical warrior listen, however a bullet from Relay is enough to punctuate her point as Hercules also dies.

The team set up the unconscious Relay into his roadmaster, and call Cascade to come pick them up, arriving back at Seattle in time for Aphrodite to wake up and storm away from the runners in anger to find a better place to set up in Seattle.

Aftermath

The runners each find a credstick in their homes, and Delphi does some investigation, concerned about a Shiawase assault on The Pantheon that has the potential to kill hundreds of innocent people. However the Everett location seems entirely abandoned, and there is no sign of the Pantheon.

The investigator goes to see Hanako Shinoda at the Shiawase office and asks her not to attack the Pantheon. Hanako denies ever having the intent to attack them, and asks Delphi to think why they would ever bother to bring that level of bad PR on themselves. Delphi realizes that there are many possibilities as to what might be happening giving her understanding of divinations that she has seen.

Spending time searching for Pythia in order to question her, Delphi instead finds her way to the ritual cave that The Pantheon kept Oracle in several months ago, and after delving through the hallways, finds Artemis within the cave, who explains that someone has taken Pythia, and that The Pantheon has fractured....

Rewards

  • 20k Nuyen (10 RVP)
  • 5 karma (5 RVP)
  • 10 CDP (2 for run, 8 for 4 RVP)

Game Quotes

Player After Action Reports (AARs)

Relay

If I'm being completely honest? This was a shit show. Delphi's got a side gig going on the entire time, and Basilisk and Tahki are contemplating kidnapping the target for a few thousand nuyen after the team had negotiated a deal that allowed the young woman to be rescued and freed on someone else's dime. I mean--shit--we got to do good work AND get paid for it. Why frag that up?

Choices were made. I had to put a bullet in the arm of Snake Lady and then lay down fire to save both Delphi and the extraction target...but here we are. This was not the event I foresaw challenging my sense of morality and dedication to the team...this should have been an open and shut deal. The new person and I went and ate some breakfast in a parking lot; we came to an understanding. I don't think the gaping hole in her forearm is going to result in a hole in my head since--she says--business is business. I'm hoping she's honest about that, but I'll need to consider a second layer of security just in case. My new IDs have come through, but I'm still going to side-eye Tahki until that woman gets her shit together. I think she may be losing her damn mind.

Mara

Not a situation I'd like to find myself in again. Caught out not once, but twice by my own teams reckless choices. Tahki is unpredictable, Basilisk is mercenary to the core. I will not find myself at disadvantage to them again. The only reason I'm not dead, incarcerated, or on the run is Relay.

  • Delphi - «Comments Withheld»
  • Relay - «Comments Withheld»
  • Tahki - «Comments Withheld»

Tahki

"Wow, what an amazing trip! So much to see, so much to do, and a whole new team to work with! Chaos was really pushy this run, and managed to overrule my common sense on a number of opportunities; but what kind of fun can you have if you use common sense? I got to intimidate a guy, make the border guard feel good, and watch the entire team devolve into unmitigated chaos! SO exciting, but I think they may not be so keen to run with me again. Downside to everything I guess. Oh well, guess I will just have to see what happens on the next run."

Delphi

Denver. Is. Fragging. Cursed. Seriously, this city is just terrible. I left Aphrodite here reluctantly after last time, and it turns out the Laesa caught up with her - seems that those fraggers who took the shipment from me ran off with it, and they must have thought she was connected somehow. So basically this is all my fault, again - really just keep seeming to frag with this poor woman's life... anyway, Pythia of all people hires us to go find her, and surprise surprise it turns out despite the promise to let her decide what to do of her own accord she messaged two of the team offering them more money to betray us and bring her Aphrodite by force.

So we arrive on this private plane (side note, what kind of cult has a private plane?) and start searching - no sign of her at the bar from last time, so we went to a safehouse Argent told me about. Turns out I'm the sneakiest one on the crew, so it fell to me to take shade (another side note, shade is really great) to do some astral scouting while Mara kept the spirit watchers distracted. Didn't find much, but it left me a ghost for the rest of the job - guess there were some interactions with what I was already rolling on. Very weird. Had an incident at the boarder after that where we almost got pinched, but Relay managed to get the team away and we met back up.

Actually recovering Aphrodite from the Laesa custody went well enough - we found her at a Laesa warehouse and I called her link to lure away the goons guarding here with the prospect of catching me too. Getting her (not to mention that stolen shipment of laes) out was the easy part; after's when the difficulties started. First Basalisk tried to just mosey off with her and nearly gassed us, then after we switched motels two of the Pantheon's people showed up - lured there I'm sure by her or Tahki. The ensuing chaos was... messy. I was still stuck on the astral and couldn't do much to keep myself from nearly being snapped in half - Relay, the champion, put a bullet in both of them right as Basalisk narcojetted him, and Mara managed to talk her and Tahki down to keep them from betraying us once Hephaestus and Hercules went down.

After that whole mess we found a smuggler to bring us back to Seattle rather than risk the Pantheon's generosity - tried to explain things to Aphrodite, but she was obviously pretty pissed about the whole thing and not super inclined to listen. I remembered that prediction that I did with Mara's guidance spirit, so while she watched my body I went to go check out the Pantheon's HQ and found the entire place deserted. I figured something was up and went to see Hanako at her office to beg her not to let a bunch of innocent people get massacred - she told me that Shiawase didn't have any plans for anything of the sort, and blamed Aztechnology, which admittedly came as a bit of a surprise. After that I checked out that cave where they were keeping Oracle and found Artemis there, who told me that Pythia had been captured and they'd split into different factions over it. Sooo... fuck...