Pure Black World Tendency
|Pure Black World Tendency|
|Part of Festering Infestation|
|Casualties and losses|
|None||Eight feral ghouls|
Skraacha asks runners to go eliminate a ghoul nest. They do this, although they grow concerned.
Renton's been teeming with metaracists for a while now. Especially the likes of Humanis Policlub have had intense concentrations in this part of Seattle, making metahumans' lives hell. Skraacha have some know-how of how to run some slums in the Ork Underground, so they run settlements in cleared out warehouses.
Ghaz, a local leader of Skraacha's Neighborhood Watch meets the team in what looks like a jury rigged junkyard saloon's porch. Much to his protective temperament's dismay, he's been extremely understaffed for a while since Skraacha's been having to invest manpower in smuggling and maintaining their gang territories. With only a handful of men under his command to hold both the surface metaracists and growing ghoul attacks from the underground out, he made the tough call and hired some shadowrunners. While they're a wild card, he's desperate and offers them meager payment which some of the party outright refuses. Samsara, the ork posing buddhist, is too infatuated with orks to take payment as a fledgling Skraacha member herself and Relay wants to do right by the impoverished and starving slum inhabitants, just to list a few examples. He appreciates the effort and, perhaps foregoing the Johnson etiquette, offers bountiful information about the job up front because he believes it to be the honorable thing to do. Ghoul attacks have risen alarmingly frequent from seven tunnels facing north towards the Barrens. He doesn't have the troops to man the barricades around the clock and he himself is ragged with Long Haul. The team agrees to investigate, find a local ghoul nest and put a stop to it to at least buy the slums time to call in more Skraacha mooks.
The plan became somewhat obvious. To explore the tunnels, find a nest and murder the everliving hell out of it. While the group began gearing up, however, an elven boy tried pickpocketing Mystique to get something to eat. Psyche is useful to her, so she brutally punishes the thief with an Agony illusion, stopping its manifestation once Relay warns her of it being just a boy. He chases after the child and tries to soothe him, asking if he could help the team on their mission. After some haggling, they agree to trade 500 nuyen on a credstick for useful intel; Skraacha use tunnel #4 for most of their smuggling. They also learn that the tunnels are all numbered by old, faded markings above them. Correlating this with Ghaz's information, they deduce that tunnels #1, #5 and #7 are most likely in terms of ghoul trails. The boy gladly goes to tell his father that they get to eat dinner that night. THe team will split into three parties, a fly-spy drone from Relay accompanying each for cover. Meanwhile, his two roto-drones will man the barricades, a sentiment Ghaz deeply appreciates.
Skimmer briefly avoids a devil rat encounter in tunnel #1, while Samsara encounters a gross sight of a massive smear of pus near tunnel #5's entryway. Upon closer inspection, there's marks of it being swiped on the wall with a coarse bristled brush instead of whatever the source of the pus was. The fly-spy accompanying her spots something in the distance, but the figure vanishes before a closer look is managed. The team rendezvouses at tunnel #5 and plays back the fly-spy footage to spot a humanoid figure with gleaming eyes. They trace after it, going across catwalks and rivers of waste to encounter a scrap barricade some distance away. When Samsara gets closer to inspect it for Skraacha markings, the figure reaches from behind and makes eye contact. After a moment of tension, the figure speaks in riddles, asking the runners for their purpose for being there.
This turns out to be a ghoul, calling itself 'Nameless.' A peculiar sword-wielding and hooded figure, wearing a mask made of human skin. After a moment's consideration, he claims to be trying to protect the settlement from the feral ghouls as well as protect the feral ghouls from the settlement. Mystique doesn't like it, since Samsara gets the distinct impression that the ghoul isn't telling the whole truth. Nameless offers an alternative to killing the ghouls: by constructing a series of barricades, their movements can be corralled elsewhere so the settlement is spared any further attacks. Mystique launches a nerve strike across the ghoul's face and completely paralyzes him. Subsequently, he's zip tied to restrain him. Too cocky with her victory, however, Mystique doesn't notice the junk barricade giving way under the weight of three people. No-one falls into the river or gets otherwise harmed, but the noise causes banging on a nearby door.
Relay's drones also noted a bloodstain painted nearby, clearly a marking to direct the ghoul movements. The team stacks up on the locked entrance, finding keys from Nameless' belt and enter an incredibly humid maintenance hub, executing ghoul after ghoul. Their emaciated looks and chewed limbs raise questions and a killbox filled with discarded plastic clothes and ghoul body parts only make things more concerning. Some of the ghouls even manage to whimper the word 'no' repeatedly in their frenzy to feed, but it doesn't stop the runners from exterminating every last one of them. By recording the assault on the weak, starved ghouls, the runners fulfil the letter of the run's requirements. This isn't quite over, however.
The team decides to have a chat with Nameless, but he's become tight-lipped after being attacked. He only insists that he's trying to help by keeping the runners in the dark of the details. This time, it seems that he's being sincere about wanting to save them some sort of trouble. Surprisingly, he's a merciful sort, having forgiven the slaughter of his kindred and being restrained and assaulted. Clearly, he has greater things on his mind. With Samsara offering a burner commlink in the ghoul's datajack, she receives an alarming amount of 81 separate barricade locations that could stem the flow of feral ghouls. The group decides to let him live, paralyzing him with another nerve strike and undoing his restraints. Once they arrive, Ghaz has finally gone to rest and collapsed entirely. Fortunately, his right hand man receives the intel and promises that they will be compensated via their fixers later on.
- 8,000 Nuyen
- 4 Karma
- +1 Skraacha Reputation
- +2 CDP
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Look there is only so much bulldrek one can put up with, I understand the sentiment of wanting to not shoot people in the face. At the end of the day though, we were paid to kill ferals and someone was protecting them while hiding information from us. We have no clue what would have happened if they were redirected like he wanted, but what do I know I'm evil.
Standard run of find 'em and shoot 'em with extreme prejudice. It helps that they are feral ghouls and are better off dead than hungry. Little bit of drama from Queen Wannabe, but it works itself out once Mystique makes the hard call and stuns the ghoul that refers to itself as "Nameless." After that it's all business, as we move in and mop up the ferals. Relay, ever the professional, maintains over watch with his drones, making the initial breach and identifying the threat. It's an odd setting, with a chamber where for whatever reason they are locked in and eating each other to survive, or so it seems anyway. We put down the wretches, then deal with Nameless. Samsara is looking for information, or most likely any reason she can use to justify letting the ghoul walk away un-shot in the face by yours truly. He manages to convince the team of his general altruism, as he states that he is protecting the locals from something far worse; whatever that means. He also adds several locations for barriers to stem the flow of ghoul activity, which I am sure the Johnson will be pleased to acquire. All in all, not a bad run. Anything you can walk away from, (especially without becoming infected) is fine by me.
So Warboss calls me up and tells me to go meet with this Ghaz guy in underneath Renton. As soon as I show up some fragger is giving me the stink-eye (I really need to get that meta-poser treatment done instead of relying on this bio-sculpting work to pass...) and threatens to key my car, but ended up backing down from that, so that was fun. Ghaz was a pretty cool guy - he had like, an old-school sheriff vibe to him, just needed a hat and a badge and he'd be right out of a trid - but I could tell he was really tired and overworked from trying to keep all these poor people safe from the drek-heads topside and the ferals down below. He tells us he wants us to go take out some feral ghouls that have been giving them problems lately, and between Skimmer with his guns and me in this new full-body armour fighting up close I figure it'll be easy.
I was all excited to punch zombies in the face, so we split up to look for some clues since we had a few different tunnels to cover and Relay with his drones to watch all of our back; pretty quickly he manages to spot out someone spying on me that I didn't notice, and we all meet up to go investigate. Turns out there's this nameless ghoul who's been building barriers basically on his own to corral the ferals, but he obviously hasn't been doing the best job. I felt bad for the guy and try to offer to bridge the gap between him and the Skraacha, but Mystique nerve strikes him faster than I can react (frag I wish I could do real magic - I didn't even know mages could do that trick, but I guess there's special adepts who can also cast spells? Who knew.) Anyway, so we tie the ghoul up and end up taking out this bunch of ferals he's got locked away in a power station before having a talk with him after - it didn't really feel as cool to kill one as I thought it would honestly, thinking about how they used to be regular people, but at least the Skraacha have a working generator and a few less ferals to deal with.
I could tell the team wanted to either kill him or turn him over to Ghaz, but I really wanted to know what the hell was up with this guy; we didn't get a whole lot - he was super cryptic - but I did get him to show us on the map where the Skraacha should build barriers to help keep the ferals away, and Relay said it all checked out. It was weird though, he seemed like he was worried about something other than the ghouls, but I couldn't really tell what. Something to be concerned about for the future I guess... I didn't feel right taking money from Ghaz for work like this, and I think I'm also gonna talk to Warboss about getting assigned to this neighbourhood as extra protection - clearly they need it.
A ghoul keeping an entire stable of ferals is...well, off-putting. Samsara wanted to keep as many ghouls alive as possible. I appreciate the sentiment--the desire to retain some of your humanity by allowing infected to keep as much of theirs as you can, but ferals eat people and don't have a mind left. It's not the same thing, ya know? It was endearing on some level, but I worry about her.
As for Nameless--well, that guy's hiding something. Or--more likely--a looooot of things. He was constructing barriers slowly to help keep ferals out of the underground sanctuary, which is awesome. Keeping a weird killbox where he drags corpses to feed the ferals...not so awesome. Tack on the specter of what he's protecting the underground from, and you have yourselves a twentieth century flat vid mystery like Santesso keeps trying to get me to watch. Those did not age well, and I'm worried this won't either. Keep an eye out, chummers. This isn't over.