Raising the Stakes
|Raising the Stakes|
Rose of Sharon Howlett
|Casualties and losses|
In which the runners are hired to act as wannabe vampire hunters in order to test the Haven's capacity for discrete, targeted violence against monsters.
About a month ago, Rose of Sharon Howlett hired a team from the Haven to help her hunt down a loup-garou. It… ended badly (see: A Grown Up Fairy Tale for more information). Now she is seeking redemption, both for her “failure” and for her opinion of the Haven in general – she would like to believe that even professional criminals can be used for good, like in the old stories of hooding shadowrunners, but her views have been coloured by what happened and she isn’t quite sure this whole “paying the SINless to murder the Infected” thing is going to pan out. While seeking signs of her werewolf quarry, she has heard tell of many other dens of HMHVV victims, and knows of a lone vampire out in Redmond which should make for a decent trial-by-fire – a simple, straightforward job to test the runners capabilities. If they can’t handle something like this, then the Haven isn’t worth her time.
The runners are contacted through their fixers and told that they have reservations with the Johnson party at Knutson’s Country Home in the Downtown district. Relay and Silverpaw, who are already Downtown, have little issue getting there, though Rooster cuts it close by taking public transit from Puyallup (thankfully he makes it there in a brisk 3 hours, just in time – the bus doesn’t break down, at least this time). Arriving, they are shown to their table by the hostess, where their employer waits sipping a cup of tea – Rooster assenses her and sees that she is ill, but can’t tell what she is sick with.
After ordering food (Rose of Sharon picks up the tab), the team’s prospective employer lay out the job – she knows a neighborhood where there is a vampire preying on semi-innocent victims, and would like them to go there, track it down, and slay it, then bring her back proof of the deed. For this service she offers them the paltry (to Relay, at least) sum of 6,000 nuyen each – she is lowballing them, but she truly doesn’t have very much more money to offer. The experienced runner balks at the price for vampire slaying, and Silverpaw comments that she thought they paid more across the pond, but Rooster is excited to make more than he has in the last 3 months of street-level running.
Rose of Sharon explains that the vampire is not like those in the trids – it’s not a superhero physad or a wise and cunning magician, it is simply a very sick person who is now feeding on the vitality of others to survive and which needs to be put out of its misery. Relay tries to squeeze a bit more cash out of her, ostensibly for supplies, but she explains that she hired them with the idea that they are professional criminals with their own resources to handle this sort of thing, and he has no real counter to it; with no face on the team and the very real chance of glitching their negotiation tests, the team accept this price. However Rose of Sharon gives them something which may help – a clip of wood pulp bullets – as well as the tip that they can purchase portable UV lights which will assist them with killing the vampire as well.
Once they’ve finished their meals (with Silverpaw surreptitiously pouring some of the real milk into a flask to-go), the team head to Relay’s batcave to plan and look at the information which they have been given – it isn’t much, but Rose of Sharon has complied a few notes for them to go on, as well as a sketch of the target. Relay shows off all his cool toys to the new runners before fetching his only gun which can use the wooden bullets to attach to a drone while having his agent perform a T3 matrix search. It comes back with some hacked CCTV feeds from the area, as well as some social media footage – in one clip he sees a shadowy figure which is briefly illuminated by a streetlight to reveal a scar on its face that matches the one in the sketch, before it suddenly discorporates into mist.
Satisfied that their target is indeed in the area, the team uses an AR map to highlight the houses nearby and plan out a search of the neighborhood. Relay and Rooster hop in the former’s truck while Silverpaw follows on her bike, and the rigger guides them around the KE patrols and into the Redmond Barrens.
Entering Redmond, the team roll into the E zone where their target is located to find urban decay and squalor on full display – the place is run down and dilapidated, with junkies in the streets huddled around trash fires and squatters inside every abandoned building trying to get away from the cold. Deploying drones, Relay gets some areal recon of the area while Rooster and Silverpaw put their cyber and meat eyes respectively to work looking through the camera feeds and out the windows. Working together, the team area able to narrow down their search window until eventually they see a familiar-looking shadowy figure enter a particularly creepy-looking house. Satisfied that it’s the place after a quick assessing roll by Rooster confirms the presence of bad vibes, they kit up for a fight.
Relay hops into one of his drones (mounted with the pistol containing the wooden bullets) while Silverpaw approaches stealthily and with cover – Rooster is having none of that though, marching up to the door and cutting the lock and hinges apart with a miniwelder before booting it open. Thankfully the vampire isn’t waiting to ambush them (at least not yet), so they make their way inside and begin carefully looking around from room to room, shining portable UV lights as they go. As they search, they find the entrance to the basement and presume it would make a good vampire lair (away from the sun and all that) – making their way down and looking around, they locate what seems to be an unconscious vagrant. The man bares little resemblance to the vampire and has a chip slotted in a datajack; after roughly removing it (and avoiding getting his eyes clawed out by an angry beetle junkie), Rooster demands to know where the vampire is, and gets a confused reply in return (though he senses deception when judging the man’s intent).
While all this is going on, Silverpaw receives a call from her boyfriend on her commlink (dependents is a fun quality to bring up at awkward times) while Relay watches through his drone. As the catgirl is distracted, Rooster attempts to assense the man and critically glitches – instead of seeing that he’s been essence drained, he sees only the hazy bad-looking aura he saw earlier and deduces that this must be the vampire disguising itself somehow (he knows magic stuff, he knows that’s a thing right?) Pulling out his SMG, Rooster takes decisive action to end the threat by unloading into the totally-not-vampire’s chest and smiles proudly to himself for a job well done (low logic characters are really fun).
Relay is horrified that a poor innocent chiphead has just been shot, while Silverpaw just sighs and says she has to go – at the rigger’s gentle persuasion (read: firm demanding), Rooster roughly pulls him up to the vehicle and drops him into the valkyree module to ensure he doesn’t bleed out, pocketing the chip for later. Now certain that they’ve alerted the vampire to their presence, the team head inside to investigate he upstairs floor, finding a trio of bedrooms for the creature to lurk in. Rooster, the magnificent bastard, critically glitches for the second time in one night on his perception check and ends up taken by surprise as the vampire burst from a closet to attack him, biting at his wrist and knocking the light out of his hand but failing to draw blood after a post-edged soak test.
The team unloads on their target – Rooster shoots it right in the face, as does Silverpaw, while Relay attempts to do so only to have the wooden pistol bullets bounce ineffectually off of its armor. Sighing, he aims for the head and lands a hit once the vampire stops moving, while Rooster and Silverpaw hold their UV lights on it to make sure it can’t regenerate while quadruple-tapping it just to be safe.
With much vampire blood on their hands, the team congratulate eachother for a job, well, done, before dropping the poor chiphead off at a street doc’s clinic and calling up their employer. She arranges a handoff at a hole-in-the-wall dive bar where she has been drinking and hoping that the team didn’t frag it up, and is pleased to see them arrive unharmed and bearing conclusive proof of the vampire’s death in the form of several recordings from multiple perspectives (naturally they leave out the part about the chiphead who got shot in the process). Rose of Sharon provides them with their promised payment, saying she is satisfied with their success and will keep their names in mind in the event that she decides to hire runners from the Haven in the future (which she will, seeing as she still has a werewolf to kill).
The next day, Rooster decides to try out the (jailbroken) BTL chip he recovered. He finds that it contains a simrig recording of the man he shot being essence drained by the vampire, and feels how compelling the sensation is before ripping the chip out and gasping for breath – thankfully not getting addicted to dreamchips in the process. He keeps the chip though, because why not; it might be useful someday.
- 6,000 nuyen
- 4 karma
- 2 CDP
- Optional Contact: Rose of Sharon Howlett (C2/L2 Occult Bounty Hunter) for 3 RVP or 6 CDP
Silverpaw: [with audable gunfire in the background] "Oh not much babe, just at work - what about you?"
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Rooster and Silverpaw are green and it shows. Rooster straight up murdered a hobo in a basement after thinking it was a vampire so...that's problematic. They seem like good people with some room for growth but...holy hell. I mean, Rooster shot the guy like...nine times as he was strung out on the floor. His judgment is just terrible. Just terrible.
That being said, there was a trail of dead bodies that we've cut off from becoming longer, and while I don't take any particular pride in killing the infected, it was one or a bunch of the locals, so the decision was clear.
So, I got a call for my first run with Shadowhaven (and my second run). We were given a meeting point, so I loaded up my kit, fixed my hair, and caught the bus. We were meeting in downtown, which is kinda sketch. It was some CAS restaurant. I met my three teammates, and the Johnson (some CAS chick) told us that we're gonna be tracking down a vampire. The third guy booked it at that point, wanting nothing to do with vampires. That left Silverpaw, some Brit cat person street sam, and Relay, the wheelchair bound rigger. They seemed chill enough. Mrs. Johnson offered us a bunch of money to kill the vampire, and told us where the vampire was, and gave us a sketch, and gave us some wooden bullets.
Relay offered to drive us to the area where we needed to find the vampire, and pulled up some images of the vampire from the matrix somewhere. We drove around that neighborhood and found the haunted house that the vampire was living in. I busted in the front door with a miniwelder. I cleared out the first floor just like in a war trid. Then we went down into the basement where the vampire was hiding. The vampire looked like a homeless guy, but he tried to bite me when I pulled out his btl and he wasn't helpful. He also had the same blood aura on him that I has spotted in the foyer. So I lit that bastard up. Easy money. Relay freaked out and wanted me to bring the vampire the medical thing in the back to his van. It turns out it was the wrong vampire. Or maybe just a hobo.
Anyway, Silverpaw and I checked out the upstairs next (along with one of Relay's drones). We found a room with a coffin in it, and the vampire was hiding in the closet nearby. I didn't shine my UV light on it because that would have been a bad idea. Instead I shot it to shit after it tried to bite me. Silverpaw finished it off. East money.
We went back to Mrs. Johnson after that and gave the video of us killing the vampire. Oh yeah, and I got a wiz btl from that vampire. It was of having your soul sucked out or something. I normally don't like btls, but that was something else.