|Casualties and losses|
|Street-Level Shadowrunner x4|
In which the runners are hired by the 162s to bring them some, well, spare parts.
Zigzag has the runners meet her at the Body Mall in the heart of the Redmond Barrens. Everyone is able to make it to the converted hospital without too much trouble, and all of them wisely stay on the AR route that has been laid out for them as they make their way through the cavalcade of terrors, turning their selective sound filters on to tune out the distant screams. They are lead by AR pings to a Tamanous clinic where the ghoul “nurse” waits for them to explain the job. She knows the location of a safehouse used by a team of shadowrunners – they have a good amount of ware between them that she would like to harvest, but they are too strong to just send the 162s after them, so she ran the numbers and decided it’d be feasible to hire some runners to take out runners.
The team balk a bit at the prospect of selling their fellow runners for parts (all except Skimmer, who knows Zigzag and is perfectly fine with her as a person), but everyone needs money badly enough to follow through with it. Zigzag tells them that she is willing to pay them 4k each per head, and will double the price on two of those heads – an adept and a technomancer – if they bring them in alive. Oathbane is able to guess why they might want a living techno and shudders, but the team can only speculate as to why they’d want to go to the trouble of getting the adept alive (it’s to make Drain Away, but no one knows what they is, so they just assume it’s because adept flesh tastes better when its alive, or that Zigzag wants to make herself a ghoul physad friend).
Everyone accepts the terms of the job, but there’s a bit of a debate over DNI about whether or not they’ll actually go through with bringing the team in alive. Oathbane decides to try to put her facing skills to the test and push for a bit more cash – she stands up to the terrifying ghoul and manages to keep her composure, so Zigzag chuckles and tosses the team a small cash advance, upping the price on their heads to 5 grand each just because she likes their moxie. She gives them her dossier on the targets and a location for the handoff before going off to find herself someone to have for lunch.
Reading through the information they were provided, the team takes a measure of their targets – there are three street sams (an FLR, a bio-sam with a bone spike, and a hybrid with cerebellum boosters, wires and a tuned-up cyberam), as well as the adept (no augmentations) and the technomancer (a one-point burnout with some headware). The address they were given for the safehouse leads to an apartment block in Bargain Basement which Skimmer is pretty quickly able to intuit from his own experiences with organized crime is controlled by the mob (and as such the team will likely have paid criminals to act as spotters for them and look for anyone who seems out of place). Sending out drones for advanced scouting, Dee and Nitro map out the building and surrounding blocks.
Learning that the building has an inner courtyard which the team’s apartment faces, they start to formulate their plan – Nitro will create an explosive charge to make a hole in the wall, while Skimmer will provoke them into an open confrontation with Dee and Vic providing covering fire (via drones and a sniper’s perch across the courtyard, respectively) and Oathbane watching their backs on the matrix while dealing with the techno. Piling into the rigger’s vehicles, Dee and Nitro manage to make their vehicle stealth checks to approach the building without being seen by the team’s paid spotters.
Letting Skimmer and Vic out of the van to stealthfully approach and get into position, Nitro creates his bomb before getting onto his bike and having it switch to walker mode, transforming into a wicked cool mech suit for him to ride inside. For *some* reason no one stops him as he makes his way inside the building, and Oathbane is able to disable the cameras on the way to keep the techno from using them to spot out the approaching robot and taking control of it. Everyone gets into position, Nitro plants the charge (wireless off, of course), and the team pop their drugs and get ready for go-time.
Vic, acting as overwatch, gives the signal to blow the charge, and everyone rolls for the surprise round ambush; the opfor all manage to not be surprised, however none have time to get themselves hopped up on betakami before initiative is rolled. As combat tends to do, things quickly dissolve into chaos as time slows to a crawl for the two teams of super-powered criminals fighting eachother while the innocent civilians simply try to avoid getting caught in the crossfire (except for a sweet old lady sees Vic post up with her rifle outside her door, and just shrugs – it’s the third time this week something like this has happened, and she’s grown jaded by this point).
Skimmer opens things up by wading into the apartment and firing upon the FLR, who deflects most (but not all) of his bullets – he retreats outside behind the wall, successfully drawing the FLR along with the adept and the bio-sam to engage him in a 4-way brawl, miraculously managing to dodge every blow that comes his way with the power of edge and adept bulldrek. Nitro, in his walking battle suit, pulls out his Ares Alpha to go to work, getting into it with the hybrid sam (who’s arm isn’t enough to pierce the vehicle’s armor) – Vic puts her rifle to use, pulling off a called shot that cripples the street sam, and Nitro finishes her off with ADPS. Dee has his drones harass some of the combatants focused on Skimmer, allowing him to get in a few good shots, but he wisely choses to disengage before he is overwhelmed and retreats out of melee range, avoiding getting a cyber-spurs in the gut or a bone spike to the neck in the process ("he is a leaf on the wind, watch how he soars").
On the matrix, Oathbane engages the techno, spotting out his pet sprite and having her own fault sprite data spike it to virtual hell and back; the two sprites take eachother out, leaving the technos to sling spikes of both data and resonance variety at one another as their firewalls bounce them back. Her efforts succeed in occupying the enemy matrix support’s attention and keeping them from turning the team’s drones against one-another, while Vic manages to stay hidden from the opfor thanks to her use of subsonic rounds. The enemy runners put up a good fight, but their auto-injected betakami speedballs don’t take effect until the end of the turn, and by that point the tide has turned against them.
With one of the enemy street sams taken out, the team begin to focus fire, working together to take out the adept (with a well-placed called shot from Vic, after he expends most of his dodge pool dodging bullets from the other three) and fill the bio-sam with bullets. This leave the FLR as the main threat for Skimmer and Vic to deal with, while Nitro and Dee (through his drones) make their way into the apartment to deal with the techno before their own matrix support gets overwhelmed (for her part, Oathbane actually manages to get the better of the more experienced enemy techno, but wisely jacks out once she realizes how high her overwatch must be ticking up).
The FLR manages to take a lot of punishment, but a combination of a pair of called shots from Vic and a BSB to the vitals from Skimmer start to pile on the stun damage, and eventually it becomes too much even for a cyber-singularity seeker to manage, putting him down as well. Inside the apartment, Nitro rips the door off the hacker den and Dee fills the techno (still in VR) with bullets – they survive, and even manage to puppeteer the drones into ejecting their clips, but are in no shape to put up much resistance. Nitro has his walker drone sit on them to restrain them, so they skinlink and go for broke with a reckless hacking attempt, but the rigger shuts this down with edge before knocking them out. Skimmer slaps a trauma patch on the bleeding-out adept, and everyone grabs bodies to high-tail it out of there asap.
In the van on the way to the handoff, the team debate whether to bring the adept and the techno in alive. After the fight they put up, nobody has too much of a problem handing the adept over to whatever horrible fate awaits him (and it is a horrible one indeed), but Oathbane has serious moral qualms about handing over a technomancer to be cut apart for science by Tamanous. Perhaps a bit impulsively, she attempts to put them down with her SMG, but Nitro just intercepts the shot and casually soaks the damage, shaking his finger at her and saying that they shouldn’t piss off the J, and that it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day anyway.
Oathbane just glowers and is about to reveal why she wants to show them mercy like this, but a thought occurs to her – she can resonance spike the techno to death without any of the team being any of the wiser. Pretending to reluctantly go along with things, she closes her eyes and thinks *really hard* at the techno’s living persona (by this point they have awoken and their living persona is back online, but they are filled with bullets and resigned to their fate). Less than a minute later and the poor fragger is bleeding their brains out of their ears after the matrix damage sends them into physical overflow.
There’s a bit of tension as the rest of the team try to puzzle out what happened, but only the riggers really have any idea – Dee and Nitro are upset, but Skimmer and Vic don’t really care that much. Oathbane for her part says nothing the rest of the ride, and after a short but tense trip they arrive at the parking lot of disused strip mall for the handoff. Zigzag and her cyber-troll associate bag and tag the bodies, accepting the bound and gagged adept with a malicious grin as they think of all the money they’re going to make turning his veins into drugs. The ghoul gives the team their payment, offering to stay in contact with them in they wish, and tells Skimmer that she owes him one for bringing her the adept (since the two of them met on a previous job, and he acquainted himself well in both cases). Everyone walks away having sold a bit of their souls to organleggers, and life goes on in the shadows.
- 24,000 nuyen
- 1 karma
- 2 CDP
- +3 162s reputation
- Optional Contact: Zigzag – C1/L2 Mobile Body Disposal
- Optional Gear Rewards: Used-grade cyber and bioware (no cultured or geneware) @ 2:1 cost
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Vichnozeleny: "Log number two zero four. I do not care much for the infected. They pay me well, so I will surrender these victims to their uses for now. Ultimately, this means little. I will be able to hoard my capital, but sooner or later I will require direct confrontation with these things. The feral ones are easy to put down; the intelligent ones slightly less so. The target to hit was unprofessional and too meat headed. They still do not understand to keep an eye out for the more subtle threats; picking them off with only a small distraction was easy. They would have never survived for long. Their gruesome fate will not make me lose sleep; more are eaten alive underground every single day and none bat an eye to that."
Skimmer: "So Zigzag needs some runners for spare parts? Fair enough. I've worked with her in the past, much like I have worked with the 162's back in Chicago. They pay well, and they keep their demands simple. A target's a target, my former boss uses to say. No point in getting attached to concepts of 'humanity', or outdated theories on 'live and let live'. Everybody dies, when your numbers up, that's it. We all have a price tag, and if someone is willing to pay it, someone else is willing to cash it in."
Oathbane: " Collecting body parts for a ghoul...never thought I would see this side of the glass...It was standard protocol for most runs, arrived at the location deal with the targets an fulfill the objectives but ...this is going to haunt me in my sleep now"