The Denverite Debacle
|The Denverite Debacle|
In which Delphi gets some advantageous information about a decker in Denver
During the last several months, the group known as The Pantheon has created a great amount of trouble for Delphi, kidnapping her Mentor Spirit, Oracle, and giving some indication that her entire shadow career has been an elaborate setup for some unknown purpose. However the PI has also thrown a wrench into their plans, including sending some of the Pantheon's future prospects away from their plans.
On the run My Bag Is Cooler Than Yours Delphi recieved payment in the form of paydata, linking Pythia, the Seer and leader of the Pantheon to a gang in Greece, as well as some history about her relationship with Shiawase, giving some indication of what Pythia might be trying to do.
Explaining the events of Firefly Rave to Informer, Delphi learns that the other PI recieved a letter from the Council of Denver, and that as repayment for a job that Informer did in Denver when making their way from Chicago to Seattle, are giving them some new information about a matter that they have been putting feelers out about. According to the letter, there is an Aztlaner diplomat in the city trying to smooth things over between Ghostwalker and Aztlan and the Council would prefer the Aztlaners were removed from the city before they garnered any more interest from Ghostwalker.
After discussing potential options for getting to the Front Range Free Zone with the Free Spirit, they agree that Delphi should reach out to Hanako Shinoda because of her interest in the Pantheon issue. However as the PI reaches out to the other seer Hanako seems to have been expecting the call, and invites Delphi to Shiawase's Seattle HQ in Tacoma. Informer says they will go to Denver to find a safe place to start the investigation from. Delphi takes a trip to Shiawase HQ where she meets with Hanako and several other shadowy figures in the MIFD office. The runner suggests that there is an issue in Denver, and that she needs to get into the city discretely. Eventually agreeing to the terms of Delphi offering her services to Shiawase, Hanako gives location and time for Delphi to meet up with Cascade, and the smuggler allows her to try to take the Helicopter for a test drive before switching over so that the smuggler could get them into Denver quietly.
The Cyberskull Dilemma
After setting down, Cascade asks Delphi to help unload some of the crates that she was supposed to transport to Denver for Shiawase, and at Delphi's prompting, Cascade opens up one of the boxes and discovers that there are about fifty cyberskulls in the boxes. Additionally, the cyberskulls are not hollow, but seem to have some sort of preserving liquid and parts of brain inside them. Delphi debates for a time about destroying the skulls and the horrible abomination that Shiawase has created, but finally decided to psychometrize the skulls. The seer receives a vision of the violent death of one of the Pantheon's cultists at the hands of an angry Hephaestus (who's hammer had been stolen by Delphi during the events of Oracle & Delphi.) The skull is then awakened in a tube oversaw by Hanako Shinoda before going dark.
Informer arrives and uses a Mindnet to connect Delphi with the intense minds of each of the cyberskulls, and discovers that the skulls hold some form of precognitive ability and discover that there is some sort of plot by the Pantheon to work with Aztechnology in order to make some move against Ghostwalker. Traumatized by the visions, Delphi decides to entrust the cyberskulls to Cascade, who seems excited by the prospect of danger of double-crossing Shiawase, and claims that she knows a doctor in the Caribbean League who has some expertise about cybermancy. After bidding farewell to the smuggler, Delphi and Informer head back to the No-Tell Motel in Denver's UCAS district in order to prepare to find Aphrodite.
A Forgotten Meeting
On the way to Denver, Delphi was contacted by Argent with some information. Apparently the Laesa Syndicate has been having trouble, and they lost 300 doses of Laes from their supplier in Denver. The Syndicate is on the lookout for a seer there, because in order for someone to have outmanuvered them, they would have required future knowledge of the situation since the syndicate makes those who know about the plans forget almost as soon as the plans are put into place. The Syndicate member warns Delphi not to go to Denver any time soon, and is flabbergasted that she is already on the way there.
Later on in the night, while Informer hits the streets for information, Delphi begins to scan the Denver grid for information, while she begins a search, she quickly gets bored and heads to a Matrix bar and settles in to get e-drunk. However the PI is approached by two personas of elves in dark suits who seem to be members of the Laesa. They recognize her persona from the time she spent as a member of the syndicate and warn her that she has to turn over the shipment that they believe she's stolen despite her protests. Giving her a 48 hour time limit to find and deliver the Laes.
Using the motivation of the threat, plus the assistance of her cat Megaera, Delphi finds out that Pythia has been in Denver doing a series of talk shows talking about the future of the Awakened community and the charity work that The Pantheon has done. The runner also discovers that there is an Aztechnology Handler travelling with Aphrodite, the decker handle of one Katheryn Riviera, a member of Aztechnology Cyber Crimes division. Delphi discovers that the Handler and Riviera were going to be on a party on a train hosted by The Pantheon as a fancy Awakened party. Delphi and Informer form a Spirit Pact to give Delphi access to the Movement power, and make sure that their preparations are finished.
Delphi puts on a disguise, masks her aura, and heads to the train.
Shadowrun on the Denver Express
Conning her way onto the train, Delphi takes in the situation and discovers that the train's ventilation system is wired to a system of tubes that feeds into each car. Figuring that the stolen Laes must be somewhere where all the tubes meet, Delphi sends Informer to investigate one end of the train, while she searches for Riviera. On the way, Delphi runs into Pythia, and given that she has used Pythia's real name as a way of getting onto the train, Pythia slaps the PI in full view of the rest of the car. Having made her point, Pythia tries to leave Delphi's presence, but the PI, searching for a distraction, lights Pythia's dress on fire and moves from car to car until she finds Riviera. Convincing the decker to speak with her in private, Delphi explains that Pythia wants her to join the Pantheon and perform some dangerous magical rituals, as well as suggesting that Pythia intends to sacrifice Riviera in a blood magic ritual.
The runner's attempt to convince the decker is interrupted by Informer letting Delphi know that they found the Laes in a boiling cast-iron cauldron in the back of the train, as well as the fact that the Free Spirit is in a fight with Hephaestus on the roof of the train. Delphi is confronted once more by Pythia, pissed off about being set on fire, and sucker-punches Delphi. However the PI takes advantage of the distraction to grab the Eye of Fate that Pythia stole from Oracle. The runner leaves Pythia and Riviera behind and uses the Movement power to get out of the situation and rush towards the Laes, grabbing Tyler, the adept that she met in Tartarus during Oracle & Delphi who has been enslaved by the Pantheon and brainwashed by the psychotropic drugs that Pythia is an expert in.
On the way back through the train, Delphi runs into Dionysus of The Pantheon, who attempts to stop her with a physical barrier and a powerbolt, however the PI survives and makes her way safely to the back car. She strips the Olympic ring focus that Tyler is wearing, stripping his finger of most of the skin that was on it, and snapping him out of the strange trance that he was in. Using her ability to jury rig and the fabric of Tyler's jacket, the two Awakened manage to stop the Laes gas from filling the train. Informer rejoins them, having thrown Hephaestus off the roof of the train, but unsure if even such a high-speed fall killed the Enchanter.
Delphi and Informer discuss what to do next and how to stop this. Informer begins to cast a spell to decouple the car from the rest of the train as Delphi sees Riviera, who has been quickly enslaved by Pythia during the mad dash. Using all her borrowed spirit power, Delphi rushes through the car and grabs Riviera, pulling her with the runner and avoiding Pythia who is being attacked by Oracle after he regained his eye and the power that was stolen of him. The decker and seer rush towards their escape, making a mad leap for the rapidly departing car, and just barely landing as the final car derails.
Calling up the Laesa agents and returning what remained of the shipment to them, they give Delphi a warning that this had better not happen again, and that they'll be watching her. Delphi offers to help set up a new life for Riviera, now that she's almost certainly lost her position in Aztechnology and will be hunted both by her former corp and The Pantheon, but the decker stubbornly decides that she'd rather take care of this herself.
Informer decides to return to Seattle and wishes Delphi well, while she and Tyler return to the No-Tell Motel to celebrate still being alive.
- 15 Karma (15 RVP)
- Can use Karma or CDP to up Informer to Loyalty 6
- -10 The Pantheon Reputation
- +5 Shiawase Reputation
- +5 Council of Denver Reputation
- +2 CDP
-Pythia and Delphi, facing off properly.
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Denver - a city divided, with a ghost watching over all...
Okay, still some lingering effects from that spirit pact it seems... frag, where do I even start on this one? Informer shows up with a letter from fragging Ghostwalker himself saying that "Aphrodite", one of the people that Pythia has been looking for, is in town. So they go off ahead while I meet with Hanako - who, surprise surprise, was expecting my call. I got to see her office and meet with her co-workers, which was super fun, then had a manic smuggler offer to let me fly her helicopter. It was all fun and games with nearly dying - then we found out the cargo she was transporting were fucking jarheads.
I made the incredibly stupid decision to psychometrize one, got to experience being punched to death by that Hephaestus asshole who's hammer I stole, and then woke up in Hanako's office. Informer did a mindlink spell and apparently they're like, brazen heads used for oracular purposes, because they started babbling about Aztechnology and Ghostwalker and a blood ritual. So like, whhhaaattt the fuck?!? I straight up just had no idea what to do with them, like it's a tortured existence but it's not like I could just kill them... well, turns out that Cascade woman knows some doc in the Carib League and was willing to take them out there, so I figured that had to be better than keeping them in Shiawase's custody or just putting a bullet in them. Hopefully it was the right decision...
After that mess, Argent calls me and tells me something's wrong - the Laesa lost a shipment, and think I did it. He tells me not to go to Denver anytime soon, and I just laughed. Well, I really needed a drink after that drek, so after finding us a motel I went to this bar called the Last Hope while Informer hit the streets looking for intel. Guess I really needed to tie one on, but I should have been more observant, because a pair of Laesa goons found me there and gave me 48 hours to turn over the laes that I didn't have. Great. Anyway, did some research (not to mention Meg pulling some files from Aztechnology and Shiawase she really shouldn't be able to access, so that's a bit concerning), and combined with that paydata I got a few jobs back I put together a pretty decent picture of what was happening - that is, Pythia stole that laes to frame me and use it as part of some scheme - so the only thing left was to actually go to this event.
Beforehand though, Informer showed me their formula and we entered into a pact so that they could lend me their power. It was... well, it was something else, that's for sure - I'm flattered and humbled that they have so much trust in me. It was sure needed too. When I got there I did the stupid thing (surprise) and gave them Pythia's real name, which seemed to raise some eyebrows, but got me inside - and got me punched in the stomach when I ran into the genuine article. Fragging cheating mysads, pretty sure I still have internal bleeding. I got her back though - used my fingerlighter to light her dress on fire as a distraction. Heh. Didn't see that one coming.
Talking to Aphrodite was a mixed bag - she was skeptical, obviously, but I showed them the athame that I got on that job where Informer was almost sacrificed with blood magic and convinced them that Aztechnology sold them out to Pythia as part of a ritual (which, to be fair, is basically true - I just lied about her intent for her is all). It worked okay, until Pythia interrupted us and sucker punched me again. I managed to snatch that amulet she made out of Oracle's stolen eye and make a run for it to the back of the train to where Informer had found the laes - in a fragging bubbling cauldron, no less - while they lured that Hephestus drekhead up to the roof for a fight (damn I wish I could have seen it too). I grabbed Taylor, that guy I met at Tartarus, on the way as well; he'd been apparently fragging brainwashed by those rings, so I had to yank them off his fingers (sorry about the skin omae) before getting him to help me sabotage the whole "laes the entire train" setup they had going.
Once it was done I realized I was still holding the amulet I took from Pythia. I'm ashamed to admit how close I came to putting it on, but it wouldn't have been Right - it wasn't mine to take, so I gave it back to Oracle instead. It was about that time that Informer told me they'd thrown Hephaestus off the roof and that we needed to split - they were gonna break the connector holding the car to the rest of the train, but I couldn't leave Aphrodite behind, so I used the power they gave me to sprint all the way back to the other end where I found her with the rings on. Well, Oracle shows up with a pair of brass knuckles and just starts beating the ever-loving drek out of Pythia, so I took the opportunity to just grab her hand and made a run for it - as it out going really, really fast with spirit power helps with jumping between speeding train cars. Real trideo moment right there.
Managed to get the laes back to the Laesa (and got no thanks in return, ungrateful drekheads; least they think I'm in Denver and not back in Seattle) and saw Aphrodite off to relative safety - I offered to bring her back with me or set her up somewhere else, given her SIN being burned and all, but she wanted to stick around for a while, so I took Taylor back to a hotel room to take care of him and get him to tell me about everything he'd seen while he was with the Pantheon. All in all about as much of a win as I could hope for I think - Pythia lost the Eye and got humbled, Aphrodite and Taylor are safe (at least for the moment), and a whole bunch of people didn't get killed in some mad scheme to kill Ghostwalker. Happy ending, or as close as it gets in this line of work.