The Forgotten Ones
|The Forgotten Ones|
|Part of Festering Infestation|
|Casualties and losses|
|One Skraacha Recon Grunt||Six feral ghouls.|
Runners track down and extract near-dead Skraacha gangsters from knee deep in gore while running from an ocean of ghouls.
In early November Ghaz had organized a small reconnaissance team to delve deeper than usual into the Ork Underground's labyrinthine tunnels and find out what the source behind the increased feral ghoul attacks was. After they had gone dark, Ghaz ran dangerously short on manpower and organized an emergency hiring of Shadowrunners to buy the Skraacha forces time to scramble replacements. While this was successful, Ghaz remained troubled by not finding out what happened to his men.
The run happens at an unorthodox time of 04:00 AM due to some Ork Underground settlement slipping in their day-night cycles due to not seeing much sunlight. While three of the four runners get on site without much issues, especially Samsara and Skimmer due to their last visit, Kera is still at work and can't just skip to the meet. Making a snap decision, she claims to take a bathroom break and projects her way to the meet, quickly manifesting to get the head notes of the meet while notifying Ghaz about her two hour delay before arriving in person. This doesn't stop the party from proceeding normally otherwise and with some of them having a free cup of soykaf, they listen to Ghaz's briefing. A reconnaissance team of five orks had gone to investigate the source of the ghoul concentration, but five days ago they'd stopped responding to communications. As he feels too much guilt to admit his mistakes to Warboss, he hopes to get his team back before it comes to that. At least he could deliver the bodies and give them a burial if nothing else. The runners are relatively sympathetic and do not negotiate for higher pay given the amicable relations they have with Ghaz and his well-meaning disposition. He offers as much information as he can, including a rough sketch of the local tunnels and a red circle over the approximate area of where he last had any contact with his scouts.
The team is about to begin sketching a route to the location when a young elven boy that Samsara and Skimmer recognize from their last visit arrives and hands Samsara a datachip. Before any questions can be asked, he scurries away to be a favela gremlin. Checking its contents, it has a local map identical to the one that Relay had manufactured on the last run, pinging the previous ghoul nest in a local ventilation maintenance station. Samsara deciphers this to be Nameless contacting them.
When Samsara and Skimmer arrive to the maintenance station, it turns out that Ghaz had heeded their advice and rebuilt the barrier across the tunnel. This time Samsara's a little too relaxed and loses her footing when coming closer to inspect the barricade, falling face first into a river of waste products. While she does climb out unharmed due to a chemically sealed armor suit, this doesn't bode well. Nameless is there, as expected, and demands to know what runners are doing back there after last time. The runners are co-operating and spill the beans, considering how forgiving Nameless has been to them so far. He claims to know the location they're going to head to and offers to scout ahead for them since the feral ghouls don't bother him much.
Seven had attempted to manifest a spirit and screwed up his spell, almost collapsing and staying back in the slums to rest his skull-splitting headache. When Samsara and Skimmer return, they share the information they'd received. For the next two hours, they take things safe while Kera astrally projects again to go check the location herself. With a spell to detect life, she flies above ground and stops in shock when her spell detects a radiant concentration of life underground. Soon enough, Nameless contacts Samsara with the burner commlink he'd been left last time and opens a video call. Taped on some rafters, the commlink shows a colossal horde of hundreds of ghouls in what Nameless calls 'The Pit' -- some sort of dump site covered in bones and other remains. Not only does Nameless give them rough approximations of where he found active commlink signals and thus the remaining Skraacha scouts, he also offers them a distraction. It comes down to timing; reaching the location almost two kilometers away will take the group two minutes in meatspace, so they give Nameless the signal once they begin their approach. By now, two hours have passed and Kera's arrived in person, choosing still to project her soul to the location for safety's sake; same happens with Seven.
Through the commlink and when they begin approaching, Samsara and Skimmer hear a loud siren explode and fade out, followed by a flute playing a melody that Samsara had some time prior given to Nameless (what a weird question, however.) As a result, the ghoul horde began following the sound thanks to their enhanced hearing and almost entirely vacate The Pit. Only a few emaciated ghouls block their way and Samsara's brawn quickly disposes of them. Once they get on site, Kera begins manifesting repellants on the eastern side where the feral ghouls had shuffled off to. Skimmer and Samsara take a staircase to the second floor where they find some signs of habitation. Preparing for a strike on four remaining ferals that are too busy munching on the remains of the fifth scout, Samsara drops down and completely destroys one of them. Skimmer quickly follows up with a gunshot and the other two are disposed of in a similar manner, unable to stand up to a coordinated and calculated assault. Seven now has a spirit at his service, having fixed the error in his summoning and asks the spirit to administer aid to all four remaining scout members that had been hiding under rotting corpses to avoid the horde's detection. Most are thirsty, starving and exhausted, but a Movement spell and some healing gets them shuffling off to a nearby manhole.
Unfortunately, the ghoul horde had heard Skimmer's gunshots and not even Nameless' Pied Pipering is enough to distract them. Kera keeps repositioning her spells to cover their retreat and eventually they reach a ladder ahead of time. Ghaz had ordered a pick-up to extract them, but it'll take a minute and thirty seconds to arrive. Thanks to Seven's spirit's Movement power, the team reaches the ladder in forty seconds and Samsara almost has her head taken off by a truck driving over the manhole as she emerges in the middle of the road. While they wait for the Skraacha van to arrive, the ghoul horde approaches and while some get pushed back by Kera's spells, others push on through. Nameless is there to buy them the last precious seconds, cutting down one foe after another to let the team climb up after the Skraacha scouts and get in the van. Rather than following them, Nameless cuts the ladder clean in half to prevent the horde from following and catches the burner commlink Samsara drops down for him. As a final favor, Seven uses his spirit's last favor to use Movement on Nameless who speeds off to escape the now hostile horde's wrath.
Doing immediate checks for signs of infection once the van arrives, the Skraacha scouts are cleared free of HMHVV III. The rest of the team are briefed and thanked profusely for their service. Ghaz, having put out his personal savings for this pays Skimmer the full amount and Samsara only a quarter as per her wishes. The rest get their rewards as well and Kera offers to sterilize the van via magical means. One of the grunts seems to have contracted a mundane infection, however; understandable, considering he'd spent five days nearly submerged in rotting flesh.
- 12,000 Nuyen
- 5 Karma
- 2 CDP
- 2 Skraacha Faction Rep
- Contact: Ghaz -- Cost: 4 RVP
- Contact: Warboss; +1 Loyalty (exclusively for Samsara) -- Cost: 2 RVP
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
After my last job, I talked to Warboss about getting re-assigned to Ghaz's setup in Renton so that I could help out with security; I guess he was receptive to the idea, because he sent along enough extra help that the poor people there weren't quite as overwhelmed as last time. It was nice to be able to work with them again too - I didn't feel quite right taking money for this sort of thing, especially from the Skraacha, so I ended up just giving most of it back to the community, but it felt good to help out. As for the team, Skimmer was just as much of a pro as last time - I really should learn how to use a gun, or at least do real adept stuff like he does. Kera and Seven were both finger-wigglers and did most of the job projecting, which I guess I can't really blame them for - chemical seal is expensive, and becoming a ghoul is a scary prospect. I was a little annoyed that both of them didn't seem to be taking the gig as seriously as I was though - Kera apparently had another job she was working and took hours to finish, and Seven managed to nearly knock himself out summoning a spirit so we had to wait for him to recover a bit. I probably shouldn't have snapped at them and cursed as much as I did though, I just felt myself getting angry at the delay and couldn't help it.
The job itself was right out of a horror trideo - Ghaz had a crew that disappeared while scouting and wanted us to try to find them (or at least their remains). It had been a while and the team wasn't super optimistic that we'd find anyone, but Ghaz seemed really broken up about it and was clearly blaming himself so I felt like I had to at least try. Turns out that ghoul omae calling himself Nameless was a big help in that regard - I thought letting him live was going to come back and quite literally bite me in the ass, but he ended up giving us a huge assist by scouting ahead and finding where our boys were hiding. Unfortunately it was somewhere he called "The Pit", and it was absolutely full of ferals - like a straight up zombie horde sort of deal. Nameless asks me if I know any old music, and after I sent along some tune I remembered from years back I swear that this fragger started playing it on a flute to lure them away. Absolute madness, but it worked, so I'm not complaining.
Anyway, once he clears most of them out we were able to do our thing and rescue the survivors - one of them had gotten eaten, but the rest managed to stay hidden long enough. Honestly it was a small miracle that any were still alive at all, but the delay getting there bothers me - it feels like we might have been able to save all of them if we were just a bit faster. Maybe that's just survivor's guilt or whatever though (can you get that second-hand?) I didto punch and kick a bunch of ferals until they quite literally fell apart, so that was neat, but it was hard to focus on how cool that felt with how fragged up it all was and I was mostly just focused on getting everyone out (I even took one of those bodyguard chips just to make sure, that was a weird experience). We had to make a quick retreat once the horde started coming back, but we managed to get through the sewers and up topside where Ghaz had sent a pickup for us while Nameless covered our retreat with a sword. Good guy. All in all it was a success, but I've got a bad feeling about those ghouls - there's no way that a problem like this just goes away on its own.
Skimmer "Another opportunity to go spelunking in the ghoul-infested tunnels of the Ork Underground. Lovely. Fortunately Ghaz pays well, and ghouls tend to be easy targets. It was a pleasure running with the ever optimistic Samsara, and witnessing her do a flying kick literally through a ghoul was definitely entertaining. While we were waiting for Kera to get off work, and for Seven to finish his nap, Samsara and I went to investigate the mysterious tip we figured was from Nameless, which turned out to be correct. After a brief discussion, we convinced him to scout the area where the workers had gone missing, as he seemed to be quite familiar with the area known as 'The Pit.' After Kera scouted the area on the Astral, it became clear that this was a dangerous area. Fortunately, Nameless came through once again, playing the pied piper of ghouls, drawing the horde away from the central area, allowing us to bust in, grab the guys, and high-tail it for the surface. Could have gone bad, real bad. But again, fortune was on our side, and we managed to pull off the run with aplomb. Ghaz was happy, the workers were happy, and I got paid, making me happy. I do suspect that there is more to come, after witnessing what is crawling around down there. We will have to wait and see."