Seattle 2075

Riots for a Riot Grrl
September 2nd 2075

With two trolls, C.B., Sully, an unconscious Sumatomo, and Missing No, Team Quattro moves out to Missing No.’s back porch for more space. Sully keeps working on Sumatomo to keep him unconscious, while the rest of the team struggles with the ethical decision of what to do with him. Benzine calls Harry to find out if there’s any sort of magic that could wipe his memory. He says there’s nothing he can think of, outside of some sort of dark, spiritual possession that he wouldn’t recommend, but he sounds different than he has in recent days. Apologetic, says things have changed. He’s been sick with thyroid cancer, and he’s been scraping together the ‘yen to buy some sort of artifact off of a strange man. It could be a scam, but asked Benzine if him and Team Quattro could come back him up.
C.B. also called Leslie Joy to ask about a lobotomy, laying all the information out there. She gets incredibly uncomfortable about the situation though, and gets off the phone and leaving C.B. with the impression she was put out.
They wake him up, shoot him up with gamascopaline, and sick Al on him. He slaps him hard across the face, bursting blood vessels, and turning his face a dark shade of purple.
“Damien, Damien you gotta let me go! We can still set things right, it’s not too late!”
“What do you have on us? Where are the files?” Benzine asked. This went on for a few minutes as the fear of God and the gamascopaline took effect.
“There are no files, I’ve just been following Damien for the summer, put things together.”
They hem and haw, but finally determine that there’s no dead drop on them, and decide to get rid of him. C.B. doesn’t want them to do it themselves, and murder him in cold blood, so they decide instead to go to the place where they finished the Puente job.
While they pack him into an old sleeping bag, and Benzine disguises him with a physical mask spell. As they start driving, Al can hear the faraway sound of a V-Tol coming from the south, the direction they are heading from.
C.B. calls the leader of the Ancients that were helping them out at the job – she answers, and is still celebrating. She warns him that some of Knife-Ears friends might not take kindly to him getting killed. “All I’m saying, he knew the risks, but his family in the Ancients might not see it that way.” Still, she lets him know that the KESRU team peeled off them a long time ago.
The minutes drag by as they follow the flow of the early morning traffic when a sleek, black drone pulls up next to the van and keeping pace with it. Cool as usual, Al rolls down the window.
“Pull over to the side of the road, you are under arrest!” The drone called over a loudspeaker. Oncoming traffic forces the drone to swerve to the side, revealing a red scimitar on the belly of the vehicle. THey’re speeding down the highway, trying to get onto the 405. Benzine, still struggling with his wounds, manages to make a trid phantasm, and a 2nd van splits off, heading straight down the highway as they pull onto the off ramp.
As they get onto the 405, a large, stretched out, green vtol hovers up over the highway, and speeds past them. Once it speeds past, 4 drones are deployed from the racks on the back as it moves to intercept with the drones flanking. Benzine and Al switch spots, with Al reclining the seat back and rolling back over it.
Meanwhile, C.B. starts getting marks on trucks, and begins boxing the bulldog in, trying to give them what cover he can. With two to play with, he has them speeding up, and cutting behind depending on the v-tol’s location. With the height though, he’s not able to get them much.
Al throws the back doors to the van open, and ramps the Vindicator up, firing up into the sky at the mothership. With a few lucky shots, smoke starts pouring from behind the v-tol, and forcing it to back off. At the same time, C.B. jacks the oil pressure in one of the trucks, blowing the head gasket and adding more smoke to the sky. It trails behind them, billowing up into the air and eclipsing all of the drones.
“Take this exit!” C.B. shouted while spiking the last drone right on their tail. They squeal off the highway, with the trucks still following hot on their tails, maneuvering around them one more time. Coming up on the Grady Way Tunnel, they duck inside, with the trucks still plowing down the side streets. Under the cover of the tunnel, they all reboot their devices, Al and Benzine switch back so he’s driving again. Al switches the chameleon coat to a simple work van, and they snuggle into the stop and go traffic of the morning commute building up on the other side.
It’s not much further to the drop off, but Team Quattro finds themselves looking over their shoulders the whole time. The closer they get, the more desolate and barren the area looks, until they find themselves outside of the old brick building. They pull into the cratered parking lot behind the building, and pull up next to the building. Benzine drops into astral, dropping through to the sewers below where he spots the aura of the ghouls they were looking for.
“I need a fucking hospital Damien…”
“Don’t worry, these guys are going to take a real good look inside you.” Benzine snarled. The two trolls go to the back of the van, and Al pops the sewer cover off. There are moans and hisses coming from below as the recoil from the sunlight. The drag the struggling Sumatomo out of the back, bound within the old sleeping bag, and start stuffing him in the sewer. He screams for help as the ghouls start dragging him in, caught up on the lip of the opening. Benzine leans down as he writhes, trying to hold himself up top.
“Remember when you threatened my family?” He says, then stands up and starts stamping on his shoulder to stuff him in, face twisted in rage until he disappears from view. He stands there panting, before he drops the cover back on the hole. With the job done, and all loose ends tied up, they start heading back to the fire station, only making a quick stop to drop off Topsy’s deck.
“Thanks, I really need to get me one of those.” He said, trading hers back for his own jacked up on.
“Yeah hun, you need to upgrade. This things kind of a joke.” She says with a laugh.
“I’m working on it, I’m working on it.” He kisses her goodbye, leaving her to go back to work.
“I’m thinking about asking her to marry me. What do you think?” C.B. asked when he was back in the safety of the van.
“Why you asking us?” Benzine asked.
“I don’t know, you’re my friends? I want to know what you think?”
“Honestly? You could only do worse. I mean, as long as she says yes. She’s kind of jerked you around. And she seems a little out of your league, but she puts up with you. May as well go for it though, if she’ll get locked down like that” Benzine said.
When they get back. C.B. orders some thai food, but the trolls crash out, their respective wounds wearing them down.

Later, when they’re all rested, they load up and head out to meet up with Harry. He’s a little twitchy, anxious about the upcoming meet, and hustles to close up shop.
“There’s a man, Jackson McKay, an archaeologist. He found an artifact in the shape of a flute, or a child’s recorder, that can cure any condition. And if you look at me, Ben, you’ll know I need this. It’s a long shot, but I need to take it.”
Benzine switched to astral, and saw nodules glowing a separate, darker color than his typical aura, pockets tainting the aura around it. The colors that were typically vibrant and bright were now faded and dull, withering as the dark tendrils claimed more and more of his physical body. He was weaker than he used to be, weaker than Benzine.
Harry, you know what they say… if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is,” Benzine said.
“I know, I know! But I need this, that’s what the deepweed was for. It was a risk I needed to take. And if you knew the source… Benny, it’s the Draco foundation. They don’t usually peddle in bulldrek hope. Do you remember that island, that strange island that just appeared off the coast a couple years back? They made a blockade, right? But one guy investigated. He was connected, don’t know who he’s working for, but the man came back with this.”
Harry, you know if you say the word I’m with you.” Benzine said, and turned to the others. “You guys don’t have to do this, but if you do… I’ll owe you one.”
“You know we’re with you.” C.B. said, and Al nodded. They unloaded their weapons, leaving them behind in the shop, then climbed into the van and headed downtown. They are waved through checkpoints easily enough, and come to a modern, glass building. The sun reflected from the surface, bathing the team in the golden light. Benzine’s reflection off the surface was haggard and worn, reminding the troll he could use a vacation after the weekend. They all could. But there was no help for it.
They push through the revolving doors, and enter a grand foyer, replete with columns and fountains. The receptionist is warm as they enter, and Benzine goes ham on a tray of refreshments, eating cheese, crackers, and drinking bottles of water. C.B.’s leftovers from earlier just didn’t cut it.
After a few minutes, the receptionist returns, looks at the party, and especially Benzine, with disdain. “Mr. McKay will see you now,” she says, and buzzes them into the elevator. It sped upwards, before coming to a smooth stop on the upper floors. With a ding, the doors slid open, and revealed a human in his early 50’s with brown curly hair of about average height.
“Good to see you in person, Harrow. I’m glad you could make it.”
“Me too, assuming things go well.” Harry responded eagerly.
“Well, I don’t want to waste your time, and I’ve got to make a flight tonight. If you’ll follow me?” He leads them down the hallway and enter a big office with floor to ceiling windows. There’s a big desk, adorned with family pictures.
C.B. notices that it’s not him in the pictures, and it’s not his degree on the wall.
“You’re correct. As I said, I’m only here temporarily since I have more sales to make before the day is over,” Jackson said. As C.B.’s paranoia starts coming out, it rubs Jackson the wrong way, and he starts to pack things up.
“Hold on, hold on,” Benzine said, shooting the decker a look. “This is Harry’s deal, and he’s got the money.”
Harry holds out the nearly 200k nuyen credstick, and gets a small wooden case in return. Opening it up, there’s a small, finely carved wooden flute in the native american style. Five, evenly spaced holes are carved into chestnut colored wood, leading to the smooth bore that stretched from end to end. The far side was totally open, but the other tapered to a mouthpiece that had some creative turning, with a carving just below.
“You’ll need this too, it’s the tune you’ll need to play. Now I don’t know how many charges it has-”
“Then how do we know it will work?” Benzine cut in.
“Use it now, if it doesn’t work you’ll get your credstick back.” McKay said. “As I was saying, there’s at least one charge. Maybe two to three. But I can personally say, it works. I had a bad run in with some- uh- infected six months ago. Played the flute, and I’m fit as a fiddle. Or, flute, as the case may be.”
“May I?” Benzine asked, pointing at the older man, and at his own forehead. He nods, and Benzine gives him a cursory look in the astral and finds no sign of infection. While he’s at it, he stares at the flute, and from the back of his mind he can feel a reassurance, that there is a healing nature to the artifact. Still, the gentle voice sends a shiver down his spine even though it’s a familiar one.
Without any other reasons to hold him up, C.B. helps loop the video for Harry who listens a couple times to the video, and then plays the song himself, an airy, wistful song.
He set the flute down, waiting, waiting-
The color drained from his face, and he would’ve collapsed if Benzine wasn’t there to catch him. Then, just as suddenly as it left, it flooded back into him. He stood, gasping. When Benzine assessed him again, the same bright colors had returned, and he seemed stronger than Benzine.
“Now, if you’ll excuse me I have a flight I need to catch.”
The team is ebullient as they leave downtown, flute in tow, heading back to Harry’s shop. They all start getting wasted, except for C.B. who received a call from KE asking him to come down to the station for some questioning in regards to Kosmo Sumatomo.
Benzine regales him with stories about their runs, while Harry relates stories about all the strange customers he’d met since dealing deepweed. He admits part of being a drug kingpin was thrilling, and having money was a nice change, but it got to be a hell of a lot of work.
Then, Benzine tells the others of when Benny met Harry, and how he’s kind of helped the troll. Before the night is over, Benzine asks what he’s going to do with the flute. When he mentions knowing someone who could use it, if there’s any juice left, Harry immediately hands it over.
“Take it! Absolutely. Frag me, yeah I don’t need it anymore.”
“It’s good to have you back, chummer.”

September 3rd, 2075
9 AM

C.B. leaves that morning to go to his meeting at the 99th precinct, telling them to contact Gregory Jascowicz if he doesn’t make it back by that afternoon. He was the lawyer he had hired before when he had some legal problems, and he’d know what was happening with C.B. if things went sideways.
When he gets there, they ask questions about Sumatomo, about whether he asked for any money, solicited C.B. for anything, etc. etc.
“Listen, I was repaying my debt to society up until last week when I found out that I had already finished paying it.” He says, maintaining his calm throughout the repetitive rounds of questioning.
“Well, Mr. Kropop, thank you for your cooperation. We ask that you don’t leave town for the next few weeks while we continue this investigation.”
“Why not, am I suspected of anything?”
“No, did you have plans? Then we would just like to have you accesible should any more questions arise regarding Mr. Sumatomo’s embezzlement and fraud.”
“Am I going to be compensated for all the money I lost?”
“That’s a civil matter, I’m afraid.” The K.E. officer said. C.B. was summarily escorted out of the office, and set free.

As soon as he got back, the gang gathered together with Harry, and they all headed to the underground. Two guards at the entrance, Gus and Jenny let them in, with the latter following. She hands off to Blitz, who brings them the last bit of the way to a nice brownstone in the middle of the underground, ornately carved walls around it. Light streamed from the makeshift stained glass above, a kaleidoscope of colors drifting through differently colored bottles.
The team knocks, and a tired looking Castle answers. They run the plan past him, and he eagerly lets them in, calling Ellipse to hurry over. He leads the group upstairs, and Benzine pulls a chair right up to the bedside. Roxy is weak, bedridden, and had an ashy gray color about her complexion. She seemed at peace with her fate though.
Benzine laid the plan out, holding nothing back as he described everything Harry had done to get the flute, everything the team had witnessed last night. She looks at Benzine in disbelief as he finishes, not sure what to say.
“We don’t know if it will work, how much juice it has in it. He said maybe two or three charges, but we know it’s already been used twice…” Benzine trailed off, not wanting to give her false hope. He looked back to see Ellipse had entered the room and had a faraway look, unseeing eyes fixed on the little wooden box. When he blinked back, and saw Benzine staring at him, he nodded his approval.
“Please, Please do it. You have to try.” Castle pleaded. She nodded, and C.B. pulled up the instructional video one more time. Castle opened the shades, and motes of dust drifted through the air, painted greens and reds from the colored glass. The sounds of the underground lingered in the air, echoing up through the open window as the same wistful song played over, and over again until she was able to program her cyber arm to hit the notes just right.
She gave a small giggle that did little to ease the tension in the cramped space. “Well, here goes.” The same notes slurred into one another, the mournful melody blending with the cheerful calls of children and parents from below. When it finished, she set the flute down and laid back.
Just like the night before, what little color was left faded, and she gasped for air. Her back arched, lifting her chest off the bed as she convulsed. She eased back as color flooded back to her face, and she gulped in air. When she finally relaxed, Benzine assensed her one more time. He looked at the others and grinned.
Roxy jumped to her feet, steady as a rock. “Well, lets get it checked out! I just gotta change, the mumu look isn’t doing it for me anymore.” Without hesitation, she started changing right in front of them.
They head to the clinic, and people openly stare and point at Roxy who, last they heard, was on her deathbed. The clinic was no different. Benzine led Roxy to Courtney, whose mouth hung open.
“Wha- Roxy! You should be in bed.”
“That drek got old! Just check me out, give me a clean bill of health. I’m ready to party!”
“Let- let me get the doctor.” She disappeared, and came back with someone who checked her over, and declared her cancer free – pending more testing of course.
“How’d this happen?” Courtney asked.
“Oh… it’s a long story.”
“We- Benzine saved her. Some sort of magic,” C.B. said, and immediately started sending messages over the PAN, telling him to ask her out. Uncomfortable since she said she was married before, and wanting to change the subject, Benzine made his regular contribution to the clinic of 4k nuyen. Instead, it almost made things worse.
Benzine got a message then from the Tuskgutter fansite that read:

The bitch is back!
Tonight, Midnight, at fucking Dante’s!

Benzine loosely invites Courtney to dinner and drinks with them all at the Rhino, and leaves it at that. Turbo moves in to talk to her, as Benzine goes to find Ellipse and talk with him about magical matters, namely making himself stronger.

Everyone gets ready, and they head to the Rhino where they take over the joint and chase out the usual tourists. Benzine sees Courtney standing in line and invites her over. Everyone drinks and is merry until about 11, when they make their way over to Dante’s.
It’s very orc and troll heavy, far more than what downtown is used it. It’s a far cry from how it looked yesterday, just a block or two away at the Draco Foundation. There are signs everywhere that read “The Bitch is back!” with different gang signs dotted around to show they were represented. The usual clientele are kind of surprised, the other 8 floors of the club conducting business as usual, taken aback by the rowdy crowd gathering outside.
A tour bus pulls up outside, and Amy and Billy, the lead singers of Tuskgutter jump out. Ooblach ooblach is blasting over speakers as the two trolls move aside. Roxy jumps out, screaming along off time. She’s jumping around, kicking over garbage cans that Castle is trying to pick up, when she twists in mid air. Castle, right behind her, is covered in a red mist. He catches her, as a second bullet catches him, and a third takes off half of her head.
The signs in AR change to read:
The Bitch is dead.
Alamos 20,000

Shit starts kicking off, the K.E. officers starting to look panicked as people start realizing what’s going on. Benzine pushes forward, sees Roxy down, and switches to astral. His body collapses to the ground, and his astral form flies up and out, looking for anything that might be suspicious. But with all the auras, all the confusion, and the massive skyscrapers, it’s only seconds before he realizes there’s nothing he can do.
When he rejoins meat space, Turbo has Harry cornered with two of his goons restraining him. He’s screaming in pain, his arm twisted behind his back, as Turbo interrogates him. Benzine shoves him, and the two trolls holding the elf make a move towards him, who snarls at them to let Harry go, napalm dripping from his fingers to steaming and hissing off the asphalt.
Turbo, recognizing the threat, tells him to let him go, but to keep him close. He’s the only lead they’ve got. They help C.B. and Topsy get out of there in her car, asking the decker to keep his eyes out on the ‘trix, and share whatever info he can dig up while the trails hot. Meanwhile, Al is trying to push through with his own ride.
Benzine walks over to Roxy’s body, cradled by Castle. Courtney is trying to take care of his gun shot wound, but he keeps shrugging her off. As soon as Al gets the van around, they all clamber in. Turbo squeezes in with his two troll bodyguards, shoving Harry roughly into the van and eliciting another warning from Benzine.
After a quick discussion, they decide to head back to the underground, even though it’s undoubtedly under heavy watch. Benzine’s able to guide them down into one parking garage, linking with another that lets them out 3-4 blocks away from Dante’s and bypassing the blockades getting set up by Knight Errant. As they drive back to the underground, Benzine gets a message from C.B. about the man who sent the message, a runner by the name of RedFever5. He keeps it quiet, not trusting anyone except C.B. and Al with the information right now. Benzine feels justified with the decision when they get back to the Underground, currently blockaded by HTR, and Turbo wants to plow directly through them. Benzine stops him there, calling him dumb as drek and saying there are entrances all over and he’s clearly not thinking right.
Turbo accedes, then leads them to an alternative entrance nearby. A jamaican man, a block or two away from the main entrance, lets them stow the van in his garage while a door leads them to his basement, and a small, dingy tunnel.
Dark and dusty, the taller of the group have to hunch their way through. As they do, they can hear the squelch as brain matter slops onto the poorly poured concrete path they’re led down. The other side opens to the underground, which is in pandemonium. The group hangs back as they get their coordinates, and reach out to Ellipse. He says he’ll send a car.
Benzine asks Al to keep an eye on Harry for him as he checks on Courtney, and heals Castle as best as he can. Turbo also gets in touch with C.B., who’s surprised when he finds out Benzine hasn’t shared the name with him yet. Turbo plays it cool, acting like nothings wrong, and looks up whatever info he can. There’s no RedFever5 specifically, but there was a runner team out of Boston that deviated from most runner jobs to exclusively wetwork. The leader is always numbered, and now primarily focus on antimeta jobs. When the car arrives, there’s a lot of arguing since Turbo wants to take the car, put Harry and Benzine in it, and take Roxy straight away. Benzine thinks that’s fucking stupid, and that the others should take it and him, and Harry, and whoever else can walk. In the end, they put Castle and Roxy in the back who’s now stiff from rigor mortis. Courtney and Al pile onto the bench seat in the front with the driver who’s a little pissed after Turbo pulled him out and said he was walking initially. Benzine, Turbo, Harry, and Turbo’s thugs are walking.
As they rush to Ellipse’s through the tunnels and across boardwalks, they run into Babe the Ox, the leader of the Spikes with a big contingent of his gang armed to the tusks. Turbo tries to talk him out of stirring up trouble, but BTO isn’t moved. He tells him in no certain terms that if he doesn’t get out of the way, they’ll all be the first to catch lead. Afterall they didn’t get dressed up for nothing. Benzine had pushed Harry back though, making it clear that the two of them had nothing to do with it.
“Give ‘em hell, then” Turbo said stepping out of the way. BTO laughs as he walks past.
“Aint doing shit as usual. Let’s fucking go.”
Ellipse’s house is a very well kept, victorian brownstone that is all skewed and twisted after it slid into the underground during an earthquake, a prominent turret facing out into the street, the tower cocked to one side. Some of the windows even looked new.
Ellipse stood out front, an angry look painted on his face as the walked up. When he saw Turbo shove Harry, it darkens even more.
“What the- he’s a guest. What are you thinking?” He said, then turned to address a visibly shaken elf. “Are you ok?” He leads them all inside, except for the thugs Turbo brought with him. Turbo sends them away, and helps himself to beers in Ellipse’s fridge, holding one out to Benzine and one to Harry. The troll just stares him down, and he shrugs handing it to Al instead. Once they’re comfortable, Ellipse gives them the situation.
“Things are getting wild up there. All the gains we’ve made are going out the window. They’re not even covering the assassination – only showing a lot of armed orcs and trolls, some armed and taking to the streets. Just look.” He turned on the trid, and the familiar face of Trisha Takanawa popped onto the display.
“-you can see the streets of downtown are flooded with rioters fighting with law enfo-” She clutched desperately at the v-tol as the camera shook. “Oh god, were those gunshots?” She went pale.
“It seems some protesters are shooting at aircraft in the vicinity as well. This is something we’re used to seeing in Bogota, not downtown Seatt-”
Ellipse switched it off. “It’s been getting worse, and it seems the guitarist of that band that was there caught it all and is spreading it around which is just gasoline on the fire. They’re young, they’re angry, but like I said – the advances of the past 20 years are unraveling.”
Benzine asks Al to watch Harry, huddled on a chair in the living room sipping his beer, and walks upstairs to check in on Courtney and Castle . . .

View
Exogen Exfil and Meet
Sunday, September 1st, 2075

CB waits on the 2nd floor of the Exogen22 facility, monitoring the video feeds while the rest of the team attempts to extract the two part formula for the CFD cure. He jumps into VR, entering a sterile looking host that looks like a city library. Walking across the hall, past IC looking like docents and librarians, to sit at a table. As he does, the surface becomes transparent and he finds himself looking down into a hallway. After a short time, he’s able to find the files that Danny Boyle was researching last.

It was a simulation on bacteria propagation, and he pretends to be working on it as a drone approaches. Thankfully, the moth sprite that Gojira loaned to CB flitted off to distract it.

In meat space, Sully continues working while Ghost Bear leans over his shoulder and asks a plethora of questions. He answers distractedly as while driving the medical service drone forward to the three primates lying unconscious in their cages: A chimp named Jane, an Orangutan named Audi, and a Gorilla named Judy. First, he collects samples from the chimp, but is only able to find half of the formula. He asks CB to dig up what he can before wasting anymore time.

CB finds files relating to which primate has both parts, but as an intern Danny Boyle doesn’t have access. Only Dr. Salhab and Dr. Wentz do. So he hacks, and fails, dispatching IC. The little drone from earlier zips back up to him. Scrambling, CB tries again and fails. “Danny, what are you doing?”

The third time, he’s finally able to do it. He finds that the chimp has the lung, the gorilla has the sinus, but the orangutan has both. It was too late for discretion though; IC showed up. Desperate, CB tosses a piece of origami into the air, which flies off to request Gojira’s aid, before setting his agent and the Mothra sprite to defend him in his losing battle.

“Things are about to warm up,” CB says over the PAN. “Get the van ready, Ghost Bear!”

As Ghost Bear leaves, Gojira shows up, stomping into the library. CB asks him if he could make it look like the breach was coming from the outside.
“I cannot erase what has already transpired, but an outside presence will be known.” Then CB jacks out.

Ghost Bear warns that he had to talk his way past a foot patrol. And Sully chimes in. “Things are getting worse. The samples I took are already dying.”

The decker gets his SMG ready, but is able to talk his way past the security storming in, sending teams towards the roof. CB tries to convince Sully to ingest them, but instead Al goes and grabs the orangutan once the infected elves are quarantined. “Ok, let’s go.” The team hides the primate on the stretcher with Benzine’s body, with the troll disguisting the test subject as a tumor growing from the body. Al and Sully guide the gurney down the stairs and it topples, spilling Benzine and Audi the Orangutan onto the stairs and down to the floor.

They run the rest of the way, leaving Gojira to wipe the feeds and terrorize the host while Team Quattro and Sully pile into the van. Campus security blockades the road Benzine wipes his signature from the site.

“Fuck the road. Across the commons!” Benzine yells, and Alganon punches it. The bulldog jumps the curb and Benzine shouts directions from his time scouting the U of W campus earlier. They take out a fountain, as the screech across sidewalks and pavilions.. On the ride, CB pastes fliers all over jackpoint with a standing offer – any decker that helps commit a DDS-like attack on Exogen22 will be owed a favor by Team Quattro. Icons flood the place, and the team is able to lose any sort of trace they might have been able to place on them. Changing the design of the van every 6 blocks and cutting across side streets. With no direction, and a fear KE might have eyes on their usual hang outs, CB calls up Rusty.

“Hey chummer, went for a jog but it’s a bit warm for the season. Mind if me and some friends rest for a bit at your place?” There was a pause on the other end.

“How long?” He sighed in response..

“Just a few hours,” CB said. His old friend acceded, and Team Quattro headed towards Bellevue, breezing through a checkpoint on the way. Rusty is waiting for the team in his driveway to guide the scraped up GMC Bulldog into his garage. They squeezed out between the boxes, with the two deckers exchanging pleasantries.

“Heard you saw Eddie the Pill. You know, I hope he’s not too sore at me. I’m getting into the ID game, and don’t want him thinking I’m edging into his turf.”

“You should have told us,” CB said. “We’d have come to you for IDs.”

“Not trying to get friends pinched. I’m just getting started, so the quality isn’t the best.”

“Well take this, It’s got a pretty good fake SIN you can practice with, reverse engineer or whatever.” And he handed over the second to last Transys Avalon’s they’d acquired from the cyber zombie’s bug out bag they’d found almost a year ago.

“So what’s new? I hear you’re in Cereal Killer territory these days.”

“ Guess so, You know any of them? Been wanting to reach out to them.”

“Well, everyone knows Sonny.” CB starts looking for inroads to the Cereal Killers, mentioning T.R.O.L.L. in the process and catching daggers from Benzine’s look. Rusty waves the pair off, before finally leading them into his house. A girl is sat in the corner, practicing tattooing on some synth-skin while CB presses for more info on the leader of the Cereal Killers. He finds out that he’s no white hat, but he is a neoanarchist that loves cons and hates abuses of power, and might be interested in a take down of Kosmoe Sumatomo. CB also tries to find a lead on a new deck, since his is once again giving off the scent of burnt plastic and is patched up with duct tape, but is pointed to the Cereal Killers again.

While all of this is going on, Sully is being hassled by Kosmoe Sumatomo since KE knows all about it, but the team decides to just give him as little as possible while things cool off, and they plan their next move. They have a long talk about what to do with the data, about trying to keep some of it to distribute, and how long until KE gets wind of it. But before any decisions can be made, CB’s stun patch wears off and he passes out.

Benzine asks the novice tattoo artist to give him a Tuskgutter tattoo, and she’s happy to try. She runs out to pick up her troll needles, and in that time Kosmoe Sumatomo is getting increasingly pushy and panicked as time drags on, hassling Sully to meet.

“Dreks too hot, we’ll meet when we’re ready.” Benzine has him reply, and sits down to let Becky the tattoo artist gets to work. Slow at first, she gets more confident as she works more one his upper arm. The final piece is killer, better than even an established tattoo artist could’ve thought. They exchange numbers, and she’s going to try and get a job off the back of it.

Having overstayed their welcome at Rusty’s, they look for a new place to hideout and work. Benzine calls Harry first who sounds too deep into his own schemes, so they settle on Missing No. They call him up, offer to pay him 125 for his missed night of work, and show up with a new incubator. Cobalt Blue starts to feel guilty about this arrangement, and wants to cut ties with the kid, but only after they’re finished at his house this time.

With a scalpel in one hand, a long haul dispenser in another, Sully works quick, extracting the required lung tissue, a sinus swab, and begins the process of trying to preserve them.

The others plan. Kosmoe Sumatomo is frantically changing the meet location, before finally settling on a junkyard in the redmond barrens. From an old hatchet handle in the garage, Benzine engraves 3 different preparations: 2 lightning reflexes, and chaotic world.

CB calls Rev up, their friend from the Ancients, and she agrees to hang out close by to run interference as a simple trade: A favor for a favor. Benzine tries to get her to go for a ride together, but she’s all business and tells him to call when he needs his sidecar outfitted.

CB also calls up Topsy, and convinces her to loan him her deck.

With their plans set, Alganon, Benzine, and Cobalt Blue head towards the Redmond Barrens with Ghost Bear, Missing No., and Sully hanging back to work on the sample.

The bulldog creeps down a dirt road with busted down, rusted out cars and trucks littering the shoulders. The barrens feel strange and desolate as usual, with the ruined lives from the past leaving their stain on the area. Through the noise CB is able to pick up the icons of people ahead. With Benzine’s projecting, he’s able to find Kosmoe Sumatomo’s signature hopped up on novacoke, frightened, and beaten down. Benzine also finds out he’s awakened, an adept (Magic 4), though it did little for him now. As the team drives up, they see a smaller man in his 50’s, dressed in a Zeramite suit and wearing shades, beating the shit out of him with two jacked men flanking the pair. They were in the shadow of a massive RV, presumably a lab on wheels.

As the three pull up and climb out of the Bulldog, Kosmoe Sumatomo keeps trying to stand up, just to get kicked back down.

“How’s it going Cobalt. That’s your street name, right? You guys really fucked me over!!” He shouted, getting more shrill as he went. The team ignores him, handing the orangutan over to a surprised scientist who says he just needs time to run the tests. If it proved positive, the Johnson would pay.

While they were waiting, a rotodrone’s icon appeared in the distance. “Kosmoe Sumatomo, get on the ground and put your hands behind your head! You are under arrest!”

“I still need more time!” The scientist shouted from the RV’s doorway. The body guards exchange a look, then turned to the team.

“You guys going to help?”

“Yeah, just give us what the KESRU have on us,” Benzine said. But the guards didn’t respond. Cobalt Blue had already pushed the panic button he’d rigged up for the Ancients hanging out nearby, sending the signal to start raising hell.

Benzine walks over and grabs hold of the former PO to try and shake him down, cuffing him a few times, but the man doesn’t budge. “I’ve got bigger fucking problems.”

Trying a different tact, pats him down for his comm, coming up empty..

“You looking for something?” The guards ask, stepping closer.

“His comm, this fuck owes us.”

“Well this is our fuck now, and that’s his problem.”

“Then it sounds like it’s about to be your problem.”

While Benzine starts walks away he hears a prop driven drone flying in. In the opposite direction he can hear the rev of bikes, cease and desist orders from KE, and whooping from Ancients as they tear across the junkyard.

CBs able to find and hack Kosmoe’s comm, but there’s no incriminating evidence, only his own file which show he’d already repaid his debt to society. “Where’s the info?” CB shouted from the back of the van.

“We were paying him with money,” the scientist called from a cracked window.

“Then where’s the money, we brought you the monkey!”

“I’m not sure what the nature of your deal was with Kosmoe Sumatomo, but our deal was to pay him when he completed the job. I’m sure when we confirm the information that you’ve given use, he’d be more than happy to compensate you, especially if you transport him out of here.”

“How ‘bout it Kosmoe Sumatomo? Give us the info and the ‘yen, and we’ll get you out of here.” CB asks, and he agrees. Al unmounts his vindicator from the van, walks towards Kosmoe Sumatomo, and starts spinning it up in the direction of the drones. He also activates the preparation that Benzine had given him.
Ancients skid in and start shooting at the guards who toss a flash bang at them while a Goliath starts creeping into the area. Al tosses a frag grenade very badly, which blows up spraying shrapnel all over the goliath and also the team, bodyguards, and Kosmoe Sumatomo too. As the bits of metal plink against the side of the van and Benzine’s helmet, the mage spins back around and carves a napalm wall in the space between the front of the RV and junked cars, blocking the way into the clearing where they were standing. Al slings the vindicator over his back, and hoists Kosmoe Sumatomo’s unconscious body up, shredded by the frag grenade.

It wasn’t enough to even slow the armored vehicle. It skid to a stop, and the KESRU started hopping out. This was enough for the scientist and his bodyguards, who started making a break for it.

“What about the payment!” Benzine shouted, seeing his plan falling apart before he could even start it. He tossed the chaotic world preparation into the dirt, missing the door to the RV by a mile, trying to push his timeline up.

One of the bodyguards turned, sprinted to the back of the van, and slipped a cred stick into Kosmoe Sumatomo’s pocket. With payment delivered, the man turned and jumped back into the RV, shutting the door.

The first of the KESRU climbs out, a man with blonde dreads with an SMG slung over his shoulder.

“You’re making the wrong choice!” he shouted. Almost as soon as he popped his head out, the gangers shot and dropped him, leaving him in a daze. A woman with short blonde hair in her 40’s follows him out, wearing a berwick dress. She started moving her hands strangely, but before she could finish, Benzine tore the strands of mana from her hand, shredding the spell by the fibers before it could take hold.

Spinning up the vindicator again, Al showers the mage with lead from the mini gun. His volley is cut short though by a bulky black orc holding a strange weapon. It fires a net towards him with the weights coiling around Al, and then electrocuting him

More gangers had appeared behind them, helping with their show of force, including a woman straddling her bike behind the van near Benzine.

“You want to have some real fun?” He asked her, changing the course of his plan, desperate to avoid shedding any KE blood, not when the team didn’t know what the KESRU knew, not when it could lead back to the school..

“That’s why I’m here, baby!” She shouted without hesitation.

Benzine and the leader of the Ancient’s hash out the details quickly while things start to go to shit around them. She agrees to let the troll put a physical mask over her, making her look like Sumatomo to lead KE away. Then, just before she leaves, he would trigger the chaotic world preparation, to add to the confusion and add to the illusion. The last man stepping out drew a bead with his Yamaha Raiden and plunked one of the gangers.

“Noooooo, Knife Ear!” Things were unravelling quickly, with the black orc spear tackling the grappled Alganon. Working quick, probably too quick, Benzine drew his mana to him and channeled it into the leader so she looked like Kosmoe Sumatomo the last time they had seen him.

“You look like shit,” he told her, then he released Chaotic World, leaving everyone within it’s vicinity slightly confused about what they were seeing. “You want him? Then go fucking get him! He’s not worth this!” Revving her engine once, twice, she took off in full view of everyone. The rest of her gang followed, taking pot shots as they did.

The black orc, straddling a prone Al and not wanting to give up his prey, started wailing on him. Seeing his good friend being knocked around so badly sent Benzine into a napalm slinging rage. The orc shrugs it off, but the fire catches on his pants. Trying to call him off, the woman starts to cast another spell, but with Benzine seeing red he almost breaks her fingers dispelling whatever she had been trying to cast. The orc falls off Al, rolling around to put the fire out and narrowly dodging another blast of napalm, finally staggering back to his feet.

Seeing his opportunity, CB kicks the back of the van open and fills him with lead. He falls back to the ground, spitting blood.

“Let’s go! Come on!” The decker shouted. The KESRU were following suit, piling into the Goliath to chase after Kosmoe Sumatomo. Al ripped off the net, and climbed into the driver’s seat. Seeing his target collapse, Benzine’s rage subsided. The KESRU officer bleeding, his blood mingling with the mud, Benzine leans over and casts one more spell. The blood stops, then reverses, and starts breathing again. Satisfied that it was the most he could do given the situation to take the KESRU target off their back, or at least not make it worse, he climbed into the van himself. They left quickly, leaving the woman in the Berwick suit to finish caring for her teammates.

As Al speeds away, Benzine struggles to summon a little spirit. It comes but ignores him, prancing around his shoulders, pulling at his magical foci. Finally, before he burned himself out for the night, he managed to convince the little gremlin to go and wipe his signature from the scene, hoping the mage was too distracted to read it.

Alganon drives them back to Missing No.’s, where they have a long conversation about what to do with Kosmoe Sumatomo. When they pull in, Ghost Bear is missing and so is Missing No.’s mom. The rigger himself is passed out on the couch with Sully shrugging.

“He was pretty annoying.”

But now they have him, dying and powerless. Still, they’re not exactly sure what to do with him once they get the information they need. None of them trust him, and Benzine is pushing to find a way to scramble his brain. To CB this represents a moral line he doesn’t think they should cross. To Benzine there is no line. When it comes to the kids at T.R.O.L.L. right now, and any that might come in the future, there’s nothing that’s not on the table to protect him. But first, they need to see what he has…

View
Exogen Infil
August 30th 2075

In the aftermath of the frat party, Team Quattro and Sully split up, with the street medic hopping on his bike and Alganon saying farewell to his admirers and meeting the others in his Van on the street.

Meanwhile, CB messages Topsy, and gets a call from Leslie who got the heads up from Katarina and is now expecting him. They start heading back to Puyallup, when Alganon realizes someone is trying to hack into his comm. With CB’s deck bricked, it leaves them all exposed.

“Hey CB, you got any ideas?”

“Jutht thut it off,” he mumbles through broken teeth. “Once we get to Hello Nurthe!, they’ll have lotht uth in all the noithe.”

Alganon, a regular site at the club by now since bouncing over the summer, drives around to the loading dock in the back. Benzine helps the decker inside, and Leslie gets to work. She hooks Benzine up to an IV while they wait since he looked like shit too, but in both cases there’s not a whole lot of work Leslie can do, given [[:benzine | *Benzine’s panicked, last ditch healing.

The team talks in detail about the plan; Benzine is a little jumpy on this one, given the threats the parole officer made about the troll’s pet project and he wants a Plan B. Namely, a way to turn the tables on [[:kosmoe-sumatomo | Sumatomo]]. The decker is surprisingly optimistic though, given what just happened to him. He needs a new deck, an AI or hell, even Gojira to help. They all agree the latter would be quicker.

“Hey, look who I found,” Leslie said, coming in with dental prosthetics for Cobalt. It was the tattooed elf Ghost Bear, his signature tattoo running up his neck still looking fresh..
“I thought you were dead,” Benzine said, easing back into his chair.
He surveyed the scene and grinned. “This is what happens when I go out of town for a bit?”
“Ith been Thix monthth!” CB said.
“I had . . . things to take care of. Bring me up to speed.”

The fill him in on everything that had happened with the Puente job, and the blackmail, leading to the current job: breaking into Exogen22’s lab, and finding the prototype treatment for CFD. They ask Leslie while she’s there if she has heard anything about progress being made treating CFD. She says she’ll look into it. Benzine even offers her a sample. They talk a little more about their plan, but soon after decide to part ways. First things first, they need to scout that facility. And to do that, they need to get some rest.

The party splits again, with CB getting dropped off at Topsy’s. She tries to get him to retire, but he waves her off, asking her about A.I.s, and asking to speak to one to set up a meet with Gojira. She thinks about his idea; sentient Matrix beings and Technomancers which have a foot in both the ‘trix and meatspace allying? She’s heard crazier. So she tells CB a tale of a wild A.I. called Deadbeef, and sets up a meet.
The others head back to the Firehouse, where Benzine gives Ghost Bear a brief tour of the place, trying to skirt the issue of T.R.O.L.L. Since running into Sumatomo, he wants to talk about it with as few people as possible. Ghost Bear goes into his own history, talking about how he was born around the awakening. He was found by Yuri after his parents were killed by some pre-humanis sect, and since then he’s been considered part of the family. But recently, he’s gotten a lead on the people who killed them. Being his friend, Benzine offers Ghost Bear his help, owing in no small part to the fact that he has his own axe to grind with Humanis and their ilk.

August 31st, 2075. Saturday.

CB returns to home base the following morning, and spends the better part of it fixing his deck while the others went through their daily routine. Ghost Bear is cleaning his guns and even asks if theres a place to shoot.

In the basement, Benzine?” CB asked.
“No.” Benzine replied, with finality and a blank stare.
And that settled that.

“She’s back!” Whooped CB as his deck came back to life, giving him back all his precious data. Fortunately for the team, before the drek hit the fan, CB was able to dump everything he could from his marks comm. The paydata?

Danny Boyle: A grad student at the University of Washington. Two weeks ago he was hired by the startup Exogen22 as an intern. There are various e-mails, but the most useful is from Janice, an HR rep with the lab:

Hi Danny! Great to be having you come aboard, and I can’t wait to get started. I’m eager to hear your thoughts on improving our reverse telomerase partitioning scheme, but i’m sure there are a ton of other areas we could use your help with. Dr. Wentz speaks very highly of you and we expect great things.

When you get here on Monday (8am, SHARP) just park in the main lot. Your SIN should get you through the security checkpoint and in the main door. New hire registration is on the third floor, go up there and ask for Janice. She’ll get you entered in the system and show you around. I’m pretty busy so I may not be there to receive you but I will definitely try.

You should expect to get a new comm, and Janice will help you transfer your SIN to it. MCT has standard issue links they want us to use. They’ve got more compute power and tougher firewalls. You’re gonna need it to run these simulations… she’ll also be taking a few advanced biometrics and upgrading your SIN with them. I’m assuming you don’t already have an fMRI fingerprint in yours. If you do, great, but we will have to confirm and update it anyway. Once you got that, you should be cleared for Outer Ring.

Inside Outer Ring, KEEP YOUR SIN ON AT ALL TIMES, no running silent. Failure to broadcast your SIN will get you a visit from a dullard with an assault rifle. They are total drekheads, and will not hesitate to run your prints if they deem it necessary. I get the feeling these guys are bored out of their skulls with nothing to kill around here.

Anyhoo, for the first few days you should be able to get your work done from Outer Ring. That’ll give them time to do the background checks they need to do before we get you into Inner Ring; off the simulations and into the lab!

She mentions lab techs must always be running their SIN in the outer ring. She mentions a Dr. Wentz, the professor that referred the young man to the Oxford based company, and a Dr. Claudia Salhab, his boss in the company. The most important piece of information, however, is you need an fMRI brain scan to act as a fingerprint for entry into the inner ring. In addition, they gain some info on Dr. Salhab, namely her comm information and the address for the Exogen22 building on the University of Washington campus.

Not wasting time, Benzine wants to take a ride over to check it out, but needs a ride.
“I’ll drive you over on your bike.”
“No you wont. I just got that thing. Besides, think you’ll even fit?” Benzine was referring to the troll sized mods made to the Scorpion.
Sully eyed it up and down. “No.”
“Hey Alganon, think you can give us a ride?”
And as usual, the affable troll agreed. Benzine called Ember, who barked at the Van as usual before getting in and the team retraced their steps back to the Sigma Tau frat house, past the coffee shop, and see the nondescript concrete block of a building. They pull down a side street going into the heart of the campus before parking.

“I’ll be back in a bit,” Benzine said and whistled for Ember. The pair stroll onto the campus, Benzine wearing his ratty white t-shirt, worn with holes from his dermal deposits and turning a dingy shade of sepia and brown from overwearing and soykaf stains, very reminiscent of early 90’s Seattle.

Benzine finds a park bench near the building, and Ember sits dutifully by his side as he watches the people flow past, getting a feel for the place before astrally perceiving the area. A sense of the mana flowing from the bay, sweeping through the trees lining the road, the faint colors of their auras swirling yellow and orange, the hues from the grass dripping upwards to the open sky, drab gray swathes cut through it where man-made paths were laid. The auras of metas flitted through that of the grass, their energies bleeding together before gently separating, while others strolled this way and that on the constructs, their auras always distinct, never connecting. The awakened were always easy to spot, like a candle in the darkness burning bright before disappearing from view. Alganonl this was set against the open sky, with huge blocks cut out of it where the campus buildings were.

Looking at the perfect, grayish-black square of the Exogen22 building he saw little except a watcher spirit that would come into view once in a while before disappearing again. He waited a while yet, soaking in the astral and watching, until the watcher spirit came back again.
Satisfied, he returned to the Van, and they made their way back.

Not staying idle. Sully did some research into fMRI scans. While the brainwaves will fluctuate day to day, that doesn’t change who the person is fundamentally. Collectively, they decide to test the waters of tampering with SINs.
AL calls Cool Dennis and asks if it’s possible for fMRI fingerprints to be replaced.
“Hoo-wee. That’s tough. I mean, I got a guy, he might be able to answer. I got another guy, ain’t my regular, but he’d be cheaper. What’s that? The regular you say? Well, well, well, Alganon buddy, I’ll get you Eddie Pill’s info soon’s we’re done here.”

Alganonganon hands the info off to Ghost Bear who reaches out over video. An older black man answers, glasses shining in the reflection from an out of frame light source. “Cool Dennis said you’d be calling. What can I do for you? You need a SIN strengthened? Weakened? An fMRI scan replaced? That’s not easy. It’ll run you 600 per SIN, and you’ll need to provide the information.”

Nonplused, Sully buys a persona fix chip manufacturer for his lab to gather the data while CB digs through the e-mails for the names of 2 other interns. The first, Sara Legend, a sporty troll who is very much into basketball and a member of Delta Fi and finished her undergrad 2 years ago. The other was Joy Reuters who finished 4 years ago, but is more of a homebody. Unlisted, the only information CB found was a knitting forum talking about yarn from a semi-local farm. A picture of her shows her as a happy, human, Indian girl.

First, they go to U of W where Legend has practice. Benzine disguises Ghostbear as a lithe, curvy elf in spandex with an overbite and impressive BO.

A coach stops Ghost bear on the way in though. “What are you doing?”
“I’m just here to see my girlfriend, I don’t know why you’re hassling me.” He says, trying to get huffy. The coach stopped listening though, and chased after someone else.
Ghost Bear makes it to the locker room uneventfully, jimmies Sara Legend’s open easily enough, and finds the comm. Hurrying back to the car, CB is able to DNI it, copy the files, and walks it back with no other interruptions.
CB is able to pull a 3rd intern from hers since she failed to keep her NDA, an elf named Kevin Dyers.

Next they go to Joy’s. Benzine disguises Ghost Bear in the same way, except this time given his alter ego khaki’s and a polo shirt. Then he makes CB a burly, bearded, and pimply man, and Sully a total beefcake. She doesn’t understand what they’re looking for, since there’s no equipment inside her apartment.
“I don’t know, miss, I’m just following orders,” Ghost bear says.
Together, the three of them walk up to her apartment and come up with a story about a disturbance in the matrix, with her apartment as the source. The three go in, with Ghost Bear and Sully distracting her, CB forwarding some white noise like a geiger counter to Ghost Bear to help. CB hacks her comm as they’re out of the room, and they slip from the room.

3 down, 1 to go, they’re able to track Kevin Dyer easily enough. He has a very public, very unsecured 5th edition Age of Sigmar podcast, and in two hours they’re walking into Sully’s lab to get copies of their brain waves. The plan is Benzine is going to disguise himself as a corpse and watch from Astral while the others use the copies of the intern’s SINs. Eddie says it will cost 2,400 initially, but Ghost Bear is able to negotiate down to 1800. Alganonl in all, it’s shaping up to be one of Team Quattro’s better, more quiet plans.
September 1st, 2075. Sunday.

Labor Day in the future is kind of an empty, joke of a holiday given the state of the average corporate drone. Still, taking advantage of the long holiday weekend, they’re banking on the campus facility being empty. They pull up again, with Benzine eating his pride and summoning a spirit to go check out the area. The first is a bug eyes fish that “swims” up to Benzine to first confirm that the watcher spirit is still present.

The 2nd, stronger spirit is a disembodied eyeball, optic nerve trailing behind it. The tendrils flicking and pulsing as it moves. It watches, and gets a sense of the spirits movements. With the astral recon well underway, CB starts in on the matrix. Gojira is going to help, and sends his moth friend to come help, boosting the recently fried deck to running better than it was before sparks were flying from it.

Sully has bodybags and a stretcher ready to go, the chameleon coat and the Van shifting to look more like an ambulance. They’re able to break in easily, and CB hacks into the system through AR. He finds a map, and information that states that the strains are fairly along, and moving onto the next phase. Specifically CFD cure 832 has sims ongoing. The team makes their way further into the facility, heading up onto the floors above. CB stays jacked into the 2nd floor terminal, while the others move to the next level.

On the 3rd floor, they find a large booth in the middle of the room. Through a glass window, they see a man sized drone with a cable running into the ceiling. In separate cages, there are 3 primates. A baboon, an orangutan, and a chimp. In two others, there are two meta corpses. Besides not being human, and having minor cyber, they’re non descript.
Benzine materializes and offers to break the primates out, saying they have a contact that might be interested, but Sully turns it down. That’d be too obvious he says, but Benzine leaves it on the table in case he changes his mind.

For now though, Sully focuses on the problem at hand…

View
MEDIC!
The Introduction of Sully Draggs

Downtime

Benzine spent his summer cleaning up the firehouse, donating money to The Underground, and spending time with his students. AAR – Humble Beginnings. School stuff. Hasn’t seen much of Harry, but when he does he’s totally pimped out. It’s kinda garish, not classy like real success.Ember still hates the van. The Firehouse is done, it’s all cleaned up and serviceable for students. Been hanging out at the Beer Yard, the local dive in the hood. Started practicing Summoning again after seeing kids use it. Laying low, keeping an eye out for malicious spirits after the run in on the The Assassination of Hector Puente – 2 job. Fake SIN is for a paranormal investigator.

Still curious about the ghost, can only find pop culture references. Watches ghostbusters, prank wars ensue.

Benzine spends 30500 total for:

  • a lightly used Harley Scorpion for 9000¥ (armor rating 7)
    • Sweet ass sidecar 1000¥
  • Rating 5 SIN for 12,500¥ (John Leonard Dow)
    • Magicians License 1000¥
    • Foci License 1000¥
  • Orc Underground donations 6000¥ – (Working for the People, 3K)

Barricade- Got his custom fit body armor. Tried it out a few times, looks great but he sticks out like a football player in full dress. The van has been twitchy, but never anything that threatens its performance. More like weird smells, seat adjustments shifting, mirrors changing and electronics reconfiguring. Bouncing at Leslie Joy.

Through a combination of cash and credit from the Van Casper Medical Recruiting job, he got:

  • Rating 3 SIN License for Armor – 600¥
  • Chem seal on Security Armor – 3000¥
  • Rating 6 Non-conductivity – 1500¥
  • Helmet Mods – 1050¥
  • Berwick Suit and Argentum Coat – 7200¥
  • Reaction Enhancer Upgrade to R3 – 13000¥ (7K¥ Cash, 6K¥ credit)

Cobalt Blue – Topsy and he have gotten pretty close. She seems to have stopped playing the field and is pretty loyal to CB. She’s built up her own network of connections, and is only working shadow jobs once in a while. She’s got a legit freelancing business, writing software for debugging AIs. She’s kinda like a medic/shrink for them, and needs to write her own tools.

Sonny has been in touch now and again with very mysterious jobs. They are all very little, netting a couple hundred ¥ every week or so, but CB can’t really see the big picture. It’s everything from looking stuff up, to planting trojans. The last job was to deploy an unknown payload on a specific PolyPockets 3000. It feels like operational compartmentalization to CB.

Spent some time finishing up the firehouse. There is a basic nerdry on the roof that Cobalt has wired up with signal boosters, filters, and jammers. He’s got pretty good control of the matrix signal in the building.

CB buys:

  • Rating 6 Agent – 12K¥
  • Riot Armor w Helmet – 6K¥

Seattle

Olympics prep is in full swing. Construction is everywhere. Lots of blackmail jobs on RunnerHub as contractors try to get leverage over any officials they couldn’t bribe.

A jowly, pasty old white human male is on screen, dressed in a classy Berwick suit and deep crimson tie.

“If the Seattle Metroplex is incapable of committing the necessary funding to make the 2076 Olympics a success, then I don’t BLAME Saeder-Krupp or Shiawase for questioning whether they participate. This isn’t a threat, it’s a simple business decision, and the least the citizens of Seattle can do to ensure broad participation in the games, across all sovereignties, is pony up. Now, thats not to say the Tir and the NaaN aren’t expected to contribute…"

“Obviously, obviously” agreed the host.

“But corporate participation in the games is innately different than that of nation states, and the financial expectations should be adjusted accordingly. The real question I think the people of Seattle want answered, is: why does City Council hate the Olympics?"

Meanwhile, in The Shadows…

Rumors abound that a couple of deckers, and even a handful of civilians have been involved in some unpleasantness in the matrix. Apparently a host somewhere has a “leaky foundation”, and people affected have been reporting that they can’t seem to turn AR off anymore. Even when they aren’t using their comms, they are constantly bombarded with spam. No corroboration in the media yet.

The Setup

While out for dinner to celebrate the start of their first full school year, the team is having a proper sit-down Italian meal. Place isn’t too crowded, kinda empty. Team sits to face the various exits. During the 2nd round of drinks, just about to polish off the appetizers when CB turns pale and stares at the main entrance with linguini hanging out of his mouth. In walks his parole officer, Kosmo Sumitomo who makes a direct line for the table, takes a seat and pours himself a glass of wine from CBs glass.

“Good evening Mr. Kropop. This is an impressive meal on a teachers salary; I do trust you are enjoying yourself?"

“Yes yes, very good. Can’t say I blame you for not going out for Mexican… "

He trails off and seems to be staring through Benzine for a moment.

“Ah this must be your chummer Ben. It’s nice to finally meet you in the flesh sir."

Sumitomo gives Alganon a curt nod, understanding his penchant for silence, and orders himself a chicken parm to go. The PO is there to make them an offer. He is currently faced with a dilemma; he could turn them over to the Azzies for a 50K payday, or he could turn them over to Knight Errant Shadow Runner Unit (KESRU) for a probable promotion. Of course, there is a third way, and Kosmo offers to make both problems go away for the team for a price. 25K¥ upfront, PLUS 2500¥ a month to keep quiet, and keep the team aware of what KESRD knows. Those are per-runner prices.

“So you can see, I’m faced with a tough decision."

He pauses. Sizes up the crew.

“I hate having to make tough decisions."

Cobalt Blue offers to execute a job for Sumitomo instead of paying the extortion. He agrees, and tells them that this job will require a medical specialist to confirm the authenticity of the item he wants procured.

They agree, and are soon joined by Sully Drags, the street medic who has the job info. He explains that they are to infiltrate a bio-med startup called Exogen22, which is located in the University of Washington medical research area… somewhere.

After asking around at a local Soybucks, the team learns that the med students tend to pledge Sigma Tau. Since it is early September, parties are in full swing, and they crash one. Barricade is a big hit at the party, and a few distractions are employed. CB sifts through the partygoers comms till he finds one with a mention of Exogen22 in it, and proceeds to hack in and copy some files.

Unfortunately, this attracts the attention of an elite MCT security spider. The resulting cybercombat is swift, brutal, and near deadly for Cobalt Blue, who suffers a bricked deck and fatal dumpshock, only to be revived in the nick of time by Benzine’s swift action in casting a healing spell.

Runner Notes – 09 10 16

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The Assassination of Hector Puente - 2

Once the team located Puente’s bungalow, they surrounded it and made their move. They caught him mid-ritual, about to sacrifice one of the regular prostitutes who were being furnished to the prisoners.

Before he had a chance, Barricade emptied a 10 round burst into him, quickly and deftly fulfilling the term of the contract. Unfortunately the ritual in progress was the feeding of a Blood Spirit,

who was none to happy to see his meal taken away. Responding to the gunfire, the team was met on their way out by a guard patrol with a MATILDA drone, which quickly deduced that the giant towering pile of bones and gore was the more direct threat, and proceeded to aid the runners with a hail of grenades.

From there on, it was a matter of forest evasion, and returning to the meet with the head of Hector Puente. The meet was to be at a remote warehouse in the barrens. Catapult and Romeo led the team there, where they discovered Mr. Johnson hard at work clearing the space of ghouls. A couple of beers and a paycheck later, the team was on their way.

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The Assassination of Hector Puente, pt. 1

After deciding against immediate pursuit of the auditors fleeing the clinic in Ft. Lewis, the team accepts an invitation to a meet arranged by up-and-coming fixer Castle. Needing a face since the disappearance of Ghost Bear, Cobalt Blue calls up his new friend Knot, who meets them with dinner to discus a proposal:

Knot will negotiate the pay for the run, in exchange for 25% of the negotiated increase.

The location for the meet is a the top floor of an under construction skyscraper, kind of on the edge of downtown North Seattle (185th St). The Johnson was an Ares J, and didn’t really give a shit if the runners figure that out.

He explained to the team that the job was an assassination, and the target was currently being held in a corporate detention facility:

“You gotta do some pretty problematic stuff to be sent to one of these. They are EXTREMELY rare, because in 2075, if you have a white collar you don’t go to jail. You don’t even use a legal system. Odds are you are extremely valuable to a corporation, and are just going through some political strife. The board plans to pull you off ice once the drama has passed.”

“ This particular target is an Aztechnology executive. He was caught masterminding a ring of blood mages in the CAS. Now, their last spree of sacrifices was in 2072, which took them through Ares sovereign territory in the Texas desert. They racked up an impressive body count of highly trained HTRTs, near El Paso. Sent in an Ares Firewatch team which took out 3 mages, and suspected more were trapped in the hills. There was a protracted standoff, which ended in a fire watch team going hot, and the capture of Hector Puente."

i.e. Ares had a really fragging hard time taking these guys down.

Upon hearing the targets name, Cobalt Blue performed a matrix search, finding dramatic stories of his dastardly deeds and the heroism of Ares staff. 45 dead Ares Firewatch in El Paso says the ’trix. Stories clearly imply that Puente was killed. The search also lead to lots of documentaries, true crime stories, exposés, and a poorly reviewed story arc in Karl Kombatmage’s limited run trid series, as well as conspiracy theories and rumors that:

Hector has been traded back and forth among companies seeking to get leverage over Aztechnology, and with each company he proves to be more dangerous than they are prepared for.

Ares deeply regrets the trade that started it all. They have been actively hunting him, and their intelligence shows that:

  • Hector Puente seems to have a direct line to astral services, though he is not awakened himself.
  • There is a wake of carnage behind Hector just prior to being traded to the next corp. Ares thinks these are just barely failed escape attempts.
  • Hector manages to get in touch with blood mages sometimes. So before he has a chance to do this again, Ares wants him dead.
  • He is currently in the custody of Gaeatronics, at a facility in Bellevue located in what once was Saint Edward State Park.

After some considerable back and forth between Knot and Mr. Johnson, they arrived at a sum of ¥96K, in exchange for proof of death by the following Monday. Mr Johnson also informed the team that he would be sending two of his own operatives along to make sure the job got done to completion. The team was joined by an vaguely maybe sorta asian elven male named Romeo, and a female orc named Catapult. An infiltrator and rigger respectively.

During the legwork phase, the team discovered:

The facility is basically a resort in a canyon. Gaeatronics uses the natural surrounds to keep prisoners in. It’s a huge, sprawling facility in a valley, surrounded on 3 sides by very steep cliffs. The open end is walled in, and those walls are dressed up to look like more of the mountain. Satellites are useless due to massive sections of tarp that cover the valleys.

Astral flyby shows the canyon opening is heavily warded, as well as the presence of hellhounds. There are multiple layers of sensors and fencing, each far enough apart that guards have plenty of time to react before getting to the next one. Corp HTR response time is suspected to be quite low. Anti air equipment is also very likely, covering the lake. Lake Washington has a sonar and sensor buoy net set out a couple hundred feet from shore: off enough that the prisoners can still frolic in the lake.

There are currently about 20 other prisoners here, all guilty of various other corporate crimes that Gaeatronics doesn’t want to have tried in public. The crimes tend to be pretty nasty; rape, torture, serial killers. These are very violent sociopaths, who through a combination of birth and opportunism have been doing quite well for themselves in corporate life.

Each “prisoner” has their own bungalow, and is under constant surveillance. The small huts are each warded. They have free reign of the property, and there is pretty good arial drone coverage to keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t kill each other. They get regular shipments of high quality food and bunruku women. Not all of the women make it back out.

Legwork was assisted by Katrina Tospiera, an Agent on loan from Rusty, and Catapults arial surveillance drones.

The plan the team settled on, was to disable a section of the perimeter fence, climb over it, and then locate Hector Puente, kill him, and then escape somehow.

On the way in, they were nearly discovered twice, and were forced to kill a patrolling guard and his hellhound.

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Who needs dialysis?

After a little bit of shopping, the team gathered in Ft. Lewis to stake out the clinic being foreclosed. A pair of assessors arrived, opened the locked and boarded clinic, and presumably began tallying and appraising all the equipment and supplies within.

It was at about that time, that a Thundercloud Morgan came tearing down the street, lost control, rolled a half dozen times and crashed spectacularly. The runners stood down, and watched 2 dwarves emerge, one badly hurt.

Dazed and confused, the less hurt dwarf aided the badly hurt one, got it up and moving and realized that the clinic, though boarded up, was probably a good place to go for medical aid. After trying to get in and failing, the healthy dwarf applied some kind of small explosive to the front door to pop it open… and was greeted with an Ares Predator in his face. There was some sort of verbal exchange, and the auditor quickly let them both in.

Then the gangers showed up. Seemed like these 2 dwarves were fleeing from a few go-gangers, who formed up on the front of the clinic. Not suspecting an attack from the flank as they prepared to storm the clinic, the gangers took cover close enough to each other, that Benzine was able to drop a giant bucket of napalm on them. It was explodey.

Runner Notes – 03 13 16

AAR – Gandalf Is Just Another Stereotype

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Van Casper Medical Recruiting

Barricade drops off his newly acquired shitbox with Rev, and ¥5000 later it’s running strong, uparmored, and got a paintjob.

barricadesVan.jpg

The team located and recruited 4 nurses to work for Van Casper. Finding an MD was a little bit tougher, so they had to convince Floyd Guiterrez that he really didn’t want to take that hard-earned spot at the Doc Wagon academy.

Coke was planted, drug tests were failed, and Floyd now works for Dr. Van Casper.

Everyone got 6 karma, Cobalt Blue took his payment in cash (¥5025), and the remaining three shares were split as credit for chop shop work, netting Barricade and GhostBear each a cool gift certificate worth ¥22,612 for body work.

Runner Notes – 02 07 16

AAR – Paying it Forward

Reaching Zero

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Congratulations, Homeowners!

The team purchases an old abandoned fire station, with the intent of fixing it up and using it as the T.R.O.L.L. headquarters.

firehouse.jpg

Oh, and then Barricade and Benzine bought a van.

sketchyVans.jpg

After which the team took a job from an overworked street doc whose name was revealed to be Dr. Edward van Casper based on his diplomas on his wall. He’s having a hard time finding more staff for his expanding clinic and is offering 10K¥ for each M.D. the team can recruit and 5K¥ for each nurse. They are off to a good start, getting 2K¥ for getting Courtney from the free clinic in the Underground a job as a part-time hire.

03/02/2075
The team spent some time scouting the abandoned 7th Firehouse and making an offer. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done, but getting a spot was the first step. The team agrees on a one year term of residence in the T.R.O.L.L. facility, to make sure they don’t infringe on the organizations space, or jeopardize it’s future.
They immediately start arguing about the next job. Benzine wanted to take the med tech job as a way to build the team, and get more bang for their buck to get better jobs later. Cobalt Blue wanted to take a job with a party at the end offered by Alganon’s contact Cool Dennis. Outvoted, Benzine leaves in a huff.

The meet is at a swanky club with a Ms. Johnson, the manager for Horatio Velveteen, the premier lounge singer, bringing back the classic sound of the rat pack, #1 show in vegas. Sings, dances, feats of strength. He wanted trolls so he wasn’t the biggest guy in the room. But wanted to be picked up in style, and comfort on Thursday. Needed him at the wshow at 8 on Friday, and delivered to the airport Sunday. No expenses covered, all for 10k split 4 ways.

Deciding it wasn’t worth it, between the vehicle rental, and the low pay, Benzine ducked out. CB bricks Ms. Johnson’s comm on the way out, while she’s using it to complain to Cool Dennis. Missing No. picks up the rest, and Benzine takes off.

They finally decide to take the med tech job. It was simple; they needed to find doctors and nurses for a booming street clinic. Backgrounds and degrees good, but he will take nurses without.
10k for Doctors
5K for Nurses

All for fulltime work; half that for part time. Dr. Johnson’s name was revealed to be Edward van Casper – based on the diplomas on the wall, and the name on the clinic. Gave 8 days before he leaves for vacation.

CB and Ghostbear hack a server, and find a list with 6 grads. Benzine went to the Ork underground to talk to the free clinic volunteer he meets regularly, Courtney. Figuring burnout is high in that environment, and it would be good for other metas to see an Ork doc, he offers it up to her. She’s willing to meet on a part time basis.

Meanwhile, Benzine and Alganon also pick up a piece of shit GMC Hermes that needs a lot of work.

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The Dog Job

Local kennels began seeing fewer and fewer dogs being turned in. The wealthy owner was suspicious that rather than this indicating a sudden boom in responsible pet ownership, rather something far more nefarious was going on. Investigation indicated that dogs were being abducted and were being experimented on, potentially for military applications.

AAR – Troll’s Best Friend

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