Runner Notes - 05 29 16
Stumbling onto Puente’s bungalow, Team Quattro sees him through a window with a woman bound to the bed. Brandishing a knife in both hands, held high in the air, Barricade doesn’t hesitate and unleashes a barrage of lead straight center mass. Blood and gore paint the walls, his right arm chewed off by the spray of bullets, as the Azzie suit collapses into a pool of blood.
Benzine charges in the back door, just as Catapult informs them that they’ve got an incoming drone/corpsec team. CB tries to stop the alarm to head them off, while Benzine tries to free the elf woman, who’s sobbing uncontrollably, and for good reason. Her back is carved with different sigils and symbols, script flowing in a neat and orderly fashion across her shoulders and picking up as it crested her legs. Whatever it was, Benzine didn’t think Puente had finished as he started to untie the woman.
The room started to get more chilly and moist as a hole opened in the corner. It was shifting, making it hard to tell if it was in the walls, or the floor, or the ceiling. The only thing that was clear was space was being torn apart.
Light pouired out, piling onto itself. Building a metahuman sized shape initially, until it surpassed it, growing dark, black, and fuzzy around the edges. It’s arms elongated, then it’s hands, stretching into sharpened fingers at the end. Fur sprung from it’s back, as it’s hunched form reached the ceiling. Rolling forward from it’s shoulders was a burning skull, with chattering teeth. More appendages crept from the back of it’s skull, as it’s eyeless sockets fixed on Benzine with black, oozing darkness seeping from the orifices and dripping onto the ground.
The troll stumbled back out of the room as he recognized it for what it was. Leaving the elf woman with the restraints only half untied, he fled past Alganon. It was only when he was past CB, and he asked what was going on, did he shout “It’s a fucking blood spirit!”
CB didn’t waste any time and followed after him. If it was bad enough mojo to spook the mage, he didn’t want to be left behind with it.
Barricade had no such compulsions though. He charged in, leapt over the elf struggling on the bed, and cut her loose. Then, as the spirit unleashed a fetid, rotting miasma towards him, he kicked her off the bed and out of harms way, dropping to the floor himself. The woman ran, screaming from the back, while the troll-with-many-names fireman crawled towards the body of Puente, and slung it over his shoulder.
Slicked with blood, he hauled ass from the bungalow, leaving the spirit behind as it lapped at the pooled blood on the ground.
Meanwhile, Romeo had engaged the security forces that the team had been unable to fool, with Catapult running extra surveillance for them. As the team runs, she tells them that another team is inbound when the spirit appears in front of them. Benzine just barely skids to a stop as it’s grasping claws reach for him.
Alganon drops the body and sets to work removing the head as speed seems like it’s going to become more and more of a factor. This allows for another drone/corpsec team to show up, and gives the spirit another shot at Benzine, who’s claws rake against his helmet. Romeo catches a bullet from the other team, and the Mathilda fires a grenade into the group just as Al rips off his skull, along with about 8” of his spine.
The spirit absorbs the majority of the blast, the team able to avoid the brunt of it with distance. But he’s still standing, and unleashes another swipe at Benzine and another mist of vile halitosis towards Al, the smell nauseating him and essentially taking him out of the fight as he stumbles away.
Team Quattro is ready as the Mathilda’s 2nd grenade is fired into the skrum, leaving the spirit to take the grenades blast alone as they break for safety. It rattles around in it’s hollow abdominal cavity before exploding and sending it back to Astral.
As the deafening boom quiets, a voice comes over the loudspeaker of the Mathilda. “Drop your weapons and get on the ground.”
Obviously that’s not an option for our runners. Catapult flies a drone in, and lets Alganon deposit the head in a cargo net carrier. Then Benzine casts Trid Phantasm, creating an illusion of the blood spirit right in front of the Mathilda. It confuses the drone just long enough for the team to take cover, and catch their breath. The reprieve is short lived as CB spots an icon for an inbound Roadmaster. They assume it’s HTR, and break for the northern fence, where Benzine melts a hole big enough for them all to duck through. As they run, CB is busy data spiking the van, stopping it cold in it’s tracks. They start jumping out and pursuing, but it buys them a lot of time.
Not too much from security on site though. A quick look into Astral shows Benzine that the hellhound patrols are leading the charge, and closing quick. Soon, they can even hear their braying in the distance. CB, in a moment of inspiration, has Alganon drape the blood soaked jacket he’s wearing over one of Catapult’s drones, and she flies it through the forest, away from Team Quattro.
As they run, they slowly hear the barking recede as they reach the perimeter fences. They snip the monofilament wire at the top, and climb to freedom. Catapult picks them up, and the last thing Benzine does before his slap patch wears off is heals Romeo’s gut shot.
The team wakes up to the van door slamming shut, and Catapult holding soy-kafs for each of them. They had taken them to a safe house and let them sleep the night off. Catapult tells them that they contacted the Johnson, and set up a meet in Puyallup that afternoon. And also, the van is weird, but couldn’t put a finger on why exactly.
The meet is in a remote place, with loads of noise on the ‘trix. Ash layered everything, with footprints, but no people. They walk into a dark warehouse, crates stacked in the middle. Bodies litter the floor around a military vehicle and the Johnson, stripped to his waist and hacking away with a machete. Catapult quick draws her pistol and plugs a ghoul in the head as it almost grabbed him from behind.
“You got proof of death?” Seeing the heads he nods. “How’d it go?”
“Why not ask your guys?” Benzine asked.
“I already read their reports.” He responded.
“Figures, you military types. Don’t you sleep?” CB interjected. They talk for a while, CB and Benzine disquieted by the feral ghouls randomly straying in, and moreso at the Johnson’s casual way of hacking away at them while carrying on a conversation and offering them beer.
“Well, I’m glad you were able to tie up my loose ends for me,” he said, wrapping up. “Maybe there will be more work in the future.” He hands CB a credstick, and with that T.Q. is 90k nuyen richer.
And boy was it fancy. Topping in at 5k nuyen for a night on the town, the whole affair saw Topsy in a new dress, CB in a new blue suit, a VTOL ride to the restaurant, with a drone photographing the couple surreptitiously all night before, during, and after their fancy dinner. It was all capped by a night at Topsy’s place. While it might not be enough to say that the couple is back together, is it enough to stall her with her other suitors.
Alganon spends his time talking with Cool Dennis, trying to find out what Catapult was getting at with the van being strange. They all chip in, and bring it back to Rev to run diagnostics on it again, but it comes up clean. On a whim, Benzine assenses the vehicle, and discovers something that looked like a ghost haunting it. They’re unable to communicate with it currently, so have no idea what it wants but Benzine put feelers out to his magical contacts.
Benzine spent his time immediately after the assassination of Puente in different ways. First, he went to visit his old friend Harry. The shop was bustling with activity, which was weird in and of itself, but when he went inside there were actual employees too. Most of the clientele was congregating in the alley in the back of the store, and filtering in that way. There was a short exchange between the troll and a pimply faced human behind the counter trying to stop him as he marched to the back offices, and barged right into his office.
Surprised by the entry, the elf tried to grab the jewelry and credsticks sprawled across the desk, until he realized who it was. He eased back, and the pair got to talking. That’s when Benzine discovered that, instead of using the Downfall as a way to build up the talismonger side of his business, he was instead going there to peddle deepweed. It wasn’t totally surprising, but he’d be lying if he wasn’t hoping the talismonger would use it to get up and running for it’s intended purposes. Not for any moral reasons; Harry’s schemes historically fall flat.
On his way out, he buys a copy of the physical mask spell, telling the pimply faced young human that “maybe he should learn it.”