Shadowrun: The Wilson Hall Irregulars

Session Seven: Raiders of the Storm Shadow
The team boards the Renraku container ship _Arashikage_

Wednesday, November 23, 2072 – 11:53 PM
International Waters, 2,016 kilometers off North America’s Pacific coast

The crew having predicted the target vessel _Arashikage_’s course, the submarine (dubbed SS Renraku Sucks! by Cap’n Mal) awaits her prey. Mal-0 peeks out astrally, noting several wards on the massive cargo ship. Malachi compiles a crack sprite and declares that he wants to breach into the hold, but to deal with the ship’s satellite uplink first. Lucy wants to digitally follow the sat-link into space to expand her consciousness, but everyone else wants to take it out by having Mal-0 melt the deck beneath it, or else spoof its data emission. Hit Monkey asks if anyone wants to pay him not to kill anyone; there are no takers.

Having lain in wait for Arashikage along its transit route, Cap’n Mal decides to latch onto the starboard bow and break in to deal with the sat-link. Mal-0 does some Psyke and casts Improved Invisibility on everyone. Malachi compiles a machine sprite to help his sub-piloting abilities, sub-par even with the skillsoft provided by Ms Johnson. Deftly moving parallel to the Renraku vessel, Cap’n Mal engages the boarding mechanisms and Malaclypse casts Shape Object to create a meter-wide hole. Hit Monkey’s agent, JARVIS, scores four hits on Scan, detecting the sat-link, the cranes, and the three security nodes (drones, cameras, and sensors.) Malachi sends his LEBD-1 through the breach, followed by Lucy’s Dragonflies, Hit Monkey, and Malaclypse.

The LEBD-1 advances stealthily as Malachi analyzes the sat-link’s node, finding it has a Firewall 6 and Encrypt running. Lucy flies to the ceiling with commands for her flies to follow, gaining a good vantage point. JARVIS tries to hack the sat-link as Hit Monkey boards the ship, sneaking and scouting – he spots a repair crewman casually strolling his way, but doesn’t shoot. Malachi gets 5 hits to hack the sat-link and the sensors. Dragonfly-Lucy moves through the vents to the upper deck with four flies, four remaining in the hold. She spots a group of four smoking sailors and the sat-link, deciding not to destroy it.

Hit Monkey uses Krav Maga to aim and shoots the repairman in the face with his silenced Predator IV. Malachi threads a stealth program; he and JARVIS try to hack in again, and would’ve succeeded if not for that meddling firewall. An alarm goes off in the node! The sensor node remains undetected. Malachi manages to get himself caught, but is in on the sat-link and sensor nodes. In the sat-link node, “Wraith” blasts the kitten-disguised IC with a Death Star blast, but they shrug it off. He threads up his Armor complex form, and takes a damage from threading his Shield complex form. Another blast deals 8 to both kitten-ICs and the LEBD-1 begins using its radar. JARVIS gets into the sat-link. LEBD-1 turns on its radar but gets no hits. Malachi is attacked by the kitten-IC, but his Shield complex form helps him shrug off the attack. Malachi threads an Edit complex form and attacks the kitties, gaining control of the Barrens-themed node. JARVIS finds that Arashikage has received navigational data to head to coordinates in the middle of the Pacific, far from any known islands.

Hit Monkey sneaks upstairs past two men making out; he shoots one in the back of the head for other reasons entirely. The shot kills both of them. Lucy deploys a Finsceal from the sub to the cargo bay and sends a Dragonfly aft towards the engine room. Mal-0 keeps exploring the cargo bay, and spots a guardian spirit. Mal-0 hits it for 7 with a Stunball. The samurai-spirit astrally slashes Malaclypse for 6, but is stunned for good by the second Stunball. One of Lucy’s Dragonflys scouts out the engine room, crew area, and bridge by traversing the vents – its finds about ten crewmen in the engine room, a couple on the command deck, and the rest in the crew area.

Malachi and Lucy hack into the drone node, discovering that drones have already been deployed – several submarine drones have been launched, and now threaten Cap’n Mal on the party’s own vehicle!

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Session 6: Gaiden
A madcap B-Team engages in vehicle combat by air and land

Belletrix LeBangs, now a fixer in the Seattle shadows, has gotten a hot tip regarding the location of a magical reagent(of uncertain specifications.) She has assembled a secondary runner team for the job: to fly a plane through Salish-Shidhe airspace to intercept a smuggling zeppelin, board the airship, and find the item on board. The team consists of WZRD (an oni hacker/rigger), Dan Harrigan (an ex-Lone Star bounty hunter), Cactus Jack (a Discordian free spirit allied with Malaclypse the Zeroth, and Orphaner (an Amerindian troll mystic warrior bent on revenge.)

WZRD flies the plane and searches for nodes in the sky while Harrigan mans the radar and other sensors. WZRD detects a commlink in the clouds and takes her up. Harrigan repeatedly fails to detect the stealth blimp, and finds a flock of geese on a glitch. Orphaner leans out the door to zap one with a lightning bolt. Seeing the heroes’ plane, the blimp fires a powerful laser cannon into their port side, taking off a third of the plane’s structural integrity. The smugglers’ craft remains hidden from view, its chameleon skin blending it into the rain-spewing clouds.

Cactus Jack makes an illusion of the plane going down in flames, as Orphaner makes the real plane invisible, effectively fooling the enemy gunner. WZRD launches his Armadillo electronic warfare drone, Harrigan taking the controls as the hacker slumps into VR. The drone, mounted on the plane’s exterior, heads toward the laser’s source. Cactus Jack uses his Accident power on the blimp’s rigger captain, while Orphaner summons a Spirit of Man in the form of his father’s ghost (manipulation, Force 5 with four services) on their blimp. Meanwhile WZRD detects the zeppelin’s nodes, ordering his drone to jam the blimp. While snooping around, the rigger captain launches IC against him.

Cactus Jack flies toward the blimp. The troll’s spirit influences the blimp’s sensor/communications officer into switching off their chameleon skin. Harrigan launches one of WZRD’s LEBD-1 rotodrones. Cactus Jack makes the guardian spirit (a valkyrie) high with his confusion breath attack. The troll spirit influences the captain to land the blimp. The two Viking IC programs gang up on WZRD’s icon, one of them landing a hit. WZRD gets a security account, while the captain bolsters two drones with ECCM and launches them out through hacking. Papa Troll influences the captain to jump off the blimp. Before he does, Harrigan flies the plane (untrained) above the blimp, and Orphaner grabs a rope, jumping with a rope in hand twelve meters down, severely buckling the catwalk and crushing a crewman. He boosts his agility and brandishes his combat axe.

Cactus Jack finally makes it to the blimp, flying into the cockpit, where he manifests as Wonder Woman. His Accident power causes the captain to switch off the anti-missile lock countermeasures, and his drug breath incapacitates the captain and the scanner officer. WZRD goes full VR, allowing the plane’s autopilot to take over. WZRD returns his Armadillo to the plane, and orders all of the blimp’s LEBD-1s into the plane as well. Using the captain’s ID, WZRD locks all doors and orders security to stand down, also giving Orphaner and Harrigan an AR map. Harrigan zips down the line that Orphaner established, taking a bead on a guard with his pistol, dealing 7 damage. Orphaner notices another guard to the stern, cutting the rope and swinging aft, cutting him in half and knocking both parts overboard. Meanwhile the captain and sensor officer fall unconscious. WZRD sends word to Harrigan and Orphaner that he’s going to tip the ship – the wounded guard and one other fall overboad. Orphaner’s magnetic boots keep him from falling, while Harrigan holds onto the handrail and shoots an explosive round into the final guard’s throat as he dangles from the handrail, blasting him off the ship. The gunner threatens Cactus Jack that he’ll shoot down the plane – WZRD opens the door; Harrigan enters, shoots the gunner to the deck, and throws him overboard. Orphaner, Papa Troll, and Cactus Jack search the cargo hold for the artifact. Harrigan butt-strikes the sensor officer, hanging him with his own parachute. WZRD searches for where the navigational computer was leading them, finding the Cascade Orks. He downloads this to sell to The Man. The kill-beam hits the blimp, blasting it out of the sky. Harrigan is knocked against the wall, but shrugs it off and puts the artifact box in his arm. He fights his way to the catwalk and jumps overboard with his parachute. Cactus Jack uses Psykonesis first to help Harrigan, who then carries out several crates. Orphaner, with his magnetic boots, carries two crates himself. WZRD wipes the computer, logs out, and lands.

Cactus Jack flies around assensing to find Harrigan and the two crewmen who fell overboard. Cactus Jack turns into a yeti and approaches him. The guard fires a burst from his AR uselessly into Cactus Jack, who uses his accident power to cause the man to fall over. The spirit, ignoring the gunfire, walks up and confuses him further and further. When the man has descended into madness (-17 to all tests), Cactus leaves him to the wilderness. Meanwhile the crew loads the crates into the plane. WZRD sends word to Belletrix as Cactus Jack hovers outside.

At the country safehouse, Malaclypse the Zeroth shows up in astral form and shoots shit with Cactus Jack, identifying the reagent as a pineal gland. After Mal-0 leaves, the drones detect incoming ground vehicles. Eight armed dune buggies are speeding toward the house, two from each cardinal direction. Each has a driver and a standing gunner who operates a mounted light machine gun.

WZRD runs to the plane (parked out back and still invisible) as his drones get into place – Dobermans by the back door, LEBD-1s in a perimeter, Armadillo jamming everything. Orphaner casts Ice Sheet, causing both southern buggies to crash into each other. Cactus Jack fails to use his Accident power on another. Harrigan raises his assault rifle, shooting out an eastern buggy’s tire and causing it to crash. Eastern and western LEBDs miss. Dobermans move to the plane, dealing seven damage to a western buggy. Orphaner casts another Ice Sheet in the north, but both buggies swerved to avoid it. Cactus Jack casts another Ice Sheet, crashing both northern buggies. Harrigan fires at the remaining eastern buggy, bursting the driver’s head and rolling the buggy over, breaking the gunner in half. One of WZRD’s Dobermans shoots out the first buggy’s engine; a LEBD damages another for 6. Harrigan runs around to finish it off.

Cactus Jack assenses to search for survivors. Orphaner searches for body identication, finding nothing. WZRD wants to search their license plates. Cactus Jack and Orphaner consider selling body parts and cyberware. Belletrix concludes that there must be a spy among her A-Team’s contacts.

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Session Six: Here We Go Again
As the B-Team skyjacks, the A-Team prepares for seaborne skullduggery

Sunday, 20 November 2072
Seattle, UCAS

Malachi has spoofed tix to the Seahawks game. Malaclypse is playing jai alai with his roommate/landlord Milo. Belletrix, now the team’s fixer, has gotten them a job and wants to meet at Club Penumbra to discuss it. She invites them there, mainly to party. Her replacement on the team, the Hindu Hit Monkey, is less enthused about debauchery. Belle tells them that Ms Johnson wants to meet the next afternoon on a semi-ballistic flight to Havana, the capitol of the Caribbean League.

Hit Monkey brings his Infiltrator pistol on board, and a few other items. Malachi Constant spoofs a seat in coach, projecting to the meeting in AR. Malaclypse phantasms Lucy’s drone Mansford to look like Lucy Liu in Charlie’s Angels, and himself to be Charlie Chaplin. Ms Johnson sits down across the aisle from the crew, although she never interacts with them in the real world – the negotiation takes place entirely in the Matrix. Malachi hacks and edits Ms Johnson’s icon from the Queen of Diamonds to the 2. The team suspects that she is Grace Friel of the Draco Foundation. Their mission is to wait two days for the Renraku container ship Arashikage to clear port and get into the open seas; their mission is then to hijack it using a Partisan submarine, and return it to Seattle. For this, they will receive the sum of 62,000 nuyen (negotiated up from 50,000), a Shape Object spell for Mal-0, and a Pilot Aquatic Vehicles skillsoft for Malachi.

Malachi hacks Johnson/Friel’s commlink, finding nothing. He leaves a sprite he’s compiled, ordered to watch for further activity. Lucy scans for hidden nodes, just in case: but she has turned it off. Meanwhile Hit Monkey’s agent program, JARVIS, runs a data search on Friel.

Upon landing in Havana, Malachi researches shipping lanes. Mal-0 researches his new Melt spell. Malaclypse wants to rob a casino. Meanwhile he summons watcher spirits to find Watanabe and the Arashikage Malachi tries to hack plane passenger manifests to find Watanabe when he went across the Pacific. The team wastes no time in Cuba, returning to Seattle almost immediately. Malaclypse sends out watcher spirits to find Arashikage and its purported owner, Watanabe “Tanaka-San” Tatsuo as JARVIS, runs a data search on Watanabe’s public activity (finding that he, after performing a few more jobs, traveled to Neo-Tokyo one day and has not been seen since.)

Mal-0’s watcher spirit finds the cargo ship at a Renraku shipyard in Tacoma. Lucy packs all of her drones sans Mansford, Cervantes, Bubo and the Bust-a-Move into a shipping crate, with the intent of stowing away aboard the ship. First, Bubo, a few Dragonflies, and Hit Monkey go on a recon mission. HM sets up atop a tenement apartment building as Bubo lands aboard Arashikage. HM assenses and sees a spirit floating above the ship; its form is an elderly kimono-clad Japanese man armed with a katana. Lucy lands on the ship with her Finsceals and Dragonflys; alarms go off and six rotodrones launch. Lucy retreats; they don’t leave or fire outside Renraku airspace. Malachi jumps into one of the rotodrones and gets a security account. Malachi suggests a distraction run against the dockside warehouse to make Renraku think that was the goal; Lucy says she’ll probably just go aboard the sub.
Malachi hacks and finds the crew and cargo manifests. One container is “Maritime Project N71.” In their past voyages, he seems that they always used the same route between Neo-Tokyo and Seattle.

Mal-0 summons a Spirit of Man in the form of a monocle-wearing bong. It succeeds where the watcher failed, and manages to find Watanabe’s private jet thirty miles norht, headed north as well. Mal-0 astrally projects after it, seeing that it’s escorted by a pair of spirits similar to that seen earlier. Assensing, he memorizes the spirits’ signatures. Following the plane for too long, Malaclypse’s summoned spirit is slashed apart by Watanabe’s escort spirits in astral combat.

Results: Their next mission planned, the crew now has only to act.

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Intermission: Malachi
Technomancer terrorism and gangland investigations are enough to keep anyone busy

German ork-rocker Tommy Thrash is in Seattle at the Crash 2.0 monument, where he hires the runners as extra security. He plans to announce that he’s a technomancer and call for an end to experimentation on his kind. Humanis learns of his schedule, and sends a goon squad as well as a mage with Mob Mood to incite a riot. An assassin is to kill Tommy and blame it on the crowd. Malachi tells Bas that he’s busy, but goes in the crowd. He ushers Tommy to safety, but allows the Humanis mage to cast his spell. He also spoofs a call from Sebastian to the mage, telling him to panic the guards. Most of them flee, but shots are fired – several are wounded, and there are two fatalities. Malachi disables Tommy’s rigger as he leaves, telling Tommy to go to a spoofed safehouse (and allowing Humanis a clear escape path.) He also edits all the Humanis identifying markers out of the security footage, passing them off to Tommy as an anti-TM group. +Loyalty to Sebastian DeVries; Malachi gets nuyen.

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Intermission: Lucy
Lucy and her custodial parent embark on a quest that stirs up their pasts

Sept 2072 – Orbison (“Orby”) Wozring is called up for an Ares corporate retreat in Detroit, UCAS, and he asks that Lucy go with him as he fears Ares will try to kidnap him. Having a couple of days, Lucy decides to look into the matter beforehand. Michele Borden is one name that she recalls from her “birth” facility. She is Ares’ current justice on the Corporate Court – and is universally seen as underqualified for the job. Lucy asks to meet with Borden regarding some bogus recovered Ares tech; Borden says that she’s currently aboard the Court’s orbital station, but can meet Lucy in Detroit in a couple of days. Before the trip, Lucy hires her teammate Malaclypse the Zeroth to join her on the trip. Orby and a few other Ares or freelance technicians board a plane at Sea-Tac airport. Mal-0 sneaks aboard the private jet, influencing everyone not to see him. Later, Orby notices they’re flying south. Lucy tries to hack the plane’s navigational computer, but she’s caught. Mal-0 influences the second fattest guy, who rolls all hits and shuts off the alarm.

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Intermission: Hit Monkey
Baljeet Darwish runs in the Hong Kong shadows, and must choose between loyalty to Evo or the 'runner's code

July 2071: Beljeet has taken a contract for the assassination of a Komun’go underboss in Seattle, choosing to snipe him as he gets in his limousine from a First Nations fliphouse in Everett. He manages this with a single well-placed shot, then books it to the speedboat he had positioned at the docks just below the warehouse.

As he goes home, Hit Monkey gets word that next week he will be sent by Evo (where he has his day-job) to Hong Kong to attend a convention for Dickens Program programmers about proper procedure regarding dealing with AIs (how to approach them, how to work with them, how to identify e-ghosts, etc.) His boss suggests that he use Evo’s subsidiary, CrashCart Clinics, to have a PensoDyne sleep regulator installed. He gets a discount! Obviously, being an adept, Darwish declines. Baljeet’s fixer, legendary pr0nstar Belletrix LeBangs, knows that he’s going to Hong Kong, and has vetted local Johnsons (or “Mr. Wu”s) for jobs while he’s in town. Being unable to smuggle his weapon of choice on an airline (his high-powered sniper rifle), he has Belletrix get him a WW Infiltrator pistol to bring along with his Morrissey Elan. Two days before the trip, “Mr. Wu” calls him to ensure his interest; HM tries to track his location but only finds that he was in a tea café. Before the trip, HM meditates to avoid jet lag. He concludes that the fact that he’s being physically taken there is a mark of respect. On the plane ride, he sits between his boss and a Hindu guru, who spouts wisdom. In Hong Kong, he’s to be given a three-day holiday to see the city.

The convention starts the day after his arrival, but HM decides to get right to his shadow work. The meet is at a fancy restaurant. HM assenses Mr. Wu for 6 hits. Wu says he suspects that a friend of his who works for Wuxing is hiding something from Evo, their partners in the Pacific Prosperity Group – he thinks he’s granting subpar exchange rates with the Malaysian Exchange Bank without authorization. He wishes to sever his social ties with the man, but this is socially unacceptable – first the man must be shamed. As payment to Hit Monkey, he offers some Yamatetsu NT weapons or augmentations. Wu also plays up the dire consequences for revealing his involvement in the run. Before HM leaves, Wu mentions that Belletrix arranged for a second runner – Lars, a cannibalistic albino Chinese goblin manipulation-specialist black magician.

The duo’s first task is to break into the target’s Malaysian Independent Bank (owned by Wuxing) office to re-arrange the furniture the night before a deal. Wu has very specific requests for the new position of the furniture; this is to disrupt the target’s feng shui. After they break in, they encounter two patrolling efreeti (Islamic guardian spirits). Lars has summoned a spirit of man, the soul of the last person he ate. The spirit fails with a stunball. Lars casts Mass Confusion on both of the efreeti (-7 to all tests), and raises a counterspelling barrier over both runners. Before being affected, one tries to hit Lars; the other terrifies HM into fleeing. The man spirit stunballs the one fighting Lars, and Lars Influences the remaining one to break into the vault. Hit Monkey calls his teammate Malachi Constant to deal with the security cameras.

The next job is to sour the target’s relationships with a few of his key contacts and embarrass him publicly. Wu has forged documents that make it look like he’s betraying his friends, HM just needs to plant them; this is to disrupt guanxi – his “interconnectedness”. HM decrypts the data, which describes involvement in people-shipping from Kowloon Walled City to Seattle and San Francisco. On the Hong Kong end, he’s supposedly selling to organleggers. Lars casts Mob Mind on the dock workers, commanding them to jump in the ocean. HM spots a rail drone – in VR, he sends his agent JARVIS (as Iron Man Mk III) to get an admin account on the drone. From there, it hacks into the security node, where it’s spotted by an off-site spider. After a long battle, the spider finally logs out just before he’s blasted with dumpshock. JARVIS deletes the spider’s account, and they plant the datadisc. Meanwhile, the warehouse manager – Fang Xi-an – shows up with some Wuxing security. The spirit of man knocks all of them out, overcasting at Force 30 and banishing. Blood trickles down their noses.

Lars leads Hit Monkey to a desolate slum street near Kai Tek Night Market. They take all three security and Fang along. Lars drains Fang’s Essence by 1, eating the meat off one of his fingers and addicting him to Lars’ essence drain. Fang awakens, pissing himself. They threaten him extensively, and he goes on to tell them the truth about his joint scheme with his old classmate Mr. “Wu” (Chen) with the Black Chrysanthemum Triads. He tells them that Chen wants to have himself extracted by Aztechnology, which has recently joined the Pacific Prosperity Group and is gaining power in the region. He’s been meeting with one of their headhunters, Rodrigo Gutierrez. Lars is disappointed when Fang says he’s not an organlegger. Eventually they get Fang to promise them 10,000 nuyen apiece to spare his life. After they part ways, Lars influences a chiphead to stumble over to his culvert squatter residence, where Lars devours his arms for 2 Essence, over eight agonizing minutes. He uses the intense terror to fuel a spirit binding.

Meanwhile HR hits up the black market and buys a silencer. Wu/Chen calls, asking how the run is going – HM wants to meet at Kai Tek, an offer which he rebuffs in favor of Evo Tower in the central district of downtown. HM tells Lars to stay at Kai Tek. HM and Chen meet on the street in front of the tower. Chen tells HM his new job: he is to wound Chen on Tower grounds. Chen has a CraschCart account, similar to DocWagon but a subsidiary of Evo. He will have a jammer activated to stop the retrieval signal – then he will be removed by a stolen or disguised CrashCart vehicle to be taken to a second runner team. Chen offers either a ceramic pistol or a Dragonfly drone; HM takes the latter. Chen goes inside the tower to the 30th floor. HM activates his Evo civilian ID, asking the receptionist what parts of the tower he can visit. He drops this commlink in a potted plant at the 25th floor programming sector, putting JARVIS into it to create a Matrix alibi. Meanwhile Lucy comes through on a data search about Chen, finding Evo internal affairs’ knowledge of Chen’s meetings with Rodrigo Gutierrez. HM puts the Dragonfly out a window, bringing Lucy through the Matrix to provide overwatch as he goes up five floors. He finds Chen’s door unlocked. He palms a 3D Evo logo off the desk, taking due time (two aiming actions), making a called shot to peg him in the temple. He’s dead. Hit Monkey has made his choice, placing the good of Evo over his shadowrunning credentials. HM plants the Gutierrez info on all his commlinks, and plasters it all over the wallpaper and window before escaping. The next day, HM goes to the conference, where he hears about the proper ways to approach AIs. This includes positive reference to the Scientific Values philosophy of Universal Omnitech – that a researcher’s ethical misgivings are merely human limitations. HM makes an angry call to Belletrix about setting him up with a demon-fueled cannibal. That night, HM snipes Rodrigo Gutierrez, the AZT corporate headhunter. On the return flight home, his boss asks what he was up to the whole time.

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Intermission: Malaclypse
The Seattleite pope goes on a vision quest, securing a pact with a daughter of Eris

It is March 19 2071, holy day of Dr Van Van Mojo. Since it is St Mojo’s month (Disco Flux), Malaclypse the Zeroth has a disco party with Elvish and his roommates. After Malaclypse demonstrates a scorching floor display of his disco moves, Dr Van Van Mojo manifests and sends him on a quest to go to Sydney, Australia. There, Mal-0 experiences the city’s permanent mana storm, as it flares up and knocks out Matrix coverage, pelting the earth with hail and lightning. Just as he thinks a tornado is about to hit, the sky clears. The doctor tells him to project his consciousness to the Metaplane of Discord. To protect his meat body during the journey, Mal-0 influences a doctor to sustain him while he’s away and creates an astral ward.

Crossing the veil between world, Mal-0 encounters the Dweller in the Darkness for the first time, an entity (or perhaps symptom) that demands the traveler come to terms with some crippling weakness, failure, secret, or fear. At first he believes that the Dweller is The Void, father of Eris. The Dweller confronts him with the fact that he’s been lax in the fulfillment of his destiny. He tells the Dweller that he’s been trying to figure out time travel, and finds himself in a galley astride a storm-swept sea. Atlas is to the south, holding up the heavens. His pain editor bioware looks like a disco ball crown. Looking overboard, he sees Nereus, the Old Man of the Sea: a shapeshifting godling who is said to answer any one question if caught. Mal-0 bypasses the need for a chase by levitating Nereus out of the sea and grabbing him by the leg. The old man tells him that Eris will be found in the Garden of the Hesperides.

Mal-0 influences Scylla to jump into Charybdis’ whirlpool, and sails past. When he arrives at the coast, he casts Trid Phantasm to create the illusion of a flotilla of similar galleys. Landing, he is accompanied by his torchbearing ship’s master. He encounters the sphinx, which poses a riddle: “I am the beginning of the end, and the end of time and space. I am essential to creation, and I surround every place. What am I?” Mal-0 ponders saying “hydrogen,” but goes with the correct answer of “the letter e.” A Catma test reveals that all these elements are related to Typhon, whom Eris championed when he fought Zeus. Within, he passes by some crabs and is ambushed by a chimera, which bites him for 1 and poison. He casts Crush for 10 damage; his cohort quick-draws and finishes it off with his iron sword. Entering the Garden of the Hesperides, Malaclypse sees the three nymphs as well as hundred-headed Ladon, the dragon Hera has appointed to guard the orchard. Mal-0 meets Eris and St. Mojo. Eris gives him a golden apple inscribed “kallisti” (“to the fairest”) to which he is to give to one of her daughters; the concept that he favors for his future wife. Three of these are paraded nude before him, to show that they are no cabbages: Dysnomia (lawlessness), Hysmina (battle), and Horkos (oaths). As an unexpected fourth addition, Pseudologos (lies) appears as well. After due consideration, Mal-0 chooses Dysnomia. She tells him that he will find a bride to match her characteristics. She will keep him ageless so long as he upholds her ideals of lawlessness. Specifically, his first task is to spread tempo to a sprawl it has not yet seen. He chooses Beijing, in the Republic of China. This will require some influencing; he visits Bogotá, where he influences some jefes into shipping there. This ends up starting a war with the local Triads, who are challenged by the gangs that the Ghost Cartels give exclusive access to tempo. It being Triad turf, the Smoke Circle Society quickly supplants them. Using magical modification, they take tempo to the next level as a designer drug, creating personalized experiences in their fliphouses.

Results: Initiation grade 2, formula pact with Dysnomia

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Intermission: The Team
The heroes of PARC and their continuing adventures

After finishing their freshman run on November 20th 2070, the team takes a few months to really get off their feet and start being chosen regularly by Johnsons. This process would likely have gone faster, but Malachi’s refusal to work with Baraka again means that the team must work extra hard to get their name on the street (without attracting the attention of Lone Star). Meanwhile, the individual team members have time to engage in a few solo pursuits.

2070

November 29: Malachi having gone into deep isolation following the virgin run, the team must recover their technomancer. Lucy’s Matrix tracking, Malaclypse’s magic, and Belletrix’s rumor-mongering catches up with him; they convince him to stay on with the team.

After the Dec 1 2070 passage of the Technomancer Registration Act, Malachi and Malaclypse the Zerothare irate. The Cooperative, a technomancer rights group, sends Malachi word of a technomancer on the run from NeoNET and Mitsuhama; both corps have dispatched bounty hunting adepts to capture the teenager. A spellslinging FBI agent is also on the case. The Cooperative suggests distracting them by forcing them to fight each other long enough to get the kid to a submarine-driving smuggler in Puget Sound, off the Outremer district’s coast. The teen is currently hiding out in the Ork Underground, and the team must get to him first. Ms LeBangs is busy attending the Adult Video Awards in Toronto. Lucy has her own battles to fight, but contributes a drone or two to the cause.

These battles largely consist of investigation into the murder of Morgan Fontana and the resulting discovery of the pervasive grasp of Tamanous. Thanks to a tip from Holden Fernandez, Lucy comes to believe that a Lone Star sergeant, two of his patrolmen, and a morgue technician are the corrupt cops who killed Fontana. She stakes out a meet between them and an apparently homeless man – a man who, upon following and scanning, does have a house and has been in touch with the late Colin McNeil. Apparently Morgan’s murderers are now in league with Tamanous, ironic considering they hired him to repo the Tamanous t-bird in the first place. The “homeless” man’s name is Brandon Carmichael, and he’s a UCAS Army corporal in the Medical Corps, assigned to the Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup Barrens (Seattle 2072 p.128). It being near Ft Lewis, the hospital administrators decided to allow the MedCorps to run the place as long as they provide the gear and personnel. General Darcy agreed, since his men can learn urban warfare by clashing with local gangs. Meanwhile Corporal Carmichael is allowing SINless patients to die so he can sell their organs via Tamanous; he sometimes supplements this by shooting squatters. The cops’ role is to run protection on his shipments through the Barrens. Lucy spoofs the sarge’s commlink, meeting Brandon outside a brothel in Lovetown (Puyallup Barrens.) With dragonflies and dobermans, Lucy confronts the organlegging soldier, coaxing him into letting her in on his operation as transportation. Later, she approaches the corrupt cops’ boss, Lt. Dan Harrigan, meeting at The Bishop’s Corpse family restaurant and supplying video footage of their meeting with Tamanous. Harrigan arrests the offenders, including Carmichael, killing one during the apprehension.

Early 2071

January – Mal-0’s troubles begin on New Year’s Day. In Snohomish, Malaclypse’s neighbors are bringing down the pressure. They make it clear that the local police corporation (Snohomish Security Personnel) has no sympathy for Mal-0 and his friends. Their friends in the utilities sector start shutting off power, water, trash service, and anything else. When a fire starts “mysteriously” on the Discordians’ property, emergency services do not respond and it’s up to them to put it out. Malaclypse’s roommate Adam is jumped as he gets off work at The Coliseum, and is badly beaten. Ms Portinari and Milo are pulled over and harassed several times, and her lorestore is vandalized – although once the Humanis thugs try to come inside the magical defenses repel them, with one being killed by a spirit. This only incites them further, and soon a shotgun-toting mob has gathered outside Malaclypse’s house, chanting religious slogans. What does he do?

February – Belletrix is approached by Biff Hardslab, an action trid star who’s about to star in a spinoff based on his street samurai character from the latest Karl Kombatmage installment. Biff has heard of Belletrix’s shadowrunning ways, and he wants to follow her on a run to prepare for his role. She hooks him up with a trustworthy street sam that Malachi has found via ShadowSea. With a few skillsofts, Biff survives a milk run and thinks he’s a real pro. He’s added to Belle’s ever-growing list of contacts. Not long thereafter, Belletrix goes on her last shadowrun: after nearly dying several times, she’s decided that it would be smarter and even more effective to work as a fixer instead of just a shadowrunning face. She takes up the team’s role as primary fixer, finally replacing Baraka. With her poking around, and Malachi checking references on ShadowSea, a new (very different) teammate fills her slot: Hit Monkey!

Later that month, Lucy gets word from Vicenzo that he’s stumbled across a valuable artifact (when he had its holder, a smuggler who tried to rape one of his strippers, whacked). He’s got two buyers already set up, but the men live far away, in Manchuria and Bogota respectively.
If Manchuria: The smuggler is suspected to have ties to Filipino pirates who would probably seize the totem if it were transported by the Pacific, so Vinnie wants to use the Seattle Run, a smuggler’s corridor from Seattle to Vladivostok. Lucy is to smuggle it out of Denver, through Sioux or Pueblo lands and the Salish-Shidhe Council, the Athabaskan Council, and the Trans-Polar Aleut all the way to Russia, and finally Manchuria.
If Bogota: Out of Denver, through Pueblo and CAS to New Orleans, where a ship could take her through the Caribbean League to the free city of Caracas, where air travel to Bogota could be arranged.
Both men are paying the same, thus Lucy’s prize is 6,000 nuyen either way. It is simply a matter of which part of the world she would rather deal with, and perhaps have contacts in afterwards.

Tempo Wars

In the spring and summer of 2071, the Seattle underworld explodes with the violence of the Tempo Wars. With the new astral-perceiving drug having hit streets in mid-February thanks to a new alliance between the Komun’go Ring of the “Korean Mafia” (Seoulpa Rings), the First Nations and the Dogmen, the other syndicates and gangs must fight to stay relevant.

February – Big D, Belletrix’s drug dealer friend, says that he’s gotten hold of a new drug called tempo. There’s going to be a big concert on the U-Dub campus, but he’ll need extra hands to peddle the stuff. He has a few ladies (prostitutes) ready to be drug mules; he just needs a little discrete security. He’ll offer 1,000 nuyen apiece for the night, plus a hit of tempo.

April-May: The First Nations, an Everett-based Native American gang, move in hard on Crimson Crush territory in the Redmond Barrens, seizing their dealing rights in Touristville and reducing their home turf in The Verge to the few blocks surrounding their hangout Aces.

May – The Komun’go approach Belle with the idea of supplying her with Korean and Salish immigrants to use as actors in her shoots…some of them may be less than willing. A shaman will add astral special effects, which only the Awakened (or their tempo-buying customers!) will be able to see. This would align Belle with the Komun’go-First Nations-Dogmen cartel, and give her an edge over a new Toronto-based competitor…but she refuses to deal with unwilling sex slaves. She gets the team together for a quick run to get more evidence linking Komun’go to the slave trade, sending word of the situation to her friend Holden Fernandez, who earns some cred within Lone Star when he passes this on to his superiors. It quickly becomes an FBI matter.

June – VOTE: Does the party take a job to hit Gianelli’s Restaurant in Tacoma? Gianelli’s is an Italian place run by Tony “The Chef” Gianelli, former capo and consigliere of the Gianelli Family, and grandfather of the current don, Joseph Gianelli. The attack is to be done in broad daylight during lunch hours, with biosculpting done beforehand to make the team appear Asian. The Johnson says he works for the Yakuza, but the team’s usual snooping determines that he actually works for the Komun’go Ring. Tony in particular is to be killed, but the Komun’go Johnson requests maximum collateral damage. The pay is 50,000 nuyen, with 2,000 extra for every fatality (Mafia or otherwise), but half pay if Tony the Chef survives.

Late 2071

June – Several of Malaclypse’s racist neighbors begin to disappear while out on their farms. It turns out that a mated pair of wendigo is terrorizing the countryside, and Lone Star insists they can’t patrol that far off the roads. The locals gather, barricading themselves inside the church. They send a heavily-armed truckload to request the aid of the Discordians, offering 7,000 nuyen and to never give them trouble again.

July – A CAS intelligence officer contacts Belletrix. Joint CAS-UCAS naval wargames are going on off the coast, and he attempts to recruit the Tennessee native to infiltrate the UCAS’ Everett Naval Shipyard to steal the specs for a new submarine-hunting drone. Belle rebuffs him, instead selling the information that the CAS is up to something to the UCAS naval commander, Vice Admiral John Lienhard, who turns out to be a fan and an all-around nice guy.

VOTE: August – Sebastian DeVries, III, Malachi’s Humanis Policlub contact, gets in touch with him. He wants Malachi to spread some dirt on Sadness Cubed, a trid series that promotes a positive image of metahumans (Attitude, p. 65-66.) He condemns its “support of promiscuity and disruption of traditional family values.” He offers good nuyen if Malachi can arrange for bad press on this show.

VOTE: September – Another ‘runner (a stealthy adept) approaches the team with a milk run to break into an art gallery and steal some of an up-and-comer’s sculptures. Meanwhile he will hit the artist’s home to get the rest of his works. They are to meet him afterwards and give him the art they swiped. The pay is low (1,500 apiece), but so is the risk.

VOTE: November – The team is given an offer by TerraFirst!, the radical environmentalists. Under cover of a blizzard, the team is supposed to enter a sprawling wilderness area in the Athabaskan Council lands in the former state of Alaska. Specifically, the team is to journey to Mount Denali, where magical troubles have arisen. There, they are to put an end to whatever is corrupting the land (thought to be a toxic shaman.) This offer conflicts with another offer, this one from the FBI: drug shipments continue to pour in from the Pacific Rim, and the agent wants you to stow away aboard a cargo ship thought to be owned by the Triads to see how they operate at sea, and do find out what they do in their home port at Hong Kong. The pay is the same at 7,000 apiece.

2072

VOTE: February – A destitute band of families in Carbonado (Puyallup Barrens) are out of what little luck they had. Relying on scavenging and mining for their survival, the Hispanic dwarfs are crippled by the loss of their mining tunnels when they’re occupied by bandersnatch. Their neighborhood gang, the Chulos, refuses to help. The dwarfs have little to offer (4,872 nuyen), but they are gambling all they have in the hopes a team of shadowrunners can clear out the mines.

March – When Knight Errant supplants Lone Star as the provider of Seattle Metroplex security, Holden Fernandez is retained in a job similar to his current one, although he has to go through Knight Errant training sessions and his previous rank and experience do not count towards his placement. Lt. Harrigan is subjected to the same experience for a time. Although he is acing his physical training in Renton, he decides he’s had enough of KE’s shenanigans, quitting the force to become a bounty hunter-private investigator-bodyguard for hire.

VOTE: April – A neighborhood adjacent to Touristville, fed up with First Nations men lording over them, want the gang out. They gather (barely) enough money to hire the team – 6,470 nuyen – and ask them to scare the Nation away. This may be accomplished by acting like an insane gang willing to do whatever it takes. Alternatively, there’s a “fliphouse” (tempo dealer’s pad) that could be attacked. The team, of course, could just say no, or could take the money and run.

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Intermission: World Events
Selected goings-on of the Sixth World, Nov 2070- Nov 2072

Dec 1, 2070: Technomancer Registration Bill passed into law; the Coptic Pope declares sanctuary to technomancers who are “People of the Book.” Cairo becomes a haven.

Dec 5, the Japanese Diet requires all children be tested for technomancy, and Empress Hitomi establishes a school for young and latent technomancers.

Dec 25, 2070: French military units begin a multi-prong invasion of SOX (Saar-Lorraine-Luxembourg, jointly administered by a corporate administrative council).

Jan 5, 2071: In Brussels, the NEEC passes mandatory registration and testing of technomancers.

Jan 15, 2071: The Corporate Court rules that the question of AI sapience and rights must be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Feb 2, 2071: Pueblo Corporate Council begins offering SINs to AIs; Evo and Horizon follow suit within days.

Feb 12, 2071: A new drug called tempo or flipside hits streets worldwide. Inventories and demand skyrocket, sparking an underworld war and rushed legislation as governments attempt to control drug-related crime sprees and underworld unrest. The First Nations and their allies are at the forefront – the syndicates and their ganger cronies like the Blood Mountain Boys and the Night Hunters all get involved. The Nation takes heavy losses fighting their former Yakuza bosses, but earns the rep they always wanted. They establish a chapter in Vancouver.

Mar 1, 2071: second major clash between First Nations and Crimson Crush in Touristville – 6 dead and a Crimson safehouse burned down. Odd since First Nations have kept their heads down since cutting ties with the Yakuza. It’s also Dogmen turf, a smuggling outfit for whom the Nation has been providing security for a while.

Apr 20, 2071: NEEC imposes severe sanctions against France for their attack on SOX corp facilities. France remains silent regarding their casus bellum.
After months of gang warfare in Seattle, Lone Star cracks down on the tempo trade. A tense truce follows. Finally, Gray-Wolf of the Komun’go Seoulpa Ring approaches Blood-of-the-Buffalo (chief of the First Nations) and proposes alliance between themselves and the Dogmen. The new underworld powerhouse goes to full-out war with the Yakuza as Lone Star and the FBI fecklessly try to intervene. The Mafia strike a truce with the Komun’go. Meanwhile the Triads continue to clash among themselves (Black Chrysanthemum vs the Smoke Circle) the Vory manage to make some presence felt.

Jun 23, 2071: A march on the City of London led by Pendragon results in the peaceful dissolution of the Office of Lord Protector.

Jul 1, 2071: United Nations Initiative on Awakened Issues releases a 4,600-page “Sapience Report” in preparation for a vote on sapient non-metahuman rights.

Nov 20, 2071: Interpol and affiliated agencies, with Corporate Court blessings and backed by Aztechnology military (and secretly, the Aztlaner David Cartel), execute strikes on drug cartel assets in South America, in several nations including Amazonia and in the free cities of Bogota and Caracas. The Olaya Cartel is shattered and Graciela Riveros’s – the creator of tempo – labs are destroyed and she is killed. Azzie popularity soars as a result of their decisive action. Meanwhile Aztechnology begins to sell it to their own employees, having discovered its secret: that long-term tempo use creates a dream pact between the user and the spirits that create the drug. This allows the spirit to possess the addict any time they are asleep or at the peak of a drug high.

Feb 5, 2072: Winter Olympics begin in Denver. Aztlan athletes are prohibited from competing or even entering the city by ZDF forces.

Mar 15, 2072: Gov Brackhaven chooses not to re-instate Lone Star’s Metroplex Law Enforcement contract, citing poor performance during the tempo crisis of 2071. After a bidding process, Knight Errant is awarded the new contract (big surprise, given Ares’ support for Brackhaven), although Lone Star retains many private contracts as well as control of the penal system.

May 10, 2072: In a closed-door session, the UN Security Council overturns the Sapient Non-Metahuman Rights Accord. Protests from several Awakened nations – including Amazonia, both Tirs and Yakut – are vehement.

Nov 8: Incumbent Angela Colloton (Republican) is re-elected as UCAS president. Ramsay McMalkin of the Technocrat party wins the CAS presidency.

Late 2072: With tensions lingering from their proxy war over tempo between the David Cartel and the Ghost Cartels, Aztlan invades Amazonia. Shadowrunners and other mercenaries flock to Bogotá hoping to pick up a contract. Amazonia hires Horizon to combat Aztechnology’s PR department.

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Session Five: Out With a Bang
The gang wraps up the first mission

Touristville (Redmond Barrens) and Downtown Core
Sunday, Nov 19, 2070 – 5:00 AM

Lucy laments the fact that she can’t place one of the hyena implants into Dr. Santagar. She hacks a taxi and sends two Dragonflies to Tanaka’s apartment; Belletrix edits and uploads her most recent blog footage, also arranges for Doc Hobo to have a skin surgery operation. Lucy arrives at the apartment, finding that it’s guarded by Knight Errant.

Meanwhile she tries to infiltrate “Tanaka-San”‘s apartment. Accessing security cameras proves fruitless, and she opts not to shut off their power: instead, she nears his balcony and tries to access one of his household drones. Targeting a Manservant drone, she walks to the bedroom door, hacking past the biometric door. She finds Tanaka-san abed, wearing a gi. She turns on all three commlinks on his nightstand, reading their displays. One of them displays his name as Watanabe Tatsuo. This one shows a conversation with Ambassador Okabe Toshimoto, revealing a potentially closer relationship. Watanabe appears to be a freelance corporate lawyer, currently working for Evo. Belle, Malachi, and Lucy decide it’s okay to hand over Maria to Tanaka/Watanabe. The team (sans Lucy) decides to go to sleep – a couple of Dragonflys stay at Tanaka’s. Malachi spoofs a taxi to drive in circles as he sleeps. Belle and Malaclypse sleep at their own places. Lucy sends a Finsceal to escort the hyenas around the block; they run into two Crimson Crush gangers, who freak out and attack – but she’s able to talk them down before they fire their StreetSweepers.

International District, Downtown
Monday, Nov 20, 2070 – 12:00 PM

Belletrix wakes up at noon to find Doc Hobo, who has crashed on her couch. He has cultured her new skin in the fridge; Jizzelle thankfully has not eaten it. Belle tells him where to show up at 10:00 PM so he can see “what she gets into, and what gets into her, heheh.” Belletrix is operated on by Malaclypse, and then operates him at The Class Reunion! Meanwhile Malachi spoofs a call from the manager of The Cutting Edge to Hochi Motoori, the hit squad leader – “I’m sending a car for you. We need to talk.”
Malachi brings Hochi to The Class Reunion, then meets him there. He and Lucy interrogate, next door to Belle and Mal-0. Malachi threatens hyena-death; Lucy explains it’s not her interest to harm him. Lucy stops Malachi from having a hyena piss on Hochi. Hochi claims that Watanabe let Shiawase win a land dispute with the Yakuza in Tacoma; the team doesn’t believe him due to the lack of Shiawase info on Tanaka-san’s commlink. Malachi offers to give credit for Tanaka-san’s death; Hochi insists that he needs to know when this will happen so he won’t have an alibi.

2:00 PM
Surgery, sex, and interrogation being done, Lucy calls Vincenzo Costello. She says that Marco Jimenez, the PARC spider, needs to lie low and continue working. He’s wary of Lucy’s motives, but allows Marco to begin work on a probationary manner. The team considers shipping Marco, selling him to Aztechnology, hiring a smuggler, bribing airport officials, or other strategies. Belletrix contacts Carlos Blumenfeld, her ID forger friend, to try and facilitate the action.

The team is cutting close on time, so they decide not to try to lure out Ikaru Shotozumi beforehand. Malaclypse sends a Watcher spirit to the meeting place in Everett. He/it spots a trio of First Nations gangers dealing to a dwarf and an ork. Lucy’s sends Bubo as well. Malachi and Belletrix go there physically along with Maria. Lucy sends a separate cab with two Finsceals and two Dobermans. On the way, Belle texts Baraka about TerraFirst!

The team gets to the meet-spot early; two helicopters show up late. One is an assault model, one a transport. Malachi hacks the assault ’copter, sending a machine sprite into it. The transport chopper arrives, spewing Red Samurai onto the turf. Ikaru says that Watanabe told him to kill the team to save money, but he has come to respect them and will still pay them fully.

Belletrix patches Knight Errant into her feed. Before any negotiations can occur, Malaclypse tries to Levitate the attack chopper, failing to budge it. Belle makes Ikaru specify his terms; he says Renraku is prepared to offer an additional 10,000 nuyen for their successful framing of Aztechnology. Belle mentions the cranial bomb, for which trouble Ikaru offers another 6,000. Lucy sends Bubo to Hardware open the door open on the adjacent Brackhaven warehouse. Malachi’s machine sprite uses its gremlins power on the attack heli, which glitches, firing both its air-to-air missiles, which turn around and lock onto unknown targets. Malachi fails to hack one of the missiles. Malaclypse opts not to Levitate the missiles away, instead Influencing Malachi to drive away. Both missiles hit the attack helicopter, destroying it and killing the pilot and gunner.

Some of the Red Samurai break discipline, one seizing Belletrix while the others shoot out Maria’s taxi’s tires and suppress the rest of the team. Ikaru mans the door-gun, telling his men to stand down. Malachi’s sprite causes another glitch in the transport chopper, glitching its anti-lock countermeasures. Malaclypse Influences Ikaru to kill Watanabe when next they meet. Ikaru gets his men to stop firing. Malaclypse Influences one of the flanking team to kill Ikaru after the funeral of Watanabe, and Influences another to join Ikaru in an attempt to kill Tanaka-san. Belletrix convinces Ikaru to set her free; she goes to escort Santagar from the taxi to the helicopter. Malaclypse the Red Samurai who grabbed Belletrix to kill himself that night. After the Samurai and Santagar are back aboard the helicopter, it falls the two feet to the ground. Belle stops transmitting to Knight Errant; Lucy hacks a cab. Malachi decompiles his machine sprite, then compiles a data sprite, which tags Ikaru’s icon with a cookie that will allow his courier sprite to track his node access, communications, program interactions, etc. Malachi, using Marco Jimenez’s commlink, messages Watanabe, saying only: “Watch your back.”

Baraka takes the team to Dante’s Inferno for a celebratory party. They’ve earned a fine celebratory party.

Next time: two years pass, and the gang becomes one of the prime running teams of the Seattle shadows. Their exploits over this period, and how they deal with the changing Sixth World, will be detailed in our Intermission Session.

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