A Steel Clad Flower
|A Steel Clad Flower|
|ShadowHaven||Ares Macrotechnology||Alamos 20k|
|Racist Super Soldiers|
The runners are hired to preemptively steal orichalcum from an Ares chemical holding facility.
Agents of Alamos 20k planted inside of Ares have learned that a well-guarded shipment of dangerous chemicals - specifically a sealed canister of highly-potent FAB III - will be making its way through one of their holding facilities en-route to another secure storage site. Seeing an opportunity at hand, they plot to hire a group of shadowrunners to steal it for them under false pretenses.
The runners are contacted directly through the ShadowHaven network and told to meet at a Future I-Hop for more information. Upon arrival they are greeted by Mr. Johnson ("Brian"), who looks just generic enough to be utterly nondescript and forgettable, and who is somewhat furtive around some of the runners. He outlines the situation, telling them that Evo has been in negotiations with Ares to purchase a quantity refined orichalcum - in anticipation of this, Ares removed the orichalcum from their mineral stores. Unfortunately the negotiations aren't going well, and Evo expects them to fall through; having prior intelligence on where the material is being stored, he provides them with the location of the Ares site out in the wilderness to the north of the Metroplex, as well as that of an Evo safehouse in a nearby town, and tells the team that he is willing to offer them 20,000 nuyen if they are able to recover the orichalcum for him. The team ask a few questions about security and expected opposition, but all accept the job - Mr. J provides them with a contact number and wishes them good luck in their task.
While Kate and Samsara go to get their street sam gear, Canter drives Master Morty around while he hits the Matrix and looks for information on the Ares chemical storage facility. After a bit of digging, he manages to find a data trail that leads to an out-of-the-way host on the SSC grid, slipping inside and staying out of sight of the pair of spiders while seeking out the security log; managing to locate the encrypted file, he cracks the encryption - sending the host on alert - and snatches a copy of the logs. He also looks around for any files on the inventory of the facility, but isn't able to find anything before the security starts to heart up and he is forced to leave lest he be discovered.
Reading through the file, the team find that an LAV arrived a few days ago with a pilot and a large cybered-up troll with a case handcuffed to his wrist - the security guards have been told that they are carrying hazardous materials, though the case matches the description of the one that may be carrying the orichalcum. The team briefly contemplate whether they've been mislead, and what to do about it if so, with a general consensus that they will find a way to figure out what is inside whatever case they take before handing it over to Evo. They debate options for how to deal with the LAV so that they're not pursued by air, and gather their equipment to go and physically scout out the site.
Arriving in town, the group plot out a course from the site to their safehouse and find a nearby safe place for Canter to stealthily park her car, where she remains with Morty while aiding with scouting via fly-spy. Kate and Samsara go hiking and manage to locate a tree which has a good view of the Ares facility. After climbing it, they manage to get a decent vantage point and examine the layout - they see a large vault door and learn from the security logs that the facility is in lockdown while the biohazard is on-site. They also spot a powerful charged ward surrounding it.
Canter uses her fly-spy to get a closer look, wrapper-ing herself to look like a regular employee on the Matrix and avoiding notice from the guards as she approaches the vent; she manages to cut her way through a screen and fly through a spinning fan, but finds an impassable air filter blocking further passage. Rather than attempt to physically breach the quarantine, Morty slips back into the host to take a look through the cameras, skillfully avoiding the notice of the increased security while watching through the cameras under their noses. He notices both the LAV and the troll, as well as the lever to open the vault door and the half-dozen guards inside. Looking at the contents of the warehouse, they determine that the sealed case that the troll is carrying is their target, and begin formulating a plan to infiltrate.
While Pell sets up in a sniping position, Morty (in Canter's car) sleazes his way back into the host while Canter maps out a route through the vents that Samsara (with her elastic joints) is capable of squeezing through. Kate and Samsara manage to approach the vent stealth-fully without being spotted, removing the cover and sneaking inside - the former stays near the entrance under an RPC cloak while the later briefly jams a fan and manages to get past. The noise draws the attention of some guards, but Kate is able to stay hidden while Samsara proceeds further inside, past the air filter and into some tight vents that bring her into the interior of the building.
Once everyone is in position, Samsara drops through the vent and runs to the lever which opens the vault door before immediately running at the cyber-troll and kicking him in the chest, managing to wind him. Master Morty opens things up on the matrix by hitting both spiders at once with Blackout, knocking them offline while he easily deals with the IC. Canter and Pell work on taking out the exterior turrets while the rigger in the LAV boots up and aims a screech rifle at the intruders. Samsara manages to dodge this, but takes a blast from the cyber-troll's laser rifle and goes down for the count, with her saviour nanites stabilizing her and bringing her back to consciousness as she's restrained and has a gun targeted on her. Letting the team know she's okay, they continue with the assault.
A flurry of combat follows as Kate takes down the exterior guards with stick-and-shock before filling the room with suppressive fire, taking a blast from a screech rifle for her trouble. Attempts are made to close the vault door again, but Pell blasts it off its hinges with some big ball lightnings while Canter veers towards the entrance at top speed. Samsara breaks free of her restraints and once again attempts to take the cyber-troll down for the count, but neither her kicks nor Pell's sniper rifle is enough to get through the hardened armor. Under a hail of gunfire and magical assult the rank-and-file goons drop their weapons to surrender while the cyber-troll turns on his skimmers to flee, boarding the LAV just as it starts to take off. Samsara attempts to stop him with a timely nerve strike, but only manages to slow him down enough to follow him; she once again attempts unsuccessfully to take him down, but Pell manages to shoot the chain keeping the canister attached to his wrist, so she grabs it and falls to the earth just as the LAV takes off.
Canter picks up the stragglers in her car and takes off with the LAV in hot pursuit; she manages to tag it with her heavy machine gun, giving the pilot some pause as she starts weaving through the woods to break off pursuit. Eventually managing to lose them, the group flees into the woods and contemplates their next move. Still wary of the biohazard labels on the canister, they demure with giving it over to Evo out of fear that it might be a Bad Thing. Debating options on how to check what's inside, they settle on bringing in a seer to divine the future of what will happen if they hand it over to "Brian"; the divination returns conflicting results, one path showing a lingering low-grade dread while another shows impending doom. Still conflicted, Samsara calls "Brian" and demands an explanation, telling him that she knows he's lying to her and threatening to crush the canister if he isn't truthful. "Brian" insists that it really does contain orichalcum (dissolved in aqua regia) and offers to extract it from the acid in front of them when they arrive at the safehouse.
Lacking any other real options, the team decide to trust their J and go to meet up with them. Upon arrival, they find a rather friendly ork who claims to be a local criminal that helps set things like this up from time to time. He offers food, which Samsara and Master Morty both take him up on - while eating, Samsara picks up on the hissing of gas and closes her chemseal before carrying the others out of the building. As she does so, she receives a racist text from "Brian" just as the Alamos 20k hit squad reveals themselves and opens fire on the get-away vehicle. With Master Morty's timely assistance Canter is able to avoid all but one of the shots, which severely damages her car but doesn't manage to brick it. Samsara, Morty and the unfortunate victim all hop inside before succumbing to the Seven-7 - thankfully none of them die from it, however all come perilously close before Pell is able to render magical healing. Giving the poor ork money for medical treatment, they drop him off near a local hospital and proceed to haul ass off into the surrounding woods as quickly as possible.
Now on the run from two hostile factions, the group debate their next move. Samsara advocates destroying the canister by tossing it into the nearest volcano, and Morty seconds the motion out of a spiteful desire to do as much damage to the corps as possible. The others are more concerned about it potentially exploding and releasing its contents before they are able to be destroyed, and about prospects of survival since Ares seems to want the canister back quite badly. Pell first proposes calling in a third party magical scientist (Kyra Samaras), but the idea is shot down out of concern that they might lose the canister if they hand it over for analysis. Instead she choses to call Danny Hoffman, a security coordinator for Ares, and ask about the situation; in the course of doing so she reveals herself as a member of the team responsible for stealing it, and Danny tells her that if it is returned then he might be able to offer amnesty, stressing the seriousness of the situation. Since Pell, Canter and Kate all have actual SINs and legal identities to track they are inclined to give the canister back and wash their hands of the matter, while Samsara puts her foot down saying that the contents are obviously dangerous and shouldn't simply be put back into their hands.
Realizing that the others will want to cover their asses and avoid drawing the ire of a megacorp onto themselves - especially in an injured state where escape with the item seems an unlikely prospect at best - Samsara elects to bail out of the moving car and make a run for it into the woods. The others are somewhat surprised by this action, but do not give chase, instead telling Danny that a member of their team (who they do not elect to name) has stolen the canister for themselves and provide a general location to search; once the pursuit breaks off, they return to the Metroplex and lay low for the duration.
Meanwhile, Samsara flees on foot into the wilderness. With a survival kit in hand, she plans to spend a few days hiding out before returning to Seattle by her own means. Unfortunately Ares sends a rather nasty guardian spirit to use its search power and track down the canister, which manages to locate Samsara and demand its return; she refuses, so the two engage in combat, trading blows back and forth before the spirit employs its fear power to force Samsara to flee while it tosses lightning bolts from a safe distance. After surviving a direct hit, Samsara injects herself with Guts to steady her nerves, managing to get control of herself and break line of site to hide from the spirit.
Running for a good while, Samsara finds a gully and digs a hole to bury the canister in, concealing both it and herself using woodland detritus. Spending a few hours hiding, she meditates to create a magical lodge in order to better throw off astral searches then attempts a wild summoning by communing with the local spirits. A small three-eyed squirrel takes notice and, after some persuasion, agrees to watch the spot while she flees further into the wilderness to avoid being searched out herself and revealing the canister's location. Concealing it as best she can and avoiding leaving a trail thanks to traceless walk, she heads off, going through as many local background counts as she can to throw off search attempts.
Samsara spends the next several days surviving in the SSC wilderness while the rest of the team returns to the Metroplex and keep their collective heads down. Danny keeps the heat off of them while focusing the search on the area they indicated, however without much to go on besides "a lone figure in FBA" and with the earth blocking attempts to astrally scout out the canister's location Ares is at a bit of a disadvantage; the search teams turn up nothing, and eventually after a few days Samsara returns to where she buried the canister and moves it to another location. By the time she returns to town via a Skraacha smuggling route a week later the FAB III inside has denatured due to starvation and become useless.
25 Karma - 25 RVP 10 Bonus CDP - 5 RVP 2 Base CDP
Optional Qualities (taken from reward karma at chargen price)
Optional Qualities General: Resistance to Pathogens/Toxin (Toxins) - 4 RVP
Optional Qualities for Samsara: Will to Live (3 RVP per rank)
Optional Qualities for Canter: Strive for Perfection - 12 RVP
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Phew! That was a job and a half, holy shit. Lets see - fought a cyber-troll to a draw, nearly got cut apart with a laser, almost choked on seven-7 gas, bailed out of a moving car, got struck by lightning from one of the biggest spirits I've ever fought, drew the anger of both a hate group and a mega corp, and spent a few days in the woods fighting bears for food and shelter. All for no money.
It was awesome. Wouldn't change a thing, and I would do it all over again - sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, and I wasn't about to let whatever was in that canister fall back into Ares' hands even if it meant taking the heat onto myself so that the others could get away clean. Just glad that they all survived, and that nobody had to get killed over this mess - I sent cash to that poor ork who got hit with the gas so that he could get medical treatment, hopefully he's doing okay now. Fuckin' "Brian" though, swear if I ever see that fragger or his friends again...
To say that we encountered the unexpected is an understatement. Getting paid to steal some stuff from Ares was whatever. Learning we were actually stealing it for terrorists was not. Fighting security forces at a blacksite was all in a days work, but what came after was not. Getting double crossed by our J is something I try to avoid, but you can't always have it your way. Luckily we handled it all very well. I got to work with some familiar faces, and meeting Morty was an experience.
I didn't fully agree with what Samsara did, but hindsight is always 20/20 and thinking about it now I believe she did the right thing. I wasn't about to let Pell be on the hook for our decision. It's not something I can do to let someone I know take a fall that hard. But Samsara had the right of it, not letting Ares keep something potentially deadly. My friends and allies always came first and taking myself out of that mindset is a challenge. Old habits die hard.
"What an amazing clusterfuck. The Corps are bad, always have been, but a deal's a deal. We did the job, didn't die, should get the reward. But no, they instead turn on us, dose us with Seven-7 while we are having a bit of a snack, and then attempt to murderize us all. I want them to hurt, I want them to feel my pain, I want them to pay. Ares just earned themselves a new enemy; I'm coming for them."
This was very extreme. The hit on Ares was very loud, but it's par for the course; we didn't permanently kill anybody, and we managed to filch the package. The double-cross, though. I'm not happy with myself for what I did when the chips were down, but at least there's a few less metaracist terrorists by tomorrow.