All Paths Lead to Yellowstone
|All Paths Lead to Yellowstone
|Part of Hail to the Pumpking
The Black Lodge
Pump King Jack
The gang convinces Pump King Jack to split into two, kills half of him, argues for a while, lets the other half go, rescues shy, and then desperately runs away, all with a background count of eight.
Pump King Jack's antics have been well detailed through the Hail to the Pumpking metaplot. However, the run Dernier Saut sur l'Enfer is of particular importance to the moments prior to this run. Shy had transmitted some useful information back to the team before her capture.
Additionally, there were IC scenes for the run between Babylon, Relay, and Zenith on the discord where prepping was made. In one scene of note, Babylon and Relay agree that Jack must be permanently removed from this particular plane of existence.
The gang is contacted off-camera by a pair of possible fixers: the Black Lodge and Shiawase. Each offer 70k worth of money or selected goods to eliminate the problem. Babylon, backed by a drone from Relay and from Zenith as--well--Zenith, approaches the Black Lodge to ensure they don't interfere with the mission to get rid of Jack. The Black Lodge asks for Jack's spirit formula to study it. Both Relay and Zenith insist she says no. Babylon considers it before refusing.
The gang hires Cascade to drop them near the site and extract them after. Rebranding the truck to look like a wildlife services ranger vehicle, the team will enter Yellowstone using their R5 fake SINs, establish a perimeter, and then engage and eliminate jack, before exfiltrating. The teammates will pose as rangers, scientists, and medics responding to the anomalies happening in the park.
While Babylon contacted Freya to attempt to override their clearance using matrix magic, the team attempted to leverage their vehicle's set-up and gear to sell the con of emergency responders. The gate operators agreed to let the team pass if they left the flagged pair, and the team considered running the gate. However, given the gate's material, such an incursion was intensely unlikely to be successful, so the team slammed the vehicle into reverse and left the checkpoint as the guards scrambled to deal with Freya's attack.
Going off-road, the team searched out a length of border fence which they demolished with grenades, bullets, and magic before entering the park; in the process, it's quite likely that they alerted--well--everyone to their presence. They were immediately met with a massive background count of 8. Avoiding roads, the team managed to locate the area pinged by Shy. Realizing the base was underwater, Babylon channeled a massive man spirit, and split the water to reveal a tunnel under the lake.
The team entered Jack's lair, where they found Pump King Jack, two guards, and the Mutaqua from The Consequences Of Her Actions. At the team's request, Jack destroys the Mutaqua instead of inhabiting the body. Babylon explains to Jack about how his actions are affecting the world, and that he must be banished. He requests access to his spirit formula, which--against the advice of Zenith and Relay, Babylon agrees to. At their insistence, Babylon allows Zenith to provide him with the formula as--if Babylon is killed--the team can no longer banish Jack.
Jack, utilizing the formula, splits himself in two, ripping the elements of himself molded by the plane of man away from the traditional shadow spirit elements. Combat immediately begins.
Zenith seizes, and burns edge to down the gullet blight into the spirit. Immediately afterwards, Pell smacks down a sniper shot with Ex-Ex to obliterate the shadow spirit from this world. Babylon then destroys the shadow spirit.
Relay turns on the smaller spirit of man. Swerve and Babylon intercede to prevent the team from killing the spirit of man. Relay, furious, reminds Babylon of their agreement. Babylon and Swerve argue to give the spirit its own formula and then open a portal to the spirit of man to let it retreat. Relay's unconvinced, but he is outvoted. He aims his own drone at his hand, shooting a round through the palm. Babylon uses her dagger to cut her palm. The two make a blood pact that--should the spirit return to the mortal plane, that Babylon shares the same fate as this new Jack.
The baby spirit is returned to the plane of man.
The team locates Shy's living, albeit barely, body. The temple under the water begins to collapse, and the mages open up a path for the team to depart. Climbing into the roadmaster, spirits from across the park look at them strangely, but do not engage because the team allowed the spirit to leave unharmed. As they put the roadmaster into GO, sniper shots ring out from the tree line; the park's guardians are unhappy with their activities. Thanks to some creative driving that looks less like driving and more like passing stunt tests through the woods while screaming and possibly vomiting, the team manages to make its way to a new section of the wall after losing their pursuers.
Again, the team chooses extraordinary violence to get through the wall.
Changing their vehicle's appearance, the team sneaks across the border through some riverside fencing and catches up with Cascade, who safely transports them home.
- Shadow Jack is dead.
- New baby spirit of man Jack is alive on another plane of existence.
- Relay has damaged his relationships with both Babylon and Swerve, and vice-versa.
- Zenith flips off the black lodge and Shiawase, taking money and nothing else.
- Relay finds himself in bed with Shiawase for some gear, where others choose the Black Lodge instead.
- 5 Karma
- 70,000 Nuyen
- +1 Street Cred
- +1 Black Lodge Reputation
- +1 Shiawase Reputation
- +2 CDP
Black Lodge's Offer:
- Cyberware up to Beta Grade
- Bioware up to Beta Grade
- Rotorcraft, Fixed-Wing Planes, LTAVs
- Shaman Tuxedos
- Silas Vespasiano as a contact at Loyalty 1 (5 RVP)
- Formulae for spells, spirits, foci
- Firearms, Flamethrowers, Blades
- Fake SINs (R6 + Licenses)
- Lifestyles up to Luxury at gear reward rates (can buy several months)
- Asahiro Kunitoshi as a contact at Loyalty 4 (10 RVP)
- Hanako Shinoda as a contact at Loyalty 4 (10 RVP)
- Shiawase Prime Education (Convert as much RVP to CDP in Academic Knowledge Skills)
(All of the items listed are given at gear prices; Gear Availability limit is 24 and you can only take items from one of the offers, not a mix of both.)
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
I knew it. I KNEW IT. I knew that some weird part of this stupid spirit would continue to exist. I am 0 for about 200 on eliminating these things because I didn't manage to get the magic gene, and I have to rely on others to do their part. I don't know why I expected more from Babylon. I should be smarter than this by now.
Well this was a mess. The Burner SINs got burned and we had to go loud right away, the vibes in that place were painful, and it didn't help that Jack knew we were coming. Relay's an expert as usual, but frag, I don't like having to be the mediator during a run, and Babylon broke her word to save a spirit. I should have seen it coming and been ready to temper it. Hopefully the important thing was that ShadowJack is gone forever. I'm worried that ManJack is gonna come back, and if that's the case, both Babylon and Jack are gonna die. I trust Relay to follow through on his word.
Also if these new runners don't stop going after threats they aren't prepared for and nearly getting themselves killed, I'm gonna have a fraggin' aneurysm.
You know, I can't help but feel as if all of this trouble could have been avoided if I had just gone to have a talk with Jack sooner... the culmination of months of effort has left me strangely drained, emotionally and spiritually speaking, even in the wake of our triumph. I find myself feeling anxious and relieved all at once... oddly enough though I am happy for Jack, despite everything that happened - he finally really 'got it', even if it was only right at the bitter end. If a creature of pure malice like that can will itself to overcome its nature in order to understand what it is to be metahuman and truly change... well, then perhaps there is hope for the rest of us.
Honestly though, Relay can go and frag himself. For real, I mean omae sees a new life being born right before his eyes and his first instinct is to shoot it in the face because of where it came from? I know that I'm fragged up, but damn if that ain't fragged up - the absolute goddamn hubris to think he has the right to act as judge, jury and executioner like that, it's just utterly cold-blooded. Seriously, I gave him my word that I'd banish the shadow spirit and I did - I didn't see anyone else stepping up to the plate, including the Black Fucking Lodge or other two mages that got dragged along with us only to sit on their hands while I did what had to be done, so if he wants to bitch and moan about my methods and complain that it wasn't done exactly the way he wanted then fine, let him - if the choice is between having his trust and being able to look at myself in the mirror then I'll take the latter every damn time.
Well, that was real awkward all around. Security was tight around Yellowstone, and probably will be even heavier due to what we did. :p
It's reassuring that we didn't blow up when we disrupted and banished ShadowJack, also.
Need to figure out a way to visit the metaplanes without Shade, at some point.
Wow, Yellowstone is terrible!
Like, yes it's very pretty, but the mana! It's so much! I was barely coherent. Most of the trip is still just a blur of pain, nausea, and adrenaline. I recently managed a technique to disconnect myself from the astral, which protects me from all that and it helped at the end, but it's horrible too, in a different way. Feeling like drek is still better than the emptiness of that. It's like cutting my soul out. I'm not meant to exist like that anymore.
Seeing what happened to Jack was crazy. I had no idea that spirits could do that! Apparently, it's not common, based on Babylon's shock. Half the team wanted to destroy the man spirit, which I kind of get I'll admit. The idea of the Black Lodge finding out we half-assed the job is terrifying. Still though, I didn't want to just punish a spirit that's not really responsible for what Old-Jack(?) did. Like... they're different now. We have to treat them that way. The shadow spirit got banished away, and well... hopefully that's enough.