|Casualties and losses
|Cybercentaur x4, Jetpack Trooper x4, Runner HTR x4
In which the runners are hired to recover a body (and hurt SpinGlobal very badly in the process).
Waspkeeper, a runner with the Haven, recently lost a teammate - Astronomia - on a job against SpinGlobal. The mage was geeked by HTR, a casualty of SpinGlobal's aggressive MCT-like security policy, and Waskeeper and her team had to leave her behind. Obviously broken up about abandoning her fallen friend, she has hired a team to get them back from where they fell - unfortunately where the fell is inside SpinGlobal's Seattle HQ, meaning recovery is quite the daunting prospect. Enter the runners.
Waspkeeper has the team meet with her at The Daze in Touristville. Everyone is able to get there without issue and arrive to find her drowning her sorrows. Expressing sympathy, they get the tale out of her and receive a seemingly simple task - recover Astronomia's body - for which she is willing to pay them the generous sum of 30k nuyen, each. No one feels much like asking for more money, but all groan just a bit when they hear where they need to go to get her body back - all except Frag Face, who grins with glee and asks if Waspkeeper a cares about collateral damage. Stricken with grief, she tells him that the reason she hired him is to hurt SpinGlobal as much as they hurt her, which means encouraging as much damage as possible - she even tells them to kill the HTR who took Astronomia out if possible, a team of prime-level runners hired by the corp with a reputation for ruthlessness.
Having received their objective, the team ponder how to go about pulling off the job. Delphi asks Waspkeeper if she had anything that belonged to Astronomia, something that she cared a great deal about, and Waspkeeper says that she can acquire something within a few hours as she still has to go tell the mage's family what happened; while she does that, the team stay at the bar and figure out their next move. Hitting the matrix, they find a bit about SpinGlobal's corpsec policies and potential hurdles that might be waiting for them, then put their heads together to figure out a plan.
Using one of Frag Face's drones, Dr. Trauma places a spatial sense preparation on it and has Sp4rks pilot it as close to the ET boundary of SpinGlobal's Seattle HQ as he can get it - he ends up spotted, but the flying eye raises few enough eyebrows that Trauma manages to activate the preparation and get a mental map of the whole building thanks to the high-force preparation. Communicating it to Delphi using mindlink, she is able to use her visualizer to make an AR recreation for the benefit of the rest of the team; Trauma also sells the map to his fixer Alessa P in exchange for 4 chips.
When Waspkeeper returns, she has Astronomia's initiation diary with her - a magical grimoire into which the late mage clearly poured her heart and soul judging by the drawings and vivid descriptions. Using psychometry on it, she sees a vision of Astronomia's encounter with the Dweller at the Threshold and an echo of her aura, enough to use for a divination on her ultimate fate. Taking the rest of the team back to her detective's office/lodge, she looks into her crystal ball and sees the mage's body being prepared for autopsy, noting that the time on a clock visible in the scene is noon the next day.
Asking Waspkeeper, they learn that Astronomia had a fair amount of beta and deltaware in her - Dr. Trauma is able to intuit that the most likely place she would be autopsied would be SpinGlobal's own delta clinic, which their map (and the good doctor's own medical expertise combined with Frag Face's first hand experience in delta clinics) confirms is located on the 70th floor. Figuring that their options are either "sophisticated black trenchcoat infiltration", "kick in the front door", or "smash through the roof", the team elect to go with option 3 as the most expeditious route to their goal.
Calling up one of her fixers, Delphi is able to locate a smuggler with a small craft that has permission to take off from SeaTac and convince him to meet with her; after a few drinks and some sweet talking, she convinces him to take a couple thousand nuyen in exchange for allowing three passengers to take a 10 minute ride on his plane as it flies north before jumping out. The pilot is smart enough not to ask any questions about what they're planning, simply telling them they'll need their own parachutes.
The team (minus Delphi, who elects to support them via the matrix from a cafe) pack themselves into cargo containers with their new parachutes and are loaded onto the plane without issue; a few minutes later, they are flying roughly over SpinGlobal HQ ready to jump. Dr. Trauma nearly goes off course with his freefall check, but Frag Face manages to correct his course as Sp4rks performs admirably thanks to the power of edge. The descent is not without issue however, as they are noticed almost immediately and a response is mustered. Sp4rks manages to fork go-big-or-go-home a trio of marks onto the pair of combat deckers and follow it up with a brutal pre-edged data spike that knocks them both off the matrix, however he is not running his baby monitor and his OS begins to tick up.
From the rooftops, a quartet of cybercentaurs wielding rocket launchers take up positions and fire at the intruders - Frag Face puts himself in their path, either dodging or soaking everything thrown at him thanks to his natural near-invincibility being considerably augmented by both drugs and Dr. Trauma's buff preparations. As they fall towards HQ and deploy parachutes, the team respond with complex full auto, ball lightning preps, and data spikes against weapons and cyberware in order to disable the cybercentaurs, who are at a marked disadvantage thanks to their matrix support being disabled. With the team advancing inexorably closer, the shadowrunner/HTR team in the basement (the same team that killed Astronomia) is scrambled to deal with them.
Nearing their destination, there is a moment of triumph as one of the cybercentaurs critically glitches and falls off the roof onto Johnny Spinrad's newest classic car parked out front, followed by one of dread as Sp4rks ends up converged on by GOD and shot in the face by a G-man before being dumpshocked in mid air. He manages to survive the harrowing experience and stay on course with the power of teamwork (and liberal use of edge), and the team reach the rooftop to find not a helipad as they were expecting (and hoping to use for their exfiltration strategy), but a rocket bobsled loaded with jetpacks instead of parachutes (because SpinRadical!)
Frag Face, deciding that stairs are for other people, smashes his way through the rooftop and into the clinic to start wrecking everything expensive that Delphi points out over his image link. Meanwhile, Sp4rks secures the bobslead and their escape route by disabling the locking mechanism on the rocket bobslead (being briefly stopped by every decker's worst enemy - a lock on the control panel with the universal data port). Dr. Trauma follows in Frag Face's wake, securing Astronomia's body as the second wave of security is summoned (the HTR team being stuck in the slow elevators thanks to bad response time rolls).
As Sp4rks prepares to join the team, flamethrower-wielding jetpack troopers appear on scene and begin throwing flame at him; he responds by throwing bullets right back at them, and Dr. Trauma follows it up with punch-bolts from his heavy crossbow, sending them crashing into one another in spectacular explosions. Sp4rks gets to work in the host sabotaging equipment, elevators, fire alarms, etc., but his magnum opus is to change the display of the SpinRad logo on the front to "SpinMad", followed up by hacking the PA system to allow Frag Face to verbally taunt the HTR team as they move towards his position while he continues to smash microscopes with other microscopes.
While Dr. Trauma returns to the roof and secures Astronomia's body to the rocket bobslead, Sp4rks is confronted over the matrix by Malicious Injection, the HTR team's decker, who demands he stop with the hacker bulldrek and come out to face him in straight up a spike fight. Sp4rks responds by marking his deck before intimidating him with the threat of dain bramage into straight up walking away from this after showing him what they're up against. While the rest of the team (an earth shaman, a shooty sam, and a close combat sam) get into position with their decker just leaving them high and dry, Frag Face and Dr. Trauma set their trap.
What follows is a brutal fight that trashes several floors of the SpinGlobal building, with Frag Face absorbing truly heroic levels of damage thanks to Dr. Trauma's preps plus Delphi and Sp4rks tossing out buffs and assistance over the matrix. The team beat the HTR into submission, but stop short at killing them outright, deciding that Waspkeeper's request was made in grief and that killing the enemy runners would simply continue the cycle of revenge. Instead, they decide to give them the chance at redemption, bringing them along with Astronomia's body on the now-overloaded bobslead which Frag Face proceeds to pilot off the roof using his skillwires.
Unfortunately, all of the chaos and death has attracted not only KE (summoned by all the explosions as well as the earlier convergence), but DocWagon HTR as well, responding to calls from the SpinGlobal employees who have been hurt by the collateral damage. Dr. Trauma has been frantically scrubbing his signature as they make their escape, not wanting to get caught by his old employers, and as the rocket bobslead takes off it is met by a KE VTOL which attempts to stop it. Dr. Trauma unloads with a comet prep while Sp4rks bricks and dumpshocks the rigger and sends the craft into a tailspin - as they attempt to recover, Frag Face shoots it out of the sky and jets off on the wobbly overburdened sled towards the barrens.
Unfortunately, Frag Face has skillwires and can't edge his roll to land, nor is he a trained pilot who can reduce the threshold to land a rocket bobslead carrying more than it was designed to carry on a pothole-filled barrens road instead of a smooth flat runway. Thinking quickly, Delphi and Dr. Trauma work together to devise a way to use the jetpacks placed on the craft in lieu of parachutes as impromptu thrusts to slow the descent, enough that the craft doesn't crash and kill everyone upon landing. Handing it off to the first barrens rat they see, the team take their new jetpacks, along with Astronomia's body and the unconscious trio of runners, off towards Dr. Trauma's clinic to be patched up.
Calling up Waspkeeper, Delphi explains that the body recovery was successful and gives an approximate figure of how much damage was caused to SpinGlobal (somewhere in the range of 50 million nuyen when one considers the damage to their stock price as well as the loss of personal and equipment along with damage to the building itself). Waspkeeper expresses her gratitude for their help, wiring them their promised payment and taking Astronomia to her family for a proper burial.
- 30,000 nuyen
- 15 karma
- 2 CDP
- 1 SpinGlobal "Parachute" Jetpack (re-branded Vulcan Systems Rapid Egress System)
Frag Face: [to the GM, after being told to soak the damage of an incoming rocket] "How many times do I have to teach you this lesson old man?!"
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Wow. Just wow. I still can't believe all that just happened. I get called for what I at first think is going to be a simple job - retrieve a body - only to be told that the body in question is not only on ET grounds, not only in the hands of a AAA megacorp, but is inside their fragging HQ. The 30 grand that we got offered didn't seem so high after that shoe dropped. Still, I did what I could to help the team and make their lives easier - even saw what was hands down one of the best psychometric visions of my seer career after handling the deceased initiation journal and seeing her experiences in the metaplanes. I honestly didn't think they'd go for it when I told them to jump out of a plane without me while I sat in a cafe and played remote support, but everyone went for it even after the exfiltration plan became "use a rocket bobslead with skillwires and hope we don't crash".
The whole crew were pros though, and managed to pull off the impossible task: Sp4rks was sharper than ever on the matrix, even shrugging off convergence (I've never seen a G-Man actually just nuke someone off the grids before, and all I can say is that I'm glad I barely know how to hack); Dr. Trauma was probably one of the most skilled alchemists I've ever met, and even expressed interest in divination theory and how I predict the future (he's gonna be real sad when I tell him I have no idea how it works either); Frag Face was just... all I can say is that he lived up to his reputation and leave it at that (though I'd be lying if I said it wasn't fun to direct him at high-value targets to smash and giving him a high score like it was a trideo game). Would definitely work with any of them again.
Anyway, time to tinker with this actual fragging jetpack and figure out how it works - doubt I'll ever be good enough to actually use it, but it seems like a useful thing to have around for when you need it.
For the many years I worked under DocWagon, seeing those runners flee the scene when we arrive on site, I never thought I would ever be on the opposite end but that is a story for another time. It is a terrible thing to lose a team member especially if it's a dedicated team you build bonds that last forever depending on the people, I was more than happy to help recover her friend despite the danger. It's safer for me a third party to go in when I don't have any emotional ties to sway my choices, so I only pray that this brings the closure she is seeking. If you want my honest opinion about the job though? That could have gone so much worse but the team we had was the cream of the crop, I have worked with FragFace many times but when he takes a grenade at point blank and barely even realizes, it still scares me and makes me glad I can call him a friend. Sp4rks dealt with the big issues security wise and hijacked the entire HQ if that isn't skill I don't know what is. Even Delphi, she didn't even physically infiltrate with us and still provided enough support that their runner HTR team was practically worthless against us. The only point I really was worried was the escape, and I can summarize that as JETPACKS ARE NOT PARACHUTES. The fact we landed is a miracle in of itself but I do have a new toy (and several bruises from using it) that will certainly help me at some point!
There's a time to play and one to work, and this run married both in a fantastic package of almost dying and rocking the job ! Delphi's insight proved invaluable as we know exactly where to hit, and we did so by doing the stupidest thing i did, jumping off the plane with a parachute i have no idea how to use !
While descendig i got to hack my way through the ennemy deckers, and some augs untill GOD decided to give me a visit and straight up converges on me in the air ! Thank god for EARRS and the hardening module that saved my deck, else it would've been quite the gruesome death(thanks for the heal Trauma BTW). While descending FragFace and Trauma were brillant shooters (and aiming targets different than me) and got rid of all ennemies on the roof before we landed, they then destroyed the wann and descended a level into the lab while i hacked our way out : a rocket bobsled.
At this point the security team of SpinMad sent jetpacks units (seriously who does that??) so i got in the hole with my colleagues and started haching the building to slow down HTR. The team made short work of the jetpack unit, while i hacked the building infrastructure and forced every sprinkler on, in addition to forcing every elevator to stop at every levels. Oh and i hacked the AR display on the facade of the building from SpinRad to SpinMad, i'm still proud of that one !
Fragface started taunting the ennemy's htr through the speaker system, while i looked for their decker. He invited me to a 1v1, but percieving his icon i saw the biofeedback program, so i declined and gave him a chance to DeRezz while he still could, which he thankfully did. I hope he's alright. The rest of the HTR arrived at our level after 5 minutes and the team took them out, we got the corpse and fled using the rocket bobsled, we didn't even crash !