Dead On Arrival
|Dead On Arrival
|Part of The Wailing of the Walled City
|Courts of the Yama Kings
Daniel Bowman is an academic in the field of cybertechnology that has been kidnapped by the Black Chrysanthemum triad and taken to the Walled City, he is also the owner of a super platinum DocWagon contract. However DocWagon refuse to enter the Walled City to rescue him, so a team of runners is hired to do this instead.
The Black Chrysanthemum's kidnap Bowman from his place of residence in the district of Kowloon, he is currently working at Hong Kong University. They are also interested in his theories, particularly those pertaining to how exactly cybertechnology interacts with essence and the therapies he has developed to stop or at least delay the processes which bring someone to the states of cyberpsychosis.
Wuxing has a keen interest in Bowman's ideas and theories and would prefer him alive, they ask around Hong Kong for a team to enter the Walled City and everyone says no. So instead Highrise finds some gullible foreigners from Seattle to go instead and ends up getting them to agree. He's also able to leverage certain clauses in the DocWagon contract to allow the team to use one of DW's air ambulances for the job and even get them to pay for a subcontracted pilot to fly the thing.
The runners are told to meet in a parking garage in Downtown, they are told to be prepared to leave immediately for if they accept the job then they will be taken to an airfield where Mr. Wu (Highrise) has arranged transport to Hong Kong. The details are explained to them, Bowman's DocWagon wristband has been broken and is broadcasting from the 11th floor of a residential complex in the Walled City. DocWagon are refusing to enter the area as it's too dangerous, the runners are to go in and rescue Bowman doing everything in their power to keep him alive. He offers them 24k each and with some assistance from the team Gigabite manages to squeeze another 4k out of him. Nevertheless the runners accept and the vehicle drives off toward a private airfield in Snohomish.
Here a cargo plane awaits them, the car drives on and the driver exits the aircraft, then the doors unlock. The plane takes off toward Hong Kong and the team are left to their own devices in the cargo hold of the large transport craft. They are mostly alone apart from three men wearing orange jumpsuits with the emblem of Kowloon High Security Correctional Facility on them, there is also a packed lunch with them. The men seem to have been blinded by a toxin and indicate that they are condemned to death and intended to be food for the infected party, the packed lunch is for Shy. The team, being compassionate individuals leverage information out of the three men by offering them a quick death. This deal is accepted and the team get a contact in the Walled City. La Rapide isn't one to pass up a free meal and is the only one to partake of Wuxing's thoughtful hospitality.
With some recon the team gather info about the Walled City, Bowman, and pick up on some of the magical threats that are unique to the area. Not much of this actually helps them as even with detailed searches the information available is very scarce and mostly based on conjecture. It seems a lot of the legwork has been done already by the DocWagon band though, so much so that when the plane arrives in Hong Kong there is a pilot and a DocWagon helicopter waiting for them to take them to the job.
They fly over Kowloon with an escort of HKPF drones and head toward the Walled City, the drones peel off just before entering the boundary. They hover over the roof of Sutcliffe Court attempting to find a good landing spot but it seems there is nothing suitable so rappelling in is the only option. With their keen infected eyes they spot a large commotion as they arrive, there are several armed individuals on the buildings surrounding them who have taken great interest in their arrival, and also an old man on the roof of the building they are infiltrating, who seems to have disappeared by the time they get to roof.
They enter into a very professional formation and start to sweep the building.
The roof is above the 14th floor of Sutcliffe Court and the band is transmitting from the 11th, so the team have some walking to do. The roof staircase is disconnected from the main staircase so they have to traverse the 14th floor initially. They come into contact with some ghouls on this floor who seem interested in them but not hostile, Gigabite gestures angrily at them to get back into their rooms and they seem to obey, for now. The noise of this encounter seems to have drawn attention however the sounds of feral ghouls grunting at each other echoes throughout the apartment block.
They make it to the staircase undisturbed and head down to the 11th floor. Here they see a reinforced door with a crowd of ghouls around it, the ghouls are beating on the door. Gigabite and Crazy Hoof manage to intimidate the group who scatter off. They break into the room and set up a lookout outside and a camera to cover both staircases that lead to this floor.
Inside the room they find a number of dead Black Chrysanthemum Triad members and ghouls, the scene is very grisly. They also find Bowman's DocWagon band, and Bowman himself who has been restrained in the bedroom and hooked up to a series of autoinjectors that are feeding him Narcoject at specific intervals to keep him under. Shy uses her first aid skills to bring him around while La Rapide goes through the security terminal that is present. There is a camera overlooking the inside of the doorway that shows them what happened. Seems that this room was a BC safehouse and the local ghouls were paid protection money in human flesh. This time though the ghouls knew the triads had something important so wanted more from the gangsters to leave them alone. The argument eventually erupts into violence, with the gangsters eventually beating back the ghouls but not before each of them are killed apart from one who manages to lock the door before he bleeds out. Also on the terminal is a lot of Bowman's work, articles and theories that the BC's have lifted from his commlink.
Outside the ghouls have noticed that the door to the meat has now been opened again and things start to go South for the team, through the camera feed they have set up as well they recognise a creepy old man has also taken interest in what they are doing and is lurking nearby. With Bowman in hand the team beat a hasty retreat, as they all exit onto the landing of the apartment they realise they might be in a bit of a predicament.
What sounds like hordes of angry footsteps seem to be converging on them from above and below, hundreds if not thousands of ghouls are now quickly converging on their position and they are left with a choice. Up or Down? By process of elimination and sensibly knowing that there is an airlift option they pick up. They start firing off grenades at the floors above and below and set more as traps in the staircases to deal with the initial waves of the hordes. This works a treat as many ghouls are turned into paste, they manage to get somewhat near the staircase.
This is when the old man reappears a small distance away but he looks much different, now he is a long and tall figure, wearing decaying skin that is stretched over sharp bones. He carries an oversized gnarled wooden walking stick and bears the burden of a small far eastern shrine that rests on his hunched back. Also manifesting is a very different looking spirit of man, who appears as an old Chinese gentleman with antique robes and rotting flesh. Also, ghouls start pouring out of the rooms on the floor they are on.
With liberal use of grenades and their triggers the team start to fight off the waves of ghouls, Shy has a moment of concern where the old man manipulates her mind to make her see that her real future lies right here, one filled with happiness and all that she desires. Until the spell is broken when a grenade explodes next to the old man and he disappears as quickly as he appeared. The spirit of man starts flinging concrete slabs around, but not at the team, he attempts to block their escape.
With some quick thinking Crazy Hoof positions himself between these slabs and the staircase, using his bulk to keep the way clear while the rest of the team exfiltrate.
This they do and they manage to get up the staircase back to floor 14, just one short trip through a swarm of ghouls to get to the roof. The team are engaged again by the ghouls and the old man, this time the old man seems to summon a rainstorm of putrid acid that bursts in from the windows outside and envelops the interior of the building. The interior as well seems to be changing, black decaying vines seems to be growing up the walls like diseased veins, they carry glowing green pustules on them and puddles of thick swampy ichor appear to be forming on the floor. The transformation has not quite finished yet though and the team manage to fight through the ghouls on this floor, shoo off the old man with a knife to the face, and disrupt another spirit of man before they get to the roof.
On the roof they barricade the door behind them and weld it shut, they had already radioed for the pilot to come get them so he arrives shortly after. Looking down at the alleyways around them they can see swarms and swarms of more ghouls flocking to the building. When the chopper arrives they rope back up and manage to fly themselves and Bowman to safety.
Wuxing is pleased and pays the runners.
Bowman will take some time to process what he's seen and eventually continue with his work.
The Black Chrysanthemum's have gained some nuanced knowledge in the field of cybertechnology, for the cost of a few mooks.
An ancient and terrible power has seen and assensed the team's auras, he is also upset that they denied his hospitality.
28,000 Nuyen (14 RVP) or double that in cyberware/bioware/medical.
6 Karma (6 RVP)
6 CDP (2 RVP)
+5 Wuxing Rep
Everyone: Cyber-Singularity Seeker (12 RVP)
Contact - Highrise as a 6/1 (6 RVP)
Shy: Battle Hardened (2 RVP)
La Rapide: Codeslinger (10 RVP)
Gigabite: Nasty Trog (10 RVP)
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Muuuuhhhh what was that crazy show in Wall City? These ghouls had definitely seen better day and were not quite mentally present. Not that I'm afraid, I'm a ghoul, but this spirit (was it a spirit?) was a bit special. Acid rain is not good for my armor at all so he had to pay for it with a knife in the head. It seems that other infected get their mental capacity by arguing with themselves and being at war with their nature. That is not my way. I prefer to focus on how I can make my ghoul nature even better with cyberware. How can you underestimate the great possibilities of cyberware - even the cheaper versions bring you so much. Probably everyone has to find their own way to keep their sanity, but I'm certainly not going to start being in conflict with my nature, rather I'm looking for better options to take even more. MUUUHHHH
Well, this could have turned out a lot worse. In the end the spirit didn't seem to do a lot more than control the ghouls and make it rain acid. The grenades we brought took care of the first, and the knife dealt with the second part. I'm honestly a bit surprised that that minotaur didn't complain about killing the ghouls. Apparently even he doesn't consider them worthy of saving. Also, gotta say, working with Gigabite is way better than I expected. Would even describe it as a good time if the location was nicer.
This remind me that i really hate mind magic. The location was very difficult to reach and also not very suited for my combat capability but we did manage to a very clean extraction, also this ghoul giant was surprinsgly good at...Doing Small Unit TActics. Like so good i should take lesson someday.
What's with weird fraggin' spirits getting in my life? I figured it'd have been an easy in-n-out like a fast food joint, but nah. Ferals were constantly in my grill and this fraggin' spirit wasn't pausing harassing us for even a second. Kowloon all over was a pain to be in; didn't need to see the Otherworld to feel it chilling my spine. I could only imagine how rancid the vibes musta been, the booze only slightly dulled it. Raps and Hoof were relatively known quantities, so there's that, but... that kinda hellhole makes me sad. I wish I could do something for the poor bastards, but right now I ain't got enough pull for anyone.