|Part of Hail to the Pumpking|
Pump King Jack
|Casualties and losses|
|Many Dead Infected|
A team of runners is offered a job from a questionable client to clear out some tunnels under the Outremer, as part of a possible xenosapient's ongoing project to clear out deep tunnels beneath Seattle for use.
Krimelin and Von Neumann are involved in a project to clear out and renovate the deeper tunnels of Seattle's underground, reclaiming them from feral infected and repurposing those tunnels. The stated purpose of this renovation is to create a travel network that runners can use.
Von Neumann has been using drones to clear out a section of tunnels beneath the Outremer, but has been unable to completely secure those tunnels due to breaches leading down to deeper tunnels with even more infected.
They hire a team of runners to infiltrate those tunnels and close the breaches.
The runners answer a mysterious and vague message for a meet on one of the islands of the Outremer, the meet being in an old bunker beneath the surface. They face the obstacle of getting there, with the only known tunnels leading to that region being unexplored areas of the Ork Underground, and the Puget Sound being patrolled by megacorp drones intent on denying access to ET zones.
Joule places a call to Set, seeking to network with a SURGE that can get the team to the island. Cold Hands almost balks at the proposed method of travel - getting dragged around by a merrow. Regardless of the team's reservations, they agree to buy diving gear, rendezvous on the shore, and get pulled violently by rope as the merrow drags them underwater at alarming speeds. At the end of their trip, they are tossed unceremoniously onto the beach.
They see an access hatch nearby and enter the tunnels to meet up with Von Neumann. The flesh-covered drone, which is assensed to have no aura, explains the mission.
The team reviews the tunnel network via old cameras and provided maps. They begin putting together a plan that involves using mana barriers to wall off some of the less powerful infected so they can isolate and kill the more powerful threats. Artemisia puts together a 'care package' request to have further supplies smuggled to the island in light of the threats they spotted. The group prepares Rock Lizard Blood to ward off infection, and iron dust for dealing with wendigos. In the final stages of the plan, Joule makes use of a clairvoyance ritual to scout the tunnels thoroughly.
She spots an unexpected 'guest' in one of the tunnels, one Pump King Jack. She deduces that he's stuck there as a reluctant guest and manifests in order to attempt to negotiate with both him and a jabberwock. The jabberwock rebuffs the initial negotiation attempt, and demands that Joule show up in person. Joule agrees, under the condition that she is allowed to bring a guard.
The negotiations go as badly as expected, with a harvester accompanying the jabberwock moving to immediately block the access tunnel with a heavy slab of rock. Joule responds by levitating the slab while Artemisia opens up with deadly fire against the jabberwock, downing it.
The situation soon descends into a chaotic battle, with Tombstone holding a southern tunnel, Katherine Tyler providing fire support, and Cold Hands charging a pair of wendigos to try knock them out of the fight.
Meanwhile, the battle gets dire, with a veritable horde of grendels overrunning Tombstone's position. Tombstone activates an HE grenade as the horde literally runs over him, taking out many. Cold Hands, after dispatching the two wendigos, gets bogged down in melee against a seemingly endless number of enemies, while Katherine Tyler has to fend off a harvester while laying down suppressive fire.
Unbeknownst to the team, there was a second jabberwock. While concealed from sight, it used mind magic to briefly control Artemisia and Joule. Artemisia launches a grenade right at Katherine Tyler's feet, injuring her fellow runner but also taking out a number of infected surrounding the former CAS marine. Joule descends into one of the tunnels the group was meant to breach before locking herself in with a levitated slab of rock. There, she catches sight of scores of infected figures in the vast area below, squabbling, fighting, and growling.
Fortunately, both Artemisia and Joule manage to break free of the mind magic and Artemisia begins hunting for the concealed jabberwock while Joule escapes the deep tunnel before being noticed. In the midst of the hunt, the second jabberwock is taken out by a mysterious, stealthy figure who stabs the infected through with metal claws.
The rest of the team slowly whittles down and overcomes the remaining enemies. When the battle is finished, the team comes face to face with a Force 11 Sludge Spirit, summoned by the second jabberwock but now aimless and lacking a master. Artemisia advocates killing it but the rest of the team is hesitant, either reluctant to engage something not attacking them or doubting their ability to tackle a spirit of that power. Joule speaks with it, directing the sludge spirit to a nearby room used as a 'latrine' by the infected.
With all the opposition removed, Tombstone is unopposed as he sets explosives and the team departs after detonating and collapsing the breach points.
Von Neumann is pleased at the result (or as pleased as an unemotive drone draped in rotting flesh can be) and pays the runners as promised. Another set of tunnels is secured for the mysterious, on-going project.
- ¥30,000 (15 RVP)
- 22 CDP (10 RVP)
- For Joule: Watch The Suit & 16 CDP (replaces the 22 CDP)
- Optional Contact: Pump King Jack, 5/1 Spirit of Halloween (5 RVP or 10 CDP)
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
"I really, really have to stop taking jobs that has me fighting nightmares in dark tunnels. I have never faced that many opponents before, let alone feral foes in the unforgiving confines of a single bloody room. Those uncountable, ravenous teeth will haunt my dreams."
"This... endeavor beneath Seattle has me unsettled, even as it has filled my wallet. I wonder how long I can continue being a disinterested mercenary. Perhaps I need to start digging around."
"I'm glad my team was capable of fending for themselves, since I lost track of them in that chaotic melee. All I could see was those teeth."
Fighting in the dark sucks. Fighting in tunnels in the dark sucks. Fighting feral infected in the dark in a tunnel makes for a bad day in general. I'm glad Tombstone was available for the help. They say he is a brick wall and well, I can see that. Cold Hands as always was graceful and deadly. It was good to see Artemisia again, and interestingly enough we were hunting ANOTHER Jabberwock. Seeing Joule after SURGEing was a bit of a shock. We managed to fight our way through all the infected. We had a bit of an issue with mind magic, and Arti may have shot me with a grenade. But we worked through that, and everybody made it out.