The Secrets in the Trees
|The Secrets in the Trees|
The runners stop a mana warp in an Ares mining operation.
Ares has been working towards the creation of their mine in the Cascade Mountains for months now. Having discovered a massive mineral deposit beneath the mountains, they stand to gain billions as they mine the magical gold within. However, it's not exactly uncontested. Aztechnology, which has a much longer history than Ares in the region, views these resources as their own, and have been working to take control of it away from their rival. The idea of another megacorp coming into to steal the tribe's resources and destroy their land isn't exactly popular with many of the inhabitants of the region. While the locals have been organizing their own, grassroots, opposition to the corporate encroachment, Aztechnology certainly knows how to take advantage of discontent. Funding cells of dissidents in the region, Aztechnology plots to destroy Ares's burgeoning mine.
The runners get invited to a BBQ in Belleview by Danny Hoffman. And after eating (or waiting) they get told what their mission is. Ares has a mining outpost in the Cascade Mountains on a dragon line, where they want to dig for radical gold. The problem is that there have been a series of incidents, that have slowed down their progress, like missing trucks, killed personnel, faulty equipment. Ares suspects it to be sabotaged by either the locals or another corp, and it's the runners' job to find out what it is and if possible to stop it. Their reward for doing so will be 30k, which the runners accept. They will be brought to the facility shortly, so everyone goes home and packs their relevant stuff.
They arrive at the mining facility via a truck, with a few other workers. The astral plane is filled with a red taint from the dragon line and the valley is clearly showing signs of the mining industry. The first thing they do after arriving is to talk to the local project manager John Curtis. He gives the team an overview of the facility and a rundown of the recent incidents. The team goes to their room, and Babylon sets up a lodge, to shield herself from the bad vibes. Shy goes outside to look for an advantage point over the valley but gets lost on her way back. She can't make her way to the valley again, regardless of how direct the guidance is, because of magic influences, so Babylon turns into a bird and flies over to get her out. Then Babylon goes to talk to Jerry Murdow, the chief of security at the facility. They don't get anything useful from him, as he has only compiled a list of all the possibilities, vaguely Aztech looking people here. After dusk Babylon shapeshift la Rapide into a wolf, so she can investigate the wolf attack on one of the workers in the woods. But she can't find anything at the location, so she just walks back, escaping a wild beast spirit that had an eye on her. In the same night, Babylon talks to the leader of the geomancer group, Samantha Holt, in the cafeteria. She gets told that they are working to tame the leyline, but it has proven rather difficult, as there have been a couple of fluctuations, but the cause of them is unknown.
The team gets woken up in the morning by a big explosion. They quickly rush out to help at the collapsed mining tower. A quick search of the place doesn't reveal the exact cause of the explosion, or any saboteurs, but it's not natural or magical. When la Rapide returns to the barracks she realizes that someone took her portable freezer with blood. She follows the scent trail outside into the forest. She decides to not yet walk into the obvious trap that is the halve open freezer. Great, now they are on a clock till she needs to find blood. Later they speak to the chief of IT of the facility, Lina Moon, and recover camera footage from the last week. Dr. Lollipop manages to find the saboteur placing the bomb, it's Wilette Pine, a local worker. The team decides to split up and search for Ms. Pine. Babylon summons a spirit that quickly manages to find her hiding in one of the walls of a building. Along with la Rapide she goes there to get answers from the woman. They exchange her life and safety for information about the one who hired her. They learn that she has been hired by Maria Tejedor, who works for Aztech, to sabotage the operation. Babylon transports her back to the nearest city via her spirit. They decide to take the bait with the freezer at night, to see where that leads them. For that Dr. Lollipop and la Rapide go in invisible, Shy visible, and Babylon projecting. She triggers a mind control prep, as la Rapide opens the freezer, which makes her and Shy fall into a feeding frenzy. Luckily Babylon manages to stop them in time before la Rapide manages to feed on Dr. Lollipop or anyone else gets hurt. They return to their barracks empty-handed and rest for the night. Later they find out that the incident has been recorded, but none of them show any identifying features.
Later at night, they wake up as the dragon line begins to fluctuate violently. The background quickly rises and Dr. Lollipop has to drive la Rapide out of the valley, so she doesn't die. [[Babylon]9 and Shy gather with the geomancers in a circle of cleansing to shield them from the ever-rising mana levels. Together they try to stabilize the mana line, while Shy tries to save as many people as possible. The mana level has risen so high by now, that it affects the physical plane. Trees just erupt in flames, the air is burning and the valley shows what hell on earth really looks like. Babylon summons a huge great form spirit of fire into her body, to both shield her from the heat, and to open a gate to the metaplane of fire, so that all the access mana in this manawarp can flow off there. After getting the line somewhat stabilized, so it at least doesn't get worse, they can detect that a group of ritualists is messing with the leyline. They track them down and Shy and Babylon go to disrupt the ritual. It breaks after the first one goes unconscious, and the remaining ritualists flee. The valley and dragon line slowly returns to their previous state, and the team decides that their job here is done. On the meeting with Danny Hoffman, they tell him, that Aztechnology has been sabotaging their operation, and that they are behind the ritual too.
With the leyline relaxed, and the local resistance scattered for the moment, Aztechnology has no choice but to back away. While they certainly won't give up, it will take time for them to mount a credible opposition to Are's increasingly fortified positions.
30000 Nuyen - (60000 in gear rewards) - 15 RVP
Gear Rewards can be from (Ares Branded Gear and Vehicles, Generic Reagents, Radical Quality Cinnabar, Lifestyles, an Are’s logo filled perfume shop) - All Gear is A18 or lower, unless thematics lets me give laser stuff, then you can take laser stuff above A18.
7 Karma - 7 RVP
6 CDP - 2 RVP
Optional Contacts: Danny Hoffman as a 5/3, (7 RVP taken from other rewards)
+1 Loyalty on Danny for Babylon
+5 Ares Rep
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
That was... terrifying. Both the mana warp and the mind magic. I've never seen so much raw mana before. The entire valley was burning, and even after the Doc brought me out of there it was still painful. Can't imagine what it was like for Shy and Babylon in there. Speaking of her, first and hopefully last time that I'm glad to have her around. If no one would have stopped Shy and me, then it would have ended very badly for both of us. Good that she didn't use it as an excuse to kill me though. Might have done that, if I was in her place. I really need to learn how to defend myself against that sort of stuff, otherwise, it's going to be the thing that gets me.
Shit what was that? First I get attacked by a banshee, then I have to save her from a really scary magical phenomenon. Magic can be so cool and yet so disturbing at the same time. I have no idea how Shy and Babylon survived in the woods and took out this group but they deserve my absolute respect. I definitely need to look into magic more. Maybe it's worth finding out a little more about the infected in Seattle, too.
Well i did nearly get lost into a snowstorm because of some Mind magic and then their was so much fire everywere... Also nearly lose my mind another time, it was really rough. But at least i had an occasion to make them pay.