To Usurp the King
|To Usurp the King|
|Part of Hail to the Pumpking|
Pump King Jack
|Casualties and losses|
|Meltdown Spirit, Vrygoth Hybrids x2, Weiner Mooks x4|
In which the team are hired by a very strange spirit to help him usurp control of a group of Halloweeners who are into dark magic.
The team, all Awakened, feel the pull of powerful magic drawing them to a penthouse apartment downtown - Babylon is aware of the source following the events of [Made in Abyss], but the rest of the team remains ignorant for the moment. The trail leads to an abandoned penthouse (which Pell recognizes from the events of [Nod Ya Head]), where Pump King Jack waits for them with some gibbering fear-wracked mooks who he's drawing karma from. He greats Babylon warmly and introduces himself to the others, all of whom are taken aback just a bit by the sheer power radiating from him; Babylon denies responsibility (unconvincingly) for Jack's return to the material plane, which the rest of the team sees right through. Rabbit proposes blowing up the penthouse with Jack inside and letting Dragonslayer sort out the rest, but sadly she doesn't have her explosives on her, so the team listen to Jack's offer while contemplating their next move.
Jack tells the runners that he wants to usurp control of the Halloweeners (per [Out Of Place, Out Of Order]) and "teach this city the true meaning of fear". To this end, he has located a safehouse full of high-ranking members in the thrall of a powerful shadow spirit like himself; he cannot go there himself due to magic put in place to stop him (by the previous owner of the penthouse no less, who was evidently hired by the Weiners to help them with their demon summoning efforts). Thus he needs the runners to go clear the place out - without killing as many of the Weiners as possible, so that Jack can make them his new friends - offering them stolen karma in return. The group accept, both out of a desire to see where this goes and to put the hurt on some acceptable targets.
Not a whole lot in the way of planning here - Rabbit hits the 'trix to confirm that the safehouse is indeed a thing, as well as finding rumors that the Weiners are into some pretty dark drek and trafficking with nasty spirits. Babylon considers an astral flyby to check the place out, but is discouraged by the presence of wards and the potential for evil ghosts. Scoping the place out in meatspace, the team find it well-guarded and devise an infiltration strategy using Rabbit's grapple guns to reach the roof and her monowhip to carefully cut a hole through which to make their ingress. After taking guts, Rabbit quickly and efficiently deals with the spider present by data spiking him into oblivion with her new deck, then finishes slicing the hole open to alert the Weiners of their presence.
Making their entrance as quietly as possible from the roof, the runners manage to get the drop on the Halloweeners, with Rabbit and Skimmer dropping inside to engage directly while Babylon and Pell slip through the wards before channeling spirits and sling spells through the hole in the ceiling. Inside, a pair of "inheritors" - flesh-form vrygoth demons - contending with a blazing spirit (a toxic nuclear spirit, called by Dr. Foreman - thankfully absent - to eliminate the Weiners after he grew bored with their amateur demon summoning efforts). Rabbit quickly engages with the demons and the spirit while Skimmer efficiently stick-and-shocks the mooks into unconsciousness. Pell, slinging mana bolts and attempting not to be noticed, helps Rabbit take down her demonic foes while Babylon focuses on the radiation-spewing monstrosity, attempting to finish it off before it notices her. One empowered lightning bolt later and the nuclear spirit goes critical, melting down and exploding - the runners are able to run for their lives, but the blast takes out a trio of helpless Halloweeners and damages most of the safehouse.
As the blast clears, the team finish mopping up as quickly as they can while trying to avoid soaking in as much radiation as possible. Rabbit efficiently monowhips the vrygoths to death with Pell's assistance, while Skimmer and Babylon non-lethally subdue the remaining gangers. After catching their breath, Pell uses decontamination to deal with the lingering radiation while Babylon calls Jack as the team mops up the mess and takes down the wards. Arriving shortly thereafter, Jack praises their work, morning the loss of the mooks but noting that he didn't really expect them to take everyone alive. As payment for their services, Jack infuses the runners with some of his power, granting them stolen karma and spreading the word among the spirit community that they upheld their end of the bargain. The team briefly consider betrayal, but are satisfied with the results and content with Jack focusing his efforts on some of the worst people in the world, allowing the issue to fester for now and become Somebody Else's Problem later.
- For Babylon and Pell: Spirit Champion + 1 karma
- For Rabbit: Drug Tolerant and Toughness
- For Skimmer: Adrenaline Surge + 3 karma
- For All: 2 CDP and -50 Halloweeners reputation
Babylon: "Why do you keep saying it like that? We've worked together before, you really should know better."
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Didn't expect to run into Jack so soon after his return to the material plane, but it looks like he's been busy - guess that's the benefit of being a free spirit and not needing to sleep. Frag that guy got scary powerful quick though, to the point where I almost considered that I may have made a mistake in helping him. Still, he didn't try anything with us, and kept up his end of the bargain, so it all worked out - it doesn't mean I can trust him, but it does mean that I should be able to fulfill our agreement to find him a vessel without worrying too much that he's going to stab me in the back after. Thankfully the team didn't do the same when they figured out that I helped him, I really thought they would have for a moment there. At least we got to hurt some Halloweeners, which is always fun.
Just when I start to think I'm getting a handle on the creepy things that walk in the shadows, I meet Jack, King of Pumps or some such thing. To make matters worse, there are demons and a toxic spirit to deal with. This is SO not what I sighed up for... But I did, so here I am. I try to keep my calm as the others deal with the real threats, as I focus on putting the wieners down for the count without killing them. Seems kind of a dick move on my part, but I know when I am outclassed. Nameless keeps hinting at my potential, but as to what that will be I have no idea. I am just glad to have such solid magical support on this run, as I would have been radioactive toast in a matter of seconds otherwise. I got to get faster, better, stronger, and do it sooner; Nameless definitely has his work cut out for him.
Resigned sigh. Hanging around peers and superiors in terms of magical capability is not doing wonders for my mood. At least I've finally met the legendary Rabbit.
Anyway, this Jack character is interesting, to put it mildly. He's giving off a lot of bad vibes, but he's been helpful and friendly to us the entire time. I'm just hoping that I can see when what he's offering costs what I can't afford to pay, so that I won't take it, hopefully.
Anyway, that Dr. Foreman is becoming even more worrying. Hope Delphi can cope with what I've told her about this. She seemed shaken when she was alone with him.