Thursday, 21 March 2013

Shadowrun: Force Eight Fire Pizza – 16/03/2013



Ooh, can I have the pentagonal piece?

So where were we? Oh yeah, a violent rampage followed by looting.

Well realising that yet another narrow escape from the police would be a bad thing the group was quick to get out of the building as fast as they possibly could. As Amoral returned, they loaded up the weapons crates onto the APC and drove away before they even heard sirens filling the cold evening air. Presumably most of this ended up in Killbo’s house underground weapons bunker.

Arriving back at Amoral’s abode we eventually got around to that planning our infiltration of the science conference thing. Which went about as well as you might expect.

Starting to look into how the MMO game worked, Amoral began to examine how we could approach the scientist in it. The only way to talk with him was while we were in the conference. Furthermore the only way he could be spoken to would be to either be a part of his group when they were on a long term raid or one of the two other groups who would be in the area at that time. Researching raid videos we found out that there were six members in his guild, the exact number needed for a raiding party so it would be difficult to just join in. Hacking and taking over their characters would be all but impossible through the MMO’s servers so we needed to go with a new plan: Remove one person from the group while in the raid and have Amoral take their place.

Eventually via looking through chat logs he was able to figure out that the member “Opal Knight” was a Seattle resident due to the slang terms she frequently used. Unfortunately glitching his research roll meant he spent over an hour thinking she was a prostitute working on 456th street and only realised as she was calling said person. Correcting his error we found out Jennifer Dillon is her real name, she lives on Richmond Highlands.

Looking up the building layout and pinning down the exact building she was living in, we began to plan how to remove her at the exact time we needed. Not lethally, we’d already tripled our body-count quota for the next several years, but to incapacitate her exactly when we needed Dillon out of the way.

Initial plans from Killbo to storm the building via aerial assault and then punch her out were quickly vetoed for multiple reasons. We briefly considered arriving at her house and having one of Leona’s spirits possess her. That was something we decided was all too easily tracked back to us and the energy required for knocking her out for three days. Amoral suggested using nanites to briefly inflict a virus upon her, but due to extensive costs that was eventually decided against. It was directly after the mention of using a pizza delivery to take her out that things officially went to plaid.

The plan we settled upon was having a spirit possess a pizza which was to be delivered to her house and knock her out at 8PM on the day she was raiding. Following a research roll from Amoral, we ordered her pizza of choice, meat feast with cheese. Then two others because Killbo was hungry. Hacking the drone when it showed up outside Amoral’s door and having a sprite control it to deliver it as and when we needed, Leona promptly had her fire spirit possess the pizza. Both to keep it warm and fresh for the next several hours.

After eventually deciding upon the object resistance of a pizza (you have no idea how hard the GM was laughing at that) we sent off our Fire Pizza with orders to take Dillon down but not kill her.
Killbo meanwhile headed back to his home to sort stuff out, and probably hide his stash of new guns, when he got a call from Hedrick our inside man. His message contained a rating six I.D. (fake SIN) under the name John Smith, along with a note saying “gun is in dumpster next to your house, here is a licence for it, meet Hedrick at office 10AM tomorrow.” Raiding said bin Killbo found another Ares Predator and proceeded to check the security documents he’d gotten a few days ago. For the first time. Within hours of their planned attack upon the conference. Also only just realising that he could use nanopaste as a disguise thanks to the SIN’s biometric data.

Upon reading he discovered that on arrival all guests would be required to submit to a full body search and vetting. All security consultants would only be permitted one automatic pistol, which must be licenced with any larger weapons being confiscated and stored until the end of the conference. Implanted weapons, such as Killbo’s in-built grenade launcher, would be disarmed for the duration of the conference and ammo confiscated.

Making one final check of the itinerary he went over the conference schedule:

First day was to be taken up by introduction and effectively party. The second day featured presentations in both theatres about advances in science. Upon the evening of second day, show involving popular performers. The third and final day was to end early, final presentations (one major one) and one closing speech by Mr Hedges, the Aztechnology representative we needed to avoid.

Approaching our decided route to hit the conference the following morning, the shadowrunners met up prepped for combat at 5AM. Gathering just outside a sewer drainage pipe a good mile and a half from the perimeter of the conference building and with a direct route through the tunnels we could easily follow. There was just one complication we’d not counted on. A sign on the boarded up entrance with the words “Ghouls! Keep Out!” painted across it. Wisely we opted to send Amoral’s Hussar drones in first and move single file.

For the better part of half an hour we moved swiftly without any sign of trouble, the worst signs of things being the occasional devil rat. It was certainly cramped, but filled with no wildlife bold or big enough to cause us trouble. At least until at one junction a blindingly fast humanoid object sprinted into vision, moving past us and heading towards a tunnel on our right. Communicating through an encrypted channel Amoral had set up we began moving directly through the sewage to hide our scents, Killbo having to kick Amoral in as he objected. Sneaking ahead of the group, the dwarf looked around the corner to see a large horde of the creatures feeding upon the remains of some people. A few among them were clearly shamans, standing more upright than the rest and higher in the pecking order.

Having one of her pet spirits possess her, Leona used it to help conceal her presence and that of the group but had her channelling ability allow her to keep control. Unlike Killbo she couldn’t have Chummer screw up and possess the spirit as a result. While one of the shamans came close to detecting us we managed to pass by without a confrontation with them. That fight came just a bit later. As we moved through another section, devil rats came swarming up the tunnel and attacked us. Strangely, these managed to prove to be a vastly bigger threat than the Halloweeners had been, hitting us at close range before we could shoot them. Fighting them for several minutes, we eventually managed to overcome them and move on with only Amoral getting mildly hurt in the ensuring skirmish.

Unfortunately a real fight followed not long after this.

As we approached the final tunnel well within the perimeter of the building we came across an unmarked door not present on the map we were following. A door with something very wrong about it. Looking at it Leona stated it was very hostile and very much possessed, occupied by something bloodthirsty and powerful. Deciding to check for alternatives before we tried it, Killbo headed up the tunnel and found a manhole not too much further along, leading up into a shed within the perimeter. Unfortunately said shed was within the forest of killer trees which had spooked the mercenaries badly when the dwarf had scouted out the place with drones patrolling the area. Pulling back we opted to see what was behind door No.1 with Leona trying to dispel it.

She failed and all hell promptly broke loose.

Wrenching itself out of the wall, folding in upon itself and twisting around the door began shaping into an armoured knight. One towering over even the tallest member of the group and engulfed by blue flames, streams of crimson ichor and blood flowed freely from between its armoured plates. Each person could feel hatred emanating from its very core. It turned out we’d just managed to piss off a Force 8 Blood Guardian Spirit.

Lunging for Leona, the Spirit brought its broadsword around and hacked at her, forcing the shape-shifter to block it with her arms. Getting a relatively high initiative roll, Killbo managed to strike next and waded into combat. Drawing his Auto Assault 16, the dwarf let loose a long burst and aimed in a wide arc to lower its impressive defences. Getting an extremely high number of successes followed by a terrible roll from the Spirit, the high calibre bullets managed to inflict a sizable amount of damage.

While Amoral was unable to capitalise on this, having not given orders to his drones, Leona was quick to follow up the attack. Casting an explosive spell, she blasted the spirit back and sent it crashing into the concrete wall behind it. This jerked Amoral into action and giving very distinct orders to his drones (“Shootitshootitshootitshootitshootit!”) he opened fire with his laser pistol, only to have the Spirit dodge his attack.

Then the Spirit revealed that its shield had a heavy machine-gun built into it. Worse still, it knew how to use it.

Taking cover behind a combat drone, Amoral avoided the following hails of bullets with Killbo and Leona being caught in the open. Managing to somehow dodge its masses of suppressive gunfire, Killbo proceeded to repeatedly blast away at the creature with unfortunately little success. Amoral’s Hussar drones opened up in a succession of volleys, the first doing little damage but the second successfully bringing the creature to the brink of death. Leona then finished it off with another spell, using her edge to enhance it and disintegrating the spirit’s metal body before it could further harm anyone.

Following up the corridor the door had been guarding, the group quickly found a ladder leading up into an unmarked room a short distance away. A Helpful sign pointing upwards was marked “Cold Storage”. The room we moved up into was just above freezing, long since abandoned and filled with dank, stale air. Remains of machinery littered the walls, including a number of what appeared to be broken cryogenic tanks. Hidden from spirits and with only a feint matrix link, the place was completely off the radar in every sense of the word. More concerning was that there were footprints in the dust and mould on the floor, relatively recent ones as well.

It didn’t take us long to figure out who had been in charge of the facility. Prior to being acquired by Aztechnology the building directly above us had belong to Zainou, a scientific corp we’d had a hand in looting prior to being dissolved and attacked by Red Samurai. Well their Norwegian branch anyway. The point is it was a call-back to our previous campaign. Powering a few very old terminals up by syphoning power from his drones, Amoral began searching for any information of value amongst the corrupted data.

Exploring a bit further we managed to confirm that we were directly beneath the conference building, with a corridor leading up to the kitchens above and an elevator shaft linked into the roof. Not to let any good food go to waste, Amoral and Leona used a spell to turn invisible then proceeded to break into the kitchen larder for any excess meals. Killbo meanwhile headed back to his house to change out of his armour and prepare to meet Hedrick.

Our mission had officially begun. Heaven help us all.

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Shadowrun and all related characters and media are owned by FASA Corporation, Fantasy Productions and Catalyst Games Labs.

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