Monday, 19 August 2013

Shadowrun: 11 Dimensional Pong Caketastrophy - 19/05/2013

Preparing for the final day, the group readied itself to face whatever would come next. The sudden inevitable betrayal of the conference's scientists, a terrorist attack, or something entirely different. We knew things were going to go badly, but in retrospect even our most outlandish ideas proved to be anywhere close to how things would actually end. After last time I had money riding on this all being some kind of elaborate hoax at our expense.

Showering, readying themselves and going to eat breakfast, Killbo breaking the fourth wall and noting how few bullet holes he had, the group discussed their final target: Hoda. We'd yet to truly think about getting the Renraku scientist and getting close to him would be difficult with his bodyguards there. Even atop of this we had greater problems such as the mass of explosives littered throughout the building. Amoral, while chugging caffeine like a hypochondriac convinced they had critically low energy levels, suggested just stopping the signal. Rather than taking them out one by one this seemed like the most plausible plan to follow and w'ed yet to come up with anything better. With Leona keeping watch on things downstairs the two agreed to make their way up and take one of the bombs to bits.

Also, a background news report noted that local law enforcers had opened the "Tolkien gang file" once again following a series of robberies. Moving on.

Taking the time to actually do some research on our target, Amoral discovered a few interesting facts about Hoda. Besides his earlier donations to a sperm bank and enforced isolation from the world, he specialised in Renraku AI development. Stuck in a lifetime contract with them, he was apparently unhappy with his life to the point he had made repeated suicide attempts. Interestingly, he was apparently only here to give one project a bit more credibility and not necessary to the showing. With luck this meant that, if we could get him into a corner or out of sight, he wouldn't me missed and would be easy to convince to join us.

Killbo, out of a misplaced sense of loyalty, made a few efforts to ensure that their Novus compatriots would have an idea of where to run to in case of something bad happened. Making the extremely smart decision to ignore him and get on with constructing their exhibit, his words fell on deaf ears. Even an effort to put up a sign saying "In case of emergency - Flee for your life this way" was used in the set, which left it pointing skywards. In fairness, this only resulted in the dwarf shrugging his shoulders and deciding it was a better escape route than the one he'd suggested.

Heading to the upper floors, Killbo found that the cupboard he'd previously broken into was now guarded by armed men. Passing them by and heading for the second door he'd seen Poultry stop at after the previous one, he experimented with the lock for half a minute then forced it open.

Amoral, knowing the likelihood of the group being caught in the upcoming a terrorist attack, attempted to find an alternative escape route for the group as we didn't want to risk the sewers again. Having Leona turn him invisible, he found a number of inactive rail turrets lined against one wall and promptly hacked into them. While hacking on the fly, he uncovered the unfortunate fact there were only admin accounts linked into it.
Making a prolonged test, thankfully with no one walking into him as he stood immobile hacking into the network in the middle of a corridor, he managed to eventually get inside. What was found within was quite a surprise. A program in the form of a burning chain was wrapped around the agent program supposed to deal with the turrets, rendering them inoperable. This meant we couldn't even rely upon the fabled defense systems of the Carl Sagat Memorial Centre to hold of the terrorists. It would take a pure purge complex form to try and remove the virus, and Amoral himself likely wouldn't he able to combat it. Unable to do anything he just moved on.

The specific node Amoral had found himself in had a rather peculiar design. It seemed to resemble an old arcade with multiple screens for various turrets, each with a joystick underneath to control individual guns. While inspecting them, Amoral glitched an examination roll and an unfortunate couple on the second floor found themselves facing down a gun turret, just as the husband was raiding the minibar.
"Jerry, remove your hands from the cognac very carefully..."

Before going into the closet itself, Killbo managed to have the foresight to pause and check where Amoral was. Learning he had been able to get inside the network, he naturally asked the following: "You're good with electronics right?"
"That's an understatement, yes,"
After the outlandish boasts of Killbo made responding to the deadpan sarcasm and failing his braggart roll, he managed to ask Amoral to screw with the cameras to hide his work if he was on any of them. Noticing that Killbo had indeed been caught on one camera, Amoral was far more interested in the fact half of the ones he could find were inoperable. With the node mostly being self automated, Amoral manages to achieve this, looping the problematic camera's footage and allowing Killbo to sneak inside.

The bomb turns out to be more or less the same as the last one, carboard box and all. Checking for wires and pressure plates, Killbo finds there is a small wire attached to a metal plate beneath the box, likely a boobytrap linked to a gas explosive. Making a palming check he successfully disarmed it a second later by screwing with the circuit and making it turn in on itself. With that out of the way on came the tense disarming C4 sequence. This lasted all of ten seconds with a lot of rolling, the bomb having not been designed to resist someone tampering with it.
Going through hardware tests Killbo found out it is to be triggered through ultrasound. Thankfully remembering he could hack for once, Killbo promptly tried to discover the timer for the detonation through an exploit program within its mechanism. Oddly it turned out that it was set up for 3PM, two hours after the conference's end. As such it seemed more like a failsafe than an actual time.

As this was going on Amoral, bored out of his mind, began playing 11 dimensional pong.
The technomancer rapidly became so involved that somehow he ended up challenging the agent to the game, with it accepting. This turned into something like Asura’s Wrath with pong, each editing themselves with multi-arms and hurling energy balls back and fourth between one another. The node catches fire. It’s their souls burning as they grapple on the most fundamental level. The GM desperately tries to retcon this whole thing from ever having happened.

Getting back to the second rate substitute which passed for sanity in these sessions, Killbo exited the cupboard with his bomb hidden in his jacket. Signaling to have Amoral make sure he edits out anything suspicious about the remaining footage he quickly left. Amoral ended up rolling so high with his tests that the GM declared that there was a blockbuster based upon what he put in its place a few years later.

Further hacking into the node, Amoral managed to gain access to further information. Unfortunately he also caught unwanted attention, triggering an alert in the node despite it not being occupied. It turned out that the node itself does nothing, and despite saying “launch IC program” nothing happens. Analysing the node he realised that there were dozens of agents, similar as before which had been locked up. The entire security system was either been locked down or utterly ruined. This made Amoral's job much easier, but was still a point of obvious concern. Noting that there was curiously no information listed for the top two floors at all, Amoral found he had direct access to doors, fire extinguishers and cameras. He promptly deleted part of the code which closes the doors to prevent the place going into lockdown.

Shadowing Hoda in the main hall, Killbo kept notes on the Japanese scientist and our other targets. While there was no sign of Beaumont, Ergu and Barton could both be seen doing their thing. Despite a terrible shadowing roll, the two Red Samurai accompanying Hoda critically glitched making the dwarf's job extremely easy. Realising that there was no time the two were not right next to him, Killbo headed off to his quarters to order room service. Ordering a vast number of cakes, Killbo bribed the staff-member serving it with hurlg he'd kept for such an occasion. This was enough to make the man forget he'd even brought the trolly, or what he'd been doing that entire day.

Hollowing out the cakes, Killbo began hiding as much of his equipment inside them as possible in order to get his small armoury of guns and explosives downstairs unnoticed. If we were going to be potentially fighting Red Samurai, he was going to come prepared. Something similar was done with Hoda's dead cloned body (he'd apparently moved it inside the minibar somehow) putting it on the bottom level of the trolley.

Back with Amoral, the technomancer decided to go the extra mile in crashing the node entirely to prevent anything in it being used against us. Threading a program, he shut it down with surprising ease before going off and getting Leona to meet him outside of the server room. Just to be sure, he was going to destroy the servers physically and wanted to do it in style. Cue the summoning of a rating eight sprite which burns the entire system from the inside out. This cased so much internal damage within the node, the floor nearby shook with the detonation of the terminals. No one seemed to notice this oddly, in part perhaps due to the lax security and in part due to the initial sabotage to the system and perhaps also due to the surprising lack of people on the upper floors.

Before the duo could really consider things, an announcement echoed throughout the building stating that all guest and staff were to meet in the main hall for one final speech. Hedges is the one speaking naturally, talking the usual nonsense about scientific progress he clearly doesn't even believe himself. The trio, having met at the front doors, were more interested in Hoda, located in the front row. We were given a plan to put together and grab the scientist, but this promptly turned out to be moot.

All of a sudden people started gathering outside the hall against the misted glass and it suddenly exploded inwards, concentrated light arms fire mowing down most of the guards. The hall erupted into panicked uproar with people trying to get clear as Metafirst terrorists stormed inside, shooting as they came. By the way, that's the group's name "Metafirst", supposedly devoted to getting equal right to all metahuman species. Oddly though they seemed more interested in killing everyone who was interested in science than equal rights for all. Strapping explosives vests to a few nearby individuals, they soon had most of the hall taken hostage.
And in the middle of all this Ezio Auditore made his presence known. As the unusually calm Hedges walked off-stage, a figure armed with blades suddenly dived from the rafters and tackled him behind the curtains.

A new order was quickly put in place as the terrorist took control, it became fairly obvious how well planned this had been. Walking up onto stage a wild eyed screaming man, most likely the leader, suddenly produced a list of armed personnel and individuals to head over and deposit their guns in front of him. As Killbo only had an ares predator registered, this left him with most of his weapons to still make use of. With the main threats dealt with, they become more interested in the scientists. Calling various people to the stage they begin giving long rants before executing certain ones. Beaumont's name is called out, only for him to be missing.
The terrorists' distraction between their rantings and searching for Beaumont was enough time for us to regroup and start formulating a plan of escape. Amoral managed to probe the comlink of a nearby terrorist undetected. From this he learned that a sizable number were on a shared tac network and encrypted channel, mostly the rank and file members. 

All three of us disappearing would be too noticeable so it was eventually decided Killbo would make a break for it. As Amoral hacked into the channel and had each terrorist's comlink produce a high pitched scream, Leona turned the dwarf and his trolley invisible and he rushed out the main doors into the foyer. Moving between various individuals, he managed to position the cake in a room just off to the side and beneath an air vent. Removing his icing encrusted guns and armour, he leapt up into the vent to hide from sight.

Leaping up and out of sight unfortunately made the trolley visible again, promoting a group of curious guards to wonder over. Cue Killbo detonating a series of fragmentation and phosphorous grenades still hidden inside the cakes, killing a number of them. Also, though we'd forgotten about it at this point, turning Hoda's clone into a charred wreck of flesh and bone.
This further distraction, and with Leona no longer having to keep Killbo invisible, allowed for Amoral and her to escape as well, meeting up inside the bottom floor bathrooms the air vent led to.

The building was overrun with hostiles, our allies were nowhere to be seen, Hedges had been attacked and the dwarf was covered in cake. Things were bad, and they were about to get a lot worse in the following week.

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