Slipshod Paradise

A Lady's Revenge

Revenge is a dish best served to someone else.

13/09/72

Johnny had spent the last few days studying several of the finer points of thaumaturgical philosophy in the privacy of his lodge. When he finally roused himself from his studies, Johnny Moss discovers that, for much of the last day, Donavan had been attempting to reach him about a job.

Unfortunately, when Johnny speaks with Donavan, the story he wove seemed to suggest that the team had sunk to being errand boys for the mafia, again. The team had destroyed, however inadvertently, a bunraku parlor in Chesapeake. Fortunately, the painful conversation was interupted by an urgent communique from Jeremiah. The affable troll had a lead on the comings and goings of Cliff Martin.

However, this information would come at a price. The person in possession of the data Jeremiah wants has nead of a team of runners. Johnny, rationally suspicious about what is expected of them, raised a few questions regarding the Johnson’s run. Jeremiah, reluctantly, admits it’s not “white hat” work, Mr. Johnson wants the group to enact a bit of revenge for her. A team had double-crossed her and the time to demonstrate the risks involved in crossing her was here. Since the information is more valuable than nuyen to Jeremiah for much the same reason as the Johnson wants the team, he offers up that he won’t even take his usual cut of the pay, offered at ¥35,000. The only catch, to complete the job, an unknown runner provided by Mr. Johnson will be joining the team.

Reluctant, but in need of leads, Johnny agrees to hear out the Johnson and informs the team to get ready. The meet will happen at the Funny Bone Comedy Club in Virginia Beach. The group has three hours to wrap their shit up.

Kiku spends the time watching soaps with her cleaning drone and checking in on her ammo. Similarly, Donavan does a quick weapons check and relaxes with his AI. Spaz, on the other hand, arranges a meet with Jeremiah to discuss matters more personal than media and matrix phenomena. The pair meet up at Outback, in Waterside of Norfolk. Spaz is disappointed by the lack of real foods on the menu, settling for a water and a glower from the bartender. Jeremiah, on the other hand, enthusiasticly orders a pair of twenty ounce soy-steaks and a tall glass of synth-ahol. After quietly accepting an oversized novelty pen from Jeremiah, Spaz broaches the other subject which has been weighing on him.

Risking his one solid friendship, Spaz opens up to Jermeiah about his newly established Tempo addiction and, rather than seeking a detox program, asks if Jeremiah knows any Tempo dealers in the area, to ensure that he can keep getting a fix. In a show of good faith, Spaz offers up one of the doses of Tempo he carries on himself to the thoroughly-enraged Jeremiah. Without clearly explaining why Spaz’s news upsets him, the troll accepts the dose and takes his leave, abandoning nearly 30 ounces of soy-steak to be reprocessed into the next guest’s meal.

*************************************************

In three hours time, the Mr. Johnson’s man, JC Louis, had slipped into the Funny Bone, unnoticed thanks to his chameleon suit and urban stealth training. Watching the team Mr. Johnson’s contacts had found to escort him, JC couldn’t quite stiffle a chuckle as the elven woman who seemed to take charge of the group stared, almost longingly, at the ork with the eyepatch and purple mohawk.

Slipping into the meeting room just behind the new runners, JC waited through their introductions with Mr. Johnson, Ms. Johnson as he often thought of her. When it’s made clear that the meeting is waiting on his arrival, JC cockily drops the hood of his chameleon suit and informs them, coyly, that he had, in fact, been awaiting their arrival. Sadly, the effect seems lost on the group, and JC develops the sneaking suspicion that they’ve seen this ploy used before. None-the-less, it couldn’t have been missed that he had been missed, by all of them.

Settling back, JC listens as Mr. Johnson briefly recounts a story he’s heard before, of the attack on her following a run that went south.

*************************************************

The first thing to catch the eye of Donavan and his teammates as they join the Mr. Johnson at the table is the soft glow of a strange piece of cyberware in her chest. The glow is just strong enough to be clearly visible through her snug t-shirt, a round disc, divided into twelve outer segments ringing a central bead which seems to pulse in time to her breathing. Heavy sunglasses attempt to hide a bruise, and evidence that she’s been in a fight is visible from her scabbed knuckles to the cut on her neck, barely hidden by her russet hair. In spite of her wounds, the woman gives off an air of regal poise which seems to command the attention of the very fibers of oak table where Donavan sits as she tells of her need for the team.

A group of runners, known as the Bionic Army, failed in a task she had set them. In spite of their failure, they tracked her down and stole their payment, roughing her up in the process. She wants the team to subdue the runners, recapture her stolen wealth and then help JC with removing their cyberware. In return, the team will be paid ¥35,000, and be allowed to keep the cyberware they remove. Whether the runners live or die, Mr. Johnson leaves to the team to decide.

The Bionic Army will be making an appareance at an abandoned mansion in Suffolk, where they are to drop off a limosuine for bugging. Once there, the team will have their opportunity to ambush them.

When asked, Mr. Johnson is able to provide basic descriptions and identify the cyberware of the members of the Bionic Army. The team relies on a troll named Rock Salt for muscle, an ork named Dashet provides fire support, and Dragoon is their magical specialist. A quick search of the matrix by both Sanura and JC confirms the details provided by Mr. Johnson, and offers up a few details on the mansion where the ambush is to take place. Notably that it’s been abandoned for decades and rumored to be haunted.

With five hours until the meet, the team breaks up to prepare. Sanura establishes a firmer contract with the fire spirit she’d come to rely on in recent weeks. March, meanwhile, arranges to purchase a crate of stick-n-shock from Jeremiah to load up Dr. Robotnik. JC manufatures a few injection arrows for Moss, then loads up the necessary medical equipment into Donavan’s van.

Once they’ve made their preparations, the team meets up in the woods near the mansion, away from the road. Mos, JC, Sanura, and Spaz head for the mansion to scout it out, while Raptor provides an eagle eye view of the area. Dr. Robotnik, Donavan, and Kiku stay with the vehicles and March, waiting for the signal.

The main body of the mansion wraps around a courtyard, massive ironwork gates separate the courtyard from the exterior. Caticorner at front and rear, two towers rise an additional two floors above the house, for a total of five stories. Skimming around the exterior, JC and Spaz note that none of the first floor rooms have windows facing out from the house. JC uses his grapple gun to attempt entry of the forward tower, while Sanura and Moss begin an astral sweep of the area. For his part, Spaz moves through the front gate, chameleon suit hiding him from plain view.

As JC passes the third floor window, Sanura and Moss both give warning that a mystical ward guards the top of the tower. Not far from the fourth floor window, JC abandons his goal of the fifth floor and makes to scout the fourth. Within, JC notes that the room is only furnished with a single bed, an old waredrobe, and an oak table, upon which burns a tall, tallow candle. Switching to thermographic vision, JC sees no evidence that anything which would generate heat besides himself and the candle have been in the room recently.

From the courtyard, Spaz makes his way into the mansion, scouting out the general lay of the area adjacent to the courtyard. He makes his way to the third floor, working towards a vantage point overlooking the courtyard. There, he spots a camera waiting to watch the fight. A few seconds work, and March has hopped from Spaz, through a fiber-optic cable, to the camera and is tracing its source.

Outside, Moss and Sanura watch in horror as some sort of aura starts decending along the walls of the fifth floor into the fourth, threatening to overwhelm JC. Sanura identifies it as some form of manipulation spell, and advises JC to get out while he can. With a quick look around the room, confirming that his options are a ladder to the third floor, or a rush up the flight of stairs to the fifth, JC goes back out the window and rappels down, swiftly.

Out his prefered sniping position, JC looks around for a suitable tree. A little south of the house, near the road, he finds an ancient magnolia, its massive green leaves brushing the ground. Scrambling up, he finds a perch which allows him a nearly clear view of the road, and an easy line into the courtyard.

Curious about the magical anomaly, Moss moves away to a safe distance from the mansion and pulls his spirit up from his body, fully into the Astral plane. From this metaphysical vantage point, Moss re-examines the house, and proceeds to explore the whole of the interior. Much to his surprise, Moss can find no evidence of magical activity, nor any background count, anywhere else in the building.

Meanwhile, March has made his way to the camera’s digital destination, only to find himself at the Funny Bone’s node. There, the camera dumps its data to a file. With a quick look around, March identifies the last person to access it as using the identity “Jane Ayre”. Relaying the information to Sanura, the team soon learns that “Jane Ayre” maintains a Connections! account, where she recently complained about having been attacked by a group of runners. Additional information suggests “Jane Ayre” is short-tempered, elven, and involved in the Virginia Beach community.

As the group is getting comfortable with the idea that their Johnson is the one watching, JC spots an old van rolling towards the mansion, tinted windows up. The van pulls into the courtyard, brushing the gates aside as it comes in, and parks near the front door. Spaz readies himself for a full-on assault against whomever might be inside while JC covers the driver’s window. The back of the van comes open and a Doberman drone bounds out and sniffs around in the courtyard, acting for all the world like its natural counterpart. As if this were a queue, the driver’s window rolls down, then the door opens and a middle-aged dwarf in a wife beater and leather duster, scraggly whiskers of a beard that doesn’t quite touch his chin flying everywhere. As he starts unloading his gear, JC runs his image through a data search and comes up with the name “Huey”, a member of the biker gang “66 High”. Tempers in the group immediately flare while Spaz tries to sort out whether or not to take a shot with his battle rifle.

Even as he starts squeezing the trigger, Spaz’s aim is disrupted by the targetting reticle of the smartgun system bouncing, spelling out the question “WHY ARE YOU GOING TO SHOOT ME?” As Spaz switches off his commlink, March, barely in control of himself, reaches out to the doberman, knowing it’ll take him to Huey. There, the two technomancers discuss matters of etiquette and decorum, including the appropriateness of a technomancer encouraging others to turn in technomancers for the CAS bounty. Though unsatisfied with Huey’s answer, March is satisfied as to his intentions for the night. Huey explains that he is there to take the limosuine the targets are supposed to arrive in, and leave them stranded at the house with a bum van.

Not long after, JC spots a second vehicle, the limosuine this time, complete with Rock Salt riding half out of the sun roof in the back. The team quickly performs a ready check of their weapons, and settles in. A good look confirms the other two to be Dashet and Dragoon, whom the team is surprised to learn, looks like the human counterpart to their Johnson. It is not long before Huey has talked them into handing over the limosuine and left them with nothing but a burning engine block in an old van. As soon as the engine ignites, before Dragoon can even exit the van she had tried to start, JC fires on Rock Salt with a from his sniper rifle, having calculated that it should be enough to take him down. Unfortunately, the round bounces off the massive troll’s body armor, kicking up dust as Rock Salt deploys his arm grenade launcher. Fearing the worst, Kiku and Spaz move in, with Spaz launching himself from the third floor, rolling up off the ground, and sending both cyberspurs towards the ork, Dashet and Kiku unloading two rounds of Stick-n-Shock into the fray from her Remington Roomsweepers.

The rest of the team moves in to support, with Donavan and Sanura trying to maintain a distance while throwing spells and CS gas amongst the opposing combatants. Before long, the troll is down, the ork has surrendered, and Dragoon is running through the house, Spaz, Moss, Donavan, JC, and Raptor hot on her tail. When Dragoon reaches the end of a secret passage leading into the river, she is confronted with the unenviable choice of facing a flying drone armed with rockets and a minigun, turning back to face Spaz, Donavan, and Moss, or surrendering to a group intent on blinding her. Unaware of the caveat on surrender, Dragoon chooses this option and she and her team are quickly anasthetised and the surgery begins once the Johnson’s credsticks are retrieved from Dragoon.

*************************************************

Once JC has closed up, he, Sanura, Johnny Moss, Donavan, Spaz, and Kiku head back to the forward tower to investigate the magical anomaly they had noticed earlier. JC, Moss, and Sanura explore the fourth floor, hoping to find out what had happened earlier. As the spell descends upon them once more, Sanura and Moss notice that the candle acts as the anchor for a spell. Dispelling hadn’t worked, so with no other options, Sanura puts out the candle while Moss notices a magical talisman under the wardrobe, which he keeps for himself. With the candle out, the room is plunged into peternatural darkness. JC can still see by virtue of his Thermographic vision, and he watches as Johnny ascends the staircase. Not long after Johnny disappears, JC realizes that he feels smaller, the room and his clothes feel bigger, looking over, he sees Sanura vanish into her own blouse. Shortly after, he can make out a distinct “squeek”, and a sneeze.

Upstairs, Johnny faces what he soon realizes to be a vampire, surrounded by paraphernalia from the turn of the century. The vampire attacks him, and insists that the team leave, immediately. Downstairs, Donavan boosts Kiku up through the hole, only to have her clothes, then the woman herself, separately, fall back down to him. Spaz attempts the same, with the same results. Kiku, no stranger to Einstein’s definition of insanity, if not the man himself, takes Donavan’s grapple gun and heads outside. There, she ascends past the fourth floor and into the fifth, where she helps Johnny and negotiates the party’s release.

Once outside, and away from the vampire, the team decides to take the dismantled runners to a street doc before collecting. Hacking into Dragoon’s commlink, JC finds contact info for a Dr. Ivanov, and his Johnson’s commcode under an entry labeled “Sis”. The team drops the runners off with Dr. Ivanov and make their way to the Funny Bone, where they exchange the credsticks from the runners for the credstick with their payment.

Subplots Advanced

Profitable Proceeds

  • 35,000 ¥
  • Assorted Cyberware
  • Spellcasting Focus (Force 4, Black Magic or Hedge mage tradition)

Karma & Reputation

Runner Karma Street Cred Notoriety Public Awareness
Donavan
Total
+7
67
+0
6
+0
1
+0
2
JC Louis
Total
+9
9
+0
0
+0
0
+0
0
Kiku
Total
+7
65
+1
6
+0
2
+0
3
March
Total
+9
71
+1
7
+0
0
+0
2
Moss
+7
52
+1
5
+0
1
+1
2
Sanura
Total
+5
63
+1
6
+0
0
+1
2
Spaz
Total
+7
36
+1
3
+0
2
+0
1

Comments

chaemera Yakaru

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