Campaign of the Month: November 2014

Shadowrun - The Rat's Nest

Summary
a short-ish summary

December 2070

The Rat’s Nest is raided by Knight Errant / Hard Corps and partly destroyed, most of the Scrappers are arrested. After a sniper shoots five Hard Corps men the next morning, the Nest is evacuated. While it’s almost empty, the Picas move in.

During the time out of the Nest, the Scrappers are let go again by the police who had nothing much to charge them with. Neil finds out that he is Awakened when he summons a spirit by accident and meets Glitzy, who agrees to teach him. They begin a relationship.

The Nest is retaken from the Picas who no longer exist as a gang after that. A short while later, people get stuck in a UV host modelled after the Warsaw Ghetto and only just manage to escape.

January 2071
Glitzy and Maggie run a con on a businessman. Because Glitzy is too honest for her own good, she afterwards arranges for the man to work as a Johnson. 10k go missing from the Nest’s finances and it seems that someone has managed to program people to give the money away and not remember it afterwards. So far, it’s not known how or who. Rusty starts working as a runner for Glitzy.

February 2071
Roger Kowalski and Babsie open up a detective agency and immediately get in trouble with, presumably, the Yakuza.

March 2071
Babsie works her own first case and meets Fog, Zach, Jet and Stanley. Tempo slowly grows into a problem for the Nest and Neil loses Whistler when he tries to find a way to get rid of the addiction. After a run on the Maria Magdalene Sanatorium, fifty girls take refuge in the Nest. Fog, Zach, Jet, Stanley and Rusty have really pissed off a lot of important people and have a runner team searching for them. One of the girls, Fairy Fay, is a drake and hides out at Glitzy’s for now.

April 2071
The Rat’s Nest find out who stole all that money: Gen Wong, a rat shaman. Cornered, he fights and is killed by Neil. Lao Jia, his rat spirit, frees herself and moves in at the Nest. Zach is brought onto the UV Host and barely survives it. Fog hooks up with a witch, Kiki, and is currently wanted for killing a cop.

May 2071
Fog, Jet, Stanley, Zach and the Working Girls make a successful run on a chocolate factory and steal a ton of chocolate, but find out that it’s fake, grown from engineered algae. While hiding out at an abandoned chemical plant, they survive an attack by the Rusted Stilettos.

June 2071
Glitzy brokers a deal for the chocolate with the Stone family in Boston. A million for the ton, delivered to Boston. Fog, Stanley, Zoé, Jet and Nebraska go on a roadtrip and against all odds actually deliver the chocolate. Tyrell Agency investigates a series of arsons at talismonger shops.

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Masterpost
all adventure logs

Adventure Log Timeline – use this to read it all in order

July 2071

June 2071

May 2071

April 2071

March 2071

February 2071

January 2071

December 2070

November 2070

April 2054

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Delivery
Tobias' Log

We have our delivery, believe it or not. The boxes smell a bit horsey, but the chocolate is sealed, so who cares.

Why does it smell horsey? I was hoping you’d ask. I noticed something was wrong when Zoé phoned the contact number, asking if there were any outstanding warrants against them? We checked this and had just picked up the phone to call back with a negative when a warrant did pop up. Resisting arrest, attacking officers of the law, reckless driving, wanted in connection with further crime, BOLO for a truck and an RV with no paint job. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Take a look at this video, if you want to see some nice acrobatics by Fog, taking out the cops with smoke grenades, and also if you want to see him screaming his head off while someone else in a chameleon suit drives them both through a mall on his bike, picking up some bubble tea on the way. I lost the RV soon after that, after the autopilot got deactivated. I don’t know what they did with it. The insurance company is screaming murder, though. But since they’re screaming at fake SINs, I don’t worry too much.

The truck was around a bit longer, hiding from the cops in some woodland or other. I think they had a hacker themselves to throw the cops off their scent, some of the stuff on the police scanner was faked. But it was good enough to last about as long as they needed it to. About that time, a monastery called the police that someone stole a horse trailer with two valuable horses in it. Yes, I did say monastery.

I’m not quite sure how our guys escaped that manhunt. All the bridges over the Hudson were closed down and police were looking for the horse trailer because they’re not dumb. But fact is, said horse trailer arrived here in the early morning, sans horses, avec chocolate. Our runners are in the hotel, but need another flight reservation because at least two of their SINs are burned. And of course we will need new documentation for the chocolate since it’s not exactly hot, but at least slightly warm right now. Not a problem, though, I already arranged matters.

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End Run
Fog's Audios

End Run

[Start Audio]
….
[no time stamp]

We did it.
We’re home.
And we’re filthy rich.
Only my stoic pragmatism makes me accept all this without laughing for a week straight.
Oh, yes, sure, things got crazy at the end.
I jumped on a police car, a police car Stan then friggin’ RAMMED!
Nebraska and I cannonballed my bike through a mall, I got shot, yet again, we stole a horse trailer ‘cause our rides were hot, while our doc dumped the RV in a lake.
THEN we had to go Black Ticket on the Hudson river, but we fucking made it!
We also found out that Jet isn’t a street kid but a drop-out corporate brat and Stan’s the kind of doc who won’t waste your precious tasty organs when you die on his table.
But who gives a fuck who my people once were?
We’re all alive.
It feels so good that all this paid off.
Still, there’s much ahead… I have to talk to so many different people it makes my head swirl.
I gotta take care of the chemical plant as I promised I would, I need to help Neil with Esmeralda’s legs, I need to sort things out with those Gypsies and… I gotta to prepare.
There ain’t no rest for the wicked and even less so for me.
Glow City ain’t gonna wait much longer for me. Each day that passes tips the scales in favor of Crow’s twisted counterpart.
You can say what you want, but this trip was only a test, a means to temper and steel us for what’s to come.
It’s only been three weeks, but me and my people, we grew and it showed that we could lean on each other.
Most of us, at least.
Can’t say what lies ahead and how ugly things will get, how hard life will swing its bat or what surprises it throws.
But I’ll stick to what I’ve said. I’ll get them through this alive.

[End Audio]

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Little House on the Prairie
Fog's Audios

Little House on the Prairie

[Start Audio]
….
[no time stamp]

There are islands in this troubled sea we call life.
Heh, look at me, all the suffering, empty highways and clear sky turned me into a poet. I should probably pick up a drinking habit, but one step at a time.
What I’m getting at is that sometimes, there are places you wouldn’t expect.
Considering our bad experiences and all, we didn’t want to camp out at the great lakes and instead settled for a huge farm just outside of Cleveland.
Cleveland itself was off limits. Too much crime and gang activity for my taste.
That’s saying something, right? Also, Nebraska wouldn’t stop talking about this stupid theater organ or some shit.
Don’t even ask…
Yeah, so, the farm.
Nice places like these make you paranoid. There’s no way decent human beings exist and CONTINUE to exist in the Sixth World, right?
Well, these people, good Christians or something, got by just fine.
They offered us food, shelter and company and lived a good life.
We returned the favor by abducting two of the community’s kids.
Lemme’ explain:
Both of them didn’t dig the sheltered life here and essentially asked us to smuggle them outta there.
I thought this was a bad call. Everyone of us didn’t quite understand why they’d give up all this.
But I’m not the kind of person who tells people how to live their lives. If they fuck up, they usually at least get a lesson out of it.
Zoé more than disagreed, basically yelling at us from her proverbial three-story horse how irresponsible it was to ruin their lives and taking them from their families.
I told her, if she wanted them to stay here, all she had to do was ratting them out to their parents and she’d ‘save them’ alright.
Yet again, she didn’t have the guts or at least the conviction to give a foundation to her hypocritical bullshit.
We picked them up in the morning.
To be fair, Zoé wasn’t completely wrong when she doubted their…adaptability to a less sheltered world.
So I showed them how the world works. A little test of integrity, if you want.
I kicked the guys ass, took their stuff and made clear that WE were the good kind of people they could expect out there.
They still wanted to bail, still wanted to live their own life.
And I can respect that.

We let them ride along till Fairview, just as agreed. Their parents made an attempt to track them down and even found us, but we could talk our way out of it.

[End Audio]

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Bareknuckle
Fog's Audios

Bareknuckle

[Start Audio]
….
[no time stamp]

I kinda feel sorry for all that ranting an bitchin’ about Zoé.
Then again, it’s better to vent here than rage all over her.
In a way, it reallys isn’t her fault. It doesn’t change anything about what I’ve said. I meant every friggin’ word. But after all, it’s not worth wasting so much words and energy on it, you know?
Going at least kinda full circle:
Some things in life tend to prompt the retrospective question ‘Was that a good idea?’ which is eventually answered ‘It seemed like a good idea at the time.’
When I was sitting on the roof of our RV, pondering, I had one of those ideas.
Cash was running out. All we had left were pathetic 300 Nuyen and those wouldn’t carry us to Boston. Jet suggested to rob a weapons store but that would just make things worse.
With limited time, a pretty narrow set of skills to apply to this situation, our backs against the wall and the basic rules I go by there was only one solution at hand:
Find an underground fight club and get bruised for cash.
Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it?
Took some digging and some bold words, but the local Russian host of the fine martial arts helped us getting into the gig that evening.
2 grand for a win was pretty convincing and so Nebraska, Jet and I signed up.
The rules seemed pretty fair, apart from the usual ridiculous ban of magic from sports. Yeah, sure, cyber up as much as you like but Spirits forbid if you’re an adept…But enough bitching, I took it as an opportunity to try working with limited resources.
Fight night was pretty exciting. Now I understand why Dad always got that nostalgic gleam in his eyes on the rare occasions he told about his past as a fighter.
The cheering crowd, that primal surge of adrenaline when it all comes down to the skill of two people pitted against each other…
If you ever hear this, Dad, sorry for borrowing your stage name or whatever it’s called in this business.
Anyway…
Bummer Nebraska and Jet got their asses handed to them and Leonid’s rival wanted me to lose this fight. It would be less fun, but then again, we were here for the cash, not for glory.
I made clear his threat didn’t impress me and that I wouldn’t lose for free. So he agreed to cover the price money we’d lose.
Ironically, even though I tried my best to not go all out, I still sandbagged Chernobok, the town’s champion. Weird thing was, unlike me, HE didn’t want to lose. He was fit and not drugged or anything but Spirits, he was slow and had the defense skills of a toddler.
Something wasn’t right and before I could figure out what it was, he passed out in the tamest sleeper’s hold I could muster.
That Russian outside the ring who just lost a lot of money looked like he was going to fuck me and at least the next 6 generations of my descendants up while I tried to get the doc of this place to take a closer look at Chernobok. Something was fishy here. He said everything was alright, but when I took an astral look at our “champion” I saw he was a deluxe chrome job.
Guess what?
His manager, our nice event manager switched off all his gadgets and now he was just a regular human. That guy didn’t have a clue what was going on.
If things go south, at least walk in the sun, right?
So I went straight for our ‘partner in crime’ who was too puzzled by the sheer display of guts to murder me. I could convince him that this wasn’t my fault; that we both got double crossed here.
He let us keep the money and I guess he had a nice talk with Leonid, involving broken bones and bloody money.
Never found out.
We got outta there as fast as we could, pockets stuffed with Nuyen and alive and well…

[End Audio]

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Snatched
Fog's Audios

Snatched

[Start Audio]
….
[no time stamp]

So far, our two guests are holding up, despite the heavy shit they’ve been through.
Abby’s doing pretty well, video games are a solid distraction, I guess.
Zoé tried to convince them to ride all the way with us to Boston, get some IDs and fly back witht us to the Nest. She went all out, telling them what a good place it is and what a nice community.
Rose looked as if she’d rather jump right out of the window and I can relate.
Walk a mile in their shoes and tell me you’d trust a stranger promising this kinda bullshit. Even if it’s true.
Zoé didn’t let go, though, pestered her until they at least promised to consider it and stay in contact.
Think that’s where the proverb featuring hell and good intentions comes from.
Anyway, it’s been a quiet day it’s my turn to drive the RV.
Let’s hope it stays that way…

[End Audio]

[Start Audio]
….
[no time stamp]

Let me… Let me tell you the story of a girl I once kinda liked.
She had a difficult childhood. Which isn’t her fault.
She had a rough time on the streets with many dangers and evil people. Which wasn’t her fault.
But obviously she had a very patient fairy godmother who brought her through the first 16 years of her life ‘cause she fucks up everything she ever touches and should be ten times dead by now. Which absolutely can’t be her fault, since, you know, nobody fucks shit up so much all by their own.
It’s also not her fault that she had the bad luck to run over a category 10 free spirit called Daio. You really can’t blame the poor girl from my story that she literally can’t drive to save her life.
And since she magically never is responsible for anything she ever does, it’s also not her fault that she’s a fucking coward who’d rather let her best friend take the fall for her incompetence or bad luck and subsequent lack of guts.
And the moral of the story?
If you’re Zoé you can get away with everything, because nothing is ever your fault and everyone else is an asshole. You never need to take responsibility or try to learn or even change.
Life is just unfair and you can’t do anything against it.
And as long as you have friends you can rely on them to take the hits for you.
Strongarmed into a spirit pact?
No problem if you fucked up! Nebraska’s here to bite the bullet and now has to lend her body to this particularly crafty spirit for a day.
Just when I thought Zoé couldn’t probably score less in my book, she pulled this thing off.
At least I won’t doubt this anymore now…
[End Audio]

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Damage Control

A man in a business suit sits behind a desk dictating into the camera. He looks stressed, to put it mildly.
Christ, what a fuckup. Okay, delete this. Start recording from here.

Yesterday, Heinlein Tours ran a Starship Trooper LARP in their own private part of the Chicago exclusion zone. Apparently, a group was dropped well outside the perimeter, although still inside the actual area. The pilot who dropped them is being detained and has tested positive for drugs.

As have almost all the kids who participated in the LARP, including the people actually running it. At this time, we are not completely sure what happened, we only have two surviving witnesses and one is possibly unreliable. Miss Vittoria is unstable at the best of times.

It seems that squatters have been setting up camp inside the area and no-one bothered to remove them before the LARP. I do not know if this was oversight or malicious intent, but I suggest we look into it. The stray group ran into squatters and apparently, mistook them for part of the game. Which did not end well for at least two of the squatters. All this we could have kept quiet.

Our witness says that there was someone else, possibly just passing through. I did warn about including the highway in the area, even though it’s mostly a dead road these days. Whoever that person was, he was also taken under fire by the group and not only managed to escape, but then proceeded to kill all but one of them.

Admittedly, these were only teenagers with no real training, but they did have military grade armor and weapons. He took some of that from the player he only knocked out, but didn’t even use it to kill them, he did that with his hands, as far as we can see. Autopsy reports are pending on two of the four victims. We recovered all of the gear, so robbery is not a motive. Our witness says that he told her that he did not like people who treated the world as if they own it. We may have a problem on our hands because I doubt that he was just some guy who was in the area by accident.

The area was burning by the time we got there and we let it. The official story will be that the fire got out of hand and several of the kids unfortunately died. The pilot who dropped them will take most of the blame. If world ever gets out about what happened, we have a PR disaster and we certainly want to avoid Miss Vittoria’s mother to find out. Her father has already taken steps to prevent this.

Unfortunately, we have no traces of the man who killed those kids. He walked away as quietly as he had appeared and so far, we have been unsuccessful in tracking him. The fire had destroyed anything usable before we even realized that there was someone to look for.

I suggest we sever our ties to Heinlein Tours. They have been useful in the past, but with this level of negligence, their usefulness is questionable at best.

Stop recording. Fuck it, why couldn’t the guy have the decency and kill all of those brats? No, he had to leave the one who would make the most trouble. Fuck him and the horse he rode in on.
He pours himself a very stiff drink and turns off the camera.

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I'm Doing My Part

I’m Doing My Part

[Start Audio]
….
[no time stamp]

I thought a little scouting could clear my head.
Between the bickering, never ending problems and stuff that lies ahead must be some space for metaphorical fresh air right?
I took the deer on fire crossing the road right in front of my Growler as a clear “No”.
Things happened kinda quick from that point, but I remember the attempt to get the hell away from that area and went out of the frying pan straight into the nuclear reactor.
A squatter village.
There was fire and screaming and dying people and some Drekheads in military grade armor, assault rifles, grenades and even flamethrowers.
Flamethrowers for fuck’s sake!
My brain-department for rationalization frantically tried to make sense of this in the precious seconds I had to decide what the hell to do.
Chicago, so, maybe insect spirit busters? They yelled something about bugs, but there weren’t any, just some poor sods trying to escape the slaughter…
I’ve never been in a warzone. Not in the strictest sense at least, you know?
But this must be what it feels like.
I could’ve just turned my back on that. Wasn’t my war after all, didn’t know the people who got hurt or killed.
Sometimes it’s just better to run.
Doesn’t mean you have to run alone, though.
There was a woman and two kids, breaking away from a burning shack. Would be a tough ride, but I could get to them in time.
So I did.
Got’em on my bike, Drekheads still shooting at me. To make things more personal, they hit my bike, but we made it to the woods with one wrecked tire.
And we lost her little boy.
Shit that was tough.
Saw his mother scream and beg and how one of the gunners tried to strap a grenade to him, some other guy shot him in the back first, however…
Takes a lot t make me snap.
I’m neither a hero, nor a slayer, I’d rather fix things than wreck…a fuck it, you know that by now.
You also know I tend to pick my fights carefully.
Sometimes it’s just better to run.
And sometimes you just have to snap some necks.

I told her to take my bike, gave her something to focus on the get out of this alive and while she rode off, I took advantage of nightfall and the nearby forest.
Being tough doesn’t mean you can take on guys in MilSpec gear on your own.
I was lucky and caught one of’em alone, beat him almost senseless and tried to figure out what exactly was wrong with these assholes.
Turned out they were here for some kind of game… Starship Troopers reenactment or LARP or something.
Didn’t exactly calm me down.
They were doing this for fun sponsored by Ares?
What the fuck?
It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye, right?
So let’s poke out a few eyes…

Everything’s a bit hazy when it comes to that night, but I absolutely went Predator on their sorry asses.
They wanted war, they wanted action and what they got is getting straight up murdered.
Beat the life out of three more people that night and left one girl barely alive.
I wonder what threads I cut, what lives I ruined and I barely consider this justice.
But they messed with the wrong guy at the wrong time.
It’s what people like Fedderson, Steckler and those Drekheads at some point forgot to understand: There are consequences.
The world is not there for your personal amusement. At some point, there’s a guy like me who won’t take that shit any longer.
And then there’ll be blood.
Yeah…Yeah, I get the irony. I’d be a moron not to expect a backlash for what I’ve done, some kind of consequence ‘cause there’s a suit, a mom or a dad who want revenge.
I don’t regret this.
Should that scare me?
Prob’ly.


[End Audio]

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Meredith
Neil's Journal

The Nest has acquired it’s second official spirit resident. Meredith has been, how do I say, waiting behind the door whenever I conjure up a spirit. If I don’t concentrate on calling a specific spirit, he’s the one who turns up. He still has ties to this world, his wife and his three daughters and he is not ready to leave. I thought about this long and hard and I am still not sure it’s a good idea, but I gave him the chance to become a free spirit.

A nosebleed, major migraine attack and some internal bleeding later, he was free and I was not dead. I had Diego on call the whole time, but that still was a dangerous thing to do. Ruby very pointedly did not say anything when I told her. I should at least have said something before, but I didn’t want her to worry. I’ve done smarter things in my time, I guess. I did talk to Veronica, Meredith’s wife. That was the most awkward conversation I have had in a while. After a while, she agreed to at least talk to Meredith and they came to an agreement. This has to be the most weird divorce agreement I have ever seen. Meredith gets to see his daughters on a regular basis, but otherwise he’s on his own. I think it’s the best they could do under the circumstances, Veronica can’t go back to the way things were and she doesn’t want to. We’ll see how it all works out.

Oh, and I think Fynn has a girlfriend or at least he’d like to have. Tegan had been thrown together with him for a science project and since the topic was native animals in their natural environment, Fynn invited Tegan home, to watch the horned owls in the forest. Her parents radiated disapproval when they brought her over. They are both magicians, hermetics, and they do not like their daughter to hang around with the kid of some hippie and her drop out shaman boyfriend. Tegan has her own plans about that, it seems. At least the project went well, the good grade will probably do something to mollify them. Let’s hope they don’t find out that Fynn took their daughter to the Rat’s Nest.

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