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. 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

June 2071

May 2071

April 2071

March 2071

February 2071

January 2071

December 2070

November 2070

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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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No Good Deed
Rusty's Vlog

Camera activates. Rusty’s sitting on his bed, with a bandage over his nose and he looks like he hasn’t slept for the last couple of days. He takes a sip now and then from a glass of whiskey while he talks.

Remember how I said that the job for Colm would be a shite one? Yeeaahh, wouldn’t it have been nice I had been wrong? Right now, I’m sitting on the most wanted package in Seattle and it doesn’t look like I’m going to get rid of it any time soon.

Colm told me to pick it up at the port of Everett, at one of the warehouses. I went there, right on time and more nervous than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. I didn’t need Colm to tell me that I was going to get a good Irish talking to from the guys. Just because he is willing to give me a chance, that didn’t mean I wouldn’t get what I had coming from the moment I ran away. I’m not complaining, this is just how things are. But I was not looking forward to this.

The guys invited me to a game of Rugby. I grab the package and the door is the goal. If I get me and the package through, we’re good. If not, I’m not trying hard enough. Two orks and two humans who weren’t much smaller. In an all-out fight, I wouldn’t have had a chance in hell. But I was faster than they were and they stood in each other’s way. One of them got me good and hard on the nose, but fuck, a broken nose is shit compared to what would have happened if they had grabbed me.

I made it to the door and I didn’t stop there because I could hear them coming after me. I got out with about a hair’s breadth head start and jumped on my bike, getting the engine started just in time. I think one of them tried to grab me at the last moment, but that could have been just imagination. If they had caught me, I probably wouldn’t have walked for a month, let alone flown a plane to San Francisco.

After some prodding, my nose was more or less back where it belonged, only hurting like hell. I’ve had worse, though. The flight was pretty easy. I had registered a flight plan form Seattle to San Francisco, with a very much unregistered stopover at a farm not far from San Fran. I switched places in midair with a crop duster to hide that, but I had to hurry to get it all over with and get airborne again to switch back.

The landing was a bit rougher than I would have liked, I only ever landed on tarmac until now. The bikes and gangers hanging around the farmhouse were a lot more worrying than a few bumps in the runway. Koshari, although I hadn’t met them before. I called up Ian, my contact, and he told me that everything was shiny. Not to worry about the Koshari. I taxied the plane around and asked him to come out. When he said to just throw the package out of the plane, I gunned the engine. Like fuck I would. I got away, the Koshari hadn’t brought any big guns to bring down a plane. I couldn’t well land in San Fran now and claimed a personal emergency as reason to fly back to Seattle. If I hadn’t been thankful for the extra tank I had Mortinsen built in, I sure was now.

No-one bothered to check on me at Harvey, after all I hadn’t landed anywhere. Officially. I had called Colm on the way and he told me to hang on to the package for a while. And that’s what I’m doing. I brought it to the Nest, taking the long way round to avoid the First Nations and the Knights who were both searching for it. I had to tell Glitzy about the run and what went wrong because it’s her plane and it will be traceable. She scanned the package and man, I almost screamed when I say what’s in there. I had already guessed weapons and I wasn’t wrong about that. Heckler & Koch MP5 submachineguns. But the real kicker is the ammo: APDS. Holy crap, everyone and their mother would cheerfully kill for that. And I don’t even want to know where this was going. That’s at least 80k worth of a pain in the ass.

Anyway. I got the package out of the Nest right then and there. If the Knight find that kind of gear at the Nest, the raid last year will be a joke compared to what’s coming. Colm’s going to wait until things have cooled down a bit and I’m not arguing. I hid it out at the old fertilizer plant. If people find it there and brave three ghouls to get it, they’ve earned it.

Camera deactivates

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Fun and Games
Tobias' Log

I will allow myself a little unprofessional commentary here. I fear for our investment, but following along on this roadtrip makes great entertainment. If the whole deal goes sour, we could sell movie rights.

Right. Back to business. The chocolate has survived a tornado, an attack by bison bull and a couple of minor incidents. Right now it’s parked in Grand Rapids. The group, on the other hand, has used the downtime caused by getting a new RV (the old one was badly damaged by the tornado) to make a trip to Six Flags Great Lakes. I think neither of us is surprised they chose the day that Tempo addict went nuclear there. At least they had the good sense to get out of there when things started to go bad. But not without stealing some burgers and fries and getting caught on camera with the other looters. You’ve probably seen the news.

Right now they’re back in Grand Rapids. I don’t know if they’re aware that their faces were all over the evening news. It’s not a big thing and they hardly were the only people to loot, but considering the job they are doing right now, this is a bit awkward. Let’s hope no one recognizes them and decides to earn some easy money.

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Making Amends
Rusty's Vlog

Camera acitvates. Rusty‘s on his way from Snohomish to the Nest on his bike, using his DNI to talk while recording the drive. It’s cloudy and it has been raining, the streets are still wet, he has to drive carefully. The farmland, nice houses and woods of Snohomish are not what people expect when they hear Seattle in 2071.

I decided to try and put things right with Colm. He did a lot for me when I was just some kid hanging around in front of Eddie‘s bar. I guess he did that to piss my father off, but it pretty much saved my life back then. And the one thing you don’t do when someone puts his trust in you is just leave and never say a word.

Angus would have killed me sooner or later, I’m sure of that and there was no way I could have stayed in Everett and not have that happen. So, yeah, leaving was the best thing I had eve done. Leaving Colm hanging was bullshit, though. I called him up and when he didn’t hang up right away, I invited him for dinner at the Boathouse. I was that close to chickening out, but it went pretty well. At least Colm’s willing to give me another chance. I don’t want to go back to working for the mob. He stops himself and laughs

Ok. I don’t want to go back working for that part of the mob. But I don’t want to repay what he did with just running away. That kind of thing is what Angus does, just take and take. Fuck him. And the way things are going with the Nest and Growler, sooner or later I will have to go back to Everett and I can’t do that with Colm pissed at me. So I made a peace offering, I’d smuggle some stuff for them wherever they wanted it, free of charge and no questions. I’ve always been good at this whole courier stuff and with a plane, that’s a valuable favor. Colm seemed willing to take me up on it and we’ll see how things go from there. I wouldn’t be in a hurry to trust me again if I was in his place and the job will probably be a shit one. The kind where messing up means that you don’t even need to go back home, just run. I guess I’ve earned that.

I also asked him about Brigit‘s father. He wasn’t in a hurry to tell me, but when I said that Brigit’s an ork now and that this was kind of a big hint that Angus isn’t her father, he came out with the truth. Shit, I have no idea how I am going to tell Brigit about this. I now know who her father was and much good that will do us because Angus fucking killed him. He found out about the affair and a couple of days later, Jack was gone. No-one knew for sure and Angus got away with murder. I’m surprised he kept Brigit around. If she’d been an ork from birth, he probably wouldn’t have. Man, what am I going to tell her? And she is gonna ask, that I’m sure of.

The police checkpoint comes into view and this is more what people except. The Metroplex guards stand in front of their Citymaster, armored and carrying assault rifles. Rusty gives an audible sigh when he’s picked out for a frisk and stops recording.

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Little Lies
Tobias' Log

Another update on our chocolate: they made it to the Sioux Nation at least.

After that little interlude in Spokane, they got detained by police for a short time and managed to bribe their way out of it. The rescue mission for the two girls back in Spokane went over less than perfect and it seems Nebraska had a meltdown, somewhere in the middle of nowhere. But they got their act together and drove on. The next thing really wasn’t their fault, could have happened to anyone, they got targeted by some go gang or rather some kids who want to be a go gang when they grow up.

I must say they handled that well, all things considered. One of the ganger is dead, but only because his friend miss-aimed and shot him instead of Mr. Sullivan. By the way, I have the information you wanted, find the files attached. Everyone else is alive and our runners are mostly unhurt, with the exception of Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Kyldrasic, but he is a quick healer. They got once again questioned by police, but it was only a routine thing. Their fingerprints and SINs (the fake ones) are in the system now, though.

Crossing the border into Sioux Nation could have gone better, but it could have gone a lot worse, too. Customs pulled their usual bullshit and kept them waiting for hours while they went over the RV and transporter with a fine-tooth comb, but except for some porcupine quills, they didn’t find anything. That cost them 1000 NY, about twice as much as would have been the normal fine. Also, social services were called in because the girls played the ‘kids with behavioral problems’-card a bit too hard. Nothing came of it except some uncomfortable questions regarding Mr. Voynich’s conduct.

They also lost their satellite connection, but again, through no fault of their own. Right now, they are camped out in the middle of nowhere, which pretty much describes the whole state of Montana this side of the border.

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Catching Up
Rusty's Vlog

Camera activates and pans over a lake in the sunlight, surrounded by firs, pines, some alders and birches. The viewpoint is high up and when Rusty turns the camera around, he has climbed a tree and sits on a large branch, his back against the trunk. The wind’s rustling in the leaves and birds sing loudly . Below, a small creek flows into the lake.

I need some time by myself, the Nest is just too fucking busy to think.

First of all, Brigit‘s okay. She needs some time to get used to her new body, but she’s just as sharp as she used to be. And I don’t know where she got her looks, but people turn their heads when she walks by. That’s awkward for her, she’s a fourteen year old kid inside, but she doesn’t look it any more. She’ll get used to it and in the meantime, I’m happy to turn people’s heads back around for them. But all in all, she handles it well. We rented her her own container, we wanted to do that anyway. But she still hangs around with me a lot and I wouldn’t want it any different. My little sister…she’ll grow up soon enough.

I got myself some cyberware. I didn’t ask where Neil got the body, but there were some nice reaction enhancers inside and I was top of the list for those. It feels weird, but I’m getting used to it. I’m faster, now. Not seriously boosted like Growler or Twitch, that shit’s too much for me. But it gives me an edge and I like that.

There’s a good chance I’m going to need it because I want to make good with Colm. When I ran away, I broke the promise I made to him and it’s been bugging me ever since. There’s no way I’m going to go back, working for the mob again. But I want to at least apologize and explain myself. I know that this is probably a spectacularly bad idea. Might get me killed or land me in the clinic for a long while. Still, I’m going to do it. I don’t plan on going there empty handed, I think that I have a fair offer to make with a free smuggling flight. I hope it helps.

I also made a trip to the Funhouse. People have been talking about it so much, saying that you can get anything there for cheap. I wanted to get Ling a camera, a real one. Not a commlink cam, a real camera with a good zoom lens and stuff. Old school, but these things still take amazing photos. Han got me in touch with a guy who can rustle up an adapter for the tech. It took me a while, but I did find a camera. And not just that, there were lenses and lights and filters and all kinds of stuff. I probably paid too much for it, but I don’t care. It’s still far less that I would have paid anywhere else.

The girl who helped me find my way around the Funhouse, Cash, she’s something. Tells me all about how everything should be free, even and especially love and sex and by the way, how about we fuck? I think her world view took a kick to the knee when I said I wasn’t interested. She couldn’t shut up about how old fashioned relationships are and that it’s selfish and people should just give away everything they’re asked for. From the way she talked, no-one ever told her no, no matter what. If that’s how it is at the Funhouse, whatever floats your boat. Not my style, though.

But she’s sixteen or so and has lived there all her life, so what can you expect. She’s not dumb and after she finally stopped pissing on everyone and everything that doesn’t work like she wants it to, we talked for a while. She’ll come to the Nest, for a crash course in first aid at the med station and when she starts preaching at the Nest, that won’t go over well with people. Plus she has a crush on me, like this serious teenager crush, and I’m not sure how to handle that. I told Ling about it and she promised not to kick Cash through any walls. Probably.

But hey, depending on how the talk with Colm goes, that’ll be the least of my worries then.

camera deactivates

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