Starting off this week’s adventure, the team decided that the cybereye was a hot commodity, and with another, unknown Shadowrunner team on their case as well, the team started to shop around for a matching eye that they could use as a decoy. Quickly coming up dry on finding an untraceable model (As they could have bought one in a store, but that would be pretty easy to track), they left a few messages around through their contacts in hopes of finding a model comparable.
Figuring the team was looking into tougher times, Corn decided to put in a call to his Arms Dealer, Raz, with the intention of getting some explosive assistance. Raz luckily had a standing stock of grenades and was willing to give Corn twelve at them at just a little over his cost. Deciding on four Flash-Bangs, four High Explosives, and four Concussion grenades. Suitably prepared, he decided to leave all of his new toys at home for the rest of the mission.
Curious about the meet with the other Shadowrunners, the team checked out the meet location. A ‘Mister Crunchy!’ store was converted into some faux church with a serious overabundance of stained glass, now dubbed Club Nosferatu. A couple of the local bouncers had reputations for being a little less than thorough when it came to patting patrons down for pistols. So the team headed off and dropped off Corn and Spanky first to case the joint. The two making their way inside with a pistol each, they immediately ducked into the darkness, confounding a pair of goth girls who wanted to talk to the duo, but instead they wandered off a little depressed (An emo joke goes here… the reader is welcome to come up with their own).
Eventually they found the runner named ‘Steve’ speaking to a woman, neither dressed in the style of the club, Corn was able to use his enhanced hearing to focus in on them and the conversation identified the two as lovers, either current of amiable ex’s. Unable to pick out any other members of the team, Corn sent the message to the other two that it was safe to come in. Upon entering the club, Steve was quick to identify them and motioned for them to join him at a back table. Sitting down, he turned on a white noise generator to block anyone from overhearing their discussion, but Pharaoh was easily able to route the conversation to the distant team members via the wireless connectivity. A hard look over Steve revealed to the team that he didn’t seem to be currently wearing body armor, nor did he appear armed in any way. Tazer took a moment to examine him Astrally, and found his aura practically shown at the peak of physical preformance, with no absence of essence to show cybernetic augmentation.
Steve began his pitch by saying they seemed to be in the market for the same information for their respective clients. Since there was no reason they needed to be at odds in the endeavor, Steve offered to purchase “The item and all copies of the data.” from the party for 5,000 nuyen. The team wasn’t willing to sell out their reputations for so little, although they sugar coated it in saying they couldn’t do that for their client. Steve proceeded to raise his offer to 10,000, and finally 20,000 before wishing them a good evening as well as good luck in their investigations. Pharaoh had the SUV waiting right outside as he and Tazer sped off, checking behind them occasionally for any sign of a tail, but neither found anything. Corn and Spanky stayed after long enough to watch Steve’s lover walk up and simply ask:
“Probably.” was Steve’s reply. Leaving it at that, Steve got up and headed into the back room of the club while the two remaining members made their exit.
On the way home from the Goth club, the Lone Star contact responded to the previous request for details on the car accident in which Griffin Moore was killed. Sharply rebuking the request, saying that asking for information on an active case (Which caused Tazer’s player to pipe up “Active? A car accident is an active case?”) was forbidden and actually illegal for them to receive. Along with said message, however, was a confirmation of a payment for 2,500 nuyen for the ‘Lone Star’s Retirement Fund’. Pharaoh smiled and sent off the payment and in return received a partially redacted report on the car accident. Seems like the car in question went over a cloverleaf embankment, and every single safety system inside the car failed. Upon further examination, all of the safety systems were in a diagnostic mode so they wouldn’t respond to any sort of input received and was set that way just under an hour before the accident.
Pharaoh spent some more time digging up information about Dutch Donovan and found that for someone who had a fairly active social life (On the Matrix at least), he hadn’t posted anything on his usual message boards in two weeks and two days. Tracing back the location of the postings (Through a hacked back door politely left at the message boards) Pharaoh found that the posting came from either the Multitech headquarters inside Bellevue, or from his home in a Multitech suburb inside Tacoma. Deciding to leave the Necroplex for later, the team got together and placed most of their hardware inside Pharaoh’s converted delivery drone and sent it to wait outside the walled community. Taking a pair of pistols (One for Corn, one for Spanky), they pulled up to the front gate where the guard questioned them on who they were here to see. Replying ‘Dutch Donovan’, the guard gave them an AR path to follow for the address and the team headed inside.
Coming up to the house in question, all the houses on the street were identical to each other, down to the single tree in the front yard trimmed to the same shape as the others. Ignoring the general creepiness of the local, Pharaoh parked the car and everyone went up to the front door to knock, realizing that for a suburban neighborhood is was rather quiet and empty, however it was middle of the day during the week. A few moments after knocking, a human male answered the door and answered “Yes?”
Pharaoh realized that the individual, while having Dutch Donovan’s voice, was not built like him physically from previous images, nor was the facial features a match. Realizing something was wrong, he sent the message over the team’s PAN, and Tazer took the initiative to Stunbolt him near death with an overcast spell.
Things, at that point, went south.
Spanky’s Combat Sense alerted him moments before a large caliber round impacted into the wall of the house, missing him by half of an inch. Heading inside, Corn grabbed the so called ‘Dutch’ and used his body as a human shield while he took point, while the rest of the team headed in afterwards. Swapping tactics, Corn lied Dutch on the ground and started searching his body for any sort of commlink. Spanky took point and found another person in the house, dressed in security armor who lowered an SMG, but wasn’t fast enough as Spanky quickly put two rounds into the center of the security guard’s mass. The sniper outside seemed quiet for a moment as the security guard was able to fire two quick bursts at Spanky, but due to his supernatural awareness he was able to dodge the both of them, as Corn came around the corner and dropped the injured guard with a single shot. Noticing a shotgun leaning up against the wall, Spanky took the downed guard’s SMG while Corn picked up the shotgun, as the team’s truck informed Pharaoh that it was just struck by a high velocity projectile.
Pharaoh virtually jumped into the truck as his meat body slid to the ground, thanking all the gods that nothing seemed to be damaged, and drove it full speed in reverse to go around the side of the building away from the sniper. Two large Spirits of Earth took that moment to manifest in front of the house, and Pharaoh cursed his immobile form. Tazer launched another overcasted stunbolt into the first of the Earth Spirits, disrupting it at the cost of her own health as the mana feedback from casting tore a small wound into her body, before she jumped forward and tried to buy her and Pharaoh a few moments of time. Corn started sweeping through the house, looking for any other occupents as he headed to the back room. The spirit walked through the wall and materialized before taking a swing at Tazer, who easily got out of the way of the spirits lumbering attack. Spanky moved back and attempted to open fire on the Spirit’s physical presence, but found that his newly acquired SMG wouldn’t fire. It had a security lockout for anyone except its assigned user. Tossing it to the side, he fired a single shot from his pistol at the spirit to no effect. Pharaoh spun the truck around in the yard (Thanking the gods that it had an off road suspension) and drove at the rear of the house with the ram plate extended. The team was going to make its own exit from the ambush. Shattering glass from a window (And doing a number on the frame), Spanky crawled out and headed into the truck.
Kicking down the door to the back room, Corn swept it to find no occupents, then quickly searched the room for anything of interest. Finding plenty of signs that this place was well lived in, he couldn’t find anything to give any sort of further leads, running back out and trying to place a round from his new shotgun into the spirit, he found that it as well had a security lockout. Tazer finished the job by blasted the spirit, causing the collected dirt forming its physical form to bury both Pharaoh and Dutch. Pharaoh returned from VR to unbury himself as Corn picked up ‘Dutch’ and the team headed out the new exit and piled into the truck. Once inside, Pharaoh went full VR again and sped off across people’s backyards, heading for the main gate at full speed. As Corn and Spanky quickly tried to strip down ‘Dutch’ and shove all of his belongings into the Faraday cage in the back of the truck, Corn’s enhanced hearing caught the tell-tale sound of a minigun spinning up. A large rotory security drone mounting the weapon had been sent from the main gate and the team’s SUV was near enough for it to fire. Pharaoh yanked the wheel to the side and barely avoided the lethal spray of bullets that would have hit everyone in the vehicle. Giving Tazer enough time to overcast a Lightning Bolt and fry the internal components of the drone, leaving it to crash into a backyard as Tazer’s nose started to seep blood from further overcast damage.
Returning to the main road, the engine strained inside the truck as the team started to barrel for freedom, only to see large pylons erupt from the ground at the gate house. Pharaoh quickly tried to locate and hack into the security station’s node so they could be lowered in time, knowing without a doubt that such pylons can stop a main battle tank, much less an off-road SUV. Working as fast as he could, he managed to find a breach in the firewall of the node, but he wasn’t going to make it before crashing. Leaving the hack behind, Pharaoh spun the truck 180 degrees and started to speed away as Tazer started to work out how difficult it would be to levitate the truck and everyone inside of it over the wall. Pharaoh was able to get inside the node, and found that the Intrusion Countermeasures were already active and searching. Swinging the SUV around again, he sped to the gate while he finally was able to get the pylons to drop back into the ground. Spanky, keeping watch behind found that the Corp’s High Threat Response team was on their tail. Pharaoh raised the pylons with a smirk the moment the team was out in public lands again, but was assaulted by the Security Hacker hitting him icon with an Attack. Split between trying to escape from their tail and combat in the Matrix, Pharaoh decided to disconnect from the node and concentrate on the road. The security Hacker was able to lower the pylons allowing Multimedia HTR team to follow them out into the streets, but wasn’t able to keep up with Pharaoh’s driving as the team escaped into Seattle’s streets, with an unconscious fake ‘Dutch’ who possibly had some answers, and the team was determined to get them out of him.