Shadowrun: Richmond, Virginia, CAS

Day 4...

The Petersburg Barrens typically looks like any other blight in a metroplex, far from the shining brick, steel, and glass buildings of downtown Richmond. The people living here lead simple lives sometimes avoiding illegal activities or, perhaps, engaging in such activity, In any event, P-Berg is quiet on Sunday mornings with few venturing out. While a cloudless, beautiful day, the din of the battle could be heard for miles, breaking the calm. Lazarus, Grummish, Katai, the Maiden, Perfect, Detective Moriarty, Jazz, and M_Dragon once again were fighting the forces of… evil? Horrible spirits in contorted bodies with limbs of tentacles, insect-like articulated arms, and unnatural human like appendages surrounded a much larger manifested spirit. A spirit who consumed the life force of others so that he may stay and further degrade this place turning the ruins into breeding grounds of chaos.

Earlier in the day, the great spirit captured Mortis, perhaps one of the deadliest shots in all the world. Taken through the combined firepower of the truly experienced operators of the team. The spirit paid the price, being driven off by the team, but not before Mortis was firmly in the grip of the beast. Now it was only a matter of time before Mortis would be forced to give up any information he knows, including memories he long ago forgot.

Just another day, just another hour, thought Lazarus to himself, trying to steady himself in the face of the horrible abomination of the spirit itself. Lazarus woke in the van enroute to the next safehouse and the supplies of ammunition, weapons, and armor to continue the fight. Magic may have healed him, but he feels certain that a chunk of his skull didn’t come back. Once again, in a similar building and in a similar fight. Please don’t let me relive my namesake again, Lazarus thought. The ringing in his ears cleared, his fear swallowed, and he could focus on the battle on hand.

Through the much enlarged opening in the wall of the building, Lazarus could survey the group. Grummish stood in front of the beast, slicing off portions of the tentacles, but unable to stop the remaining tentacles. Within a split second, Grummish was picked up and thrown 30 feet, impacting in the brick and mortar wall of the row house, creating a man-sized crater in the center. After impacting the wall, Grummish fell thirty feet to the ground.

Three drones buzzed around overhead, focusing their heavy weapons onto the master spirit, the large caliber bullets tore through the spirit’s manifested form. The monster’s response is to grab one of the drones and crushed it within the grip of the beast’s tentacles. Jazz could be heard immediately after the drone’s destruction. “Grr…,” Jazz groaned over the radio, with the two remaining drones moved further away. “Ow that stings… Lost another drone. We’re running out of drones, if anyone cares.”

Moriarty dropped to the ground surrounding both he and Grummish, the faint blue shimmering effect barely noticeable during the day. Having seen this tactic before, the spirit adjusts its attack, and via the use of magic, pulls down the entire brick facing of the front of the row house down onto Moriarty and Grummish, taking them both out of the fight, buried in a ton of bricks and mortar.

Surprising the monster, Katai kicked open the door of a dilapidated row house across the street, unleashing his Panther Assault Cannon on the… back? How can a creature with so many human eyes on stalks sticking out of its body have a back, asked Katai to himself. With loud shrieks, the creature reaches out to a man hiding across the street bringing the hapless victim to the gaping maw, losing a chunk of his shoulder from long, serrated teeth piercing completely through the meat and bone.

“Damn bystanders,” Lazarus curses under his breath. He quickly changes targets and fills the poor man with bullets, killing him. “Can’t let that thing restore his energy by turning the dude to a human raisin,” Lazarus says to himself in an effort to alleviate any guilt at killing some innocent guy just watching the carnage. The spirit roars in anger, and after taking far more damage from the drones and Katai, it vanishes. For now.

“Target has left the area,” Lazarus announces over the radio.

“We can’t keep this up!” calls Jazz over the radio. “This thing is all over the news. People are calling Richmond another Chicago, which is bringing in so called experts and researchers to gawk at the thing. More people just means more fuel for that thing. Set that aside, stores of weapons, ammunition, drones,… everything, is running low. And, if no one’s counting, this finishes round nine! Mortis is missing, Perfect is unconscious…”

“We will keep this up, using your colloquialism, for as long as we live. If necessary. There is no other choice.” Grummish’s words sounded tired and yet galvanizing. Everyone could tell from his tone he planned to go the distance, whatever it took. “Dragon, how is our progress to the next drop zone for supplies?”

M_Dragon’s voice could be heard over the radio. “We’re out of heavy security armor, so we’re going to have to find some armor of a more legal variety. Panther Assault Cannon rounds are a no go for the next drop, but we do have grenades.”

“That will have to do,” answered Grummish.

“Look, I get the consequences, but I ain’t dying here in the filthy street for the cause,” says Moriarty over the radio with a grunt. The shifting of the bricks from Grummish’s effort to dislodge the two of them was gaining some success.

“You will die,” states Grummish flatly, “if that is what it takes.”

“Nice pep talk, big guy,” scoffs Jazz. “I’ll see what I can dig up in the way of equipment and keep you posted. Good luck guys.”

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The Distraction

The front end of the car smashes its way through the wall of the house, causing the ceiling of the room to collapse. Katai, in heavy armor with his Panther Assault Cannon is pinned under the car. The car’s weight on the dilapidated row house’s floor gives way, sending the car, and Katai, into the basement.

“A car?!” screams Lazarus over the din of the battle. “A fraggin’ car?!”

“I’m going outside.” With his brief statement, Grummish jumps through the new opening. Grummish is almost not recognizable under the heavy armor, heavily damaged by slashing marks which tear open the armor in several places. Blood trickles out of the openings. The Maiden follows, screaming in a thick, guttural accent, “For the King!”

“Why’s the plan always, ‘Get him’?!” Lazarus ducks behind the remains of the brick wall, narrowly avoiding the grasp of a purplish tentacle entering through the window, it’s ivory claws visible in the sucker-like divots.

“Hey,” calls Moriarty with a chuckle, covered in similar heavy armor, scorched from some fire, the plastics of which melted down to the his skin. “At least I’m getting paid!” A column of fire enters through the wall’s remains from outside in the street, but they curve around Moriarty’s body, the shimmering of the small globe of magical protection surrounding him, sparing him from the deadly flames.

“Bite me!” Lazarus grabs his crotch with his left hand, and leans out with his sub machine gun in his right, spraying bullets outside.

“Ugh…” groans Katai over the radio. “Don’t catch cars… I’m gonna need a minute to dig out. Where the hell is my gun?!”

Grummish flies back through the opening in the building, crashing through the plaster and wood of the interior wall behind them.

“Jazz, where the hell’s my air support!” yells Lazarus through the radio. Jazz’s much calmer female voice replies. “I got two drones down, last two coming in hot.”

Another tentacle enters through the wall’s opening, tearing the helmet off of Lazarus, the hooks ripping through his skull, leaving part of his brain exposed underneath. He falls limp, dropping to the floor. Moriarty calls over the radio, “Lazarus is down!” Moriarty leaps across the room, covering Lazarus within the protection of his spell.

“We’ve beat you before,” chants Perfect the shark shaman fighting outside, “we will again!” A strange, high pitched whining, like a siren, can be heard from outside originating with Perfect’s spell. Fire licks through the windows and a screeching of what sounds like a hundred ravens can be heard, all the individual voices overlapping one another. A heavy thud hits the remains of the front wall over and over, causing dust to rain down inside the room. With each thud, Perfect’s groans can be heard over the radio.

Entering from the opening in the back wall, Grummish strides forward, his Ares Predatory heavy pistol in hand, each bullet fired punctuating each step he makes. The blur of a tentacle enters the room, placing Grummish in its crushing grip, pulling the ork outside.

Outside, a series of explosions occur, rattling the old building, causing much of it to finally collapse from the damage…

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Backgrounds from Kai

Kane
Todd Peters: magical researcher, Occult Division. No, non-magical weapons or armor.

Sunder
Lawrence Feidler: Sergeant magical security. Authorized armored jacket and a personal side arm (pistol). May have magical weaponry.

Kirah:
Pamela Stiles: Apprentice, Gladios magical group applicant. Authorized for side arm (pistol) and armored jacket.

Zee:
Terry Dupris: Instructor, security division, arcane weapon specialist. Authorized for bow, side arm (pistol), and armored jacket.

Dana:
Lt. Susan O’Reily: security personnel transfer from Aztec Boston office. Authorized security armor, side arm (sub machine gun), stun baton, and melee weapon.

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The Teams

Pre-Team

Kai (building covers for everyone…)

Team 1

Dana
Kane
Kirah
Sunder
Zee

Team 2

Lazarus
M_Dragon
Mortis (MIA)
Timber

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Aztec's Level 20

AztecFloorPlan_20.JPG

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The Long Flight

Grummish walked into the private terminal at Richmond International Airport exhausted. His enhanced shoulder joint was damaged and still causing discomfort. He learned of Marcus’ death not twenty four hours earlier. And worst of all, he had to wear this cheap suit which was all that was available in Kathmandu.

As he entered the small lobby for the private terminal, a somewhat overweight man in a similar, albeit wider, suit that Grummish wore. “Mr. Grummish. A very long trip I’m sure. Do you need some coffee or perhaps a good meal? I can have that brought in, just ask.” The man sat up straight from behind the counter, and his acknowledgment of Grummish drew the disapproving gaze of the patron in front of him. The patron, a white man in a suit that Grummish would find acceptable, folded his arms and cleared his throat. A large troll in light armor stood behind the patron, facing Grummish looking through his mirror sunglasses. Grummish made a mental note that the troll was armed with a poorly concealed heavy pistol and some minor cyberware.

“I’m fine Perry,” Grummish answered wearily. “Is my car ready?”

“Hey!” shouted the patron. “You’re serving me, not some dumb trog in a cheezy suit.”

“Look Mr. Humley, I’m very sorry for the interruption,” Perry said nervously. “Please take a seat and I’ll get you anything you need. This gentleman-”

“Gentleman?!” shouted Humley. “He’s a trog bodyguard by the looks of him. Where’s his master? Need to pull that leash tight!” Perry’s face had the color drained.

“Please sir,” pleaded Perry, “I know you’re new to town and-”

“You’re a nobody. Do. What. I. Say!” Humley shouted at Perry. Humley walked across the room standing nose to nose with Grummish. “You’re little for a trog aren’t you? So step back and wait your turn.” Humley attempted to push Grummish backward, but was surprised that he did not move.

Grummish pinched his nose as he looked at his feet. “Mr. Humley, it has been a long day and I just found out that a friend of mine died yesterday. Since I am feeling generous, let Perry have the car and driver brought around. Then I will be out of your way. Attempt to push me again, which is assault, I will be forced to defend myself.”

Mr. Humley pushed Grummish again with more force, but again Grummish did not move.

Perry moved to the exit. “I’ll get your driver and car personally. Just… um,… please don’t leave a mess.” Perry would not strike anyone as a fast runner, but in this instance he might be mistaken for a former Olympic sprinting champion.

“Mess?” Mr. Humley said furrowing his brow in confusion. As he turned to face Grummish again, the last thing he would see was a fist in his face. Normally a punch would not be lethal, but when one’s fist’s bones are made of titanium, the damage is much more substantial. Mr. Humley dropped dead in a heap. Grummish stepped around the body towards the troll, who looked confused.

“You should pick better employers,” Grummish said softly. Grummish presented a business card to the troll. “Call us. We provide a more metahuman friendly working environment and who couldn’t benefit from your obvious strength. Make the call. Tell them that Grummish sent you for an employment interview. Mister…?”

“John Carson,” the troll answered, confusion still obvious on his face.

“Good to meet you John. If you’ll excuse me.” A car drove up outside the terminal as Grummish left for it.

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Omega Class Spirit Summary

To: Mark Johns, EVP, Research and Development
From: Janet Dowery, Manager, Occult Research
Re: Omega spirit

Dr. Johns,

You requested materials and a briefing of the Omega class spirit that is working on our behalf. You should have the details within the documents attached. In summary, this spirit acts much like other spirits that we encountered before or were conjured as part of additional research within our division. This spirit, however, eclipses the strength of other blood type spirits and should continue to be considered extremely dangerous.

I would like to implore you to close this project as being too dangerous. I understand that executive management continues to press for additional research, but I believe that the spirit is using our organization for it’s own purposes. Spirits being the enigma that they are and knowing that blood type spirits are highly unpredictable and violent, our continued work with the spirit will not end with our interests but rather its interests.

Please argue for separating our relationship with this dangerous entity with William Prescott. While Mr. Prescott has demonstrated an astonishing degree of control over the spirit, perhaps he would be willing to consider changing course here.

Respectfully,
Janet Dowry, Manager
Occult Research

EXCERPT from Aztechnology data files supplied by Mark Johns.

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Report from Occult Research

To: Mark Johns, EVP, Research and Development
From: Janet Dowery, Manager, Occult Research
Re: Humanoid cyberorganisms

Dr. Johns,

As you know, we have been working diligently deciphering the various texts recovered from the ancient sites in the Yucatan, Alaska, and Nepal. Of interest, and the subject of this report, are the construction of humanoid based cyberorganisms. Research suggests that such capability existed thousands of years ago, to essentially remove the humanity out of an organism and animate the remains into an semi-autonomous creature. The texts suggest that such creatures, depending on their composition, could sustain significant damage before being destroyed and does not exhibit the emotional restraints normally exhibited by organisms when threatened with harm or death. We have seen examples of such magics in those ancient sites, where what appear to be statues are able to move and act as autonomous constructs. Of course, you received notice from me based on successful experiments in Alaska, and, unfortunately, we were not able to secure the research subjects before the unexpected intrusion of an independent mercenary group.

These first experiments, while successful, utilized bio-organic or simple stone bodies, something common to their original design. This report is to confirm that we have had success creating cyberorganisms, constructed of materials far stronger and flexible than those primitive, ancient examples. We appreciate the faith you have in our project and your designation of the project as alpha priority. With those barriers removed, we accomplished a great deal, and we hope that you will continue to prioritize our projects.

The first batch of four cyberorganisms have excelled at all tasks assigned to them. However, the true challenge of the project has been control. With the help of the Omega class blood spirit, we were able to modify the formula and construction techniques to ensure 100% reliability of these cyberorganisms following our commands. While I will not bore you with the details, suffice to say that the trick involved the use of a modified strain of the CFD nanovirus to completely suppress the intellectual capacity of the human subject and replace it with our own variation of intellect constructed by the CFD alpha nanovirus. Unfortunately, complete control of the spread of CFD alpha cannot be assured and we have lost the monetary value of several of our security forces who were in too close proximity of the cyberorganisms.

Obviously, the monetary value of creating completely loyal combat troops and covert agents is staggering. I suggest that we bring in the marketing team to determine how best to sell this new magical technology. In the meantime, our first batch has been transferred to the corporate security arm of our company for field testing.

To our continued success!
Janet Dowry, Manager
Occult Research


EXCERPT from Aztechnology data files supplied by Mark Johns.

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