Bug City Express

Why did it have to be rats?
Getting to know you.

So, Danny had some ‘friends’ that were setting up an enclave in the Noose. He had supplies for them, but he’d not heard anything in a suspicious while. It is the Noose, so it could be nothing, or it could be something.

He’d ran five of us on various jobs, thought we had what it takes to make a team. So, he offers this as a shake out. We take in the goods, if everything is fine, we get the agreed payment. If it’s not fine, we can make the same amount again to find out what happened.

Well, it wasn’t fine. The enclave looked like they had some innovated thinkers; somewhere they’d gotten a crane and set it up so they could use cars stacked up to block off the street at both ends. Dead dogs, dead body, the arm of a sniper too still on the roof.

Rats. Devil rats. Picked them off, one tried biting Patch— that didn’t work so well for it, her skin’s a bit tough. Got up to the roof, yep, sniper was dead in a doorway. It was clearly an Amazonian snake that can spit acid that took out said sniper. Yup. Thanks Slick, you’re such a reliable source of information.

(insert Pizza ad here)

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End One, Start Another
Well, not the best team, but satisfactory.

So, there were rats, devil rats. There was also a survivor, Phred, a four-year old girl. We got her out, with some trauma as we’d left her dad in the street going in. We didn’t go to the basement, but we did find the bodies of about half of the enclave, and signs pointing to the death of the others.

Phred, her clothes and dancing bot, along with half of the supplies, were dropped off at the Orphanage.

Danny came up a week later with a new job. A Hyphen girl ran from her security home for a Go Gang boy. Now, to stop this Romeo and Juliet scenario.

Of course, in that week between jobs, weird stuff happened.

Patch: (Insert Patch’s week here)

Slick: (Insert Slick’s week here)

Zephyr: A cocktail sets’ bonds are only as strong as the last bout of petty secrets exchanged and amusements shared. ’Run hard and party fast.

Soundwave: Well, he wanted to upgrade the cameras on his Ford drones. Getting them, well, was an adventure in itself. First, in an attempt to find them in Milwaukee, his fake SIN was ALMOST compromised. So, he quickly returned home. Not a safe bet, looking for stuff in Milwaukee. Of course, looking in Chicago isn’t the best idea, either. After a little bit of searching, Soundwave encountered a wonderful mugging. Story short, Soundwave is now short an exploding Dragonfly drone.

Anyway, he finally called his mother and obtained the location of an actually good dealer. In exchange for a refurbished perimeter security drone (which took about 3 days to make), Soundwave finally got his cameras. If Soundwave wants to actually start a business, he better work on his sales skills!

Neeko: (Insert Neeko’s week here)

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Less Romeo and Juliet...
Ah, clueless parents.

Slick ditched, whether to commune with a spirit with no name or with Lady Luck, we’re unsure. Regardless, we went out to the known turf Nate’s Go Gang ‘patrols’. They have a bug problem. Not with the ones that have disintegrated or been beheaded. First there was a beetle, which put up a fight but did pop. Then there was the meta-variant form (note to the team: guns don’t kill these things. Ok, so Soundwave’s did, but he was “cheating”). That one, its head is in Hunk’s trunk (Patch has a near convertible at this point, the trunk isn’t going to much matter soon.)

That’s when the Go Gang appeared. They had an initial faux pas calling Patch ‘Sir’, but we got to commlink with Nate. He dropped Betty like a pregnant potato two days ago. That might explain why there was a pro forma entry on Betty’s blog.

We headed to the bar, a Mafia-business that caters to tourists that want ‘authentic’ retro ambiance complete with pretty high school girls in riot rags as designed to tease. We paid for beer, tipped a waitress and learned that Betty used to head over to The Warehouse with the Boyz. Another Mafia-business with a harder line of merchandise- drugs, prostitution, gambling, the usual. Neeko walked the astral path and found a possible match, pregnant, high and turning a trick-he was much happier than her. Dragonfly drone in, visual confirmation. Patch inventories cost-benefit; Danny put us on this, see it through and he’ll think of us before other teams that didn’t stick the course.

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Youth is Wasted on the Young
"Hero" worship? Someone's been watching too much reality TV...

So we’re outside the warehouse, Betty inside. Slick meets up with us, and just where he’d been wasn’t primary concern. Slick and Patch go in posing as two more meth users, looking to secure Betty. Slick doesn’t manage, and ends up passing on his score to the strung out prostitute. Patch waits for awhile, and after shooting up (because faking could have really messed up circuits) bitches about the bitch she’s not got. Bingo, Betty is the next available sexworker.

Betty is a bit freaked, but once Patch has them out of earshot she explains that her parents sent us to bring her back. Betty may have worse addictions, like LA shadowrun live shows. She’s in awe of meeting runners. Slick asks for an exit and Soundwave delivers. There is a skinhead taking collateral damage from the explosive drone, and then the guard firing. Slick gets shot in the ass, the armor transmitting enough force he’ll be sitting funny.

Out of the conflict (Zephyr got the boxed guns without the guard noticing, despite him being right there.) there is a problem. Betty refuses to go home knocked up; Zephyr places a call, no appointments until morning. So, time to kill. First, ride shuffle, Betty shotgun in the van and Zephyr behind Slick.

Slick facilitates exchanging Patches’ trophy head for the bounty. It’s determined that Shockwave has the best place for Betty to crash for the night, and Zephyr again lays down the law to Betty. In the morning a remote transfer of the funds and the doc sees Betty. All the parents need to know is that Nate is out of the picture.

The team is causing a bit of buzz, namely that we deliver. Next up, replacing Hunk of Junk.

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Friends in Need
of psychiatric care and sedation

Living by committee means Association Meetings. You can’t take a call, you can’t leave early, and missing one better mean you’re dead. Then you won’t have to deal with whatever vindictive nonsense nuisance rule they passed in your absence.

Patch had a cat jump through her window: her 1 cm thick glass window, which now is strewn on her foreroom floor. It also became quite a bit larger than your average calico, before jumping out the window. One of the neighbors stopped by, having heard the noise.

Danny has a friend, Peter, that lives alone in the Zone, and he called with an emergency. Infected Trolls, Fomåraigs, were rampaging around, and dusk was falling. Patch and Soundwave were able to take the call directly, Neeko came in part way, having been meditating.

Since Soundwave’s commute was a bit long, Patch picked up Neeko, and when Zephyr called Danny back Soundwave’s was ready to pick her up.

Hunk of Junk, Patch and Neeko got there first, and they ran into trouble. Patch killed the Fomåraig, but its bony skin was covered in acid, so her hand she punched it dead with melted. The van hit the signal null about that time, but Neeko was able to staunch the wound.

So, the van is approaching Peter’s domain, Patch makes her condition known, and Peter says he’ll pony up credits to Skywalker Patch before he screams. Job one, save client so he can follow through. Soundwave spoofs into the controls for the defense array. A Fomåraigs jumps out a second floor window, Zephyr jumps from the van speeding along and shoots the Fomåraigs.

There is a cherry piece of ordinance in the lobby, and it’s live, but our comm links are not. Gun, turret, get them separated. Zephyr got behind it, planned, then got them divorced.

A crazed elf tried to take pot shots and got tackled for his efforts. He didn’t believe Danny sent us. We found his commlink and Soundwave gave Danny a call.

It’s determined that Zephyr would drive Hunka Junka, Patch watching over Peter in the backseat.

The engine block has been torn from Hunka.

Just the usual.

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Help, We Need Somebody
Send in the Ghouls

Slick, having finished the latest security upgrades with his five roomies puts on his commlink and notices his messages, gives Danny a call, and gets the lowdown on the situation in the Zone.

Meanwhile, Neeko and Patch take the second floor window the Fomåraig leaped out of as a lookout (they also get Peter observation duty) while Zephyr goes to the roof, as the emplacement only had a 90ª coverage: 45ª either side of the front door.

Slick has several close shaves with infected elves whose fingers had turned into wicked claws. Soundwave, jumped into a drone, brain-bursts one of Slick’s adversaries, then a system failure sends one of the drones spiraling to the earth. Zephyr warns Slick of the security perimeter: a little one on either side of the inside turret, and 180ª to the backwall, Slick is in the building. He takes to the roof.

More wickedness comes from a building. Shots are fired by the defenders. Helicopters come, and ghouls rappel down and start bundling bodies for extraction. Air support for Slick and passenger, the Van, and airlift for Peter and Patch. These are the Long Pig Farm commandos, from one of the former golf courses.

Yeah, Danny was right, they need no introduction.

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Your Mission (I wouldn't take offense if you don't accept it)
Bees, hives and royal jelly.

Patch accepted a hand, new to her, for Peter’s extraction. Neeko bought a car, Patch will drive.
Slick did a little bondsman bountyhunting, had to shoot up the Mrs but he did lock the door behind him, a true gentleman. Soundwave isn’t accepting Danny’s calls. One of the cocktail set, a pleasant human male, has relocated with his family under suspicious circumstances-Must establish contacts suited to learning more. Healing at the hospital may pay, but it is exhausting.

Danny knows how to time a call. Patch is on the mend and would like her finances there too. He’s got a tip on a possible royal jelly hive, is paying for the looksie, the information and sample if we can manage.

Troll, drunkard, possible bug shaman. Hybrid bugspirit with a knight errant arm. Killed. True form, also killed. Troll started rumble with Neeko, Zephyr and Slick go while Patch holds the stairs. Good thing too, bees, it had to be bees.

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Complications multiply

So, just as we head back into the building, Ares Fire Watch appear laying claim to the building that we secured from a hybrid bug spirit, a true form and a troll.

They’re more than we can handle so we don’t gainsay them. They head into a near two story building, gunfire and grenade explosions result, and there is a small issue when their leader reaches the roof. Slick fires, seeing a bug spirit. He now has an Enemy. Firewatch rides off. Time to see what the fuss is about, first in the second building, then in the original target.

Second building, no sign of what they found, but they did take out a wall and there was blood left. In the first building, Slick, Zephyr and Patch do a standard ‘leap frog’ up to the fourth floor. There’s a hole in the ceiling and a waxy hive about the size of a large nightstand.

A bug spirit is attached to Slick like a bee on a wall. Zephyr does a little shoo-ting, checks on the hive. The eventually identified Jimmy Kwan, Tong Adapt enforcer, punches Neeko in the back of the head with a sharp crack. Later it’s learned that one of the bug spirits was messing with organic eyes, making people see things. Like Neeko thinking Slick was a bug spirit or Slick thinking Sam [Fire Watch dude] was a valid target.

Slick tried, after being disarmed of his tomahawk, to escape from the window onto the second story roof of the next building. He missed, and became bad news for some wild dogs. Zephyr puts down the hive to go check on Slick, calls ahead to CAC and lets Patch and Neeko know his condition.

Patch finds out the hand’s medkit is a wonderful thing. A bug spirit flies off with the hive.
After making it to the CAC so Slick and Neeko can receive treatment, Zephyr calls Danny to give him the status report. The Ares Fire Watch team were exaggerating about the building’s ownership, and Danny was perplexed about them leaving the way they did, considering the hassle they’d come down on him with. The waxy hive was a bit confounding, and it came out that the corporate type that gave Danny the tip also sold the information to Ares.

Jimmy Kwan was turned into a flesh form bug spirit back at in the day—this is likely what the troll was as well. The hive may have been related to a nymph, a not yet Queen.

Zephyr asked some of the Detroit originating mob kids to have their pals back home give Harold a friendly hi. Apparently he can travel about without a minder.

Soundwave got cameras for inside of his van, and Slick once he was recovered enough went on an ammo run.

Neeko amazed the CAC doctors with her overnight recovery of her skull fracture. Danny decided that Slick’s fees and the arms shipment to CAC offset each other. There was also a bit of shouting, since Firewatch team captains aren’t the sort Danny likes in his grill. Between knowing more about bug spirit abilities, and Slick’s acknowledging that Sam couldn’t have been a smooth time, Danny seemed to come around.

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A Connected Man Would Like A Consultation
Chip-heads, bloodsports and the Mob

Danny had a Detroit Mr. Johnson appear (yeah, like that stopped Danny for long); the idea that there was a perceived need to fortify our weapons was intriguing.

Turned out the job was in parts. First, secure a bloodsport gladiator that’d ran from one of the Warehouse Arenas. If Mr. Johnson can be trusted (ah, he can, but about what?) the BTL and gambling revenues were being harmed by the old hands being too good at staying alive. So MacAvoy’s men started rigging contests, taking fresh ‘talent’ off the streets.

As this was all being conveyed, with enough posturing to make a peacock proud, Soundwave’s van was starting to be carjacked by more than an average thief. Zephyr ran out to put paid, and did slice the tough’s knife in twain, and made him drop the other. Slick shot him, and there was a foot chase.

Having ones eyes shut down was enlightening. Password changed, administrative access now needed.

There was a barghest (creepy hellish-hound), and its pack of mongrels. Neeko’s mana bolt put the doggie down. After that Slick secured the sought gladiator. A philosophy discussion between Slick and Soundwave later, and Neeko’s driving the chiphead back to the meeting site.

We were more efficient than expected; the gathering of intel will take a bit. Soundwave is upgrading Slick’s ATV turret. Zephyr finds that Mr. Jones went ‘missing’ the day before he hired us. Interesting. Neeko bound a bear spirit.

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Target Acquired
Hitting the broad side of a warehouse

Our ‘esteemed’ patron finally got the information he sought from his acquisition, namely where the BTLs are made. He decided the best way to twist the screw was to adulterate the BTLs, make demand dry up from corrupted files. His two man team needed a distraction, it was better if it could look like it was in house. This is likely related to his ‘disappearance’, his being short-handed.

Zephyr and Patch decided going in on wire would make the message not take long enough. Three nights after the patron’s call and a two vehicle drive up and open fire happened. Soundwave strafed the building with the turret mounted machine-gun on Slick’s ATV, Patch got out of Neeko’s car and dragon’s-breathed three cars.

That side of the building will never be the same, the doorway is wider, the windows have lost the walls they were in… Patch demonstrated good armor, and Zephyr even off wire knows bullet time. There was a bolt failure that put the turret out of the game, a burning hedge, and an unfortunate taking of cover behind an ex-wall.

The team got paid in full, Patch went hunting with Slick, ‘never again’ and ‘hellhound’, Neeko bought a hush hush spell, Soundwave bought tires, and Zephyr got her heart overclocked.

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