Shadowrun: Equality

30th Run: Friends, Family, and Ghosts

Chimera asks Freq to come help him take down a test server at NeoNet HQ on Boston. The server holds the only working version of the software that will make the Matrix more secure against technomancers, and especially ottersquid. Chimera pays for flights and a hotel for the while team, and also requests Theta’s presence, revealing he knew Freq had her.

The team agrees and flies over, Theta included. Chimera wants to be in on the run, but leaves the planning to them. They eventually decide to sneak in via truck, and have Scrounge blow up the server with far too much plastic explosive. Freq also contacts his guild and gets in touch with a Bostonian technomancer named NovaKnight, who will run distractions for them, and Scrounge also talks to Bull. Bull sets them up with a veteran runner named Cayman, who’s known for dealing with runs gone bad. Astral scouting reveals security is tight, and there may be a Great Dragon on site.

The team makes it into the enormous building without trouble, and hack the tram to get to the secure facility with the server. Theta is left behind with Quill’s gun to guard the tram. They have no way of getting into the secure area without detection, so they all just rush it. Things quickly get complicated.

Scrounge manages to plant the explosives, but runs into an exact copy of himself, who seems to be in charge of the security team. The nega-scrounge shoots Scrounge, which seems to trigger a new personality in the coyote, one that’s magically capable. And then a Matrix dragon appears to attack the hackers.

Thanks to Chinera and Freqs’ Matrix weapons, the dragon is banished, and the team manages to barely fight off the security. Cayman plays a large part, and also adjusts the bomb before they leave. They’re about to set it off when the team gets a message through Theta’s comm. Another of freq’s children, Delta, has shown up, and works as Matrix Security for NeoNet.

Delta tries to negotiate. He offers to let the team go if they turn over Chimera. He reveals that security is closing in. Quill sees a small hole in the security plan, and Freq tells Theta to shoot Delta while they set off the bomb. Freq’s tempted to turn Chimera over, but isn’t sure that will actually go any better, so stays loyal to his brother. Cayman uses some explosives he rigged on the way in to blow the door, and they drive out under heavy fire.

Everyone parts ways, and they discover that the new personality in Scrounge is Jake Armitage. Back at the hotel he reverts back, leaving a very confused coyote, and they all return to Seattle.

Post-Initiation Thoughts

[Quill’s private journal]
--- May 23rd, 2074, 11:04am:
     Initiation last night. I think I understand now why nobody visits the metaplanes lightly – they’ll mess you up hard, even just getting there. Seeing Steel at the threshold the first time I went to them was bad enough, especially when he told me to give him up for dead. This time was

--- May 23rd, 2074, 11:18am:
     This time it was Moly at the threshold, saying that was abandoning her – it was like being shot. I almost panicked when she said that. It was all too real and too close to home. I started babbling, telling her no, it wasn’t me abandoning her, it was just a journey I needed to take, that I’d be back, it was just a temporary parting. I felt so rotten, so ashamed, so awful… The look in her eyes was so haunted, so accusing. I can’t bear to be on the other end of that. My stomach’s all knotted up just from thinking about this again, and I feel like hell.

     The other side was surreal when I got there. I was one of Blaze’s guardians, and Moly had the role I guess I would normally have for them: The outsider, the dark one, the untrustable. Theta was grown up and in uniform, and Vincent was in the group too. Sort-of Vincent anyway – he had Viri’s voice sometimes? Blaze kept saying that she and I were connected by destiny, kept warning me not to trust Moly. Refusing to listen to Blaze and telling her I’d make my own choices felt so damn good. How much of a mirror is this to Moly’s relationship with Blaze? How much is me projecting my own imagination?

     We fought what I think was supposed to be the Devourer Wurm, and when defeated it became the passageway forward. It was malleable, though- I’m not going to just step into something’s mouth as part of a personal narrative of self-discovery. Walking through it, we found a “Corporate Hive”, with Skye imprisoned inside. The bugs wanted to bargain for her freedom, but I refused. I couldn’t shape things enough to get her out on my own, but Virivincent and Moly together were enough to free her. Like I’d bargain with insect spirits or their lookalikes. I think they were trying to tempt me to give up the fight? Didn’t really listen to them.

     It got worse after that. Steelwraith showed up, and hinted that he’d been corrupted by the Hunters. He attacked and corrupted Skye, but I captured and held him inside the worldstuff – I refuse to kill even a shadow of my mentor. Theta killed Skye. Moly killed Theta. Blaze killed Moly. I fled before my heart broke more.

     Then one of the Masks was there in the next place, in my old room, with all my old things. Even wearing my old body, that shithead… wrong strategy for him to try, I was too wrung-out to care about my past. He was wounded and weakened from earlier fights, and I struck him down with lightning and broke his pattern and gave him the real death.

     I don’t want to think about any of this anymore.

--- May 23rd, 2074, 7:29pm:
     Something’s changed in me, but I’m not sure what yet. I feel different, but I can’t tell if it’s the same kind of thing I felt before. Nice how a harrowing will earn you some mysterious self-improvement, I guess.

     Welcome to the third circle, magus. Plan on seeing yourself reach the fourth?

29th Run: Shadow Haven

Freq’s Resonance Realm quest draws in the rest of the team, aside from Moly. Theta also accompanies them. Thanks to help from Scud and a Free Sprite called Shepard, they’re all taken into the Resonance Realm known as Haven, to find something called the Resonance Spear. Haven is a city, and used to be a technomancer retreat, back when they were Otaku, but it’s fallen since then, and is having a war with what’s known as Dissonance. The team investigates and speaks with the sprites that live there, eventually meeting an old veteran known as Fraktor, who helps them get enough information to find the spear, which was taken by the Dissonant Jormungand faction.

On their way into the Dissonant area of the city, the team is attacked by dark sprites. Fraktor arrives with reinforcements, and they’re able to push through to where the spear can be seen, enormous and sticking out the roof of a warehouse. Inside, they find Jormungand sprites, and a giant snake wrapped around the spear. A fight breaks out, and when it begins to go badly, Freq tries reaching out with his powers and activating the spear. It sends them all back to the normal world, including Fraktor, and much to Freq’s surprise, he winds up holding a physical, smaller version of the Resonance Spear in reality. Scud seems just as shocked, and Shepard has already gone.

Eliza Bloom’s Private Log:

That Coalition team we’ve had working with us, the Changeling one, is becoming increasingly visible. With two minor celebrities on the team, I’m not sure that they exactly qualify as shadowrunners anymore. On the other hand, they’re extremely effective, and generating some interesting publicity. They recently took down Junior Torinni in an extremely public way, and Bull showed me some impressive leads they got on Brackhaven’s shadier dealings.

I think we need to start handling them a little differently. They’re an important asset, but not the sort we’ve been treating them as. Helen Shaard is getting nervous about their increasing popularity/notoriety, but she’s still new at this. She hasn’t played these games before, not like I have. These are people who casually take down mafia bosses because someone needs to, who delve right in to dealing with the likes of Vigilance and Chimera. We can’t afford to lose them, and we certainly can’t afford to turn them against us.

NewsNet Breaking Report - 5/17/2074

Several participants in a Humanis anti-prop 23 rally revealed themselves as insect spirits early today, and immediately began attacking the assembled crowd. Casualties are not being officially reported yet, but are believed to be high. Spokesman Marcus Eriksen, who was wounded but is in stable condition, has condemned those who would strike them down for their beliefs, and is calling for Firewatch to investigate Project Freedom. While Project Freedom has declined to comment on that request, they have already stated that they are planning to increase patrols and security measures.

28th Run: Someone Has To Do It

KSAF New Bulletin:

Mystic Guardian member Alex is starting to give Blaze a run for her money in terms of visibilty. While official Guardian actions have largely been relatively minor victories for the law, this lupine wild card seems to be really taking the vigilantte spirit to heart. Images of Alex, and a nervous-looking Holly, posing with a tied-up and beaten-up mob-boss who goes by the name Junior Torrini have been everywhere today. KE has reluctantly verified that Alex did indeed capture the Mafia officer, and even had evidence to secure an arrest. It’s nice to have someone who’s actually willing to get things done in this city.

ADA Dana Oakes has been pushing for the takedown of Torinni and other criminals in the Underground for several months, and there are already rumors that she may have been somehow involved. If so, we’ll certainly see a press release from her office soon enough.

KSAF News Bulletins

Smith Tower was the sight of a magical disturbance earlier today, when a portal of some sort opened in the capstone room. While Knight Errant SWAT was soon on the scene, they were not equipped for whatever mystic weirdness was occurring. Instead it was Linda Blaze and her Guardians that saved the day. Knight Errant’s got to be pretty sore about that one. Thanks Blaze!

27th Run: Happy Birthday

Tempest’s Log:

Steelwraith’s back, as expected. Right on Quill’s birthday too, someone clearly has a sense of humor. I’m not sure what my next step here is, but I’ll be keeping an eye on the situation. Maybe get brakeDown on it too, dig around a bit. Would be nice to meet up with an old friend again, but chances are it’ll be with the rest of the team flanking me. Whatever happens though, happy birthday Quill.

KSAF News Bulletins

ADA Dana Oakes made a promise to clean out the Underground a few months back, pledging to take down some of the major crime lords in preparation for the possible new District status. While she’d apparently had several Knight Errant teams on the job, it looks like she may have given herself an impossible task. The ork locals we interviewed didn’t seem surprised. How could an outsider expect to make change without understanding the problem?

KSAF News Bulletins

The Guardian Gryphons premier is now slated for May 20th, less than a month away! The highly anticipated cartoon show, based loosely on Linda Blaze and her team of female “Guardians”, has been all over the Matrix lately, and we expect the surprisingly close official release to cause a whole new explosion of interest. The show’s theme song, “Guarding Friendship” by novahot jpop star Teiko Ikemoto, has already been topping the music charts, with Blaze’s personal theme “Blaze of Glory” not far behind. With the first wave of tie-in toys due out within the next few weeks, it’s going to be pretty much impossible to avoid hearing about gryphons for a while.


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