Shadowrun: Equality

26th Run: Motherhood

Private Log of Miles Lanier:

Looks like my luck finally ran out. Again. I was looking into some work Proteus had been doing on the NeoMatrix project. They’ve been involved in most of the creepier side, with the artificial technomancer children and the “biocomputers”. I’ve been getting increasingly uneasy about something going on with all of this, but I wasn’t sure if it was my atrophied morals finally pushed to the breaking point, or something worse. I’m still not entirely sure, as my visit became complicated by a runner team.

While I wasn’t technically at the Arcoblok on official business, the security staff there were only too happy to let me assist once they started getting warnings from their local grid. Apparently one of the two template changelings they’d based their system on had broken in and accessed the grid. Freq, apparently, the one they’d been less worried about. They didn’t trust their own technospawn, Theta, to deal with him, so they shut her out and offered me access. Theta’s a good kid, and whatever else is going on, I am really uncomfortable with what those bastards have been doing with her, even if it has been vital to our project. You don’t screw with children like that, first fucking rule of megacorping. You’ve got the rest of the world to screw over, let the kids grow up before you start using them. Fuckers.

Once I realized the runner team was going for Theta, I felt conflicted, though not for very long. Kid or not, I couldn’t let the project get disrupted like that, and it would screw up any chance I had of pinning down my fears if they took her. Proteus relies mostly on drones and turrets for security, and to my complete lack of surprise, the runners had no problem with those. After engaging one of them in the Matrix to try and stop their escape elevator, I headed down personally for one last chance. They were pretty much out by the time I made it to the moon-pool where they were stealing a sub.

I decided the best I could hope for was to slow down or weaken them. Maybe give another team the chance to pick them up later. So I fired a round into the first two targets I saw. I figured they’d just get their wounded into the sub and I’d probably be out of luck, but this crazy wolf woman just freaked out and charged me. I was sure I had her, but she was a lot better than I’d planned for, and had fire support from her conscious team. I took a few shock rounds while I tried to get a clear shot on the bitch, but she made it to me unharmed. Pretty sure I got a good right hook to her muzzle, but I paid for it. She literally hit like a dump truck, and I’m sure I’ve got all my modding to thank for the fact I didn’t just rip in half.

They must’ve set me up to be taken into a hospital, though I have no idea how all that went down. That’s the last thing I wanted right then, but my repair systems were able to wake me before it was too late. I just managed to escape the hospital and find a place to lay low while my repairs run their course. A quick call to Proteus shows that they haven’t had any luck tracking the kidnappers so far. That’s fine, looks like I’ll be starting over anyway. At least I’m in Chimera’s town now.

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KSAF News Bulletins

Following recent Bug Spirit sightings, Ares CEO Damien Knight has been personally visiting several major UCAS cities in order to discuss increased security measures. Talks are underway to convert at least some of Fort Lewis’s underused infrastructure to a Firewatch facility. The military is dragging its heels, but the pressure from civil leaders is extreme. No one wants another Chicago, and that means active vigilance.

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KSAF News Bulletins

Local musical sensation Kat o’ Nine Tales, frontwoman of Grima Aurora, surprised her fans at an Underworld 93 concert last night when she brought out an unknown performer for her opening act. The changeling referred to as Viridian proceeded to put on a completely unique performance, an effortlessly imaginative real-time remix that left the audience breathless.

We’ll certainly be keeping an eye on this reptilian newcomer. Rumors are already circulating that Viridian might also be Kat’s newest lover. Given Kat’s notoriously blunt personality, it’s not likely to remain rumor for long.

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KSAF News Bulletins

Polls are showing support for Prop 23 at an almost even split. The numbers had bounced around since the Rhino shootings, but seem to have stabilized once more. Helen Shard has been putting in more regular public appearances lately which may result in a small bump. Her daughter Kathleen Shard has also made a few solo appearances, meeting with worried Underground Residents who are still fearful of more violence.

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25th run: Empty

Shikoba’s Security Log:

Well, looks like I’m getting some serious hazard pay. Last night we had no less than three break-ins, all related. It’s not something I’ve seen before, too ballsy for most runner groups, but it worked better than it should have. I guess when you’re desperate enough you can take risks like that. I try to keep a level head, myself.

I’m not sure I have everything exactly right, motivation-wise, but I’ve done my best just in case it matters. A first group came in, made a mess, but got repulsed. One of them, a changeling bear, was trying to get to some tech to fill the essence holes his cheap ware had given him. The research team had some tests they wanted him for, I’m sure their report will explain better than mine will.

That seemed all nice and clean, but then a second team came in to rescue the bear. They came way too close, but lost their momentum after my security team wore them down enough. I was able to capture three of that team as well before the others fled., but my team was in bad shape.

And then they came in again, a different team again. Almost all had been changelings, and all capable runners. I’d requested supplemental security from a local company, but we were still understaffed. Things went bad quickly, and while got things nearly under control, it was still too chaotic. I made the call to release the prisoner, rather than risk them making any more trouble. It wasn’t ideal, but in the end the science team says we got some very interesting data out of it all, so it may very well work out as a net positive for Universal Omnitech.


Shred’s Private File:

Knew something like this was gonna happen sooner or later. The mess at the UO lab wasn’t a great showing for my first time in the field with the team. Figured I owed Moly, and Elbey, enough to do the hands on work myself, but I’m not sure I helped more than I hurt.

Haven’t spoken to Moly yet. Not sure what she’ll want to say, if anything. She’s changed so much since I met her, not sure I can read her the way I used to. Some of it’s probably Blaze, but a lot of it’s just the job. I thought maybe I could protect her from it, but I always sort of knew it was hopeless. I’m good at hopeless.

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KSAF News Bulletins

News:

Yesterday’s brutal shootout in front of the Big Rhino in the Ork Underground now has ten confirmed fatalities, four of them tourists. This may be the beginning of an even darker turn in the Prop 23 saga, and we can only hope it doesn’t escalate further.


After missing for months, Commissioner of Race Relations Jassila Fedderson was found dead in San Francisco Bay. Details are sketchy, and we currently have no information on how she ended up there, or why she even disappeared in the first place, but the Lone Star Coroner has confirmed her identity.


Apparently George Mathers wasn’t dead after all, and is in Knight Errant custody. Due largely to Edmond Jansen’s confession, Mathers is soon to go to trial for his involvement in the deaths of three Changelings last year.

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24th Run: Transport Trouble

Scud’s War Diary:

Had an awesome roadtrip with the Changelings. Freq had this crazy plan involving drugging some guy on a cross-country flight to make it look like he’d died, then using my ambulance to snag him. It meant some in person hang-out time with Freq, Moly, and that lizard guy, so I was definitely in.

We had a detour along the way in Sioux territory, when DocWagon called me in to a combat zone in Billings. UCAS was apparently doing a Black Op in Crown Plaza. Lots of collateral damage, and they needed me to save the day. Fuck yeah, that’s what I live for, I’m totally kind of a doctor! So we all went there, kicked some serious ass and saved all the children etc.

Afterwards we drove to DeeCee and got the guy from the plane. I’m not sure Moly likes me much.


Colonel Ravenheart’s Report:

The mission went as planned, Damien. Despite the appearance of insect spirits on the flight, I was able to avoid civilian casualties and cleanse the infestation. It seems I was right about the connection between this Changeling group and the bugs, and I appreciate your trust in testing my hunch. I may require more strings to be pulled on their behalf, but I will try to keep it minimal.

My Knight Errant informants also verified that George Mathers was successfully extracted, and is now safely held in one of our special dungeons until it’s time for trial.


Anne Ravenheart’s Journal:

Ares involvement in these recent insect spirit outbreaks is all but definite now. I feel equally confident that this Changeling group is a Locus, and not a conspirator. It’s surprising they’ve survived as long as they had, and I worry that that’s intentional. I’ll need to proceed carefully from here on out, as I’m fearful of the way the pieces are coming together.

Viridian seemed quite capable, and her background has nothing problematic in it. Scrounge appears to be new, and his background feels suspicious. I may not have time to investigate further however, and I didn’t sense any evil intentions from him.

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KSAF News Bulletins

Governor Kenneth Brackhaven has appointed Emile Corrigan as his new Press Secretary, following his recent termination of previous Secretary Edmund Jansen. Jansen was ousted following discovery of previously lending a large sum of government funds to George Mathers, who allegedly used the funds to hire the Crosscut Killer.


Senator Helen Royer is about to face a congressional inquiry panel in a few days, following the shocking revelation that she had unrevealed ties to Humanis. Sources allegedly found her attending an illegal hate rally held in opposition to Prop 23, and the FBI soon released further information from an earlier, but ongoing, investigation into the Senator. Supervising Agent Seth Dietrich was recently killed in the line of duty, delaying further investigation, but the FBI apparently feels it now has enough of a case to push for the inquiry panel.


DA David Beatty has renewed his pledge to protect both sides of the Prop 23 conflict, after convicting a pair of Knight Errant officers of unnecessary use of lethal force against a group of ork teens. Opponents claim Beatty is siding too heavily with Project Freedom, but DA Beatty did recently convict several ork gangers who’d tossed home-made CS gas into a legal Humanis rally.

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23rd Run: Reunion

NetCat’s Private Log:

Chimera finally moved again tonight. He went after Macrodeck, and by the time anyone knew it was too late. Not sure how many he killed in there, but I’ve known for a while that we have to take him down before he takes us all down. Technomancers are just barely to the point of not being seen as complete monsters, and one crazy terrorist is all we need to put us back on the kill list.

I called in a few more technomancer runner types I knew I could trust. Scud’s been an occasional ally, and Nisha’s a well-recommended new-comer. Freq’s someone I’ve kept an eye on for a while now, and he seemed to have a personal stake in the Chimera situation. Turned out to be very right about that one. A lot of his team ended up showing up separately. They’re a weird bunch, but I like them. Do-gooder activist runners, probably likely to meet a messy end someday. I’m in the same boat myself though, so more power to them. More than enough causes to fight for.

After a. . . interesting show of aid by Spokesgryphon Linda Blaze, we made it to Macrodeck HQ. The Resonance was completely fucked up in there. I’ve never seen anything like it, or felt anything like it. It was like tendrils of wrong grasping for my soul. It did remind me of a few things Puck described once, but he’s been off the grid too long for me to ask.

We made it through some automated defenses, and ran into a hostage situation. Chimera’d already killed quite a few people, but there were many more being held by some flunkies of his. We rushed them and took them down, then found Chimera himself holed up in the CEO’s office. Bastard had a dead-man’s switch set to something nasty, he didn’t say what, but given his past actions I didn’t doubt him, which left us without much we could do.

He took Freq up to the roof for a chat, and while I don’t know all the details, I do know there’s something bad going on there, and Freq asked me to keep an eye on both of them. I can’t say I blame him, this corruption is nasty, whatever it is. He’s apparently off to look into something Chimera tipped him off to. I wish him luck, and hope I see him alive and sane after. I’m going to try and find Puck, and hope we figure out a way to take Chimera down before he brings us all down.

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22nd Run: Bugging Out

Nisha Doctor’s Journal:

Had my third mission today. A freelancer with the Changeling Division suddenly extra-SURGED, going really insectoid. Panic broke out, KE got called in, and we had to get him out of there before things got worse. We worked with some of the Changeling group this time, the people Vincent calls “The Cursed”. Constantly. He says it as if it’s an official title, or some official dubbed them that, it’s sort of strange. They seemed fine though, and I’d been nervously interested in meeting Freq. From the way Artash reacted to him, I got this impression he’d be a real hard ass, but he’s not. He’s actually pretty cute, though I have a feeling he’s not really into girls. All the guys that interest me seem to not be, and those that are are macho jerks. Don’t get me going about Scud again, ugh. For all the stupid sexist bullshit I got back home, why is it that my bad luck with relationships is the only time I really regret being female? And really, I’ve looked at numbers, this can’t just all be chance. Maybe I’m Cursed.

Wow, that went a different place than I was expecting. Back on track Nisha.

The newly buggy Changeling, a mage named Carter, was in Center Mall, with squads of KE surrounding. There was a somewhat unclear hostage thing going on in one of the stores, while the rest of the mall had been cleared out. We did some recon and then snuck in. Quill, one of the two lizard wizards, realized there was an old enemy of theirs inside, a powerful spirit they’d fought before. We decided to hit hard and fast, and after Freq hacked the door, we all went in firing. The spirit screamed at us, which paralyzed Vincent and nearly several more of us, but a salvo of bullets, spells, and liberal use of a really awesome staff took down the spirit thing and one employee who I guess was possessed too. I got a couple good shots on that one, shock rounds. My goal is to be more than just the girl who opens things, I like being well-rounded. Carter helped out once we’d turned things around, and we were forced to rather messily kill the spirit in the end. Or destroy its physical form at least.

All the gunfire and alarms got KE moving in quick, so we had to run for it, taking a quick exit a different way from where KE was coming. We split up a little after that, and decided to take Carter to my place for safety. Which was pretty much the end of it, aside from Dr. Heith examining him and agreeing that Carter was definitely a insecty Changeling.

They’ve both been staying with me since then, which is sort of strange. I guess, thinking about that now, that I might’ve been looking at things wrong before. Getting to know these two, I think all the interesting, non-standard guys just tend to be non-standard in enough other ways that things just don’t work out. Shame that we can’t just change what we’re attracted to. Admittedly, Carter’s a particular non-starter, but that’s more something for Dr. Heith’s report.

Tags: Carter Jaran Max Nisha Vincent

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