Friday, April 12, 2019

Campaign Journal - The Wrapup

...We arrive at Colucci's, but instead of the mountain of a man we saw before, a tree of an African human in an even nicer suit sits behind the table. This guy just exudes Corporate. He ain't no Johnson.

"I am Mr. Johnson's boss."

Well, that's not good.


How often do you meet the boss of the Johnson? I never have. I mean, I ain't been a runner but a couple years, but I never met the money's boss. This midnight shaded giant was an enigma, that's for sure. 

He invites us to sit, but unlike Johnson, Blacktree is all business. He doesn't wait until after dinner. 

"I am Mr. Johnson's boss. Mr. Johnson was extracted on Thursday morning. We believe he was a willing target. We received word that your packeage was inserted successfully and the package has been integrated into the facility. I'm here to pay you the amount you were promised."

Five black credsticks slide into the center of the empty table. 

"Please stay. I have a job for you that will double the nuyen you just earned."

We look at each other. This payday was no wage slave salary. We're painted pretty. He wants to double it?

We each chime in our agreement. He nods.

"Anthony Munson--" the name of Johnson falling from his tongue sets us all back. If this guy is being doxed, he's got nothing coming, "--may have set up his own extraction. Many specific files were missing from his office--files that would be recognized only by an insider. Most of these concern Miss Che. We are afraid for Miss Che's safety. She has been a loyal operative and is not likely to cooperate with Munson. We are concerned that Munson may reveal her to Proteus to gather  favor with his new corporation, Brackhaven Investments. You already know the facility. We'll pay you double the last job to go back in and get her."

Frakk. Going back in to that place isn't going to be easy. Did I mention that I sicced the eco-terrorists on them as we left? Drekk was all over the news, security been bumped, it's going to be a nightmare. I had my doubts. What if she was out in the offshore? We gotta fight our way in, fight our way down to the tunnel, and take the tram across and hope they don't flood the tube. This just doesn't sound promising. I obviously have my reservations, but I don't want to let the team know that. 

"I'm in," I say.

Jacob grins, "Maybe now we get to kill something. I'm in."

All around the table, the team nods or pitches their agreement. I'm sure they have the same reservations, but they ain't gonna look like choobs.

Blacktree nods, "My work here is done. When you have her, call Colucci's--make a reservation for Johnson, party of seven. I will meet you here with your full payment. you can trust this establishment. It is neutral territory, and my corporation will not risk any kind of syndicate war. The border registration for your vehicle has been renewed for another week." He pulls a blue credstick and leaves it on the table and adds, "Please order lunch. It'll be on my tab."

When Blacktree is gone and lunch is ordered, Salestra starts the planning. "Well, are we headed back north?"

Jamundi waves his hand, "I don't think we need to do that. I can do a seeking."

Salestra raises an eyebrow, "What's that mean?"
"Means I meditate for a while and know exactly where she is."

"You can do that?" I ask. This guy is so full of surprises. How did we ever get through a job without him?

He nods. I can see that everyone is impressed. Except Wardancer, she looks a little sullen. It's been awhile since she's gotten to melt a face, probably itching to.

"Okay. Then I guess we plan after you sleep on it."

Lunch is amazing.


Saturday morning I'm in the middle of some code when Salestra's icon buzzes at my consciousness. 

"Hey, Chummer. Jamundi says he got her."

"Aces," I jack out and head over to the meet.

We're waiting in the din of some drekk of an empty warehouse in the middle of nowhere, trying not to get gonoherpasyphilaids, when Jamundi strolls through the door. 

"You like it?"

"What?" asks Chester.

"The warehouse," Jamundi says, "I been talking to a broker. Think I'm gonna buy it."

Our appreciation for the place grows, and we start imagining converting the space into something useful. Wardancer cringes as she spooks a rat that was creeping nearby. Eventually it'll be cool, just not now.

"So?" I ask, "Did you find her?"

He nods, "Yup."

Jacob fingers the pommel of his hawk, "C'mon, choombaka, don't leave us in suspense. We goin' to the offshore?"

Jamundi shakes his head, "Nope. She's at her apartment."

Jacob's laugh echoes off the walls like a thunderstorm. 

"Well," I say, "Let's go get her."

Forty-five minutes later Chester pulls us into the parking lot of her apartment complex. She leaves the van to idle, I kick my feet onto the dash and turn on my trid player to watch the latest episode of Siren's Song. Jacob, Wardancer, and Jamundi go up to get her.

Yeah, we didn't scout the area. We didn't send up a drone. We got sloppy.

"Turn that down a bit, will ya?" Chester says.

"You ain't the boss of me," I shoot back.

"It's my van, baka. Turn it down or walk back to Tacoma."

I glare at him and turn down the volume just as the windshield explodes. Chester's face is a mix of pain and rage as he grabs his shoulder to stop the sudden plume of blood that geysered out of it.

"Oh, drekk--"

A second shot punches a hole right in front of me and grazes my head, stuffing from the seat rest poofs like an exploding chicken, and I duck down into the foot well, hoping the engine will keep those big bullets from hitting me any more. As I go down I see three metas in black riot gear and long coats walking our way, subs in their hands.

Chester rolls into the aisle and grunts in pain.

I draw my Predator III and fire blindly over the dash. Don't lecture me on civie casualties in a firefight. "Uh, guys?" I say over the comm, "I hope you got her, we're pinned down here, sniper and some goons."

"We hear the gunfire," Salistra says, "On our way."

A moment later gunfire erupts from behind us as the rest of the team join in the fight. I can't see drekk with Chester's blackout windows in his kidnapper van. Chester fires up his control rig and launches a drone out the roof of the van. He trips the monitors, I assume so I can watch the carnage. I see the guys out front of the van still and fire a couple more cover shots over the dash. Don't think i hit anything, but the Predator III makes a big boom. I'm sure somebody ducked.

Jacob and Salistra are lighting up the parking lot like fireworks, Wardancer is doing her best to melt someone's face off, and Jamundi, well that baka is just meditating. He points and grins, the sniper shots stop. The monitor shows two people on a building across the street stand up, one holding a long rifle. They step off the edge and fall to the ground.

Jacob swings the back door open and uses it as cover, firing his bow at one of the guidos. I peak over the dash to survey the damage, just as the one that took an arrow in his ribs--well, his head explodes. The brain mist seems to settle in the shape of a figure standing next to him, but then fades. I shake my head, clearing the fog. That shot to the head must have been more serious than i thought.

"HOLD YOUR FIRE!" shouts a booming voice, and the gunfire trails off, echoing through the Seattle streets.

I crawl to the back and peek around the door.

Munson, the fate meat, stands next to an elf shaman, his hands raised like he's frakking Jesus come to rescue us from the Romans. "We just want the girl. Turn her over and you can go. I'll pay you." 

There might have been some consideration, for like, zero-point six-eight seconds.

Salistra shoots him in the stomach.

He looked surprised as he slumped to the ground. Can't imagine why. 

We go back to our killing. 

In a few moments we clean up the three thugs and are quite surprised when the two that stepped off the building limp up to us. Jacob is about to chop them into bits with his tomahawk, when Salistra holds up his hand and approaches the sniper. "Gimme that rifle." 

The sniper hands it to him. They look dazed, confused, and broken from the two story fall. 

Jamundi points to them with that look he gets, "Wait for the badges, tell them what you've done." I can't get over this guy. 

I look around, "Where's the girl?"

The glamour drops and she's standing about five feet from me, a heavy pistol in her hand, and that spatter of blood and brain painting her face. That explains a lot.

There is a groan from Munson. Wardancer lights up those fires in her hands. "No, wait," I tell her, "We need him. This is gonna be a good day for us. Jamundi, can you do your Jedi mind trick on this baka?"

Jamundi grins and waves his hand. Munson gets up and crawls, bleeding, into the back of the van. Chester mumbles something about the state his van is in, but we don't have a lot of time for that, because we hear the sirens as the shadowriders bear down upon us. 

Chester triggers something on his control unit and we burn back to Colucci's. I ring the waitress and make reservations for 8.


The waitress seems unfazed by the scent of blood and gunpowder that wafts around us in a cloud as we walk through the door. Tiny, the troll that no one wants to see angry, takes our weapons with what we hope is a smile, and we are ushered to the table in the back. 

Blacktree has lost all bearing as we approach. Che runs to him and embraces him. I guess they've worked together for awhile. I'm glad Chester had some wet wipes to clean her face, because brain on Armante is a horrifying thought.

Jamundi gestures and Munson flops into a chair that creaks under his bulk.

"You... you are a surprise," says Blacktree.

"I know who to call if I need another insertion," says Che.

Salistra shrugs, "Think we deserve a bonus?" We all nod.

Blacktree grins, "Do you realize what a relief it is that you have wrapped up this... train wreck in under 24 hours? I tell you what. I work for a biotech firm. I grant you a piece of bioware of your choice, installed, and access to our Delta clinic. You can keep the truck."

Chester frowns, "I thought that was part of the last deal. I already had it rigged."

Blacktree's face shows no surprise. He reaches into his pocket and places the credsticks on the table. 

I can't help myself. "We get lunch, too, right?"


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