The team needed a place to hide out for a minute, catch their breath, and figure out their next step. Tecumseh led the team to his safehouse where they trussed up Sgt. Scott, and the first order of business was to figure out who sent him and the rest of the Ghosts into the Pueblo sector of Boise after Tecumseh and, by extension, the team. After some initial equivocation, Sgt. Scott eventually gave up the ghost.
Scott revealed that his superior was one Major John Hammond, a ranking Ghost currently stationed outside of Boise holding the Pueblo forces at bay. According to Scott, Hammond ordered them to cross the border and apprehend Tecumseh if possible, kill him if necessary. Associates of Tecumseh, like his decker buddy, were to be dealt with violently. Scott was unsure exactly why a kill order had been issued, but on the other hand, it’s his job to follow orders, not to know why he’s following them. The team gagged the poor sergeant and tied him up leaving him in the bathtub for later.
Octan had not yet woken up yet, so the others let him sleep off the damage caused by the data bomb that destroyed Tecumseh’s copy of the information related to the altercation on the Tír/Salish border. The team was ready to pack it in and head for home when Tecumseh offered another option: his decker buddy had a habit of tracking his online movements and storing it in implanted memory. His drive wouldn’t have a copy of the information he stole, but it would tell the team from whom he stole it. Lacking a better lead, the team decided to steal themselves a corpse.
Arriving at the morgue, the team made short work of the external security and found their way inside. The facility was unmanned that late at night, though there was a guard on the premises so they moved quickly into the refrigerated room to look for the decker’s corpse. Tecumseh identified his colleague and without much fanfare, plugged his commlink into the corpse’s datajack. Feeding power back into the implanted systems, Tecumseh began to copy the data.
Unfortunately, the morgue guard on his rounds was approaching. Fortunately, Adriana was more than up to the task of diverting him while Tecumseh finished his work. They and Cayden met up with Olympia, who was still driving the tow truck they’d pilfered after the helicopter crash, and they tried to ring Octan back at the safehouse. He didn’t respond so they assumed (correctly) that he was still unconscious. But, Tecumseh was able to dig through the data and find out where his colleague found the data: the Tír embassy to the Pueblo Corporate Council located in downtown Boise.
This left the team with two options: go home or commit treason. Like any respectable crew: they opted for treason.
Banking on the fact that Adriana’s legal identity would get them in the door, they figured they could slip away from the embassy staff, find the data, and then waltz across the border with embassy guards. So, Adriana got prepared for her grand entrance, which basically required her to dump booze all over her self and stagger in supported by Cayden. Tecumseh and Olympia waited outside with the tow truck in case a getaway was necessary; after all, the Duchess Rukin could always demand that her cousin and friend also be provided escort back to the Tír.
Entering the embassy, Adriana and Cayden were quickly ushered into a lounge located off the lobby. It had two entrances back into the lobby and a third exit into other areas of the embassy. From the activity in the lobby, it was clear that the embassy was preparing to exit the building and return to the Tír, assuming the PCC would let them. In the lounge, it became very clear that the embassy was watching Adriana and Cayden fairly carefully, but there was a moment that distracted the guards and Adriana quickly used an invisibility preparation on Cayden and he slipped out of that third exit and into the rest of the building.
Tecumseh used the information he lifted from his decker buddy to gain access into the embassy systems and directed Cayden toward a specific office. Creeping invisibly through the hallways, he was treated to the site of embassy staffers moving about in a mild panic as they destroyed information and otherwise scrambled about the back areas of the buildings. Cayden was doing well until a security spirit caught sight of him on the Astral plane and raised a silent alarm.
Meanwhile, in the lobby, a dwarf by the name of Jack sized the opportunity to try to claim to be a part of the Duchess’s entourage. The embassy staff didn’t believe him at first, but eventually they escorted him out of the lobby creating the distraction that allowed Cayden to slip away. They led him into a wing opposite the one in which Cayden was sneaking about and tossed him unceremoniously into a room clearly meant for interrogation. Not understanding exactly what was going on, but pretty sure that claiming to know the duchess may not have been the best idea he’d ever had, he checked to see if he could slip away. The door was unlocked — the staff either not considering him a flight risk or forgetting in the activity to secure his position. He slipped out of the room and crept back to the lobby.
Cayden had found his way to the appropraite office where the information was located. Tecumseh instructed him to plug a transmitter into the computer. Cayden did so and Tecumseh used it to gain access to the terminal and began searching for the data. When he found it, he copied it to his own systems. This didn’t help Cayden, though, as both the spirit and an additional guard entered the room and cornered him. Guards also entered the room with Adriana and attempted to take her into custody as well. Cayden handled both the spirit and the guard almost without breaking a sweat and when he reported that the jig was up, Adriana let rip with a prepared Swarm spell distracting her would-be captors and making her escape. She exited the back door of the lounge, met up with Cayden, and called Olympia for a pickup at the rear of the lobby.
Jack entered the lobby just in time to see guards fleeing the lounge (and the Swarm). He quickly (for a dwarf) ran past them, shook off the effects of Adriana’s illusion, and entered the embassy’s back hallways just in time to see Adriana and Cayden fleeing out a rear door. He followed, helped them handle a few more guards at the rear of the grounds, and earned–if nothing else–a spot on the getaway tow truck. Picking up the others, Olympia sped around the block and onto a main street just in time to see embassy vehicles pulling out to follow.
The war between the Tír and the Pueblo Corporate Council (PCC) was simmering in Boise while the country warily went about its business. If not for the underlying tensions, things almost could have been confused for normal life. The stalemate seemed indeterminate until something strange occurred along the northern border between the Tír and the Salish Sidhe Council.
According to Salish reports, uniformed members of the Tír Peace Force crossed the border and attacked a small squad of of Salish forces on maneuvers. The Tír not only denied these allegations, but insisted that the skirmish took place on Tír lands and it was, therefore, the Salish that were in the wrong. Coincidentally, of course, drone-based and stationary surveillance on both sides of the border was inconclusive.
And, thus it was when her “Uncle” Isaac called Adriana for help. Weeks before, Adriana had provided him with a tip related to the the increase in hostilities within Boise after Tecumseh Antiman, the Koshari boss, mentioned it to her. Adriana was beginning to suspect that Isaac was more than simply a politically positioned friend of the family, especially after he pulled strings to provide her medical assistance at what appeared to be a secret hopsital following the criminal parlay. Her suspicions were correct. Isaac Bedivere was a colonel in the Ghosts and, with Adriana’s information, he had positioned both some of the Ghosts and some members of the Peace Force near enough to Boise to stymie the PCC advances. This made him, nominally, in charge of the war effort.
Isaac needed accurate information related to the incident with the Salish, regardless of who was at fault, preferably before the Salish joined the PCC in the war. He hoped that Adriana would be able to contact the source of the original tip and see if she could lean on it for any additional, unofficial details. It was easy enough to put in a call to Tecumseh who was willing to see what he could figure out from his contacts within the Salish sector of Boise. It didn’t take but a few hours before Tecumseh called her back, but unfortunately, he was no longer his sardonic self. Instead, he was well and truly terrified. He wouldn’t say much over matrix, but he demanded that Adriana come and get him out of Boise and into the Tír. If she did that, he’d give her the information she wanted.
Contacting Isaac, he was willing to provide funding for a rescue effort, but he was worried about putting Adriana and Olympia in harm’s way. Sure of themselves, they and the rest of the team set out from Cara’Sir for a smuggler’s tunnel outside of Boise that would take them into the Salish side of the city. Olympia was aware of the tunnel, and arranged for access from a coyote named Gloria who wanted a few thousand nuyen considering the danger involved in border crossings during war.
Getting into Salish Boise went smoothly, but finding Tecumseh was proving to be problematic. Seems he was well hidden and was refusing to announce his location. But, he was willing to meet the team at a nearby, neutral location. A nearby abandoned warehouse, conveniently located across the street from a Fricken Waffles, would do the job and the team settled in to wait for Tecumseh while he traveled. He estimated it would take 20-30 minutes for him to arrive.
The wait was uneventful and it wasn’t long before Cayden and Arial could no longer resist the siren’s song of all-day breakfast. The two of them took orders, and proceeded across the street to acquire waffles. As luck would have it, Tecumseh arrived shortly after they departed driving a small electric car. He drove it into the warehouse attempting to remain under cover and agitatedly demanded that they leave immediately for the Tír. The team stood firm, however, and needed to know what had spooked him.
So, Tecumseh told them that he had hired a friendly decker to find more about the border skirmish. That decker found the information and Tecumseh met him at an outdoor cafe to exchange nuyen for data. The decker was agitated, frightened, and soon, Tecumseh learned why: the Salish border skirmish was the fault of the Tír and the data they had proved not only that the Tír was at fault, but who ordered the troops to engage the Salish! Just as things were wrapping up, the decker was shot in the back of the head by a sniper. Tecumseh grabbed the decker’s commlink and ran from the cafe as bullets scattered the crowd around him. After that, he laid low in a safe house until the team came to get him.
While Tecumseh told his story, Arial and Cayden were exiting the Fricken Waffles. When they did so, they could hear the sound of a helicopter approaching from the south. It moved into position over the warehouse’s parking lot and ropes were dropped from it to the ground. Cayden and Arial retreated behind the restaurant taking cover as four troopers in black military-grade armor descended. At roughly the same time, a high powered rifle put an anti-vehicular round into the van’s engine block, disabling it instantaneously.
The rest of the team took cover around the van. Olympia deployed drones (which the opposition’s decker immediately began to mark) while Octan attempted to gain control over the helicopter. Soon, he and the opposition’s decker were engaged in cybercombat. Olympia, Adriana, and Cayden, meanwhile, went to work on the troopers with drones, spells, and fists respectively. But, covering fire from inside the helicopter made exiting cover somewhat difficult. Regardless, the troopers were taking losses faster than the team even though the team’s wounds were taking a bit of a toll. Seeing an opportunity to end things decisively, Arial launched a grenade into the helicopter killing everyone inside. Unfortunately, that included the pilot and with the van disabled, the helicopter seemed the most likely way to get back to the Tír.
Arial and Olympia ran for the ropes as the helicopter began to swing out of control. Arial shimmied up and into the helicopter but Olympia, not skilled at rope climbs, was forced to drop to the ground as the helicopter’s trajectory shifted toward the parking lot. Arial rushed to the cockpit and grabbed the control stick but was unable to pull the helicopter out of its crash. She died in the crash.
One trooper remained, Sergeant Ron Scott, and he quickly surrendered. Getting a closer look at his uniform, Adriana and Olympia recognized them as Tír Ghost issue. Tecumseh had been knocked out during the fighting so Octan broke into the decker’s commlink to find the data. And, find it he did, but he didn’t notice the data bomb that was protecting it. When he tried to copy the information, the bomb self-destructed seriously injuring Octan and destroying the data.
Without the data, without transportation, and without a solid plan, the team boosted a tow truck from a mechanic’s across the street, said farewell to Arial, and woke Tecumseh up to find out the location of his safe house. He shared it with them and the drove off into the night.
Olympia’s commlink rang while she was unavailable, but luckily Adrianna answered it. Seems Jeff Edwards, the Unicorn shaman from the Tír district in Boise who had provided a safe house for the team in the past, needed some help. Seems there was a new racket in town trying to shake down his business and the businesses of some others in the district. Rather than pay protection money monthly to the criminals, he and his colleagues decided to pay a one-time fee to the team in order to get rid of the racketeers.
Our protagonists headed out for Boise and shortly there after sat down with Jeff. He gave them the names and locations of some others who were paying into the pot for the job and they quizzed him on the specifics of what was going on taking notes related to the people he had seen working the neighborhood. Moving on from Jeff’s talismongering business, the team decided to start looking for disreputable businesses in the area that might provide a haven for the racketeers.
They found their way to the Trog’s Grog, owned and operated by Dominic Mango, and another one of the business owners who was helping to pay their fee. Dominic, once he realized who the team was, became more than willing to help. And, in fact, he was due for a visit from the racketeers within the next few days as they came around to collect. Agreeing to return and help Dominic fend them off, the team briefly interviewed the remaining business persons.
The only thing that seemed to be a common theme was an overabundance of people with Native American heritage or symbols on their clothing. It may have been misdirection, but signs were pointing to problems stemming from the Native districts, but the team did not know–yet–if it would be the Salish or the Pueblo area of the city that had given rise to this specific group of malefactors.
Returning to the Trog’s Grog at the appointed day and time, the team prepared to help Dominic refuse the services of his incoming visitors. Octan prepared himself within the bar’s matrix host while the others hid themselves in the main bar area. Three men arrived to collect from Dominic but when the team revealed itself, in the form of Adrianna’s magics, they were surprised to find themselves not only outnumbered but seriously out gunned.
Watching the outside, Arial became aware that they had called for reinforcements as five more approached the bar armed with SMGs. They took firing stances outside the Grog and fired a full automatic clip into the bar to try and impress and intimidate. It didn’t work out that way. Between a few more Blast spells from Adrianna and Arial attacking them from the flank with stick-n-shock ammo, short work was made of them.
Realizing that the constabulary was unlikely to be able to ignore full-automatic fire for too long, the team grabbed two of the opposition–a female dwarf who appeared to be in charge and a human male–and took off driving randomly around town until they awoke.
The dward, named Ayellen, revealed that she indeed did represent criminal interests from the Salish district of the city. She and her organization were seeking to expand their turf into the Tír and they were starting off small shaking down businesses for some starting-up money. The human, Niv, was largely silent taking his queues from Ayellen who eventually made it fairly clear that she wasn’t willing to say more in front of Niv. Taking the hint, Arial shot the poor guy with another stick-n-shock round sending him to dream land once more.
Ayellen got down to business at that point. Long story less long, she was looking to advance within the ranks of her gang–an offshoot of the Koshari in Boise–and the only way to do that at the moment was to make a vacancy above her. She was willing to pay the team three grand each if they would hop the border over to the Salish district and get rid of her boss, the unlikely named Tecumseh Antiman.
The team used Olympia’s smuggling contacts to track down a captain in the Tír border security forces who was able to get them across in return for a favor owed her by Olympia. She also had some Kamikaze that she sold to Arial who would put it to good use later on. Thus, getting into the Salish was fairly simple, as was tracking down Tecumseh’s address provided by Ayellen.
Tecumseh had set up shop on the fourth floor of a beat up apartment building. The lower floors had been given over to drug dealers, hookers, and other forms of vice but the top floor remained fairly well maintained. An elevator provided the only means of internal access and the fire-escape had been knocked down to try and prevent external visitors. Olypmia flew her flyspy up and into the apartment giving the team the run down on the opposition showing seven individuals present, one of whom was a member of the Tír Constabulary!
Eventually, the constable, Walt Bost, left after receiving some cash from Tecumseh and the team let him go. Observing things for a bit longer, it was clear the group seemed to be settling in for the night. No one knew whether all six lived here–it would have been cramped–or if for some reason Tecumseh was expecting trouble. Deciding on a surprise attack, Octan hacked the building’s matrix host and took control of both the elevator and the camera feed from the same. Arial climbed the outside of the building to gain access to the roof while Olympia prepared to send her combat drones up in the elevator.
Octan edited the camera feed so that Tecumseh and his cronies thought the Constabulary was coming back and armed for bear. They quickly took up firing positions using a reinforced pool table as cover. One rolled a smoke or gas grenade into the elevator to drive the Constabulary out and it was revealed that it was not a group of low enforcement officers but rather the combat drones, the bad guys realized they were in for a world of hurt. The Lynx opened fire with its light machine gun laying down suppression fire keeping them all pinned down as Arial sneaked in through a balcony door. Fining her way in, she fired a flashbang stunning the opposition as Olympia launched a gas grenade filled with Pepper Punch into the midst of the group putting them all on the ground.
The team restrained all of the opposition but separated Tecumseh from the rest. When he came around, they explained the situation to him: either he could pay them or they could kill him and his friends. To sweeten the deal, the team agreed to tell him who had sent them and set him up and Tecumseh seemed swayed not only by his sincere desire to remain breathing but also by the opportunity for revenge. Tecumseh coughed up some additional nuyen for the team’s coffers and the team released him and his cronies telling them that it was Ayellen that had sent them.
Tecumseh told the team to tell Ayellen that he was dead and to send her back here to solidify her new rank within the Koshari. The team returned to the Tír district and did so, sending Ayellen off toward what was almost certainly her own demise. But, luckily for them, Ayellen was more than happy to pay up the promised cash for their services apparently rendered.
Even better: our protagonists were further enriched by the original promise of cash-y money from the Tír business persons who had brought them to Boise in the first place! Heading home to Cara’Sir richer for their efforts, the team congratulated themselves on a job well done.
Our protagonists had collected Ben Gantry from his kidnappers but before they had the opportunity to leave, two individuals, a young woman and a older man, approached the scene of the accident by motorcycle. They came to a halt and dismounted quickly moving to assess the situation and ascertain the health and safety of Ben. These two individuals, Ariel and Jack, were members of the squad hired in Seattle to collect him from the Salish-Sidhe Council and bring him to the Tír. Amid the noise of sirens our protagonists agreed to allow the two newcomers to travel with them for the near term; otherwise they were likely to all get picked up by the Tír constabulary.
Olympia knew of a place they could stay, a new age store named the White Horse run by Unicorn shaman on the Tír side of Boise. Arriving there, the one of the shamans, named Jeff, offered them a room and safety, concealing their vehicles, and allowing them privacy on the second floor of his establish. There, the team hashed out a basic plan: head southwest out of town toward the town of Vale and cross the Wildlands until meeting up with the old Interstate corridor at Serentaneyo (Eugene, OR) which would take them north to Cara’Sir once more.
All went well, leaving the White Horse. Constabulary drones were still circling the accident location and the team was able to load into the van, with Ariel’s bike in the back next to Olympia’s drones, and head out of town. The drive went smoothly for roughly the first hour, but about 10km outside the town of Vale, a constabulary roadblock had been set up. The cars in front of the van were waved through with ease, but Olympia noticed that the officers blocking the left-hand lane seemed to be taking quite an interest in them.
When it was their turn to be inspected, Adrianna had concealed the team–with the exception of herself and Olympia–using a task from one of her spirits. The officers asked the cousins to step out of the vehicle and others moved to search it. Concealed members of the team exited the vehicle as well in order to avoid accidental discovery, but Ben Gantry tripped and fell out of the vehicle alerting the officers to the presence of the hidden individuals.
What erupted then was a somewhat harrowing firefight. On the Matrix, Octan and a hacker from the other team began to square off, though neither faced the other directly. The opposing hacker quickly moved to brick the van, keeping the team from driving away. Octan, realizing the situation, dispatched a call for help from his contacts in the Rinelle and proceeded to hack various and sundry items for the officers. Olympia re-entered her van but was quickly pinned down due to shotgun fire from one of the constabulary vehicles, but this ended as the Brothers Pliskin leaped into the fray.
Adrianna used her final Alchemical preparation to increase her own speed but found her self somewhat stymied by the actions of Ariel and Olympia. The former unloaded full automatic covering fire at approaching reinforcements while Olympia directed her drones to do the same after successfully assassinating the hacker by firing at his location through the windows of the vehicle in which he stood. In short, despite being outnumbered, the greater firepower of the team allowed them to carry the day and even capture one of the constabulary forces, Carlos.
Talking to Carlos, it became clear that he and his allies were only pretending to be law enforcement officers. In reality, they were hired muscle sent to get Ben Gantry on the orders of Mr. Johnson, of course! Octan’s help arrived and in spite of some trepidation from Adrana, the van was hooked up for a tow. They tossed Carlos in back of one of the cop cars and commandeered it following the tow truck off the beaten path and into the Wildlands.
Our curtain opens over the skyline of Cara’Sir, formerly Portland, as our protagonists go about their daily lives on Sunday, February 2nd 2075. Octan Bey, contacted by his Fixer, is given information about a meet to take place at the Ugly Mug in the university district at 7 PM that evening. Adriana and Olympia are given similar information. The three of them arrive, the ladies together, and are quickly suffled into a meeting room. Waiting for them there is Mr. Johnson, a well dressed elf drinking some sort of luminescent blue drink, as well as three elven bodyguards (two male, one female) and a somewhat shabby looking ork drinking a cheap lager 1.
The job seems simple enough: for 7000 nuyen, 1000 up front, the group is to drive to the Tír sector in Boise and find the Cat’s Meow Restaurant and Hotel. There, they’ll be met by a contact of Mr. Johnson named Aiden Alexander who will be providing a safehouse for one Ben Gantry. Gantry has information that Mr. Johnson and his employers, the Party of Our Roots, would find most interesting. Mr. Johnson warns the group: the Party for the New Age is very likely to be equally if not more interested in Gantry if the rumors about his data are accurate.
Considering the hour, the team hunkers down for the night in Cara’Sir and leaves the next morning for Boise. During the night, Octan contacts Diane–a leader in the continuing anti-government rebels known as the Rinelle ke’Tesrae–and lets her know that he might be coming into some information important to the Rooters and therefore, of interest to her and others in the Rinelle. She tentatively agrees to pay him for the information, upon confirmation that it’s valuable, and gives Octan contact information for an operative with whom she works in Boise, a dwarf named Magni.
The drive to Boise goes smoothly; the team is just one more car on the road, after all. Turning the corner onto the street where they expect to find the Cat’s Meow, however, things are not as placid. Three men, hauling a fourth sporting a black hood over his face, are climbing into vehicles and, quickly, drive away at top speed. Assuming that the hooded, kidnapped figure was Ben Gantry, Olympia begins pursuit quickly passing the rear car and closing the distance to the lead car.
The rear car, however, has none of that and begins to open fire on Olympia’s van. Adrianna, leans out a side door and attempts to use an Alchemical preparation for a lightning bolt without success. Similarly, the ork also returns fire, and strikes the passenger of the rear car in the neck and a rider in the back seat in the arm causing him to drop his weapon.
Meanwhile, online, Octan attempts to summon some sprites and use Resonance based attacks to disable the opposing vehicles. By all evidence, it doesn’t go well; the technomancers begins to bleed from the ears and nose and, shortly thereafter, falls into unconsciousness. Not that you could tell; he had, after all, been in VR.
Olympia continues to close the distance between her vehicle and the lead car, but the chase case continues to pester her ramming her from behind and, later, attempting to run her off the road. Worse: the lead car had a ride-along mage if the geometrically proportioned sheet of ice in located at the site of a hairpin turn wasn’t some sort of strange natural phenomenon.
Adriana ordered a bound spirit to stop the lead car and, to do so, it manifested before it and used an engulf power to force it to a halt. Olympia, reacting quickly, stopped the van before a colliding with the car, as did the driver of the rear vehicle before hitting Olympia’s. This gave the ork the opportunity to charge over to the rear vehicle, punch through the driver’s side window, and proceed to pummel said driver. The final passenger in that vehicle decided that, for his own health, a visit to anywhere else needed to begin, and he ran off down a side street.
Adriana exited the van and moved over the the lead vehicle now crumpled by a collision with the spirit. The driver was obviously quite injured and the two passengers (one up front and one in the back) seemed unconscious. Grabbing the kidnapped individual and confirming that he was indeed Ben Gantry, she dragged him back to Olympia’s van and helped him in as the ork rejoined the party.