In which a conspiracy is uncovered…

By on January 9th, 2015

Olympia was more than capable of handling a car chase.  Even when she was outnumbered.  Even when her team was out gunned.

What she’d never done was try and stay alive during a high speed chase while driving a tow truck.  With people hanging onto the outside.

Luckily, those people were Adriana, Jack (the helpful dwarf from the embassy), and Cayden who returned fire on the embassy vehicles chasing our protagonists allowing Olympia to focus on.  Adriana tried to support the team with a few lightning bolts, but they went wide of the mark and then she was out of her offensive preparations.  Jack proved himself useful once more and after some fancy driving (for a tow truck) and a few more spent rounds, the team disabled or evaded pursuit.

They returned to Tecumseh’s safehouse.  He provided them with the embassy file and made a request:  that they let him go.  The team agreed and the last they saw of him he was driving north out of Boise and into the great empty nothingness of the Salish Sidhe Council.  Octan had revived by this point so he and Sergeant Scott were loaded into available vehicles, the van was hooked up to the tow truck once more, and the team called their coyote to get across the border back into the Tír.

Mercifully, that went off without a hitch.

Back on home soil, they moved quickly toward Ghost forward command where Colonel Bedivere was in command and where Major John Hammond, the officer who ordered the Ghosts to capture Tecumseh, was stationed.  It was far enough from Boise to offer some warning if the Pueblo decided to attack, but not so far to be tactically useless and they could see the artificial light of the pre-fabricated barracks before too long.

Calling ahead provided them access to the grounds.  They were shown to a barracks where rooms were prepared and Octan, still ailing from his recent brain-burning, decided to return to the blissful state of unconsciousness he had so recently enjoyed.  Ghost medics were dispatched to do for him what they could.  The others asked to see the colonel as quickly as possible and were escorted to his command tent.  Passing an array of surveillance and tactical stations, they were led through the tent and into a corridor crated by thin canvas walls.  At the end of that corridor was an actual door set in a frame built into some sort of portable room.

Their escort opened the door and gasped:  Colonel Bedivere, hands grasping his own throat, was being garrotted from behind!  Luckily for him, the team reacted quickly and the assassin ghost wouldn’t have even known who to haunt.  Medics rushed to Bedivere’s side and on the suggestion of the team, Major Hammond was placed under arrest and confined to his quarters.  As the adrenaline drained from their systems, and realizing that not much was going to be accomplished until Bedivere awoke from his ordeal, the team retired with Octan.

The next morning, Bedivere was up and at ’em and requested the teams presence as he interrogated Sgt. Scott.  Scott had little more to tell Bedivere than he had already told the team.  He reiterated Major Hammond’s involvement and the colonel order him also confined to quarters.  Next, Bedivere and the team were to speak with Hammond, but they were surprised to find that he had escaped in the night.  It was beginning to look less likely that Hammond was working alone; a conspiracy was afoot.

Adriana’s commlink rang; it was her brother, Garrett, the family vintner with political aspirations.  Answering it, he had only a few moments to make it clear that the vineyard was under attack and that he and Adrianna’s estranged mother appeared about to be kidnapped.  Adriana stormed back to Bedevire’s office, demanded assistance in getting across the country to her estates, and all other assistance the colonel could provide.

Unfortunately, he could provide little more than a helicopter to transport them and the promise that he would repair Olympias van while the team focused on rescuing Adrianna’s family.

Behind Enemy Lines

By on October 8th, 2014

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.

 

Parlay

By on October 6th, 2014

Gamemaster’s Note:  this log is being written a few months after the actual running of this scenario.  As such, it’s a little light on the details, but provides a record of the events of the game better than complete silence would.

Tecumseh–the Koshari boss from Boise–needed some local help in Cara’Sir, and seeing as how our protagonists were the only people he knew in town, he dropped them a line.  Seems that the political turmoil leading into the election was opening up some … business opportunities for criminal syndicates and rather than stepping on everyone’s toes (which would lead to the inevitable need to shoot people and dump them in the Willamette River), they suggested a meeting between the Yakuza, the Seattle Mob, and the Koshari.

The Mob and the Yaks were bringing their own muscle, but Tecumseh, fresh from having to purge his own organization of traitors who were trying to kill him, found himself lacking in the bodyguard department.  The team agreed to step up and help act as his backup during the meeting.  The location was yet to be determined, but all three organizations had suggested two locations, fed their coordinates into a computer program, and the program was scheduled to randomly choose one of the options and transmit it to each syndicate two hours prior to the parlay.  The Ancients, an international Elven policlub/gang, had been tapped to provide security for the computer system

When the time came, a warehouse was chosen.  It was clearly used for shipping and receiving, having roughly a third of the first floor at the ground level while the remaining portions were raised high enough to allow easy-access to the cargo in a truck.  A series of smaller rooms existed on the western wall with a balcony above them, and representatives of the Ancients were on hand to act as hosts.  They’d set up a round table and were providing drinks snacks as well.

Muscles from each syndicate arrived first and began to stake out the warehouse and each other.  Shortly thereafter, the syndicate bosses arrived and moved into the warehouse quickly flanked by their apes.  The team stuck to Tecumseh and paid careful attention to the others, including the fact that Yakuza guards included a free spirit.

The meeting began well, words were spoken, rituals observed, and things were looking up for crime in the Tír.  The Yaks would focus on points south, closer to their home-turf in California.  The Koshari would focus on providing “entertainment” throughout Boise and to the lonely settlers on the Columbia plateau, and the Mob would deal with the Cascades with the exception of Cara’Sir, which would remain syndicate free, for now, in deference to the Ancients.

But, unbeknownst to the syndicates (and, therefore, the team), the Ancients weren’t interested in simply Cara’Sir, they wanted a Tír free of syndicate influence.  Approaching the warehouse location, a team of Ancient bruisers was arriving at the warehouse intending to kidnap the syndicate bosses and then ransom them back to their respective masters in return for a country free of their influence.  As plans go, it wasn’t great, but they felt backed into a corner and figured it was better to go out fighting than waiting tables.

They attacked from the north and south and quickly pinned down the Mob representatives.  The Yaks reacted faster, relying on their the free spirit to conceal them, and temporarily quit the field.  The team ushered Tecumseh out the doors to the east while providing covering fire as they watched the Ancients gun down the Mob representatives and his guards; it was unclear at the time whether this was intentional or simply necessary in the heat of the moment.  Regardless, the team exited the warehouse but was quickly caught in an alley and pinned down.  Ariel and Cayden pushed their way to the south end of the alley using a dumpster for cover while Olympia deployed the drones from the rear of the van.  The drones proved to be very effective, and unexpected, as they made short work of some of the Ancients who were preparing to ambush the team but not before Adriana was seriously injured.

The Yaks, still using the cover of their spirit’s concealment, began to attack as well.  They’d pull Ancients into the concealment and then kill them one-by-one using the fear as much as their blades as a weapon.  Between the drones and the Yaks, the team was able to exit the alley and keep Tecumseh alive, though without any form of agreement.  He left to return to Boise and his base of operations, indicating an expectation of tough times ahead for the Ancients, especially in Seattle.

Before he left, he dropped one more tidbit:  that there was something brewing between the Pueblo Corporate Council and the Tír.  He wasn’t sure exactly what was going on, but the Koshari were pretty sure that it was likely going to be good for business.  Considering their business was vice and crime, that was probably not good for the Tír.  Adriana passed the information along to her “uncle” Isaac Bedivere, a friend of her fathers who had cultivated a number of political connections throughout the Tír, who also arranged for Adriana’s medical treatment at what appeared to be a secret government hospital.