A Game of Inches – A Common Enemy (#Shadowrun)

This is the fifth run in the home Shadowrun Campaign, using the Sixth Edition Ruleset.

With time off since their last job, the team has been having some time off between jobs.  With the team setting up the villa to their own needs, there is a time midday where a man slowly approaches the villa with arms raised in surrender.  “I need to speak with Slaughterborn.”

Scene 1 – Past Enemies

The man walking up to the court of the villa is an augmented human who has definitely seen battle.  His face is heavily scarred, a long-healed gash crosses his cheekbone and mars his left eye. While dressed as a local, he is of Japanese descent.  He doesn’t cross too far onto the property, while he waits to meet the large minotaur.

When Slaughterborn shows up, he is barely able to hide his disdain for the metahuman, in traditional Japanese upbringing.  Faced with the imposing troll, he keeps his arms open and to the side.

“Look, I don’t want to be here any more than you likely want me here.  I heard you were still alive and if we both want to stay that way, I have a proposition for you.  My contacts have told me that some of your old squadmates are being detained in the Western District… to what end I don’t know.  I thought you might still have some loyalties to your battle brothers… if you do, I’d be willing to pay your team 10,000¥ (to be divided), to be let in on what you find.  If someone is hunting down veterans of the war, it could happen to me too.”

The soldier is Jun Iwasaki, a former soldier of Tsunami.  He resents having to go to Slaughterborn for this task, but his squadmates are all gone.  He has gone out of his way to destroy all signs that he was with Tsunami, but since Slaughterborn is the one who destroyed his eye, he is hopeful that the minotaur doesn’t remember.

If Slaughterborn agrees, Mr. Johnson tells him that the detainees get moved around a lot, but they’re rarely far from the ABC, which means they’re either piggybacking off of the Matrix access or they’re associated with the Azzies.  Once any last minute questions are asked, Mr. Johnson will leave a burner number for Slaughterborn to call once the work is done and back away slowly.

Mr. Johnson aka Jun Iwasaki
Former Tsunami Mercenary

Possible Sources – Az-Am War Veterans, Japanacorp Black Ops

1 – The man is Jun Iwasaki.  Long time member of the Tsunami Mercenary Corps.  Last reported MIA after the Az-Am War.

4 – Rumour in the shadows of Bogota says that he has been laying low within the city after being exposed to Blue-227.  His memory of the events that followed his exposure is practically non-existent and he’s been working to rebuild the missing time.

6 – Slaughterborn is the one responsible for the marred eye, but it prevented Iwasaki from killing any more of his countrymen, so he harbours little resentment for the attack.

9 – Iwasaki is disgraced in his home country and he refuses to commit seppuku until he understands what happen to him.  He does not feel he can greet death peacefully until he knows his own sins. 

Matrix:  The North District has few Matrix nodes that are remotely reliable.  The sporadic signal confers a Noise of 1. Anyone with Matrix here is on the public grid, but SolNet can be accessed.  The ABC is a member of SolNet, the Aztlan Grid, represented by a spinning Aztec calendar stone. While on SolNet, the AzGrid icon looms in the sky overhead like a jade gargoyle.  Non-Aztec citizens will have a harder time accessing anything of import here.

Scene 2 – Getting the Band Back Together

The Western District is the ongoing battlefield of gangs and even getting to the edge of the ABC is a perilous trek.  As they move through the West, they will be pursued by a motorcycle gang, who are looking to pick over the corpse of anyone they can get a hold of.

If the runners have any contacts in the west city, they may want to call them up to check the rumour mill.  Otherwise, they’re going to require a display of force and some bribes to get the locals to talk. 

Prison Camp
Makeshift Interrogation Area

Possible Sources – Western City Gangs, Aztec Black Ops Operatives

2 – Damned Blues have been seen around the area of late.  They never come around the West.

4 – The UN came around, offering food, water and medical supplies in exchange for local turf information.  Said they had some work to do in the area and didn’t want to offend anyone.

6 – When a gang gets wiped out, the Blues move in and check out the area for a few days.  They show up well armed and defend the area with deadly force until a new area opens up.

7 – The locals doubt these are true UN Peacekeepers, as they never help the Western District and they are a little too trigger happy to be upholders of human rights.

Checking out the places the UN has been, they often find the gangs have swept in in the power vacuum, but in the newest location, they find the disposed corpse of a MET soldiers, who appears to have been torn apart and left for the ghouls to consume.

If the characters have any contacts with the UN, the UN contacts know of no operations in the West.  After following leads, they come to an old residential district where the UN has set up shop. The area has been fortified and guards stand at their post, watching for external threats.

Scene 3 – Fake Peace

While the area is decked out as if a UN Task Force had swept in, the demeanour of the soldiers here is that of a local warlord.  Guards stood with weapons ready, leaving the patrols to the drones circling the skies above. The center of the encampment seemed to be around an old convenience store that used to service the local residences.

Getting to the convenience store will be tricky, with the local patrol so diligent.  Spirits are on call, if a threat is detected and combat drones can be deployed.

Packmule has had its “saddlebags” replaced with an articulated arm and an HMG for laying down cover fire during an assault.

Both Spirits are Force 4.  The Beast spirit takes the form of a Jaguar and the Spirit of Earth takes the form of a golem of asphalt and concrete.

Inside the convenience store, the area is draped in plastic to make an impromptu clean room.  Scientists have vivisected a couple of war veterans and are trying to study their bodies for the effects that Blue-227 had on them long term.  They then try to erase all evidence of the weapon from their body using dialysis and if they can’t filter the molecules out, the subject is terminated.

When they arrive, one soldier is currently having their blood filtered while the second has been exsanguinated as “uncorrectable”.

The back room of the store serves as a lab and records storage and the information Mr. Johnson wants is stored in the archive here.  It lists the ongoing effects of Blue-227 exposure and a list of those that have been eliminated as part of this process. There are 26 survivors of the war, spanning all major mercenary deployments, that have been executed as part of this detail.

Sending a copy of the scientific findings and the list of casualties will see the runners get paid by Iwasaki.  Below is the content of the last message sent from the camp.

From:  Augusto Bolanos

To:  Perpetua Blanco

Subject:  Project Dragonsbane

Buenos noches, Ms. Blanco.  You will be pleased to know that Project Dragonsbane is on schedule and making considerable progress.  Given how scattered the population of the city is, we anticipate diminishing returns as we progress into the more damaged areas of the city, but we are working on a solution for that.

Attached to this message are the scientific findings from the test subjects we have analyzed thus far.  As you can see from the disparate results, the effect that Blue-227 had on those exposed is extremely varied, but as we analyze more subjects, we are learning more about how this weapon acted upon the metahuman populace.

Despite all of these differences, there are some side effects that seem more common than others:

  • Shortened temper or lack of patience
  • Astral Bonding
  • Heightened stimulation of the adrenal gland
  • Partial to Total Memory Loss

Most previously exposed to the magitech weapon have a magnified fight-or-flight response, typically tending toward fight.  It seems that those that retained many of their memories from the blood burn tend to having mental health issues, ranging from moderate to severe.  Of the issues created in the test subject, the most interesting is the Astral Bonding.

The aura of Blue-227 has seemingly found a way to bond itself to the exposed victim and travels through the body, as if through the bloodstream.  If the aura is altered in a way that is sympathetic to the Dragonsbane, it can recreate the blood burn anew. What the trigger is, varies from person to person.  One subject might only require to be made angry or fearful, while others might require a narcotic, a poison or a specific food. One test subject seemed to only trigger the effect when they slept.  While it is not as potent as the initial exposure, the drug has lingered in the system for four years and it is unclear how rapidly the aura is degrading.>>

Because there is an astral component to the infection, our technicians are now beginning to see if the bonding can be isolated, similar to a radioactive isotope.  If we can isolate the astral component for the weapon in all those exposed, it will greatly expedite to project, as we will be able to pinpoint the exposed throughout the city in an instant.  If we make progress in this research, we will notify you right away.

I hope this information meets your expectations and that we will have the city cleared of the dissidents from the war at long last.  When we better understand the lingering effects of the weapon, we can determine if it has a place in Aztlan’s arsenal in future conflicts.

Dr. A. Bolanos

>> Wait, didn’t the mercs all team up, then turn on each other…. now they’re teaming up again… I think I need a score card…
>> Havik

>> They turned on each other due to some kind of chemical attack on the city, according to my sources.  Granted, some of these groups didn’t play nicely together to start with… but the original job was to fight against Aztlan.  Perhaps they’re honouring their original contract?
>> Jungle Cat

>> There aren’t enough mercenary soldiers left to fight that battle anymore.  If the word on the street that I’ve heard is accurate, their working together is motivated by the same thing as anyone else in that city:  survival.
>> Serval

~ by 1nsomniac on April 20, 2020.

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