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> Shadows of the RGV, Psychophipps game diary...
psychophipps
post May 10 2014, 03:37 AM
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This was my Facebook blurb to find some players:

Shadows of the RGV

Holding to the strongest traditions of Texas history, the Insurgency of Southern Texas has forced the nation of Aztlan to release it's control of the territories north of the traditional Texas boundary of the Rio Grande. The new South Texas Free State legislature in San Antonio is currently negotiating with both the CAS and UCAS blocs and other area governments for potential membership as they decide the future of South Texas.

Part of the negotiation with Aztlan involved the creation of the Rio Grande Valley Free Trade Zone, a tax free business area with an improved Port of Brownsville and transportation systems. This new area is rapidly building up a light industrial, medical and pharmaceuticals, and agricultural base as businesses and workers are flocking to take advantage of the opportunities there. Stretching from Brownsville to Zapata, the RGVFTZ (still simply called "The Valley" by the locals), is booming with a new influx of nuyen, workers, and investors looking to make a tax-free fortune.

With all of the positives, also comes the negatives. With the term "Free Trade Zone" comes the people willing to exploit the almost non-existent business and transportation restrictions. Guns, drugs, BTLs, metahuman trafficking, and other potentially nefarious dealings is a part of the business being conducted as the various cartels, corporations, and political blocs vie for a bigger piece of the tax-free pie.

In other words, it's the perfect environment for some enterprising Shadowrunners to make a make a name, and a large pile of nuyen, for themselves.

Main characters:
Father Deon - Priest that might be on the outs with the Catholic Church. Helps run a series of shelters and occasional runs across the border for Catholic refugees. He was down in the area formerly known as Guatemala during the worst of the Catholic purges. His dead mentor has recently been put forward for potential sainthood.

Six To - Ex-felon coyote Wolf shaman that helps with the refugee runs and other shipments to and from Aztlan. Has some pretty serious cartel connections.

W00dstock - Hacker/paparazzi that "assists with the paperwork" as necessary. Media junkie, loves to party, and is sometimes mistaken for a local simsense star which can get him into parties, clubs, etc.

Adam Crowe - Former Aztlan security specialist. His right arm and shoulder were crushed by a blast door during the worst of the insurgency and he was shot in the head to save him from the insurgents getting their hands on him. He has a replacement right arm cyberlimb and twin protective covered cybereyes that look like sunglasses to help with the blindness caused by his head injury.

All vanilla human for metatypes so far...
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FuelDrop
post May 10 2014, 03:44 AM
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I see that Father Deon is in charge of the group's safehouse arrangements then (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
Shaping up to be very entertaining. Six To and Adam Crowe are going to get along like a house on fire (People screaming and fleeing, authorities getting called...)

Is Adam Crowe anything like another former security specialist turned cyborg during terrorist attack who's also called Adam by any chance?
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psychophipps
post May 10 2014, 03:59 AM
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QUOTE (FuelDrop @ May 9 2014, 10:44 PM) *
I see that Father Deon is in charge of the group's safehouse arrangements then (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
Shaping up to be very entertaining. Six To and Adam Crowe are going to get along like a house on fire (People screaming and fleeing, authorities getting called...)

Is Adam Crowe anything like another former security specialist turned cyborg during terrorist attack who's also called Adam by any chance?

'
Yeah, they've already crashed at a small Rio Grande City church while doing prolonged legwork. They had a family with eight kids offer to shack them up but the good father politely declined, which I am sure that Crowe appreciated.

Adam was a supervisory security guard for a high-risk facility and barracks. The Border Patrol is what scooped up Six To. They honestly haven't met and swapped stories much. Should be interesting.

Probably with Adam, he mentioned a Deus Ex game but I haven't owned a console since the Genesis (US version of the Mega Drive). He showed me a few screenshots to get a feel for how the face basically looks, but this Adam has more of a sleek Oakley's look to the eye covers.
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psychophipps
post May 11 2014, 12:52 AM
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First Session (I was coming down with Strep during this session so I crashed and burned big-time at the end of the session):

15 miles east of Rio Grande City -

Six To is trudging north with a group of refugees through a combination of scrub and Mesquite trees as the rear guard at around 3am. Eight healthy and hale people, two pregnant women that are doing fine, and one waddling pregnant woman that looks about to pop out the kiddo right in their laps. Diego, his assistant, is scanning for drone signals and indications of patrols as they make quiet, but decent time to the camouflaged semi-rigid inflatable boat that will take them across the Rio Grande. They're within a klick of the river when a foot patrol breaks radio silence about 300 meters to the east, close to the shoreline.

Father Deon is nervously waving away mosquitoes while looking around from a small clearing about 150 meters north of the riverbank behind a small rise in the ground. Maggie, his driver and first aid trained volunteer, and and another volunteer, John, are getting things set up to accept the refugees on their way north from the brutal oppression they have lived under in Aztlan. A large passenger van will be taking everyone to a shelter and the back is full of bottled water, food, and an aid station set up mostly for travel-based afflictions (lumps and bumps, scratches from runnign through brush, sprains, heat exhaustion, etc) is set up under a small pop-up pavilion. The quiet preparations are replaced as the focus of the priest's attention when the glow of three sets of headlights and road noise come from the road heading north, a road without any turnoffs between the vehicles and the aid station.

Six To decides to protect his walking paychecks and starts moving, rather loudly, towards the border partol agents while telling Diego to keep going toawrds the boat location. Barely able to see them, he crashes through a bush and hauls ass while casting Invisibility. Invisibility gets busted, as comfirmed by the semi-random caps getting busted in the mage's direction. He runs for a bit, gets their attention again and casts Invisibility one more time with feeling. Leading them along and listening to them calling in reinforcements over the radio, including drone support, he makes for the river.

Father Deon grabs up his bow and heads up the road a bit and stands by the side of the road to catch the SUVs heading down the road. Basic black, sans pearls or plates, and Can't Be Mo' Blacka window tint. Rear SUV pulls up and the passenger window rolls down to reveal four "operator scruffy" men inside dressed in contractor chic while the other SUVs continue to the clearing. A business card is proferred and a business-like "Frank Sanchez. You have someone in your refugee group that we're picking up." *Shotgun racking sound from the back seat* Deon tries to talk them down, but he has a refugee group to look out for and the merc boils it down to a business-like, "There are two ways to do this, Padre..."
Mercs drive on, Deon hops onto the back of the SUV and almost breaks his neck, and tries to be sneaky which really doesn't work out too well. Last SUV arrives and the mercs unass to join their compatriots.

Drone traffic points to the group being seen so Six To doubles back, uncorks a Force 3 Beast spirit and gives it the command "Sic balls!" Several gunshots and a few horrified/painful screams later, all opposition air and ground traffic diverts to the pair of agents currently in the shit. The boat is loaded and Diego hits the water to cross the river. Six To releases the spirit before it gets killed and summons a water spirit to drag him across the river to safety once he gets to the riverbank.

Refugees show up on the far shore, several mercs meet them at the shoreline and establish a security perimter. "About to pop" is singled out and hustled back to the SUVs on a fold-out stretcher. She looks scared and resigned but the middle SUV has a *serious* medical suite inside and the mercs are being efficient, but gentle with their charge as they hook her up and make sure she's as comfortable as possible. Mr. Sanchez nods to Deon respectfully, "Padre" and they drive off at a good clip.

Six To drags his soggy ass into the clearing and the rest of the refugees need tending to. One refugee is being singled out for non-inclusion by the others, which both Deon and Six To pick up on. Asking around quietly while Maggie looks the man over, they find out that the man in question "speaks funny" and is really creeping them out with the way he's been acting. Nothing violent, but he sometimes acts like he's never seen a lot of the stuff that the refugees take for granted in their daily lives (commlinks, trid, etc).
Everyone loads up and Deon and Six To keep an eye on him. Asking him some questions in Spanish as they drive, Dion definitely sees that he has a weird accent of some sort, but the man's info on the refugee list says he's from Mexico City. Assensing the man, his aura looks weird as well so the smuggler and priest keep an eye on him. Six To doesn't see any deeper into the situation with his assensing check.

Rio Grande City -

Back at the shelter, an old gymnasium or warehouse of some sort, they get everyone checked in. They start processing everyone to get them to their jobs and/or families before having everyone crash for the rest of the night as the adrenaline exhaustion kicks in.
A couple of hours later, the weird guy, now identified as Domingo Pina, tries to leave completely randomly. Deon stops him and soon is in a scuffle with the man that is far stronger than he should be unless he's heavily enhanced. Lights start flickering and commlinks reboot while this is going on. A few blown rolls later between unarmed combat and stunbolt and Deon is on his ass while Six To is scrambling forward. Maggie tazes the living shit out of the weird guy, which gives our heroes a chance to jump his ass and tie him up. Questioning follows and suddenly electronics freak out again as the man rages in his chair and starts ranting in a language that nobody understands. Finding a chain-link storage area, they put him inside to let him freak out on his own dime.

Some other stuff happened but profound lack of sleep and an encroaching fever mean I don't remember any real specifics. Banishment failed after several hours, I know that. Few more flickering lights, etc. Oh yeah, and Crowe got introduced as Deon's new babysitter by the local bishop that runs the area.
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psychophipps
post May 11 2014, 09:55 AM
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First session addendum:

Had a chance to think about the first session a bit and remembered some extra details.

After the psychotic guy had finally passed out from exhaustion and crashing electrolyte levels from being tazed, the good Padre and the smuggler had a chance to catch a few Zs. The players asked me some detailed questions about the guy so I let them know that Domingo was from Mexico City his whole life, his accent was definitely not from Mexico City, but he was very understandable as he spoke fluent Spanish. He has family in the area.
Once they woke up, they found a confused but very helpful man that spoke with a Mexico City accent in the chair. Being rightly paranoid, the two had an extended question and answer session with a still-strapped down Domingo that seemed to go well until about 20 minutes into it, his face suddenly warped from a friendly grin and easy-going attitude to an expression of complete desperation and a half-strangled "Help me!" before the weird accent came back and he started ranting again and thrashing in his chair with the the now-expected electrical issues.
Completely stumped, the characters called the local Bishop (Connection 4, Loyalty 1 and always looks like he just sucked on a lemon) to explain their unique set of circumstances. Told to sit on Domingo, and agreeing that he's possessed somehow, a "Specialist in these matters" from elsewhere in the church would be there soonest and eventually took charge of the man after explaining the situation to his understandably-upset family.

A similar situation had happened about a month prior but the man got away from another shelter and hasn't been reported as seen by their family.

The "ready to pop" was named Esmeralda Rodriguez. She was a recent addition to the list and seemed to dress better than her low-class and generally under-educated speaking style would suggest. There is an urban legend making the rounds about "Angel Babies" being snuck across the border since the insurgency ended and taken care of by the best doctors. Similar situations to hers had happened two other times in the last three weeks. Assumptions include the same Mercs and the same SUVs. These two other women were never seen again.

Adam Crowe is dropped off by the Possession Specialist, Sister Mary Clarence as a nod to Sister Act, at this time as no PC has the driving skill or a purchased vehicle as of this writing.

Things go back to normal for a day, and then Esmeralda is found staggering around the east side of town. The PCs rush to the local hospital, find her stable, and take over her security detail.

I closed the session at this point because I was going down and my brain was turning to mush (no, worse than normal).
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FuelDrop
post May 11 2014, 11:27 PM
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So, Six To has a bug among his refugees. This should be interesting... and get real ugly. Let your guys know DOA's always up for a bug hunt if things get out of hand.

Shaping up to be a very interesting campaign.
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psychophipps
post May 12 2014, 02:47 AM
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QUOTE (FuelDrop @ May 11 2014, 05:27 PM) *
So, Six To has a bug among his refugees. This should be interesting... and get real ugly. Let your guys know DOA's always up for a bug hunt if things get out of hand.

Shaping up to be a very interesting campaign.


Oh no, Bug Hunt is far too simple. I'm taking this bitch to the next damn level...

The party, at least the two players there for session two, have already decided to focus in a different direction for now and let the church work on what's happening with the possessed dude.
Player of Father Deon: "We feel that this other thing is more important than the possession for now."
Me: "Ok, we will get back to the possessed thing later." *miraculously stifling a sadistic chuckle*
Player of Adam Crowe: "Of that we had little doubt."

Next session was some pretty serious legwork with only two players being able to attend. W00dstock was NPCed by me as the "Hacker NPC" with some funny bits happening there, Six To was back to his "day job" for a while, and the party was introduced to a pretty cool contact of Mr. Crowe's I had never played before. Depth to the story arc was added and session three, yet to be played, will be the first time the party will definitely be getting in the shit.

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DMiller
post May 12 2014, 03:15 AM
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Looking forward to more story-time. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

It's been great so far. *thumbs-up*
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psychophipps
post May 12 2014, 04:21 AM
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[In-game Flashback]
Father Gideon is kneeling in the dirt in front of of the tent that passes for a city hall as the screams of the victims of the dreaded Los Demonios de la Selva reverberate through the trees, hatred burning a brand into his soul at the carnage happening around him. The small Catholic enclave had lived the relative peace, with more people joining them every day to escape the oppression of the Aztlan purges, when the elite of the Aztlan death squads caught up with the refugees outside the sleepy town of Nueva Concepcion on their way to the coast and a freighter set to take them to religious freedom.

Now, various women and girls were being brutally raped along with the nuns and female international nursing staff, their sobs, shrieks, and moans grinding into Deon's ears like rock salt into an open wound as they issue from the surrounding tents. The last of the surviving male members of the Church volunteers, tossed onto his hands and knees at the end of the line, was finally tracked down and joins the line of kneeling men to be executed or imprisoned. All of them, hearing about the bestial, sodomy-filled interrogations of all but unendurable suffering, secretly hopes for execution.

Father Francis, Gideon's mentor and good friend, is calmly surveying his surroundings, his mere presence lending strength to the men around him as it has countless times before. Francis, a true man of God and unshakable faith, has calmed the seas of hate and brought reconciliation between bitter enemies all over the world through his ministries of love and forgiveness. He had used his personal charisma earlier that day to talk the mayor and police chief of the nearby town into letting the refugees pass in peace, but apparently their opinions of mercy were not shared by everyone in the town.

A short, broad man with eyes as dark as the jungle nights and the crooked mouth of a poorly-fixed hare lip walked towards the Priests and male volunteers. Sneering down at his captives, he closes his eyes and seems to drink in the carnage around him, a satisfied, crooked smile growing across his face as he takes in a deep breath as if smelling the most beautiful scent he had ever sensed. Fast as a viper, a long knife flicks out of seemingly nowhere and cuts the carotid arteries and trachea of one of the male volunteers. Flopping down, the man struggles for breath between long, bright jets of blood arcing into the dirt and his lungs spasmodically trying to clear themselves of the flood of crimson fluid.

Sighing deeply with each new body dropping to writhe on the ground, the apparent leader of the group begins to methodically butcher the captives who curse and spit at him before they fall to the dirt. The cuts are always fatal, but they also always cause a thrashing screaming, a loud death rattle, or other drawn out agonized sound as if the man is trying to milk a psychotic symphony out of the death throes of his victims. Finally reaching Gideon, he looks into the priest's eyes and pauses in mid-swing. Finally speaking, a strange accent to his otherwise excellent Spanish, "Your hate I can use. You will tell others of the evils committed here, and you will make others feel your hatred. You will think you are doing good works to help others, but you will be serving my purposes."

Breaking eye contact, the man steps over to stand in front of Francis, the last man in the line. The tip of his knife hypnotically waving in the priests' face flicks out and cuts the priest's right cheek without any reaction. Another deep cut to the top of Francis' left thigh also garners no reaction. Disappointment beginning to show, the man opens his mouth to speak, but he is interrupted by the priest kneeling before him. "I have been where you are now, my son. I don't know all of your sins, but I will leave this world telling you that God will forgive you through Jesus if you but ask. I forgive you and pray for you to realize that the worst wounds you deal are to yourself, not the world you hate so much."

The knife stops cold, the death squad leader's mouth opening and closing wordlessly for several seconds as the stunning message of forgiveness in the face of death sinks in. The surrounding soldiers start sharing significant looks between each other and their leader sees them before he flicks out the blood-soaked blade to take off Father Francis' head in a single stroke. The head rolls a few times and comes to rest facing towards the coast, and freedom, as the leader turns away and begins shouting orders to his men.
[/flashback]
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psychophipps
post May 12 2014, 04:49 AM
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QUOTE (DMiller @ May 11 2014, 09:15 PM) *
Looking forward to more story-time. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

It's been great so far. *thumbs-up*


Thank you, sir. I shall endeavor to keep it interesting for y'all reading this.
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psychophipps
post May 14 2014, 04:45 AM
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Second Session (All hail the mighty Legwork!):

We find our heroes taking turns outside of the hospital room where Esmeralda is recovering from blood loss. Father Deon is on watch and Mr. Crowe is sacked out on the lowered back of the front seat of their loaner car outside. A nurse has just gone in to check on her vitals and steps back out to report that Esmeralda has just woken up and asked for some food. Walking to the nurse's station to call the doctor on call about feeding her patient, Deon straightens himself up, scrubs his hand through his hair into a semblance of order, and steps into the room with a smile.

The girl in front of him looks completely lost when he first sees her through the opening doorway and she stiffens up when she sees the door opening. Seeing the smile, and perhaps even more importantly the uniform of a priest, Esmeralda visibly relaxes but still looks at Father Deon with wary eyes. They exchange pleasantries and Deon texts Crowe to join them. Her eyes narrow a bit at the obvious hardcase entering the room wearing the obligatory, and slightly creased Actioneer suit, but the story continues between mouthfuls of the delivered breakfast.

Not much to say, when it comes right down to it. She gets drugs during the birth, they take the baby to clean it up, and KTFO her with drugs in her IV. She wakes up groggy some indeterminate time later, surrounded by various turned off medical equipment. She hears voices speaking "Gringo" getting heated and just about shits herself when gunfire erupts from the next room. She sees her beloved designer purse off to the side and snags it as she staggers to her feet after pulling out all the lines. Selecting the door that the continuing firefight isn't coming from, she walks into a hallway with an exit door. Weaving back and forth, she makes it to the door and pushes herself outside into the bright sun. She walks across a field behind the property and passes out behind a ruined house. Waking up "sometime" later, she staggers around a bit and eventually gets picked up and taken to the hospital by a local.

Deon gets her number, "Just so I can check up on you later" and Woodstock hits her commlink with the Rape Stick ™. Using the tower network testing protocols as a back door, he uses the commlink's unique carrier and IP data to triangulate where her commlink has spent most of it's time the last few days. Cross-referencing the tower location data with Google maps, he finds a single hit in the search area with a local general family clinic affiliated with a company called Biotechnica (love using Cyberpunk corps in my SR games) that is in a strip mall on the edge of town. Hitting up the clinic's website, he checks out the obligatory "We're the happy, helpful medical staff here with plastic smiles!" section and starts running searches on the various people pictured there. Twitter, Facebook, their personal commlinks (if they're still on), all get the Rape Stick ™ for several hours.

Medical staff all checks out normal except for one of the doctors. Dr. Fong isn't a Pediatrician, Internal medicine, or Family Practitioner, he's a semi-famous Geneticist. Graduated from the University of Mexico City and had several well-accepted research papers on longevity treatments. He pretty much falls off the map about ten years ago and theories abound that he had a new team, he's working at some obscure college as a professor, etc before everyone pretty much forgets about him.

Getting called back to Harlingen, where the Bishop is at, Crowe and Deon take their leave Esmeralda with a promise to check back up on her while W00dstock does his "computer thingy". Walking into the office, Deon and Crowe are in the chairs opposite Mr. "I just sucked on a lemon", which has a Loyalty rating of 1 by the way, and get the Riot Act. Afterwards, they give their report and mention that their "paperwork guy" is checking out some leads to help Esmeralda get her baby back. Cleared to "do what needs doing", they leave and hit up the Crossfit gym right by the church offices for an hour or so.

On the way, they chat with Sister Mary Clarence and she says that short of killing the host, the possessing spirit is going to be staying (they don't seem pick up on how the nun seems to know that everything short of killing the host won't release the possessing spirit, but I digress). They chat a bit more and, despite what I typed in an earlier post, they get her attention big-time when they mention they had a similar incident earlier that month with similar electronics shenanigans but no awakened folks to detect the issue. She is suddenly very busy and has to go talk to some people.

They chat a bit while I tap a kidney and grab a fresh Mountain Dew Voltage.

Coming back, they roll awareness and notice the tail in the nondescript minivan across the street and decide to reward their workout with fro-yo across the street. They stay a bit longer than necessary before the van realizes that they're blown and take off. Getting the plates, they send them to W00dstock (with Buxom Sorority Bimbos, season 15 in the background) and he does a quick search to find it's from a local area rental chain. Cash paid, SIN is a road to "not real, homie!" They get the news about the clinic during this call and grab their own borrowed car to go take a look.

Father Deon gets the call that the van was returned just before they get back to Rio Grande City. The pair arrive at the clinic and Deon walks in. It's pretty damn quiet for a local clinic, to be frank. No screeching kids, no old people looking like they were born with the defeated, semi-bored look of waiting for over two hours for a doctor, etc. He gives the male receptionist the "looking for a potential clinic for my flock" story but hears that they aren't taking new patients (doesn't bother to really give him a looking over...bummer).

Thanking the receptionist for his time, Deon heads back to the car and Crowe takes a lap around the area. Finding a new professional building with a mix of light industrial and office space looking at the clinic from a good angle, he calls up W00dstock...again...and has him rent them an office space with a decent view of the clinic for a week.

Swinging by the local Wally World, they grab some supplies and set up an OP for the rest of the day. Pretty boring stuff as the clinic seems to be slower than a Senator passing a tax bill. That night, several largish containers are picked up by a truck. Day two has only a few patients all day, and Crowe says he takes a few walks by the clinic to get coffee at the Starsucks (aka the McDonalds of coffee). A few boxes go out the back that night. Day three (Esmeralda who?) and a few people find the doors locked during the supposed business hours. Crowe and Deon take a walk up and look inside to an empty office space.

They call their digital bitch...err, W00dstock, and have him hit the mall security systems. The hacker is all chatting away with a running commentary while he's doing his thing, "Hmm...security is a bit stiff here for a strip mall but...I'm in and getting the security cam footage...and that's done...and now I'm....Oh shit!...Oh yeah, motherfucker? I'm gonna...FUCK!" *click* Looking back and forth, our heroes get a text a minutes later explaining that W00dstock is packing up his shit and is going to couch surf for a while.

At this point, Crowe's player points out that his character has the "auto-zero bad stuff after 24 hours" quality...and the zeroer as a 5 mother/4 fucking contact. "Chill W00dy. I got this. You got nothin' to worry about. I'm sending The Zero. Sit your ass down, pay the grand to this account, and your troubles be over." And the Spider hunting down Woodstock suddenly slams headfirst into a dead end the size of the Hoover gawDam.

Walking back towards the office space about 1/4 mile away, a Mercedes pulls up and the rear passenger window rolls down. Capped teeth in the best smile money can buy, 3K (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nuyen.gif) suit and two large, seriously overcompensating examples of Chipped Beef as guards. They exchange some witty banter that I can't recall, and the car drives off.

Packing up their gear when they get back, the Mercedes is parked outside next to their car and Mr. Smiles and the chipped beef are standing at the bottom of the stairwell as they lockup and leave. More witty banter, Smiles explains the Ms. Rodriguez was a duly employed surrogate mother, and offers the pair 10 grand each on the spot in exchange for them to drop the matter and agree to sign a NDA. Witty banter, explanation that they'll do everything they can to reunite the mother and her baby, and Smiles waves down the chipped beef from doing anything unpleasant...for now. Thinly veiled unpleasantries about getting into trouble if they keep it up and the Mercedes drives off.

They hit up the local church, stave off several families offering them longer-term lodging, and end up crashing at a small church location that is part of a strip mall.
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psychophipps
post May 20 2014, 03:27 AM
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Game was swapped out for a d20 Starship Troopers game with a couple of different local gamers that one of my players is running and forgot about. Yeah, yeah...but can you honestly say that you wouldn't take an extra week to plan the session for a chance to kick some Bug ass? I thought not...

Shadowrun is this week on Sunday. I'll get the session up soonest.
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psychophipps
post May 27 2014, 04:21 AM
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Third Session (Trackers? What are these "Trackers" you speak of?)

Our heroes are in the regional offices of the Catholic Church about a week after the last session ended. Father Deon isn't present as he had to attend a meeting between various politicians as they discussed, ad nauseum, the potential benefits of officially joining one of the vying political blocks trying to get the RGVFTZ within their borders. Waiting to hear when Deon is released from the conference, which has plenty of security without Mr. Crowe being added to the mix, the Security Specialist is relaxing in the foyer of the main office until he has to go pick the priest up. Six To is there as well as part of his liaison duties with the Ghost Cartels discussing how the cartel has added people with the ability to Assence to stop any further use of the refugee network by possessed people with Sister Mary Clarence. W00dstock is also there finishing up some upgrades to the office's servers.

The local scream sheets and trid news had been on fire for the last fours days or so as an apparent war had been declared between a group of former gang members and several non-local mercenaries. It's been pretty bloody so far with six mercenaries being killed and ten cholos. One analyst was saying that what the gangbangers lack in skill, they seem to be making up in local knowledge and contacts to set up ambushes versus the almost guaranteed superior training of the mercenaries. The local Private Security Companies are at a loss as there doesn't seem to be any real past business connection between the mercs and cholos.

Two Latino women enter the office, one a very nervous young woman of short stature and pretty if a bit plump, and the second is described by me as "Imagine a 6'3" (190cm) 220lbs (100kg) linebacker. Make it a woman with big ol' titties and an ass made for bangin', and dress her up in a mix-up of Chola (Latina Chick Gangbanger), prostitute, and mercenary chic. Striking rather than beautiful, she has eyes a bit too close together, cheekbones a tad too sharp, and chin a tad too wide. She has a few facial scars to show she's been a scrape or two. Short black hair and brown eyes that always seem to be daring someone to start something."

Introducing themselves to the receptionist, the nervous woman is Yhira and the tall drink of water is Sara. Yhira has heard though the grapevine about the search that has been going on for the kidnapped baby up in Rio Grande City and is there to offer some new information. Bustling the pair out of the reception area once the receptionist gets the go-ahead, the two women enter the office of the Bishop and Crowe and other two party members are invited inside about 15 minutes later. Mr I Just Sucked on a Fresh Lemon explains to the group that he would like them to hear the girl's extraordinary story.

Yhira was heading into her under-the-table job at the clinic as a general housekeeper and helping hand as she finished her CNA training. Her aunt worked there as a nurse and had worked something out with the other nursing staff to help them with their workload. Finding the front door locked during business hours, Yhira had opened the front lock with her non-named key card and taken about one step inside when she heard the suppressed gunfire and screams from the back areas of the clinic. Immediately turning around, she ran back to her car and drove off before she was discovered (the mercenary that went to check the open door indicator found a locked door, a blank key log, and an empty reception area that wasn't important as taking care of the new mess in the back rooms). Four days later, she had been attacked by two machete-wielding men and had barely escaped in her car. They had fired several shots at her from handguns as she had driven away. Yesterday, members of her family had been approached by very intimidating men in suits that had explained that they would die one by one unless Yhira gave herself up to the Chicos de Machete (Machete Boys), whoever they are. Talking to her cousin, name never disclosed, Sara was contacted and had agreed to escort Yhira to Harlingen and protect her until she is safe.

Crowe takes command of the situation and keeps the girl at the offices overnight. Sara takes off for a while, and comes back with some info about the Chicos de Machete. They are a very violent group of former local gangbangers that had turned into a rising star in the freelance "Problem Solvers" outfits. The group is run by a man called "Tacho" and he is everything you think a leader of former gangbangers turned hitmen would be (read: brutal, ruthless, and paranoid). He also has a rep as being more than a smidgen crazy in the "psycho stalker" kind of way besides (like sociopathic and psychopathic in one package wasn't enough). He is pretty well known as being almost preternaturally good with blades and having a love of using them...looooong and slooooow.

Yhira mentions that she had seen one of the dead mercs from the trid news at the clinic several days before the unfortunate series of events that was her last day of work at the office. She had changed from her scrubs for a night out and passed him on her way out the front doors. Apparently the nurses had told him she was a walk-in patient, or something.

Early that morning, a mass grave had been found with two men and four women in hospital scrubs inside it by a man stepping away from the main group of people with him to take a piss. His foot fell into the soft earth over the grave. The assumption is that he's a coyote as the grave is in the trees were The Sticks grow, it was the middle of the night, and his mysterious "party" of around twelve people wearing heavy packs was long-gone by the time the local Rangers showed up to start the investigation. Yhira hears the news and bursts into tears about her dead aunt. Needless to say, nobody else in the party has the skillset to do much to help her as she cried herself to sleep.

The next morning, the group gets a late start and decides to move Yhira to a couple of adjacent rooms at the local La Quinta-equivalent hotel. Stepping outside, Crowe notices a bunch of used cigarette butts outside of one of the cars facing the Administration building and hops on his bike to run a lap around the block. Finding a second car set to follow Sarah in her "Ricer Car" on the other side of the street, he takes a photo of the second car's plates and has W00dstock use his teleoptics to get the plates of the first as he walks to Sara's car. Running the registrations as they drive, W00dstock reports the two stolen cars to their respective PSCs and soon the two tails are involved in separate high-speed chases as they try to evade the local fuzz.

Continuing to the hotel and arriving around noon, they book a room under Crowe's false SIN since it will be erased 24 hours later anyway. Taking two adjacent rooms on the second floor, the hotel layout is two 50-meter long wings making a 90-degree upside-down "L" angle as they meet the round protrusion of the reception and elevator areas. The end of each arm has a stairwell in it for emergency evactuation. The parking lot in the rest of the square plot has an all-night diner on it.

Taking rooms three and four down from the elevator at the apex of the hallways on the right side, the group soon gets pretty bored. No room service is ordered and they just chill and watch the trid while W00dstock has hacked the security camera feeds and is already setting up his editting of the video footage. I explain that the sprinklers and elevators are hardwired into the smoke detectors without external matrix access (they can be physically accessed, though). They have a local technical college in town that teaches Matrix Security and one round of massive water damage due to a hacker was enough of that (no matrix sprinkler system shenanigans this game, thanks).

Seeing an older couple leave the room at the end of the hall by the elevators, and across from the group's rooms, W00dstock perks up at the three cars pulling up to the main entrance with six men in suits climbing out right around 6:15pm, peak time when visiting family members and businessmen will be out for dinner and traffic will be at a minimum.

The six men enter the lobby, finding it empty, they pull out a mix of guns and edged melee weapons. While the men menace and attack the receptionist, the manager is out grabbing dinner before it gets busy again, Woodstock is trying to hack into the guest list and change their room numbers. He doesn't quite make it, but the receptionist manages to hold out one of the two room numbers as he gets pistol whipped down. The group of men split up, one staying down to watch the receptionist with a tomahawk at the ready and the rest head upstairs.

Two men head to the stairwell at the end of the hallway, and three take the stairs up that are next to the elevators. There is some obvious cross-talk as the men in the closer stairwell don't leave the stairwell until the other two walked farther enter the hallway as well. In the meantime, I give the group a quick chance to come up with a plan.

Crowe will be staying in the main area of the room with Six To hiding behind the door. Yhira will be in the bathtub with the curtain drawn. Sara and W00dstock will open up the door to the older folk's room that I mentioned earlier across from the elevators and try to get a crossfire from there.

As they discuss their options, Sarah calmly opens up her duffle bag and pulls out her suppressed MP5TX. Crowe is all "Dee-zam!" as she chamber checks and checks the laser sight/tactical light combo against the wall.

Sprinting across the hall, W00dstock slaps his wired up maglock key into the door key slot and pops the door immediately with four successes. Sara makes a decent Infiltration roll, but W00dstock gets nothin' and sounds like a herd of Wildebeast. Just as the doors to the stairwells open up, the door to the room clicks shut. One assassin from the far stairwell stays in place with a machine pistol, as does does one from this closer stairwell and he's eye-fucking the recently closed door Big Time. The other three have between them a machete, a machine pistol, and a sawn off side-by-side shotgun.

Shotgun guy cranks off a shell into the lock on the door and steps aside. Machine pistol gives the door the boot before entering with machete following.

The room is pretty basic is layout and anyone that has been in hotels a lot has seen it. Right through the door you have the bathroom with tub on the right. The room opens up on the far side of the bathroom with the two beds, night stand between them, against the wall. On the left is the entertainment center and a desk against the long wall of the room.

First three seconds:
Machine pistol steps past the bathroom to dominate the main room area and Crowe jumps him from the blind spot on the right with a taser glove. Barely hits, and the assassin takes two stun. I fully admit that I pulled a DA here and forgot to check for the extra knockdown. My bad. Of course, the player of Crowe didn't say anything either so...
Machete steps into the bathroom and finds it empty except for the pulled shower curtain, he's reaching to open it (his action) when Six To steps from behind the door and gives him the good news between the shoulder blades with his tomahawk (that's right kids, the MAGE decided to 'hawk this motherfucker. How fucking cool is that?!?). Meh on the roll and does 2 stun through the assassin's armored suit.
Shotgun had fired and and sidestepped so he's done. Machine pistol tries to saw Crowe in half with a long burst, but the Security Specialist slaps the barrel aside and it tears up one of the beds and the nightstand.
Now that the two men at the ends of the hallways are paying attention to the firefight down the hall, the door opens up and Sara pops a controlled pair into the assassin watching the elevators right acrossed the hall from her for a total of 7 damage. He's turning towards the bitch that just shot him to return the favor when W00dstock pops off with his lopped-off buck-it and blows the guy damn near in half. Sara charges across the hallway and takes cover around the corner to the open area with the elevators.

Second three seconds:
Crowe gives the shock gloves another go and the assassin slaps the reaching hands aside with his weapon. Six To tries to give the guy in the bathroom another whack but misses. Another burst turned aside and the other bed and the entertainment center wrecked as Crowe and machine pistol are locked in a Fucked Up Tangle. Machete turns with a slash but forgets there is a doorway there and pulls a move from the Jack Reacher Bathroom Fight School of Combat by hitting the door frame instead.
Now it gets awesome. You see, shotgun still has a barrel left and really wants to take cover since his buddy down the hall just took two suppressed rounds to the chest and got gutted with a shotgun blast. So he enters the door and Merry Fucking Christmas and Best Birthday Wishes rolled up in one, he's got a Mage with a tomahawk just standing there waiting to get his second barrel. Cranking that sumbitch off, he even gets three hits.
Did I mention that we forgot armor for our mage? Our 3 Body mage? Well, Six To pulls a fucking The Patriot, sans Edge mind you, and calmly rolls 4 hits with six dice and hooks the barrel with his hawk and the assassin puts the load of fletchettes into the floor instead. Man, I didn't even have a character to worry about and I was sweating!
Sara trades shots with the assassin at the end of the hallway and deals 2 physical while the assassin tears up the hallway. W00dstock takes the chance to run back down the hall and enter the very crowded room and misses with his second shot against the shotgun-wielding assassin much to the chagrin of the hotel's interior decorator.

Third three seconds:
Crowe manages to get a taser glove grab in and the machinepistol assassin finishes his magazine into the floor as he flops onto his side while wetting himself and screaming like a bitch. Six To hacks machete again for two more physical and deflects the countering thrust. Machete tosses the shotgun at W00dstock and fast-draws his machete from behind his back (the custom sheath option for the suit) with a war cry. W00dstock uses his turn to pull out his telescoping baton because he doesn't want to fuck up a fast draw with only 6 dice to offer for the attempt. Sarah and the assassin are still plinking away at each other with no real effect.

Fourth three seconds:
Crowe lights up shotgun with his tazer glove's last jolt but the assassin resists the immediate effect. Still, 6 stun sucks and he staggers as he misses W00dstock with a machete slash. Original Machete decides that he's had enough of this noise and just tries to get way but he can't get around Six To. Six To swats him with the tomahawk for 2 more physical damage. Two more suppressed shots and a long full-auto burst down the hall is punctuated by a loud "Clear!" from Sara.

Fifth three seconds:
Crowe takes down shotgun with his quick-drawn tazer. W00dstock smacks Original Machete with his baton for 2 stun. Six To lights up Original Machete with a just-recalled Stunbolt.

Sixth three second and finale:
Crowe tazes Original Machete to take him down.

18 seconds of carnage. Two corpses, three assassins stunned into submission, one very scared young lady in a bathtub, and Crowe is heading downstairs to pay a visit to the guy in the reception area with W00dstock telling him when the bastard downstairs isn't looking at the door at the bottom of the stairwell.

Good Infiltration roll, really bad Perception check, and assassin number 6 is joining his brethren on the Lightning Ride.

Three tied up assassins in the room for the police-equivalents. Commlinks, any money, and weapons worth having in a pillowcase. Video editing completed with plenty of shots of the assassins doing dirty deeds, and assassin downstairs gets tossed into the trunk of Sara's Ricer car "for a pleasant little chat."

W00dstock clones the first commlink entirely, gets some data from the second, but triggers the firewall on number three. Then the commlinks go dead remotely as he's working on number four.
Driving along, the scream sheets and trideo news is going the completely bug fuck on the story of assassins in suits, two corpses, a grateful receptionist, and the complete lack of video footage of the "persons of interest" that had done it.

W00dstock finds the tracker on Sara's car after I start hinting about how they got found after the two tails were otherwise occupied when he finally scans for one, and they pull over and remove it.

The discussion was actually kind of funny in a SR kind of way because the original thought was that Sara had sold them out. Of course, it didn't make much sense since she killed off two of her supposed compatriots unless this is a seriously deep rabbit hole they've fallen into...

They drive back out to Rio Grande City and find the warehouse not being used that night. They have their "little chat" with the assassin, and he gives two main pieces of information:
1) Esmeralda was Tachos ex Ol' Lady but "the dumb bitch" had disappeared on him around nine months prior. tacho had looked all over for her while she was being taken care of by Biotechnica.
2) Esmeralda had come back to Tacho willingly (reinforcing his belief that she can't live without him) to help her "find their baby" (he has abandonment issues you can park a semi and trailer in). Seeing how much he has gone up in the scale of thuggery in the last nine months or so, she thought fast and added a poorly thought out paranoia kicker and added that she ran away because she didn't want her pregnancy to be a weakness to his enemies.

In other words, she is now completely fucked and has several murders on her conscience. Whee!

Crowe and Sara drive out to the edge of town and call a cab. Tossing the tied up and gagged assassin in the back seat while being careful not to clearly seen in the interior lights, Crowe has triple the fare in the assassin's chest jacket pocket and tells the cabbie "take him to the local Ranger station and drop him off."

And thus starts the RGVs "Man in the Suit" legend...
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psychophipps
post Jun 5 2014, 02:14 AM
Post #14


Running Target
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Joined: 6-May 07
From: Texas - The RGV
Member No.: 11,613



Sara (Esther) - Orc Assassin and GMPC

Character concept is a former prostitute turned assassin by the insurgency and promptly dumped when peace suddenly broke out. Her mother was killed during an Aztlan "Security Sweep" when she was 7. Sara and her brother were dumped off with their alcoholic and physically abusive father. Being an Orc means that she developed early so she ran away at 12 and started working at various cathouses throughout the Valley. With mild prothesis she can look pretty "Orky" and she had enhanced herself for her work with cybernetics.
Being recruited by the insurgency was easy, she was popular with various Aztlan executives and military officers and the hatred beat into her after the needless killing of her mother made her more than willing to join up. Enhancing herself with about the most psychotic cyberware imaginable to kill on command, she was "let go" just as she finished her brutal operative training. The peace accords were signed and she was dropped like the Trog gutter trash puta she is. Bitter? Not even a little bit...
Freelance bodyguard and wetwork came along and she was hired to kill a mid-level cartel member that was getting a bit too ambitious for some other cartel lieutenant's tastes. She ran her Cybersnake "Weasel" when things got hot-n-heavy and was surprised when her target tossed Sara off of him like she was a doll. While obviously not lethal, the wounds he suffered slowed him down enough for Sara to barely escape with her life. She's been hunted ever since. She can't go home for fear of giving them her brother as a lever so now she's living in her car and grabbing her showers at Maurice's apartment over his bar.

As a side note, my games don't allow extra IP (because they be Ba-Roken!). Just to (hopefully) keep the inevitable "WTF?!? No extra IP?!?" from surfacing.

B - 6 [20] A - 3(5) [20] R - 3(5) [20] S - 5 [20]
C - 5 [55] I - 4 [30] L - 2 [10] W - 5 [40]
Edge- 4 [30] Essence - 4 Karma - 6

Qualities: Orc [20], Guts [5], Human Looking [5], School of Hard Knocks [5], Big Regret: Prostitute [+5], Dependent: Slacker Sibling [+5], Wanted: Possessed [+10]

Contacts: Cartel Fixer - 3/1 [4], Maurice: Bar Owner - 2/4 [6]

Skill Groups: Athletics - 2 [20], Influence - 3 [30], Stealth - 2 [20]

Active Skills: Automatics: Submachineguns - 1(+2) [6], Exotic Weapon: Cybersnake - 3 [12], Ground Vehicle: Wheeled - 1(+2) [6], Perception - 2 [8], Pistols: Holdout - 1(+2) [6], Unarmed
Combat: Brazilian Jui-Jitsu - 1(+2) [6]

Resources: 80,000 [16]

Armor: Armor Vest - 6/4 [600]

Bio/Cyberware: Breast Implants [3,000], Cybersnake [10,750], Muscle Toner: Rating 2 [16,000], Reaction Enhancers: Rating 2 [20,000], Vaginal Implant [3,000]

Gear: Certified Credstick: 500 nuyen [525], CMT Clip commlink running Vector Xim [500], Concealable Holster x 2 (Scout and Magazines) [150], Duffle/Rucksack with plenty of pockets
[70], False SIN: Rating 3 [3000], Motion Sensor [50], ScottEVest Convertible Jacket (Jacket to Vest) with a gazillion pockets [75], Sleeping Bag and Sleeping Pad [100], Smartglasses: Rating
3 (Flare Compensation, Thermographic, Vision Magnification) [325], Two spare sets of clothes [200]

Vehicle: Hyundai Shin-Yung [17,000], Anti-Tamper: Rating 4 [400], Maglock: Rating 6 [600], Run-Flat Tires [1,000]

Weapons: 30 rounds Standard Scout Ammo [60], 200 rounds Standard MP5TX Ammo [400], Cavalier Scout w/ Laser Sight [475], Folding Knife [20], HK MP5TX [550], MP5TX Magazines x 6 [25],
MP5TX Suppressor [500], Scout magazines x 3 [10], Scout Suppressor [500]

Spare Cash: 175 (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nuyen.gif)
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FuelDrop
post Jun 5 2014, 09:02 AM
Post #15


Neophyte Runner
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From: Bunbury, western australia
Member No.: 53,300



Don't suppose Sarah keeps a journal by any chance? Would be an interesting view point on events.

Also, team seems pretty badass.
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psychophipps
post Jun 6 2014, 02:48 AM
Post #16


Running Target
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Group: Members
Posts: 1,186
Joined: 6-May 07
From: Texas - The RGV
Member No.: 11,613



QUOTE (FuelDrop @ Jun 5 2014, 04:02 AM) *
Don't suppose Sarah keeps a journal by any chance? Would be an interesting view point on events.

Also, team seems pretty badass.


I might swap to doing things from her perspective. Interesting idea and thanks for the nudge. Just trying to think about how I can do it without her sounding like a latino female Richard Kuklinski.

Thanks for the input on the team. I really like the team on the whole because the characters are all relative "noobs", besides Six To (at least to the realio-dealio full-dark shadows), in terms of the their character concepts. I also loved how the players have all decided to really play their backgrounds really well in terms of in-character interactions. The player of Six To seems to forget he's a mage, but it worked out really well in terms of in-game action.

I appreciate the limited firepower they seem to be happy with. Tension is better made with character interactions rather than rate-of-fire, IMO. The "Person of Interest" theme is actually pretty fun (it probably helps that the show is my favorite on TV now) and I can weave it in with the main thrust of the campaign pretty easily.
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