Mission 17 – Patient Zero – Part 2

Written by: Cho          Played on: 19 Mar 2010
PREVIOUS: Mission 17 – Patient Zero – Part 1
NEXT: Mission 18 – A Very Bad Day – Part 1

Sometime later, Yoshi called and let us know he had the security footage from the casino. We quickly spotted Mary in them. It was very disheartening to discover that my childhood friend might be responsible for all of it. I called up my hacker pal, Bones, to see if he might be able to locate Mary’s comlink number. We got a hit. She was outside of town in a industrial area.

Even though we were down 2 people, we headed out and arrived at an old Nissan factory. When we pulled up, Marys car was parked outside a manufacturing building. At this point I wasn’t sure if this was another trap. Seeing Marys note made me think that she probably wasn’t at fault… At least, not by choice.

We all headed inside and came across a shit ton of drones and Mary acting as psycho ring leader. But it was swiftly apparent that she was not in control. A very human hating mechanical voice let us know, transmitting through our commlinks, that we were doomed and so was humanity. Then it set its little drones after us.

I was about to laugh when Wheeler let off a shot. Shockingly it hit Mary square in the face, splattering blood across the floor. And as anyone could have guessed… It didn’t stop the drones. Jade and Wheeler spent the time like idiots shooting the drones… Marius ran away like a girl.

Wheeler was actually using gel rounds and intended to knock Mary out. He was so intent on trying to knock her out in one hit that he threw in edge and took every bonus he could to his shot. Rather than failing, or barely succeeding, or even succeeding well, he over succeeded. He rolled so many successes, that the stun damage he would cause with the gel rounds would have completely filled her stun meter and overflowed into Mary’s physical damage track.

It could be argued that, with that many successes, it should be treated as a Critical Success and Wheeler could have determined where, how and what amount of damage he delt to her. However, the player assumed his over success resulted in the damage overflow and I chose to run with that line of thinking as it added greater drama to the scene.

At this point, I had not decided if his shot had killed Mary or not. Either way she was close.

Part of me wanted to check on Mary, but the runner part needed to stop what was going on. I ran to the catwalk hoping to find a person hiding in the office. My attention turned to the roof as it was ripped apart by bullets. I asked myself why Marius would do something so useless and potentially dangerous to those of us still inside the building.

Marius had discovered that Taske was the likely culprit, and that he might try and use the attena on the roof to escape into the Matrix, as that was the only access point to the worldwide network at their remote location. He was trying to destroy the attena to prevent Taske’s escape.

Sigh Marius… I’ll kick you in the chode later. Anyways, I made it to a server room and watched as a dumb ass drone smashed through the door and into the wall. Promptly I threw a grenade in after it and shut the door. And that’s when the roof started to cave in. Thanks Marius…

After the grenade blasted the server room to high hell, all the drones quit chasing us. Thanks to our wonderful observation skills, we found that the one responsible was Taske, an A.I. Matrix Sprite we had run into before.

The team had, unknowingly, faced Taske before in Through a Rose Colored Display Link. During that mission, the AI existed as the flying Valkarie in the sky during their final battle. During the battle he taunted the team and swore to destroy them, revealing his involvement in that past run.

The team had foiled his first attempt at gathering greater knowledge and power by dealing with the technomancer he had convinced to aid him. He had, from there, eventually found purchase in Mary whose latent technomancer abilities were unknown to her.

At least now he was dead… But then, so was Mary. Shot and severely crushed by the roof. And she had done nothing wrong. I walked out and punched Wheeler in a fury, which I probably shouldn’t have done. On the way back I got high to relieve some of my physical and mental pain, sadly it didn’t help much. Today was not a good day.

Later that afternoon, after I had been bandaged up, I drove to a small house. This was Mary’s house, and where her kid lived. At this point I was no longer a Runner, but a friend. I talked to the boy and told him I was his mothers old friend. I shared no smile, for the news I told him next broke his little heart.

I wiped the tear stains from my face as I left. I felt better in the knowing that he would be moving to his grandparents and not sharing the same childhood fate Mary and I shared. I kept a serious face the ride back to my shop, I wouldn’t let the others know how soft I am. Just tough Cho.

I closed up early and proceeded to down a few more bottles of Sake. Sometime during the night, I heard gunshots ring out from Wheelers shop. To be honest… I didn’t care much. But then I saw a cop wander to his cruiser holding what looked like my grenade launcher. I truly considered killing him, but my aim is way off when I’m drunk.

Apparently Jade had attacked Marius in Wheelers shop, and well, Marius shot her. Doc Wagon fixed her up pretty good, but I heard she almost died. The commotion drew the attention of the cops, and in turn they found some of our gear in the van. Somehow, Wheeler talked them out of further action.  Probably with money. Once again, thanks Marius.

When I was falling asleep that night I thought to myself about the day. Levi and Clint were in jail and Jade almost died. Then I thought maybe they are getting whats coming to them. Maybe we all should have died today. Because we were all far more deserving of death then Mary.

In all honesty, I expected the team to probably succeed with some difficulty at defeating Taske and to at least drive him away from Mary. I also expected them to definately rescue Mary alive, especially given Cho’s connection to her.

I turned out completely backwards on both predictions. They handeled Taske with ease, but Mary didn’t make it. While it was not the outcome I expected, it turned out to be the better one. There was serious drama around the table as action after action compounded Mary’s fate.

The follow up meeting with Cho and Mary’s child was entirely impromptu, based on a line of questions from Cho regarding Mary’s life. The tragedy led to some great roleplaying in this instance, and let the team walk away still feeling like they “won” by defeating Taske, but still “lost”.

PREVIOUS: Mission 17 – Patient Zero – Part 1
NEXT: Mission 18 – A Very Bad Day – Part 1

2 Responses to “Mission 17 – Patient Zero – Part 2”

  1. 1 Tony
    29 November 2010 at 12:22

    I will not apologize for having my Char shoot Jade to prevent my Characters VIOLENT RAPE, even if it did cost Wheeler some money, and Cho a grenade launcher.



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