Seattle Mission 11: An Apple a Day – Part 1

Written by: Bear           Played on: 11 Mar 2012
PREVIOUS: Mission 10 – The Glass Ceiling – Part 2
NEXT: Mission 11 – An Apple a Day – Part 2

“Oh great and wise Bear Spirit, give me not only the strength but also the knowledge to understand what has happened this night. Since being taken, all I’ve lived for is revenge. To find one man and make him pay for what he’s done. Now I’m struck only with regret and confusion.”

>Yours is not an easy journey, young Bear With Mountain Wings. Know that I am proud of you. Remember, the shortest and fastest path is not always the one that will lead us to a peaceful end. You are a protector of your allies, your journey is not over, count on those who are close to you as they do on you. Do not give up, keep moving forward, don’t let your rage fuel your purpose; it is the brightest and hottest flame that burns out first. For now, reflect of the events that transpired this night and you will find the strength to continue and the knowledge will come.<

The day started with a phone call by Walter Tytus, he told us that he’s happy in his new position that we helped him get set-up in. True to his word Walter had a way to get us into Nyx Genetics, the very facility where we were most recently worked on, and where I was originally taken. We got some information on Walter’s research, the guards, the facility, access, and the tram. But most importantly we also got a name, Dr. Lukas Strughold head researcher on the Marahal Project.

The team previously helped Walter Tytus get out of his lifetime contract with Nyx Genetics by breaking him out of a Mercury Express arcology under the guise of a kidnapping. Along the way, he recognized them as test subjects who passed through Nyx Genetics as part of the Marahal Program. In exchange for getting them access to the underground Nyx Genetics labs and, hopefully, a meeting with the project head, Dr. Strughold, he wanted them to retrieve some of the genetic samples he had been working on.

Our first step was to get back into the arcology and to the tram which will take us to Nyx Genetics. To avoid complications we decide to get in the same way as before, using Jade’s “unique” talents. Reluctantly I agree to Chekhov making he and I look like women to get in under our previous covers. Personally, I think the Ork was all too eager to don the feminine form and okay with the idea of getting his “hands dirty” again. We got a ride from Mr Farmer, who acted in his usual pig-like manner. Jade agreed to take care of him while the rest of us waited for the final tram.

When we told her that she had to hurry-up, she failed to disconnect her commlink. What was heard, could never be unheard and is sure to be added to the things that haunt me…everyone waiting shuddered, except Chekhov who smiled. With our gear and a little fumbling we all get on the tram. As we change and draw closer to the facility, our GPS blinks out. It was a good idea to pay Pilot’s rent so he could follow us, we hoped he be able to pick us up wherever we come out. We planned to take the service elevator if the tram wasn’t an option.

Best case scenario we could keep the body count low, not only to keep the element of surprise and stealth but also because I’m feeling less and less comfortable killing innocent people just because they’re security guards. Well, that WAS the plan…

The first guards stop us when we try to scan Tytus’s tag. It wasn’t looking good and my trigger happy partners were reaching for their guns when I managed to turn them both to stone. In order to access all the floors and to bypass any security, we needed to get into the office occupied by two statues. Cho and Wheeler managed to seal the door and made enough noise shooting and pushing out the glass that a group of guards arrived just as Marius prepared himself.

That’s when it got ugly, 4 guards came with weapons ready. Our combat reflexes kicked in and with almost no effort the guards are downed. Again, I feel we resorted to the quickest solution. As planning begins on how to get security access from the guards. I witnessed a nightmarish sight as Jade tore off one of their arms to use in the elevators and without a second thought Marius uses his knife do reduce it to just a hand to be more convenient. All the gear of all the guards is collected.

That left the two petrified guards, we bound both and chloroformed one. Left the other only bound for questioning. The man was shakey and, unfortunately, I had to take one of his fingers in order to get valid information from him.

We found that there was a service elevator and two others in the lobby, so as we descended to the 5th floor we take defensive positions. But instead of stunning the guards, Cho, Wheeler, and Marius unleash furious barrage of death. One still stands and surprisingly it is Chekhov who tackles the last guard for questioning.

Marius, Wheeler and Cho head off to gather Walter’s research, leaving Jade, Chekhov and myself to get some information out of this one remaining guard. The guard apparently scored top of his class at BE-A-DICK U and aced all his anti-interrogation classes. His questioning was made more difficult by Chekhov’s constant laughter and support of the guard.

The guard in question managed to keep his calm and sarcastic wit during this scene. Bear absolutely hated him, even resorting to cutting off the guard’s ear at one point and eventually deciding to kill him (in complete contrast to his points before about wishing he would kill less) before Chekhov intervened. Chekhov, on the other hand, loved the guard’s personality (likely because he caused Bear so much frustration), quickly healing his ear after Bear injured him and making the case for keeping him alive. He even took the guard’s commlink and, after the run, contacted him anonymously with the intent of developing him into a contact.

An NPC who completely polarizes players? I’ll call that a win and I’ll definitely be keeping him around.

Just as the rest of the team arrived with with our primary objective there was a *ding* as the freight elevator opened with two guards and some lab technician. The punchline of their joke was cut short by the echoing blasts of firearms and magic. I knocked out the supreme dickhead and chloroformed the technician, who actually turned out to be a very co-operative shipping manager. With the address of the building above us and access to the freight elevator and the one remaining floor below us, we decide to pay Dr. Stughold a visit.

Then, more prepared the elevator door opened to floor 6. Our speed was our greatest strength, the guards were completely unaware of our presence. I was able to spare one of the three as the other two were riddled with bullets. The guard was very cooperative, telling us that Dr Strughold is in, as is another scientist. I thanked him by putting him to rest with chloroform. Cho stayed behind to cover the elevators in case any guards or staff decided to drop-in. The rest of us head down the hall to meet the doctor and that was when things got weird.

The memories of my three visits here started to flood in. Walking down the silent halls, on either side are labs each with a large tube. All too familiarly, many are occupied with a recently and hastily augmented “subjects,” they twitch in their tubes but ignore us as we walk toward Dr. Strughold’s lab. I wanted to free them, oh spirit I should have freed them. Why? Why didn’t I try to free them? I suppose, it’s because something more powerful than my urge to help kept pulling me deeper into the lab.

Bear was a “guest” of this lab three times. Once during his pre-Denver back story. A second time he was absent from game for an extended period of time and so he later asked that the period be explained as his character having been subtly taken for a second round of treatments and observation. The third, obviously, occurred between the Denver and Seattle story arcs along with everyone else.

At the end of the hall light, shown from a single door and there he was working without noticing us. An old human, with wild white hair. The best option was to petrify him and question him outside the lab, but even at my strongest, he simply shrugged it off and said, “You don’t want to do that.” The man was expecting us, he was even excited to see us. He put the finishing touches on whatever he was doing, then turned to talk to us. He said that we were some of his best subjects. The man was totally insane.

He referred to Marius as Mort and practically non-stop rambled on-and-on about the work he wanted to do to us. The augments, enhancements, etc. etc. etc. I was off put by how open he was to giving us information. When we asked him about the tattoos, he said that they weren’t his idea, he hated the wizard insisting that control of us be magical instead of mechanically built-in. I don’t know what kept me from slicing the man that stood in front of me to ribbons. Perhaps it was just the fact that he had a wealth of information that we needed.

Mort is Marius’ birth name, before he became a Shadowrunner. That he knew this and used it so casually and personally was of great interest to Marius and was eventually explored.

When I asked him about my first visit, who captured me, killed my family and left me to die Dr. Strughold told me how much he regretted the conditions which led to my “enhancement” and said that it was Dr. Peter Warwick. He then asked if I would like to meet him, he was working right down the hall and to the left. I’m not sure who followed me and I don’t really care. The revenge that had fueled my actions for the last three years forced me through the halls to the office where Dr. Warwick was working.

Though Dr. Strughold came off as a bit insane and eccentric, the truth of the matter was that he was exceedingly smart and a master manipulator. He had access to one of the control rods, just as Matthew Sparks did, but knowing it would turn out poorly for him he elected not to use it. Ultimately, little he told them was particularly ground breaking or something they couldn’t have guessed, though he phrased it so it sounded insightful and new. The details he eventually revealed about Marius’ family and the rest of their histories was intended to tantalize and invest them in his well being to ensure his survival. His lies about Wheeler, discussed later, another deliberate attempt to play off the team’s loyalty to one another to ensure his survival. Revealing Dr. Warwick’s involvement and his location was a deliberate sacrifice made to split the party. Even his final act was to create a diversion to occupy the party and cover his escape. Everything was a carefully controlled and crafted ruse on his part to ensure his escape, though it didn’t end up working out that well for him.

PREVIOUS: Mission 10 – The Glass Ceiling – Part 2
NEXT: Mission 11 – An Apple a Day – Part 2

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