Seattle Side Mission 05: Bug City

Written by: Marius           Played on: 25 May 2012
PREVIOUS: Mission 11 – An Apple a Day – Part 2
NEXT: Mission 12 – Silence is Golden

This was another side mission run because several members of the team couldn’t make it. I originally planned on having four players showing and we had one new player, a friend of Marius’, dropping in for for game that night. Since we didn’t have time to do a proper character for him, I statted up Detrius, Marius’ brother, for him to play. Unfortunately, several other players had to cancel last minute and we ended up with only Marius, Chekhov and Detrius being able to make game.

Chekhov, Detrius and I were shopping at the mall, Dee was meeting a man who worked at an electronics depot to attain a new tool program for his comlink, he had never met this man before and wanted some back up. We were just leaving after making the trade when a call came in on the team channel. I answered it before realising that Detrius was still on the channel from our exchange with the vendor.

“Marius, Chekhov, good to see you, who is this new face, and where is the rest of your team?” A familiar face greeted us, it was the same Johnson who had met us in an opera house not long ago.

Yet another mission for the Mr. Johnson who previously sent them to Florida to put a stop to the plans of another Shadow Team. As before, the purpose of this run was to get the team out of Seattle and experiencing a wider variety of encounters and events going on in the world at large.

“Mr. Johnson, good to see you as well. This is Detrius… One of our teams rotating members. It’s just us three right now, however I could bring in additional team members for your job.”

“No, no, this job might be better for a smaller group anyway. How soon can you be at the NewsNet Tower downtown?” I let him know we are quite close by. “Excellent, see you soon.”

“Dee, do you mind sitting in on this meeting? You don’t have to actually go on the job, but since you were on the call it would look funny for you not to be in attendance, I am sorry to have put you in this position.”

“That’s fine, I don’t mind going to a meeting. I have been wanting to get more involved anyway.” With that we headed off toward the Newsnet towers. After some trouble with the front desk personnel we were met and escorted upstairs by some of the same monkeysuited thugs that met us at the opera house. A pat down ensued and then we met Mr. Johnson.

“Mr. Kline, please excuse us” he said to his companion, the man gave us a funny look as he left the room “Please sit, gentlemen. Tell me, are you aware of the incident that took place in the Renaku Arcology about 35ish years ago?” We acknowledge a vague understanding of what took place, a rogue AI took over the facility and locked it down.

“Let me fill in a few more details, the Corp that owned the arcology refused to foot the bill for the UCAS security personnel going in and clearing the place ou, and so they assumed ownership of the arcology. The whole thing was very dramatic and newsworthy. Details kept revealing themselves slowly over many months…” Mr.Johnson realizes he is dragging out his story, “Anyway, history appears to be repeating itself in Chicago. The Davis-Square arcology was locked down one week ago, no one in or out. Knight Errant has cordoned off a several block perimeter and nothing is known of the situation inside. I want you gentlemen to do some field reporting for me. I need to know what is going on in there and why the facility has been locked down. I need evidence, photographs, video if you can get it, documents, something.”

“Why do you want all this information anyway?” Chekhov asks in his Russian accent. Dee, Mr.Johnson and I all turn and slowly stare at the normally quite intelligent Chekhov. An embarrassed look slowly washes over his face as he glances around at the many news monitors in view and realises where he is sitting. “Nevermind”.

“What type of questions are you specifically looking to answer?” I ask.

“The usual new stuff, why, how, when, who, what, use your imagination.”

“Ok, sounds like fun. A job like this, requiring travel and all, this is going to require a bit more funding then the last one to pull off, did you have some compensation in mind?” We settle on 4,000¥ each, with additional pay for additional info. We are on a timeline however, word on the street is that the Wuxing Corp is sending teams into the building in as little as 24 hours to handle the situation.

Back in the van I get ready to drive home to drop Dee off when he does something that surprises me. “Yeah, it’s Dee” he says to someone on the other end of the comm “I am looking for a way to get three guys and about a crate of gear to Chicago, today, now, as soon as possible… What, no of course not the type to fly commercial, not enough privacy and they charge too much for extra bags… Sure, yeah no problem, My brother is footing the bill. Ok we will see him then. Thanks.” He disconnects. “Ok guys, I got a guy who can get us there one way for 2700¥, total. He will be making a return trip in a few days too.”

I look over at Chekhov, who shrugs. “Sounds good to me bro, I take it you are coming with us?”

“Sure, I have been meaning to get out from behind the trid display and get my hands dirty.” We stop at home and get our gear together, I go through a few of the spare weapons with Dee and he picks out a few things for himself. He and I spend about an hour fitting a smartlink system into the rifle, along with a sound suppression fluted barrel, to both reduce recoil and quiet the weapon down.

That night we arrived in Chicago, jumped in a cab and headed for the arcology. Dee had spent most of the flight scouring the net for information and had gotten us some maps public maps of the facility, including an old map of the sewer system, it was old, but would do the job.

As we crept through the sewer we heard voices. Chekhov concealed himself with invisibility and headed forward to check out the situation. Dee and I remained behind. Chekhov came across the comm and said, “Three guards in full combat armor, escorting two technicians… shit”

He was cut off from saying anything further when I stepped backwards into a puddle, causing a splash. “What was that, lets go check it out.” one of the guards said.

“They are both coming this way” Chekhov said “Screw it” He let loose a fireball, presumably it struck the three guards, I heard screaming. Dee and I raced to the corner to provide covering fire.

“I’ll go low” I said to Dee as I dropped to a knee and leaned around the corner. The guards let loose a few bursts of automatic weapons fire toward the direction the fireball came from. Chekhov let loose a second fireball. “Frag out,” I said subvocally before lobing a high explosive grenade at the guards. Dee used his smartgun to full advantage, he stuck it around the corner, which kept himself concealed while still allowing him to fire accurately at the guards. Chekhov used this opportunity to dive for cover and focused on healing himself for the remainder of combat, the ork mage had overcasted those fireballs and was seeing stars.

A thundering explosion rocked the tunnels as a high explosive grenade detonated. I leaned around the wall again, acquired a target and dropped him, Dee dropped a second and I the third, along with one of the technicians. Leaving Chekhov to heal, and Dee to guard him, I rushed the final tech. After learning that he knew nothing I cuffed him and stunned him into unconsciousness.

I grabbed a helmet form one of the downed guards and stripped them of their weapons and ammo before cutting through the gate they were reinforcing. The team proceeded into the facility.

As we moved from the arcology’s waste processing guard, facility onto the main entertainment floors, I began filming. Our first encounter was with a guard, we tried to sneak up on him, but ended up alerting him to our presence. When he turned around, we were all shocked to see not the face of a man, but of some ugly man-fly hybrid. Dripping mandibles, are among the many features I did not have time to study as this thing charged us. I let loose a three round burst and then a second. The creature dropped. As I was scanning the nearby areas for others Chekhov calls out, three more charge the group from a nearby supermarket. We are able to dispatch them with only minor injuries.

The creatures are, of course, Insect Spirits, malevolent spirits from another plane that can transition to this plane by inhabiting the body of a human host. Chicago suffered a particularly devistating infection of Insect Spirits, to the point that a giant wall was erected around much of down town to contain them. The majority of that brood, however, was eventually wiped out, leaving only scattered remains of the once large threat.

Using the RFID tag embedded in the security guards hand we ascend to the highest residential floor. We entered a residence, and discovered that it had been barricaded from the inside. there was evidence of fighting. Dee uncovered emails that indicated security teams had been taking people for questioning and never returning them. Some of the population organised and resisted. There are NO bodies anywhere.

We moved on to one of the larger dwellings, thinking perhaps we could get security credentials that would allow us lab access. “You are not going to believe this,” Chekhov says. He and Dee were searching the downstairs while I explored upstairs.

“Let me guess,” I said, “Giant human sized cocoons, with people in them?”

“Well you took the fun right out of that” Detrius said. “CONTACTS!” he was screaming at this point. “Three in through the door”

I turned toward the door and saw all three heading up the stairs, I opened fire. At some point a few more came in, Dee, Chekhov and myself all got hit with some type of acid spit. After dropping these 5 or six guys we headed very quickly into the hallway.

“We have more hostiles, frag out” I said, lobing a grenade toward the direction of the bad guys, attempting to put it in there path, what ended up happening was that I dropped it almost at our feet. “GRENADE!” I yelled. The three of us sprinted toward the elevator. About one second before it went off Chekhov turned and cast a physical barrier between the devastating explosion and us. The elevator was not opening fast enough, we all piled in and turned to see the bug creatures coming at us through the smoke and debris. Chekhov put another physical barrier up that the bug creatures run into just as the doors close.

Dee hacks the RFID scanner and we ascend to the top floor. All the labs up here are on a level 5 security lock down.

Detrius devises a way to gain remote control over the door locks and we go through a few labs gathering evidence. Dee is even able to hack the security cameras and download the last moths worth of footage from a few of the labs, we figure this will be of value later. On our way out, Chekhov retrieves a datapad from a scientest hanging out a doorway, the room beyond contains a nest of bugspirit human hybrids. Chekhov somehow rouses them. “Run,” he says calmly on the team channel. We all begin sprinting for the exits. Detrius is the slowest and we quickly pass him, Chekhov casts a physical barrier and I use my last grenade to slow their progress.

The gist of what they learned was that Wuxing was researching insect spirits. Whether they were capturing insect spirits and bringing them to the facility or if they were deliberately infecting human hosts was not apparrent. Either way, something eventually got out of hand and the insect spirits took control of the arcology.

As I clear the doorway I take aim and begin shooting the nearest bugs to slow them down, allowing my dear brother a chance to escape. We hit the ground floor just as an announcement booms over the speaker system, “The lockdown has been lifted. All personnel please report to the nearest exit and submit to identification.” The message repeated. Through the lobby we could see armored men entering the main doorways and laying wast to anything that moved. Bug creatures started pouring down the central atrium space from the residential floors. The distraction was such that we were able to make good our escape.

We mail Mr.Johnson the evidence, along with a rundown of what we found out. He is forthcoming with the moneys.

PREVIOUS: Mission 11 – An Apple a Day – Part 2
NEXT: Mission 12 – Silence is Golden

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