Seattle Mission 12: Silence is Golden

Written by: Marius           Played on: 08 Jun 2012
PREVIOUS: Side Mission 05 – Bug City
NEXT: Mission 13 – Aim For the Head

Mr. Johnson calls us to a breakfast. We go even though it’s early as hell. Hui Cheng Shun. We call Andrew, the friend Wheeler introduced us too while he goes under the wrench to have his cranial bomb removed. We pick him up along the way. Our new friend is a rigger.

Wheeler requested an opportunity to try playing a second character, a rigger, for a few runs. Since we’d been playing the same characters for a long time, I told him this was fine. Given that he had been told he had a cranial bomb implanted in his head, it made plenty of sense for Wheeler to disappear for a few runs while he was being checked out for anything strange.

The Mr Johnson they are going to see is the same Triad Underboss they did work for previously. Prior to that, they had also spied on him and, ultimately, interrupted a meet between the Triad and the Yakuza for an former cop named Justin Darian. However, as far as they were concerned, he had no idea of their involvement in that job.

We spot Shun at one of the booths “by himself”, there are several well dressed Chinese men sitting at other tables looking very seriously at their food, which sits untouched. I order a waffle, Cho gets crapes…

Shun says, “There is a member of my organisation who is running their mouth, a few of the wrong people heard and some of my men died as a result. I will deal with the outsiders, but I need you guys to deal with my guy.” I can give you 6,000¥, including 1,500¥ up front. We negotiate for 7,000¥ total, still 1,500¥ up front.

Kill is to happen at 11:35am at the specific location provided.

We plan to arrive, levitate him, pump him full of holes, and burn rubber.

Hui Cheng Shun specified that the murder of his man was to be public and messy, to send a message that the Triad were not to be crossed. He also told them that the informant had been sent there to meet a contact, a ruse to get him out in the open. One of his men was tailing the target and would send them a description of what he was wearing when he headed out for the meet. Besides that, Shun left it up to the team to determine how they wanted to complete the job, not wishing to impose on their creativity.

We send round our drone to spy on the area. It is raining lightly, umbrellas are deployed. Andrew announces he can drop them electronically. Our target arrives 5 minutes early and sits down. We wait for the appropriate time and jump out of the van. We can’t see the target so Bear goes into the crowd and gets eyes on him. The man is thrust into the air. I am the first to fire an Ares Predator heavy pistol at the man, I aimed for his foot hitting him in the leg. His screams can be heard a ways away. He spins around and we see his face. He is Justin Darian, the retired cop who hired us to spy on the Yakuza a few months ago. Cho shoots him right in the elbow, nearly severing his arm off. Bear lights him on fire, but only a little bit. The man thrashes around frantically.

I shoot at his head, killing him. My second shot impacts center mass. We proceed to shoot him more, chunks are falling off this guy as people flee in terror. Bear encourages more fire. blood continues to rain down as we all unleash another volley, as Bear drops the corpse it is fully engulfed in flame.

When I designed this encounter, I expected the players would go in for the up close kill and, upon discovering who their target was, rethink the job. Instead, when Marius discovered who they were being hired to kill, his response was, “Oh, he seemed like a decent guy… it sucks we have to kill him.” They continued firing without remorse. My players continue to surprise me!

Andrew announces that we have company as three Knight Errant vehicles surround us, Knight Errant officers pour out. All of the cops are Chinese. Andrew’s grenade goes off, throwing one of the cops quite hard. Shots start coming in to the van. Bear is still outside but is on his way in. Our team returns fire.

“I got one of the drivers,” Jade announces proudly. In the mirror I can see she is firing at the van to our left. “Frag out,” Cho says as I feel the thud of her grenade launcher. The grenade sails through the window destroying the vehicle behind us. As Bear takes a seat I back up and strike the burning wreckage of the van behind us.

Gunfire again rips through the van, I am really thankful we had that personnel armor installed. Andrew’s drone lands a grenade inside the next van and kills a few more guys, destroying the van. I mash the gas and get us the fuck out of here. Cho detonates the remaining vehicle, some shrapnel hits the van, I manage to keep it on the road. The last remaining guard takes a few pot shots as we leave. A few blocks later we change the plate, ID and color of the van.

Over the last several runs, the team had begun outfitting their vehicle with all sorts of gadgets and useful tools. Bit by bit, intent on rebuilding their armored van, Thumper, from Denver.

We call Mr. Shun and let him know we are on the way. He sounds obviously surprised to hear from us. We head to a restaurant to meet him. One thing is for sure.. this is a trap.

My first clue for the team that they were probably being screwed, one I thought was a pretty big one, was that their ‘Triad Target’ wasn’t Triad at all and was in fact a retired cop who they were on good terms with. My second clue was when an all Chinese group of police arrived on the scene moments after the shooting began. I thought I was being pretty heavy handed with my clues, but they called Mr. Johnson anyway to let him know they were coming. Finally, I dropped the third clue and played Mr. Johnson as obviously surprised to hear from them, he was very bad at concealing his surprise. Despite all of that, they still walked into the restaurant where Mr. Johnson told them to come to without even packing their heavy equipment. My players continue to surprise me.

The restaurant he sends them to is the Happy Dragon Shanghai Gardens in Chinatown, the place they met him for their first job for him. When they arrive, Shun meets them at a table smack in the middle of the building and leaves them sitting at the table as he moves to the back of the room to ‘retrieve their payment’. I had planned for this to be a fight against a fair number of opponents, but one where the players had the drop on them. Since they called ahead to warn him they were on their way, I chose to add a few more Triad to the mix and up their combat armaments as they had time to prepare for the party. No good deed goes unpunished, they say.

We get there and I change out of my combat armor. We go in as Mr. Johnson yells to send us in. We head back to his table. I give him a quite long winded explanation of what happened and make arraignments to send him the footage. I do this to buy Andrew time to hack the local network.

Mr. Johnson gets up to “get our money” and guards begin to pull guns. Bear petrifies both guards near Mr. Johnson as he takes a shot in the back. I also feel a shot impact me from across the restaurant. Jade open fire with her Superwarhawk, if it were not for the cyber-ears I would be nearly deaf. I shoot Mr. Johnson with a stun round, impacting him directly in the chest and then another. Gunfire is coming from everywhere. Rounds are whizing in all directions. It seems that everyone in here is armed and here to kill us.

That’s because they were.

Andrew’s flare drone goes off, a blinding light is present. My cyber eyes help, but not as much as I would like. Jade shoots a guy, Cho slashes someone open, Bear attempts to turn the Johnson to stone. I am really feeling it, the noise of Andrew executing the two frozen guards seems like it is inside my head, even with my cyber ears.

Marius tries to engage Shun in melee combat, they decided early on that, if a fight broke out, they wanted to try to take him alive so they could get answers as well as their payment. Unfortunately for Marius, Shun is a fairly skilled mystic adept, just like Bear. Just like the adepts they encountered in Mercury Express while kidnapping Matthew Sparks, this was another one of those fun times where I had a good reason to throw something the party regularly takes for granted against them. In this case, an adept who they weren’t keen on killing, who could counter spell and could hold his own in a stand up fight.

I am slashed across the chest by this mother fucker, I am having a real hard time not putting deadly iron to his head. My urge to kill is rising. I must fight the demon. I engage him in physical combat. My attempts are useless, I can feel myself moving just too slowly to be affective. He deflects my blows but I also dodge his slice. Bear lets out a blood curdling cry as he sees me bleeding and I can feel the energy as a manabolt blasts into him. He recoils and slashes me across the thight. I can feel myself moving toward unconsciousness. “Fight it bear, fight it,” I plead over sub-vocal. I hear a table hit the ground, I can only assume Bear has flipped the one he was under on it’s top as he is now sprinting toward the Johnson. From my peripheral I see Andrew go down, he does not get up.

This fight was pretty rough for the party. Nearly everyone took wounds and several lost consciousness. Bear also suffers a berserk rage whenever he sees the lives of his party members in danger.

Jade yells “No, my homely little twinkie!” I attempt to disarm Mr. Johnson again, but my attempts are in vain. “Bear STOP,” I plead, but it falls on deaf ears. It’s all I can do to get out of the way.

I see Bear go knuckle deep into the Johnsons chest and, as his blood falls to the floor so do my dreams of getting paid. Mr. Johnson lets out a howl. He slashes at me again, the blade is buried into my side, my vision closes…

I find myself in a white room, the soft light comes form all directions with no discernible source, yet it is pulsing rhythmically. Soft pops can be heard in the distance, like the erratic bass track of the club downstairs. A few feet away I see myself, seated cross-legged, cleaning a pistol on a white towel in my lap. A few feet away from my seated form is a Chinese man on the ground in a puddle of blood. Bear is standing over him, his right arm covered in blood up to the elbow. Small clean bits of metal peek out through the viscous liquid. He pulls a band-aid from his pocket and hands it to my seated form, I look at it puzzled…

I awake on the floor starring up at bear, his left arm has a little blood on it. “Thanks for the band aid.”

“Your welcome, stay down.” I comply, laying flat on the floor. I roll over and loot the corpse of Mr.Johnson, staying low. I find a pistol, a knife, and a comlink. I find 2,000¥ of cred-sticks on him. I set to work cutting off his right hand. Gunfire is still flying all around. I can’t tell who is shooting whom, I am trying to avoid getting myself shot at this point. I hear Cho half yell half sing “Decapatatiooooon!”, I turn just in time to see a head flying through the air. Bear drops to the ground, I turn toward the man who just shot Bear and send a round his way with my heavy pistol. He drops. I hear a scream and look over in time to see Jade hit the floor. I drop one of the guys Bear was shooting at with lighting, he is not getting back up. I drop the guy who shot Jade. I am functioning on autopilot, unaware of much that is going on around me. I stop.

There are bodies EVERYWHERE. Tables, walls, everything is destroyed. I search the back of the restaurant for anything of value. There are more bodies of people killed through the walls, I find nothing of value. I proceed to loot every corpse in the place. We light the building on fire and leave.

We manage to make a measly 1,300¥ from the loot. Detrius lets us know he might have some info about the Dragon Head.

On the whole, this run did not play out the way I expected it to. My players bucked my expectations at every turn. It just goes to show that, even after three and a half years of gaming with the same group and knowing many of them for far longer than that, my players can still surprise the hell out of me. That’s a good thing.

PREVIOUS: Side Mission 05 – Bug City
NEXT: Mission 13 – Aim For the Head

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