Seattle Mission 13: Aim For the Head

Written by: Marius           Played on: 22 Jun 2012
PREVIOUS: Mission 12 – Silence is Golden
NEXT: Update 01 – Nyx Genetics Records

We are out Grocery shopping when suddenly, a dozen or so 15-20 year olds skulk out from an alley, all subtle like. It is not difficult to spot them. They quickly take up an offensive stance and begin moving towards us from a half a block away.

Bear casts a physical barrier and we all walk more quickly. a few startled noises are let out by passers by. The Chinese kids run into it and begin jogging past it to catch up to us. We duck down an alley and Bear casts another barrier. We sprint this time.

Seeing us sprinting, the Chinese kids run full force into the physical barrier, they begin kicking and beating it, breaking through in short order. One of them yells, “Hey stop!” and we all stop. Chekov changes into bear form. Cho positions herself down an alley to guard our escape. I move toward them to take on the “front” position.

The kids produce weapons, and slow to a stop as Chekov finishes morphing. Cho translates some of their Chinese mutterings. “Fuck those guys, get them.” The biggest one pushes his way forward.

Wheeler drops one with a cross chop to the throat. He drops to the ground gasping for air. Cho drops a second one by kicking his knee out from under him and, as he stumbles backward, she used his momentum to throw him into the side of a dumpster. Bear throws a stunball dazing 4 and knocking two out cold. Chekov charges the big one that was acting all big and bad, slashing him from shoulder to hips. He screams in pain, but pulls a small pistol and fires at Chekov, striking him once. I drop two with well placed gel rounds as Wheeler ducks a club. I feel a knife impact my armor, it does not penetrate. As I am reeling from my near stabbing I see Jade grab one of the bigger ones by the coat, turn and hurl him at my attacker. Both are in a heap. Two thugs take off running, leaving two standing.

Wheeler plucks the gun from the hand of the armed one, while Cho beats another one to the ground. Chekov full on bites into the neck of one of the thugs, killing him. His throat is ripped open beyond repair, breaking his neck and his sternum is crushed. I sprint toward the two contained in a physical barrier. The rest of the team disarms and robs the thugs, throwing them into a dumpster.

Cho translates a piece of paper found on one of the thugs. The Triad has put a 20,000¥ price tag on our heads. Each.

We drop the barrier, screaming at these kids. I shoot one in the chest at point blank range with a gel round. We tell the other kid not to pursue us. He gets up to leave and I shoot him right in the chest as well. We drop the rest of them in the dumpster and head home.

We decide we must kill the dragon head. We grab our shit and GTFO, Cho and Jade on bikes, the rest of us in the van.

In the last run, the team had killed Justin Darian, the one who might know have a vendetta against the Dragon Head for ordering his death, and the team also killed Hui Cheng Shun, who could have given them information about the Dragon Head’s interest in them. Since no one was available to point them towards the Triad Leader, they got thrown straight into combat at the beginning of this run after a bounty is put out on their heads, prompting them to head after the Dragon Head in force. They were able to gather a little bit of information off Hui Cheng Shun’s commlink, which they stole. Specifically, that it had been at the Dragon Head’s command that they be hired for their first job for Shun and that it was also at his command that Shun was ordered to dispose of them.

We begin pressing our contacts. Find out that the Dragon Head, Kaguya Hime, is in charge of the Red Fenghuang Triad that operates out of Seattle’s China Town. He has made multiple attempts to partner with the Yakuza, much to the chagrin of the other Triad leaders. He has mixed Chinese-Japanese blood. We also get the address of the temple he operates out of.

Chekov knows someone who might be able to provide more information, his long estranged Father… He works up the nerve to call over several minutes. He then proceeds to make one of the most awkward phone calls I have ever heard. The synopsis is that Chekov is a moron demon seed, who is a constant fuck up and disappointment.

The conversation with his father was an excellent bit of roleplaying on the player’s part and very uncomfortable for Chekhov. As mentioned in his back story, Chekhov has a very uncomfortable relationship with his father, the two did not part on the best of terms. Chekhov was ultimately ordered by his father to drop his foolish quest against the Dragon Head and to leave town if necessary to escape his wraith. The Dragon Head was not one for him to cross and the Vory had just recently brokered a shaky peace with the Triads that his father did not wish to jeopardize.

Cho sneaks into the temple and plants a camera, without informing the rest of the team. This does give us a neat view of the compound. In the main garden area there are at least six armed (rifles) guards, and four or so garden personnel.

Cho gets her drone into the facility and is able to see that there is an 8’ gold dragon statue inside, near it is the phoenix symbol that is tattooed on us. She gets the drone in to a closed office section on the second floor that was not visible from the main hall. About a dozen men are inside and one of them sees the drone.

 The Fenghuang, for which this Triad is named for, is a legendary bird in Chinese mythology. In the west, it is commonly referred to as or confused with the Phoenix, just as the team likened it to. Besides its similarity to the western legend, the Fenghuang is very different from the Pheonix in myth.

We get out of the van while Wheeler parks. Cho and I are already invisible. I have a duffel with all the long arms in it. I remain still as I am levitated over the wall. I drop into a low kneel and begin scanning the courtyard for hostiles. We take the gazebo. I see two guys approach from the east. “Two hostiles incoming” I say into the mic. A three round burst to the head drops him flat. “I hope he lives,” I think, just before watching Wheeler slash his throat with his knife. I dress him down over subvocal, he seems uncaring and cold about the whole thing. Cho thinks I am making a big deal over nothing. We agree to talk about this later.

As the rest of the team comes over the wall I go back to scanning the area for bad guys. Bear launches a mana bolt at one of the watcher spirits orbiting overhead. Two additional Triad come up in front of us, as two more enter from behind. Wheeler and I each drop one of the guys in front of us, while the others engage the targets coming from the rear. I don’t see all of what happens, but Jade charges with an axe and Wheeler drops down do provide first aid to Chekov.

Two more guys round the bend, two three round bursts drop the first guy. The second guy shoots back, two three round burst splater against my armor, but I feel nothing. “Oh my god, she cut him in half,” Chekov says, aghast. Cho drops the second target in my field of fire. I again go back to covering this side of the field, watching for hostiles. I unfortunately missed the action as a dude Bear threw over the wall leaps back over the wall and almost one shots him with that sword. I turn and launch a three round burst, striking him in the head and rendering him unconscious.

Hooray for more adepts, I’m sure the team is getting tired of dealing with combatants who are capable of keeping up with them.

After we clear the area I capture weapons and ammo. The duffle bag is too full to carry at this point, so I pass it off to Jade. Cho begins to plant explosives in a few key areas of this building, she gets a bit far away from the rest of us and three Triad get surprised by her. “Help!” she says. Gunfire erupts noisily across the courtyard. “Fucking sound,” I say aloud. Up until now, all shots had been sound suppressed. Wheeler fires back with his own weapon, killing the remaining two.

Bear, Wheeler and I go to the north door. We open the door, chuck a flash bang in and then we reopen the doors and start firing. I have switched to lethal ammo at this point. We kill everyone in the room. Upon inspection I see that these are unarmed people and other non-combatants. I feel awful. I have succumbed yet again to my killer instinct. I switch back to stun rounds. We break through the next set of doors and are surprised by Triad, weapons raised. Despite the hail of machine pistol fire no one is hit, “That was like a James Bond movie,” Bear would say later. None of us got the reference.

Gunfire continues to fly through the door, though Bear, Wheeler and I have flattened against the walls and manage to avoid death. The grenades go off. Wheeler opens the door and opens fire. Between the two of us we have dropped three guys. Bear cleans up the next ones. We collect weapons and move to the next room, where we regroup. This leaves one more set of double doors. We take up defensive positions and Jade kicks the door in. We feel the familiar burn on our forearms as a wave of magical energy washes over us.

The room is quite extravagant, I have time too look around and take it in as I stand up and drop my weapon. The man we are looking for is behind a thick wooden desk. There are four Caucasians in the room, one of them is Chekov’s dad. The white men leave. The Dragon Head proceeds to chastise us for not fleeing. Bear makes a few witty retorts. “You don’t understand half of what you are into, I will eliminate you and pave the way for his coming.”

Chekhov’s father had arrived prior to the team to try and negotiate for his son’s life. When Chekhov burst into the room, it was with a very disapproving glare that his father abandoned him to his chosen fate.

As the Dragon Head turns away toward the window I feel control returning and he disappears. Jade points her pistol at me, the world goes dark.

Bear relayed later that while they continued trying to find the guy, he had them all attacking each other. Eventually Bear levitated the carpet and was able to locate him. The team killed him. I remained unconscious. As we are leaving I awake, and hear a thundering explosion. Bear relays to me the events of the last hour.

Again I take some perverse amount of pleasure in pitting some of the team’s favorite weapons against them. The Invisibility spell, in particular, is pretty overpowered in the Shadowrun rulebook. Unlike D&D or other systems, the players may take any action they choose and, so long as the enemy does not initially resist the effects of the spell, they remain invisible for as long as they maintain the spell. Blind firing and guesses as to the location of the invisible attacker allows their enemies to try to hurt them, but its rarely effective. This was the first time I’ve ever thrown an enemy at the team who was himself invisible.

The team was definitely very stumped and frustrated with how to counter the spell. Kaguya Hime was a particularly powerful spell caster and, as I do with many of the primary enemies the team faces, he was fully statted out as a character with various skills, abilities and even Edge to spend. While they tried to figure it out, Kaguya Hime made use of their bonds to, one by one, turn the team against each other. Jade in particular was an easy one to turn as a low-willed individual. She took out Marius with a single shot to his back and did some considerable damage to the team at large.

Eventually they did manage to find a creative way to locate him and, between that and firing at random into the room, managed to eventually whittle him down and take him out. Besides his exceedingly powerful magic, he had little in the way of defenses.

This run also marked the end of our campaign for a short while. Due to the arrival of my first child, I was forced to put the campaign on hold for at least a month or two until I had enough time to prepare for and run more Shadowrun sessions. But there is still a lot more to come!

PREVIOUS: Mission 12 – Silence is Golden
NEXT: Update 01 – Nyx Genetics Records

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