Seattle Mission 15: Cover Up – Part 2

Written by: Chekhov           Played on: 02 Feb 2013
PREVIOUS: Mission 15 – Cover Up – Part 1
NEXT: Seattle Update 02 – The Interrogation of Nighthawk

The building was in shambles, not anywhere I would feel comfortable making a home in, though I’ve come close to as bad. Given enough time, Cho managed to find a break in the rubble to sneak her drone into the facility. Overall, the place was empty, remnants of what you might expect from a bunch of out-from-civilization hoodlums. Junk all over the place, spray painted walls, makeshift dining areas, nests of shoddy beds, the lot. Considering the whole decor, it was almost startling when the drone discovered a camped out troll, decked to the teeth as if he were about to play football with hellspawn. He just sat there, doing nothing, all by himself. Everything about this seemed oddly fishy. Out of concern, I took the time to prepare a Spirit of Earth. While we try to prepare for the worst, I hope I can learn to act on my intuitions sooner in the future.

It was decided that we’d quit waiting and breach the building from three different points, Cho and I planning on blasting through the wall along the far side, after Bear dispelled the ward. Having sat in the obtrusive stench of sulfur for several hours, it was a welcome action.

When we finally charged, conflict hit the moment Team Front-Door ran in. There is the sound of lumbering charging feet, despite the accents of what I reasoned to be Marius’ shotgun and Wheeler’s pistol attempting to stop the hulking troll from barreling at them.

The troll of the group, as the team had discovered previously from Wheeler’s Lone Star contact, was an Urban Brawl player who went missing several years prior. He was definitely the tank of this particular ambush, as the team would find out. In addition to exceedingly high physical attributes, he was also decked out in some of his custom brawl gear, based on riot armor from the rules books, which included resistance to shock and fire damage as well as being armed with a pair of large shock clubs. Saddly, he was taken down before he could do any real damage, but he definitely got the team’s attention and did his job, which was to set the team up for the ambush.

Cho and I were met with our own surprise, of course. Planting two grenades in the rubble to open the wall for us, having someone ready with a gun on the other side was not the expected result. As we stepped through, one of our targets unloaded their weapon at us. I faced the brunt of it, of course, and took the motivation to turn into something slightly more menacing. Anger and pain just seem to flow with a more positive energy for me when I’m a bear. To immediately deal with the threat, I brought forth the Earth Spirit within the room, commanding the being to engage with our shotgun-wielding target.

After what seems to be their entire ammo reserve, Wheeler and Marius managed to down the charging beast of a creature, but the danger was replaced by the SMG fire of an elf from a higher floor, coupled with blasts from a female mage. Bear lost focus at this, seeing his comrades under attack and severely wounded. A billow of rage came from his mouth at this point. I’ve seen him do this before; he gets dumb, he gets dangerous and, usually, it’s for the better.

I recall this with something of a muddled understanding, as about this time I really noticed how much blood I was losing to the opening rounds I took. Marius and Wheeler were not in much better shape, recovering by the fallen armored troll, ducking fire. As I took a moment to a cast a heal upon myself, I heard Cho shouting to the members upstairs. She was begging them to stop and asking to speak to someone named Matt. I could only presume it was the person she recognized from the photograph. Much to her disappointment, this did nothing to slow their attack. It was clear to me at this point that this was no ordinary group of thugs, as the scenario all too often turns out for us.

Matt was mentioned as a pivotal individual in Cho’s original back story who went missing several years prior. She never knew what happened to him, but apparently he ended up in the Marahal program too. It seems everyone Cho cares for is destined to be used as a tool before dying horribly…

The firefight continued without a moment’s pause, Wheeler returning fire against the elf. As I finished healing myself as best I could for the situation, my eyes caught that look again on Cho’s face. What could I do to help her? I presumed my Spirit of Earth was still occupied, but turning to check, the shotgunning orc he had gone after lay crumpled on the floor. So, I used my next task I had won from the spirit to secure this “Matt” for Cho, alive. Without a moment’s hesitation, the spirit turned towards his new venture. Indeed, Matt was present, and made himself visible enough to fire his weapon. It is when I saw his distinct lack of reaction to Cho’s cries that I knew these men were not fighting a free fight. His eyes did not deviate from their lost rage, even as my elemental restrained all of his movements.

A pair of drones added themselves to the battle against us, along with a sniper firing from the second floor. Wheeler managed to topple the SMG firing elf with a lucky shot, while Bear threw himself headlong up the way into the gunfire.

By the time I got out in the open to see what’s going on, my team had efficiently defeated the drone units. The mage, who I later learned was wielding a similar control rod to what has been used against us, was nowhere to be found and could not be tracked by Bear. The sniper, however, had purely given up attacking us and appeared to be clutching her throat in agony. I approached and cuffed her, hoping perhaps she might explain what the hell was going on. In an attempt to cast a heal spell on her having noticed she was wounded, I was met with failure. The spell only seemed to help for the briefest moment, as a foam began to pour from her mouth. Opening it, I saw she had consumed some sort of acidic poison, likely hidden in a tooth capsule. There was nothing I could do, as I watched it eat away her throat.

Coming downstairs, I saw a similar scenario with Cho and Matt, now loosely clutched in the arms of my elemental. He had bitten down on a similar capsule, a look of horror and sorrow upon his face, to match that of my comrade Cho’s. She said something to him, something I could not hear, and stayed with him there as he died on his feet. The look was there on her face for the briefest of moments, stronger than I’d ever seen, and then it was gone again; perhaps for good. Another scar over the heart. I did not ask about it; it was not my business to know. There was a mark on the man’s arm, that of a blue wolf. It faded as he died.

The van was fetched and the house looted. Of course, our Johnson never responds, likely having set this up for our assassination. To my comrade’s fortune, however, my elemental did NOT kill the shotgun-wielding orc, but merely beat him into unconsciousness. After carefully removing the tooth, we allowed him to awaken, and discovered he was in a very similar predicament to that of our own, and willing to communicate. We’ll be talking to him tonight about it, but somehow, I feel we won’t learn anything that we do not already know, and some of us are a bit less for it all.

The game ended pretty abruptly after combat. We had run long so, once the combat was pretty decided, the mage slipped out the back and issued a command to the soldier’s to bite their suicide capsules. This was always the plan, I just instituted it a few rounds earlier since we had run so long. The only soldier there who wasn’t already dead and couldn’t follow the order was the orc that Chekhov’s spirit had knocked out since he was unconscious at the time. We roleplayed out the scene to let Cho say goodbye and then very quickly determined that the party would loot the place, take the orc and leave. The team had intuited by this point, though I also told them, that Mr Johnson did not return any of their calls and following up with their hacker friends turned up that the number was a throwaway on a fake SIN with no other clues. For the interrogation, I explained that the orc was very compliant when he came to and would tell them everything he knew. Rather than roleplaying it, I sent them all home and then wrote up an in character email for the interrogation and sent it to the team.

PREVIOUS: Mission 15 – Cover Up – Part 1
NEXT: Seattle Update 02 – The Interrogation of Nighthawk

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