Seattle Side Mission 13: Dawn of the Artifacts – Dusk (Part 1) – Part 1

Written by: Bear           Played on: 20 Jul 2013
PREVIOUS: Side Mission 12 – On the Fly – Part 1
NEXT: Side Mission 13 – Dawn of the Artifacts – Dusk (Part 1) – Part 2

This session used the published scenario, Dawn of the Artifacts – Dusk. As such, there are spoilers so read ahead at your own peril.

It’s been one hell of a month man. Or two. Shit. How long has it been since Colorado?

Any way, however long it’s been, shit has hit the fan since. It’s been a dark summer. The heat is on, especially since business has been so good. But the work only acts as a temporary distraction. I feel that I left part of myself in the hills of Colorado and brought something else back with me. My soul; my heart is haunted by the memories of my family, terrorized by their smiles. My nights of meditation have become plagued.

Now, when I tap into the awakened world, I see the faces of my family; I hear them calling my name. The drums, the sights, the smells, the tastes of my past; especially when I cast more powerful spells. The stronger the spells the more cruel and vivid the visions are. It’s more than I can bear. During a job, the distraction could cost me my life or the lives of my team.

Between sessions, we discovered that Bear had been calculating his Magic dice pool wrong as a Mystic Adept. We fixed it moving forward, but Bear found himself suddenly much weaker as a caster. He rolled with it though and turned it into a character flaw. After some discussion, and perhaps as a way to make up for the past miscalculations, Bear developed PTSD related to his use of magic. The first time he uses magic in a stressful or pinch situation (ie: combat) and any time he overcasts, he now makes a test to see if he freezes up on the spot, caught up in a flashback.

To shake off my restless nights, I have been refocusing my training back to my roots; the weapon my father taught me to use, not only as a weapon for defense but a tool for life. The bow. With the help of the team, especially Marius and Wheeler, and one of our Seattle arms fixers, Trixi, I did some shopping and bought a new bow with some new-tech upgrades and new goggles to pair with it. It’s about time I embrace this world and use it to my advantage.

The team has been laying low for a while. The heat has been bearing down hard, harder than usual. That, paired with increased gang activity, staying in, watching the trids and training has been a daily activity for the last several weeks as Dee recovers from his wounds and searches for answers.

The morning after a night of drinking, combat strategy talk, target practice and sparring with the team, we received a phone call. A job. A gorgeous woman wanted to meet. The connection was solid and it’s not in our interest to turn down work, or pass up the opportunity of a free meal courtesy of Ms. Johnson. It’s been a while since we’ve had any solid work, living off of savings is fun, but having money left after paying rent is better. Jade, Marius, and I were the only ones available, so we suit up and slag off.

The meeting place for the job was The 77 Club, at first it seemed like a normal enough club, but it had surprisingly heavy security; which means it was much nicer inside than it looked.  As we step in, Jade and I, in our business suits fit in just fine. Meanwhile Marius, who thought we were going to a place like the Critical Glitch, is in his street gear. As he steps in a very lovely young woman clears her throat.

“Uhhmm. Sir? Would you like a coat?”

“Me?” Marius responds, “I’m already wear-… Oh!”

At the sight of the plain, old, over-sized jacket, Marius realized that it wasn’t an offer, but a requirement to enter the high-class club.

Dressed-up, we are escorted into where the ‘other half’ spend their free time. Surrounding us are the corporates who can afford not to know about the darkness in the streets only blocks away, or have bought away their consciousness’s. As we walk through the bar, she takes our drink orders. Jade chimes in asking for the largest Long Island they have, while Marius and I order top shelf whiskey’s; an old fashioned for him and three-fingers neat for me.

We are led through a door to a private room that is beautifully adorned in rich, colorful wood, but the shining jewel of the room is lovely woman in a pale suit, ready and waiting. My first thought, Dibs, but that was a brief thought, as this was a business meeting after all. Her name was Jane “Frosty” Foster, a gorgeous human woman. She sat us down to fill us in on the job.

This particular session, as we were short on regular players, we had another join the group. Bear’s, player’s wife joined us at the table again, her second time including the Recruitment run where she played Detrius. This time, however, she was playing Frosty, a powerful mage and the team’s Ms. Johnson for the run. As such, she was briefed ahead of time on the negotiation and then I largely allowed her to explain the job and run the interview.

“I heard from the vine that your team might like to get out of the rain. I need a team to provide me security for a little business trip I’m taking. So, is it just you three?”

“Yeah, but our reputation speaks for itself.” Marius says with a smirk

“Shiny. So I take it you’re in then?”

I take a smooth sip of some of the best whiskey I may ever drink. “Well, Frosty, that depends on you. Where’s the job and how much are our services worth to you?”

“My employer is sending me in search of an artifact in Lagos.” Seeing the blank looks on our faces, she adds, “Nigeria. Africa, if you couldn’t guess it. Unlike Seattle, Lagos is an awful, lawless slag hole. They don’t take too kindly to independent women, especially in the city. I’m looking for a crew to watch my back while I track down a valuable artifact.”

“Swell,” Marius responds, “So, our pay?”

She glances down and swipes quickly through her comm link, as she looks back up, she gently brushes her hair out of her eyes and over her ears, showing the unmistakable ears of an elf, to my surprise. “Each of you will receive 2,000¥ per day along with a 250¥ per diem for food and supplies. In addition, if I am able to return with the artifact, your team will get a bonus of 50,000¥.”

Jade was unlucky enough to be mid-sip at the mention of the bonus, snorting and coughing her glowing drink. The three of us exchange a quick glance, then nod in agreement.

“Mrs. Frosty, you’ve got yourself a security team.” I said, extending my glass.

“Cheers. Oh, and Bear, its miss.” She added with a wink.

We finished our drinks and talked work for about an hour, but the long-and-short of it was, Frosty’s angel works for the Draco Foundation, a group established by President Dunkelzahn. The foundation is dedicated to the acquisition, research, and safeguard of rare and mysterious artifacts. We are on the hunt for an item that was recently stolen from one of their vaults and the man responsible.

Our objective, find and return the Sextant of the Worlds, and, if possible, its thief. An elf by the name of Samriel, who, is not only a skilled thief but also in the employ of the Atlantian Foundation, a group not too dissimilar to the Draco Foundation, is believed to be our man. Sources put Samriel in Lagos.

When she picked up the check for the evening, she sent us the details of our flight and set us up with a doc who can get us the last-minute immunizations for international travel. The flight leaves tomorrow morning, before dawn. So we jetted home, packed our working gear and got a few hours of sleep.

We arrived at SEATAC before the sun. When we arrived, Frosty was already waiting, chatting with her pilot going over the flight plans. We groggily made our way to our seats and packed up our gear. From Seattle, we had dozens of hours in the air, which were spent paying for and downloading language software so we could listen and speak while in Lagos. We had to make a couple of stops; at each, the weather got hotter, the airports got older and security got more militant.

When Frosty announced that we were done with this plane, we were greeted by a battle hardened man named Innocent, who claimed to be our pilot, but there wasn’t a plane in sight. Well, there was a rusted-out tin can that had two propellers and wheels. Frosty didn’t bat an eyelash and we followed her onto the rickety craft, which creaked and moaned under each of us, especially Jade. The flight was entirely nerve-racking; there was no door and we could see that the cockpit was outfitted with nothing but a paper map, a compass, and a joystick.

PREVIOUS: Side Mission 12 – On the Fly – Part 1
NEXT: Side Mission 13 – Dawn of the Artifacts – Dusk (Part 1) – Part 2

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