Seattle Side Mission 14: Dawn of the Artifacts – Dusk (Part 2) – Part 4

Written by: Marius           Played on: 10 Aug 2013
PREVIOUS: Side Mission 14 – Dawn of the Artifacts – Dusk (Part 2) – Part 3
NEXT: Side Mission 15 – Memories Past (Part 3)

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

“He’s on foot,” Wheeler says. Chekhov and Jade give chase. Chekhov casts orgasm on the running man. The man twitches, but continues running. Chekhov casts orgasm again.

As the cab traveling security team hits traffic, they leave their vehicle and head down some stairs toward the water. Bear and Frosty give chase. I pay the cabbie and follow. “Wheeler, can you throw my rifle down to me?” I ask. At the bottom of the staircase there is a boat. There are heavily armed guards in the boats.

“Not a problem, sir.” Wheeler jumps out of the truck, throwing my assembled rifle over the side and takes off running toward the others. “About time to abandon that truck anyway.” Bear grabs my rifle and levitates it right to me. Wheeler catches up to the others quickly and other security can be seen in the background. The man is closing on the end of the bridge. Chekhov stops and summons a spirit of air.

“Nice teamwork everyone,” I say. My rifle in hand, I take aim and fire a three round burst, shredding the engine of the boat. Frosty launches a powerful spell called Blast, knocking the occupants over and cracking the boat. Bear unleashes a lightning bolt. The boat is sinking quickly. Guys in armor begin floundering as their armor fills with water. “Bear, can you get those guys to dry land?” I ask.

“They will only give chase, we cannot afford the risk.” Frosty says.

“Besides, there are better things I could spend mana on.” Bear adds. He and Frosty argue about it for about a minute as they attempt to steal a boat. We pay 150₦ to a river boat guy to get across the river.

Marius, as a character, has been doing his best to embrace a non-lethal combat style for awhile now, as his conscience has gotten the better of him. The rest of the team doesn’t necessarily share those sentiments which often clashes with his own actions.

The man with the map jumps on another motorcycle taxi, the spirit Chekhov summoned rips him off the bike. Jade reaches the man and rips the case out of his hands. As she starts to walk away, three Area Boys step out and open fire with AK-97s. Wheeler wrenches a weapon into a mans chin and shoots him with it. Jade punches the nearest Ganger, he falls onto his ass.

As I see the last of the armored men sink below the surface, Chekhov’s spirit hucks the winning bidder off the bridge and into the river. We are pulling up to the bank as we see the him fall into the water, HARD. “Oops,” a text from wheeler states. We head up the bank toward the rest of the team.

“вы не сделать разрез,” Chekhov says as he lays open a mans head with razor claws.  It sounds like a witty one liner along the line of ‘playtimes over’ or ‘everybody chill’, but I don’t understand it. I make a mental note to pick up a Russian linguisoft, just to understand his bad action movie puns.

We hear the disturbing sound of a chopper and see the security coming across the bridge. One of the nearby bike taxi drivers says, “That was fucking AWESOME!”

“Thanks,” wheeler says as he shoves the man off his bike. We all board bikes and take off. We take up on sidewalks, duck through traffic and are being pursued by security teams on bike cabs. The chopper sounds closer. The pursuers are keeping pace. We see guys with guns setup for an ambush just in time, we avoid the gunfire by taking a side street. The men behind us take some of the fire.

Chekhov casts an illusion of three identical taxi bikes veering off in another direction. Bear casts ignite on one of the men giving chase. Some of the security men chase the fake bikes. We build some distance just as a helicopter pimps on to the scene.

“Fucking chopper incoming,” Jade says. It strafes down the road, indiscriminately firing at us, civilians and the security men alike. One of the drivers following goes down as he bursts into flame.

“Everyone sees chopper. Shut up!” Chekhov barks back.

“One left!” Bear calls out from the rear. “I got something for his ass!” We go down narrow streets for better cover from aerial pursuit. The bike flips and rolls to a halt as Bear petrifies the driver. The helicopter reemerges, giving chase, when a second chopper comes in. This second chopper shoots at the first. This gives us a little room to maneuver. We reach the hotel and grab our shit.

The chase scene was intended to be very dramatic and difficult, running them all the way to the airport. However, they had left a significant amount of equipment in the hotel that they weren’t going to leave and the run had gone on late already. We could have played it through, but I introduced the second chopper and removed several other teams they were supposed to run into as a way to create an artificial break. I then posed to the team that they could return to the airport straight away before the helicopters reengaged, or go to the hotel in the opposite direction which would give the helicopters time to reacquire them on their way to the airport.

They chose to go to the hotel to get their items and I ended up allowing them to get to the airport after a vehicle change. It felt like a little bit of a cop out to me, but we were already way over on time.

I open the metal case and find inside a protected map, inside a plastic shell. I pick through the case and find no tracking tag. I put the map back in it and we grab two cabs, ditching our previous rides. We no longer hear the gunfire from the choppers. The second chopper won and is still in the area. We are in enroute to the airport.

We spend a tense half hour as the chopper passes overhead, lingering once. We get to the airport. I leave the giant case in the cab and take the hard cased map to the plane. We load our gear as a vehicle pulls to a stop, a man with silver cybereyes can be seen at the end of the runway as we lift into the air.

We spend the next day and a half traveling. We all share the story of our battle so much that everyone knows what everyone else was doing. By the time we reach Seattle, any one of us can tell the story from an omniscient point of view.  Landing at the airport we are able to avoid customs, a handy trick, and find an idling limo.

“Well, I guess this is it.” Frosty says as the limo pulls up. I find my hand instinctively reach for my dart pistol as Frosty draws out her commlink. “I’m sending over your final payment now. Please confirm the transfer.” I quickly double check and give her a nod. “Ok, I’ll keep your number. In addition to being able runners, you were not a bad lot to hang out with for a week.”

“Goodbye, Jade. Marius.” Frosty says as she hands the map off to a thin elf in the limo. “Bear, it was nice to have met you. Wheeler, thanks for coming on such short notice. Chekhov, до свидания.”

We all say our goodbyes and get in our van. “So,” Marius asks, “The Critical Glitch?”

The first chapter of Dawn of the Artifacts was a lot of fun, a good change of pace and put some much needed money in the player’s pockets which I know they loved. The biggest problem I had with it was in trying to fit the game into our traditional four hour session. Based on my experience with the Denver Missions Campaign, I expected the adventure to be written for a four hour convention time block. With those adventures, I found they typically ran a little over, but could easily be cut down to fit based on what I knew of my team.

That assumption turned out to be dead wrong. Having since looked at the second chapter of Dawn of the Artifacts, the next mission specifically states that the adventure should be run over several sessions, not in a single sitting. This warning was not given anywhere in the first mission, but I probably should have intuited this after reading through it. If I was to run it again, I would plan on breaking the mission up over three sessions. That would have given me all the extra time I needed to not rush through any of the scenes.

PREVIOUS: Side Mission 14 – Dawn of the Artifacts – Dusk (Part 2) – Part 3
NEXT: Side Mission 15 – Memories Past (Part 3)

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