• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

IC [Shadowrun 5th Edition] Neon and Glass

HardKore Keltoid

RAW Cultist
Validated User
"Looked like y'were in fine form to me."

She uploads the footage from her guncam and places it on one of the AR-enabled windows. "Moved a hair before the recoil hit, listen close, y'can hear the hammer fall right there...Aaand gone. Just weren't expectin' a flare round I s'pose. Only singed yer finery 'cause ya didn't clear it by two meters."

She was dog-tired seconds ago, she is very awake now. "We are those poor saps, yeah. At least, we're supposed to be in a while. While we're swappin' questions, though..."

She dismisses the footage of the shot and replaces it wiith her copy of Lodestar's footage at Odette's apartment. In particular, the frames that demonstrate Martin was there. "Startin'a see why I got so twitchy? I assume ya weren't there to collect anybody, bein' as nobody's been collected, so....?"
 

squidheadjax

Social Justice Cultist
RPGnet Member
Validated User
+I'm fine, Nadezhda.+ She sends to Lodestar. It's only transmitting once now, the strange double messaging of earlier gone. Odette- Odile? The Swan Princess?- is surprised to find she means it. She'd never slotted the Odile chip before tonight, and the first time she'd been in the middle of a trauma flashback and lost control. Now?

Now she is clear-headed, thinking for the first time in hours.
Privately, to Lodestar, she sends, +Don't panic. Now is not the time. I can go to pieces while you hold me later. Right now, take a breath and get yourself level before coming back. Things are getting more dangerous with this run and we need our rigger at her very best.+
Lodestar breathes raggedly as her lungs, which she left behind half a disgustingly expansive lawn ago, struggle to catch up with her. Red hair strings down around her face from more than just the weather now, and the inside of her armor is a hot hell of salty, greasy sweat on wick-away liners designed under the assumption that the user would be smart enough to wear something between their sweat glands and the armorclothes.

Her tears are lost in the rain. "Goddammit again!?" she shouts aloud with nobody around to hear, banging her metal arm impotently against the door of the van. It's easy to believe that Odette really is calmer, more collected now, and safe, but even thinking that makes her skin crawl. She pounds against the shell of the van until she starts getting maintenance warnings for her arm splashed across her retinas, then starts lugging back the medkit in her left arm while the right shuts down and restarts to re-calibrate its motors, moving with resignation in her step. +I'm coming, just not fast. What's the situation now?+ she thinks at George.
 

Meriss

Chaos Incarnate
Validated User
Doc Wilson
He holds up a hand and tells Doc, "There is no need for blood. No one is injured except myself, and I will recover soon. I have fed recently and will again, but not here. Besides," he grins, "bagged blood is the vampiric equivalent of snak kakes from stuffer shack. It tastes alright and fulfills the craving, but we cannot live on it." He shakes his head. "Please, do not worry about me. I should have sent word ahead, but in my excitement I was a touch hasty on a night not for taking chances." He looks at his arm, then the brim of his hat, which bears a scorch mark where Annabelle's bullet flashed by and grimaces. "It is possible I am a touch out of practice. Thank you for demonstrating that for me."
George doesn't look up from Odette. But he's smiling crazily now. "Well you hear rumors. Wasn't sure how much blood you'd burn putting down our swan. I didn't want to have to deal with hungry vampire and angry gillette."
Walking to a chair and sitting down, he heaves a sigh, then asks again, "So, I believe I was asking, you are the PensaDyne runner team?"
"Not quite fang face. Hang on."

The old man executes a few commands.

Teamchat
<Ladies and gents. A Livestream from Doc's head!>

"Go ahead."
"Looked like y'were in fine form to me."

She uploads the footage from her guncam and places it on one of the AR-enabled windows. "Moved a hair before the recoil hit, listen close, y'can hear the hammer fall right there...Aaand gone. Just weren't expectin' a flare round I s'pose. Only singed yer finery 'cause ya didn't clear it by two meters."
"Damn nice shot Smoke! Upload that. You've got a good two months of free drinks."

She pounds against the shell of the van until she starts getting maintenance warnings for her arm splashed across her retinas, then starts lugging back the medkit in her left arm while the right shuts down and restarts to re-calibrate its motors, moving with resignation in her step. +I'm coming, just not fast. What's the situation now?+ she thinks at George.
<Weird. He's just sitting here talking. I'm streaming the audio right now.>

<Odette, do you consent to medical monitoring? Just send me your heartbeat.>

<Kid! C'mon! Literally once in a lifetime here. Also my favorite part of the run. Things are going to get weird! Also he can read this. Encrypt teamchat.>
 
Last edited:

Markov

The Fabulous King
Validated User
VR - Princess' Home Node

Princess ignores his question for a moment, staring out at the architecture. It really is a beautiful node, the craft involved in sculpting the digital grove evident, no two trees or even blossoms quite alike. She lays a hand on his shoulder. "Was it the right thing?" Princess asks him after a moment. "I mean, to save everyone's lives, yes it was. I know that, or I wouldn't have suggested it to you. But I didn't know she was a bunraku. She'd rather die, and isn't that her choice?" Princess shakes her head. "We took her agency away from her, Rabbit. What we did...well," she gestures, and the coffin-like device appears before them, nestled in the soft grass. "If she grabbed you, without warning, and threw you into the coffin and said it was the right thing, the thing that would save everyone's lives, and then didn't explain it when your team went to get answers on your behalf, how would you react?"

Princess gestures again and Lodestar appears, her face twisted with grief and fury and fear. "Imagine if you were in her place, and I was in the coffin." She points out. "You'd be killing them, one way or another." Princess shakes her head, a denial of what Moon has said. "You're right, they can't understand some things. But I think you're selling them short, Rabbit. She," Odette again, naked and frightened, "understands being a prisoner. At least they tried to keep us alive and healthy for their experiments. She didn't have even that."



Princess turns to him, and her expression becomes cross. She's not angry, per se, not yet, but there are flickers of lightning on the horizon of the sculpted node, and a chill wind starts flinging cherry blossoms from the trees. "Moon Rabbit, you be quiet!" She snaps. "You're putting this on them. This isn't about them." She exhales slowly through her nose. "Did they have ideas? Maybe, maybe not. The team outside wasn't moving. You- we had time. We panicked. We didn't ask. We didn't give the ginger the chance to put the swan's head on straight, or even to see if she could act despite her circumstances." Princess slumps, her shoulders falling. "It was my idea, and I shouldn't have passed it along. You did something you see as minor, and that's the problem. It put a woman barely older than we are into a hell even I can't imagine, and you did it because of me."
He listens, watches, in silence. None of it was new. None of it was anything he hadn't known, hadn't guessed, hadn't put together. He had an answer for each question, each hypothetical. Complete system shutdown. Hard wipe. And....nuke from orbit. But it was things he hadn't faced. Refused to acknowledge. Running was easier. Simpler. Edit. Retry. Restart. Undo. QWS.

Princess straightens. "Yes, Moon, I still believe in you." She tells him, radiating honesty. "I think you're a good guy who did a bad thing because of bad advice from a bad person." She hooks a thumb at herself.
"No. I'm...not good. Not the worst. But not good. And you aren't bad. Too good. Impossibly good. I've seen you in person and I'm still not convinced you're real. good."

"But you rail at them for not understanding, and I don't think you do either. Imagine if you spent years getting away from MCT, from the nightmares, from the pain and the scars and the trauma, and then one day one of your friends reveals that yeah, he likes to experiment on our kind too, and then pushes you into a cell. What would that do to y-"

Princess goes slack, checking out for a second, and when she comes back she's practically spitting. "God damn it! I have to log back into meatspace for a moment. There's a pitched battle going on in my living room. Back in a few."

Then she vanishes, leaving Moon alone in the node.
Silence again. Only crazy people talk to themselves. A quick edit turns a beautifully chiseled stone lantern into a second copy of Rabbit. There.

"I'm done with this. She's right."

It wasn't your fault. You did the best you could, with what you had. Did everything right, for the right reasons.

"
It doesn't matter why. The results matter, not the intention."

Exactly! The results matter, and you-

"Shut up. I'm not in the mood. We're going to settle this. Not right now, because she needs us. They need us. But this? This ends now."

You think so? How long? We know who you are. What you are. All talk, until the next Big Bad comes along. The next disappointment. The next person's done with your drek. Then it's you and me against the world again, omae.

"Not wrong. I'm not good. You're not all bad. But at the end of the day? You're an option. Not a requirement. I'm the one pressing the buttons. I can kill you. But I'd be weaker for it. No more weakness. We work together. Those are my terms. The only terms."

Grandfather Wolf

<Oh c'mon kid. I ain't that old. My great granddad sure. Fine. Princess has got cameras in the living room. Get the feed or you're going to miss an unliving legend! And for the record. That was not a trial. That was surgery. Sometimes you have to hurt to heal. When you are ready I have a file you need to watch. If you get a boner I swear I'm cutting it off!>
The message floats by on the breeze, same as before. One of the Rabbit twins chuckles, despite his best efforts.

"Damn it, Doc. You're ruining the mood here."

He's good. Completely out of touch with anything remotely popular. But good. You were a real-

"I know. I owe a few apologies. Put it on a list."

Doc Wilson

<Kid! C'mon! Literally once in a lifetime here. Also my favorite part of the run. Things are going to get weird! Also he can read this. Encrypt teamchat.>
What do you think it is?

"No idea. For either. But he's pretty insistent. Let's go check it out."

One Rabbit disappears. The other is right behind.

Meeting Room

He sits up, surprisingly calm considering his exit. "What'd I miss?"
 

HardKore Keltoid

RAW Cultist
Validated User
Annabelle points. "This is Martin De Vries, he's a vampire; hunter. He can dodge bullets, but not monowire, when he cheats. Despite my lackin' hospitality, he wants to talk. I'm sure there's a camera feed that'll fill ya in - doc?"
 

Meriss

Chaos Incarnate
Validated User
Annabelle points. "This is Martin De Vries, he's a vampire; hunter. He can dodge bullets, but not monowire, when he cheats. Despite my lackin' hospitality, he wants to talk. I'm sure there's a camera feed that'll fill ya in - doc?"
Doc Wilson
"Still running five by five. Lode's grabbing the medkit. Odette's still under. Anyone get hit? Welcome back to history kid."
 

Leanansidhe

Mab's Right Hand
Validated User
+We're not under, we just can't move.+ She sends to the team. To Doc she adds +Absolutely not. No one is getting in my head right now, no matter how non-invasive or trivial it may seem to you.+

The Swan Princess turns her attention to Martin De Vries. He's a legend, and with his name she can get context and fill in the blanks. A legend in the shadows, a vampire who hunts vampires. He's been around forever, only getting outed a few years ago at a book signing. A published novelist, basically decent guy. Mage, got his degree at Oxford, joined blah blah blah snooze. Nothing important, nothing related to the problem at hand. She frowns internally as he asks about the PensaDyne run, turning her attention to that little quandary.

She'll kill the body-jacking bastard later, street legend or no.

Okay, thinking time. Point the first: They're supposed to steal an experimental therapy of some kind, magical in nature. Point the second: they're clearly being treated like mushrooms, kept in the dark and fed bullshit. Point the third: this super-experimental, highly-lucrative research is in a relative drekhole, which means its either illegal or distasteful, or both. Point the fourth: It appears to have minimal security, but no one has moved on it, which indicates that things are rather more protected than they seem. Point the fifth: A vampire hunter is here asking about the magical therapy no one can name.

Well, this is...bad.

You fragging think?

Why can I hear you? I shouldn't be able to hear you.

I don't know. I'm dead. You killed me.

I know. I miss you.

I miss you too. Even though I'm dead.

Should we talk to someone about this?

They'd kill me again. Or us. Or get into our head to try and fix us.

They'd be right. We're broken.

Yes.

But together.

Yes.

Shit.

Yes...please don't kill me. Please don't purge my chip. I don't want to go back into the dark.

How do you...you can't be aware, can you?

It's so dark. And quiet. I'm scared. Please don't make me go back. I don't want to go back. I love you. Please don't make me go.

I won't. You have to let me have control, though. Please. I can't...I can't...

I know. I will. It's okay, Lexi. I'm here.

I miss you.

I miss you too. It'll be okay.


Odette's armor fades back to white, her eyes lighting back up in Ancients green.
 

Markov

The Fabulous King
Validated User
Doc Wilson
Welcome back to history kid."
Rabbit scans the room, and it's almost possible to see that he is literally processing information. People, blood, the scene.

Him.

His eyes hit De Vries and movement stops. Outside! Apartment!

Don't panic. Think.


There's a cascade of thought, flowcharts and options, possibilities and outcomes.

We're alive. He's alive. Note lack of current combat. If he wanted us dead or captured, he'd be geeked or we would be. Was a fight. Combat stopped. Negotiations? Surrender? Details needed. Who has the advantage? We took damage enough for Doc to ask. Other guy's got battle damage. Draw? Vampire. Vampire?! De Vries?!

Stop right there. No. Bad Rabbit. Asking for an autograph is bad form. You want to look the part? Try easing into it.


"You were outside the apartment. Now you're here. Didn't attack then, and aren't now. Not currently, anyway. What's your sell?"
 

PixieDust

Possible successor to Betancore's coat.
Validated User
Finally, things were settling down, and once DeVries began to speak in calm tones MadCat went back to his seat. He continued to keep an eye on everyone in the room, just in case someone got a funny idea, but when it appeared that everyone had calmed enough not to jump the man again, the Irishman took a moment to inspect the bottoms of his feet.

Rug burns. Not the worst he'd had, really, and it was mostly just an annoyance, and the footage put up from Smoke was a damn good distraction. He'd had a vague idea of DeVries' abilities, but to see them in action was something else entirely.

Once again, he sat and listened. Usually he would have asked his own questions, but it seemed that what he would have asked had already been covered, for the most part.
 

CherrySmiles

Malicious Sprite
Validated User
De Vries gives Doc a level look. "Please keep your comments about my nature to yourself, Doctor, and a civil tongue in your head. I am merely trying to help you." He smiles again, bloodless lips quirking up in an expression that has very little to do with joy or mirth. "I am afraid you are rather 'deeper in the drek' than you realize, to use 'runner's parlance."

He turns his gaze to Odette and gestures slightly, releasing the hold he has on her person and inclines his head. "My apologies again, dear lady, for the necessity." He tells her, seeming genuinely contrite. "You struck a capable blow, and I'm afraid I had to rush my response."

Sitting back and removing his hat, he looks at Rabbit, holding up one finger. "A moment, sir. Let us wait for your missing companion to return." He sits idly, smoking, the very picture of relaxed repose, even with the blood and the shortened sleeve of his coat. He smokes the cigarette down to the butt and lights the next from the still-smoldering end of the first, just taking his first drag as Lodestar returns.

"Ah, welcome back, madam." He stands. "We were just about to begin." He begins to pace, a tall, lean, hawkish figure moving back and forth like a hunting animal, smoking heavily, the steely clouds trailing him like wisps of fog.

"As you undoubtedly know by now, you have been hired to steal a medical miracle." He turns back the way he came. "This much is absolutely true. Further, what you have been told about its capabilities is also true." Again, his movements choppy. "It is a marvel, capable of making the sick whole, capable of allowing surgery and augmentation without affecting natural talents." A bitter laugh. He is angry. "However, there is a catch."

Martin looks up at the team. "This is all possible because what you are taking is a new strain of HMHVV, developed some twenty years ago in a lab." His lips pull back, showing fangs. "I tried to destroy it then. I thought I had killed its creators. I had destroyed most of the data." He grinds his teeth. "I saw good people die, or fall to the virus and die, including the man we were trying to recover." He begins pacing again. "Now it has resurfaced, in a mercenary lab with plans to export it to a mega." He laughs again, a hopeless, furious sound. "Think of what a megacorp could do with a variant of HMHVV that didn't cause a sunlight allergy, that didn't leave a vulnerability to silver, that didn't keep its carriers from eating and drinking. They would be invisible, indistinguishable from a normal metahuman but far more deadly, predators that could move unseen in a world of prey."

De Vries stops pacing and looks at the assembled team. "That is what you are being sent to steal."
 
Top Bottom