Ratched the Hatchet
Guy the Driver
The team restocks and trains new skills in the BBE supply depot/camp, before heading into the QZ with Frank Incense. The take a gunship and drop PPJ and Aleiron off near the MCZ in order to make contact with the local IOND branch. They succeed and Aleiron gains a new follower in the form of a depressed spirit of man named Lys. PPJ meets the local branch head and strongly dislikes him- not the new father figure he was seeking. Bubby shows up and PPJ sends him on some astral recon around town.
The rest of the team (including Tyrese) drop into the Leather District, and make contact with their driver/guide Guy, and local fixer Smedley Pembrenton. They arrange a dead drop for messages and a storage locker in one of Smedley’s places, and then head underground to find a safehouse. They meet some merchants and survivors in the Nub, get the lay of the land, and make a deal with Mama’s Boyz to clear out a catacombs site for a satellite community in order to be able to use part of it as their safehouse.
PPJ and Aleiron, with a long IOND quest list, catch a ride down to Fort Point with some Vory gangsters, passing a weird crystallized island on the way. They rejoin the rest of the team and they head out into the tunnels to clear some room. They find an old storm overflow chamber with a train car incongruously crashed in the middle of the sloping floor. They fight off and burn a bunch of shamblers, but 2 haters escape. Scouting the area, they find a map of “suspicious technomancer activity” areas that the haters had compiled, and Prot0 wants to dig further.
They climb up to where the train fell from, and find another car still up there but off the tracks. They decide this could be a perfect safehouse, and set explosive traps and a watch for the night. A rager swarm (possibly sent by the haters) attacks and detonates the trap before any team members get exposed, blowing out another chunk of the train tunnel into the chamber below. This leaves the remaining car with holes on either side, but seemingly stable atop an arch- even better safehouse. Ratched heads back to the Nub to get assigned some survivors and get supplies and start building it up.
The rest of the team starts working their first few jobs. They track down some info about missing persons via the Sprawl Scouts and Skraacha in the Leather District, and Mama’s Boyz in the Nub. They find a True Communion sanctuary deep in the Catacombs to the west, and meet their leader Dark Angel, who vows that they aren’t infecting anyone against their will, but are helping the desperate and possibly infected. They also seem to view themselves as in good standing with the local Catholic church under Grimes, though they take their version of communion in their sanctuary. They don’t know who’s behind the disappearances but suggest that there may be a nexus of activity originating under the old NeoNET HQ.
The team, satisfied with that info, heads out, but are approached by an Asamandan ghoul named Klana who asks if they’d like some work: infecting a few particular individuals with HMHVV and convincing them to take Asamando up on a citizenship offer once the lockdown ends. They decline, feeling this is a bridge too far. Klana seems very pro and polite. They head back and are summoned to meet Mama, after Aleiron sees a vision summoning her to The Deep during one of her Blood Eclipse dreams.
They pass through some Mama’z Boyz checkpoints (the inner circle all seem to be ghouls), and Guy decides to hang back. The rest of them head down a cable car through what looks like some kind of massive unfinished dig site, to a huge cylindrical pit. They climb partway down the inside on a rung ladder bolted into the wall, and find a small platform on which they perch, somewhat terrified, as a huge booming voice echoes up from below. The voice sounds grinding and is hard to understand, so the team quickly accepts an offer to switch to telepathy.
They receive some visions of Mama’s history, going back a loooooong way, and very slowly being uncovered, gaining followers, and rising in power. Aleiron is the only one who gets a full understanding, the rest of the group gets fragments. Mama tasks them with tracking down and destroying a man she believes responsible for the disappearances, and who has holed up in some exposed labs beneath the old NeoNET HQ. She says they may become her children if they wish once this task is complete. Aleiron drops a pamphlet into the pit, and Mama says she has learned much from things people have dropped to her. Prot0 can’t find a resonance connection but vows to keep trying.
They link up with Ratched, finish setting up the safehouse with an escape route, protein printer, some security and entertainment, and a small garage with access to the old MBTA yard/repair center, which looks pretty shot up and is overrun with headcases, so they spend some time clearing a secure route in and out of the train tunnel. Guy pulls a car in and they head out to do a little digging at Grimes’ church. They cross paths with some Hellriders on the way, and PPJ takes the chance to look into one of the IOND jobs. They find out that the leader, Wyatt’s, bike has some sort of astral signature (which Aleiron speculates may be a Parliament of Cars-esque spirit), and they arrange for the go-gang to provide security and party favors for Jonny’s next show, hoping to get more info then.
They reach the church, meet Grimes and various other Catholics and survivors, and also some Neo-A’s and a very chill technomancer named Viktor Markwart who Prot0 wanted to find anyway- they make fast friends and plan to collab in the future. Jonny gets in with the Neo-A’s, who are impressed by his stories of taking on Ghostwalker. They find out from Grimes (and ghouls in the basement) that the church has been actively protecting HMHVV-infected and technomancers, as well as a variety of unaffiliated individuals who got stranded downtown when the QZ went up. Grimes actually seems pretty rad, but this also confirms a lot of the suspicions Frank Incense/Rome wanted investigated. Prot0 and Grimes notice that they are both TM’s, also, and plan to communicate further.
They head back to the Leather District, get a message from Frank, and head to South Boston to the address he provided as a meet point. They find a corny but well-kept house with a “welcome” mat and a mana barrier around it. They are allowed through, and enter, finding Frank peeling off some bleach covered gloves and apron which still doesn’t quite mask the smell of blood. They see the kitchen is full murder-room: plastic taped up over everything etc. They are instantly a bit creeped out. He says that he had a rough initial contact with the Knights of the Red Branch, but that they’ve sorted everything out.
As usual, they have a hard time reading him, and he seems to be able to easily see through their attempts at deception. They pass along info and location about the True Communion-ists, and also what they learned at the church downtown, though they stress that Grimes seems to be doing a good job. Frank doesn’t seem interested in their opinions. He says that he may have more work for them in the future but that he considers this satisfactory payment, and Prot0 takes a quick poll about whether the team should kill him. He seems to catch the vibe and readies himself. Guy and Ratched leave, not wanting any part of this.
The rest of the team also exits, slowly, though Aleiron and PPJ especially are pretty pissed. They head back to the safehouse, and PPJ astrally projects to the church to warn Grimes, and ends up telling his bodyguard Silke all about Frank Incense and where he is/what he’s up to. He tells the team, and Jonny and Guy (especially) are piiiiiissed- selling out a Johnson is majorly unprofessional, especially as they are new in town and Guy has made extreme efforts to be cool with everyone, in order to be able to get around. They all planned to warn Grimes but giving away Frank’s info was too far. They team decides to take a vote to determine if PPJ can remain in the crew or not, and Prot0 launches a massive PR campaign, pulling on all of his street cred to do it, to smear Frank’s rep in town before he finds out and burns them.