The team has holed up in various squats and hotels in Hamburg while healing up from the dragon fight. They get some small in-town jobs from the local Neo-A’s and the Dutch Penose. Nothing too dangerous, just some smuggling and protection stuff, but it keeps them housed and fed while they are laying low for a bit.
News continues to trickle in from the outside world though:
1. Apparently a number of Jackpoint members were killed in the chaos in Colombia, including Black Mamba & Aufheben, and some other members are missing or injured. It seems like AZT got the jump on everyone, and hit pretty hard and fast. There are also some reports coming out about some unstable nanotech used in reconstruction efforts in warzones. but it’s unclear what is hype and rumor and propaganda and what is real.
2. Aztlan/Aztechnology has also moved back into Denver, with Ghostwalker yet to return from the rift. The Denver Treaty is up for renegoatiation, and it seems like AZT wants to get back in for good.
3. Lofwyr’s long awaited revenge on Hestaby (for destroying SK’s Dubai HQ, and possibly attacking him personally while he was fighting Alamais) has finally come about. Lofwyr seems to have been carefully positioning behind the scenes while staying publicily silent, and has managed to get Hestaby booted from the Tir Tairngire Council of Princes, as well as (more seriously) banishing her from her home on Mt. Shasta, and killing or displacing her followers there, as well as splitting up her hoard amongst other Greats. However, Lofwyr has also possibly lost some influence, having been replaced as Loremaster by Celedyr (although the rumors are that Lof ‘voluntarily’ stepped down).
4. Celedyr’s first act as Loremaster was to declare a moratorium on draconic ‘revenge’ killings of talismongers/leggers/mages/etc. After Dec. 26, 2075, all matters will be considered settled, but dragons have ’til then to take care of any necessary business. So, any members of anti-dragon orders might want to be especially cautious.
5. There are news reports of HMHVV sufferers having a harder time (for instance, worse effects from exposure to sunlight, needing to feed more), and more ghouls turning feral when they transform. Nomusa Iblis offers some insight into it, and tells the team that he may have some work for them down the line.
6. There seems to be something weird going on with Fastjack and some other members of Jackpoint, which culminates in FJ passing control of the board over to a trio of other hackers (Bull, Slamm-o!, and Glitch) and having his own access erased. This occurs after another user, Clockwork, calls FJ out on abberrant behaviour and releases some files he found that FJ had compiled, after which FJ reveals what he has uncovered in his investigation and signs off for the final time, calling on JP users to maintain the code and honor of the board. Apparently there is some sort of matrix or implant-related illness that has infected a few JP members (and others not on the board, likely), including Riser, Plan-9, and Fastjack. FJ says that he and Riser were exposed during a run on a NeoNet facility in the SW UCAS desert. With Plan-9, an implant addict and conspiracy theorist, it is harder to tell when. The illness seems to take control of the infected while they are unconscious, and act using their bodies (as well as their access codes and such)- how and to what end, no-one knows, However FJ wants to limit exposure to other JP-ers, especially after it seems that Riser (a well-known assassin, and member of the Smoker’s Club, as assassin team) has endangered some JP users. People on the site are understandably distressed by all this, and there are many touching tributes to FJ, as well as some cursing him for holding out for so long and possibly endangering them. FJ has also apparently managed to communicate to some degree with whatever is taking him over, and it seems to want to remove FJ’s personality entirely, in place of its own.
7. There are also rumors of some age-extension treatments and other advanced medtech going wrong, but as these usually involve corp of government higher-ups, or the extremely wealthy, it seems things are being kept hush hush. But could there be a connection? There are also some rumors coming out about NeoNet experiments with (or on) E-ghosts and AI’s.
8. Lastly, on Jan 1, 2075, Everyone wakes up to the terrifying reality of the new matrix protocols: corp grids go live, and hacking using existing commlinks becomes impossible. ’links still work to surf the public grid, but anyone who wants the fastest, highest quality matrix access will need to pay to upgrade to a better service, and anyone who wants to hack will need to cobble together a cyberdeck- there are some rumored prototypes in the works at various places, and some tips on JP for banging one together at one, for at least some limited utility.
Mid-winter, early in 2075, with the matrix all fresh and new, most of a year to dodge angry dragons, and disturbing rumors around the world. What better time to be a shadowrunner?
TY recovers from cybersurgery in a squat, after dropping a level of wired reflexes to gain more rigger abilities. CI and Rooster hunt human supremacists in the German forests. Saul does some oddjobs for SK. SP goes off to do whatever they do (break into people’s houses and eat their food and set up backdoor access for future thievery).