Otters aka Roadkill
Chessick, having learned some lessons from the reopening of Boston, where the corps crashed back in and undid a lot of the good work that runners had done building communities during the Lockdown (at least aboveground) has been working to keep the same from happening in Chicago. He has also as usual been documenting the casualties and losses suffered by the civilian populace, as well as the various figures who live along societies edges. With some Neo-Anarchist contacts in town he has also been trying to help runners, gangers and others in Detroit to survive the ARES crackdown there. Having lost connection to the city as ARES tightens their hold, he is looking to make some new contacts there and set up a new smuggling pipeline.
He takes a contract to bring a package in, assured that Detroit fixers have found some runners to meet him and get him safely to the delivery point Meanwhile, in Detroit, Howell has called up Otters and told her he has a transpo job for preem pay, and The Detective has instructed Locke to assist with this task as well. Both fixers were contacted by the PPI duo Smoach and Myrryr on behalf of an outside third party, and both runners are told that if they pull it off, this could be the start of a hot new smuggling pipeline, much needed in these tight times, especially for those who don’t want to live fully under ARES’ thumb.
Chessick hires some smuggler contacts to take him across Lake Erie from Toledo over near the ARES cordon, and waits there for contact. Locke and Otters meet up and do some scouting to choose an ideal spot to get him to shore, and choose a nature reserve in South Windsor. Otters uses a delivery drone to get a biofiber bag and wetsuit out to Chessick, and also to help him ashore after he proves to be a truly shit swimmer. Locke times all the patrols out and figures their patterns, but with the delay due to Chessick’s bad swimming has to take out a drone with their sniper rifle.
Chessick and Otters do some quick thinking, and use a burner comm for a distraction for pursuers, while using the ambient life in the nature preserve to try to lose any magical trackers, while Locke watches their backs and leads them out. Using the van provided by Howell, Otters impresses the other 2 with some quality sneaky driving over to the Green Groves water treatment plant, while Chessick makes sure cameras and other sensors don’t pick them up on the way, and Locke provides studied encouragement.
They deliver the mystery package to a gender-fluid eco-shaman named The Walker In Ways, who says some cryptic things about maintaining and balancing the local manasphere, and bids them well. They all crash at their safehouses, and get contacted by their fixers again the next day for a followup gig. It seems the first delivery was a test run for this, the true mission. They are to use similar tactics to get 2 people ashore with noone spotting them, and making sure to lose any magical pursuit as best they can. These two need delivering to a runner bar called the Razorboyz Edge in The Blight.
They pass along a message for the sub dropping the two off to park outside the ARES cordon in Lake St. Clair and wait for them to make contact. Chessick and Otters team up to boost Otters’ signal, and she takes over piloting of the sub to steer it in, while Locke provides thorough updates on ARES patrol patterns, and Chessick hacks some nearby stores and signs to create some distractions. They get the 2 passenger hustled into the van, and Otters once again does some impressive sneak driving, with Locke on lookout and Chessick keeping them off feeds and sensors.
They reach the Oakland County Zoo and Locke puts her specialty skills to use, taking the group near, through, and around a series of animals and enclosures to obscure their astral traces, especially via some access tunnels under the aquarium. Thoroughly “greenwashed”, they load back in the van after Chessick checks it for trackers, and head to McKenzie Arcology bordering The Blight. Chessick and Locke manage to negotiate a better deal than Otters has ever managed on her own to use the tunnels underneath, though luckily Otters knows the tunnels well as she manages to navigate them around some traps set by The Cutters, who seem to have taken over much of the turf from the Maulers, the traditional gang in charge.
They safely sneak the two passengers over the bar and drop them off. The Asian man seems very dangerous and tightly coiled, and the Dakota woman seems calmer but also quite powerful, or used to command at least. They refuse to ID themselves but say the team impressed them, and they may be in touch in future if they need their skills again. They also hint they’ve heard of Chessick and tell him to keep up the good work. They tell him the sub is available for him to return to Chicago, and he heads out, confident they can at least get supplies to their Detroit allies in a pinch. Locke notices that the 2 passengers are wearing subtle disguises, likely enough to fool AI facial recognition, but thinks they could recognize them again if they seem either of the 2 out of disguise.
The other 2 go their separate ways for now, but feeling they have a good thing going, vow to work together again soon….