Kitten Caboodle aka Kit
Goodbye (for now) to: Aylin
and introducing: Creature
The team heads down to Ahabitat via sub, with both Keg and Kit trying to play it cool but pretty surprised. They see 6Cyl’s remains ensconsed in coral, slowly being consumed by lake life. Upon arrival, Patty C is slightly sad to see that 6C has already been replaced, though she understands. Avocado, feeling some conflict with his mentor, decides to abandon the Children of the Beak for now, and takes the handwritten sign off the door. This allows both new members to have a room without needing to clean out 6C’s stuff, which noone is really ready for yet. They all chat and bond a bit, and then Keg goes into his room and shuts the door and has a loud freakout. The team inquires, but he seems disinclined to explain further.
They rest up for a few days, and talk about next steps, reviewing the few remaining jobs they have on offer. Aylin announces that she will be mostly focusing on solving the Black Lodge/Book problem for the time being, but will still be around and may require some assistance from the team. Avocado is feeling increasingly attracted to Kit’s more peaceable philosophy, and is wondering about maybe finding a better magical connection through a different path.
They head back to the surface to get some drinks and hang, and Kit takes delivery of a massive new shield, which he says is for protecting them while doing medical in combat scenarios, but Kit requests noone attack from behind it. They head to the dingy ammo-trade bar Pog mo Thoin, delighted by the grody atmosphere. They catch up with some other runners and shadowcasters, and overall have a nice bonding time. Returning to Ahabitat to crash, they awake the next morning to some messages in their queue.
Apparently the Devil’s Revolver has now slain the free spirit gunslinger Thornhill as well, though Thornhill may have survived in some form due to a secretive ritual they had performed with their True Name. Aylin announces that she will be leaving the team’s day to day ops in order to focus on the Black Lodge heist with her mom and Old Crow. Aylin says she will likely need assistance from the team to pull the actual job, but will be in touch. For now, her and Patty C will still be using the safehouse. Tate also reminds them to come by for another job, so the team heads his way, after making some upgrade plans for the safehouse with the new teammates.
They arrive at Tate’s and find an even larger Freedom Network/Popular Will protest than last time, and a much more agitated crowd. Avocado almost instigates a fight with Keg’s backing, but the rest of the crew talk them out of it, and Avo once again feels some conflict with his mentor, with another voice calling to him, showing him a different path. The Desolation Angels help them sneak in the back way, and Tate tells them there’s a killer paracritter he needs captured alive. He introduces them to a local runner named Creature who is good with animals and toxins, who should prove useful for this gig.
The team reviews the evidence, and heads out, and decide to look into the FN/PW more: the PW militia seems to have much nicer gear and better matrix defenses than the team expected, which seems interesting. They drive over to Greektown, and meet Tate’s informants. They spend some time talking with various encampment in the dangerous locale, and get some good intel. With drone surveillance assistance, they spot a storm drain that seems like the best spot to start tracking, and head there. Quantum Princess contacts them on the way and asks them to retrieve an old pre-CZ data storage device from the area, since they’re going in anyway. She also helps them navigate around an ASPS team which is cordoning off a large area around the Shattergraves due to strange alchera activity.
The team heads into the sewers, and Carol does some impressive tracking using his new nasal implants, with Creature providing valuable assistance. Carol does puke again from the smell, for good measure. They get attacked by some ghouls lead by a Dzoo no qua, which bites Avocado and possibly infects him. However, the team performs well and slays most of the feral pack, driving off the rest. They find QP’s old data store, and a few members are badly injured by a trap- it seems like the lone survivor of this cell tried to hold up and ride out the start of Bug City, not knowing they’d be trapped here, and starved to death. They do find an intact 2050’s deck with data storage module, however, so mission accomplished, yay.
They follow the tracks a bit further, and find the Talis Cat’s lair. Unfortunately, it’s made a friend- a large sludge spirit, which attacks them as soon as they enter. The cat tries to flee but Creature manages to KO it and grab it with xyr tail. The rest of the team barely defeats the sludge spirit, taking some heavy damage, and Hotkey almost gets geeked by a stray Jormungandr virus fragment that apparently survived in the local mesh net of devices down here. The team returns the cat to Tate, gets paid, and agrees to keep working with Creature for now as xe seem quite handy. Onward!
BOLTHOLE EPISODE 2
Heya chummers. That sound you’re hearing is unique. You all may have had some run-ins with sprites, the wonderful unique beings of the resonance, but you likely haven’t heard this. Our good friend is taking signals from the resonance, and spinning them into literal music to our ears. The conversion isn’t always perfect, and sometimes straight creepy, but that’s the backdrop for our show tonight.
While our guest tonight doesn’t hail from the resonance, he’s still the bane of dataslaves everywhere. Welcome to the program, @Hotkey
Decking certainly isn’t for everyone. As much time as I spend in the matrix, I still jack out at the first sign of IC crashing the party. How’d you get into decking?
Glad to be here!
It wasn’t easy growing up a scrawny, awkward hobgoblin but when your community is pushed to the fringes you do what you can to contribute. As a kid I had a knack for repairing bricked commlinks and ripping the latest orksploitation trids, and eventually hooked up with an ork rights group who needed help with direct actions. I’ll never forget that first VR dive with a real deck, and it opened up pathways that led me where I am today.
From ripping orksploitation trids to ork rights groups to running in the shadows. A lot of us on the streets have had our causes which brought us here. How do you think you incorporate your beliefs and former allegiances with the work you do now?
Can you be an activist from the shadows?
Let’s be real, a lot of shadow work is one rich asshole screwing over another rich asshole – you do them to pay the bills, and everybody moves on. In my experience it’s the jobs where you’re actually making the world a better place that make you real enemies.
That’s something every corpo and wageslave out there can relate to. There’s that real fear of stirring the pot, poking the bear. Making enemies let’s the job cross over into your every-day life. Maybe even retirement.
Where do you see yourself after the shadows are done with you? Big house, white picket-fence? Big condo above the club you own? Big family?
This has been on my mind a lot recently. I was at death’s door after a recent mission, and one of our crew died unexpectedly soon after that (RIP). I’ll always have my crew’s back, and the excitement never stops in the shadows, but I’ve got people who care about me and I’d rather retire with them than leave in a coffin (or worse).
Chicago’s got some good people in the CZ fighting the good fight against corp takeover and other nasty stuff. I could see myself stepping down as a runner to help build community here or elsewhere. But there’s still a lot of work to do.
We may not look it in meatspace, but I was in the shadows decades ago. Had a similar philosophy as you – making plans for when the work was done. Jumping back into it now after all these years, we realize: there’s always going to be more work to do.
Haha, @Hotkey it sounds like I’ve got some wisdom there, but I don’t. We’re all of us trying to do important stuff out there. You already got a leg ahead of most having people who care about you, and I hope you get to see long years with them. In the meantime, I’m glad you have our virtual backs.
Now that I’ve gone on with my wisdom, you have any parting words for the people out there, listening on the curb, or in their high towers?
The world is messed up and I can get pretty riled up about it, but you always gotta remember what keeps you going. Be true to yourself and be cool to each other. Keep your heads up chummers!
Thanks Hotkey, and keep lighting up the shadows