and introducing: Twitch
The team, holed up in their Ork Underground safehouse, is getting antsy, and wants to start looking for revenge. Servaas Nikolic has been distracting himself with pilfered BTL’s, and gone down a bit of a rabbit hole. Munty and TenTen both left town to work side jobs, and Shri has been distracting herself with the supply delivery boys from Aemon’s Kids. Achilles sits quietly and thinks about killing. Meanwhile, Twitch has arrived in Seattle. He can’t remember exactly who sent him here, or where he came from, but he has the number for a local fixer, and calls her up.
Pia Oliversson contacts Shri, and tells her to get Achilles and go to the Big Rhino to meet a new potential teammate, Twitch. They do so, and Achilles and Twitch, both with their own cyber-problems, have a rambling and bizarre conversation. However, he seems to have some relevant skills (once he has time to download them), so they agree to try him out for Pia. She says she has a lead on Raoul Ortega, the Johnson who screwed them on the last job. They meet up with Izidor Kurtlanik, an info broker with Aztechnology ties, who says that if they pull a job for him he’ll get them the info they want.
They agree, and get the rundown: Izidor wants them to look into the local activities of a “terrorist” group called Sangre y Acero, apparently composed initially of ex-pit fighters from Aztlan, who have formed a mystical monastic order dedicated to anti-corp activity. Achilles and Twitch both think this group sounds kind of cool, but they take the job. Pia provides a list of local gyms that she thinks might be a good place to meet fighters, and get an in to the underground circuit. They run through the list, with Shri posing as a manger, and arrange to join in a bareknuckle boxing night at one rundown spot, and pay for membership at a higher end place that caters to augments. They train there for a few days, while dropping hints about being interested in making some cash.
Achilles and Twitch both win their bouts at the boxing event, but they overhear some people talking about the Vory V Zakone run the best fights in town down by the docks. Shri tries to get more info but is rebuffed. However, after a few days healing and training, they both receive invites to an upcoming Vor fight. They arrive, and find that it’s a gladiatorial style event, with one-on-one’s, teams, and paracritters as opponents. It seems the fights are to the death, also, which no-one had mentioned. The other fighters look mostly grim, crazed, desperate or some combo of the 3. Achilles tries to cheer one man up, but ends up creeping him out worse maybe, before he is torn apart by a pack of awakened coyotes.
About midway through the night, Twitch and Achilles are called up to fight a piasma, and barely escape with their lives, mostly thanks to Achilles monowhip skills. Shri, in the crowd, notices some ascetic looking cyber-warriors taking note, and hopes for the best. Both Achilles and Twitch find invites to join S.y.A in their gear back in the locker room, and after splitting the purse with Shri, head to the arranged meet. Shri sneaks up and hides nearby, not being invited herself. They find a group, mostly orks and humans, all dressed in urban camo and well-armed, and all sporting a fair amount of ’ware.
The leader introduces himself in a light Aztlaner accent as “El Comandante” and offers them entry, if they pass his test. He summons 2 burly orks forward, who hand over their rifles to their compatriots and whip out combat axes. Achilles and Twitch, both injured from the night’s fight already, try to strategize, and manage to knock both orks out of the fight, without getting knocked out themselves. Twitch stops Achilles from killing one, figuring the Comandante would appreciate restraint. He presents them both with berets featuring the group’s sigil, and whisks them away in 2 vans. They get a membership count and some facial images, which Shri forwards to Izidor, but the vans are jammed, and she loses them for a while before they pop up for a moment in a nearby Z-zone, due to Twitch’s satellite link. She tells them to blend in and see what they can learn, and report in when possible.
They watch training trids, and receive the relevant indoctrination. Achilles is really excited at first, but realizes that he doesn’t share the group’s anti-corp fervor. Twitch plays along, but tries not to get invested. The members seem to train constantly, and meditate when not training. They don’t discriminate amongst corp targets: labs, corp citizens, researchers, stocks/stores, anything at all seems to be a legit target. There seems to be only about a dozen members, though, as they say they lost some recently, and recruited these 2 to take their place, in preparation for an upcoming mission (which will come down the pipeline from a different cell to the Comandante).
They find out the target, and Twitch gets a message off the Shri as they load in the vans and head out. She warns Izidor, and asks him to make sure her team gets out ok. He agrees to try. Twitch manages to sneak off as the others in his van bust through the gate at the pier-side AZT facility, but Achilles’ van races directly in and he is unable to bail before it is hit by a missile and gatling fire from a HTR chopper. His half of the strike team is gunned down, and he is captured as the other half of the team stages a fighting retreat. Twitch and Shri link up, and debrief with Izidor, after which he gives them the info they sought. Twitch heads to NYC to link up with Munty for another job, having proven himself useful to Pia and the team.
Izidor relays the following: “Raoul Ortega” was (as speculated) a fake SIN. All of the chatter on the matrix about him was also faked, which was apparent once the time/date stamps and other markers were closely examined. He also doesn’t work for AZT, as he was hinting, which makes sense as AZT hasn’t made any gains in the wake of the run, and are in fact being sued at the Corporate Court for their “involvement.” However, Evo Corporation has benefited significantly, securing contracts making them the second largest corp presence in the Sioux Nation after Ares Macrotechnology. It seems that Mr. Johnson was working for them instead. They also receive a pic of him (as he was wearing a disguise during their meet), and his real name: Theo Two-Hearts. He was apparently the heir apparent to the “old man” who ran WRC for a generation. After the old man’s recent death, the rest of the family forced Theo out, due to his mixed Native/Caucasian ancestry, preferring that a pure Sioux member take control. Theo seems to have lost it, and using resources and tricks learned under the old man’s tutelage, to have devised his scheme to ruin WRC, and secure himself a cushy spot in a different corp. Shri relays this to Pia and the team, and they begin scheming…
Meanwhile, Achilles wakes up after a day in a brightly lit interrogation room, trapped in a bolted-down chair with fused manacles. After a few moments, a very friendly man with an Aztlaner accent saunters in and seats himself. He cheerily breaks Achilles down through a series of question, statements, and revelations, and forces him to realize that he won’t be leaving here without providing some info. He’s also really friendly, which throws Achilles off. He gives up a SIN each of Shri’s, Munty’s, Caria’s, and Tenten’s (not knowing he is already dead), as well as all the details of the run against WRC. At the end, the man talks him into signing his statement (which perhaps AZT will try to use to escape charges at the CC?) before leaving the room. A short while later, 2 large humans enter, and defuse Achilles, before roughly escorting him down a winding series of passages, and tossing him out a brick door onto a rotting dock.
He wanders a bit to get a signal, and gets ahold of Shri, who seems suspicious, but agrees to meet him at the nearest Ork Underground entrance, and bring him in. They return to the safehouse, and he reveals his somewhat accidental (or at least non-voluntary) treachery. Shri, reminded too closely of her own past, walks out to clear her head (or perhaps muddy it further) and everyone else debates what to do…
Next Time: the Judgement of Achilles!