Lodestone aka Kealt Sanja
The team assembles to look at their options. TY wants to pursue the diamons, feeling a superstitious personal connection. LS concurs, as that is his current job. K also agrees, but decides to lie low for a while, feeling paranoid about the team’s growing profile. Ub!, finally free of the vat, finds out he has a mighty debt to pay: 160,000 nuyen, due asap. He borrows from Tobias to pay an initial 15k. Rooster, hearing back about his spaceport inquiries, is able to affirm that the diamons left the spaceport for Heliopolis, and were picked up by a figure who, when viewed on trideo, seems difficult to look out, and whose appearance seems to continually shift. LS speculates that this is some form of high level illusion, which explains TY’s inability to remember defining details of the man(?).
Remembering a smuggling tunnel that their former teammate Ramose-Hotep’s cousin used, they head to the crater and try to gain access, but are unable as the tunnel is collapsed. They decide to prepare more before digging through, or finding seperate access. LS fills in Robert Toomey, who ends his contract, but says he will let him know if he requires his services further. The team does gain some benefit from the trip, however, as they stop in at the abandoned smuggling compound nearby and decide that if repaired, it would make a good place for a Knight Errant weapons drop, to funnel weapons to the anti-LoneStar undercity war.
They head back to the city, and LS gets hired to track down Dengxiang Wan’s activities before his disappearance. He traces the kid to another bug cult survivor, who he interviews, and discovers that Wan was frequenting bunraku parlors run by the Hikage Iinkai. When he reports this to Lihua Wan, she requests that one of the parlors be made an example of in a spectacular fashion at his discretion. She promises to pay and cover medical. The team agrees, and LS scouts it out while UB! prepares a car bomb and Tobias fins a sniping post near the back. TY boosts some cars to use for the bomb and escape.
LS finds out that the parlor has a main bar/dancefloor, an upstairs with a few levels of meatspace prostitution, and some private backrooms on the ground floor where the full immersion simrigs are. They decide to use a shaped charge placed in car in the alley to direct damage towards the back area on the ground floor, Tobias will snipe survivors from that side while LS deathtouches survivors out front, while pretending to be a concerned bystander. TY and UB! will drive the cars and escape together while LS and T sneak away in the chaos. Rooster bows out, feeling bad about the likely civilian casualties.
They set the bomb off, doing massive damage and partially collapsing the back edifice of the building. T sees no survivors after a few moments and takes off. UB! and TY are already on their way to the undercity to celebrate with malts. LS deathtouches a few people he thinks might be clients or employees, and heals a woman he doesn’t recognize, before leaving on foot. T heads home in a cab after leaving the building and doffing his armor.
The team decides to take a minute to plan their next job: One Shot Wade wants them to assassinate Yoleus, and frame LoneStar, in order to cement the Problem Children’s hold on local turf and gang activities. By framing LoneStar, they can also incite the gang’s to rise up against them, helping Knight Errant gain ground, and securing a more amenable security arrangement, as Tobias has planned. KE will smuggle weapons to the gangs through T and TY, until they gain control of the security contracts, and then work out a deal with gangs to look the other way as long as nothing too egregious occurs. T pays LS to assist, as LS has no personal interest at stake.
UB! plans a huge party, declaring it “HCB Day.” He invites both Mad Martians and Problem Children. He also hires a popular local orkrock band, the Orxplosions, to play, and request they do some Crod Stompaz covers. They oblige, as everyone gets drunk on free kegs. UB! and LS manipulate some of the MM lieutenants present into accidentally revealing Yoleus’ current hideout and appearance. Sadly, the party is raided by LoneStar shortly thereafter, and the team barely makes their escape. Tobias provides crucial hacking support and navigation while they hack through the back wall of the warehouse, and flee for their lives through nearby stores and the sewers. Wade hooks them up with a street doc, and they crash. Tobias also calls Elton Massey, and tells him to have KE provide some support, or their whole deal might fall apart.
After healing, LS sends a watcher spirit to track down Yoleus’ hideout, after Tobias finds a likely location based on the MM’s info. The watcher reports back that it found a false wall hidden entrance off the sewers, almost directly under Long Pig’s old compound. Wade is amused to hear it is under his turf- not where he expected. TY manages to find out the name of a MM lieutenant who is thought to have died in the raid the night before, which was a clusterfuck: around a dozen PC dead or missing, and as many or more MM. Strangely some milspec looking heavies showed up and hit LoneStar in the rear hard enough that most of the gangers escaped. However, Lonestar and the press are playing it up as a big win against crime.
Tobias uses the MM’s name to hack his comm code, and then frame him as the snitch who set up the raid. He then uses that same comm code (anonymized) to call a hint in to LoneStar about Yoleus’ location. He also hack’s the sewer controls and closes off or floods all the access points to the MM hideout except one, to funnel them into the trap. Then, he (again anonymously, but via a different comm) warns Yoleus that the Star is incoming. TY warns Wade as well, to keep his people clear, unless he wants to take the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, and take out some Star officers after they take out Yoleus.
LS watches the ambush site in astral space, while a watcher observes the hidden hideout door. The watcher reports back that people fled through it and encountered others, and then some died in the sewers. LS sees two survivors emerge from the sewer tunnel just as what he assumes is a Star van pull up and drop a dozen figures: SWAT? They engage in a heavy firefight, and the two sewer escapees are cut down, but then a shitstorm starts: the van explodes, and half of the Star swat team that was still alive winks out. LS reports this back to the team, and they tune into the news reports, to see that a high speed carchase/gun battle is occuring, seemingly on route towards an uppercity access nearby.
TY, T, and UB! head to the car to cut them off, not sure who survived and who is chasing who. They catch up, due to fancy driving, and see that it’s undercity gangers (Yoleus not amongst them) chasing Star Swat officers, both groups in apparently purloined cars. UB! detonates the SWAT car with a well placed grenade, the gangers crash spectacularly, and TY barely swerves in time to avoid the same. He pauses only long enough to pick up the three surviving gangers (after one shoots all the SWAT guys in the head), and they flee, ditching the car and scattering to hide and heal up.
Then, they await news of what actually occured, who survived, and more importantly, who didn’t.
The Tale of The Brigand and The Evil Guards
Jack and his friends were set to enter The Forbidden Woods, when The Shrouded Wizard said “Wait. These woods are very dangerous to enter, as they are magically shielded. The way that I knew how to enter is lost, and I must go study my dusty tomes and scrolls to know a new way.”
The Grey Paladin and The Huntsman were sad, but Jack used his silver tongue to buoy their spirits. “If we cannot enter The Forbidden Woods right now, we shall have to have other adventures while we wait for our friend to divine the way!”
The party cheered, and they decided to embark on some other adventures.
They first destroy a tower that was held by an evil wizard who worked for The Insect Queen. Jack does not wish any harm to come to the kidnapped maidens of the tower, and he urges the party to wait. They do not, and they use fire and magic to try to kill the wizard, but Jack was clever and knew that the evil wizard was probably not there. He was right, and the party does not kill the evil wizard, but The Huntsman was so moved by Jack’s pleas to spare the poor maidens that he rescues many of them.
The second adventure that they had was to kill an evil brigand who was terrorizing the people in the villages outside of The Red City. Jack was clever, and he knew that a good way to do this was to make it look like it was the work of the evil guards of The Red City, because they were evil and it would be better to have good guards watching the city. They agree that this is clever.
They decide to bring another friend of theirs, The Firey Barbarian, as he is a stout and mighty warrior, though he had a short temper.
The leader of the good guards supplied them with weapons to help fight the evil guards, and The Grey Paladin and The Spring-heeled Bowman set about handing the swords and spears to the villagers. Jack then proceeds to tell stories about how the evil guards are looking for the evil brigand to kill him. Jack also tells stories about how the evil brigand is coming to kill the evil guards. He confuses both parties, and they attack each other, and the evil brigand is killed, and the evil guards look bad because they have destroyed many parts of the village that they were sworn to protect.