The Untamed Wilds: Electric Skies

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Hawkeye Cuts A Deal

Hawkeye responds, "You're right, it is just work to us. But we are not without compassion. We are not rapists or torturers; we are mercenaries. And make no mistake, we have no qualms about killing anyone who would kill us first, if they had the chance. We are RUTHLESS in the pursuit of our assigned tasks. But we are not diabolical, nor psychopathic. We will let you go, if you lead us to Pinkins and Glitterface. But we will not take your bribe. We are, above all else, professionals. Without our reputation, we are no better than go-gangers. Thus, it seems that we now have an understanding. As long as you keep your end of the bargain, you shall survive this encounter."

[sblock=5 rolls]
46, 86, 84, 70, 33. Bah, those first and last rolls make me nervous, lol. :D


Weekly post: 2xp

The Quarry

[sblock=Perception] Trollick: 67+98+49(d100)=214, Hawkeye: 62+46(d100)=108, 70+08(d100)=78 [/sblock]

After hearing the runners answer, the captured gang enforcer nods and uses her wrist band to display the address, 451278 Hwy 36, a skyscraper in Lake Jackson. Already moving, it takes Shatterframe only minutes to get you there.
The buildings in this area are industrial manufacturing with residential spaces on top. The skyscraper she directs you to looks the same as any other along the busy highway, and the apartment number is on the third floor. There is a line of cars parked in front of the buildings. Syd Vicious is focused on watching the prisoner and doesn’t notice anything outside of Shatterframe’s sedan. Hawkeye sees one guard standing outside the target building. Trollick sees the standing guard and notices a drone across the street that is also watching the building. He is certain there are only the two sentries.

Shatterframe says, “You can leave the prisoner. I’ll make sure she doesn’t go anywhere until you get back.”

Obrik says, “I owe you, friends. Let me help you resolve this.”

Pinkins and Glitterface are on the third floor in apartment 3-19 of skyscraper 451278. State intentions on how to proceed.


Creator of The Untamed Wilds
OOC: Spent 3 DP to raise Divination to 4.

Trollicks nods at Shatterframe and says, "Good."

He turns to Obrik. "You owe us nothing. Your decisions are your own to make."

He steps out of the vehicle, waiting on everyone else to exit and the door to close, before speaking again. "Even with this a regular residence, it may look suspicious for four of us to just walk in, unless we go straight to the elevator. I say we go with this straight approach. 3-19 should be on the third floor. At the elevator, I will comment, bragging that I could take the stairs faster, and move to do so. I carry no visible weapon, but I cannot hide that I am a giant; although, I do not think that anomaly is necessarily suspicious."

"Of course, I see no need to rush things. I could physically scout the area and give Hawkeye time to scan the VR for pertinent information about the place. We really could use some information on security and lay-out."


Syd nods to Trollick as the elevator door opens:
"After you big guy."
He then nods to Hawkeye:
"And you. I'm not going to be staring at you two's bums the whole way up. Obrik and I will stand in front, if you don't mind."

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Before leaving the van, Hawkeye will do as Trollick suggested, and attempt to locate the blueprints of the building in the county records database. He will also see what frequency the drone is on, and attempt to ascertain its security measures, without actually interacting with it directly. If the drone's security looks tough, he will leave it alone. If not, he will try to hack it and take it over. If he can do that, he will play back a recorded loop from before the party's arrival, continuously recycling it, in order to give the appearance of no activity.


Weekly post: 2 xp

Prep Work for the Fight

[sblock=VR Manipulation] Hawkeye: 23(Obscurative)+86(d100)=109 [/sblock]
Hawkeye slips his headset over his eyes and directs his mind into the VR. At once the vibrant colors greet him as they always do, and he finds his avatar standing outside of a small rough-cut timber house with a green tile roof, and smoke drifting out of the brick chimney. A sign over the door of the house reads ‘Timber’s Custom Metal Shop’, naming the business that inhabits Skyscraper 451278 on floors 25 through 60. Although the house appears made of wood, everything else around it looks crafted of metal, even the ground and square clouds in the shiny blue sky.

Hawkeye goes into the metal shop as a customer, copies his avatar to browse previous works and peruse the reforging process for metal, and moves his real self to the residential area of the skyscraper. He locates the registered floor layout and sends it to Syd and Trollick. Apartment 3-19 is down the hall to the left of the lift and has four people in it. He checks to make sure two of them are Pinkins and Glitterface and verifies their identity, finding that three of the four are in the VR.

Hawkeye deals with the drone last, seeing it as a large metal ladybug sitting on a fencepost. With their VR security actively monitoring the drone, he cannot shut it off, but he can distract it. He identifies two people leaving the skyscraper as having suspicious intent and sets the drone to watch them as they walk down the street.

Once that is done Hawkeye pulls off his headset, having been ‘gone’ for less than five minutes and leaves the sedan, telling the other Runners, “We should be able to walk in now without notice. There’s four in the apartment but three are in VR which means they won’t have the faintest idea what’s happening until it’s too late.”

Everyone can see that two women have left through the main entrance of the skyscraper and the drone is turned to watch them as they walk away.

As good as Hawkeye's word, the Runners plus Obrik calmly stride past the obtuse outside guard and into the skyscraper lobby, a medium sized room decorated with metal sculptures. Two more guards are inside, but they merely nod and otherwise ignore you. You take the lift to the third floor and easily find 3-19. There is no one else in the hall with you, but plenty of other closed doors.

State intentions for eliminating your targets.


Creator of The Untamed Wilds
Trollick speaks quietly to his comrades. "I do not need to be able to see into the room to set off a sound pulse, like a stun grenade. I only need to stand outside. If the door lis locked, Hawkeye can try to unlock through the VR or I can try to kick it in. If I am going to generate a pulse in the room, I think we need to breach at the same time."
[sblock=Thump]18(bending) + 34(sound) + 85(d100) = 137[/sblock]
OOC: Random Rolls: 87, 63, 17

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Hawkeye dons his VR set once more, and checks the door. If it's locked, he will try to quietly unlock it, meaning that he will try to prevent the lock from making the usual "bleeep-boop" sound when it disengages. If he succeeds, he will draw his pistol, and then nod at Trollick.

OOC: Random rolls remaining: 84, 70, 33


Contract Completion: 10 xp

Taking Out the Trash

Hawkeye sits on the ground before he slips on his VR headset to disengage the lock. Trollick concentrates on his magical energy to release his Thump as soon as the hears the lock *click* and Syd prepares to rush into the room the instant after the Thump goes off. Obrik keeps watch on the hallway.
[sblock=Hawkeye VR Manipulation] Hawkeye: 62+84=146 Roll needed: 160 [/sblock]

In the fantastical setting of Virtual Reality, Hawkeye sees the door as a twelve-foot slab of stone set into a brick wall one hundred feet high. An old-fashioned keyhole is in the center of the stone slab. He attempts to form his finger into a key that will fit the hole and unlock the door, thereby tricking the locking mechanism into thinking that it was properly disengaged. His finger fits, but it will not turn. The door stays locked but his skill in the VR keeps the building alarms from going off from lock tampering. Hawkeye pulls out of the VR, snatches the headset off his face and angrily shakes his head at his partners.

Syd Vicious smiles and says, “We do it loud then.” He takes his slim saber, jams it through the crack between the door and jamb, and uses it as a lever to pry it open.

In the span of a thought Obrik leaps forward and touches Syd’s back, using his Academic magic to give him a boost of strength.
[sblock=Syd forces door] Syd: 87+81(d100)+50(lever)=218 Roll needed: 200 [/sblock]
With one mighty push and a loud crack Syd forces the door open.

As soon as he hears the crack of the lock breaking, Trollick unleashes his Thump before Syd pushes into the room.
[sblock=Trollick Thump] Trollick: 137, Pinkins: 25+35(d100)=60, Mind Damage: 7; Glitterface: 25+02(d100)=27, Mind Damage: 11; Guard 1: 50+76=126, Mind Damage: 1; Guard 2: 50+17(d100)=67, Mind Damage: 7; Pinkins: Mind 3, Glitterface: Mind 0, Body 9, Guard 1: Mind 9, Guard 2: Mind 3 [/sblock]

The Runners hear and feel the walls shake as Trollick Thumps the apartment. An instant later Syd forces the door open and rolls into the space to give his partners room to move in. Inside the small apartment the effects of Trollicks magic air blast can be seen. Furniture is askew, wall hangings have fallen to the floor, a table is knocked over and the plates and cups still holding leftovers from the last few meals are splattered around. The four victims crowded in the room are all splayed. The giant Pinkins is slumped in a chair, his nose and mouth bleeding as he slowly pulls off a VR headset. The elf Glitterface is face down on the floor, not moving. His VR headset is still on his head. Two unfamiliar men are in the room. One is pulling a VR headset off and shaking his head in obvious discomfort. The other is picking himself up off the floor, brushing off food.

With the men in the room disoriented and injured, the fight does not last long. Pinkins is the first to fall, targeted by Hawkeye with his Ruger heavy revolver. The bullet blasts through his light armor and the giant slumps and flops out of the chair. Syd points his AK 4700 at the two guards, who put their hands up in surrender, not willing to die for their two disreputable charges. Trollick steps into the room, crosses to Glitterface on the floor and death stomps on his neck, feeling the bone snap under his heel. He pulls off the VR headset for Hawkeye to record the face of the elf for contract verification.
Knowing that going back through the building would put them in conflict with the overwhelming force of the skyscaper security, the Runners decide on a more direct route to the ground. Since they are only on the third floor Trollick uses his meaty fists to smash one of the shatterproof windows. The glass does not break but falls out towards the street in one piece, knocked out its setting by the force of the blow. While Syd keeps the guards covered, Hawkeye ensures that not even magic healing will bring their two targets back. He uses his Ruger to blast first Pinkins then Glitterface in the head.

Obrik runs back into the room and slams the broken door closed as angry shouts are heard from the hallway from security alerted by the Thump. The druid uses his magic to warp the door so that it cannot be easily opened as they make their escape. First Trollick, then Hawkeye, then Obrik, and lastly Syd leap out of the open window to the street below where the still intact windowpane has already hit the concrete. Since the drop is a little over thirty-five feet, it is hardly a life-threatening jump. Suffering only a few bumps and bruises the Runners and Obrik find Shatterframe is waiting right in front of where they land with the sedan ready to roll.

The guard on the ground scowls and reaches to pull a weapon from his coat to interfere with the escape when one of Shatterframes shotguns pops up from her hood and blasts the man in the back, throwing him to the ground. Unhindered, the Runners pile into the vehicle and she speeds away with Enforcer 2 still a captive inside. True to their word the Runners dump the woman out a few blocks away and she runs off.

Contract complete: Collect 3000 credits

Decide on what to do about Captain Towers and her involvement in this case


Syd smiles at the way the events have turned out.

"Well, chummers, this has been a thrill ride. Now, about that Lone Star chickie, Towers --- I say we find a way to turn her rep into drek, if we can."


Creator of The Untamed Wilds
Once back in the car, Trollick exclaims, "Wow! I was not expecting that much noise. I shook that whole room. I just figured out that I could do that trick. Sure came in handy."

Trollick scratches his beard and false starts a few times before continuing to speak. "That Towers has to be one sick chicky. Extortion is one thing, but that bitch is involved in depravity that I cannot ignore. Screw her. Hawkeye, you should see if you can find some video or audio on the rape and murder of that official's extended family and let us drop it off anonymously with some other HPD. They'll make sure she gets hers."
OOC: Note: The latest maintenance added a Nanny reader program to edit out adult language. I had to change my dialogue to get rid of the smiley faces it added.

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Hawkeye Considers The Options

Hawkeye nods, "I don't hold any grudges against HPD. A corrupt police force is not exactly a new concept. But at some point, corruption bleeds over into the deviant and the depraved; and THAT'S where I draw the line. When a dog goes rabid, you put it down. That's what needs to happen to Towers. Hell, after we tell HPD, I wouldn't say no if they asked US to take care of it. I can't think of anyone who needs a bullet more than Towers."

Turning to Trollick, Hawkeye adds, "I'll see what footage I can find. I'll check the family's security cams, to see if I can find anything, but I'd be willing to bet that Towers wiped 'em clean. But Towers herself might have something useful. The only problem is, whatever footage she might have is probably on a secure LOCAL network, that isn't on the net. We'd probably need to get inside her house, or at least VERY CLOSE to it, in order to be able to find a way in. I doubt she'd keep anything on her HPD work computer, because if they found it, the jig would be up. Another possibility is that she put it on a stick or a disc, but if she did that, she'd need to either keep it on her person, or well-hidden somewhere in the analog world. Safe deposit boxes aren't safe, the companies always snoop hidden data to protect their own a$$. She'd have to hide it old-school, like in a pizza box in the freezer or something cliche like that... Nah. She's probably keeping it on her own local network. I know the type. She feels safe at home."

Hawkeye will also ask Shatterframe the following: "Pinkins and Glitterface... how well did you know them? If those cretins saved footage of their deviant acts, where would they keep it? If they have copies of anything, it will probably be easier to get it that way, rather than going on-site against Tower's residence. They seem like a couple of low-lifes. Maybe they made a stupid mistake that we can exploit? I'd be willing to bet that THEIR network isn't local. I might be able to find their stuff from here. So what can you tell me, SF?"


Syd listens to all this and says to Hawkeye:

"You might want to check direct HPD files on Towers herself, Hawkeye. Mainly her comings and goings in HPD. I think you'll find some moments where she was "off the grid", but then conveniently showed up at the crime scene, sort of "out of the blue. Hell, you might find she was frequently the first on the scene. And if that's the case, we may have just killed our best evidence against her. Hey, don't look so surprised. I learned a thing or two in Juvee."

Then he says to Trollick:
"I like that trick or spell or whatever you call it, up there. That s-S-t-H-u-I-f-T-f was the bomb."

He then says to Shatterframe:

"If you could drop me off at my crib, I'll get on my ride and talk to some of my go-ganger chums and do a little detective work yakuza style. None of these people we just whacked were low profile. Maybe there's more than just the word your finding. No offense; but the underworld has info gathering techniques that technology may miss." He says this last bit while pounding his right fist into his left hand.
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Creator of The Untamed Wilds
...He then says to Shatterframe:

"If you could drop me off at my crib, I'll get on my ride and talk to some of my go-ganger chums and do a little detective work yakuza style. None of these people we just whacked were low profile. Maybe there's more than just the word your finding. No offense; but the underworld has info gathering techniques that technology may miss." His says this last bit while pounding his right fist into his left hand.
Trollick adds, "That gives me an idea. I have only established one real contact and it is for the purpose of magic, but Obrik or his outfit may know something or offer a direction to start. I should fit in with druids no problem. I will start there."


Weekly post: 10xp (for seeking justice instead of moving on)
Balancing the Scales

Through the car audio system Shatterframe tells the Runners, “If the two slimeballs made a copy of their misdeeds it wouldn’t be in the VR main servers. If it was, HPD could find it and pull it. They have dedicated VR manipulators, some of the best in the city. The proof you’re hunting would be stored on a private server, cut off from the rest of the VR. Low life creeps like Pinkins and Glitterface wouldn’t really have the kind of credit to set up a private server, but the Dead Lions would. I think what you’re looking for is in the possession of Scarlet Pips since that would let him own Towers like a pet instead of just paying her for favors.”

Obrik, who is still in the sedan with you, says, “If you can get the proof of Towers’ cover-up you can give it to Lieutenant Fawbreu. He’s her second in command, but he has a reputation as an honest officer, which is why he’s over sixty years old and still a lieutenant.” He turns to Trollick. “I can introduce you to the senior members of my order. They would be very interested to hear what you have to say about the Dead Lions.”

Thus armed with information, the Runners split and make their separate investigations.

[Sblock=Hawkeye VR Manipulation] Hawkeye: 23+70(d100)=93, Anonymous User: 30+63(d100)=93 [/Sblock]
Logging into the VR Hawkeye discovers that an anonymous user is following him. It takes all his skill to lose the tail and he finds out nothing else, not even who the user was.

[Sblock=Trollick Persuasion] Trollick:70+87(d100)+25(Obrik introduction)=182 [/Sblock]
Trollick and Obrik Shadowstep travel to a skyscraper with an extravagant garden on the roof. Amid gravel walkways, clear pools of fresh water, and more species of plants and flowers than Trollick knew existed, Obrik introduces him to a high-level member of Bright Leaf Society, an elf named Janice of the Pines. She has a long braid of dark hair, red-brown skin, and clear blue eyes. Although her thin lips give no smile, she bows in respect to Trollick and listens to his tale. Trollick keeps it simple since he knows Bright Leaf Society and the Dead Lions are already enemies. When the Runners discover where the private server is located, Janice agrees to attack the Dead Lions with her order to give the Runners a chance to collect their evidence and remove a corrupt officer from the HPD.

[Sblock=Syd Persuasion] Syd: 75+67(d100)=142, Go Ganger: 40+72(d100)=112 [/Sblock]
Syd Vicious seeks out some of his old gang contacts and asks about the Dead Lions private servers without giving away what he’s looking for. After asking around discreetly for a few hours he finally talks to Mickey Spangler, a VR Freelancer that works for magic based gangs. After some strong arm negotiations he gets the address for the Dead Lions private server on Hwy 288, only a few blocks from the fighting arena.

State intentions on how to proceed


Creator of The Untamed Wilds
OOC: Post #115: Awarded 10. Total 13. Spent 6 to raise Confluence to 7. Spent 6 to raise Aberrative to 7. Saved 1.

Over a few drink with his friends Trollick offers some ideas. "Syd, since you were able to find a location for us, we should check out this structure and see if there is some outside location where Hawkeye can do a hard patch and hack into the sever. If we have to go inside, we are going to need to do some recon and learn where the server room may be located and what kind of security we are dealing with. If we have to make a run on the building, I will contact Obrik. His people have offered to run interference."

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Hawkeye says, "If we can get physically into the building, we don't actually need to be in the server room itself. I just need to be able to access the building's internal network. Any network jack will suffice."

OOC: Spent 11 pts. to raise BASE Commercial skill from 5 to 7. With the VR bonus, that means that Hawkeye's ADJUSTED Commercial skill is now 10. But I did not give him the 1 pt. in the next higher skill, because he hasn't achieved a "true" 10 rating yet. (See character sheet for details.)
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Hawkeye reflects further, "Way manipulation can fool electronic detection, if the practitioner is adept at his craft. I wonder if any of Obrik's order are good enough with Way to get us onsite at Pip's residence, without being detected? If we can get onsite, that's when I can ply my trade. That's when I have a chance to dig up all of the skeletons. Who knows? Ol' Pippy might also have other files we could use, evidence of other crimes and perpetrators, etc. But first, we have to get onsite. We should also look for / be wary of Way-based security measures as well; being a Necromancer, I'm sure that Ol' Pippy probably has a few."
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"While you two are doing that," Syd interjects, "I think I'll head out ahead of you and go to the fight club. Enough Go-gangs hang out there, and if I wear my colors for the Hudu Krew, I might be able to discreetly surveil these Dead Lions again and see what they're up to. Might even find more connections at street level that may be deeper in the shadows than VR checks can reveal."
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Weekly post: 2xp

Hunting Dead Lions
[Sblock=Syd Disguise] Syd: Obscurative+Analysis: 44+79(d100)=123 [/Sblock]
Syd Vicious pulls out his old Hudu Krew outfit, fashions a disguise from his street knowledge and heads out to surveil the fight club. The building is just as dark as he remembers it and this time he goes through the main entrance. After paying the entry fee and placing a bet to keep up appearances, he finds a seat near the top and settles down to watch. In the fighting pit there is an aquatic battle between a huge snake and alligator, both creatures look as though they could swallow a human whole with little effort. He claps and cheers with the rest of the crowd but mostly watches the security for the show. They wear all black outfits with no identifying marks and carry the sticks that the Runners faced before on the balcony. He sees at least a dozen other go-gang’s present but no Hudu Krew so he feels as though his cover is secure.

Suddenly Syd is surrounded by eight people that seem to step out of the shadows. Those that were seated close to him only glance at the newcomers and find other seats. No one else in the arena even looks in their direction and the fight continues with the snake wrapping up the gator amidst wild thrashing. The sound from the crowd and the fight drops off, leaving an area of silence with Syd and the other eight who glare at him with open hostility.

Hopelessly outnumbered, Syd casually looks around at the newcomers and asks, “Problem, chums?”

The group is a mix of races, a couple of orcs, a giant, three elves and two humans. Seven of the eight are dressed similarly in black robes with a holographic rotting lion skull on their chests. The eighth, a short human with dark skin and long black dredlocks is dressed in a cloak made from a lions pelt, with the mane as the hood. The suit he wears underneath is scarlet with a gold chain around his neck with a large medallion bearing a similar image of the rotting lion skull.

He grins with gold teeth and says, “I’m Scarlet Pips. You’re bold, coming back here. Think we wouldn’t recognize you if you changed your clothes? We got ways of knowing who people are that go way past disguises or even VR. Show this fool something.”

One of the orcs with a bright pink ponytail holds a small screen in front of Syd’s face. On it he can clearly see Enforcer 2, the woman the Runners captured and intimidated into informing on the Dead Lions, lying naked in a circle of runes. While some figures clothed in the Dead Lions robes stand outside the circle and chant in a strange language, Syd can see the woman’s skin begin to peel off without anyone touching her. She screams in agony and the orc shuts the screen off and puts it away.

Scarlet says, “That’s an old video. She’s already gone. We used what was left of her to feed the gator before this fight. You and your partners took out Glitterface and Pinkins. I don’t care, I already got what I wanted from them, but why are you still in my business? This is a sweet setup. You think three Runners are going to bust in here and crack it open? Listen, you do jobs, so I got one for you. That other little bastich that was with you, Obrik, I want you to kill him and bring me his head back here as an apology gift. Do that and all is forgiven. Interfere with my business again and you might end up in that punishment circle, if you live that long.”

Scarlet Pips steps back and fades into the shadows. Once he’s gone the other seven do the same and the noise from the arena comes rushing back to Syd’s ears. In the fight pit the gator is mashing the head of the anaconda in his jaws and though the snake still thrashes around, it’s clear this fight is done.
Syd looks around but no one else in the arena is looking at him or acting as though anything out of the ordinary happened. He collects his winnings at the kiosk, allowing him to break even from the entry fee, and leaves the arena.

[Sblock=Hawkeye VR] Hawkeye: 23+33(d100)=56 [/Sblock]
Trollick and Hawkeye investigate the location of the Dead Lions private server. At the address they find a skyscraper of course, and the bottom floor is Pips Pet Shop. They go inside to investigate and find that the expansive shop is like an ordinary pet relocation facility. There are dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles, and arachnids along with all the feed, storage, and other accessories that go along with pet adoption. When Hawkeye slips into VR he finds he can access the regular pet shop site but that the subterranean levels are blocked from VR access.

[Sblock=Trollick Astral] Trollick: 37+63(d100)=100 [/Sblock]
Trollick decides to investigate the under levels in the Astral Plane but finds they are shielded from magical intrusion. The only way into the subterranean area is through the Hard Realm.

You have discovered the secret lair of the Dead Lions.

State intentions for how to proceed.
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