Hero Shrew OoC: We’re not an actual Shadowrun team, so we can’t go around blatantly breaking the law.
Flux points out we’re not really connected or sneaky enough to bluff our way into the facilities. So we should just focus on the Knights of Hell section of the pipeline. Or better yet, inform the Drug Squad and let them do it.
Flux: It helps that there’s a standing ordinance in Edge City that the ECPD can enter the tunnels at anytime. No need for a warrant. So the stuff we discovered down there is all legal evidence, since we have police powers.
GM: You’re being perfectly reasonable. Now give me a few minutes to figure out how the plot will go since you’re being reasonable. At the end of last session it sounded like you were going to go full Leroy Jenkins. You probably would have killed somebody.
So, if we are leaving the Knights of Hell to the human authorities, do we turn our attention to one of the other gangs? We haven’t dealt with those human supremacists that were running MercCon for a start. Maybe that gang that uses powered exo-armour? They even fight in the stuff - which admittedly is the illegal part of it.
Hardlight: It’s like fighting in forklifts.
The local police advise that the gang in question also deal drugs, but it’s a bit of a mystery as to how they avoid getting caught doing it. So it looks like another week of covert surveillance. Of course, they could be using their own drones - it’s a low volume product.
GM: Which one was Dr. No again?
Allana: The TV Special on Informed Consent.
So now we have to research how gangs actually deal drugs, including runners, back seat deal, and actual dens. At least we don’t have to look around town for every pair of sneakers over the power lines.
GM: Uber Drugs
Of course, just as we’re about to bring the hammer down on THIS gang, we hear that the Heaven’s Devils, a demented motorbike gang that have Blues Brothers-style races as an initiation, are driving along the top of the Wall around Marsten.
Fireflash: *flying down alongside the head of the pack* Uh.. Why are you guys doing this?
Heaven’s Devil: Grand Flying! We’re moving up a rung!
Hardlight puts up a hardlight wall and stop sign across the top of the wall. Hopefully they won’t just drive into it at 60kph. Instead the lead rider flips his bike into a slide, and lets the rest of the gang use him as a ramp over the top. All but one of them actually manage it.
GM: Fortunately he made his Long Hard Road check.
Hero Shrew: Damage Reduction vs Roadrash.
Hero Shrew and Flux, driving the Qruiser parallel to the wall, are grudgingly impressed.
Hero Shrew: That WAS pretty awesome. You okay driving, Flux?
Hero Shrew: Great, I just need to bring up the Internet and check the betting pool on the Heaven’s Devils.
Flux: What??? Oh, right, you have Streetwise.
GM: But not Gambling.
Hardlight tries to grab a couple with giant holographic barbecue tongs. We don’t want their bikes to fly off the top of the all into somebody’s apartment, or the crowded street below. They dodge, doing sick motorbike stunts as they go, off the Wall, and through Marsten.
GM: They’re basically showing their arses to Humanity First.
Allana: Not a sentiment I necessarily disagree with, but…
Hero Shrew: I do have an applicable skill I could use here, but it’s going to be equivalent to driving into a wall. Stronger Than A Locomotive. +44 Strength, but only versus moving objects.
GM: Ah. So the bikes will stop, and the riders… won’t.
Flux: That’s ok, Fireflash can catch them before they hit anything.
Allana is already doing something similar, two bikes at a time. But then they do more than drive recklessly. They deliberately clip a few Humanity First gangers as they drive past.
Hero Shrew: That’s Vehicular Assault! Now we really have to shut them down.
GM: Hardlight, why do you suck?
Hero Shrew: Because he’s roleplaying Golden Age Green Lantern.
GM: No, he’s roleplaying Justin Hammer, if he got the Green Lantern Ring in a crossover event.
Hero Shrew: How frustrating is this, that we can’t just punch them?
Fireflash: Well, now that they’re at ground level, we can. Just keep in mind that they’re just humans.
Flux: Just stick them on a ledge somewhere, I doubt they know parkour.
GM: They do, but it’s vehicular parkour.
Eventually, the ones we haven’t picked off pick up speed to get out of Marsden. We try to cut them off at the 48th Street Gate, since that’s the nearest exit. Unfortunately, Glowing Girl In The Sky is a bit conspicuous, and they head to the Marsten Street exit instead. Fortunately, Allana is sneaky, and cunning, and waits behind a corner to sweep them off their bikes after their feint.
GM: Bat steps out, wings go FWOMP, bikers yell ****!, go into a skid, and get swept up into her embrace.
Flux: ‘Hey guys, they ARE real!’
Hero Shrew: Ok, guys, that was some awesome driving, and Humanity First are scum, but you could have killed somebody.
GM: No they couldn’t, controlled collisions at that speed ae only 6d6 damage.
Hero Shrew: Yeah? And if a pedestrian had stepped out from between some cars without looking?
GM: Good point - that would be an 11d6 Move Through.
Hardlight: Scooter - Would you be okay with being shot from a cannon from the Qruiser?
Hero Shrew: … sure!
And then our Crime Computer informs us that the pursuit has a high probability of being a distraction from something happening at the far end of town.
Hero Shrew: Should I get back in the Qruiser, or superleap.
GM: Qruiser is faster.
Fireflash: Or you could travel by Batmobile.
GM: Eh, he’s still a bit ‘handsy’ for Allana to do that much.
Hero Shrew: Just carry me by the scruff of the neck, I’ll go limp.
Hardlight stays with the captives and the Qruiser. Long Park is a minor warzone - A bunch of Heaven’s Devil bikes are wrecked, and a number of the bikers themselves are laid out on the ground. There’s an alarming strong scent of blood in the air, too. Looks like the bike gang tried to take on the Daughters of Lilith - the ones with some seriously illegal cybertech.
Flux: Who did this?
Allana: I don’t know, I only remember the names of the important gangs *listens carefully for any noises of outrage*
Hardlight, over the communicator: What’s happening over there?
Hero Shrew: Major gang confront, between the Devils and the Daughters of Lilith. Lots of casualties - we need a bunch of ambulances.
Hardlight: Have you called them?
Hero Shrew: Bit busy - why don’t you?
GM: You want to know one of the arguments against recognising Moreaus as people? Because if one is walking down the street, sniffs the air, and says ‘there’s cocaine in that house’, it counts as admissible evidence, because it was detected by a person without any kind of illegal search.
Allana smells out the victim’s blood types, which will help the paramedics when they arrive. Flux, Firefight and Scooter get involved in the ongoing battle. And then Scooter gets a tranquiliser arrow in the neck.
Hero Shrew: … The ****??? Ok, I think I need to use a car for cover. Not hiding behind it, picking it up to use as a shield.
Hardlight: Do you have Danger Sense, Scooter?
Hero Shrew: If I did, it would be ‘there’s something around here I can fight?’
And then the tranq arrow is followed by a gas grenade arrow, which stuns him.
Hero Shrew: … Help.
GM: Care to guess who this is, Drhoz?
Hero Shrew OoC: It’s the Unnaturalist, isn’t it?
GM: Yep! You’ve had this Hunted since the start of the campaign, and they've finally shown up!
At least Allana heard the gas bomb going off, and sees that Scooter is in trouble.
Hero Shrew: Somebody is shooting at me!
Allana: It’s happened before
Hero Shrew OoC: Yes, but that time I sounded annoyed. This time I sound scared.
Hardlight: You OK buddy?
Hero Shrew: There’s an arrow in my neck, is that bad?
Fireflash blasts a large crater in the middle of the fight.
Fireflash: BREAK IT UP!
GM: You actual do more property damage than Scooter.
Hero Shrew OoC: That’s because she does explosions - my damage is more linear.
GM: And then the Hawkeye wannabe hits Scooter with a taser arrow. And I KNOW you don’t have any sort of defence against electricity.
Allana can see where the arrows are coming from - but can’t detect whoever is loosing them.
GM: The reason why the Unnaturalist is hunting Scooter might come up. Or might not. It’s going to annoy Fireflash, anyway… He doesn’t know much about Allana, but has made some educated guesses. So the next arrow is at Allana. But it won’t hurt, because it’s a mistake.
GM: It’s a Bolas arrow.
Flux OoC: So you break out easily.
GM: In theory. But for now you’re entangled and falling out of the sky.
Flux: Use your scalpels.
Allana: Oh yeah, I forgot I have though.
GM: LOL - but fair enough. You only think about them in their utility function, rather than attack. Fireflash, you heard Scooter scream and go silent. And Allana is falling out of the sky.
Hardlight: I’m this close to dumping these guys and getting in the Qruiser.
Flux: You won’t get here in time to do anything.
GM: It’s still his state of mind at the moment.
Fireflash has trouble dodging the next few arrows too, which have alarmingly large and explosive arrowheads. At least the gang battle breaks up, with the surviving bikers driving off with assorted rude gestures.
Allana: There aren’t that many super-archers out there. Crossbow? Rainbow Archer?
GM: Rainbow Archer has been retired for years.
Allana: It has to be Warpath, but it can’t be them, because where is the rest of the Warlord’s crew? They don’t get to work alone.
Fireflash: These kind of people come back out of the woodwork all the time.
The next arrow isn’t going to hit Flux, Allana, or Fireflash, but Fireflash turns to see what it IS going to hit. Which is unfortunate, because it’s a Flash-Bang arrow. At least she’s immune to the light effect. Unfortunately for the Unnaturalist, it doesn’t stun Allana enough to prevent a superpunch through the thin air the attacks are apparently coming from. Since the Unnaturalist was using an invisible hunting hide to snipe from, they are forced to flee via jetpack, and have a KCAW interceptor drone in place for automated extraction, too.
Hero Shrew: Team Rocket blasting off again.
Flux: What happened.
Hero Shrew: I look more like a spiny tenrec than a shrew.
But the glimpse they got of the assailant confirms it was the Unnaturalist, a little-known supervillain that once had an archery contest with Warpath. It ended in a tie, because both resorted to trick arrows.
Fireflash: Well, at least we stopped whatever the Heaven’s Devils had planned.
GM: Well, they mostly stopped themselves, because the Daughters of Lilith were much tougher than they expected.
Flux: And now I have a taser that works on Scooter.
Hero Shrew OoC: Well, I think I’m going to be a lot more paranoid now.
GM: Yes. You know that the Unnaturalist, a supervillain that hunts mutates, is actively targeting you.
Allana: At least you can sleep in a hole in the ground. That’s why we have an underground base.
Hardlight: Man, I’m glad I don’t have anybody coming after me. Apart from my shareholders.
Scooter calls his old boss, Colin, from the Collar Club, to warn them that the Unnaturalist might be hunting superpowered Moreaus.
GM: Gotta catch them all
Colin was in the middle of someone at the time, and doesn’t appreciate the interruption.
Hero Shrew: Sorry, I’ve got a hole in my neck.
So, who do we turn our attention to now? Back to the Park Front Dragons - the exo-boxers? How do they make money? Drug sales, and basic protection rackets..
GM: You come back, and oh look, your delivery van is upside-down. Or your entire fuse-box has been pulled out of the wall.
Of course, the whole organised crime situation in Edge City is complicated by the number of superpowered individuals in town.
GM: They found the mob boss hanging upside-down under pier, with his neck at high-tide level.
Hero Shrew: And they say climate change isn’t real.
GM: There are some beneficial effects to being on cocaine.
Hero Shrew: Yes, you get all the housecleaning done.
Fireflash, conveniently, is still a student at Edge City U. where they’re getting the designer drugs they sell cooked up. Oddly enough their contact appears to be in the Engineering Department, not Chemistry. What we actually do with this information is another thing - going around asking ‘hey, where can I get drugs from?’ is probably a bad idea. On the other hand, the three human members of the team are a lot less conspicuous than Allana and Scooter.
Four individuals in armoured exo-frames are leaving one of the university buildings, carrying something heavy, and making the kind of comments guaranteed to attract the attention of suspicious super-types. Hardlight is certainly suspicious, but that’s only because of certain inadvertent comments over the years that have put him on multiple watchlists.
Flux and Fireflash move off to intercept them. Hardlight, rather than follow the suspects, nips into the engineering building they came out of.
GM: Good, that was your last chance to not be an idiot.
Allana: You sent him into a possible social situation by himself.
GM: You can be a fool on your own time.
The Geek-in-Charge is one Brent Mandler (cruelly nicknamed Bent Handler thanks to a certain issue that he can’t help and can’t afford to get fixed in America’s medical system). Apparently the suspects just ran off with his newly invented super-batteries.
Hardlight: I technobabble back at him.
The two Moreaus are lurking off campus, waiting for the call on their communicators.
Hero Shrew OoC: I’m probably having a nap.
GM: At least he’s not using them as pillows - he’s learning.
Allana: I’m too tall for him to do that, if I’m standing.
GM: That’s what milk crates are for… I should have said fruit crates, not milk crates. I have tiddies on the brain.
Allana swoops down and snatches the box off the bad guys. Possibly they were distracted by the way her anatomy behaves when her wing muscles are working.
Hardlight: She Gainaxs.
Scooter was being pleasantly distracted by this display of elastic pulchritude, when his attention is suddenly directed towards a couple of crows, who are just watching the encounter.
Hero Shrew: Uh, has anybody else noticed those suspicious birds?
Crows: *Suddenly fly off with highly suspicious nonchalance*
Flux: Crap. We know about a certain Knight of Crows that wants power armour, don’t we?
Fireflash uses a subduing blast on the four exo-armoured guys. Curiously, three of them do the Dance of the Electric Cockroach, and the fourth bursts into some impressive if socially unacceptable volubility.
Hero Shrew: Hey, that kind of language is offensive, be more thoughtful in future.
Apparently the engineering of these exo-suits isn’t as robust as they’d like, especially when they’re scooting along on their in-line skates. Since it seems the team doesn’t need his help with these four, Scooter turns the Qruiser around to go after the crows. They dive down into the trees and buildings, and he promptly loses them.
Hero Shrew: They got away.
Flux: Who? Did you do property damage?
Hero Shrew: No, do you want me to?
Hardlight, still disguised in his civilian identity of Gareth Lowell, gives Mandler the good news.
Hardlight: Quadrant happened to be in the area, they’ve already dealt with it. So you make novel battery tech, hey? Can I have a look?
Allana: That is a terrible idea in every respect unless you want hideous legal trouble further down the line.
Hardlight: …. Good point. Here’s my card.
Mandler figures out that these idiots stole his batteries to run their science fair project.
Powerskater Nitwit: It was just going to be two-on-two powered-armoured street hockey.
Fireflash explains to them at length that if they take their power-armour ideas to PRIMUS, they’re less likely to get charged with Public Endangerment for driving their exo-armour across campus at reckless speed.
Nitwit: We just wanted to see if they’d batteries fixed the power issues we were having. If they did we would have sucked up to Mandler until he forgave us.
At least they don’t seem to have been working for Black Paladin.
GM: Some nerds stole some tech from another nerd. It’s just as well Allana snatched the box, and Fireflash stunned them, because if Fireflash had snatched the box and you handed and went ‘talk to the wing’ you probably would have snapped their spines. It’s one of the problems in this city - telling the difference between actual powered armour, and armoured exosuits.