Part 3: Update III - Rock 'N' Roll RunnerUpdate III - Rock 'N' Roll Runner
Now, here we are. Since we've now got access to the upper levels, let's get to delivering that package. Maybe. I'm having some second thoughts about this parcel job.
And with that, we're at the top. Don't ask how the troll made it up without getting stopped by security. Anyway, we've got a call. We probably shouldn't be answering a call on a random commlink in a place we've never been before, but hey.
Do you need any assistance?
Let's just pop the big question right away. It might not be a smart thing to do, but hey.
Is it true that you handed me a box full of weaponized nanites?
[The comm goes silent for so long that you start to think Mr. Johnson has disconnected.]
Well. Now I need to decide whether it's worth my time to kill you.
Tell me what's really going on.
Fine. While Kali likes to pretend that she started Antumbra by herself, she had help. Mitsuhama bought the land, paid for construction, and gets a piece of all the action. What they didn't realize, though, was that they hit the jackpot. A new Site of Power has emerged in the tunnels below Antumbra, and those morons are too busy making drekky music to notice it. My organization wants the Site, and we need to get it without alerting Mitsuhama to what they have. Hence that box, which will make them drop this property faster than you can blink.
What does this mean for me?
You were hired to do a job, and I still expect you to do it. If you back out of your contract, I'll see that you never work in Seattle again. But... if it's nuyen you want. we can work something out. I'll monitor your progress and check in after you drop off that parcel. You may end up playing a larger role in all of this, thanks to your nosiness. Now scram before I change my mind and bring in a more reliable runner!
Hrm. So we might be in for a bigger payday. We might also be in for a bullet to the back of the head. Let's ponder this while we continue on.
Finding a way forward is remarkably easy, as the only other room available to us has a keycard that we need to move on.
While we're at it, let's check out our companion. She's basically Kami, except she does more shoot instead of magic. Now, let's head through the door.
It's time for some combat. Now, I think I'm going to abridge a lot of the combat / describe it in text without many screenshots. Because let's face it, that can take a lot of time and stretch updates out far longer than they really should be running. I mean, I could bust out dozens of arrows like I'm Paul.Power and it's Advance Wars, but I'm too fat and lazy for that.
This fight doesn't take too long. One of the three guards gets oneshotted by Kami, one gets blown up by a grenade from Turm, and the third doesn't deal much damage before getting cut up as well.
After those three, we move on to the next room, but are quickly dropped back into combat mode, albeit without enemies bearing down on us.
This gives us an opportunity to set up before the next two guys come in. Turm blasts one to bits and Kami cuts up the other one, but combat mode doesn't end.
So Kami scouts ahead and finds somebody else. Well, that one guy shouldn't be a problem.
Oh. Welp. So, we've got a mage and some tougher enemies. This might be a problem.
Kami manages to cut down one guy, but Turm just keeps eating all the bullets and fireballs, including taking 18 damage from the first enemy after using her only medkit for 20 HP. This is not a sustainable plan. In fact, the other two enemies hit her for 22 more damage and she goes down. I then try to take out some guys with Kami before going back to heal Turm.
I, uh, don't get that far. Let's try that again, shall we?
OK, last time, I didn't see anybody throw grenades, so let's just shack up here and wait.
Ouch. For good measure, we ate a direct flashbang hit after that, too.
This time around, we end up being able to lure the strongest enemy into the room alone and take him out, making everything a bit easier.
We do manage to win this fight, but we're in rough shape.
Well, I've started saving now, so let's just move on, see what's coming up. This looks like a big fancy door, there must be something important there.
...oh. ...uh, hi?
I'm on a mission.
Oh? Should I be worried? Who are you, really?
Well, while you normally shouldn't screw over your Johnson, I feel like Kami probably isn't too keen on getting involved in corp vs. corp fuckery, and the fact that the guy basically went "dang, now I have to think about if I want to murder you, well, just go on and deliver the murderdrones, nothing will go wrong there at all" is a bit too suspicious for my tastes. So let's clue her in on what's going on.
I'm a friend. You're in grave danger.
Is that so?
This box is filled with weaponized nanites. Someone wants your whole building gone.
What? That makes no sense. I thought that Penumbra might want to shut us down, or Dante's Inferno might try to take us over. But this is madness.
You may be sitting on more valuable property than you know. There's a site of power in your basement.
You're a Runner, right? Cash is a bit tight now with our grand opening, but if you'll check out the basement for me, I'll cut a demo with you and send it to the right people. Your choice, trid or stimsense.
We could become a music star? Fuck yeah.
I can even get your friend here taken off of our troublemaker list. She might find more work in the future.
Ha! I KNEW you had it out for me! Don't do me any favors, milk-drinker. I'll find my own way.
Excellent! I can see you tearing up the charts already. You'll need a new name, though. 5313N3? Wired Reflux? We'll talk when you get back. I'll take that parcel and dispose of it. My security won't trouble you any more. Head down to the basement, and report back once you can prove what's down there.
Alright, so our first step to stardom leads us to the basement. We get two medkits to stock up again, and off we go.
With some fresh Karma, I decide to boost Kami's Body to 5 - since she's going to be going into melee a lot, might as well get that HP up soon. Let's roll.
Why do you say that?
It's... strange. You see those tracks? Dozens of critters heading in. None coming back out. I don't know what happened to them, but I want to make sure we walk out alive.
More death. Joy.
And it doesn't take long before we run into our friends - hellhounds. Thankfully, Turm can blast them away with her shotgun pretty easily.
Of course, a basilisk is a bit more of a problem. However, Turm crits on a 17% chance right off the bat, leaving Kami to cut it up before it can deal any real damage.
Nearby, we find a book.
[First came Nobilis, most graceful and wise.
Soon followed wee folk, proud and stout and brave.
Green skins arrived next, angry their war cries.
Ingentis stomped in and brutal blows gave.
Last of all came man, but do not despair.
When all others leave. they will still be there.]
OK, that is so obviously referring to the Shadowrun races. First elves, then dwarves, then orks, then trolls, finally humans. Well, we'll see what puzzle we'll need that for.
There's a puzzle here, but it's not the one we just found a clue for. This is four statues, and we can turn them in 90 degree angles.
Having them all face away from the door opens it.
And behind the door is zombies!
Lots of them! Things get a bit hairy when Turm eats a crit from one of them that drops her into critical health, leading to three ghouls clustering around our two runners, but Kami drops two of them with crits and Turm shoots the third, clearing the situation up in the nick of time, because that could've gone a lot worse.
In the same area, we find five... statues? I mean, they're just character models slapped down. Anyway, here's where the clue from a bit ago comes into play, so we go elf, dwarf, ork, and troll, and the game apparently already takes that as the answer and lets us move on to the next area.
Foreboding. What do we find here?
Yessssss... come closer to me, mortals, that I may sap your energies.
[The spirit before you flickers through a variety of shapes before settling on one that seems pleasing to itself.]
And so you approach, more moths to our flame. Enter my light and be consumed!
OK, so there seems to be *something* going on here. This "Tophet" spirit is not the same as the spirit talking right now, and we evidently interrupted some sort of spirit dealing. Oh well. Let's use an Etiquette.
(Etiquette: Academic) You are a nature spirit. are you not?
Indeed, it is as you say. I felt this Site emerge from deep within the earth, and moved to claim dominion over it. I am the fountainhead. I am the gatekeeper. I am the king. This domain is mine, and all within it shall bow before me.
I like that that dialogue option did essentially nothing. "You're a nature spirit!" "Yep. Now you die!" So, now it's time for the final battle of this run. And to further complicate matters...
...this motherfucker shows up and decides he wants a piece of the action. I appreciate that this Mr. Johnson decides to deal with betrayal by grabbing a gun and going down there himself. That's some can-do spirit right there. Shame he's going to get blown or cut to bits.
Yesssss... more fodder for my maw! Come and sate my hunger!
OK, so here's how this battle generally goes down. The spirit we need to kill is in the middle and has summoned four enslaved wind spirits that will also attack us. Furthermore, that Johnson up there is somewhat of a third party in this and will attack whatever comes close. The area in the middle is blocked off by pillars, and there's also these four pillars we can interact with around. Let's interact with one!
So, what that does is it removes one of the large pillars, opening up the way to the main spirit, and also frees one of the enslaved spirits - the freed spirits will then basically become your allies for the fight.
We then spend our fight circling around counter-clockwise, pushing pillars as we go along. The enemies can't really catch up, since we don't attack, just move and interact, and Johnson is busy shooting at spirits.
We eventually arrive at the fourth pillar, but here we need to be careful because Johnson is still hanging out, ready to shoot at us. Kami also burns through our last medkit. Turns out having two attackers and no healers might not've been the best idea. On the other hand, Turm is a lot cooler than that shaman dude.
We try to attack Johnson. Try being the key word there - approximately 40% hit chances are kinda rough right now.
One of the formerly enslaved spirits ends up delivering the final blow to the main spirit, which is kinda anticlimatic, but whatever, I'll take it, especially since we still have somebody shooting at us.
Attempts to finish Johnson off with the baseball bat fail, so instead a shotgun blast to the back of the head does the job. Nothing else keeping us down here, so let's head out.
We don't have a lot left to do here - just chat up Kali.
Lady, you built your palace on top of a death trap. I'm lucky to have escaped.
I assure you, I thoroughly vetted this location before closing on the property. Whatever's going on down there must have happened very suddenly and very recently. I must admit, I feel just a little out of my depth here. I know melodies and moods, but magic? Never go near the stuff when I can help it. I think I'll ring up Mr. Santo. He's been very helpful in putting together the assets for this place, and he has connections that will be very interested in such a powerful site under our doorstep. I'll transfer a reward into your account - you've certainly earned it. I'll even do you one better and tell Mr. Santo what you've accomplished here. A discovery like this will open many opportunities for an ambitious runner like you. Expect to hear from him soon.
[Local conspiracy theorists persist in wondering what 'repairs' were done, and try to link the club to a Mitsuhama skyscraper starting construction next door. No connection is ever proven, and the speculators remain grasping at straws. Those few in the know, however, tell another story: the story of a runner who broke a contract and saved thousands of lives. A runner sure to be despised by all the Mr. Johnsons of Seattle, but who has earned the undying gratitude of powerful allies. This runner ran into the shadows and brought the light.]
This bit here makes for a bit of an ending because we've just reached the end of the "Antumbra" segment of this campaign - this was the first part that Cirion released. Next time, we'll begin the second part of three - "Eclipse", and we'll make our way to CalFree proper. We'll be going to San Francisco, and we'll be sure to wear some... fucking kevlar because shit's rough down there right now.