Thursday, February 2, 2012

Spirits and Cyberpunk

Well, Adam ran really cool mission in the Shaitan game. I was given a bounty on the augmented gang that had allegedly killed my host by throwing me through the window. Turns out that they don't match the description, at all, of the people I glimpsed when I gained possession of my new host, but that's neither here nor there. Anyway, their apparent motivation for busting into my office was because they were setting up an armed assault on their old street doctor whom I'd caught and dropped off to C-Sec (Council Security).

I dropped by the local area with my character's boyfriend (who had three subtle-looking limb augmentations) to take a look around his old place but didn't get very far when a couple of local hoodlums spotted those augs and ran off to tell their friends. We backed off and went to a pub further afield to ask some questions. I ended up working my way up toward bribing the bartender into giving me some information on this particular gang. Apparently, they've been killing augs (folk with augmentations) for their augments and then getting their street doctor to insert them.

The bartender didn't know much more but offered to connect me to someone who did know more - a Hells Angels bikie gang that were in the back rooms. The bikie leader was keen to get rid of them and told me a few more details such as that they've got a number of hangers on, but there's only five fully fledged members who've killed for their augs (which is part of their initiation), and gave me the address of their apartment building and the name of their local hang out (the Range - a pub that does wicked chocolate pancakes). My Awareness also pegs them as werewolves.

So what I do is I send off my auged up boyfriend (Belphigor, long story; oh, the crazy that happens after two years of game and giving him my host) and go transfigure myself using the Transfiguration Rod and a homeless guy as a base. Basically, I pay him to let me press the rod under his chin (thus recording a copy of him) and then head off. He looks like a real junkie, which allows me to scope out their apartment building. I even managed to talk my way upstairs pretending I was looking for a drug dealer before saying I was looking for a Russian guy and backing out when confronted by the real gangers.

I then dropped by the pub called the Range, settled into a booth, and noticed a few things about this gang. Firstly, the augs they'd nabbed were crappy. They were more replacement limbs than souped-up augs, except for some leg augmentations that helped the leader jump higher. The leader was also all about augs. I mean, he went on and on and on about how wicked augs were and he even pulled out his gun (while in a booth) and started waving it about nonchalantly until his mates convinced him to put it away. And his friends kept looking bored by the whole conversation, then randomly all perking up and getting interested. My Awareness soon reveals the reason.

The leader's been hollowed out by a spirit and is using spirit magic (numina) to make them keen on its topic of conversation. I later notice that he has weird dark veins under his skin.

I came back the following night in my Striking Looks 2 human host form, packing six strong sedatives in firm needles sheathed in my jacket (special design), and an adrenaline needle. I manage to charm my way into their good graces as a lower middle class girl slumming it a bit, ensuring I won't get shooed away by dropping the fact that my brother has an aug innocently into the conversation. I notice the leader's dark veins are slightly more obvious now and his pupils almost look like camera re-focusing lenses if you pay close attention. Shaitan doesn't know much about claimed but that was pretty creepy to her.

So she ends up charming her way back to their place with a lot of innocent flirtations and finds out that they've knocked holes in the walls of their apartments to join them up. She'd picked out the weakest (sleaziest) link and points out the lack of, ahem, privacy and is told the top floor is largely abandoned. The gangers can take their pick of any of the apartments up there. She convinces her mark to go up there with her, distracts him with a kiss, and fright over a spider, and needles him in the neck. She then records his image, and her own, on the transfiguration rod and swaps appearances.

She then calls Billy, a Darkling she befriended way back whom she took with her through the accidental jump in time, and he treks up the wall and takes the unconscious guy down to the van where Tara awaits. She heads back downstairs, cons the mechanic into going with her (now looking like his mate) alone to his auto-repair shop as part of a dare that one of his two old classic cars won't start.

Once the two get there, she tries to needle him while he turns on the car, but he almost notices her and it's only through sheer stealthiness that she keeps him from spotting it. So she raises the dare that the wheels don't turn and he lets it coast so that the wheels do. Then she pretends she heard something drop from under the bonnet, like a nut or something. He seems pretty suspicious but leans down to check and she needles him.

The next two guys are pretty easily dealt with in their bedrooms. Contracts of Darkness meant they never even woke up. Of course, before she let in Billy to do that she heard a scuffle upstairs and went and saw that Billy had stabbed some random guy in the thigh and twisted the blade, then dragged him down the side of the wall, because he could've sworn he'd seen "a glint of metal". The man had no augs but that's what happens when you take a Changeling across fifty years of time. Bit of a Clarity loss.

Finally, she tempts the Claimed out by telling him that an auger was spotted broken down by the auto-repair shop and that the mechanic was still out there distracting him. He heads down, she pretends to trip somewhat over a raised bit of pavement in order to fall behind him, and then she shoots him in the back with his ganger's gun. He's got a shotgun, but she gets one more chance to shoot him (due to the surprise and her high Initiative) and that's enough to drop him.

The Claimed lies on the ground, asking her what she is, and they have a bit of a conversation about what it is. It used to be when-flesh-meets-metal but the murders had changed it to murder-for-perfection. She ends up shooting it again (this time with its own shotgun) to put it out of its misery and then sees it crawl out of its corpse, this twisted abomination of raw muscle connected to steel with camera lens and shutters for eyes. I can't do anything to it in its Twilight form so I just watch it and, with malicious glee, it possesses the body's augmented legs.

The legs manage to right themselves, carrying the weight of a broken corpse behind it, and it starts kicking out at me with the foot pistons that help it jump so far. I'm shooting at it, trying to heal the bruising when I can, and trying to get a good shot but shotguns don't do as good at damaging steel. Finally, I manage to break the legs so they don't work no more, and it crawls out again. Right now, I'm sensing that I'm surrounded by werewolves but I hope that if I don't let them know I can see them, maybe they won't mess with me.

So I turn my attention to my task at hand. I don't want it to claim any more people but I can't hurt it so it has to cross the Gauntlet on its own accord. I threaten it by pretending to be a Mage and thus capable of shredding it with the use of a single spell. It's hard to intimidate a spirit (being as they don't think like we do) but I manage to trick it despite all the penalties and it vamooses.

Lo and behold, the lead bikie comes out and scolds me for not letting them deal with it! But, he states, he doesn't want any trouble with Others (meaning Mages) and lets me go.

Of course, considering the Mage-Fallen War, I know I can't use that trick of pretending to be a Mage too often. Don't want them tracking me down to see what's up and finding a demon.

So yeah, there you have it. I've gotta admit I love how Adam managed to really bring out the major tropes of Cyberpunk through a very World of Darkness lens. Hope you enjoyed the tale!


  1. Sounds like a lot of fun, and nice and inventive too.

  2. And Adam says he's a terrible ST. He's lying. He does some fantastic stuff.