Here we have part II of the Gates of Shadow Shadowrun campaign log summary, continuing with the groups activities after the antimatter blast (fortunately only a microscopic amount was involved) until their departure for Europe.
First off, a correction; Neo was called in for the Renraku robbery, while Kimiko was in the hospital for something else entirely.
Fortunately, most of their post-antimatter-magical-gamma-radiation blast activities could be carried out while everyone was on the sicklist – and getting the damage repaired took most of them weeks. They had to get anti-radiation treatment, explain to Dunkelzahn that his collection of spirit–imbued magical weapons had all been blown up, replace all their cyberware, replace enchantments and spells, deal with the fact that Neo had been more-or-less drafted into the military after the Renraku robbery, and much more. Eric was the worst off, and had to participate in everything by remote link, since he had to have a complete new body grown – and wanted a lot of experimental modifications built into the genetics. That would take months.
The Ninja managed to persuade the military to let them talk with some of the watchers that kept coming through the metaplanar rift – despite that fact that the things nearly managed to trick them into breaking the wards for them several times. It looked like “Razor” – one of the mages participating in the original experiment – had survived his trip through the rift, found a new planet that was open for colonization (albeit showing signs of a recently-wiped-out sapient race), and was setting up there. He was recruiting other youngsters, because – after getting a good look at the forces gathering on the Metaplanes – he believed that the Earth was doomed (or – possibly – he just wanted to remain in charge of his little colony). He’d supposedly sent warnings back to Renraku security, been assured that they’d handle it, and had seen some defensive wards going up around the Earth – so he’d started recruiting outside Renraku. He was using spirit-imbuement magic to protect his recruits from the insect spirits.
Or at least that was the story they got. Mr Moore fumed over his remote link. He didn’t think much of the young idiots scheme even if the information they were being handed was accurate (and they were pretty sure that it was being filtered) – but at least it implied that his victims were still alive, might actually have gone entirely voluntarily, and might be recoverable. That was something.
They pried The Ninja away from the metaplanar rift (he wanted to experiment) and got back to research.
Mr Moore was still a brain in a jar when they found that most of them were running short of cash after all those horrific expenses.
They went looking for some jobs to fill in. The traced their stolen computer equipment for Lone Star (to a dead end in a storage facility, where it had apparently been throughly remotely hacked), did some programming, got The Ninja hired by Mitsuhama on the basis of his circle research, found that something was stirring up the gangs again, and got a contract to smuggle some stuff from offshore into Seattle. They turned down an offer to pay a huge sum, and provide massive weapons, to eliminate the Renraku Arcology (they decided that Aztechnology almost had to be behind that; no one else could both provide that kind of support and funds on short notice – but couldn’t determine why they’d bother). They turned down some other overly unethical jobs as well, including a job planting radio locator beacons.
Unfortunately, the smuggling job turned out to be a set of short-range missiles, sans warheads – but the smugglers had quite a load of other weapons-of-mass-destruction and some nuclear materials aboard. They wound up sinking the smugglers, taking the assorted implements of destruction to the military, sabotaging the missiles, and then delivering them to what seemed to be a fairly ordinary street gang to find out what was up. It looked like the gang was being played by some outsiders with serious magical muscle.
Along the way, the plain white van they’d rented for the delivery turned out to be soaked with some very nasty astral impressions indeed. They wound up buying it and throwing it into Mount Ranier just to be certain that it was gone. Mr Sticks wound up paying support on a couple of stray kids from the barrens, other gangers wound up in the hospital, and there was much confusion.
As far as the mages went, it looked like some European terrorist group called “Winternight” was backing Humanis and organizing a massive outbreak of gang violence. A cover for their missile attack perhaps? Thanks to the tracers they’d put in the missiles, they managed to locate where the missiles were being set up, confirmed that they would-be attackers might well have at least one nuclear warhead, one chemical, and a couple of biological warheads, and went in – once again with military backing. Kimiko blew herself straight back into the hospital, Mr Moore went mildly insane – Mitsuhama had let him hook himself up to a combat helicopter with a major armament load on a remote link and he nearly killed everyone – and they wound up reducing an old industrial complex and much of the surrounding area to rubble while Mr Sticks sent the missiles into the pacific ocean.
Unfortunately, the gang attack on the city was already in full swing – and was being used as cover for a heavy attack on Renraku. Neo found a girlfriend during the attack and many people were killed despite their prior precautions – but they did capture a young mage who’d been twisted by Winternight, linked with some really nasty spirits (embodied in the corpses of some of his old friends), and turned loose on the city as a diversion.
Samiel mindwiped the boy to remove the winternight programming, installed enough bioware to mostly negate his magic (and to make him into an anthropomorphic cat-person), and renamed him “Felix”. He’d need retraining anyway.
All of which turned out to be cover for the REAL assault – a magically-assisted nerve-gas attack on the Ork Underground by several toxic shamans, a swarm of twisted spirits, and an attempt to park a nuke up against the Arcology foundations. They won – barely – and managed to avoid detonating the nuke in the process.
Why was everyone after Renraku? The potential magical surge if they broke the barrier? To keep the principles of the barrier a secret? Simple paranoia?
The Ninja did more research – and filled Kimiko’s house with zombies as a surprise for when she got back – while they tried to trace Winternight and Mr Moore finally got his new body. Nobody liked repeated attempts to nuke their hometown – and the bounties on Winternight Mages were well worthwhile.
Then Renraku released the principles of the barrier. It involved the use of a massive nuclear accelerator. Within the next few days, accelerators around the world were bombed; it looked like SOMEONE wanted to keep any other such barriers from being erected.
The group decided to leave tracing the weapons-suppliers to the military and conventional law enforcement while they went after Winternight directly; the bounties alone could potentially make them rich. Besides – they could get plenty of official backing when they were in pursuit of a nuclear-capable terrorist organization that wanted to destroy the world. They left for Europe, towing poor Felix along.