Shadows of the Crater

A Brief History of the Explosion
or, how I learned to stop worrying and sift through the ashes of an arcology.

Accidentally clicked back…

Erased EVERYTHING I wrote for the last god damn hour regarding the backstory…

Finish this later…

So full of rage…

Basics:

  • Ares Arcology blown up by nuke.
  • Ares investigating.
  • Earth First concerned over spiritual anomalies in the crater.
  • Scavengers grabbing what they can under Ares’ nose.
  • Strange, powerful being spotted near the center of the crater.
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The Secrets of Ares
What lies beneath?

July 12, 2072

Hey again, net heads, Matchstick here with an update on the hottest area in Seattle, and I don’t mean Dante’s Inferno.

More news coming out of the crater today as a group of shadowrunners emerge from the radioactive wastes brimming with paydata like you wouldn’t believe. We’re talking some real hush-hush stuff that Ares doesn’t want you to know. A three-man Shadowrunner team consisting of hacker leader Constable There’s a Man Behind You, ork shaman Hawkbat, and revolver ace adept Jesse James XII took out a mission within a previously inaccessible anomaly in the crater. Readers unfamiliar with my post on the anomalies should check out Shack Anomaly.

Constable took a break from running the shadows for the megacorps and sob stories through local fixer Dumpster McGee to become his own Mr. Johnson. On a run from last week, Constable came across one of the more deadly anomalies in the crater, the shack anomaly, which has been known to take out entire Ares and Scavenger teams with ruthless efficiency. A little stone elemental tells me the place actually accepted Constable and allowed him to return in one week to explore whatever mysteries the shack was hiding.

Sure enough, one week later at July 11, Constable used his connections with Dumpster McGee to round up two more runners to come explore the anomaly with him: Hawkbat and Jesse James XII. The team met up, collected the equipment they needed, and headed out to the crater and the shack anomaly. Once they arrive, they were met with a peculiar sight. The small earth elemental that had instructed the team to come back welcomed them with open arms, inviting them inside “the fun house”.

Now, that can be more than a little unnerving for any shadowrunner, but Constable and the gang pressed forward. The Ares systems seemed largely unaffected by the close blast, working most likely due to magical protection, and the group took a short ride down a service elevator. Ares apparently loves to keep its storage facilities buried deep.

What the group found, though, was anything beyond your normal hack and grab datajack job. The security had apparently been severely tampered with by a disgruntled Ares employee named Joker. Seems J had been accidentally sealed up in the storage facility for a little too long and took a shining to creating archaic and bizarre traps throughout the facility.

Joker met the party with open arms and an eccentric invitation right off the bat, welcoming the team to his “fun house” and telling them to seek a fortune in paydata hidden throughout the facility. I know what you’re thinking: traps? We’re not talking black ice and security spiders crawling one super server all day, this guy physically changed the damn facility to include magical and switch-based traps! To name a few:

  • A featureless room with a bucket of water in the corner and a hole in the ceiling. The team eventually figured out there was a water elemental in the bucket that would continually refill it until they could swim to a hole in the roof.
  • Astral guards and writing, including directions the team had to follow and a nasty shock to anyone trying to astrally perceive past any walls or doors. Hawkbat didn’t seem too amused by being thrown back to his body after brushing a wall experimentally.
  • A completely offline central security system with drones shaped like jester heads and clowns popping out of air vents and filing cabinets running purely off of autosofts. Door ran on direct-link consoles or no consoles at all!
  • A room with three pillars separated by 20 centimeter grooves in the floor to section off the room into three parts. Each pillar had a lever to pull and the door had no other way to access it. when one lever was pulled, walls slammed down into the grooves, separating the teammate and giving them each a drone to fight by themselves. The team’s shaman astrally perceived a long line of text alone the wall and eventually figured out a password to speak while each team member pulled a lever and opened the door.
  • An incredibly elaborate and lever-based airlock door than… lead to no where. Constable seemed less than amused after spending two hours trying to figure out a sequence for the levers before making an ultrasonic test to find that the door was guarding… solid concrete.
  • A hallway with a doghook at the end which Constable had to disarm manually and with ease… which, unfortunately set off the electric floor behind him, shocking his teammates. Remember runners: your teammates don’t “always” do shit to you on purpose…
  • A peculiar room with a trap door in the middle of the floor that fell in a meter or so and didn’t cause any damage. The crew seemed baffled to find a metal crate in the corner that perhaps appeared as though it would fit in the hole. when the crate was pushed in, nothing happened. They inspected the ceiling where the crate was originally sitting and found a secret alcove with some data stored away in it. A gut feeling told Constable to check the trap door again and, to everyone’s surprise, another alcove was found IN the trap door! Pay attention pays backs nicely, runners!
  • A hallways of broken and stripped drones with three live drones in hiding.

But perhaps the most interesting part of this “fun house” was the final confrontation with Joker int eh main server room. The team was congratulated for getting so far, but then challenged to combat with the trap maker. After watching bullets whizz right through the body of the ork, it was discovered that the Joker the team was fighting was nothing more than a Phantasm with Magic Fingers holding a stun baton. The real Joker had shrouded himself in invisibility and stealth spells within the room, even managing to hide from Hawkbat’s perceptive astral eye, but not for long!

The team, having caught on to Joker’s tricks, slowly called the ork out, finding cans of paint around the room that the maniacal jester had used to paint his custom drones. Once the clown was painted, he had a little harder time dodging Jesse’s bullets and Hawkbat’s ignite spell. Sensing defeat, Joker pulled an unusual trick out of his hat and disappeared astrally, leaving behind his equipment, weapons, and armor.

A lot of good Ares information was retrieved from this run, check your local infobrokers for some juicy tidbits soon! Oh, and if you meet a grinning, naked ork on the streets of Seattle… well, use your best judgment, net heads…

(Adam’s note: I COMPLETELY forgot to mention one thing you guys picked up in the facility! Which I will note right now)

But paydata and an unusual exotic weapon weren’t the only things found in the depths of the storage facility. A strange, simple wooden totem, carved with shamanic runes, was found tossed in the corner with a pile of drone parts that drew Hawkbat to it. The thing sounds pretty powerful, but doesn’t appear to be… functional, yet. Collaborating GPS grids with Joker’s room also discovered the room was positioned directly beneath the Garden Anomaly! Sounds kind of fishy to me…

That’s all I got for you guys today! But don’t worry! I’ll be back again soon with more crucial updates on the Ares A-103 crater as things develop!

This is Matchstick, your technomancer infoblogger, jacking out.

END OF LINE

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More News From the Crater
A scuffle with Ares and some new information

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“The end of the world comes when the power goes out and doesn’t come back on.”

Welcome back to Jackpoint,

omae; your last connection was

severed: 10 hours, 56 minutes, 4 seconds ago

Current Time: July 16th 2072, 0203

Open Thread “News From the Crater”

//upload newsclip item :: user Matchstick :: 07/16/72//

NUCLEAR BLAST:TRUE THREAT OR ARES COVERUP

Posted by Matchstick:7/16/72

Jack on and SIM in, net heads, Matchstick has an update on everybody’s favorite radioactive crater: Arc 103.

Ares has been double timing it to keep their formerly underground storage facilities clean of the scavving rats and nosy Earth Firsters, but a team of runners just came across something big and under Ares guard.

Hawkbat and the shaman group Dingifell took a look at that totem that was buried in Joker’s lair and there seemed to be a lot of dormant power laying in the simple foci. The lead shaman Bear With Claw put a runner group together through Dumpster McGee consisting of the beautiful and deadly KillBunny, the trick-shooter Jesse James XII (aheh, sorry Jesse…), the mystic shaman Hawkbat himself, and everyone’s favorite constable Constable There’s a Man Behind You. This totem was seriously old; we’re talking pre-awakening old, so the head shaman needed a bit more intel that was most likely buried within one of the numerous, uncovered storage facilities peppering the crater. The runners were briefed and Constable rounded up some blueprints of Arc103 directly from an Ares security server: hot grab, Constable! We’re waiting for that juicy info to be slapped up with the info-brokers soon.

Unfortunately, Ares was one step ahead of the group with a survey and salvage team already set up before the runners had arrived. Ares Firewatch troopers and elite Shademages gave the team a good workout in the facility as well as Jesse a new hole in his hat and KillBunny a stunball system shock. Ares was obviously not too eager for anyone to find what they were researching regarding the totem.

The information retrieved from the run speaks of Ares’ involvement with biotech research. Apparently, guns and tanks just weren’t filling Damien Knight’s pockets with nuyen fast enough. The project, codenamed Rainmaker, involved a series of archaeological digs around the Seattle and Northern Aztlan areas headed by a scientist by the name of Dr. Godfrey Rushman. Of course, by ‘digs’ I mean smash and grab grave robbing at best, typical Ares style. When the project wasn’t showing promising success, it was scrapped and hidden away in the catacombs of Arc103’s storage facilities.

The specific information on the totem is vague. There’s poor translations about the totem being tied to Shem’Hothep, a spirit or god worshipped centuries ago by the local natives of Seattle. This god was in charge of harvest or crops and the totem was the diving rod that allowed high-ranking shamans to communicate with him. Ares executives weren’t as convinced as the old shamans since their own mages could detect no magical elements about the totem, but something’s dug up their interest now that the Dingifell has “Ares Property”.

If you ask me, that totem’s got something to do with the elemental spooking around the center of the crater. Could this be a possible return of Shem’Hothep? Better get out your rainsticks and your prayer beads, net heads…

END OF LINE

@ Still trying to blog in the big leagues, Matchstick? When’s the last time you’ve even been on a run?

@ Snopes

@ Don’t mind him, ‘stick, Snopes has an unnatural fear of things younger than him. Good info from this article, keep it coming.

@ Jack Point

@ With Ares raking in cash over their P.O.T.I.O.s, it’s no wonder they’re trying to grab up as much of their misplaced information as they can. Just goes to show you, folks, always carry multiple back-ups.

@ Splint3r

@ Either way, Ares is playing around with some dangerous mojo… I’m going to be staying out of the crater for a while before Ares causes ANOTHER explosion.

@ Slamm-O

//archive/open thread/

//uploaded newsclip item :: user Matchstick :: 07/16/72//

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Jackpoint August 2nd
Dragon Battle

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“Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.”

Welcome back to Jackpoint,

omae; your last connection was

severed: 33 hours, 7 minutes,

23 seconds ago

Current Time: August 10th 2072, 1803

Open Thread “Dragon Battle”

//upload newsclip item :: user ConstableThere’sAManBehindMe :: 08/10/72//

DRAGON COMMUNITY OUTRAGED AT NEW “SPORT”

Posted by Capt@inBeatAss:8/2/72

I don’t feel right even saying what I’m about to say. From what my contacts tell

me and from what I saw with my own eyes it seems that the new “popular” sport is

called Dragon Battle. No person has claimed responsibility, but the sport revolves

around the carnage of our fellow shadow runners and dragons. These are two kinds of

people I don’t usually mess with. All disappear out of no where. I tracked down

Hawkbat using street cameras, but the trail dries up abruptly. I’m going to send a

wizard buddy of mine down there to snoop up some dirt on the astral. Hopefully

any signatures left there at the time of the crime will still be there.

Has anyone worked with anyone else in the trid? As stated I recognize Hawkbat thanks

to the Constable. Let’s work together to put a stop to this. This could seriously

impact our “careers” as shadow runners. If anything this might help put some credit

in your favor during your future relations with dragons. Crap I hate dealing with

dragons.

//end attachment//

@ Holy shit man. I wouldn’t deal with a dragon let alone kill one. Then

brag about it. Holy shit man!

P.S I recognized Sylva. Holy shit did you see him fight at Dantes Inferno.

Pylon had no chance! BAM. K.O.

@ Pistons

@ I heard Bloodbath was a mad man, but I won’t forget at about 6 seconds in when

he threw a grenade into the bastard! Bloodbath is the fastest thing I’ve ever seen.

P.S.S I recognized the Dragon. His name was Fafnir. He was Lofwyr’s personal

assistant. I have reason to think Lofwyr is going to miss Fafnir : \.

@ Slamm-O

@ Just in case your wondering her is what hit the web eight days ago August 2nd 2072.

/// Begin Audio Visual Transcript///

You see various visual screens viewing a 5X50X? room made of metal. Around the perimeter

are eight doors. Three per two sides and the other have one in the center. Just inside

is a conveyor belt moving in random directions. In the center Is a 30X30×3m platform made

of a stone material etched with runes and sigils. On top a monstrous Western Dragon sits

brooding.

On the wall a count down timer is projected onto the wall. It sets itself to 20 minutes

and a booming voice says “prepare yourself!!!” You see the dragon’s body start to glow and a

huge spiritual ball of air forms in front of it. The voice says, “Is that all your going

to do to prepare?” The dragons response is terse and to the point. “My name is Dagron

Johnson bitch! Best recognize!”

The clip jumps ahead to 5 seconds till. At zero all the doors open up and random types of

platforms and chains appear connecting or floating near the center stone platform. Without

hesitation people and elementals fly out the doors and start assaulting the dragon and his

air elemental ally. Great cackling bolts of energy fly from the dragon, but after about 9-12

seconds the largest most interesting Troll jumps to the platform and smacks Dagrons face.

The Dragon falls to it’s knees and laughs manically expanding rapidly until it explodes.

During the expansion every creature in the room flees for their lives. Most make it out

the doors they came from, a few a little less lucky…

After the dragon explodes the platform crumbles with the Troll on it. As he falls into the

abyss a scream hits the cameras, “THIS IS NOT THE END FOR SYLVA!” The cameras go blank

and a few seconds later a smiley face pops on screen then fades out followed by text on

screen, “Dagron was a proud one wasn’t he. Too proud to prepare himself properly it seems.

Wait until next week kiddies for Dragon battle 2.” As the text fades out a picture

of a dragon wearing a dress and clown makeup hanging from the ceiling by monofilament

wire.

/// End Audio Visual Transcript///

Whoever can capture a dragon is someone to be feared for sure. Don’t go around saying

you saw this. Dragons get a little pissed about things relating to other dragons and

their humiliating downfall. Who the fuck is this guy, the crypt keeper Also, take

note of the size of that elemental. I’ve never seen anything that huge!

@ Jack Point

@ For once I have nothing to say. You win universe. You win “Shakes fist into air”

@ Snopes

@ Yes I most certainly do. And yes, let’s not spread this to the dragon community : ).

They take it so personally. Even to see their most bitter enemies humiliated by such

an inferior species.

@ Lofwyr

@ What the fuck Jackpoint Your dealing with dragons?

@ Snopes

@ Jackpoint is an equal message board. Fuels competition. The word must get out

@ Jackpoint

//uploaded newsclip item :: user ConstableThere’sAManBehindMe :: 08/10/72//

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