Carbon 2185: Crossfire Judas, part one – who’s it?

The punks for this session

IRI-ATA, level 3 synth/Hacker (female/ind);
Jezzail Evenwood, level 3 badlander/Enforcer (female/fem);
Jon Dough, level 3 ordinary joe/Investigator (male/mas)

Why Soylent Green is More Relevant Now Than Ever - Den of Geek

Bullets fly! And as the punks seek cover in the lousy slum outside the HKK market as best they can, they are free to wonder – did they just get screwed over?

Where it begins

Word of the raid on VillR has gotten around on the underground, and punks and anarchists are speaking the names of our anti-heroes… but quietly! They all know that if VillR finds out their details, kill teams will be out looking for blood!

Meanwhile, the cause of Synth Liberation has blossomed. Whether you boost for the Synth Liberation Front, or the People’s Front for Synth Liberation, there is action and excitement! One name that is on punks’ lips is Silvermute, a mysterious synth that holds believer meetings at night in invitation-only locations.

Off-screen, Lil Rikko (Rikko Makisaru) surfaces.

Commission: Custom Yakuza by ViciousJay

He lets Jackie Chow, the punks’ Triad leader, know that the Yakuza are holding his debt. Wait what? Debt who? How? Jackie is incensed and calls in Orien and Johnny Fives.

Johnny has just enough time to pass on something that came up: He has a new burner-tab from the entity known as Saul Stone:

“Come to HKK retailing plaza, visit me at Uncle Tanaka’s Off Market Repairs, we need to talk.”

HKK is in a slum area of District 4, but handily near the Gweilo. The three punks available dress in civvies (but with concealed shotguns!) and drive over.

Factions at work

Four of the men with guns have the look of corporates, and as one goes down under the concentrated fire of six be-suited types, IRI-ATA spots the VillR tabs on their gear. A Retirement squad, designed to hunt out misbehaving synths.

The six are focusing on the VillR team, so the punks take a chance and decide to do the same. As the three sides get closer and closer IRI-ATA gets pinged by the suits: they are all Synths. So… probably not enemies?

As the last Retirement killer falls, the suits let IRI-ATA know they represent Silvermute… but she does not make a great fist of persuading them to pass on intel. “Don’t call us we’ll call you,” is the message and the suits drift away back into the slum.

Off Market but Beyond Help

That leaves the punks rather battered but with the HKK plaza right next to them. In they go… and are in time to find ANOTHER Retirement team busy trashing Uncle Tanaka’s. As one stumbles trying to get a good line of sight on Jezzail, she notices the prone old man he slipped on – presumably Tanaka himself!

A second fierce firefight has the punks very tired (and IRI-ATA leaking important fluids) but dragging their wounded the Retirement team retires itself. They win!

Rushing to Tanaka, Jezzail slaps on a med-pak. Too late!

“I’m gonna try a dive!” IRI-ATA exclaims and jacks into Tanaka’s brain. Bad move! She gains two levels of exhaustion as she gets tangled in Tanaka’s ghost. Jezzail unjacks her as she spasms.

“Well that was stoopid.”

“I’m all up on stoopid… uhh.”

Orien takes the exit ramp

As they search the place, Jon gets a call from Johnny Fives: he’s badly rattled.

“Well we just lost our lead… Tanaka’s beyond help. What’s up with you?”

In response, Johnny plays back his video of Jackie (and some muscle) with he and Orien.

Jackie: What gives man? How come the Yakuza say I owe them?

Orien: Ya, dunno boss.

Jackie: I love you guys you know that, I wanna bring youse with me all the way. I hear talk of head office Tokyo showing muscle, I get nervous.

Orien: Well, maybe you should find out from Tokyo.

Jackie pulls a heavy pistol, as do his muscle, and Orien is shot full of holes.

Jackie turns to the camera:

Jackie: What you know about Lil Rikko? That who doing our laundry? Get Rikko!

“What the f**k?” Jon exclaims and passes this on. “We worked with Orien, like, a lot!”

“Yep, he was a cold-blooded sumbitch, but I think he oughta got more of a break from Jackie.”

“Let’s keep searching then find out who’s messing with us,” IRI-ATA suggests. “Jackie has been primed to kill us, maybe.”

IRI-ATA continues watching as the other two search.

The hidden laboratory

It takes a while; and only about a minute before SFPD sirens finally come within hearing range, Jon unlocks a secret access using the two-stage password they now have. “Pin-hole view inside” he responds and finds a large, well-equipped lab below the store. It will take some figuring out: he closes it and the punks make a quick getaway.

An insider insight

IRI-ATA falls back to her own pad to recuperate. Pin0 is still there. Bits of PinB are separated out. PinB’s smiling head is watching.

IRI-ATA decides not to comment. She explains her own difficulties.

“There is an 80% chance that Tanaka-sensei is the same Tanaka that left his personal chop on parts of PinB’s frame.

“In other words he has been involved in our creation all along.”

Pin0 uses her powers to remove IRI-ATA’s exhaustion and frame damage.

Working the contacts

The punks have built up an impressive array of contacts both neutral and friendly.

Jezzail: as usual decides to put in the minimum effort, walks downstairs to wait for Rolly Rowland, or Randy Rowland (she half-suspects). She has enough credits to afford a very good bottle of hooch, or a bottle and bed if that’s what he demands.

Giselle the simp synth is very hopeful but Jezzail don’t swing that way and eventually Rolly shows up. He is pretty ambivalent about the whole idea: but agrees to scent the wind.

Jon: decides the trip into District 3 will be worth it and meets up with Jupiter Christ Smoov. JC is in a good mood: the last piece of business they conducted went well for him. He readily offers the thought that Rikko has (or had) a favorite joint, the Six Hearts. “Skip Happy Hour,” JC advises Jon.

Six Hearts and that candy crush

It’s a dive not too far from HKK market, as it turns out. And therefore handy to the Gweilo and the other punks. Jon heads there early. Very early. It’s practically dead.

After nursing a sweet, sweet shake, Jon approaches the one barkeep. Says he’s looking for Rikko.

The barkeep confirms that this is Rikko’s home turf but he ain’t been around much lately. Gazes about in search of inspiration and (by very good fortune) spots a wait-staff synth:

“Mills! Mills! Mills! Hey Mills!”

Mills wheels over. She’s been reworked up to a Steampunk theme, with machine parts and machine optics added. She seems friendly…

ArtStation - cyberpunk girl, Shaokun Pang

But then Jon realizes that ALL the synths at the bar are scoping him. He has time to send out an emergency ping…

and the session ends.

DM Notes

Eagle eyed DMs will spot parts of Interlinked buried in this session. I was disappointed to discover how little I had left to recycle. And I had to re-tool Rikko’s villainy. Then, I got worried that there were too many factions. In the end I could not make my mind up about Silvermute and Jackie Chow and ended up doing neither justice. Easily one of the five worst games I have ever bolloxed my way through.

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