CyberTex Session 5

The session starts where we left off. Having located Joe’s safe house, Inuyama has broken down the door, setting off a booby trap bomb. Inuyama, Hawk, and Max take no damage due to their protective ballistic clothing. The investigative reporter Kolchak has stepped out of the smoke,  introduced himself, and said he can’t believe they did that. After a brief conversation, Inuyama steps into the safe house room, on the abandoned 10th floor of a building and looks around. Hawk mutters “Never trust a journalist. It’s only off the record if the journalist is dead.”

He sees what appears to be a facility/machine room for the building. The walls are cinderblock, unpainted. There is hotwired power in the room, and a sad little refrigerator. There are two other rooms walled off within the larger room, also cinderblock walls, of obviously recent construction. Each has a door, one of which is locked with a keypad. The rest of the group enters the safehouse.

Inuyama opens the door to the smaller room. A horrible stench flows out. Apparently this is the “restroom”. No plumbing. Just buckets. Joe is obviously not in his right-mind.

Mistrustful of the reporter Kolchack, Hawk uses his rapier wit skill to set the man at ease and playfully slaps him on the back with his bionic hand. He attempts to use the concealed needle in his finger to administer a knock-out drug, only to find that the needle will no penetrate the man’s overcoat. Kolchak is wearing an overcoat made of ballistic cloth. Kolchak doesn’t notice the attempt to sedate him.

Cut to Joe, who is on the run from the cult members who attacked him in his apartment. He has his 9mm, knife, flak vest, and garrote wire. He’s evaded and killed a number of pursuing cult members, riding the top of a mag-lev train to a Vietnamese section of town, hopping down a couple of blocks from the safe house. He’s paranoid, but hey, it’s not paranoia if they really are after you, right? The streets are very crowded, misty and filled with the smells of street vendors’ food carts. Noisy and busy. Joe stops at a cart for a bowl of noodles. He notices someone following him. He stops to buy a hat to better conceal his identity and notices another person following him. He’s a block from the safehouse building. He ducks into an alley and uses his stealth skill and climbing skill to climb the wall of one side of the alley, up three floors. He rolls a critical success for stealth — he’s damned near invisible up there in the shadows. Reaching the top, he rolls over the edge to the roof of a building, and watches as two cultist search for him. He makes his was as far toward the safehouse as he can via rooftops, finally climbing down. He enters the building, reaching the 10th floor via the stairs, and sees that someone has set off his booby trap. He stealths up, and sees the old team and someone he doesn’t know in the room. He enters, surprising them (his stealth vs Hawk’s passive perception, Quick Contest) asking what the hell they are doing. Given is exposure to the code on the chip he’s been obsessed with, and its effect on Joe’s already damaged mind, the GM requires him to make a Will Roll to see if he believes these are his real friends — the ones he messaged for help — or some imposters. He makes the roll and is able to control his delusion and paranoia.

The team has had no luck finding the combination to the keypad lock, though using his microscopic vision of his bionic eye Hawk has been able to determine which three numbers are used in the combination. After the first bomb, no one wants to force entry. No matter now, as Joe walks in and opens the door. He wants his guns. Following him into the room, Inuyama and Max see a sad, plain little bed, table with a small computer and ‘net connection, and the large crate of guns and ammo that Joe is now going through. The plain cinderblock walls of the room are totally covered with nonsensical writing resembling computer code, written out with some kind marker. Small writing — weeks of work — insane. Joe is not well.

However Joe doesn’t trust Kolchak. He puts his 9mm to the reporter’s head. Kolchack tries a quick contest of his Persuasion vs. Joe’s Will to convince Joe that he’s OK. Both fail their rolls. Stalemate. Joe still not convinced. Kolchak volunteers his 44 revolver in a demonstration of friendliness. Finally, Max convinces Joe to relent.

Joe having informed the group he might have been followed, Inuyama is standing guard at the blown-out door. Two obvious cultists come out the stairwell at the end of the dimly-lit hallway. Combat starts. They are fast, but Inuyama and Joe are much faster. Inuma pull his gun and shoots, hitting one in groin, nearly dropping him. Joe quickly moves out the door, using the sumo as a shield, and fires, blowing the man’s hand off and dropping him. One cultist left.

Max joins the fight, firing at the remaining cultist, hitting him with a devastating blast to the groin (LOVE the hit location chart!), dropping him. The team examines the bodies. One of the cultist has a bionic eye that is obviously a camera. Hawk determines that he was broadcasting. Inuyama smashes the eye, which was functioning even after the man was killed.

Kolchak suggests that they go to the Rot Gut Emporium to share information. They go. He tells them that all the weirdness in the recent years seems to be, according to his research, to be centered around a figure called “the Pope”, who he’s identified as Dane Van Smolt, a recent arrival from the East Coast Complex. Van Smolt apparently believes there is an alternate universe accessible via CyberSpace — a universe of powerful beings. He wishes to be their emissary in this universe, and to that end he’s become an expert on the occult, cyberspace, and the insane leader of a cult.  He’s also rich.

Hawk notices that a woman in the bar is watching them. She pulls out a cell phone. He uses his parabolic hearing to listen in. “Yes, they’re here. I’ll keep an eye on them” she says, then putting the phone away. The group decides to relocate to Pearl’s Party Dome and see if she follows. Max uses his streetwise skill to bribe the bartender to call him if she follow them out. On the way to the party dome in the Big Cadillac, Max gets the call. She left on a motorcycle. He sees her following them. They park at the Party Dome. She stops some distance away, turns and drives away.

End of session.

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