Lancaster 2072

05 Stuffer Shack Sidetrack

The team gets a new addition in the form of an amnesiac magician and the Fellini Run gets totally sidetracked after another attack on a Stuffer Shack. They really should invest in private security.


6:23am, Tuesday 23 May 2072 – Heysham Power District

The elf woke with a start. He felt the cold plascrete floor below him and saw the slowly rising sun above. His surroundings were a maze of heavy steel pipes, chain link fences and vents spewing forth steam. He felt a rough kick on his shoulder.

“You need to leave,” said the Lone Star officer, looking annoyed at having to do such a menial job as moving vagrants along at 6am.

Finding his voice, the elf croaked “Where am I?” He realised he didn’t reocgnise his own voice. He also realised he didn’t know his own name. Or much of anything else. All he knew was the face of the private cop, scowling at him in the early morning light.

“Heysham Power District, now move along before I move you along.” The Lone Star officer escorted the elf through the labyrinth of rusting pipes and bodily shoved him through an open gate before slamming it shut, the maglock snapping into place.

Standing in the warm morning sun, his mind ran through a list of questions: Where was he? Why was he here? Who was he? And most important of all, where the hell could he get a soyburger at this time?

**

Fanboy and Napster had gone five days without any leads on the Fellini run. Feeling dismayed at their lack of progress they agreed to meet up at a Stuffer Shack back in Lancaster to pick up some supplies.

An asian looking elf, made just before the session by a new player, just happened to turn up in the same Stuffer Shack in the early hours of a bleak Tuesday morning, heading straight for the soyburgers at the back. Fanboy got chatting with the confused looking elf, who told his entire life story. All 30 minutes of it, from the pipes and vents of Heysham Power District to the neon soaked aisles of Morecambe Battery’s Stuffer Shack.

And with that short introduction out of the way, our GM kicked off Food Fight for the second time in Fanboy’s and Napster’s short careers.

Napster, in the back perusing a skin holomag, was knocked off his feet by the explosion that tore the side out of the Shack. 4 young men barged in, wearing little in the way of armour and covered in gaudy tattoos. The ringleader was a large black human who quickly pointed and gave instructions to his fellow thugs.

Napster, Fanboy and the unnamed elf were rounded up in one corner by the arcade cabinets. The cashier had a gun pointed in his face as he was forced to fill up credsticks from the Shack’s Point of Sale node.

Hoping they could get out of this by just waiting it out and letting the thugs take the money was foolish. Fanboy quickly realised that, when in retort to a sarcastic comment from him, one of the young thugs used his name. They knew him. He decided to act. Pulling out his taser and jamming it into the stomach of the boy in one quick motion, he quickly put him down.

Then bullets started flying. Before Napster could take cover he was hit in the neck. The thugs, panicking, had run for cover as the hacker rapidly bled out. In just a few seconds several things happened.

The youngest thug ran for the door and got the hell out of dodge.

The elf drew up a magic from within himself he didn’t realise he had, laid his hands over the gaping bullet wound and willed it to close.

Fanboy pulled out a flash-pak from a pocket of his long duster and managed to temporarily blind the two remaining thugs before taking cover behind the corner of the counter.

Fanboy instructed the magician to take his place, quickly pulling out a medkit from his bag and hooking it up to Napster, while simultaneously dragging him into cover. The magician took up his place behind the counter, the thugs firing too high to hit anything as they reeled from the flash-pak’s effects.

He tapped the power inside himself and caste a Force 5 Tsunami spell at the thugs, washing them both off their feet and slamming them into the shelves. Water damaged stock spilled from the shelves, completing the scene of destruction.

Fanboy: “Quick, help me get him to the van. I know a place we can lie low.”

The two of them carried the dying hacker through the front door of the Stuffer Shack and towards the van parked across the street. Fanboy sent a mental command via his link, to the van, instructing it to unlock the doors and start the engine.

The van exploded, sending the three metahumans flying back.

Thankfully they were all at a safe enough distance to survive the blast. Fanboy regained his composure first and ran over to the van.

Fanboy:PUT IT OUT! The water thing! Do the water thing again!”

The mage cast a weak Tsunami spell on the van, dousing the flames and saving what little gear was left to be saved. Not much survived. most of the team’s “heavy” weapons were ruined, including Napster’s prized Doberman drone. Fanboy salvaged what he could, but everything that survived could be carried in one bag.

On the front windscreen was a singed and soaked playing card. A four of spades, on the back an ARO glowed with an advert for the Midland Casino.

Temporarily forgetting about Napster, Fanboy grabbed the mage by the arm and furiously stormed back into the ruined Stuffer Shack. He stomped through the puddles, over to the ringleader’s body and squatted down in front of him. The man was unconcious and a large purple blotch was spreading under his skin, indicating internal bleeding. He would die.

Fanboy: “Heal him. I want to speak to him.”
Magician: “Are you sure? He just tried to kill us all.”
Fanboy: “I want to know who did this.”
Magician: “Well, if you’re sure…”

The mage placed his hand on the thug’s abdomen and did his best. Unfortunately he couldn’t stabilise him, no matter how hard he tried.

Magician: “It’s no good. He’s a goner. Wait, I recognise that symbol. See that tattoo on his arm? That’s a Yakuza symbol, specifically a British based arm of the syndicate.”
Fanboy: “I thought you had amnesia?”

The elf shrugged, he honestly had no idea how he knew that. Fanboy patted the man down, finding a broken commlink and a folded up piece of note paper. He pocketed them both. Hearing sirens approaching, the pair ran back outside and grabbed the hacker between them. Fanboy led the way to Hank’s bar, the closest safe place he knew.

**

It took a couple of days for Napster to wake up, and a full week before he was back on his feet. In the interim Fanboy was busy trying to find out who hit them back at the Stuffer Shack and why. The magician spent the time finding out what he could about his past.

He had a commlink on him, with a linked SIN naming him as Harrison Ford, so Fanboy and Napster took to calling him Ford out of necessity. He stayed in a back room at Hank’s for the first two nights, as did Fanboy and the still unconscious Napster. They didn’t want to risk heading home just yet.

Napster woke up and was informed of his brush with death. Unable to move too much, he offered their new friend Ford, the key to his apartment. In part to give the amnesiac mage somewhere to stay, but also to make sure the place wasn’t overrun with Yaks trying to off him.

Ford easily rediscovered his powers. Stuff he knew he could do, he just couldn’t remember how he learned to do them. He could look through his third eye, seeing the astral world, parallel with his own. He could even travel through it. He could speak with spirits, ask them for favours and bind them for extended services. Most interestingly of all, he found there was a spirit that would talk to him and give him advice regularly—a panda bear. The bear didn’t tell him much about his personal history, but it spoke of the Shinto tradition, his magic and the kami spirits that invest every aspect of the world. The Kannushi mage also learned one small but important piece of information: He had a mentor, a close friend and teacher. He wondered if this mentor would be looking for him, if he knew how to find him, if he was even in the same country.

Fanboy dealt with Fellini and in the process of explaining the delay, Fellini interrupted, telling the runner that the coffin hotel he’d been staying at was blown up last night. Luckily the trid star had been out, “laying low” in some casino probably. His foolishness had saved his life. Fanboy made arrangements for Fellini to stay at his apartment in Lancaster, after checking no one was watching the place of course. He told Fellini to leave the HCN and lights switched off at all times, no exceptions, same with any electronics on his person, and gave him a key to the old fashioned tumbler lock on the door. That covered the physical and Matrix security.

Napster managed to access the dead thug’s commlink, finding a message which just said “Still on?” sent during the night, before the attack. Tracing it back to it’s source, Napster found it came from a Stuffer Shack in Neo-Tokyo. The piece of note paper Fanboy had taken from the same body said:

S. Shack – 7am

All signs pointed towards the Yakuza. But why would the Yakuza want the team dead? Could it be someone holding a grudge towards them extracting the researcher from the Lead manufacturing warehouse? Perhaps there was a price on their heads? The team ran through all the possibilities, coming to one conclusion: They were fucked.

**

Ford hid himself in a dark alleyway a couple of blocks inland, as Fanboy strolled along the windy prom, the sea blowing a fine mist over his cheap suit. To an outside observer the skinny bald man looked like another of the sprawls down-and-outs. A man about to blow another month’s salary at the Midland Casino. Ford’s Physical Mask spell was going to be a major boon.

Napster was running comms back at Hank’s. He’d given Ford a subvocal mic and earpiece, and patched him into the team’s tacnet. The hacker had his AR windows open and a family sized bag of Cheetos at hand, glad to be alive and raring to punch deck bend the Matrix to his whim once more.


The Midland Casino was a whitewashed building with most of the white washed off it. The bright lights and soft music bled out into the roped off queue area where two dozen metahumans waited, excited to lose their nuyen in this respectable establishment.

Fanboy joined the line. At the head of the queue were two ork bouncers, scanning each patron up and down with handheld MAD scanners. Fanboy had a few items on him that would trigger the alarm and he’d rather not give them up, or give the bouncers an excuse to scrutinise his magical disguise.

Napster: “I’m on it”

The hacker zipped around the Matrix, using Fanboy’s node as a point of reference. He ID’ed the two bouncer’s commlinks and the scanners attached to them. Glancing at Fanboy’s video feed it looked like the ork on the right would be the one scanning him down. He easily broke into the ork’s link and was ready to send a command to the scanner to report no hits at the right time. The young elf chick in front of Fanboy caused a problem though. The burly ork decided that this was the perfect time to try out his new Wingman soft’, and was holding up his side of the queue dropping bad one liners on the elf.

Fanboy subvocalised: “Left. Quick, the one on the left.”
The ork waved him forward.
Napster: “Buy some time.”

Fanboy dropped one of the gold credsticks he had been twirling in his hand, taking a laboriously long time to retrieve it from the gravel at his feet. In those short seconds Napster had managed to spoof a command to the second ork’s handheld scanner, telling it not to report any hits.

Fanboy walked through the door and onto the plush red carpets of the Midland Casino. He found the chip exchange console by the wall and plugged in a credstick, converting a modest sum into chips he could use at the tables. It was time to blend in and see if he could figure out who was running this place and just why someone would leave a playing card on a van they were planning to blow up.

After a succesful run at the roulette table, Fanboy decided he would like another look at those playing cards. He headed over to the blackjack table, won a few bets and palmed a Four of Spades. Comparing the card with the singed one in his pocket confirmed it: The card was from here.

Fanboy: “Alright, I’m getting nothing here. Looks like only the ground floor is open to guests and there’s no Yakuza gang members running around here shouting about their affiliations. You’re up Ford, see what you can find out.”
Ford: “Okay, going astral, speak soon. Watch my body Napster.”

The magician’s body slumped in a dark alley. He found himself staring at an even bleaker look of Morecambe than he thought possible. The buildings around him were grey and indistinct, but with a job to do he sped off and in less than a second found himself inside the casino were the colourful auras of the patrons dazzled him.

Seeing no patrolling spirits, mana barriers or other astrally projecting metahumans, he headed up the stairs. Or more accurately he floated up through the ceiling. He checked the door at the end of the corridor across from the stairs. Inside he saw several men, smoking cigars, playing cards and watching TV. There were guns on the table. A short man, best described as Danny DeVito’s long lost cousin, had his feet up on the table and was watching TV with a huge cigar hanging from his mouth.

The men were chatting, nothing of great importance: money mostly. Ford gathered that these were the owners and that the DeVito look-a-like was the boss. One thing was for certain though, they definitely weren’t Yakuza.

Throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks was the current mode of investigation, so the projecting magician hit the boss with an Influence spell, planting a niggling doubt in his head: The same feeling you get when you think you’ve lost something.

The boss stood up, his feet sweeping cards off the table. He looked around worriedly for a moment, before his eyes fell on a renaissance painting. Expensive looking, but Ford couldn’t be sure, everything was so indistinct in the Astral Plane. With a sigh of relief, secure in the knowledge that he hadn’t misplaced anything important, the boss sat back down, told the others to “fuhgeddaboudit” and took a long drag on his cigar.

Ford popped his ghostly head through the painting and as he expected found a safe door, which he promptly stuck his head through too. Inside was money and a briefcase full of documents. Perhaps the boss had just been worried that he’d misplaced the money, or perhaps the documents in that briefcase were important.

The magicians astral investigation wasn’t turning up much more so he zipped back to his body to inform the others what he’d found. That’s when he heard Napster over the comms:

Napster: “They’re mob. The family. Mafia. I looked the place up and found several documents and reports more than hinting at the fact.”
Ford: “That would fit what I just saw up there, most certainly not Yakuza. Did have an Italian edge to their accents though.”
Fanboy: “OK so we’ve got the mob leaving calling cards for us and yak thugs trying to kill us. This could mean a lot of things. Let’s bug out and head back to Hank’s, make a solid plan before carrying on. Maybe Mr. Confidence here can stick one of these fancy magic masks on himself and come talk to these upstanding family men about our predicament.”


That was the end of the session, although the theorising and planning has been going on out of game because we just don’t know who wants the team dead. It’s probably best to assume that everybody does.

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