$Insert_Title, Episode 11

"Aired" on: 2018-06-02Cast: Madoka, Engie, Jammer, Hueco

Previously On

The show opens on a black screen, which stays black for about three seconds before we hear a record scratch noise.

Producer: Do we have any pre-roll for this episode? Tom? Tom? Where the fuck is Tom?

Smash cut to title card.


A quick montage of the previous episode occurs. The montage highlights Mr. Fahrenheit's flour-covered return, Hueco explaining the mission plan to Mr. Fahrenheit, and then the entirety of the montage entering the building up to the proximity alert popping up over Madoka's game.

The episode picks up right at the end of that montage. Madoka is with Jammer in the closet, waiting. Madoka attempts to hack Jean-Paul's commlink, succeeding once but failing on the second attempt and alerting Jean-Paul. The camera cuts to Jean-Paul and a shot-for-shot remake of the scene from episode three when the group was hacking Slag's device plays. Jean-Paul reboots the device and contacts the front desk about an intruder/threat.

Over comms Madoka is instructed to try again by Hueco. Madoka initially resists but attempts to MARK Jean-Paul's commlink once more and fails. The camera cuts to the security room where two guards banter back and forth about sending someone up to the rich guy on the thirty-second floor. Coming back to the runners Jammer and Madoka steal a cleaning cart and a garbage bin and take the freight elevator to the first floor.

As the two hackers make their way to the door they are stopped by a guard who sees them leave their cart and garbage can and start running for an exit. He shouts and pulls a weapon on them. Jammer is the first to react, spinning around and laying down suppressing fire down the hallway. In the process he nearly shoots Madoka, who dives behind some light cover.

A shootout starts in the hallway. Jammer takes a hit as he is diving behind cover, taking light damage (3S). Madoka returns fire from behind cover and takes a serious wound in response (7P). Another guard arrives as backup and takes cover. Jammer leans out and shoots the first guard, nearly bringing them down (7P) but is knocked out by a shot from the second (7S).

At the door to the alley, a drone hovers around the height of the lock and looses some rounds into the door. Hueco rips open the door and runs into the hallway, throwing a flashbang down the hallway towards the guards as Africa plays. (I bless the rains down in Africa~~). Hueco gets into cover with Madoka to check if she can walk as the flashbang detonates.

There is a long shot of the hallway down towards Madoka, showing Hueco dashing across to where Jammer is. A rotodrone equipped with a FN HAR slowly drifts into the hallway as One WInged Angel plays over the drone's speakers. The drone begins to move at a slow, but menacing pace down the hallway towards the last remaining guard. The camera cuts to behind cover where the guard is pushed up against the wall, reeling from the flashbang. It is a low shot looking up at the guard and into the air beside him. The drone slowly drifts into frame, gun aimed at the guard. The guard raises his hands in front of him.

The camera cuts to a long shot from the other end of the hallway showing Hueco heaving Jammer over his shoulder and escaping into the alley with Madoka. The drone fires into cover at the far end of the shot as the final fantasy fanfare begins to play.

The runners escape the scene as an HTR team is arriving on site and beginning to lock down the area. Hueco attempts to help Madoka's gunshot wound but fails critically, causing no additional damage but making it more difficult for Madoka to heal. Madoka gives the group the number of her street doctor, Steve, whom they then meet.

Steve: Oh. Who the fuck is responsible for this fuck up?
Hueco: It was a good medkit.
Steve: And a bad medic.

Steve hustles Madoka into his clinic. Madoka spends six days out of commission recovering. When she gets back to the Arcade she finds that the group has not made any progress.

After the group has spent time spinning its wheels Madoka decides to contact Manifest for assistance and guidance. Manifest gives Madoka the address of a butcher shop and tells her to bring Hueco and to go to the back alley of the shop. Upon arrival Hueco begins to feel uncomfortable, and tells Madoka to stick close to him.

In the alley, they see Fearless sitting on a crate next to a door. She waves them over and makes an ominous comment about the typical condition of people that get brought there. She swipes a card and opens the door, making a dramatic 'after you' motion inside. The door opens to a staircase that goes down to a cement room. Within the room is a rack filled with dangerous looking implements, a large washbasin, a mini-fridge, a table with some chairs, and a window and door into a smaller room.

Inside the smaller room, clearly the interrogation room from Episode 7, is Manifest. She is wearing her typical runner gear with the coat hung over the back of the steel chair. In front of her is a large steel table and several seats across from her. Madoka and Hueco are visibly uneasy by the whole situation.

Madoka sits down across from Hueco, while Hueco stands with his arms crossed off to the side. The door to the interrogation room never closes. Manifest is silent for a time, examining Madoka and Hueco.

Manifest: So, you need my help?

Madoka explains the current situation, fidgeting and nervous. Manifest removes a small pistol from her shoulder holster and slides it across the table and asks Madoka what she can know about the gun in less than five seconds. Madoka has no answer.

Manifest: Is the safety on. Is the gun loaded. Is there a bullet in the chamber. The first three things you need whenever you are given a gun. Basic gun safety.

Madoka slides the gun back, feeling belittled and avoiding eye contact. Manifest picks up the gun, tilts it, slides out the magazine and reinserts it, and pulls back the slide, and places it back in its holster. There is a few more moments of uneasy silence in which Madoka looks for Hueco for guidance using player-character-eye-language.

Manifest: I can help you. Whoever you need information from, bring them here. I will get what you need. This is what I am good at.

Madoka and Hueco leave with Hueco having some witty back-and-forth with Manifest and Fearless on the way out. The two discuss their reservations about the possibility of torture and Madoka is starting to suspect that Manifest may be a cop. Hueco notes that nothing comes for free, but that the runners are not in a position to turn down a possible lead.

Post-Session Notes

I was unable to really bring this session back to life in text, as there is a lot of dialogue that I did not write down or record. There was a lot of character development both in the combat section and in the interrogation room scene. Also this was the first session where we really had to engage combat with actual weapons and the players quickly discovered that combat is no joke.

I am going to telegraph trouble before it strikes next session, and maybe follow through in the same session. Things are starting to move along and the world is not going to keep waiting for the players to continue their mission. They've spent a lot of time with no headway and no pay-off, so if they don't start taking action someone else is going to act on their behalf.

As a group, without Mr. Fahrenheit present, they tend to have a very narrow vision of what to do next. If there is not a clear path in front of them then they tend to get stuck, even if they eventually find themselves with good plans. I hate situations when players do not feel like they have any options, because they always do. This run is also very bad for that because the goal is relatively unclear.

I think once they bring in James Arello to Manifest that this run will be over. There can be a montage of the things they did with all the details they get out of that, and then we can move onto a more direct and clear mission.