$Insert_Title, Episode 7

Cast: Madoka, Mr. Fahrenheit, Jammer, Engie

Previously On...

The baseline to Infected by Bad Religion fades in, followed by the full instrumental. The show fades in on a tight camera shot looking up at Manifest staring into the distance with a half-smoked cigarette hanging limply in her lips. She is lit by harsh florescent lighting and the walls in the background, though blurred, seem to be cement.

After a moment Fearless, recognized by her Colombian accent, speaks up in the background. "Are we done here?"

Manifest snaps back to reality and looks over her shoulder towards the sound. We see her take the cigarette from her mouth and drop it on the floor. She passes by Fearless in the doorway to the room.

Fearless says, "Shall I call the cleaner then?" As the door closes the camera finally reveals the scene inside the room. A broken and bruised man in a tattered and bloodied suit sits tied to a steel chair in the middle of a cement room. Blood is pooled around a drain in the floor, with several cigarette buds sticking out at odd angles.

Smash cut to title card. Freeze frame, record scratch.

Producer: Holy shit. That felt really off-tone. Where the fuck did that come from? Geez...


A quick montage of the previous episode plays to mariachi music.

The scene opens up on Madoka getting back into Engie's van. It is still heavily raining. Jammer is sitting where Hueco was in the van, nobody acknowledges it. The group discusses what their next steps would be and finally decide on breaking into Erika Ibbott's apartment.

The hackers crack the security of the front door and head up to Ibbott's room only to discover that the advertisement-laden low-income housing complex was quiet old and they did not possess the tools to deal with non-wireless magnetic strip locks.

Fahrenheit, never one to be without a plan, decides to attempt to socially engineer the building manager. The group, still clad in their mariachi costumes, wearing bandanas as masks, knock on the building manager's door. The security dwarf from the border to the Redmond Barrens, who the characters had never seen through the scratched and graffiti-covered booth, opens the door.

With Fahrenheit's lead the group attempts to convince the dwarf that they are a surprise musical pizza-gram. The security dwarf initially questions how they entered the building without being buzzed in, but proceeds to play along. While Fahrenheit attempts to get the dwarf to buy into the group's Pizzawagon, high threat-response pizza delivery, start-up the dwarf hits a silent alarm and plays along. When the two start discussing money details, Madoka notifies him that the dwarf is onto him. They excuse themselves from the building and flee a block away.

The group, now with a new plan, monitors the lobby through the camera they hacked previously. The audience gets a shot inside long enough to hear the dwarf complain, "They weren't even good disguises!" The group decides to visit another advertisement-ridden low-income housing complex about half an hour away where Louise Bishop, another one of Jean-Paul's suspected victims, lived.

They purchase several large pizzas and then start buzzing random apartments and announcing that the person who lived there won a free pizza. Eventually someone buzzes them in and does in fact receive a free pizza.

Once inside they discover that the layout, corporate sponsorship, and security is identical to the previous building. In the show it is the exact same set as their muddy footprints from their previous shots are visible on the floor. Engie notes, "If only Hueco was here..." as they fail to conceive of a way to enter the apartment without showing signs of entry. Fahrenheit astrally projects and moves into the apartment and manifests to be able to see back into meatspace. He realizes that none of the lights are on and it is dark.

Madoka, who had placed a security tag on the police cruiser while they were interviewing the dwarf, notes that the cruiser is now headed towards the team's location. The team retreats to the van and comes up with a new plan. Using a combination of tear-away costuming and magic the group attempts to conduct a "follow-up interview" as police regarding the report of a group of masked mariachi bandits.

The security dwarf catches on immediately and attempts to draw them in. Fahrenheit's gut, combined with the tracking tag on the Lone Star cruiser, get the group out before they can be cornered.

The group sits dejected in the van, feeling like failures and cursing the security dwarf for foiling their plans. They review the data they collected on Jean-Paul and realize that a charity event is happening in two days, and they contact Mr. Johnson to see if they can get help being present at the event to collect information.

Post-Session Notes

Notes will be brief here. The party's goal was to enter the apartments without leaving a visible trace of a break-in, however nobody possessed the tools or skills required for infiltration.

Their attempts at social engineering failed primarily on the fact that they were dressed as masked mariachis and were already inside the building when they confronted the building manager.

The group is struggling to find an identity. Engie's player has learned that they are more than capable of driving but is untested in actual drone combat. Madoka's and Jammer's players are struggling with matrix related activities because they routinely are unaware of what matrix actions are available to them, which limits their ability to conceive of plans. Between Hueco's code of honor and the lack of any combat ability of any member of his team, both the player and I are struggling to find times when he can show what his character is capable of.

For the most part, the problems that are slowing down play are players routinely having to ask how to do actions they perform many times a session and player timidness when I explain the risks associated with options available to them. Still need to move people into roll20's sheet so there will be less struggling with remembering how many dice they have for a particular test.