The sign as you enter the parking lots reads Happy Canyon Mall, but it looks like a piece of China was transplanted here. Luckily the augmented reality provides translations to the Chinese signs. From the parking lot, you can see a large party going on at a temple. The stores around the perimeter look closed, though the restaurants are still open. Probably for whatever festival is going on.
Kid Mercury confirms that the squirrels final location was traced to a shop called Red Wire. Red Wire is closed, but Kid Mercury believes he is detecting someone inside.
Slider, SSR, and Kid Mercury slip past the temple entrance while security is dealing with some troubled guests. They make their way to the entrance to the Red Wire. The store is dark and definitely closed. Slider calls the store and gets an answering machine. Nobody comes to the door when the door when he knocks. After waiting 5 minutes they turn to Kid Mercury and he goes to work hacking the maglock while the other two others block view of him. It seems like an eternity, but is really just a minute passes before the maglock clicks open. Kid Mercury is sweating a little bit, but slides on some plastic gloves. KM opens the door and with a flourish of his gloved hand users the other two inside like noble butler. A look in great contrast from his metal punk band look.
The first floor is a generic electronics store. Parts labeled and in bins. The sound of electronic fans and circuits making noises and computing things. Kid Mercury takes a few seconds to pocket a few parts as the others make their way across the floor. The back of the shop has a restroom and a employees only door which the trio quickly open and find a break room/hallway with lockers and a worn out set of plastic table and chairs. Another door exists which is labeled stairs and has the word office written above in sharpie. This door like the first is also got a maglock on it and KM takes little encouraging to start working on this lock like the first.
Meanwhile Dragonfly, Mr. Smiley, and Barnabus remain in their vehicles as lookouts. Dragonfly launches one of her spy drones in the hopes of keeping an eye out without getting detected. Mr. Smiley goes to work on the astral plan and joins the others inside the shop while Barnabus finishes making arrangements to visit Dean at Knight Errant.
KM has very little trouble with this second maglock and it pops open. SSR is the first up the steps moving pretty quietly he slips up and peers around high stacks of boxes that seem to cover the whole upstairs in a sort of maze of organization that eludes him. The room above the shop is dark. The only real visible light coming from the stairs and the floor below. He steps off letting his eyes adjust to the lack of light and nearly shoots Kid Mercury who had come up the steps quietly, but made lots of noise digging into some of the boxes.
Dragonfly reports, what Kid Mercury has just discovered, that Red Wire is really a front for the Triad’s to sell all variety of BTLs along with their electronic components. Slider follows up as SSR makes his way deeper into the box maze.
About the time they have all made it into the center of the storage place they discover three key pieces of information. 1) At the center of the storage area is a makeshift office with the walls defined by stacked boxes. 2) Just outside the office is a guard, face down, shot in the back. 3) Inside is a second guard sitting in an office chair with a gunshot wound to the head/neck. His gun rests on the table away from his dead hand. A commlink and the office’s computer sit on a table which is acting like a desk. Both our powered on.
SSR and Slider direct KM to check out the commlink and computer while they look around the room and the guards. The world goes crazy almost as soon as KM touches the commlink to bring it out of hidden mode. Unknown to the runners a third party in the blink of an eye just caused some major mischief. The two guards commlinks which had been previously spoofed into a loop release and report that the guards our down. Additionally some extra code is activated on the commlink in KMs had which he had just started accessing uploading some code past his biofeedback filter and directly into the pleasure centers of his brain. He goes a bit loopy and starts talking about butterflies, white rabbits, Alice, and commlink grassy plains, flowers and such. All the while from time to time humming zippity-do-da-esque song softly to himself with a glazed over look in his eyes.
With the guards dead and nobody else around Mr. Smiley makes his way back to his body and catches sight of a strong air spirit, a magically active troll, and 4 security guards leaving the temple area and going straight for the Red Wire. Upon arriving back in his body he quickly alerts the infiltration team about this. He then goes to work summoning an earth spirit to try to create a new exit for the team as their original one is now blocked.
Slider makes his way to the catwalk exit door on the second floor and unlocks it from the inside but the door seems to be blocked from opening. Seeing nothing physical blocking it he switches his vision to the astral plane and is assaulted by a magical barrier that has sprung up to obviously keep the runners in the store. He tells the team to get back to the stairs and guard their only exit just as it becomes apparent that they are not alone. The wind picks up inside the room a paper and debree fly around confusing everyone to the point that Slider just sits down on the ground while his head spins. For the next few seconds everyone is just slowed and can’t seem to concentrate.
Mr. Smiley summons a smiling smiley face earth elemental that greets him like they are old friends. It goes to work immediately following his request to make a new door outside the Red Wire second floor. Though nobody really seems to know how the runners are going to get down from the second floor. A loud thud is heard from the back wall of the Red Wire as more dust and debree are tossed into the air.
Slider, SSR, and KM move to a more protective local away from the banging spirit and out of sight their minds begin to clear. The sound of suppressed suppression fire coming up the stairs and impacting the wall might also have helped with this process as the guards in military trained fashion come up the stairs and take strategic covering positions at the room entrance. Meanwhile one An Peng, Troll mage of the Triad leans down in the store and steps up into the astral plane to deal with a earth elemental before it can bring the building down or worse interfere with the ceremony at the temple.
Barnabas having successful secured an appointment with Dean and feeling pretty good about it makes his way to the entrance to the temple to see if he can talk his way into the area to help his associates. The guard is having nothing to do with him at first because 1) he isn’t asian. 2) He doesn’t have an invitation, but Barnabas takes this all in stride and begins telling him about his detective duties with Knights Errant and how he needs to join his associates who are currently hot on a case to solve some recent criminal hacking and murder case. Having heard this discussion over the commlink Slider goes to work casting a spell on himself and KM.
Slider calls for a Parlay which once everyone gets past the Chinese language barrier by switching to broken but understandable english their is an ackward delay while those without authority wait for decisions to be made. Luckily no shots are fired even after the earth elemental continues to bash in the wall. Shortly after that though the bashing stops and a slightly drained and winded troll mage joins everyone upstairs and a discussion commences.
Slider having transformed KM clothing to resemble a member of knights errant, but who has put his finger into a light socket as well as his own clothes to include a modified knight errant security badge steps out and addresses Peng who has made it clear he is willing to talk and avoid bloodshed or worse interfering with the temple ceremony.
Slider lays out a spill about them working on a case and not trying to interfere with the local customs and that they all need to be rejoined with their associate outside and everything will be explained. Peng takes all this in and though he doesn’t buy into it at first he is eventually preswaded that them all leaving the Red Wire and continuing this conversation away from temple view is in everyones best interest.
Escorted back out of the area both Slider and Barnabas working together weave a convincing tale that leads An Peng to believe it is to the betterment of the Triad for the runners (I mean Knight Errant) employees to be on their way proving that the triad had nothing to do with these circumstances. This issue is further made urgent as siren sounds begin to be heard off in the distance. Having completely convinced Peng that they are knight errant cops he lets the runners go as long as they promise to keep him apprised of the situation and call off their backup so as not to interfere with the gathering going on.
Dragonfly launches a rotodrone to see who is coming with sirens and discovers it two sets of 3 Knight Errant Chrysler- Nissan Patrol-1’s errant being led by a blue Honda Spirit with a single police light on top. Piled into their cars the runners head off onto the highway hoping to have knight errant chase them instead pulling into the mall. As it turns out in a flash of clarity KM tells them the following in broken statements. “rabbit gone. Alice comm. knight take comm. comm bad. comm wonderful.” he once again zones out. As soon as the runners have confirmation that they are in fact being chased SSR turns off the commlink that KM has been holding very tightly in his right hand. It powers down and KM goes into a seizure and then collapses into unconsciousness.
Thinking this is her only chance to get away Dragonfly jumps into her car and sets the drones to follow and with some smooth driving leaves the knights errand in the dust. Meanwhile Barnabus isn’t as lucky and actually gets pulled over for interfering with a police matter. The officer after scanning his car for weapons (finding nothing though much was in the trunk) has a long conversation with Barnabus about vehicle safety, interfering with a police chase, not paying attention, and utilizing the grid transit system in the future. After an anonymous donation to the orphaned Knights Errand Children’s fund of a $1000.00 Nuyen the officer lets Barnabus go with a verbal warning and a promise to drive safer with the grid in the future.
The two officers laughing about their financial score and Barnabus laughing at his freedom as he pulls out and back onto the street still with his grid system powered down.
The group gather back together in an empty abandoned parking deck with an unconscious but resting comfortable hacker, a disabled commlink that apparently Knight Errant can track, and a lot more questions than answers. Hopefully a trip to the one man that this all started with can help, but that will have to wait until tomorrow and visiting hours.
*The above retelling is slightly different from events as the happened in game place to correct for two spirit mistakes I made. Namely that spirits have to manifest to effect people with their powers. Sorry for any confusion. If players have any questions please let me know, but otherwise this is how it happened more or less. This is my quick write up. I will revise it over the week with any details or clarity that I come up with.