After blasting the hell out of Omnitech’s research facility, we needed to lay low for a little while. It wasn’t too bad, really. I took some time to write a thesis, expand my lodge, get a new suit, learn some new spells and finally test my hand at tattoo magic, inking Sable with two big ones. Aioda even went on some trippy dream odyssey to her metaplane and came back shooting light out of her hands.
After about two months of hiding out, we had a lot of time to watch the news. And man, did that piss us all off. Apparently Albert Franklin, the VP of Omnitech’s medical division, was there the whole time and survived the blast to the living quarters. After making himself a speedy recovery, he’s been holing up in some penthouse in the Upper City and making oddly consistent visits to the Bayou Palace every Saturday night. Kudos to Adelaide for landing a gig at the penthouse and prying that information out of his personal terminal.
What Adelaide also pried off that terminal gave light to some recent events. Apparently the mage-murdering robot a few months back was part of some inter-corporate scheme, meaning that toxic spirit we crossed paths with connects back to at least one of the local corporations. Furthermore, an executive for one of the local corps got fired and subsequently FIRED for “misappropriation of funds.” A murderous robot sure fits the bill.
It goes further back. That Japanese executive who died way back, the guy who with billions of dollars of medical technology could not be saved, was involved with Franklin and the aforementioned fired man. So what, right? Well, Franklin’s been hitting the Bayou to get his hands on vampire blood. What will kill you no matter what medical technology you’ve got? Not getting your vampire blood fix. Guess starving a man to death isn’t beneath this corporate types.
With the dots connected, we head to the Bayou and wait. We know a vampire meets the door guard there, so we follow the vampire to a warehouse and stake it out. With some levitation and some clairvoyance, I see the vampire and the door guard make some kind of exchange. The vampire hooks the guard up with a vial of blood and the vampire takes some data disks about a storage facility north of the city.
And, holy shit, that’s where Omnitech is keeping the finished, airborne ghoul virus.
The Bayou guard leaves and Aioda tails him and makes short work of him, but in the meantime the vampire heads out. Sure enough, he’s headed to the storage facility. Certain of what he’s after, we all go after him. Once there, it wasn’t easy to find him; we just followed the trail of blood and carnage. I’ve seen Sable recover from some serious wallops, but nothing like this guy. Over the security cameras, we watched this guy stroll down a hallway getting torn apart by machine gun fire, only to rip the turrets at the end of the hallway in half and walk away without a scratch on him.
Finally we catch up to him, and he’s not the least bit surprised. Worst of all, he’s got the canisters containing the virus, and he chucks one at us. Aioda manages to catch it safely, and Arthur bolts down the corridor and punches the vampire in the face. And, wow, I never thought I’d see the day where someone wouldn’t fly across the room. He just stood there, didn’t even recoil. Arthur doesn’t have much essence left in him with all the cyberware he’s crammed into his body, so I’ve got to make the next shot count or we’re going to have some problems. I focus hard and launch a flamethrower spell at the vampire and, thank heavens, roast the son of a bitch. Aioda makes sure his regeneration won’t save him and charges forward, sawing open his skull and letting the flames incinerate his brain. Game over, freak.
We get the canisters and high tail it out of there to Aioda’s shack in the swamp. I freeze the canisters and make the virus inert and Aioda blasts the remains to hell with an incendiary grenade. We’ve done good, but the job isn’t done yet. Franklin’s still alive, and he’s making his trip to the Bayou tomorrow night.
We get what rest we can and plan where best to strike from. He’ll pass by a park where Aioda can distract what few innocents there will be at that hour while Arthur hangs on top of a nearby rooftop, waiting for the signal. I hide in a tree and wait to clairvoyance which of the three cars in the convoy Franklin will be in. As the convoy passes, Sable spots two spirits tailing the middle car in astral space. Worse yet, one of them is a toxic spirit. Looks like the neighborhood toxic shaman is still in league with corporate evil.
With clairvoyance, I see Franklin’s riding in the middle car, sure enough. I fly off towards Arthur as I give him the signal. I know he got it, because he blasts the first car to hell and hits the second car hard. It doesn’t blow up, but it’s not going anywhere. Unfortunately, a minotaur with a panther cannon draws more attention than a man flying across the park, and the toxic spirit materializes directly behind him. I throw up an astral barrier and blast the spirit with a flamethrower, but this thing is tough and I can’t put it out of commission with just one half-focused spell.
I’ve certainly made myself known, though. A cybered orc pries himself out of the second car and starts firing away at me, but fortunately my magic deflects the bullets. The mage in the rear car tries to dispel my levitation and knock me out of the air, but he isn’t up the the challenge. That orc sure didn’t last long. After he fired at me, Adelaide popped two shots in him and Sable lassoed his head off with her monowhip. Arthur finishes off the middle car and destroys the back car. The other spirit disappears, but the toxic spirit mind controls Arthur. I reach for the chicken foot necklace Bill Flint gave me so long ago and focus hard. If ever I needed luck, I need it now. Just as Arthur levels his panther cannon at me, I dispel the spirits hold over him, and Arthur swings around and blast the spirit back to the metaplanes.
We make our escape fairly clean, long before the law shows up. All of that chaos in just three seconds. We pay a quick visit to Armand to hock the motorcycle we stole from the vampire and get some rest. We’re still not out of the woods yet, but I get the feeling there may be light at the end of the tunnel.