The first game session of this campaign was mainly character generation, figuring out how everyone knew one another, and then giving them campaign resources – the map of the Garden, Contacts details and the like. This was also the point where we went over some of the history of New Orleans in Shadowrun. But eventually, we got started.
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Scene One: In the Hole
Wednesday, April 16, 2070
It’s evening, and the residents of the Garden (the PCs above, plus the other three prostitutes – two young women affectionately called Flora and Fauna, with their transgendered best friend, Merryweather) are gathered for dinner. Things have been tight of late, and Flora has finally had it – she is tired of eating beans and rice, even if Pierre did try to spice things up with the sausage a bit.
The group discusses (with a lot of filling in of details by NPCs, natch) that things are bad for the Garden; most people in the city who even know about it generally think of it as “that place where all those whores got killed a year ago or so,” rather than “that deceptively lovely brothel, a place of elegance and class.” The characters discuss all sorts of ideas for fundraisers and ways of raising the awareness of the brothel without alerting the NOPS (New Orleans Police Services, though locals claim it stands for “no cops,” as in “there are no cops here, just criminals”).
Basically, this was the last bit of character generation, and I wanted to give the players a chance to roleplay their characters some while their ideas about who they are were fresh in their minds. Nothing major – just a chance for everyone to identify everyone else’s character personality, describe appearances and the like.
Later that evening, none other than Maxwell Boudreau shows up. The fairly sleazy landlord, he claims to be there to make sure everything is alright, but he eventually gets around to his point. He’s heard from some of the local krewe that business hasn’t been much happening out here lately. He knows that they’re paid up through April, but is wondering if he’s going to have to find some new folk interested in renting this place – he’s had some interested people here lately.
Ivy assures him that they’re staying, and to not worry about them – the Garden is here to stay. He smiles like he doesn’t really believe her, but isn’t willing to tell her that directly. He finishes his drink (from the bottle of Maxwell’s personal stuff kept behind the bar, next to Pierre’s Big Gun) and leaves.
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Scene Two: Afterglow Shot to Hell
Friday, April 18, 2070
That evening, the first client in about a week shows up. Saul Ogilve is one of the regulars – an older man, with greying hair and a desk job in the local government that gives him obscene stress levels, an ulcer and a need for discretion on the part of those with whom he relieves his stress. He comes out to the Garden once a month or so, on his nightly “poker night” away from the wife.
He comes into the ballroom (which is set up with a stage, a couple of tables, the huge bar and a couple of billiards tables off to one side) and has a drink while he chats with Ivy. He presents her with an antique silver crucifix, and looks a little uncomfortable.
“So, you know that lovely…that lovely she-vampire get-up that sweet Crystal likes to put on sometimes? You don’t suppose she’d be willing to model this while wearing that little outfit for me, do you? It’s a gift for her to keep, of course – I’d just like the chance to see her in it.”
Ivy goes upstairs to give it to Crystal, who loads up the Vampiress persona, and sets the White Room (a blank white room wallpapered with a wallpaper that interacts with AR technology quite well, creating semi-realistic AR depictions of various settings) and sets it to “The Crypt.” Saul comes upstairs, and he and the seductive vampiress chat a little, she playing the vamp to his helpless victim.
In the meantime, Bristow has set up in an adjacent room – Saul was the only client that night, so there was no reason not to stay nearby in case something went down there.
The scene then, of course, fades to black.
When the scene fades back in, they are both lying in the bed, covered in a faint sheen of sweat. He has bite marks about his neck and shoulders, but doesn’t seem to mind them. In fact, he has a satisfied stupid little grin on his face as he turns to look at her and then gets out of bed.
“I’m happy with my wife, you know,” he says, slipping on his boxers. “We just have a strange relationship, you know? I know she knows that I come here, just like I know about the ‘extra consulting time’ she gets from our landscaper on my poker nights. But I figure that if both—”
As he’s been talking, Crystal/Vampiress noticed something – a thin red beam cutting through the fog off the Lake. It took her a moment to figure out what it was, but then she was in motion, interrupting his thoughts by throwing him to the ground as a shot shattered the glass and cut through the AR-sensitive wallpapered wall on the other side of the room.
Fortunately, Bristow’s perceptive as all hell, and heard the gunshot. Oddly enough, downstairs, Pierre seemed to just know that something was wrong, and got Ivy’s attention. “Somethings going on upstairs,” he started to say.
In the span of three seconds, it was all chaos in the room. The remaining glass of the window shattered as a gun-bearing drone burst through the window (not armed with a laser-sighted weapon, it should be noted), just as Bristow kicked open the door. Saul and Crystal/Vampiress stay low and crawl as quickly out of the room as they can, and Bristow gets into the room just in time to see the young-looking Latino man, clad in wife-beater under his long-coat and wearing a black do-rag, burst through the now-open window, land in a roll and come up super-quickly, an Ares Predator in each hand.
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And that was actually where we ended the game. I thought they were going to throw things.