EP 8 – Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Rez works with Fennec to prepare the barrels of acid that the mysterious figure “placed” into the crowd. Gunhead runs a Pathfinder check, and identifies the remaining programs within the rest of the NET architecture. This includes the virtual “gate” system, that appears to operate the gate which the Tarrasque walked out from. Gunhead accesses the assets from the Sci-Fi asset program he pulled in earlier. He locates a hover car, reserved in-memory as a part of the Sci-Fi asset program. Immediately the hover car appears within the simulation, in the sky above the coliseum, falling to the ground. Rama is able to dodge out of the way, while the Tarrasque is caught hit. The creature is powerful enough to shake it off, but looks to have taken a beating.

VC shouts to Gunhead and Rama, and loops them into the current plan with throwing the barrels onto the creature. The creature swings to attack, with Rama dodging out of the way. Gunhead rolls a critical success and, thanks to his in-memory hacking, shifts himself out of the way at the last moment before the creature lands its blow. Rama moves under the creature’s legs, landing a few pistol shots as he slides. Gunhead slides into the next level of the NET and encounters a WISP program. The program attacks, limiting his available NET actions on his next turn and dealing damage to his brain directly. In retaliation, Gunhead rezzes his sword program, attacking back in return. This continues for another round, with Gunhead able to eventually defeat the program. Gunhead analyses the remaining architecture, and decides to skip past the NPC control node and straight to the end of the NET to implant a virus. Gunhead spends some time developing quick code to produce a virus intended to reduce all NPCs in the simulation to 1 HP. The Tarrasque attacks Rama, but he is able to use the magic shield to absorb the damage.

Slowly but surely, Rama and Gunhead have been tempting the creature southward, close to where Rez and Fennec have prepared the acidic barrels. Once in place, they throw the barrels over the side of the arena’s walls and into the pit, where the acid begins to spread on the ground. Meanwhile, Gunhead’s virus fails to build successfully, rendering it unusable. Having watched this play out, VC decides to shoot the creature from the audience stands with his shotgun. He lands a perfect shot against the already weakened and coated creature and deals the final blow.

Nick Kraven’s team setup on the rooftop

H.U.G.O. indicates he was pleased overall by their performance, and deactivates the simulation. The crew wake up again in the old arcade. Over the building’s comms H.U.G.O says that as promised, he will let the players take him with them, directing them downstairs. As they head towards the stairs, their agents ping off. A message comes through that VC identifies as the mysterious figure from the simulation, asking them to hold off meeting H.U.G.O until they come up to the roof. They head upstairs, encountering the man who identifies himself as Nick Kraven with Netwatch, along with his support team and a Netwatch-branded AV-4. Rez explains H.U.G.O wants to go with the party, so Nick asks that they consider handing the A.I. over to Netwatch for safe keeping, to avoid the risk of a pre-4th corporate war AI going rogue. This causes a heated discussion within the crew. Rama believes H.U.G.O is best kept with Netwatch, and wants to avoid their wraith, while Gunhead and VC want to keep H.U.G.O and steer well clear of Netwatch. They agree to speak with H.U.G.O first before deciding further.

Gunhead downloads H.U.G.O.

They head downstairs into the basement, and walk into a large server farm that was being used as the main brains for the arcade, it’s simulation and H.U.G.O. The A.I. greets them as they enter into a small administrator’s office, and begins shutting down external systems. A short time later, a small integrated computer system plugged in on the desk chimes to life, with a built-in screen confirming H.U.G.O was safely transported onto the storage medium. Gunhead picks H.U.G.O up, and with a majority vote, they decide to keep the A.I. for now. The server farm that was running the arcade now lies dormant, so they decide to scavenge computer, server and network parts for Kave. As they leave, they see the AV-4 take off from the roof and get a message from Nick Kraven. The message states simply that Netwatch will be “watching”. They drive back to the University, and hand off the supply of parts they collected. Gunhead holds tightly onto H.U.G.O…