How It Went Down
The runners meet with a Mr. Johnson at 11pm on Thursday night. He wants Mercurial kidnapped before her first public appearance to endorse Hypothermia, a new stuffer. She's to miss all of her appearances, then she's to be released. Only thing is, her first appearance is 8pm the next day.
An all-night planning session is undertaken, and the runners strike around 6:30 in the morning, doing massive damage to the rocker's penthouse apartment. They abscond with their target (who is rather blase about the whole thing) and head back to a hidey-hole.
Once there, they find that Strice Foods, the manufacturer of Hypothermia, has decided to continue with the promotions without Mercurial. Due to Mercurial's non-appearance, the cold weather, and a police strike, none of the promotions have a good turnout. Guttersnipe has a bad reaction to the thick, pasty stuffer called Hypothermia. Eventually, on Sunday, another group of shadowrunners shows up to rescue Mercurial. A ten-second running battle takes place, with half of the ambushing shadowrunners dead, the other three missing.
Our gang gets Mercurial on the road for a few hours, holding her until the deadline passes. While Gideon, Lynx, Dancing Flame, Hong Lang, and Queensryche roam around the sprawl, Guttersnipe heads off on personal business. The five still on the run drop off Mercurial by the grassy knoll at Dealey Plaza and melt away into the night.
The DFWPD goes on strike. City Manager Abernathy calls in the Texas Rangers to keep control during this time of crisis. But by the end of the day, Abernathy declares the strike illegal and cancels the DFWPD's law enforcement contract with the city. Knight Errant is (on paper at least) the sprawl's newest police force. The transition of police powers is expected not to go smoothly, and the Texas Rangers will be stationed throughout FW/D for a few more days.
The next day, the boys head to 7 UniOil Plaza to speak to Vincent Burroughs, an exec at Strice Foods but they can't get in without an appointment. They make an appointment for Wednesday and plans to kidnap Vincent on Tuesday night. Gideon and Guttersnipe manage to kidnap the man and interrogate him to find out how the ambushers knew were to find them. Burroughs did hire the runners from two paragraphs up, but he doesn't know what happened to the group. According to Burroughs, this whole mess with Mercurial is over.
Which couldn't be further from the truth. Because Napalm calls everyone up on Wednesday morning -- there's a problem. Meeting back at Pacific Towers, the runners meet up with the fixer, Ellery Whitecastle, and Mercurial's manager, Robert Carrone. Mister Carrone is a bit peeved at the runner's kidnapping of his star client, but that's the past. A few hours ago, another group of kidnappers forced thier way into the recently repaired penthouse and kidnapped the rocker. Find the rocker by Saturday and earn a bit of money or Carrone and MegaMedia will turn the runners over to the Knight Errant police, hinting that Texas does have the death penalty for the murder of a police officer. And now that Knight Errant is the city's police force...
The runners present (Napalm, Gideon, Guttersnipe, Hong Lang, Lynx, and Queensryche) reluctantly agree. Carrone tells them that the scene of the kidnapping has been left as they've found it this morning. Start investigating.
Upstairs, the twenty-first floor is a slaughterhouse. There's enough body parts to put together six Knight Errant security guards, but not a single one is intact. "No bullets, no knives... what the hell happened here?" The bodies were ripped apart with very few shots fired by the guards. Over by one of the bodies, Guttersnipe spies a bit of slime on the floor, a pale blueish slime with a light sweet scent. Napalm notices several holes punched in the ceiling, causing him to ask what walks on ceilings and moves fast enough to kill six armed men and women by ripping them apart.
Queensryche may have the answer. In the recording studio, she, Lynx, and Hong Lang make the biggest discovery: Mercurial not only has some simsense cyberware, but she was recording while the guards were slaughtered. Queensyrche runs the simsense chip and lives out the last few minutes of the attack and Mercurial's abduction, downloading the images and sounds into her personal sec'y.
Mercurial's first sign that something was wrong was the sounds of the fighting outside. The door to the recording studio was smashed open and a thing, a great horrorific blood-covered thing that came forward to kill her, but the creature was held back by two humans. One human said that "Burroughs said to take of you, and I will." The other human has a soiled shirt that reads "Garrety's Bar and Grll". Out of the corner of her eye, she watches as a guard is ripped apart by something that falls from the ceiling. Mercurial faints.
Now the runners are back at the Dark Star (which is currently undergoing renovations), discussing what to do next: rip Burroughs' head off or go to Garrety's.
At Garrety's Bar and Grill, three of the runners find out the name of the other human on the simsense recording -- he'd vanished about a month ago, but one of the waitresses spotted him a little over a week in a run-down area of the sprawl. While this is going on, the magical members of the group are trying to track down Mercurial using ritual magic. Guttersnipe informs the others that he knows how to do ritual magic with members of different magical disciplines: shamen and hermetics, something that's supposed to be near-impossible. The magical search fails and the teams regroup: Napalm, Queensryche, and Hong Lang to case out the area where the other human was spotted; the others to go grab Burroughs after curfew.
Deep inside Grand Prairie, the first group drives down the street the waitress mentioned, spotting the human from the recording. When Napalm and Hong Lang assense the human, instead of a human's aura, he's got the aura of a six-foot ant.
Which isn't as odd as what happens to Lynx, Gideon, and Guttersnipe over in Fort Worth. As they trick Burroughs into opening his door, a shimmering appears behind the executive: an Ant Spirit manifests, hitting Burrough's back. A fight breaks out, with the two meter long ant, trying to tear Lynx's arm off as we pause for commercial break.