Last time, Whispa had assembled a team to finally mop up the humid castle. The frogs had fled under water, and each of the tower had an entrance to the flooded level. The team assumed that the two towers would be connected on that basement level. But there was still one more door on this level: The east door from the ground floor in the north tower. Royston and Bruno went in, supported by Stabby the hovering bot.
Getting the feet wet
But the floor gave way and the two leg-users dropped into an ugly, smelly pool of water, with several puffy human corpses floating in it. The underwater area had bars to separate it from the tower proper, and a closed door leading south. Seven frog-men were on the other side of the bars, laughing about the dumb humans treading water. Royston shot at them with his underwater carbine, and they hastily swam to the sides.
Bruno climbed up out, Royston wanted to bring a corpse out of the water with him, but as he grabbed the body his hand went right through the weakened, dissolving tissue, and a cloud of horrid smell rose out of the broken human.
The frogmen judged this an opportune time to come up and surprise the gathered humans in the tower, but that backfired: The first three of them fell under concentrated fire from the group, four survivors broke and fled back into the water.
Royston and Kendal suited up with aqualungs; Bruno and Kathi were able to breathe underwater thanks to cyberware. Those four were the extent of our underwater capabilities. And in they went! The room under the tower was circular like the two floors above. A human-formed effigy floated there.
The frogmen were clearly afraid of us. We had the classic human impulse to talk to them and take them prisoner, but in truth we had no such option: We would only get paid if we were to kill them all. The point was moot when they won init and fled out through a door north, into a room full of grimy, slimy, murky water with limited visibility.
We followed them and found them with one more of their kind. Bruno shot and killed one, Royston sprayed them with full auto (suppressive fire on short range) hitting and killing two! Kendal wounded one more.
Sex & Violence
The surviving two frogs fled west, and following them the crew understood what they were swimming in: mostly eggs and a good number of small, fast tadpoles, young froglings to be, in all kinds of stages of development. And white flakes of all sorts. We are supposed to exterminate them all … but how?
Swimming south after the fleeing frogs the group happened upon some kind of frog-orgy in full swing. The humans opened up, and turned the scene into a massacre. The first wave fell quickly, the survivors picked up spears and came at the swimmers, but they were already too few, and Kendal went full auto on them. Two carbine-armed frog commandos came to avenge them, but also fell quickly – and their weapons supplied fresh ammo for the attackers.
The swimmers returned back to the waiting crew and discussed options. It was clear that we would not manage to find and strangle every tadpole. So we called the company to ask for guidance, and they offered to supply a good quantity of poison to stop their further development.
With this, the team went room to room above and under water, looking for survivors. The part of the job that Snips never wanted to do: it was always clear that someone would pick it up.
The team even managed to be pretty tactical, opening doors, two rushing in and going to the sides, three more in the doorway, getting five attacks against the venomous frog-dogs inside. And found more dead human techies, and secret connections from one part of the castle to another.
At one point we found lab equipment, which we did not understand, but Kathi picked some items and asked to keep them to look them over. That set of Whispa’s alarm bells: Was this something extremely valuable, which the Hacker / Body snatcher was going to spirit away from us?
But all things told, Kathi took a fair amount of risk to support the mission. While her MG-toting combat robot held back a lot and performed in an underwhelming fashion, she went all in, supported the underwater combat in person, she took several hits in service of the party, and held up her side of the bargain. So while Kendal still thought her creepy, he learned to respect her, and gave her the benefit of the doubt.
Maybe Messy Montez, for all his failings in the way of smarts and reason, had shown much better rates of emotion and empathy than the rest of the team had given him credit for?
Big, big loot
While spreading anti-frog-poison underwater (the company claimed that it would not kill us humans, or give us cancer or mutations, as long as we kept it to a sensible amount), we found quite good loot; enough money to boost several of the characters over the next level-threshold.
Among the loot was, apart from simple valuables, a smart-rope, basically a remote-controlled auto-climbing rope, and a metal detector. Plus, Kendal got decent armor out of it. And we found cyber-organs, akin to the set that turned Snips from a fragile thief into a dexterous tank.
Kendal would have offered them to Whispa, her being the most senior team member; but Kathi wanted it desperately, and Whispa agreed to give it to her. Maybe the organs would extend the lifespan that her gang member body vehicle was going to function, and push back the deadline for when she needed to take over some other poor sod.
Now we are REALLY done
And thus, the frog-castle was cleared up and opened for fresh tenants.
Mission (murderously) Accomplished.
Photo by Oscar Sutton on Unsplash