In which we introduce our cast, their backstory and their relationships.
Jefferson, investigating the kidnapping of his family, stumbles upon a conspiracy to kidnap gnomes from all over Japan. He hires Yoshimoto as a gun-for-hire to break into a Renraku facility near the docks in Chiba, Tokyo. Succeeding in spite of unexpectedly heavy security, they discover a few dozen gnomes, though none of Jefferson’s family, in a shipping container ready to be shipped out to an unknown facility. Unable to extract them all safely, they leave them in place while they try to arrange forged passports and smugglers willing to get the group out of Japan, and Renraku’s clutches, promising to return before
Amerith, a forger and anti-government activist in New Delhi, is contacted for the job through Jefferson’s contacts in ‘Freak Squad’, a private host on the Denver Nexus that grew from a Shadowrun Online clan. Before she could finish preparing the sizeable portfolio of documents required, her apartment is raided by armed goons. She escapes in a hail of gunfire, but her handler, who had arrived seconds earlier to warn her of the attack, is left behind.
Simultaneously, in Tokyo, Jefferson and Yoshimoto returned to the facility to find it destroyed in an explosion that had taken out half the city block and, presumably, the captured gnomes. Realising they’ve pissed off some very powerful people, they contact Amerith to let her know that the number of passports required is down to two, and arrange to meet in Hong Kong, known for its deep shadows and limited Renraku influence. Not knowing who to trust, they make their way to the only place they knew they had friends: Denver.
They’ve been in Denver for several months now, hidden in the slums of the Aurora Warrens and running the shadows to make ends meet, while Jefferson tirelessly searches for more clues about the conspiracy he discovered in Tokyo.
Their main ally since arriving in Denver has been Quill, another Freak Squad member who helped them get set up with local contacts and job opportunities. An infiltration expert, Quill has been a regular accomplice, his Falconine form proving indispensable for surveillance.
A somewhat more unpredictable ally, Angus works at a dive bar deep in the warrens frequented by metavariants and non-metahuman sapients. The jury is still out on whether he likes keeping the ‘Freaks’ around because he, himself, is a minotaur and likes being in the presence of other metavariants, or if he just like the excuse to exact violence on the customers who make trouble for them. Angus has been on a few jobs with the crew, and they’ve learned to be careful only to bring him into jobs that require extreme violence.