Tonight, the squad had their first meeting with a Contract Killer: Strawberry Princess, via a Grey retrieval BPN.
It was a simple premise, locate and return Strawberry Princess, rep 6 CK who disappeared after ambushing Sour Blood after he made his way from destroying Deity in their latest match. She was able to take him out because she uses a homemade non-lethal poison.
From Strawberry's agent they are informed of her last known address, and given a picture. They are also informed that she is quite off in the head, and very deadly when she wants to be.
The squad comes up with a plan, they will dress up in costume as The Berry Knight (Grundy), Watermelon Soldier (Ian), Black Cherry (Hunter) and The Pie Pimp (Feelgood) and then deliver cupcakes laced with a sleeping agent to her apartment under the guise of Cupcake Scouts.
When they arrive at her apartment they find the place ransacked. They check the surveillance video and see her leaving out the front door with her gear a few hours before. Not knowing where she might run to they contact Dr McNamara, her psychologist.
After speaking with her psychologist, the squad learns that she is a paranoid
schizophrenic fantasist who lives in a place called "Strawberry Land"
and only feels safe in the "Berry Patch."
A wild goose chase is born!
The Medic and Death Squad Frothers head to her Clansmen to see if she went to them for help while the 313 Sector Ranger and the Wraithen KMS go downtown to check out a strip club called "Strawberry Land."
With no information in either place, the Frothers meet the rest of the squad at the club and start thinking about what to do next.
After looking into her past, the squad decides to contact a few of her ex-squadmates from "5-Star Carnage," the last squad she was in as an operative.
Doc Stevenson (Human Medic), Grease Monkey (Human Pilot/Navigation), Bullethead (313 Death Squad), Marco (Ebon I/I) and Norwood (Human Strike Squad) agree to show up to the club after finishing up their most recent BPN. Stevenson, Grease Monkey and Bullethead are the only three that actually knew her.
They talk to the squad about Grainne, as they knew her before she joined the Circuit, and how she was such a nice girl that joined up with them after being in a few squads that bullied her. Stroke, their deceased Brain Waster I/I treated her like a long lost little sister and after his death, she left the squad to join the Contract Circuit.
When the squad informs them that she is missing, Doc tells them of the time she was lost in Cannibal Sector 4. Grundy (aka The Berry Knight), remembers the name "Berry Patch" from the back of his memory but cannot place the reference, being a Sector Ranger all he can remember is that it has something to do with Cannibal Sector 4.
The squad decides to go into CS4 to try and find this "Berry Patch." Strawberry's old squadmates volunteer to help because she was "like a sister" to them.
Into the Cannibal Sector they go, and come across a downed Stingray, the jeep and SCAF bikes missing, communications, navigation and fire controls are all missing, along with basic equipment. Investigation of the vehicle also shows them that it was taken down with precision weapons fire.
Leaving Norwood and Marco in the APC, the rest of the group go to scout around a bit, finding some children playing with a severed head. As they watch and think about what to do, Grundy stands up and offers them cupcakes, the children scatter into the ruins.
Marco screams and runs towards the group, yelling about a man in Crackshot armor getting the drop on Norwood and dragging him off.
Everyone retreats into the APC and starts to move on. Marco is given a cupcake to calm him down and quickly loses consciousness. Worried that he may have picked up some sort of virus or infection in the area Stevenson and Feelgood start to examine Marco.
As the Wraith Raider starts to feel a bit uncomfortable, due to being the only other person there without a sealed suit, the two Medics find blood and what appears to be human tissue in the Ebons mouth. Further examination uncovers blood on his fingers also.
Not sure of what to do, the group heads back to where Norwood was killed.
Norwoods body is found, not far from where the APC had been parked, his helmet gone, his face mauled by...something. It turns out the squad was lucky to find anything, as there are a few cannibal children hiding in the rubble nearby.
Grundy asks the children if they would answer a few questions. The children state that they want the body in return for information. Stevenson agrees, he has only known Norwood for a couple weeks and is more interested in getting the reclamation bonus for the gear.
Grundy then asks if they have seen the Strawberry Princess, describing how she looks, the children mutter under their breath, "We have not seen the mother, can we have the body now?" The body is left to the children.
Stevenson agrees to tie up Marco until he wakes up due to the wounds on Norwood not matching his story, then Feelgood can dose him with honesty to find out what happened. Grundy loses his patience and uses a bit of Wall Wash as smelling salts to wake up the Ebon.
The Ebon states that he is working undercover on a BPN to ferret out Norwood who was suspected of being a DarkNight agent. Marco states that Norwood asked him for his help so he popped Ebb Beast and took him out now that the truth was out.
Stevenson knocks him unconscious again, and ties up Marco, stating the truth will be found out when they return to Mort.
As night falls, Grundy goes hunting for something to eat. He comes across a few cannibals that have taken down a couple of Ex-War Criminals. He makes contact peacefully and explains that the squad is just looking for someone. A couple of the cannibals break off from the group and return shortly with Violet, a 'Mother' in the cannibal clan.
More is found out about Grainne's time spent in CS4 and the group finds out that she is considered a member of the clan. When asked about the "Berry Patch," Violet draws a map on a piece of skin taken from one of the Ex-War Criminals.
Grease Monkey takes a look at the map and lets everyone know that they will not be able to follow it during the night so the group takes shifts sleeping, Stevenson keeps Marco sedated to keep him from formulating.
Using the map, the Berry Patch is easy to find. An ruined husk of a grocery store named, Berry Patch Grocery.
The squad, still believing that their costumes may work to get close to Strawberry Princess, enter the building first. Making their way past the ruins of checkout stations, they are contacted over the loudspeakers by their target, who seems completely confused as to why they are dressed oddly.
Bullets scream through the front windows and the squad takes cover, Grainne's ex-squadmates have turned on the PC's. Marco folds away as Grease Monkey and Stevenson take up position.
After a brief firefight, Carnage is dead and the squad have gained some trust with Grainne, who is happy to return to her Contract Killer lifestyle now that her old squad is dead.
The rest of the story:
Five-star Carnage was a successful squad, but Stevenson and Grease Monkey started to get into some subversive activities. Stroke, being an Investigation Operative, was on to them and Stevenson killed him during a BPN. Grainne, Stroke's confidant, left the squad to join the CK Circuit out of fear, she knew that Stroke was murdered, but had no proof.
Marco was brought into the squad directly by Stevenson, Norwood was brought in by Bullethead, under the guise of a new operative that needed a squad. Norwood was on a BPN to infiltrate the squad and root out subversive elements.
Marco found out about Norwood and killed him, Stevenson played along with the group in order to throw the squad off because he did not know how much information Grainne had about his activities and wanted to make sure she was found so he could kill her.
Stevenson killed Bullethead after the squad entered the grocery, Marco was killed by Grainne.
The squad walked away with a couple of good contacts, a bit of extra cred and with some red tape acrobatics were able to re-assign Carnage's APC to their own squad.
Had a NPC cameo from my wife's Frother Don McGuiness, who is now convinced that the Cupcake Scouts are real and wants to be a 'Den Mother' for them.