Date: August 1, 2072
Digital Dossier: The Crucible
Captain Holstein of Knight Errant enlisted Casey to investigate a new lead on the human trafficking situation in the neighborhood since their previous leads, in the Iron Sharks, were killed in the Halloweener raid. The informant turned out to be Perp, who had been contacted by someone in the underground, illicit organization. The Juicyfruits, accompanied by Perp, her contact, and Squeaker, made their way into the sewers.
There, Click was confronted by a strange virtual entity that had been appearing in broadcasts and generally haunting him in the matrix. Click found himself traveling mentally to a mountain where he undertook a spiritual journey. There, his strange matrix wolf companion and the strange beast fought, blocking the path up the mountain. Under the guidance of his Template, the Alchemist, Click was able to resolve the conflict between the wolf and the beast and ascend the mountain. Towards the top, the Alchemist instructed Click to chop off the Alchemist’s head as he no longer needed his guidance. This done, Click attained the top of the mountain to gain the realization he was in a VR node inside his own head, and that the wolf, the beast, and the Alchemist were inside him all along, and he Submerged.
When he rejoined the party, they made their way deeper into the sewers to find a secret entrance to Hacko’s clinic, where they saw workers moving crates containing dead bodies under the apparent direction of Hacko. Phaede was also able to feel a powerful background count in the astral in the room beyond the secret entrance. Their sneak attack was foiled, however, as it was revealed Perp’s contact was, in fact, leading them into a trap. Casey, while trying to sneak in, was riddled with bullets and was dead before she hit the ground.
When this happened, a strange twist happened in Casey’s consciousness. A part of her realized that her identity was not tied to her body itself, and that her body was a temporary vessel that encased her vital essence. When she had this realization, she Initiated into the Path of the Manifold Way and their traitorous contact’s body was stolen by Casey’s errant soul and forced to become her own, which she forcibly, and painfully, reverted to her familiar body.
Perp and Squeaker were not so lucky. They were murdered by the strange men in the tunnels and had no miracles to save them.
Once the workers were neutralized the Juicyfruits turned to Hacko, who had been looking on from a platform during the entire exchange, but when Phaede observed him in the astral she realized he was being held in place and made silent by a twisted spirit of man. It was then that a strange howling filled the sewers, freezing the Juicyfruits in place, and an unfamiliar man in a burnt full body suit came in surrounded by hulking, dog-like, slavering creatures. Addressing Phade by a strange name, he told them that the killing was already beginning above ground, then disappeared back into the tunnels.
The paralysis wore off eventually, and the Juicyfruits made their way back to the surface to find Boxcutter Row under attack by a colossal, severely deranged beast spirit. The spirit, an out-of-control Abomination, was being attacked by the residents to little avail. Big and Little Bear Jackson, as well as several other Boxcutter residents, were mauled to death and melted by noxious streams of acid spittle.
Lady Macbeth, White Feathers, and Phaede, working in tandem, were eventually able to banish the spirit back to whatever hellish dimension that spawned it. This act would eventually lead to the local worship of those three as the Boxcutter Trinity.