In the Shadow of a Dragon

Chasing the Dragon

A Tale of Two Yaks: A story of love, infidelity, betrayal and murder

Sometimes in the shadows, business is business; and sometimes, it’s not. This time, it’s not. The seeds of this run were planted two years ago, when Junko Tetsuya was still a member of the Yamato-rengo. At that time, she was engaged in an affair with one of the clan’s enforcers: Takeshi Modori. Takeshi was a young, highly motivated, and idealistic member of the family who still bought in to the tenets of honor and tradition touted by the organization’s elders. Junko found this trait admirable—Takeshi was a breath of fresh air in comparison to most of the other common thugs she dealt with on a daily basis. Unfortunately, Takeshi was married, and he also had two beautiful children; so the nature of their relationship, which bloomed into full blown passion over time, had to be kept secret from the eyes of others.

Trouble began when Takeshi finally slipped up and got picked up by Lone Star. He would later tell Junko the details of what happened during his interrogation, but not before it was too late. The authorities were privy to a shipment of drugs that would be smuggled into Denver by the Yakuza sometime over the next week. They pressed Takeshi for information. When they finally stooped so far as to threaten his family, he buckled under pressure and told them everything they needed to know. Takeshi was released from prison in exchange for his information, but not before a Lone Star task force could ambush the incoming shipment. The operation was a success, resulting in a multitude of arrests, the successful seizure of all the incoming narcotics, and only one death. That casualty happened to be the son of a respected elder of the organization. When Takeshi’s grief over this caused a momentary lapse in judgment, he opened his mouth to the wrong person.

That person was Kazuya Hotomi, a friend of both Takeshi and Junko who served the Yamato-rengo as a highly skilled assassin. Overwhelmed and needing someone to talk to, Takeshi confessed his burden to his friend in confidence; but Takeshi underestimated Kazuya’s zeal, and his desire to gain the favor of his bosses. Kazuya turned Takeshi in. The deceased’s father did not believe that traditional methods of punishment were good enough. He wanted Takeshi to suffer as he had suffered, and so threw himself at the feet of oyabun Kasigi Toda and requested that they teach Takeshi the true meaning of agony. He consented, and ordered the execution of Takeshi’s family. Kazuya was to do the deed. He did.

Demoralized, Takeshi turned his back on the Yakuza for good. He bore them no ill will, biting back any emotional desires for vengeance. The death of his family, he reasoned, was his fault. He had dishonored the rengo through his failure, and they had punished him accordingly. Junko, however, was not so forgiving.

Embittered by the turn of events, she also left the Yakuza (though she parted them on much more amicable terms than Takeshi, for obvious reasons, and has maintained a working business relationship with them since). Though she also did not blame the organization directly, she did blame Kazuya for betraying Takeshi’s trust, and her hatred of him has continued to simmer in her heart for two long years. That simmering was worsened by the fact that Takeshi no longer wanted anything to do with her romantically. He could not look into her eyes without being reminded of how their affair was yet another betrayal, and another failure, to his family. Though they remain friends, to call their relationship tense would be an understatement.

The only thing stopping Junko from seeking the revenge Takeshi refused to take for himself was the fact that Kazuya remained with the Yakuza, and not even her desire for revenge could make her crazy enough to offend the organization. She did, however, use her web of contacts to gather information on the man, in hopes that she could find a way to exploit and destroy him when the time was right. This eventually led to her discovery of Kazuya’s most well kept secret: he had a daughter. Her name was Catherine Westmore, and she lived with her mother, Donna Westmore, a gaijin. Junko filed this information away for later use.

CUT TO: A few weeks ago.

Through her contact web, Junko learns a startling piece of information: Kazuya Hotomi has left the Yakuza and, for reasons still a mystery even to her, gone into hiding. Recognizing that this means he is no longer under the protection of the rengo, Junko chooses this time to strike. First thing’s first:she has to draw Kazuya out into the open. To this end, she makes use of her wildcard.

Junko hires a team of shadowrunners to kidnap Kazuya’s daughter. Her hope is that, by staging a ransom, Kazuya will be drawn out into the open to seek vengeance on his daughter’s kidnappers. Once Kazuya takes action, Junko believes her feelers will be able to locate him. Then, she can finally have her (and Takeshi’s) revenge. The only thing Junko doesn’t count on is someone else choosing this time to take a crack at revenge as well, and taking advantage of her plot to do just that in a far more sadistic way…

CUT TO: Today

The runners are hired by woman to find the killer of Catherine Westmore, the 12 year old girl they kidnapped a few weeks back. Ms Johnson meets Lilly alone in a seedy hotel room and offers $35k for Lilly and her team to capture the murderer and deliver him to her.

All of the above backstory was pieced together by the runners from legwork, most of the details from Takeshi himself who was found convalescing at Mystic Curiousities from near fatal gunshot wounds. Takeshi tells of calling Lone Star after he learned of the girls kidnapping and whereabouts, planning to have Lone Star flush out the runners holding the girl and killing her with a sniper rifle from a rooftop. However, he learned something about himself that day a few weeks ago: He couldn’t do it.

Through contacts they trace down The Dragon to Club Karma in China town, a White Lotus Triad stronghold. The White Lotus are protecting The Dragon, who stole something called The Dragon Stone from the Yakuza. Club Karma is a dance club. Visiting the club, Mr French cuts a deal with An Peng, Hwung Kao of the Golden Triangle triad to lure the guards away from the door. Sereth goes invisible and explores upstairs. She finds who she presumes to be The Dragon in a room reading a book. She tries a flame bolt on him, but he is scary fast and dodges pulling a gun and opening fire. Sereth flees, chaos ensues and they escape the club.

Mama Tembi summons Papa Legba to possess her and divine the future of The Dragon. Papa Legba sees a powerful woman driven by greed but plagued by guilt cutting a deal with Mr French.

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