Into the Cage, Chummer
While the narrowest definition of the Divorce would only encompass the split between Ceyda and Pepsi-Cola, that cuts out so much of the story it’s barely a single frame in the movie. This whole thing could take a while, so let’s split it into its basics
way back in the day
- Americana met Watchman back when she was a kid in Russia. He was older and had an impressive capacity for spell slinging, staying out of gangs, and giving Americana the boost she needed to survive and get out of the Barrens. She never really liked him as a person, but he was the only Russian she knew who had as big of a hard-on for American shit as she did, and he was roughly into the same time-period as her to boot.
- Don’t forget that she also met Scruff—an American born and bred—back when she was still in the old country. He couldn’t be as impressive at spell slinging and staying out of gangs since he was mundane and flying the same colors as his parental guardian, but he was still helpful and she actually liked him as a person.
- Eventually, Americana got to the West Coast, landing in LA and spending some time running north and south and occasionally east to Las Vegas. Unknown to her, Watchman had become an expat as well.
- Ceyda has never left the Seattle metroplex for more than a short run to the SSC. She spent most of her childhood in Puyallup and Redmond post-29. She was in the Tacoma detainment centers during the Night of Rage and was one of many who escaped into the Underground and helped make it habitable.
gathering the cuties
- During her first few years in North America, Americana ran into Scruff at strange, often watershed moments. Eventually, he was at the right place and right time in her life to suggest she move to Seattle, where he lived, and she accepted and began helping him ‘distance’ himself from his old gang and form his own.
- Ceyda began running for a Russian fixer named Foghorn, who said he’d help her get out of the mud and helping out with many of her augmentations. Foghorn has another regular runner: Watchman.
- Americana begins running with Ceyda and Watchman. She and Ceyda quickly develop the relationship worthy of Racecar’s Mommy and Daddy shipping, and she finds almost as compelling of a relationship with Watchman. Ceyda calls her Pepsi-Cola for the first time.
a wild BanShee appears
- Ceyda and Pepsi run into a maybe-16-year-old decker from Quebec. Any nickname she may have given herself is forgotten as OB1 dubs her banshee for her tendency to cry over everything.
- Not to be dissuaded, Ceyda decides she’s going to take the kid in and help her run the shadows without needing to be anywhere near meatspace threats.
- Most of this help was fixing up her warehouse into a little bunker and having her start cutting her digital teeth by digging up what she could on friends who 1) wouldn’t be mad at having their lives potentially found out 2) could confirm how well she’d done
- BanShee’s great and all, but Scruff’s been trying to go legal for a while now, and Pepsi’s helping him without question and increasingly fewer distractions. She completely stops running for people other than Scruff (and, of course, Kindly).
- Pepsi adds BanShee to her whitelist with the Joy Luck Club because even if she hasn’t been able to spend much time with the girl, she knows Ceyda would be absolutely crushed if she died.
- When BanShee starts finding weird shit on Watchmen, Ceyda makes the executive decision to not tell Pepsi, who’s stressed out as fuck, or others who might let it slip and make her too distracted when it counted.
- Ceyda and BanShee begin attempting to find out the truth on Watchman. They eventually discover that the weird shit they’ve been finding means that Watchman is a blood mage. They discover this right around the time Watchman tries to kill BanShee. Thankfully for BanShee, Ceyda is there to put two bullets in Watchman’s skull execution style.
- With BanShee waiting in the car, Ceyda goes up to Pepsi’s apartment to tell her about Watchman. Pepsi, having never heard of any potential issue from Ceyda or BanShee, nor having ever witnessed anything Blood-Mage-y herself, tries to not freak when she’s got a lot of other shit on her plate.
- As if on cue, Pepsi gets a call from Foghorn during the meet, asking if she’d like to do a job with Ceyda despite having not done a non-Scruff job in months. Pepsi understandably refuses and tells Ceyda to leave until Pepsi’s done mourning and dealing with gang shit and can figure out how she feels.
- Foghorn completely trashes Ceyda’s reputation by branding her a mage killer, teammate slayer, etc.
- Ceyda does not deny killing Watchman but says he was a Blood Mage. She is unwilling to suggest he’s being a dick because of BanShee to keep her from getting mud flinged at her as well. When asked, Pepsi tersely says exactly what Ceyda told her and changes the subject. Foghorn points out Ceyda’s lack of proof, Pepsi’s lack of overwhelming support, and her desire to distance herself from a now-painful street name.
- Foghorn is found dead in his doss soon after the shit-storm sticks. Cause of death seems to be a lot of magic and fire, though the last could’ve just been from Foghorn’s smoking habit. They can’t blame Ceyda since she’s a mundie and OB1 had an air-tight alibi.
- Without talking to each other, Americana and Ceyda split their contacts apart, and only Racecar insists on continuing to speak to both of them. She calls the incident the Divorce.
- Ceyda’s reputation is completely ruined and can only find work through Ree Ja, who doesn’t give a shit about shadowrunner drama, and BanShee, who’d barely begun to get her feet wet with fixing before the issue.
- Mages give Ceyda a very hard time for a few months. New spell slingers trying to make it in the shadows and gangs tried to geek the Mage Slayer until she put enough of them down (thankfully OB came with Ceyda in the Divorce and was able to help prevent a few ambushes).
- Her reputation is trashed enough that Ceyda considers quitting the shadows all together and getting whatever ‘real’ job she can. Her first job is as factory security in the Barrens, but it’s still those first few months and more people come to start shit with her than the factory and she’s fired. Her second job is as an actual worker, but one of her coworkers tells her his brother was one of the first fragging idiots to try to fuck her up after Watchman and she has to beat him badly enough to keep the others from trying to step up next.
- Before she can try to find a suitable roommate/caretaker for Tati and just curl up in the Underground again, BanShee’s snapped up enough contacts and Johnsons to get enough food on the table with Ree Ja’s help. BanShee maybe starts adamantly refusing for Teeko or others to start helping with BanShee’s anxiety issues and delivery needs to prevent Ceyda from thinking she can leave.
- Americana, like BanShee and Ceyda, sinks a ton of time and nuyen into trying to find Watchman’s hermetic libraries/hangouts for better proof and finds nothing.
- Scruff’s plot is successful. Americana’s reputation is largely untainted.
- Americana takes a long time to mourn Watchman, longer to admit that Ceyda and BanShee probably weren’t wrong about him, and even longer to deal with that meaning that she was wrong about him. By the time she wants to go back to Ceyda and the rest of the group, she feels that Ceyda would justifiably hate her, and maybe even rather kill her than consider making up.
- Americana mostly does wetwork or solitary, seduction-heavy jobs like blackmail, datasteals, etc. When she needs another body, she prefers to use fellow Joy Luck Club Members or the stiffs Dmitri hires who have the personality of a new gym sock.