Welcome to the Data Haven

•December 2, 2008 • 13 Comments

Hello chummers.  ;)

My name is J, but I also answer to Insomniac.  This blog will soon be the home of all my Shadowrun stuff that I have scattered around the Net.  Primarily a place to grab run notes, I plan on reviewing sourcebooks, posting fan fiction and perhaps even commenting on the game itself.

If you’re not familiar with Shadowrun (in the P&P RPG style, rather than the video games), it is a near-future, dystopian, cybernetic future game where fantasy elements have been re-introduced to the world causing an interesting blend of magic and machine.  The storyline is in-depth and there are so many things going on at once that Game Masters should have no shortage of material.  However, if you find yourself short on material, hopefully some of the future posts on this blog will help with that.  :)

While I will occasionally pipe up like this, the bulk of my posts will likely be “in-character” as my grumpy, sleep-deprived sysop alter-ego, Insomniac.  He runs a board in the Seattle Matrix where shadowrunners can look for work.  He’s a no nonsense kind of guy, but he does welcome some discussion.  So if you’d like to comment on run notes, feel free to do so in character and become part of the dialogue.

Well, I think that’s it for now.  Hopefully, you’ll check back from time to time.

J.

>>Oi!  Who’s grumpy?  Anyways, I figured I’d step up and introduce myself.  The handle’s Insomniac and I run my own little corner of ShadowSea.  If you need work, I’m your guy…assuming legality ain’t a scruple you tend to have.  If you think the shadows might be the place for you, then loiter for a bit and see what’s around.  Who knows…maybe you’ll be the next best thing round here.  Or maybe you’ll end up as the next red stain on the asphalt.  Either way, these should be interestin’ times, omae.  Perhaps I’ll see ya round.
>> Insomniac
“The shadows never sleep, so why should I?”

Cast of Shadows – Delta

•February 24, 2015 • 2 Comments

Continuing with the Cast of Shadows series, the next character I wrote a short back story for was a character named Delta.  The character was developed by a brand new gamer, who wanted a character strongly derived from the Jason Bourne books.  The character was a half Maori natural athlete and competent soldier, who grew up within the walls of Aztechnology.  When his father was murdered and his mother accused of being the prime suspect, he sought out his own answers, only to find the company who shielded him his entire life was now obstructing him at every turn.  Trusting his fate to his father’s Maori tribesman, they separated him from Aztech, trained him and offered him a new future in Seattle under the guidance of a Maori mentor named Aberdeen.  He uses the shadows as a means to dig up the information Aztech seemed content to bury.

+++decoding message+++

The streets of Seattle were bustling with a never ending flow of people as everyone single-mindedly milled about to reach their destination. In a form of social camouflage, Delta kept his head down, ballcap obscuring his eyes and head down. He clutched a parcel under his arm and wore a courier’s uniform, fading into the noise of the street.

He turned into a building off of the crowded sidewalk, where Horizon had an advertising company set up for their specific brand of consumer brainwashing. Tipping back his hat and donning his belt smile, he strode up to the receptionist desk.

“G’day miss,” he said. People always mistook his New Zealander accent as Australian, so might as well play up the role. “I have a package for a Mr. Fenten. Do I need his signature for this, or is it something you can help me with?”

The woman looked up in the direct of the accent and saw an attractive Elven man smiling back. “Oh! I-I’m sure I can help you, sir. Just sign here?”

“If you’d be so kind,” Delta said. He smiled broadly and made eye contact with the receptionist, but the moment her eyes shifted to the data pad, he scanned the area. His image link highlighted notable security features in the area, showing him panic buttons and cameras. The receptionist handed him back the pad and smiled. “There you go.”

“Great! Here’s the package…” Delta said, setting a box on the counter, a warm delicious smell wafting from the box.

“What is it? It smells fantastic!”

“Picked it up from the bakery on 5th… thinking it’s a pie. It sure was a hard delivery to make when the truck smelled so good,” Delta said with a smirk. “Hope you don’t mind me asking, but is there a restroom here? Been a busy morning.”

“Oh! Sure, just down the hall on the left.”

“Perfect, thanks!” Delta headed down the mentioned hallway. He had studied the floorplan of this place before coming and his true destination was directly across the hall from the washroom. As he saw the restrooms on the left, the maintenance room was on the right. Scanning for cameras, he confirmed he was in a blind spot. Pulling his autopicker from his uniform, he jammed it into the lock of the maintenance room and cranked the door open, slipping inside.

Looking around the closet, he found several cleaning compounds all marked as flammable. He smirked as he rearranged the bottles to improve coverage and placed several small explosive charges near the flammable bottles. The damage wouldn’t push beyond the closet, but it would certainly get people’s attention.

With his distraction detonation rigged up, he slipped back out of the closet and walked back to the reception desk. “Thanks, miss. I’ll see you later.”

“Sure… oh and , uh… here,” she said, handing a slip of paper.

“What’s this?”

“My number. In case you might like to grab a coffee sometime?”

Delta smiled again. “Sounds great. Call you later.”

Slipping the commcode into his pocket (hey, she was cute and if things went according to plan she would never know what he was about to do), he left the Horizon building and walked up the road a couple blocks to a local mall.

Wading his way through the crowd, he made his way toward one of the restrooms. Removing the ball cap from his head, he balled it up and deposited it in a garbage can before slipping into a men’s room. He stepped into a stall and began stripping out of his courier’s uniform, turning it inside out so that the logos were on the inside and the outside was a plain navy blue. Stepping out of the stall, he slouched slightly, letting his eyes droop, portraying a more fatigued persona. Making his way to the local DIY shop, he bought himself a small toolkit and an assortment of cheap tools.

He checked himself out in the mirror and felt his makeshift disguise would hold for as long as was needed. Navigating the horde in the mall once more, he stepped back out onto the busy street and walked back the way he came. He neared the Horizon building he had been in not long ago and turned into the housing complex across the street from it.

The man watching over the security counter looked up from his paper to see who had entered. “Can I help you?”

“Yeah, the management asked me to do some maintenance on the air conditioning unit before the weather gets too warm. Tune it up before it cuts out…”

The guard gave him an appraising look. “The management, huh?”

“You know? The Trinity Group? The guys who own the building?”

When the technician dropped the name of the company, the guard seemed to relax. “All right. The roof access is between 803 and 804.”

“Thanks,” Delta said in a bored monotone as the guard opened the door from a button under the desk. Once he was through the security door, Delta brought up his commlink, found Aberdeen’s contact information and clicked the connect icon.

Tena koe, Delta,” Aberdeen said in the traditional Maori greeting. “What can I help you with?”

Everything’s set. My gear in place?” he asked, stepping into an elevator, heading for the 8th floor.

Of course it is, my friend. Wouldn’t leave you high and dry.”

Excellent. Tell Mr. Johnson that I will be in contact this evening and he’ll need to uphold his end of the bargain.”

I will pass it on. Good hunting, Delta.”

Hei kona, Aberdeen.”

The door chimed and opened on the eighth floor and Delta made his way to the door between apartments 803 and 804. He looked up at the camera above the door and nodded. The door clicked as the security guard opened the door to the roof and the elf climbed the ladder to the roof slowly while carrying his tool kit.

Throwing back the hatch, he stepped out in to the sun and strode over to a ventilation duct. Opening his toolkit, Delta pulled out a screwdriver and began prying off the grate, while dialing a number on his commlink, disabling video on the call.

Horizon Advertising, how may I direct your call?” the receptionist that had given him her number cheerfully chimed.

Applying a voice filter, Delta didn’t look away from his task at hand. “The Megacorporate influence on society is a cancer. It must be purged from our city.”

The receptionist sighed. “Sir, I don’t know what…”

There are bombs in your building and if you don’t listen to our demands, everyone in that building will die.”

The vent popped away from its housing, revealing a burlap bag inside. Pulling the bag out, Delta opened it up to find his grapple gun with rope tightly secured and his Cavalier Arms Crockett, prepped and ready. Hoisting his sniper rifle, he couldn’t stifle the smile that crossed his lips as he felt its familiar weight.

Sir, we receive bomb threats all the time. Yours are just as hollow as all the rest.”

Is that so?” he said. Delta reached over to his commlink, pressed the disconnect button. Pushing the icons for the phone aside, he brought up his personal network, where a flashing icon reading “Detonate” was glowing. He sent the mental command to extend the bipod on his rifle as his finger pressed the detonate button.

A blast of stone and smoke erupted from the side of the Horizon building as he lay down prone at the building’s edge and took up position over the exit. Might have been a bigger explosion than was required, but he had to ensure people left the building.

As the Horizon building began to exit at a trickle, the corporate security team appeared, escorting people from the building and getting their people out. Finally, the mark appeared.

Morgan Forrester: advertising mogul on the rise and part time sleazeball. Slept with Mr. Johnson’s under age daughter. Mr. Johnson couldn’t afford to take on Horizon’s lawyers, but he could certainly afford making sure than would never touch an innocent girl again.

Turning on his smartlink, the targeting computer calculated the ballistic arc, accounting for the increased windspeeds between the buildings and the fluid nature of the milling crowd, Delta centered the crosshairs on the man’s forehead. He waited patiently and as the security team entered the building to search for the potential other threats or employees still inside, Delta squeezed the trigger.

He pulled back quickly, retracting the bipod. The screams from street level told him that the shot had been successful. Wrapping up the rifle, he grabbed his equipment, tossing the toolkit into the ductwork and pressing the grate back over the hole. Hefting his grapple gun, he fired it against the HVAC system and began scaling down the side of the building.

He lowered himself quickly, knowing that Horizon wouldn’t take long to establish where the shot came from. As soon as his feet touched down on the pavement, he tapped his catalyst stick to the rope, causing the rope to disappear to dust in seconds.

Walking down the alley, away from the chaos he created, Delta sent a message to Aberdeen.

Task complete. Will require security footage to disappear. Tell Mr. Johnson to watch the news and contact me with payment.”

Cast of Shadows – Xiadow Xiok Xiavez aka X3

•February 14, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Continuing from my last post, the second character I wrote a short about was the team’s cyber ninja, X3.  X3 had been created when I first attempted running Shadowrun at the office and his player was very pleased to be able to bring his character back under Fifth Edition.  In order to showcase the character for the new players, I wrote up this piece.  X3 is a Filipino runner, who was classically trained in the ninja arts by a now shattered clan, who opposed the occupation of the Philippines.  The islands now liberated, X3 seeks vengeance for the treatment of his countrymen at the hands of Mitsuhama and their exploitative policies.

+++decoding message+++

The scent of incense hung heavily in the air, as Carlos Chavez sat cross-legged in the middle off the tatami mat that made up the center of the space. This Shinto-styled shrine in Everett was one of the few places left in the city that felt tranquil and he could feel centered. Whether that would be true after today or not remained to be seen.

As he heard the heavy wooden doors open somewhere behind him, that portion of him known as Carlos slipped away to make room for X3; the shadowrunner. He remained where he sat, determined to enjoy the peace as long as it lasted.

Footsteps echoed behind him in the stone hallway until he heard the soft crunch of shoes on tatami. “What the hell? Who is this? I thought I told you to keep this place clear!”

So… he had come. Tariya Hideyoshi… self-important Yakuza thug, son to a Mitsuhama dynasty that traced back to the atrocities in the Philippines. X3 had done his homework and found this little kingpin left himself open during his meditations. With any luck, the man’s commlink would have something profitable and useful to his own ends on it.

“I…I don’t know, sir. Our men had the place surrounded to keep it clear for you.”

“Well you failed, as usual. Get rid of him, so I can relax.”

X3 listened as he heard people moving around him. His cyberears honed in on the sound of footsteps on the soft mat. Four bodyguards. More than he had anticipated, but still manageable.

“Uh sir, he’s armed…” X3 heard pistols being drawn from holsters and leveled in his direction.

Hideyoshi had venom dripping from his voice when he ordered, “Set your weapon on the floor and stand up slowly.”

Suppressing a smirk, the runner drew his machine pistol from its holster, placed it lightly on the mat and slowly rose to his feet.

“You have some stones coming to a Yakuza building with a weapon,” Hideyoshi said.

“Last I checked, this was a public building,” X3 said, finally breaking his silence.

“Who said you could talk back? Sato, teach this worm some manners.”

Hearing a pistol being cocked to his left, X3 grinned. His cybernetics kicked in and the world seemed to slow down. With a pre-programmed series of finger twitches, he activated his chameleon suit, pulling the hood down over his face with one head, while starting into a hand spring with the other.

As far as the Yakuza saw, one minute the man was there and in a blur of motion, suddenly he turned and vanished. They fired their weapons where the assassin had been standing only to hit nothing but air. X3 bounded up the wall braced his knees between two ceiling beams and hung upside down studying the Yakuza’s movements below.

“Where’d he go?” Sato said, panic creeping into his voice. “You think he’s a mage?”

Hideyoshi looked to one of his guards. Speaking in Japanese, he ordered, “Summon one of your spirits. The rest of you, make yourself useful… fill the place full of holes until something bleeds.”

Springing from his perch, X3 swung from the beams to a wall before bouncing off and securing himself above the now outed mage. Reaching down, he tightly gripped the mage’s head and wrenched it to the side, severing the mage’s spine before he could tap into the astral. With the rest fruitlessly firing into the walls, X3 let the mage drop to the floor, creeping across the mat lightly staying out of the firing arcs of the thugs destroying the temple.

“Kuso! The kannushi is down!”

Hideyoshi wheeled around to see the mage laying on the ground, eyes wide and head at an impossible angle. “Dammit! Find him!”

As the Yakuza were distracted by the death of their magical support, X3 moved in behind another soldier, clamped his hand over their throat to prevent them from crying out and wrenched him back as he brought his knee up. A long blade ejected upward from his shin, slipping between two of the man’s ribs. The man’s cry of agony stifled by X3’s grip, the blade retracted and the ninja went for the wakazashi at the Yakuza’s side. In a fluid motion, X3 hurled the short sword at the next thug, while rolling across the mat.

Hideyoshi and Sato turned in time to see one of their men go down in a silent spurt of blood from his mouth while another saw himself impaled and skewered to the wall by a wakazashi. Coming out of his roll, X3’s chameleon suit disengaged as he scooped up his machine pistol, raised the run and fired a burst in the skull of Sato.

With surprising agility, Hideyoshi moved in and kicked the pistol from X3’s grip. Taking up a ready position, X3 mimicked his opponent’s stance. Standard Hwarang-do posture, offensive style… not sloppy though. Has some training.

“I don’t know who you are, but no one messes with the Yakuza and lives,” Hideyoshi taunted.

“You’re right… you don’t know who I am. Your mistake.”

Hideyoshi opened with a feint, attempting to bring X3’s guard up, but the assassin didn’t take the bait, blocking the initial strike. Delivering a sharp blow to the Yakuza’s forearm, the man recoiled, realizing that his opponent had bone lacing and that each blow would be costly.

Launching into a kata, Hideyoshi launched into the fight with a back fist, a hook kick, a crescent kick and what should have been a flurry of blows. X3 was well versed in this style of fighting; MCT trained their soldiers in Hwarang-do and this guy lacked the brain power to improvise. X3 barely had to think when dodging the kicks and when Hideyoshi when to follow up with the punches, X3 side-stepped, wrist-locked the man and flipped him using the momentum of the strike against him. As the Yakuza man turned in the air, the assassin fired a kick of his own into the defenseless foe, hurling him to the mat and bouncing from the force of the strike.

Staggering to his feet, Hideyoshi looked at the ninja, his confidence faltering somewhat. X3 stared back unwavering, showing no signs of his plan of action. His opponent met X3’s eyes trying to get a read of any kind and his eyes briefly shifted to the wooden doors behind X3 that led to freedom.

X3 grinned behind his mask.

The Yakuza let out a battle cry and charged X3, launching into a flying kick. Knowing that it was a ploy to make X3 step aside to grant freedom, the ninja merely rolled back and sprang to his feet, so that Hideyoshi landed directly in front of him. As the Yakuza lieutenant landed, X3 launched in his own assault. To his credit, Hideyoshi did a respectable job of weathering the barrage. The entire time X3 attacked, the Yakuza was trying to find an opening where he could sidestep his attacker and escape.

Noticing his adversary’s desperation, X3 gave him his opening. Swinging in a wild attack, X3 presented an obvious gap and Hideyoshi went for it. Using his momentum from his misleading move, X3 spun around, sprang off a wall and came down fist first where Hideyoshi’s neck met his shoulder, crushing the collar bone and driving him to the floor.

On shaking legs, the Yakuza struggled to his feet. He clutched his crippled shoulder as tears streaked down his cheek from the pain. “Please… what do you want? What did I do?”

“What do I want? I want those that stole my family and friends from me. I want those who murdered my neighbors and sold their children in slavery to feel the same agony we felt. Your parents are two of those people. What did you do? The same thing we did. Nothing. But my job is to bring suffering to those who deserve it and you are a means to an end.”

Hideyoshi made one last attempt to defend himself with his one good arm, but his defenses were swatted aside and X3 delivered a series of quick blows as his forearm spurs extended. A blur of motion, he delivered critical blows: first the lungs to prevent him from calling for aid, the second to the abdomen to deliver the requisite amount of pain his bloodline was owed and the third a blow to the heart, granting a quick end, as he was not directly responsible for the sins of the past.

Hideyoshi’s eyes went wide as his life faded quickly. X3 guided him down to the kneeling position on the tatami giving him his final moments to find the serenity he sought when he first entered the temple.

“May your spirit find peace. For your family will have none.”

X3 reached down and unclipped the man’s commlink and accessed its memory. As he had hoped, there was information on it he could sell to rival syndicates, but there was information on Mitsuhama, his parents and their family life. He could begin scouting his planned targets in earnest. He would let them grieve over the death of their son before death would visit them again.

Cast of Shadows – Snaketoast

•February 3, 2015 • Leave a Comment

When 5th Edition first came out, I blew the dust off an old idea… corrupt my coworkers with the idea of a free-flowing story they could control.  It was a surprisingly easy sell… a couple had played before and were eager to bring their 4th Edition characters back, while most had never played an RPG, or it had been so long, it was as good as new.  We sat down, drew up characters and prepped ourselves for our first game.  While I taught the mechanics of the game (keeping it high level, seeing as they weren’t gamers…yet), in order to paint the picture of what they were getting into, I wrote up stories starring their characters, to showcase the kinds of things they could do in game.  While they’re far from Pulitzer material, I figured I’d post the stories I wrote for people to read and (hopefully) enjoy.

The first character to be developed was the team mage with the nonsensical name of Snaketoast… a Quebecois mage whose family was torn apart by Cross Applied Technologies before the Crash of 64.  He strives to improve himself in order to dig into the now-defunct corporation to find those responsible and punish them.

+++decoding message+++

The rain came down in a slow, cold drizzle as the runner studied the front doorway beneath the large glowing centurion icon. It had taken some money and some time, but he had finally tracked down Gaston Fiore. It was part of a private contracting job, but when he learned that Gaston used to be an employee of CATCo back in Trois-Rivieres, it seemed an ideal opportunity to kill two birds.

Standing beneath the awning of a local coffee shop, Snaketoast was distracted from his recon momentarily by the barrista behind the counter. “Excuse me, sir? Your soykaf?”

“Ah, thanks,” he said with a smile. Sipping the closest thing to coffee he could afford, he pulled at the collar of his uniform. It had cost a sum of money, but he had convinced a local tailor to mock up a close facsimile to an Ares uniform. The knowledge of even wearing a corporate logo made his skin crawl, but it was a means to an end.

Taking a drag from his soykaf, he steeled himself against the elements and strode out into the rain. As he neared the Ares compound, he made out the sorry son of a bitch that was on guard duty and before acting, he switched his sight to the astral plane.

A world of colour and emotion super imposed itself over top of reality. The glow of the Earth was muted here, as all but a thin layer of topsoil and grass remained of nature, all of it paved over in concrete and glass. The building was thankfully free of magical protections and there were no signs of spirits on duty. A blessing to be sure. Luckily for him, Mr. Fiore was someone of low import. Turning his attentions to the front door guard, the man was only slightly augmented. Standard headware package. Fighting a cold and really resenting being out in the Seattle rain. His poor disposition would only serve Snaketoast better.

The mage began drawing mana from the local astral space, knitting together a spell as he began a purposeful walk to the front door. He focused on the guard, who had yet to notice his approach and thought “The next person to the door is a man of importance. Let him pass quickly.”

The tendrils of power wove their way into the guard’s mind and when Snaketoast reached the door, he scowled at the guard. “It’s fucking miserable out here. Open the door, will you?”

“Certainly, sir,” the guard said. Typing in the passcode, Snaketoast watched the code as it was entered and quickly stepped out of the rain into the sterile white hallway of the Ares building. He spotted the camera at the end of the hall and quickly stepped into a nearby office. Scanning the office, he found it vacant and using his commlink the workstation showed the employee was off for the day. Tossing his soycaf in the trash, he reached into his satchel, pulled out a handful of crystals and placed them in a symmetrical hexagon on the office floor. Standing in the middle of his makeshift circle, he began chanting softly, shifting his sight to the astral plane. The ambient mana of the room flowed through the crystals and coalesced over his head. After five minutes of concentration, the ball of energy overhead took the form of a serpentine spirit with an eye where the head should be.

“Yes?” his watcher spoke, the ‘s’ drawn out like the stereotypical snake.

“I am searching for a man. A human by the name of Gaston Fiore. Seek him out and report his location to me.”

“As you command.”

The watcher faded into the ether and the crystals used in the ritual shattered to dust with the ritual concluded. Not content to let his spirit do all the work, Snaketoast tapped into the astral once more, casting an Invisibility spell over himself. He watched as he faded from view. Satisfied, he pushed the astral signature of the spell to his focus and stepped out into the hall once more.

Walking lightly, he made his way down the hall. The camera would not see him, but it would not serve him to be heard by a patrolling guard. Thankfully for him, the building was busy. The main portion of the building was a large cube farm, with countless wageslaves slumped over their workstations, doing the megalithic company’s bidding for a handful of nuyen.

“Master, I have located your quarry,” the watcher reported, sending the mage direction by telepathy. Conference room past the cubicles… meeting was wrapping up. Perfect.

Making his way across the space, weaving his way carefully through the Ares citizens who were oblivious to the shadowrunner in their midst. He waited outside the conference room door for the managers to leave before slipping inside.

Gaston Fiore was a middle aged man of mediocre income, receding hairline and poor life choices. Snaketoast couldn’t judge the man for sleeping around on his wife, save for the fact that he was stupid enough to get caught and leave his wife access to his personal bank account, which she was now using to pay the runner. She had no prayer of winning anything in the divorce, going against a corporate lawyer, so she didn’t want him to have anything either. Petty, sure… but it pays the rent.

Gaston was all packed up and heading for the door, when he felt a hand on his shoulder and a gun barrel on the back of his neck.

“Speak and die. Understand?”

The manager nodded lightly, raising his hands in surrender.

“Lower your hands, dammit. Let’s not draw any attention, shall we? Keep your hand away from your commlink.”

As Gaston obeyed, Snaketoast pulled an optical chip from his pocket and slid it into the man’s commlink data port. His old hacker friend had cooked up a dataworm for him and within seconds, the worm weaved through the device’s firewall and began transferring the man’s assets to a separate bank account and noisily transferred company data out onto the Matrix, hopefully destroying the man’s reputation.

Having finished his primary objective, Snaketoast drew in the mana for a spell, glaring at the back of the man’s skull. Energy arced through his fingertips and drilled into the executive’s mind. Gaston’s eyes shot open and his jaw went slack as Snaketoast burrowed into the man’s memories. Going deeper and deeper, he looked for any signs of anything from Cross. The man hadn’t held much station, but even rumours were useful pieces at this point.

Flashes of images and conversations rolled through Snaketoast’s mind, as he shared the man’s memories of the old company from a decade before. He found nothing directly about his family, but rumours of the Serephim and a data breach that occurred that caused a stir within Cross itself. It could be a lead.

As the mage released his hold on the man’s mind, Gaston fell to his knees, coughing and retching from the violation. Without thinking, he sent the mental command to his commlink to raise the alarm. As the sirens went off, Snaketoast cursed under his breath and fired off a Stunbolt that dropped Gaston to the floor.

The door to the conference room locked down and the hiss of a gas release system filled the air. Snaketoast wove another spell and held his breath no longer feeling the need to exhale. Peering through the conference room window, he caught sight of a poor wageslave walking nearby, while the corpsec team was still prepping themselves. Unable to wait for a full hypnotic suggestion, he used Control Thoughts and commanded “Open the door.”

Without thinking about what he was doing, the wageslave walked over and pulled the door open. The gas washed out of the room, dropping the employee and sending the security forces scattering for their respirators.

Starting to feel the drain taking it’s toll, Snaketoast threw caution to the wind and ran from the room. Seeing the break in the gas, a couple of guards fought against the gas’s effects to bring a weapon up, but were forced to keep their heads down as the runner fired his pistol at the guards. Behind him, he heard the guard order “It’s a mage! Switch to ultrasound!”

His invisibility now useless, he dropped both the invisibility and oxygenate as he ran for the door. Knowing he would have to fight his way out, he called to the astral one last time, hoping it wouldn’t be enough to take him out.

As he rounded the last corner, a guard in heavy armour stood between him and the exit. The Ares soldier raised his assault rifle. “Lay down on the ground right now, or die.”

Snaketoast absently wiped the blood from his nose, paying the price for his last act and dropped heavily to his knees. As he lowered himself, he sent the mental command “Take him.”

Snaketoast sprinted toward the guard as the floor seemed to become fluid rising up into a vaguely humanoid form of concrete and marble tile. Two obsidian pits glared down expressionlessly on the guard as the spirit took full form and roared with the sound of stones grinding against one another.

“Aw fu-” the guard said as the spirit drove him through the door and charged outside, hurling the guard into the grounds. The guard the Snaketoast had previously convinced to allow him entry opened fire on the spirit. The bullets chipped against the stone body of the spirit and the spirit vanished in a spray of broken tile.

As Snaketoast crossed the threshold and back into the rain, he heard “Freeze!” beside him. The guard looked puzzled for a moment, as the hypnotic suggestion was still there, though vastly weakened. The hesitation cost him as the Earth spirit burst from the ground at the guards feet, swallowing him up in dirt and stone.

“Once I am free of the grounds, you are free to return to your home, spirit,” Snaketoast said. “You have my thanks.”

Running off of the Ares compound and fading into foot traffic, he opened a channel on his commlink. “Hello, Ms. Johnson? The job is complete. I am sending you a bank account number with your settlement in it. Please leave the amount of my pay in the account and our business is concluded. Enjoy being single.”

Not bad for a days work. The rent was paid, he could afford food and he knew that he now had to track down information on the Seraphim. Answers would come. He had to be patient.

Ghosts of the Past (Shadowrun)

•January 22, 2015 • Leave a Comment

This was the final run of the Convention season of 2014.

The runners are contacted by their fixer about a job. The employer is new to the fixer, but wants to meet the runners in person. The meet is at 10PM in the Plastic Jungles in Redmond. They recommend showing up ready to run, as they might have opposition arriving at the meet.

It is up to the GM as to whether the local gangs interfere in the runners getting to the meet (or possibly interfere during the meet). The roads out to the Plastic Jungles are only moderately kept and the local gangs will exploit that with roadblocks. If nothing else it will slow the team down as they try to navigate Redmond.

Scene 1 – A Man of Influence

The area around the Plastic Jungles is one of urban decay. The area has degenerated to where buildings rarely over much shelter from the elements anymore and those that do are often a hazard to reside in (yet the locals do, due to lack of options). Yet, set into this landscape are acres of support beams and tattered grey bioplastic tents that make up the Plastic Jungles. All sorts of exotic plants from an old greenhouse experiment grow here, as well as food stuffs, planted by the locals to support the squalor here and reduce starvation. Due to the importance of the Jungles, gang security is very high: one of the very few places in the Barrens where gangs work together to protect a common ground.

The gang is little more than a ragtag neighbourhood watch with barely serviceable sidearms and clubs made of whatever they could find. Seeing shadowrunners here is a novelty, but they will put on a brave face and move to protect their turf. Mentioning Mr. Johnson or offering the locals something (nuyen is useless out here) will help them gain access to the greenhouse.

Inside the greenhouse is a strange world. The air is fragrant with the mix of strange and exotic flora. The grey plastic over their heads is contrasted by the bright, vibrant shock of colour all around them from the flowers. Where the bulk of Redmond’s astral space is tainted by the lack of life out here, the manasphere within the greenhouse is lively.

Aside from a handful of local orks digging through planters at the outskirts, they see a man standing at the center of the greenhouse, inspecting several of the flowers. As the runners approach, he clips a few petals and leaves from the plants nearest him, wraps them in a piece of embroidered cloth and tucks them away in the pocket of his designer pants. If asked about it, he mentions that the petals of a specific species of orchid are worth quite a bit to the right buyers.

Once the runners have gathered, he faces them, lights a cigarette and studies them before speaking. “Yes, I believe you’ll do. Your fixer speaks well of you. Therefore, I have a task of some import I would ask of you. There is a gentleman that I desperately need to speak to, in order to get the answers to some rather complex questions. However, my efforts at being diplomatic have fallen on deaf ears and now I am being forced into more severe action. I require you to fetch this man and bring him to me. I require him to be alive and able to speak. I highly doubt he will come quietly. I cannot divulge the gentleman’s name until you have accepted the job, but I will be willing to pay you handsomely for your time. I am offering 3000¥ up front, with another 15,000¥ when you deliver him to me.”

Mr. Johnson is Glen Trenchland. He is a seasoned professor at MIT&T and also a member of the Black Lodge. He is masking his appearance with Masking Metamagic, Physical Mask and several physical tricks to disguise his body type. There should be no means for low level characters to discern his true identity. He chose the Plastic Jungles to obtain magical radicals, use the ambient mana here to obscure his aura and be removed from the Matrix to truly isolate himself for the meet.

Mr. Johnson will entertain negotiations on price (the Black Lodge considers the information they’re after priceless) and once the runners accept the job, he smiles.

Excellent. The man you are looking for is a researcher named Iryan Amiri. He had been doing research in Jordan up until recently. He suddenly quit his job and returned home to Seattle and has been a recluse ever since. He has proven difficult to reach. I should tell you that he is Awakened, so factor that into your strategy.”

Mr. Johnson is not overly forthcoming with information. He claims to not know what Mr. Amiri was researching (he does), or the details of what he was doing in Jordan (he knows). If asked whether other people would be after him, Mr. Johnson says he is unsure (a truth, finally) but it is possible his employers might be looking for him. He had been working a contract job in the Middle East, but Mr. Johnson is unsure who hired him (another lie).

Once you have Mr. Amiri, contact me through your fixer and I’ll arrange a drop off point. If you can also acquire his magical treatise, there could be a bonus in it for you.”

The runners won’t be able to start their legwork until they get closer to being out of Redmond and can reach the Matrix again.

Scene 2 – The Mysteries of Iryan Amiri

After the team’s meeting with Mr. Johnson, it will likely be apparent to the runners that Mr. Johnson wasn’t being totally forthcoming about what he knows about the man they’ve been hired to abduct. The basics on the man are fairly straightforward to acquire. He is a man of Arabic descent who has spent all of his years since graduation from university as an Arcanoarchaeologist for the Atlantean Foundation. His specialty was ancient Babylonian and Assyrian sites where the Atlanteans were looking for power sites tied to locations of significance to the Babylonians, Sumerians and Egyptians.

Details on recent events are harder to come by, as the Foundation is trying their best to keep things under wraps. Several of the guides working with the excavation teams have plied with money and begun talking. The leading rumour is that the Foundation was exploring the site at Petra when a displacement alchera appeared, revealing a chamber beyond the known boundaries of the site. Iryan stepped in to investigate and the alchera closed. He was missing for 15 minutes when the alchera reappeared long enough to spit him back into the temple and close again. He spent two days in a catatonic state but when he returned, he resigned with the AF, flew back to Seattle and has been missing ever since.

Investigating Iryan’s home shows that it has been overturned. If they stay to comb over what remains, they will find a team working with the Atlanteans still in the house who will try to ambush the team. The other team hasn’t learned much from the house, as it appears that Iryan didn’t spend any time here, but the house commlink contains a list of known associates. The Atlantean Foundation also has this information and is trying to track down Iryan as well.

Many of Iryan’s associates are resistant to talk to the runners as they’ve already been accosted by the corporation and most haven’t heard from him at all. The largest lead the team has comes from a former associate named Reece Alexander. Reece swears he hasn’t heard from Iryan, but he’s a terrible liar. When the runners press the matter, they hear a door being kicked in a loud voices in the background. When the team arrives, they see Reece being thrown into a car which then takes off through the city, using traffic and other AF cars to throw off the pursuit. If they’re able to stop the car and extract Reece, they can likely convince him that they are there to help Iryan.

Reece tells them of a cottage on the Northeastern edge of Snohomish. It’s in the middle of the forest, isolated and an ideal place for Iryan’s studies. Reece does volunteer that Iryan was not himself when he saw him last. There was no humor in Iryan anymore. He was obsessed with some discovery he had made in Jordan and wanted to be alone to study it.

Scene 3 – Unhealthy Obsession

With the directions they got from Reece, the runners can find Iryan’s woodland retreat, but as they head into the forest they can see things are already amiss. The air in the forest crackles with energy from the application of geomancy. The astral plane is starting to become visible and ethereal being seem to dart from tree to tree and the trees themselves seem to change locations at will.

Out in the woods are a Wuxing strike force who have heard about the events in Petra and have detected the significant shift in the dragon lines of the region. They want whatever knowledge Iryan as acquired for themselves.

Iryan has had some visions through divination that his life is in danger and has become paranoid. Despite his tradition (Islam), he has learned how to summon spirits and has aspected the property toward his faith. There are alchemical booby traps around the premises and spirits that blend in with the spectres that mill around the woods (Islam spirit types: Guardian, Air, Plant, Earth, Fire).

Between the astral maelstrom, the corporate thugs and Iryan himself, the situation should be chaotic, especially with having to take the Islamic mage alive and them finding his treatise in the astral hot spot that is the cottage. Iryan has a panic room above ground that he will retreat toward if people approach the building but the treatise he has written on what he witnessed in Petra is in the basement, which is a wide open space with papers, arcane symbols and debris from living in the space scattered around the space. There is a ward erected around the bookcase that holds the tome the characters will need to overpower to obtain it.

If any of the characters know Arabic and read Iryan’s treatise, he speaks of stepping into the ancient past, before the first rock had been carved in Petra and speaking with an powerful being that called itself Dushara. Identified as an ancient Arabic deity that predated most world religions, Dushara spoke of a hidden power deep within the water conduits of Petra. Only the ancients of the area could point the way and Iryan was developing a ritual to contact the old deities, in hopes of unearthing something from a time before recorded history.

>> So, what’s the deal with this archaeologist?  People have a hard on for what this guy knows… what makes him so special?
>> Blitz

>> Not sure.  He’s done a lot of research for the Atlantean Foundation in the Middle East, but he’s far from the foremost authority.  All of his findings are publicly available from the Foundation.  Makes no sense.
>> Robed Scholar

>> His most recent trip to Petra was undocumented and he quit his job on the spot.  He must have seen something he didn’t want the Foundation to have.
>> Havik

>> Or he’s out of his gourd.  Magic does funny things to people.
>> Reaper

So… this is 2015…

•January 2, 2015 • 2 Comments

Just a quick post as a sort of  “state of the union” sort of thing…

2014 was a busy year and despite all the insanity going on, I did try to continue to keep Shadowrun alive in my local group, granted with a lot less frequency than I had done in the past.  My posting rate dropped significantly, but for those that have continued to check in here, I appreciate your loyalty.  I still have three or four more runs from 2014 to post, but I am hoping to find a more regular source of inspiration for this new year and return to a much more regular posting for runs or gaming related material.

If there is something you would like to see more of in this blog (aside from my bread and butter of posting my run material), please let me know.  I’m actually behind in my reading of Fifth Edition material by a considerable amount (I’m nearly finished Street Grimoire and then I have to read Shadow Spells, Aetherology, London Falling and Run Faster).  If it’s something people could be interested in reading, I could post my own reviews of the sourcebooks, but my reading has become horribly infrequent…

Or if there is something you’d like to see more of in the run notes in general… details I typically gloss over, due to power levels in my group often being different from other groups, etc, please let me know.  My goal is to keep my material easily adaptable to other people’s campaigns, but if something standalone is preferable, I am willing to include more detail.

In any case, if you have stuck with me this long, you have my sincere thanks and I hope to make a better go of maintaining this blog this year.  I plan to attend Gen Con in Indianapolis this year and ramp up my presence in the community, so here’s hoping 2015 rekindles my passion for Shadowrun to the raging inferno it once was.

Run fast, conserve ammo and never ever deal with a dragon.  Keep your heads down, chummers.

J.

Contagion (Shadowrun)

•December 26, 2014 • Leave a Comment

This was one of the two adventures I ran at the Fall Phantasm of 2014.  The maps I used at the time are missing, so feel free to use a standard hospital floorplan for the last scene of the adventure.

The runners are contacted by their fixer for a datasteal. The fixer will be conducting the meet at Dante’s Inferno at 9PM. He tells them that the job is from a trusted source and the pay is average.

Scene 1 – Getting the Details

Dante’s Inferno is packed, as usual and runners that show up too late for the meet may find themselves greasing the palms of the bouncer substantially to get in. Dropping the fixer’s name at the door will help speed up the process and they are told that the fixer is down on the third level.

Where the top floor is jammed with people, the lower levels give the runners space to move around. The third floor is Gluttony and the smell from the kitchen fills the air here. Underworld Lieutenants and corporate middle managers dot the floor, trying to impress anyone they can with their wealth and influence (even though it wasn’t substantial enough to go any further down). Their fixer is in the corner waiting for them when they arrive (if the runners are really early, he is conducting business with another team of runners).

Once the team has gathered, he leans forward and delivers the pitch. “All right guys, here’s the deal. My client is interested in anything Aztechnology learned during their conflict with Amazonia. We’ve all heard the rumours that those tree huggers in South America have some pretty exotic ways to die and the Aztecs didn’t succumb to them, which means that they have discovered antidotes for the myriad of toxins that breed in the rainforest. Mr. Johnson wants the medical test data for those cures. He doesn’t want a sample… he fears that any risk of accidental exposure in Seattle would be a nightmare, so he’s merely after the test data. The complication is that Mr. Johnson doesn’t know where the data is being kept. If the runners are willing to do the legwork and get the data, Mr. Johnson is willing to pay 6000¥ apiece.

Truth be told, Mr. Johnson doesn’t know for certain that the data even exists. But he is gambling that such information does exist and wants to ensure he is the one who retrieves these “breakthroughs” first.

Mr. Johnson had authorized the fixer to negotiate some on price, but wants to keep the price below 7500¥. If the runners take the job, the fixer doesn’t have much more for them to work with, but will avail him/herself if the runners need their assistance.

Scene 2 – Tracking the Source

With no real leads to work with, the runners have to start from the ground up. They know that the information Mr. Johnson wants comes from the Yucatan conflict. Searching for information may seem like a needle in a haystack. Whether the runners use contacts within Aztechnology, a deep Matrix dive or greasing a lot of palms, they can eventually unearth information from the conflict.

The Aztechnology forces hired several mercenaries who were veterans of the region and some even provided antidotes they had procured during the Cartel battles in Bogota, but there were several viruses that the Amazonian jungle seemed to use as a protection method in the face of the Aztec flamethrowers.

The disease most often faced by the soldiers came from Awakened Dieffenbachia plants. Long used by the indigenous peoples to poison their weapons, the sap of the Dieffenbachia plant is a skin irritant and if injected or consumed causes severe pain. While numerous species exist, all plants share a green and yellow marbling on the leaves.

The Awakened variety has orange marbling instead of yellow and as a defence mechanism, can emit a cloud of spores in the area near the trees. These spores contain the same toxic compounds, but in a much greater concentration. If inhaled or in contact with the skin, lesions will form on the areas exposed, and rotting of the flesh follows. If untreated, the spores continue to consume the body until death claims the victim.

Aztechnology was forced to address the situation when the trees seem to detect the approach of Aztec soldiers and the spores melted through protective garments. Defeating the Amazonian defenses is what Mr. Johnson is after.

With some background, the runners can learn that a doctor from the war was removed from the front lines and placed in a “mental health retreat” in Seattle for treatment with his PTSD. While he wasn’t a member of the research team, he administered treatments to the troops and knows who held the data.

Dr. Nicholas Ortega served with Aztechnology as a field doctor in the Yucatan Peninsula, where the company committed some of their worst ecological atrocities. He witnessed the innocent casualties, the the result of Mother Nature’s wrath and the aftermath of war firsthand. When Dr. Ortega threatened to quit the company, they sent him here, far from the war, but a place where Aztech could monitor him for signs of defection.

Scene 3 – The House of the Scarred

The “Tranquil Estate Rehabilitation Center” is a treatment facility for those battling stress-triggered disorders, but specializing in PTSD patients. The interior is open, spacious and decorated with a nearly spa-like feel and the air is lightly scented with incense. Anyone magically attuned can sense that geomancy has been performed in order to optimize the serenity of the space.

Security at the facility is practically invisible. The obvious presence of armed personnel could trigger an episode in some of the residents, so security is mostly passive. If some is suspected of being an intruder or otherwise unwelcome visitor, Knight Errant is notified and the residential wards are locked down to minimize the areas the intruder has access to. Once isolated, orderlies will urge the person to leave, but will fight if provoked.

Dr. Ortega is a high-maintenance patient: he is haunted by what he has witnessed, he knows Aztechnology is watching him closely and the strain of being policed has pushed him to the edge. He is highly medicated and checked on frequently by the staff for any signs of homicidal or suicidal actions.

Aztechnology has, of course, bugged his room. While the main intent is to ensure he isn’t meeting anyone for extraction, if they hear the man being interrogated about info from the war, they will move in (spirit first, soldiers soon behind). The Aztechnology soldiers don’t care about the mental well being of the other residents and will storm in, offer the runners the chance to surrender and open fire shortly thereafter, if they do anything but drop their weapons.

How the runners plan to get the information from Dr. Ortega is up to them, but with Aztech eavesdropping and the facility staff monitoring the doctor for signs of stress, they will have to conduct themselves carefully and keep their information source alive. They can offer to help disappear him, but that will bring Aztech in force.

Once they obtain the information, they learn that the medical subsidiary Medicarro holds the data from the front. The local offices in Tacoma should have a link to the database, where they can obtain the data.

Scene 4 – Health Hazard

The Medicarro facility is part clinic and part research facility. While companies such as DocWagon and Crashcart offer comprehensive care packages for everything from the common cold to resuscitation, Medicarro’s presence in Seattle is minor. Catering to corporate medical needs (especially those with standing contracts with Aztech), they perform less invasive procedures, cosmetic surgeries and preventative treatments for those who can pay the bill.

The low level of patient traffic makes Medicarro a great place to house a medical research station within its walls. Due to the wealthy clientele, security is substantial but subdued. The guards are well-dressed, wearing either armored business clothes or form-fitting body armor under layman’s clothes. There are no magical security on site, though the medical research division is heavily warded and mages will be dispatched the moment an alarm is raised.

Matrix Security is respectable. The security system is a standalone server that monitors all cameras, locks and motion detectors throughout the building. The public system for Medicarro is mostly advertising of medical packages they offer, but it also serves as an interactive map to find your way around the building, so long as you’re a patient or registered guest (registered guests will have background checks performed).

The security system, should a hacker try to seize control, has the following rating:

Medicarro Host – Matrix Architecture looks like old Spanish style, with stucco walls, terracotta ceiling tiles and sandy textured walls, with arched doors serving as connections between nodes. Those who run VR can even feel a warm afternoon breeze flow through the space at random intervals. Users appear as featureless doctors in white coats. Security appears as Conquistadors, and IC as Pikemen.

Rating 7 Host – Attack 8, Sleaze 7, Data Processing 9, Firewall 10

IC Available – Acid, Crash, Jammer, Killer, Patrol, Probe, Scramble, Track

The runners will need to move through the clinic to where the medical research ward is. When they find the door into the research ward, they quickly discover that the area is on lockdown. If a hacker successfully breached the defences of the host and gain access to the research ward cameras, they will see that the area is a ghost down and in a few places cameras are down. Dead bodies can be occasionally spotted sprawled on the ground.

If they override the lockdown and enter the research ward without protective gear, they are exposed to a spilled contagion. Just inside the door is a doctor slumped against the wall and when the runner realize that something has gone wrong it’s already to late. If they disturb the body, they find the body is very warm and a trickle of blood leaks from the eye socket. The runners resist the toxin as usual, but if not completely resisted, they are infected and are on borrowed time. As well as getting the data they came for, now they have to determine what they’re infected with and find the antidote before they fall prey to the disease they’ve contracted. They have now also unwittingly infected the hospital’s inhabitants. Security will learn of the lockdown quickly (immediately, if the runners haven’t suppressed the alarm signal) and seal off the building. If the runners enter the research ward, the security team will re-engage the quarantine and stand vigil, awaiting the runners escape attempt, while the antidote is administered to the residents.

Red Fever

Vector: Inhalation

Speed: 5 minutes

Penetration: -1

Power: 4

Effect: Disorientation, Nausea, Physical Damage

Red Fever is a tropical disease was discovered in the rainforests outside Caracas. A parasitic infection, the parasites are almost microscopic in size and latch onto the tongue, nasal passages and eyes of anyone that comes in contact with a larval cloud. They penetrate the epidermis into the blood, where they begin consuming red blood cells. The body’s natural defences generate a fever to try and burn out the intruders, but the parasites are resilient against heat and the body ultimately cooks itself from trying to fend off the attack. The cure for the infection is to inject themselves with a low-level dose of West Nile or some other blood-borne virus that will kill off the parasite and the body’s natural immune system can fight off the new problem.

Every 5 minutes the disease is in the system, the infected must make a Body test against the Strength of the disease and any residual damage is taken as physical damage. Each interval, the power increases by 1, as the parasites wreak havoc and spread.

>> Hunting down some disease created in the wilds of the Amazon is not exactly my idea of a good time…
>> Wraith

>> And what would you know of it?
>> Hunter

>> Did some time down there some time ago.  It was an insane place back then… things have had plenty of time to evolve since then.  I’ll keep my distance from anything birthed in that wilderness.
>> Wraith

Trojan Horse – A Wolf in the Henhouse (Shadowrun)

•November 25, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Scene 1 – Retribution

The mission opens not with a call from the fixer, but a Perception Check. It’s the middle of the night when Evo’s forces converge on their apartment/home. The margin of success on the Perception Check determines when the runner detects the intrusion.

3+ – The moment the Evo soldiers breach the front door.
2 – As the team moves through the middle of the apartment
1 – In the hallway outside the bedroom
0 – When their commlink rings.*

Glitch – When the bedroom door is thrown open and a flashbang is thrown into the room

The earlier the runners detect the intrusion, the better they can use their home ground advantage to either escape or ambush their attackers. As the Evo team nears the bedroom and incoming text message arrives from their latest Mr. Johnson (from “Marionettes”) that states “We’ve been hacked. Get out now and call me when you’re clear.”

Each team will be tailored to take on the threat they’ve been assigned (dealing with a mage will have a mage of their own, hackers will deal with a tech-light team, etc).

With the runners having either survived or fled, they call up Mr. Johnson. “Glad to hear you made it through Evo’s hit squads. We only recently detected the hack on our system here and the powers that be are extremely… upset that this technomancer thinks he can waltz around in our network. We have a contingency plan to take these bastards down and we’d like you to handle it. Come meet me to iron out the details and we’ll get even.”

Mr. Johnson is extremely angry at the current events and has a plan they were already planning on implementing to ascertain Evo’s plan. They are now going to have to compensate the runners for the inconvenience of their address being compromised.

If the runners are willing to hear out Mr. Johnson and seek revenge, he will meet them at the Barn Burner in Auburn at 8PM to discuss the details.

Scene 2 – Setting the Stage

The Barn Burner is a Southwestern style restaurant that still insists on real meat in their dishes, despite the higher price point given the later hour, the restaurant isn’t as busy as it might usually be and Mr. Johnson has reserved a large portion of the back right of the restaurant. At the table is Mr. Johnson and an Asian man who are engaged in quiet conversation.

Once the runners arrive, Mr. Johnson asks them if they’re at all hungry and will pay for whatever they order. Once the team has gathered, he will start into the current matter at hand.

Welcome. Glad you all made it. Ares extends their deepest regrets about what happened and we intend to compensate you for the difficulties. We have a plan of action to unearth this technomancer so we can deal with him directly. This gentleman here is Daniel Wills, a member of Knight Errant Intelligence division… or at least, that’s who he was. He’s been in our Europort office for the past year and for the last six months, he’s been studying Evo’s ever-growing presence in the Dutch port. As one of the main overseers of the Portoplex facility for Evo, Shimura Ito has broad powers in Europort and has access to Evo’s even broader network. Daniel has undergone extensive surgery and body modifications to look and sound like Ito and has studied the man closely. We need you to accompany Daniel to Europort and seamlessly insert him into Ito’s life. This means that the real Ito will need to disappear permanently. If you can extract any information from the man, it may be beneficial, but odds are, Evo have implanted countermeasures of some kind and it may simplify your job to silence him quickly.”

Daniel’s fingerprints have been altered to match Ito, but there is little we can do about his DNA. You will need to find any blood samples belonging to Ito and replace them with Daniel’s. We know the job is high risk and certain aspects of it are distasteful, but we are willing to pay you 15,000¥ apiece for the task at hand, plus cover all your travel expenses. On top of that, due to your living arrangements having been compromised, we are willing to pre-pay for a new residence for three months, in a location of your choosing. You just need to send us the bill. Are the terms acceptable?”

Mr. Johnson is not willing to budge further on the residence and it is to a maximum of a Middle Lifestyle. Negotiations can increase the payment by 500¥ per net hit.

If the runners sign on, Mr. Johnson thanks them and tells them to meet Daniel outside the Ares headquarters in the Downtown core and they’ll be taken by helicopter to a private charter out of Seattle over to Europort. Bring only gear they can easily carry for the trip.

Mr. Johnson (Brad Smyth)
Thresholds: Matrix (1), Corporate (2), Shadow Community (2)

1 – Mr. Johnson is Brad Smyth, a ten year employee of Ares.
2 – Mr. Johnson has built up a very positive reputation in the shadows as a good man to work for. In one instance where a runner team was double crossed by Ares, Mr. J logged onto Jackpoint and explained why the team had screwed up and told the other runner teams in the area to avoid making the same mistakes.
3 – Never married or had kids. Has had several dates, but seems to go out of his way to avoid attachments. Leading rumours are that he wants to avoid having another person being used as leverage against him.
4 – Has survived three assassination attempts and Ares watches him closely, as he is a strong shadow asset for the UCAS branch.

Daniel Wills
Thresholds: Matrix (1), Corporate (2), Law Enforcement (2)

1 – Daniel is a veteran of Knight Errant, who has been in Intelligence for seven years.
2 – Efficient and studious, Daniel is known for his precision and sense of duty to Ares. Expert in reconnaissance and a solid fighter.
3 – Married to his career and seems to spend every third month in a new city, often studying a new target or on the occasional deep cover assignment.
4 – Was recently spotted in Western Europe, but suddenly disappeared and hasn’t been seen since. Rumours are circulating that he may either be on another undercover assignment or one of his marks caught up with him.

Shimura Ito
Thresholds: Matrix (1), Corporate (2)

1 – Shimura Ito is a long-time employee of Evo Europe. Spent most of his career in Vladivostok and Khabarovsk.
2 – Ito has earned a reputation as a shrewd businessman and a keen insight on resource management. Was recently promoted to handle expanding operations in Western Europe.
3 – Currently working to break Ares and Saeder-Krupp’s stranglehold on Europort. His devotion to his job has cost him his marriage, but he has made considerable in roads into Portoplex to deliver Evo goods into Western Europe
4 – Due to his success rate, he has been assigned a security detail to protect him from attempts on his life. They are external resources, hired from Hamburg while Ito resolves so final negotiations with Zeta-ImpChem.

Scene 3 – Infiltration

Europort is a Corporate enclave in what remains of Rotterdam after the Black Tide brought death and disease to the area. The waterfront, referred to as Portoplex is nearly 100% automated, due the toxic level of pollution that still exists in the North Sea. The metahumans that service the area live in a bleak dormitory district just outside Portoplex and the east and southern sides of the city are ringed by corporate districts, run by the assorted corporations that make up the city’s council. Regulus forms the mediator portion of the council, but Saeder-Krupp and Ares are the two largest financial contributors. The Corporate district is centered around “De Kop van Zuid” and Evo has managed to push out some of ESUS and Maersk, to the dismay of the EU.

Shimura Ito lives in the corporate housing district of Evo in Europort. He almost never leaves corporate grounds, so the runners are either going to have to wait for one of those rare times where security will be ramped up to escort him off of controlled ground, or whether they will try to slip into the Evo-run portion of the city and conduct business under the company’s radar.

Ito has a security team that never leaves his side, to supplement the already present Evo security forces. These independent mercenaries have been hired to ensure Ito remains safe. The team consists of: a skilled human hacker, Troll Adept, and ork Mercenary, skilled in mixed weapon styles and a Dwarf shaman. While the runners can eliminate the security, if they can replace Ito and keep the security detail alive, it can add some legitimacy to the replaced employee (though Daniel or one of the runners may need to eliminate the mage).

If Ito does leave the safety of Evo’s compound, it’s for work. There will be corporate security escorting him the entire way and may draw more of a spectacle than the team wants.

Ito’s Itenerary for the first two days the runners are in Europort:

7:30-8:00 – Morning Commute through Evo compound
Works until Lunch
12:30 – Head to Oude Centraal for lunch with client (off Evo grounds)
1:30-6:00 – In the office
6-6:30 – Return Commute
6:30-7:30 – Dinner
8:00-9PM – Teleconference with Manhattan office
10:30PM – Sleep
7:30-8:00 Morning Commute through compound (same route)
9-1 – Director’s Meeting
1:30 – Late Lunch at local coffee shop
2:30-3:30 – Department Meeting
3:30-6PM – Work
6-6:30 – Return Commute
6:30-7:30 – Dinner
8:00-10PM – Football Match
10:30PM – Sleep

Ito’s office is a glorified cube farm, but he has a nice office where he organizes personnel on the Western European business front. Ito is fairly well liked and he fraternizes with the employees of his office, but there are a few employees that could be plied with cash.

If the runners choose to hit him at his home, there can also be the risk that his soon-to-be-ex-wife could come by unexpectedly to collect her things or fight for more money. She could blow a perfect operation by showing up at the wrong time…

Scene 4 – The Final Piece

To complete the illusion of the replacement, the team will need to swap any on-file blood samples Ito had for Evo. Being their biggest medical subsidiary, the blood samples are being handled by Crashcart, the local equivalent to DocWagon.

Crashcart’s offices are in the center of De Kop van Zuid, with access to all corporate sections and as a result is inundated with overlapping security forces from different corporations. However, the runners may be able to bargain with one of the other corps on the EARC to gain easier access to Crashcart.

The facility is a small corporate hospital. While it doesn’t have room for a lot of patients, it has state of the art equipment and high caliber doctors. Collateral damage here will be costly to all the corps, though it with hit Evo the hardest. Doing significant damage to the hospital may paint a target on the runners.

The hospital is a single floor with large patient wards, great amenities and plenty of security. The runners will need to find a way into cold storage in the emergency section of the hospital, find the right blood samples and complete the exchange.

With Ito dead, the blood samples swapped and Daniel in place (assuming the runners did nothing to have the Knight officer outed), Ares will charter a flight home and they will be paid, as well as be able to find a new place to live after Evo raided their last place.

>> Wait, so we have to whack a senior exec and then insert some poor schmuck into his place?  That’s risking angering multiple corps in one shot, if things go horribly wrong…
>> Malys

>> Not to mention doing all of this in one of the biggest corporate controlled cities in Europe.  It all be for nothing if this corporate stooge isn’t good at his job.
>> Havik

>> I get by just fine, Havik.
>> Black Knight

>> Well lookie who found their way onto ShadowSEA.  Any words of wisdom before the sysop crashes your ass?
>> Havik

>>Only this:  whoever takes this job… do your homework.  I’ve done mine.  Europort is a unique beast… act like a tourist and you’re already made.
>> Black Knight

 
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