Making a Statement

After some down time from the last run (or doing whatever they want if they’re new), the team’s fixer(s) calls them with a new offer of work. If the runners are interested, the meet is at Jim’s Souvlaki Pit in Tacoma, at 10PM.

Jim’s Souvlaki Pit, Tacoma

Jim’s Souvlaki Pit is a small hole-in-the-wall Greek restaurant, with faded yellow walls and poor lighting. The open kitchen has the same décor as the rest of the restaurant, except the paint is heavily smoke and grease stained. The smell of souvlaki and tzatziki sauce is heavy in the air, mixed with burnt grease from the deep fryer. Despite the fact that the door says “Sorry, we’re closed”, you find the door unlocked. Jim seems not to notice you until you walk up to the kitchen counter. He’s not surprised to see you.

“Evening, (ladies and) gentlemen. Take a seat.”

Jim starts setting up food in front of each runner, as if serving customers like normal.

“Some close friends of mine have some problems they would like you to take care of. Your fixer has told me that you’ve built a sturdy reputation for yourselves thus far and I appreciate that quality in the people I contract. Here is what I require:
You may have seen on the news that one Manuel Cordova managed to dodge some pretty heavy smuggling and possession charges due to a minor glitch in the system, not long ago. The Columbian bastard is back to his old tricks and making life for my friends difficult. To make matters worse, he seems to be working with some low-life in the Ciarnello family and this simply will not suffice. What I require is three small tasks. Manuel Cordova must die. That low-life drug smuggler will pay the debt he should have paid in prison. I want his death to be a very public statement. His boat and everything on it should be destroyed. Also, a smack in the face to the Ciarnello family would be a great boon to my interests. No one needs to die, but if one of their businesses were to suddenly fall onto hard times, it gives my friends opportunity to gain ground.
For these favours, I offer you 20,000¥. Do we have an agreement?”
The most Mr. Johnson will budge is 25%.

The Employer

Mr. J may be a cook in a Greek restaurant, but he is also a front man for the local Vory. His storeroom is half full of food and half full of contraband brought into the plex from Vladivostok and Hong Kong. While not a powerful man, he knows a lot about the city’s underbelly and always protects his interests. All of the profits from his restaurant (known for its great souvlaki) go right back into the Vory. Most within the Vory only know him as Jim, though his real name is Hector Anders. Note, if the runners completing this task took part in freeing Cordova and there is some evidence that the runners were involved, this run is a test by the Vory to see if the runners have ties to the Cartels. If there seems to be loyalty between the two sides, the Vory will put plans in motion to eliminate the Cartel’s edge (aka the runners).

The Matrix

The restaurant is clean. The Matrix node is typical of a restaurant, with a viewable menu and list of all the various specials. Jim’s commlink is not active. The backroom, where all the contraband is kept, is locked away behind signal dampening doors. The only thing relevant the runners may find in the Matrix is the Johnson’s real name and several weak accusations of criminal ties, but nothing that has been anymore than circumstantial.

Orgullo Pacífico

One part of the job is the destruction of Cordova’s boat. His ship is moored in the Tacoma harbour. It is called the Orgullo Pacifico (Pacific Pride) and is one of the few boats in the water in January. It is heavily armored and is designed more for outrunning the police than looking pleasant. With the level of armor on the hull, no subtle means of sinking will work. Fire and explosives will probably be the only solution the runners come up with (but reward creativity).

The docks are mostly deserted, with only a few unlucky dockworkers on site to make sure nothing goes awry. At the first signs of trouble, Lone Star will be contacted and a few squad cars will show up shortly thereafter. The runners will likely want to deal with the boat quickly and leave before the police arrive.

The Opposition

While light, the main opposition will be Lone Star. The boat is guarded by a handful of Cartel thugs with silenced SMGs. Use the Triad thugs from the SR4 core book for the Cartel members. If the runners are still in the docks by the time the Star arrive, use the stats for the Lone Star officers in the SR4 core book. There will be few Star officers at first, but if spotted and recognized as runners, reinforcements will arrive quickly.

The Matrix

The harbourmaster computer is accessible fairly easily, since it is Active. The front end shows which slips are available in the spring, the price for rentals of the slips and winterization costs for ships. Breaking into the records can reveal which ships are on which dock and even where the patrolling rent-a-cops are in the yard at any given time, since their commlinks are tied into the network. The network is Rating 3. The Orgullo Pacifico also has an active transponder which shows the last several ports of call, serial number and registered owner (Manuel Cordova). The boat’s rating is 3 except the firewall, which is 4.

Manuel Cordova

Manuel knows he is not safe and is keeping a very low profile. He is living out of cheap hotels, underground facilities and armored cars. When he does go in public, he goes with a loyal entourage of bodyguards (mercenaries). He does his best to remain in crowded public places, so should anyone try to kill him, there is the chance someone will take the bullet for him and Lone Star will catch the culprit (considering they always seem to be fairly close to him).

Manuel has a tight schedule. He spends a lot of time on the commlink, brokering narcotics deals and arranging local distribution. The local Mafia family is looking at cutting into the Yakuza trafficking profits and they have made a deal with Cordova to that end.

Let the runners have fun with this. The only condition on Cordova’s death is that it has to be public (aka lots of witnesses), so whether they gun him down on busy streets, use a car bomb, or whatever, let them pursue that lead. Don’t make it easy for them, however. Manuel is paranoid. He doesn’t drive himself, but has a different rental car every day, heavily armored and inspected by his men before being picked up. If he doesn’t have to leave his hidey-hole, he won’t (unless a phone call is intercepted and tracked). If the runners are willing to wait (no real timeline for the wetwork), he will meet with a few of his street dealers to ensure they are well stocked. He never goes to his boat (not enough people) and sends emissaries in his stead. Cordova will be meeting with Mafioso in a mob-run casino and then spend some of his hard-earned drug money on the floor. If the runners open fire and kill Cordova in the casino, it kills two birds with one stone. The casino’s business will fall quickly, knowing that their security is “lackluster”.

The Opposition

The main opposition facing the runners will be Cordova’s hired bodyguards. They are trained professionals and they aim to defend their paycheque. They are armed with smartlinked Uzis and armored vests and have several cybernetic enhancements. The GM should give them abilities comparable to the runners, including a possible magician. Depending on when the runners choose to attack, Lone Star may be dispatched, adding another wrinkle to the mess.

The Matrix

Cordova keeps his commlink in Hidden mode (Passive, if he absolutely has to) and hangs around in crowds, so finding his commcode in a pile of signals will be tricky. If found, the team’s hacker can track him with an agent/sprite and possibly eavesdrop on his conversations. Provided Cordova’s hired hacker doesn’t find the agent, at which point, Cordova will go into hiding.

The Matrix can reveal where Cordova’s registered residence is (they’ll find it empty and unlived in) and where his boat is (if they haven’t dealt with it first). The police keep a close eye on the place and if the runners break in, they may find themselves in a tight spot with the police.


The Ciarnello family deals mostly in white collar crime, but has a few groups of people in the vice industry. Of course, they are being badly outpaced by the Yakuza and Triads and want to step up their operations in that area. Cordova’s connections and desire to be invisible fit well with Ciarnello’s needs, so an alliance was made.

The runners won’t likely be able to target any of Ciarnello’s higher operations without the proper connections, which leaves his street level operations the most likely target (although if the runners are able to expose a corrupt lawyer/accountant, by all means, let them run with it). The runners can target anything from prostitution rackets to drug dealers to underground casinos (Cordova can be found in one of these casinos, if timed right…see above section). This is an opportunity for the players to tap into contacts and/or raise hell. Let them have fun with it, but every action has repercussions. If they really hurt the Mafia, the Mafia will try to hurt them back…

The Opposition

The opposition here should be obvious. The mob won’t take kindly to their operations being hit and will likely strike back, unless the runners are extremely careful. Use the Triad thug stats in SR4 for any Mafia Soldatos they encounter.

The Matrix

Mafia rumours are all over the Matrix… the runners simply have to filter through them to find which are speculations and which are facts. The Matrix can be used for distractions, false leads and legwork. Improvise!


Cordova’s death will be on the news, as well as the runners other nightly activities. So long as they themselves did not get on camera, they will be paid in certified cred. The runners will likely want to lay low if Cordova’s bodyguards were still alive to investigate their employer’s death and/or the Mafia searching for those that slapped them in the face.

>>Wetwork, huh?  You couldn’t pay me enough to get my hands that dirty.

>>I dunno…this slot Cordova has a pretty shady history.  Scrubbing him from the Earth’s surface is a step toward making this place a better place to live, if you ask me.

>>While that may be true, there are the people he works with to contend with.

>>Bah!  The Cartels want nothing to do with this twit anymore.  He got caught.  Even if they did, these South American idiots couldn’t find their ass with both hands.  Why do you think they rely on Mafia protection in many areas?

>>Watch your back, senor.
>>Columbian Courier

~ by 1nsomniac on December 6, 2008.

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