Infectious Employment

The Meet

The runners are contacted through their usual channels regarding a job in Redmond. The fixer has no real information on the job, other to say that the employer is an “independent”. The meet is at an abandoned warehouse in Renton, at 1252 Jasmine St. for 10PM.

Upon arriving at the meet location, the runners soon learn the warehouse is far from abandoned. An extensive hydroponics project has been erected here, growing herbs, vegetables and grains. All the crops are totally legal. People work busily, tending to their crops. If the runners ask any of the workers what they are doing, they learn that the warehouse is a grow project to feed the poor in Northern Redmond. If they ask about the job, they are directed towards the rear of the warehouse. An attractive middle-aged woman stands near a desk in dirt stained jeans and a heavy shirt with the sleeves rolled up. She has black earth under her nails and streaks of grim on her face, likely from wiping away sweat while working in the soil.

“Oh, you’re here! Please have a seat. I apologize for my attire…I was busy and didn’t notice the time.”

As the runners sit in the provided seats (or don’t), the Mrs. Johnson disappears into a back room briefly. She returns with the dirt removed, her clothing straightened and a commlink strapped to her hip.

“All right…let’s get down to business, shall we? The reason I called you here is to investigate a travesty going on in Redmond, aside from the daily squalor. The area where we deliver our food stuffs has been experiencing a spike in the number of birth defects and VITAS cases over the past couple months. We have reason to believe a corporation is using the area as a dumping ground for their garbage, but we lack proof of any form. We need you to find what is being dumped in Redmond, who’s dumping it and bring back evidence of the wrong-doing. Does this sound like a job you’d be interested in undertaking?”

The Johnson doesn’t have a lot of information on what she’s after. Her suspicions are strong enough that she has been granted a budget for the operation, but her credibility is at stake. When the inevitable question of compensation comes up, she will offer them 4000¥ each (can only negotiate a small amount, up to 5000¥ each). If the team agrees, she provides them with a five block square area that this “mini-outbreak” has been occurring in.

The Johnson
For once, the team’s employer is on the level and fully forthcoming. Her real name is Isabelle Devonshire (searching the Matrix with her image will reveal this fairly quickly) and is an activist with a local Green Cell called “Natural Seattle”. The group is small, but growing and has ties to the larger organization, GlobeWatch. While Isabelle is mainly interested in seeing the poor get fed, exposing a corporation for massive poisonings is a point close to her heart, as she lost her father to poor environmental controls at the plant he worked at (slowly poisoned by the environment to the point of organ failure).

The Matrix
The security here is patchy. Most of the signals are those belonging to the hydroponics equipment, as they can be remotely tweaked by anyone in the warehouse. There are signal dampeners around the outer walls to keep outsiders from tampering with their equipment. There is a hidden node that handles in house security, mainly motion sensors and door alarms, though there are cameras dotting the interior to catch would-be saboteurs.

Confusion in Redmond

Any of the runners that are the least bit familiar with Redmond will find the area that Mrs. Johnson referred them to in opposition with the commonly held view of the area. This part of the city is actually being improved. Houses are being rebuilt and repaired and the number of homeless squatters on the streets is greatly reduced, almost non-existent in areas. There are still signs that it is Redmond, with gang graffiti on many of the buildings and for every building being rebuilt, there are three in disrepair. However, the evidence of a return is present.

The only sign of the blight Mrs. Johnson referred to is the scattered black cloths hanging over the doors of several houses. The derelict houses have been turned into dumping grounds for the sick and the dead. Some areas are so badly infected that the smell of dying people and rotting bodies carries on the wind. This part of Redmond has a single medical clinic and it simply can’t keep up with the tide of the sick.

Asking around, the locals express their happiness and fears in the same breath. A collapsed residential district was paved over by a shipping company and a complex was erected a few short months ago. They needed strong, able bodies to help with manual labour as trucks from the NAN deliver goods for distribution within the plex. Since the area was primarily ork and troll population, the work was perfect for them. However, with the inflow of cash came the sickness. In the past few weeks, several people started showing signs of VITAS infection and newborns in the area were having serious health complications, many dying in the early days. The restructuring project has halted until the source of the blight is determined.

If the runners haven’t taken it upon themselves to protect themselves at this point, be ready to have the runners begin making resistance tests against the disease (save for any humans in the group…the outbreak doesn’t affect them). This strain of VITAS has a power of 6P. For every 3 boxes of damages taken due to the virus, all physical attributes drop by 1. If any attributes fall to 0, the runner falls prey to paralysis. The pathogen is airborne, so respirators and gas masks are effective tools for avoiding the effects.

Unless the runners pick a fight, they aren’t likely to have any opposition. Gangs are a constant source of strife, but unless the runners antagonize them, they are busy taking care of themselves and trying to avoid becoming sick.

The Matrix
The grid out here is sketchy at best. Many of the locals have cheap commlinks or none at all. There is little major infrastructure and what little there is, was antiquated when it was installed. Technomancers will find the area frustrating (feels like wading through deep water or snow). The closer you get to the compound, the better the equipment becomes. There is nothing remarkable about the area (in the grand scheme of things) and the runners will have to do some major digging to even get a guess as to who owns the complex.

Prime Suspect

The corporate compound is small and nondescript. As far as corporate complexes go, this one is small and poorly defended. Most of the people inside the building are locals, but there are a few non-residents that work here as well (usually the execs). The security detail consists of moderately armed locals (usually the trolls or large orks) and camera systems. Matrix security is paltry compared to most places, though security and the manifests are secure enough to make an amateur hacker draw pause.

Map and Legend

Barrens Complex Layout

Barrens Complex Layout



1 – Storage. This is a wide open room with tall stacks of crates waiting to be picked up and delivered. Forklifts busily move objects in and out of this room frequently as trucks arrive. The room is observed by four panning cameras in the upper corners. This room contains a crate with two RFID tags on it. One belongs to a crate that has gone missing.
2 – Shipping and Receiving. This room is wide open and the hive of activity in the building. Most of the people here are ork or troll and many are reformed gangers, so if a fight were to break out here, the runners may have their hands full. There are a total of four forklifts that operate in this area. There are four panning cameras here that make sure the workers keep busy.
3 – Washrooms. There are many washrooms in the building, due to the high number of employees. Two are for the shipping team, two for white collar employees and one executive washroom.
4 – Storage. Replacement items for the shipping washrooms are stored in these rooms, as they are in need of more frequent replacement than other parts of the complex. A janitorial key is required to gain entrance. There are trace amounts of VITAS on the items in these rooms.
5 – Office. The small group of executives that operate this small business have their own offices in a separate part of the compound. Each door is locked with a card key specific to the resident.
6 – Security Checkpoint. Security here is minimal, but anyone trying to pass between the main entrance and the shipping department are screened by security to make sure they have the needed clearance for the other portion of the building.
7 – Atrium. Anyone that enters through the front doors is greeted by the receptionist at the counter. She serves as the filter for anyone coming into the building, collecting resumes and ensuring that anyone else has an appointment to meet with an executive or employee before allowing entrance. She has a datajack implanted, which she can use to connect to security in an instant, if the need arises.
8 – Server Room. This is a cold room where the main computers are stored. All the information on shipping, personnel and security each have their own server for storage. There are several access terminals here, but an executive or security password is required to gain access. The door into the room requires a palm scan for access and cameras record everything inside.
9 – Security. While security in the building is fairly light, it doesn’t mean that the building is defenseless. All security systems are hardwired, preventing wireless access of security systems. Only this office has wireless access into the building’s security, so any guard with clearance can lock down the building. The security staff consists of at most a dozen guards and two spiders. All guards are armed with non-lethal weapons, as the compound doesn’t benefit from extra-territoriality.
10 – Accounting and Human Resources. This cube farm houses all the pencil-pushers in the building. There are usually twenty or so people here during the day, but closes down after hours. One of the personnel records are suspect for someone in the janitorial staff. Three cameras watch over everything.
11 – Records. All the paperwork for the past six months are archived here. If electronic records come into doubt, these tangible manifests are the fall back to confirm computer entries. Improvised deliveries can be weeded out, as the records are meticulously stored so they can be located easily. A camera watches over the room and the door is locked by a keypad lock.
12 – Janitorial Supplies. Doubling as a small office, this is where the janitorial staff stores the items they need to resupply the building with its necessities. One of the air filters slated for the shipping department is coated in bacteria. This is the main delivery system for the VITAS infection.

It should become apparent that the compound and its parent corp are not responsible for the infection. However, there is enough evidence within the compound to track down the culprit:
Missing medical equipment crate (left the transponder tag behind so it didn’t show up as missing)
Air Filters coated with a new strain of VITAS to spread the disease throughout the complex. Only janitors have access to these
Manifest of employees shows the janitorial staff. One is over-qualified for the position (after doing some digging into his life)

The man working in the janitorial department, Erik Kuchev, has knowledge in genetics, has a residence on the fringes of Redmond and has a human supremacist agenda. He used a fake SIN to get hired and the company has no clue as to his true intentions.

The Opposition
The complex is a small puppet company of Ares. They are shipping assorted goods from the Eastern Seaboard here for storage and distribution within Seattle. The guards are drafted from the local populace and have very little training. They will often flee at the first sign of true resistance and use all non-lethal armament (to avoid friendly fire casualties). They are armed with Stun Batons and Predators with Gel Rounds, wearing armored vests.

The Matrix
The Matrix here is vastly public, but without any real content. All the important information (personnel, manifests and security systems) are all Hidden and separate.
The system has little in the ways of proactive IC, but has decent protection in the reactive area. Hackers that are detected will likely find themselves bogged down by hostile icons.

Racial Tension

After doing their homework and tracking down Erik Kuchev, the team has a choice. Take their evidence back to their employer and get paid, or intervene on the people’s behalf and put an end to Kuchev’s experiment.

If they choose to go after Kuchev, they find his house at the Redmond-Renton border. The house is largely unguarded (unless the team slipped up and broadcast that they were onto him) and the house is normal, save for the basement. The foundations of the basement have been expanded to join those of neighbouring houses. All the houses were purchased by members of the human supremacist terrorist faction, Alamos 20000 and turned into a long bio-weapon manufacturing facility. The members are toiling away in the basement, creating new filters for the compound as well as new delivery systems, all in the form of explosives. The runners will have to be careful not to release the toxin as they subdue the terrorists.

The Opposition
Provided the runners didn’t alert Kuchev that they were investigating him, there are six people (including Kuchev) in the basement. Kuchev is a scientist and has no formal combat training, but the other five are terrorists in the traditional sense. They will try to go for weapons and/or bombs (more towards the bombs if the team are mainly metahuman) to try and fend off the runners.

If Alamos knows the runners are likely to pay a visit, there will be more men in the houses, to keep the team busy as evidence is destroyed.

The Matrix
The house has a security system and the terrorists in the basement all have their commlinks tied to it, so they will know instantly if an alarm is tripped. The system consists of a door camera, door and window alarms and a link to the Star in the case of a break in. The link to the Star will likely serve as the hacker’s entry into the system.

>>Let me get this straight…I get to skulk around the Barrens, like I usually do, but I get to help the locals AND get paid?  Sign me up!

>>I wouldn’t be so hasty…we know how these things go.  Someone promises to be doing the right thing and you end up screwing the innocents.  Tread lightly.

>>When were we in this line of work to do the right thing?  My only thinking, is that there’s a paycheque and someone gets to have a thrashing for killing my fellow orks.

>>Wow, Burn, you must be great fun at parties.  Though I have to agree.  If someone’s deliberately poisoning a rebounding portion of the Barrens, they have to pay, whether orks and trolls are the victims or your everyday human.

~ by 1nsomniac on December 18, 2008.

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