Hiding in the Depths

The runners are contacted for a meet around the 4PM, for about two hours from then.  It doesn’t leave them a lot of time to prepare and they have to get to the Downtown core for the 6PM meet.  Despite its heyday having passed, the meet is the old Club Penumbra, not far from the ACHE.

The crowd attending the Penumbra is growing older and smaller as time passes, but the club still does its best to put on a good show.  The latest in electronic rave blasts out into the street from within the Penumbra.  There is no cover and the runners have no issues gaining entry after a cursory pat down and passing through a Chem. Detector and MAD scanner.

They find Mr. Johnson in a soundproofed booth at the back of the club.  He is an impeccably dressed man of nondescript physical appearance, wire-rim glasses and salt and pepper hair.  The transparent walls of the booths blot out the outside ARO of the club, showing only the holographic menu hovering over the table.  Mr. Johnson speaks with an extremely light accent (Scottish) and a confident voice.  “If you want anything from the bar, by all means place an order.  It’s on me.”  A waitress will deliver any ordered drinks promptly and leaves, pausing only briefly to receive any tips the runners opt to pay her.

With a press of a button the booth walls tint to be nearly opaque to provide the group with privacy.  “I’m glad you could come on such short notice.  I won’t waste your time, so I will get right to the point.  I require your services for a time-sensitive job, as time is already against us.  Mitsuhama sponsors a few hospitals in the Seattle area, including Seattle General Hospital’s psychology ward.  They recently had a patient escape from the psych ward and Mitsuhama is devoting more attention to her than normal.  Her name is Susan Nicholls, a 15-year-old girl suffering from AIPS (Artificially Induced Psychotropic Schizophrenia) Syndrome since the Crash.  She had been receiving treatment at the hospital when she somehow escaped her room and managed to elude security.  We need to know why Mitsuhama is so interested in this girl and we fear that she may have been victimized by their private doctors somehow.  We need you track down Susan and bring her to a safe location.  Since we know Mitsuhama is already looking for this girl and it is such short notice, we are prepared to offer you 10000¥ apiece.”

Mr Johnson is really Don Hamilton, a black ops operative for Neo-NET.  He is a field operative for Project Enlight and is looking for any signs of technomancer abilities.  He believes Susan is the real deal, especially since Mitsuhama is chasing her down.  He knows they have corporate teams combing the city and wants to beat them to the prize.

Mr. Johnson is in a bind, due to the short timeframe and the runners gain +2 dice should they choose to negotiate the price.  If the team agrees to the terms, he will wire them 2000¥ each as an advance, provide them with a commcode to reach him at when they have the girl and leave them to their planning.  If any of the runners happen to be technomancers and they openly display their abilities or lead him to believe they have Resonance, there will be a trap waiting for them at the rendezvous.

The team have a few options…they can try and obtain Susan’s info from the hospital (either by bluff or by hack), they can try and find public information on her, or they can try and break into Mitsuhama’s records to learn about her and her condition.  (See Legwork)

If the runners decide to go into Mitsuhama and they draw attention to themselves, they will have a field team tail them to find out what they know.  Through their legwork, they may learn about the orphanage Susan came from.  The first signs of trouble come if they decide to visit the old orphanage.

Orphanage

The Safe Haven Home for Girls is a tired looking brick building, whose exterior façade has been blackened with scorch marks in an almost rhythmic mosaic, as old bricks have been replaced with newer ones.  The inside isn’t much better.  The lack of maintenance is evident, as faulty wiring, evident insulation and water marks on the ceiling predominate a lot of the interior.  The lighting is dim, and the furniture is threadbare.  However, the atmosphere is lively and friendly.  Young girls, ranging in age from six to sixteen run around and play with whatever they have available to them.  A tall troll girl sees the runners walk in and walks over to greet them.  “Welcome to Safe Haven.  Can I help you?”

The girl is Natalie Porter, a senior resident of the orphanage.  If asked about Susan Nicholls she thinks for a moment and says, “I think I remember Suzie.  She was quiet and didn’t really talk to many people.  Always seemed distracted.  She had her episode that one day and went totally nuts.  The doctors came and took her away, saying she had the apes.  Might explain the distraction if her brain wasn’t totally right.  She hasn’t been back since.”

If the runners ask for information outside of that, she says she didn’t really hang around Suzie much, but the House Mother probably has records with more information.  They could talk with her once she was out of her current meeting.

If the runners opt to wait, they don’t have to wait too long (seven minutes) before the House Mother steps out of the office with two Asian men in doctor’s coats.  The two men walk out without paying much attention to the runners unless the runners scrutinize them heavily.  The middle-aged human woman walks over and smiles, “I’m Abigail Whyte.  Can I help you?”

The runners will have to try and convince Abigail to turn over her records on Suzie.  The Mitsuhama reps already have a copy, should the runners decide to try and jump the two men after they leave (there are more men waiting outside for the intel).  Unless the runners concoct a good cover story, Abigail is not about to turn over confidential information.  If the runners get the info, they learn that she once met a man named Reggie over at the Lady of Eternal Purity Church once a week.  She said they were good friends and would often spend the day together.  Since Suzie always came home happier than before, they never stopped her.  If the runners do an extra good job of convincing Abigail, she will turn over Suzie’s old diary, which got left behind when the doctors took her away.

The diary (hand-written) has multiple references to “leaving her mark” at the altar when she wanted to meet him.  A perceptive runner might notice that her book mark is almost brand new except for a thin wear pattern in the middle.

Church

The Lady of Eternal Purity is a gothic-style Orthodox Church that is nestled into a residential district that has seen better days.  The recently renovated Church seems to be the best looking building on the block and it appears to have taken on the role of community center, as the ARO Calendar of Events on the front lawn sign is crammed full of activities for the neighbourhood.

The interior is dark, filled with dark wood pews and innumerable candles that barely light the immense space.  Light filters in through several stained glass windows.  The ARO of the interior looks more like something akin to the Sistine Chapel, with white marble walls, large murals and a large interactive Jesus who serves as the confessional for the Church.

At the altar, there is an old stone cross standing near the pulpit that has a straight line cut into it.  If the runners put Suzie’s book mark in the cut and choose to wait, they end up waiting in the church for about an hour as people come and go.  After which point, they hear a gruff voice behind them.  “Turn around and you git a bullet for yer troubles.  You gots a lotta nerve usin’ Suzie’s bookmark to git me to come here.  Who’re ye with?”

If the runners tell him that they aren’t with anyone, he chuckles briefly.  “Ye expect me ta believe dat?  There’re a few nice shiny sedans on da street dat certainly don’t belong to da locals.”  If the runners tell him that the sedans belong to Mitsuhama and that they’re after Suzie, they may help their cause in convincing Reggie that they are trying to rescue Suzie.  If they convince him enough, he will tell them to go forward and to the right to head for the rectory.

In the rectory, Reggie keeps his silenced Browning Heavy Pistol leveled at them.  Judging by his garb, he is the defacto priest for the church.  He asks them what they know about Suzie and what they aim to do to rescue her from Mitsuhama.  As they are near convincing him, a radio bursts into life on the nightstand.  The chatter in Or’zet is frantic and any among the team who know Or’zet can make a test to understand the chatter (Intuition+Or’zet(3)).  The Mitsuhama Strike Teams are descending into the Ork Underground to hunt down Suzie.

“Damned corpers…” Reggie spits.  “Ye may not be the best option, but yer better dan dose fuckers and dere guns.  Take this,” he says, handing them his tired looking crucifix.  “It’s like a pass o’ sorts.”  Reggie pulls a lever on the wall and the bed folds into the wall to reveal a hatch.  He pulls up on the handle and reveals a tunnel going down.  “Suzie used ta hang round de Ork Underground when she was wit me.  Knows the quiet places she used ta love.  The locals don’t like non-orks bein’ here, but she’s outta time.  Git her first and bring my cross back ta me when yer done.  If ye get lost, try ta look up a guy that goes by Gopher.”

The Ork Underground

The ork underground is a dizzying maze of abandoned tunnels and buried streets that seem to criss-cross each other without rhyme or reason.  The non-ork members of the team will be receiving heavy scrutiny from the locals.  So long as the runners don’t pick fights and possibly even shop in some of the local stores, they won’t run into many problems.

One of the buried streets is a bustling hive of activity when they emerge from the tunnel they’re in.  The din of yelling merchants and laughing drunk patrons fill the air, almost as loud as the smell of unwashed bodies and urine.  Despite the hardships, the residents have a life beneath the streets.  The surprisingly appetizing smell of some form of gumbo washes out from one of the shops, alongside junk dealers and a low-grade arms merchant.  As the team move through the crowd and inquire about Susan, Gopher or any of the goods here, a panicked scream erupts from a tunnel as a ganger staggers in, hauling the limp form of a colleague.  He’s yelling in Or’zet for help.  The ganger is a member of the Scraacha (Scorchers), an underground gang and his best friend has been shot by the Mitsuhama team that’s skulking through the tunnels.  The runners could endear themselves to the locals by tending to the man’s wounds.  After helping, all the prices for everything fall and the locals are more willing to help them find Gopher.  If they want, they can acquire Maalcha (Mauler), the ganger as a contact in thanks for aiding his friend.

Maalcha can point the team in the direction of the Mitsuhama team that shot his friend, if they want to eliminate the trespassers (there is more than one team), or they can inquire at the plaza as to Gopher’s whereabouts.  They direct them to the lower levels, under the weapon shop.  At this point they are in a Matrix dead-zone and all any team technomancer can hear is their team’s comm. chatter.

The old subway tunnel they drop into serves as a store room for the shops overhead (it isn’t guarded, so if they really wanted to, they could steal from the locals).  Heading down the tunnel that hasn’t collapsed, eventually, they will find a short, stocky dwarf, tinkering with the old electrical system of the subway tunnel.  Gopher might surprise them, being a dwarf, especially one that fits the old stereotype, but his hatred of top-siders is just as prevalent.  When they tell him that Suzie is down here and being hunted by Mitsuhama his want to help improves greatly.  As he agrees to escort them to Suzie’s favourite hideaways the roof of the tunnel explodes and two men descend on rapelling lines, marking the arrival of a Mitsuhama team.  The team will probably opt to open fire and have it out with the team (Each team should include at least one mage and one hacker.  Numbers should depend on the number of runners, to make things interesting).  Should the team kill the Mitsuhama teams and opt to steal their run of the mill commlinks and crack the encryption and IC, they can find the location of other teams and will quickly learn (if they show the info to Gopher) that one team is actually further down than they are and that they have to hurry.

Networking the subway and maintenance tunnels, they eventually find a drainage shaft that descends to the lowest level.  Upon reaching this level, commlinks begin acting up and voiceless communication gets increasingly difficult.  Technomancers in the group hear the frightened digital voice of Suzie, telling the “voices” to go away.  Technomancers who go “fully digital” can interact with Suzie to reassure her, give her advice on how to avoid the patrols or help her understand her gifts.

An old holding tank for ancient drainage has been converted to a private hideaway and Suzie is hunkered down in the rooms many nooks.  Mitsuhama is entering the chamber and is actively hunting the girl when Gopher strides into the room.  Having seen the dwarf’s headlamp from a long way out, they are prepared for the arrival and the fight will ensue.

Once Mitsuhama was been subdued (or forced to retreat) they will have to convince Suzie to come out of hiding (this will be easier with a sympathetic Technomancer on the team).  They then have to get out of the underground and to the drop point all while avoiding Mitsuhama.  Not using the same exit from the Underground will help them avoid them once they are top-side.

Mr. Johnson is waiting at the delivery point:  an old warehouse, relatively isolated from the main Matrix.  Inside a jammer is active to try and set Suzie at ease.  He asks Suzie to join him and she is extremely reluctant.  It is up to the runners whether they force her, try to convince her or not hand her over at all.  If they opt to not hand her over, the Johnson will have a nearby task force try to take her by force.  The task force may still move in if they suspect a runner is a technomancer and they want to take them alive.
Legwork

Susan Nicholls

Threshold – General Knowledge = 3, Hospital = 2, Mitsuhama = 1

0 – It’s a fairly common name…

1 – Young ork girl.  Lost her parents in the crash and she got some kind of neurological disorder.  She lived in an orphanage for a good number of years.

2 – Stayed at the Safe Haven Home for Girls for almost five years and something happened.  She got pulled out of the orphanage and sent to the psych ward.

3 – She had panic attack brought on by AIPS and Mitsuhama “adopted” her.  They’ve been treating her for her condition ever since.

4 – (Mitsuhama only) Mitsuhama has been treating her like a guinea pig for over a year now, as she has shown virtuakinetic abilities.

Mr. Johnson

Threshold – General = 3, Corporate = 2, Neo-Net = 1

0 – Looks like a generic suit to me.

1 – He’s a regular Johnson for one of the Eurocorps.  Real professional guy with a go-getter attitude

2 – The guy’s name is Don Hamilton.  He works for Neo-NET, to the best of my knowledge.

3 – Has family back in Scotland somewhere, but he’s been working in North America for a long while now.

4 – He was handpicked by Celedyr for something called Project Enlight.  It’s a brand new project that no one knows about yet.

Safe Haven Home for Girls

Threshold = 1

0 – What’s that, a private school?

1 – It’s an orphanage on the eastern fringes of the core.

2 – They specialize in the care of young girls that are orphaned due to tragedy, especially ork and troll families.

3 – They teach tolerance of all metatypes and try to educate street kids in order to give them a better life.  They are a frequent target of hate groups.

4 – Each race attack on the orphanage appears crippling, but somehow they always have the money to repair the facility.  Whoever their sponsor is has some truly deep pockets…

Lady of Eternal Purity

Threshold = 2 (1 if they have someone knowledgeable in churches)

0 – People still go to church these days?

1 – Yeah, it’s an old school Orthodox Church in Seattle.  Up on Sinclair Blvd.

2 – It was due to be condemned, but a new owner came along in the early 60’s and bought it and restored it.  Still a bit too gothic in my opinion.

3 – It’s in an ork-rich environment, so if you have a problem with them, you may want to find another parish.

Gopher

Threshold = 2 (1 if familiar with the Ork Underground)

0 – A furry rodent that burrows…

1 – He’s some urban explorer expert…claims to know more about the underbelly of the plex than public works.

2 – Squats in the Underground and is constantly hunting for new tunnels.  Has ties to the Cascade Orks and knows all the best ways to get goods in and out of the city.

3 – He’s one of those eccentric types and seems to work on a barter system.  If you have just the right item, you can get him to take you anywhere.

4 – He’s got a thing for pre-Crash electronics.  Not sure what he’s doing with them, but he collects them whenever he can.

>> Mitsuhama must be losing their touch if a little girl can sneak past their security unseen.
>> Basher

>> Unless she had some help…
>> Fade

>> I don’t think so… I searched the node from where she escaped from and there were no external break-ins.  There was some unusual activity in their system, though.  Not sure what to make of it.
>> Reboot

>> This chica one of those techno-people?  You know…that can work the grid with their mind?
>> Basher

>> If she is, that would explain a few things.  Like why Mitsuhama is combing the streets for her and why Mr. Johnson is after her.
>> Mirage

>>Mr. J?  You know something about him we don’t?
>> Burn

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~ by 1nsomniac on June 10, 2010.

One Response to “Hiding in the Depths”

  1. […] runner that participated in the previous Emergence mission might take interest in the patient records job.  An anonymous party requested the hospital records […]

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