Cannonball Shadowrun Part 8 – Caracas

Moving from one massive sprawl to the next, the team leaves behind the city of Hong Kong and flies across the Pacific to the runner haven of Caracas, Venezuela.  Pinned between Aztlan and Amazonia, this cramped city of over 20 million people stretches toward the sky in a vain attempt to accommodate all who seek their fortunes in the sweltering and humid climate at the crest of the rapidly encroaching rainforest.

The hotel the remaining tournament teams stay in is a thirty story monstrosity that hides the shadows of the city with rose-coloured glass that looks over the water of the Caribbean Sea and the mega-corporate high rises that seem to part the clouds.  Below, in the darkened streets, the Cartels rule with an iron fist and the impoverished try to scratch out a living with what little remains in Caracas that isn’t corporation controlled.

“Welcome to Caracas,” McDermitt says, as he walks into the board room where three teams have gathered.  “This city offers a lot of jobs for those who don’t mind robbing from the rich or exploiting the poor.  This job, however, falls somewhere in between.  Caracas is a major pirate town, due to the lack of any real form of government.  Parashield is a Mitsuhama subsidiary who sells biomoprhs and tailored drugs to the Olaya Cartel, who practically runs this town.  Unfortunately for Parashield, Graciela Riveros, the Jefa of the Cartel, never got her shipment and she’s got her eyes on a few of Parashield’s executives to make them pay in other ways.  Mitsuhama can’t invest the resources in stopping the Cartel and they can’t afford to pull out of Caracas when the Awakened rainforest is so close.  Since Amazonia won’t let them in, it’s the only way to get access to rainforest magical compounds.  Therefore, they need a team to retrieve the shipment and deliver it to Jefa Riveros.  The first team to track down, retrieve and deliver the goods wins the event.  Each team will be provided the drop off point and the last known location of the shipment.  Since no surviving team has the home field advantage, the first place team will go last.  The team with the least points will get a head start on the second team and the second team will get a head start on the third.  Best of luck to all teams.”

The team has done very well to this point and will be the last to get out by at least an hour.  They will be playing catch-up for at least the first portion of the run.  When they get to the point of origin for the shipment, they find the place crawling with cops.  Apparently, one of the teams showed up while the Cartel was in house and the two sides opened fire on each other.  Of course, the cops are on the Cartel’s payroll and are there to secure their stuff before any looters show up.  Paying the homeless in either money, food, drugs or booze will yield them some information, that the crates were taken from the warehouse and put into a truck and driven toward the pier.

The waterfront is the home turf of several pirate crews.  The once-blue-now-grey water rolls in to stained sand while the various ship crews ready themselves in their berths.  Corporate freighters are under armed guard, while they load and unload their cargo, while the independent craft show signs of heavy modifications to allow them to operate in the not-so-friendly waters off shore of Caracas.  Asking around reveals a mixed bag of results, most of it unreliable.  If they manage to track down an independent sailor, he mentions that the local pirates have a base of operations in Isla la Orchila, an island about 200 km North of Caracas.  Many of their plunders end up on the island for the local pirate boss to sift through at his leisure.

Whether the runners opt to rent, buy or steal a boat, as they are about to get under way one of the other runner teams opens fire on the docks as they speed out of the harbor.  There will likely be a chase of some form, unless the boat the runners obtain is slower than the speedboat the other team has.  It will likely take a few hours to reach the island, given the speed of the craft.

The island is patrolled by a series of small speed craft and a few larger ships that are loaded down with armor, guns and fuel.  The island used to be a resort island for the rich and while the Western coast still has a few private corporate resort manors, the Northern portion of the island has been altered from a resort to a form of pirate outpost.  At least one of the other runner teams has already made landfall and are making their way into the outpost to look for these crates.  Evidence of their passing should be made apparent and have the sounds of gunfire echoing through the streets.  The pirates already know they have intruders and will be out in force to protect their gear.  The waters here are shallow, as sandbars dot the waters.  The pirates know the waters well, but those unfamiliar with the waters get a -3 penalty to navigating the shallow waters.

The island next to the main island on the northeast portion of the shallows hosts a small village that the pirates control.  All of their swag is kept there and it is up to the runners to make their way through the camp and find the goods that have been lifted by the pirates from Parashield.

Map Legend

The outer perimeter of the base has a makeshift wall of wood erected as well as several observation towers with men armed with rifles.  Outside the wall is dotted with pressure plates which trigger an alarm that someone is approaching from outside the walls.

1 – Docks.  Always patrolled by dockhands, these docks are where ships pull in with their loot where it is off loaded onto the shore.  ATVs are often handy to help haul the heavy goods to the storehouses.

2 – Maintenance Shed.  Boats breakdown, as do the ATVs they use for hauling stuff away from the docks.  This houses spare parts, tools as well as miscellaneous extras like fishing supplies.

3 – Gas Depot.  It’s a long trip from Caracas.  Boats tend to run low on gas by the time they get to the island.  Barrels of stolen fuel are stored here for those craft with insufficient fuel capacity to make it back to the mainland.

4 – Tech Support.  Not many associate the Matrix with piracy, but whenever high tech gadgets are stolen, it is up to these techno-wizards to decipher what they have and determine its worth.  As well as appraisal, they develop new jamming gear and countermeasures for having their ships shut down by would-be defenders.

5 – Store Room.  This room is guarded heavily since this is where all their swag is stored until they find a buyer for the goods.  The crates stolen from Parashield are in this building, but one of the other runner teams is as well.

6 – Bunkhouse.  While most pirates dream of a life on the sea, others don’t have great sea legs.  This room houses those who have volunteered to man the island to keep their booty safe from pirate wannabes or anyone who would seek to liberate their gear.

7 – Mess.  Pirates gotta eat…this place houses a lot of dry goods, fresh caught fish and a plethora of spices.  While the diet found here is fairly simplistic, they do their best to prepare it differently to prevent boredom with the menu.  Water is gathered from the rain barrels and the water silo, but is carefully rationed since desalination is slow and not exactly perfect.

8 – Desalination and Garage.  This building is split in two.  One half houses the ATVs that are used for moving goods around the base and the other half siphons off sea water and removes the salt to make drinking water.  The process is very old school and is far from perfect.  But it’s better than dehydration…

9 – Rain Silo.  A tall wooden structure that collects rain water and feeds it into the Mess so be rationed out to the men stationed here.

Once the team has the crates and gets back to the boat, they will have a small fleet of ships chasing them back to Caracas.  The chase should be entertaining and may even require the players to get a second boat, if their current one is too badly damaged.  If they didn’t destroy the other teams already, you could also have them try and exploit the situation and steal the crate when they’ve been crippled by the pirates.

>> Ah Caracas.  I remember it well.  Great place for biz, if you don’t mind the heat and pollution.
>> Blitz

>> Things are getting strange down here, amigo.  With the tension between Aztlan and Amazonia picking up and the Olaya Cartel pushing their latest poison on the streets, this place is a veritable firecracker.
>> Bandito

>> Sounds like a land of opportunity to me…
>> Carmen

>> Only when you know whose toes not to step on.  Otherwise, this city will eat you alive.
>> Bandito

~ by 1nsomniac on February 8, 2011.

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