The Price of Power

The runners are contacted by their fixer who wants to arrange a meet between the team and a prospective Johnson.  The fixer warns them that while the pay is good, the employer is very green.  If the runners state they’re interested, the fixer will call them back a little while later with a time of 8PM at the Psychedelic Pirate, Downtown.

The Psychedelic Pirate is a trendy night spot not far from the University of Washington.  New indie bands play the stage, but the sound is held back by an enclosure that allows only the tables that want to partake in the new sound to activate the broadcast.  Heavy AR usage projects a dizzying array of color in the space, as students of the Matrix can show their latest stylings in the holographic interface, while thaumaturgy students use magic to add their own ambiance to the space.

Mr. Johnson is a fidgety middle aged man who seems to be endlessly polishing his glasses.  Once the runners are gathered, he looks about ready to start when he remembers the white noise generator.  After activating the generator, he finally addresses the team.

“Uh, all right.  I need you to get something for me.  Steal it, actually.  It’s, uh…a magical formula that I need for an experiment I’m conducting.  The man that owns it is named Ernesto Santana, a wealthy business man and collector of magical goods.  He has a private library where he keeps all of his best formulae.  Normally, his security is really good, but he has a party he’s throwing tomorrow night.  A lot of people will be there.  You could use that to get inside.  So, uh… you think you can do it?”

Mr. Johnson is as green as he leads on.  He has never dealt with runners in the past, nor has he ever actually sought to steal anything before.

If the runners ask about payment, the man scrunches up his face as he mentally kicks himself.  “Right, payment… I’m willing to pay 50,000¥ for the formula.  Is that enough?”

If the team negotiates with him, the end price won’t budge much (he started high to make sure they took it), but will instead give them a certain amount up front instead.  Upon accepting, he gives them an image of the formula (most of it is symbols and Aztec script) to help them locate it.

The home of Ernesto Santana is in an AAA neighbourhood not far from the Downtown Core.  He is hosting a party, as Mr. Johnson said, but getting in may be a bit tricky.  Thanks to Ernesto’s employer (Aztechnology), security is tight and well trained.  Whether they fake the credentials for entry or simply break in and blend in, the party is in the main area, but outside areas are restricted.  The library is below the basement in a hidden passageway behind the Home Theatre room and beyond a locked door.  There are several formulae here, as well as some magical goods.  They are guarded by a Guardian Spirit, who will confront them as they enter.

After they secure and escape with the magical formula they were sent for, when they try to contact Mr. Johnson they are unable to reach him.  Tracing his commcode yields nothing.  Researching him will eventually get them a name and address.  Checking out his place, they find that it has been ransacked, but they do find a black book hidden away in his home.  He has a location outside of the core in Snohomish that he hides away in.  If they go there to investigate, they find the place empty, though an armchair inside has been incinerated.  A pool of melted plastic that used to be the man’s commlink sits beside the chair.

Aztech learned what he was up to and used Ritual Sorcery to kill him at range.

The runners will be without pay, unless they got some from him in opening negotiations.  They can also sell the formula they stole for an extra bit of cash, or find an Aztec sorcerer to decipher the formula (it’s a binding ritual for a powerful spirit, though even an Aztec sorcerer will be unsure what type it is).


Mr. Johnson (Magic – 2, Corporate – 2)
0 – No idea.  That dude could be anyone.
1 – Oh yeah, that guy is Dr. Franklin Steinberger.  He’s a professor at U-Dub.
2 – He teaches Thaumaturgy and Conjuring Basics at the University.  He’s a bit of a fuddy-duddy, but sure knows his stuff.
3 – He lives just off of campus, since he hates to drive.  He lives up in Northgate, at 38 Ponsonby Rd.
4 – Rumour has it, he was a corper once, but grew to hate his job, so he cut his losses and started teaching.  He supposedly worked for Pyramid Arcane Supplies.

Ernesto Santana (Corporate -2)
0 – He a guitarist?
1 – He’s an executive with Aztechnology.  He’s with HR or something.
2 – He trains new magical security staff.  He’s a powerful mage himself.  At least Grade 3 Initiate.
3 – Loves magic in all forms, but is always out for bigger and better spells.
4 – He’s a collector and scholar.  He’s always after weird or obscure magics from around the globe.

>> Stealing magical formulae isn’t exactly my cup of tea.  Feels like stealing from one powerful foe to another.  Nobody wins.
>> Burn

>> If the item isn’t for the right tradition, it doesn’t do a lot of good to the new owner.  This Johnson doesn’t appear to follow the right tradition for anything the target would have.  Why steal it if you can’t use it?
>> Cremator

>>To keep the Azzie from using it would be my guess.
>> Burn

>> This formula is too dangerous for anyone to possess.  If you go to steal it, forsake the paycheque and destroy it.
>> Prophet

~ by 1nsomniac on March 25, 2011.

3 Responses to “The Price of Power”

  1. >> Hey, Prophet, what kind of runner forsake a paycheck ? I mean, we always deal with dangerous stuff. Bioweapons or spells, what’s the difference ?
    >> Sweeper

    • >> Well, I don’t want to give away any of my sources, but a friend of mine is on the scaly, reptilian side, if you catch my meaning. He did a little astral jaunt out to this guy’s place and something in there made him uneasy. If it’s enough to rattle a dragon (young or not), it’s enough me to keep this thing at arms length.
      >> Prophet

  2. >> I’m just saying, not doing the job isn’t what we do. It’s bad mojo. Suit yourself and trust a dragon, but i hope you keep a pistol closer than arms lenght 24/7.
    >> Sweeper

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