The runners are asked to show up ready to go, for a meet with their fixer.  He requests that they meet him/her at The Silver Fools in Bellevue for 7PM.  The views inside Bellevue are the opposite of most of the city, with manicured rolling hills, a clipped skyline and low air pollution.

The Silver Fools is a dimly lit eatery, specializing in German vegetarian cuisine and assorted premium soy food stuffs.  They also serve premium beers from around Europe and local microbreweries, making it the best place for beer in the city.  When the runners arrive, their fixer is already there sampling the brew.  He offers them the option of ordering from the vast menu before they conduct their business.

Once all the runners are present and have ordered any food or drink, he slips into business mode.  “Thanks for coming.  I’ve got a lead on a job which pays quite well.  Combination extraction/retrieval.  The job’s in Redmond…anyone opposed to going into the Barrens?”

If none of the runners balk, he continues, “Good.  All right, your extraction targets are these two individuals,” he says, pushing two headshots out to the team’s commlinks.  “The male is Dustin Hawks and the female is Donna Prost.  Both are former students of Seattle University who washed out of their computer sciences program back in 65 and disappeared.  They were recently spotted again in Touristville, the ‘nice’ part of Redmond where the local kids here in Bellevue go to slum it.  Rumour has it that these two happened across an ancient piece of Renraku hardware and are hiding it away in the bowels of Touristville.  The hardware has no value.  It is from the old Matrix and hasn’t been wirelessly modded, so no one is clear why these two might protect it.  Your employer would like to know why.  Therefore, you are being asked to bring these two and their old Renraku computer in, intact, so they can learn what is so important about this machine.  They’re offering 7000¥ each, with an additional 1000¥ in hazard pay, 50% cash, 50% gear.”

The runners may suspect that Renraku is after the two drop-outs, but it’s actually Mitsuhama.  They suspect that both are technomancers and want them for study.  The fixer can raise the total price, but any additional money they get will be in equipment, not cash.

Once the team takes on the job, they can get started right away.  They are given a chip with a commcode on it, for contacting the fixer when they are ready to deliver.

There is a hidden surprise on the chip:  a Trojan horse that sits dormant on each of the runners’ commlinks until the second part of this story arc.  Mitsuhama incorporates a tracking system into the commlink, so they can be traced.  If the runners have done previous missions, like ‘Dead Man Hacking’ or ‘Hiding in the Depths’, they will be targeted for elimination in the near future.

Touristville isn’t far away.  The contrast between Bellevue and Redmond is like a slap in the face.  Tailor landscapes yield to urban wasteland.  Touristville is the most hospitable part of Redmond, but that doesn’t say much.  Dive bars, joygirls and lowlifes are everywhere even here.  It’s easy to distinguish between the wannabes from Bellevue and the residents of Redmond, but everyone here plays nice for the most part.  The locals don’t want to lose the income, but there are still those who would pick the pockets of some naïve rich kid, or even stab them in a dark alleyway if they step outside of the main club district.

Business is not as usual in Touristville these days, however.  If the runners spend any time trolling the bars, they will find that the local scene is being manipulated from outside by hackers.  There is an ongoing power struggle in the streets of Touristville and someone is pulling the strings.  The local power are the Crimson Crush, a large ork gang who believe in protecting the ork populace from the human element.  They have been under siege by a new gang called the Black Suns.  Rising up from nothing, this gang has some good Matrix backup to make up from their low numbers.  The Crimson Crush are finding their arms caches falling into the Sun’s hands and their implants malfunctioning at the worst times and they are losing ground rapidly to this new rising power.  Any runners with ties to the Crush, can learn this readily enough, but otherwise, the runners will have to earn their trust (either by being a sympathetic ork, or dealing with the Crush in an overwhelming show of non-lethal violence).  While in Suns territory, hardware malfunctions rise dramatically amongst the team

From the locals, the runners can learn where the Black Suns call home.  They are a bunch of overconfident, swaggering youths, mostly ork equipped with decent gear and an overpowering ego.  A sufficient beatdown will likely see the gang members cough up some information on their ‘patrons’.

Two runners moved into the area, calling themselves Dusk and Dawn.  None of the Suns have actually met them face to face, but only through the Matrix.  So long as they protect the runners, they provide interference against all the Suns enemies.  With proper interrogation, the Suns can direct the runners to various ‘doodads’ they were told to erect throughout their turf.  The retransmission units help bounce the signal out further and further, but with a decent Trace, the runners can triangulate the transmission source to an old school outside Touristville.

Dusk is Dustin Hawks and Dawn is Donna Prost.  Both became technomancers with the Crash in 64.  Their psychological issues forced them to drop out of University, but they have adapted to their condition.  Dusk is a Singularitarian who views non-technomancers as “obsolete models” of the human race and as a result has developed a superiority complex.  He won’t hesitate to cut down the unworthy.

Dawn is an Info Savant and is more interested in the preservation of their server than sowing discord, though she will defend herself if cornered.  Where Dusk is outspoken and angry, she is shy and withdrawn.

The technomancers have erected all sorts of defenses throughout the old school.  EMP bombs have been set up in unused rooms of the school to short out electronics and jammers have been erected that can be remote activated to “silence” parts of the building.  Dusk has an assortment of drones equipped with guns to kill trespassers and he has several sprites out on patrol that he will force into any commlink that enters the building.

The old Renraku server is in the basement in an old chemical closet off a science lab.  Dawn is in the room connected to the closet with a web of drones, ready to defend the server at all costs.  When the runners gain access to the closet (it’s locked with a maglock whose passkey changes every few nanoseconds, thanks to Dawn’s interference (while conscious)) they find a large server (3 ft x 3 ft x 1 ft) box running and heating the space.

The box is plugged into the Matrix by hardline.  To a normal hacker, they find the server is mostly devoid of files and what is there is so old it would be useless to anyone.  To a technomancer, the node is alive with swirling light and code.  If the technomancer has enough Karma, they can use this to Submerge.  They have located the real reason the two were guarding the machine.  It is a functioning Resonance Well and they were using it to Submerge, gaining awareness into the nature of the Matrix.

With the technomancers secure (and unconscious), as well as their server, they can make arrangements to deliver the goods to the target.  They get paid as promised and are free to leave.

If the runners located the Trojan Horse, their gear also carries the Trojan and it will reinfect every connected system, making them easy to trace.

Being Redmond, further combats can be added at any time as a gang may try to kill them and steal their gear.


Dustin Hawks – Matrix (2), Academics (3)
0 – Is he a pro wrestler?
1 – He was a middle-of-the-road programmer at U. Seattle some years ago.
2 – Rumour has it he failed some psych evaluation and was expelled from University.  He went rogue after that.
3 – He’s been seen hanging around the “The Scene” in Touristville in the last few months.
4 – He goes by the handle Dusk, these days.

Donna Prost – Matrix (2), Academics (3)
0 – She’s some starlet right?
1 – She was a pretty good SAK builder at U. Seattle a while back.
2 – She had some kind of meltdown in class and ran out screaming.  Never stopped running, since she simply vanished.
3 – Her family hired some P.I…Macarthur Bowman, I think.  Tracked her down to Touristville but never located her.
4 – She goes may be using the alias Dawn.

Macarthur Bowman – If the runners have completed ‘Dead Man Hacking’ they know Macarthur already and provided they didn’t burn that bridge, they can go and talk with him about the case.  He tells them that she moved from squat to squat, but as development of the new Matrix expanded, she fled further and further out until she vanished into the wilds of Redmond.  He suspects that she’s a virtuakinetic/technomancer.

Crimson Crush – Gangs (2), Matrix (2)
0 – Is that some new type of soda?
1 – They’re an all-ork gang in West Redmond.
2 – They’re the closest thing that Touristville, and the area around it, have to a neighbourhood watch.  Assuming you’re not human, of course.
3 – They’ve been taking a beating lately.  A whole lot of bad luck, coupled with defections of some of their members have forced the Crush back against the wall.
4 – The Black Suns are a new gang that seems to be trying to absorb the Crush.

Black Suns – Gangs (3), Matrix (2)
0 – Oh yeah!  Love that new ork thrash stuff!
1 – They’re a new gang rising up in West Redmond.  Yellow circle with a black sun in the center.
2 – Recently, they’ve come into some new hardware.  Plus it seems like they have some top shelf hackers in their membership.
3 – Ever since the Suns moved in, leaving your commlink remotely open is an invitation to have someone break in and steal your stuff…
4 – The founders are a couple of decent hackers.  They are looking to get rid of their biggest competition before taking over more of the Barrens.  Sounds like they want to have their own private Matrix there…

Dusk – Underworld (3), Matrix (2)
0 – Uh, that time of day when the sun’s going down?  Duh…
1 – Some up-and-coming hacker.  Hasn’t made a big name yet, but he sure talks big.
2 – The guy has been able to cut through some pretty decent security without breaking a sweat.  Wonder what mods he’s running with…
3 – The guy is a technomancer.  His specialty is intrusion and interference.
4 – The guy is a Singularitarian.  If you aren’t a technomancer, you’re lower than dirt in his eyes.  Real piece of work…

Dawn – Underworld (3), Matrix (2)
0 – Uh, that time of day when the sun’s coming up?  Duh…
1 – Some hacker chica… she doesn’t talk much, but whenever anyone tries to take a look at her loadout, she slaps them down in a hurry.
2 – I’ve seen her redesign layout and reality like it were an automatic process.  Her coding skills are pretty friggin’ insane.
3 – The slitch is a technomancer.  Her specialty is in artificial intelligence and optimization.
4 – She’s an Info Savant.  Sprites under her command tend to be really smart and her programs can run circles around us less fortunates.  Don’t make her mad or she’ll take you off-line quick…

Key NPCs

Dusk – African American Male Human

Init 8, Mat Init 11
Init Pass 1, Mat IP 3

Skills – Electronics 4, Cracking 4, Dodge 2, Intimidation 3, Perception 3, Unarmed 2, Tasking 4
Know & Lang – English, Corporate Matrix Security Procedures 4, Data Havens 4, Matrix Theory 2, Operating Systems 4, Japanese 3, Cantonese 3, Chess 5, IC Construction 5

Qualities – Natural Hardening, Technomancer, Big Ego, AIPS (Mild)

Living Persona – Firewall 4, Response 5(6), Signal 3, System 5, Biofeedback Filter 2(3)

Complex Forms – Analyze, Armor, Blackout, Browse, Attack, Decrypt, Exploit, Edit, Scan, Stealth, Track

Available Sprites – Courier, Crack, Data, Tutor and Tank

Echoes – Multiprocessing

Gear – Dummy Commlink with junk data, shock gloves, armored jacket

Dawn – Caucasian Female Elf

Init 9, Mat Init 11
Init Pass 1, Mat IP 3

Skills – Electronics 4, Cracking 4, Dodge 2, Negotiation 3, Perception 3, Pistols 2, Tasking 4
Know & Lang – English, Corporate Matrix Security Procedures 4, Data Havens 4, Matrix Theory 5, Operating Systems 4, Japanese 3, Cantonese 3, Programming 5, IC Construction 2

Qualities – Natural Hardening, Technomancer, Mania(Mild), AIPS (Moderate)

Living Persona – Firewall 3, Response 5(6), Signal 3, System 5, Biofeedback Filter 3(4)

Complex Forms – Analyze, Armor, Blackout, Browse, Attack, Decrypt, Exploit, Edit, Scan, Stealth, Track

Available Sprites – Code, Courier, Data, Machine and Paladin

Echoes – Info Sortilege

Gear – Dummy Commlink with junk data, Hammerli Light Pistol, armored jacket

>> Who hides in the Barrens?  By the sounds of these two, they aren’t exactly Barrens material…
>> Burn

>> Where better to disappear?  Only the insane or the paid enter there on their own accord, so it’s a good place if you are looking to go off radar.
>> Wraith

>> Why go to all this trouble over a couple runaways with old tech?  If they aren’t dead, why hang onto a machine that no one in their right mind would want?
>> Skeptik

>> Who said they were in their right mind?
>> Glasgow

~ by 1nsomniac on May 13, 2011.

2 Responses to “Kingpins”

  1. >> Big D’s holy scales, 1nsomniac ! I thought you got shanked ! Haven’t heard about you in weeks. Going back to the ‘rens to put you back in shape ?
    >> Sweeper

    • >> Nah, been busy. Some gridrunning wannabe tried to try and take a little something from my network…had to show them that I don’t put up with that shit here. Then I’ve been busy upgrading the sec here. Normally, I don’t bother with the Barrens stuff, but this one struck as unique, so I ran with it. Figuratively, that is. This body o’ mine don’t take well to the whole ‘running’ thing anymore.
      >> Insomniac
      “The shadows never sleep, so why should I?”

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