Defending the Arts (Shadowrun)

Defending the Arts

The runners are contacted through their fixer and notified of a job.  They’ll be meeting with them at Reno’s at 7PM, if they’re interested.  The bar and grill is covered in combat biking paraphernalia and shows different matches on every screen in the place.  The blend of Native and Aztlan cuisine fills the air with a spicy flavour that is unique but fantastic.

The team’s fixer has reserved a back table, away from the noise of the centre of the establishment, where the team can conduct their business.  Their fixer is conducting the meet to maintain their employer’s anonymity.

“Glad you guys could make it,” their fixer said, as they sat down.  “Need anything from the bar before we start?”  Once the runners have ordered whatever they want (if anything), the fixer gets right down to business.

“My client is moving some of his personal belongings from a safehouse he maintains on Council Island to an office in Bellevue, where he hopes a potential buyer will make him a decent offer on some of his personal collection.  The armored car company has supplied their own security staff, naturally, but my client is a cautious sort and wants to hire on a few extra hands at the minute to protect his cargo and ensure it makes it to its destination.  So long as the safe makes it to its final destination intact, you get paid.  He is willing to offer you each 1000¥ to start, with a piece from his collection as final payment upon the successful delivery of the safe.  Interested?”

The runners may have misgivings about this, as the final payment is an unknown commodity.  Their fixer tells them that the objects they are to be handed are historical pieces, worth a good sum to the right people.  Mr. Johnson lacks the ability to pay them in cash, but if the runners insist, the fixer will tell them that they would have to wait for the object to sell (assuming it does sell) before they’d be paid.

Assuming the runners take the job, their fixer smiles and nods in thanks.  “Great, I’ll let him know you’re on board.  The armored car is set to leave the Museum Lodge on Council Island at 11PM this evening.  That gives you a bit less than 4 hours to prepare and get across the bridge.  Remember that the island is officially NAN lands, so make sure your SIN is up to scrutiny.  I’m providing you with a document that will clear you to work with the security detail and the delivery address.  I’ll help you with any last minute details, of course.  Best of luck out there.”

The trip to Council Island is relatively short from Reno’s, but the runners may have resources to gather before they set off for the Lodge.  The border crossing along I-90 should go quickly if they runners have a passable SIN and a good alibi for being on the island.  The island is a no-fly zone and riggers may have issues acquiring permits to bring airborne drones onto the island.  Many of the former roads on the island have been long torn up and the island has been turned into a green paradise that is home to many loyal Awakened life forms.

If the team gets there quickly, they might witness the armored car being loaded.  The Lodge closes at 9PM to the public and the transport arrives at 9:30 to begin loading.  Security patrols by NAN officials will quickly take note of any vehicles loitering who don’t have rights to do so.  Astral scans will also be noted due to the high magical presence on the island.  The man overseeing the transfer is a Native American man with broad shoulders, acne scarring on his face and narrow-framed glasses.  All the objects being loaded are in armored individual cases and loaded into a safe built into the wall dividing the rear compartment from the cab.  A Matrix search of the man (or talking with Native Contacts, Threshold 2) can reveal that this man is Jonathan Proud-Scholar, the curator of the Museum.

The runners might conclude that this is Mr. Johnson, but they would be wrong.  He was securing and displaying their employer’s private collection, and is reluctantly giving up some items of Native culture that might be sold off to the highest bidder.

When the runners show up at the armored car, the man in charge of the operation, Keith Rivera, questions the runner’s presence, but when presented with the document provided by their employer, he scowls and begrudgingly allows the runners to tag along.  If the runners choose to, they can ride along in the armored car and Rivera asks that they not turn the single car into a convoy, as it was supposed to be a low profile delivery.  A chase vehicle (two tops) will be fine.

With the truck loaded, they embark at 11PM sharp.  The roads of Council Island are deserted, but traffic on I-90 is steady heading east into Bellevue.  Once they got off of the NAN lands, they are immediately attacked on the East Channel Bridge.  A roadside bomb detonates, blasting one of the passenger side tires of the truck grinding it to a halt.  The armored car is immediately under fire from multiple directions to keep the security staff inside the vehicle.  A sniper is positioned on the Express Bridge (posing as a broken down motorist), ready to respond to any immediate threat.  The mercenaries have a mage keeping the UCAS/Knight Errant response force at bay using spirits and illusions.  They will try to toss a grenade into the rear compartment to drop all security within and then hack the safe to get the item they’re after (a part of their employer’s collection, but not the item they are there to protect… not that the team will know this).

This other team is a group of Azanian Mercenaries who have been hired to get a piece of artwork from the back.  The employer specializes in the artwork of indigenous tribes and there is a sculpture of African origins in the collection.  One of the African tribal chiefs has traced the owner of the artifact and wishes it for himself.

                The mercenaries are working with out of date intelligence, however.  They are unaware that the runners have been recruited as additional security, so if the team is traveling along outside of the armored car, those runners will have the advantage (though the sniper will act quickly to stop any additional runners once they tip their hand).

Security forces in the armored car will quickly open a compartment in the floor to pull out the replacement tire and the runners will need to shield them as they get out in order to replace the blasted one.  If any team mage finds the merc mage or his spirits, they can assist and if the city’s security forces are freed up, they will quickly move in and force the mercs to retreat (they have a boat beneath the bridge and will jump off using glider suits to get down to the ship quickly, with or without the goods).

Even if the mercs make off with their target, the runners can still continue with their job once they get the tire mended.  They will lose some time being questioned by the border patrol (“what were they after?”, “Can you give us a description?” etc), but unless they acted with flagrant disregard for public safety or inflicted extreme collateral damage, they will be released after having been found to have been fulfilling their contract.

Once across the bridge, they are in Bellevue and making their way to the target destination when the armored car takes an unexpected turn.  The two men driving the truck have been paid off by the would-be purchaser of Mr. Johnson’s goods, so he might obtain the art cheaper than if he legally purchases it.  A gas bomb is detonated in the back of the truck to render everyone in the back unconscious and upon deviating from the planned course, they start taking contingency plans for any runners following along behind them.  They shutdown wireless capability for the truck, leaving it as manual operation only.  A rival hacker will divert traffic in the runner’s path to force them to disengage and a rival mage will dispatch a spirit to keep magical actions away from the truck.

If the runners stop the truck before it reaches its destination, they can continue toward the target destination without further issue.  If the truck arrives at its alternate delivery location, they will need to deal with a pack of Yakuza, who were ready to go at the safe with a welding torch.  The purchaser of their employer’s goods is here in a back office.  He will attempt to slip away unnoticed, but if the runners are cautious they can attempt to stop him.  Killing him will pose a problem to their employer, but subduing him and bringing him along to the delivery may net them a reward for their troubles.

At the delivery point are a team of men, equipped with the safe’s combination and a series of vans to move the various objects to different locations.  Upon inspecting the safe’s contents to ensure nothing is missing, the man in charge of the retrieval hands the runners a key.  He explains that at the local Malaysian Independent Bank, there is a safety deposit box #32-2 that holds their payment.  If the runners once again express misgivings about the payment method, the man shrugs.  “I realise this is rather unorthodox, but my employer wishes to remain anonymous in these dealings and wanted to ensure that the items you were promised would not be stolen, in light of recent events.  I am sure you will find your payment satisfactory.”

The safety deposit box holds as many medallions as there are runners.  Each is made of gold with tiny gemstones embedded in the patterns on the medallion’s faces.   Each one is unique, even if only marginally.  All are focus-ready for any magicians, if they’re willing to bond it.  The medallions are Romanian, from the 19th century, though their purpose is unknown.  These could serve as a future run hook later on, or, if fenced, can be worth anywhere from a couple thousand to several thousand (depending on the buyer’s loyalty, negotiation and the relevance of the buyer  to the artifact’s past).


Jonathan Proud-Scholar
Thresholds – Matrix (2), Native American Nations (2)

0 – Not a clue…
1 – That’s Jonathan Proud-Scholar.  He is a public advocate for Native American culture.
2 – He doesn’t hate the white folk as much as some of his peers and is genuinely happy that people want to learn all they can about the indigenous people.
3 – He runs the Museum Lodge on Council Island.  A lot of people on that island covet his position, but his passion for his work has kept him there.
4 – Rumour has it that a lot of the items on display at the Museum Lodge don’t actually belong to the NAN, but private collectors who want to keep their items safe.  If word got out that the Lodge owned so little of the items on display, his position could be in jeopardy.

Keith Rivera
Thresholds – Matrix (2), Corporate Contact (2)

0 – Wasn’t he a talk show host?
1 – Keith Rivera operates a small armored car company.
2 – His company, Durable Shipping, has been in business for three years and have a very good review on their services to date.
3 – Out of respect for his employees, he has resisted several takeover bids for larger companies.  He resents it when people think his outfit is too small to take on bigger jobs.
4 – He has a very strict screening process and so far it seems to have been working.  There haven’t been any instances of theft among his employees.

Durable Shipping
Thresholds – Matrix (1), Corporate Contact (2), Smuggling (2)

0 – I’m guessing a courier service…
1 – An armored car company run by Keith Rivera.  They’ve been in business for 3 years.
2 – They advertise that they will move anything, anywhere in the metroplex.  Thus far, their track record is solid.
3 – While used by small businesses and executives, there are many underworld elements that use them for smuggling items in plain sight.  They’ll even go to Redmond, if you’re willing to compensate the company if the truck or staff is lost to the Barrens.

If the runners confront Proud-Scholar about the owner of the artifacts that were removed, either by helping him with some future work, or threats against him and his family, he will tell them that the artifacts belong to Jassila Feddersen.

Jassila Feddersen
Thresholds – Matrix (1), Seattle Politics (1)

0 – Wasn’t she that hottie on Combat Mage last month?
1 – Jassila is the wife of the mayor of Snohomish and the Metroplex Commissioner of Race Relations.
2 – She’s one of the few elves (or metahumans of any kind) that serve in the Brackhaven administration.  She’s an outspoken advocate for better metahuman relations in Seattle.
3 – Given Brackhaven’s ties to Humanis, her presence is likely only a token gesture so he doesn’t come off as a bigot.  Her illusionary position of power has been a source of some frustration for her in recent months.
4 – She’s been using the shadows extensively to further her goals outside of Brackhaven’s view.  Word is she’s been selling off her possessions to fund these operations.

>> How hard can it be to watch an armored car?  Who robs those things anyways?
>> Janus

>> You’d be surprised.  This collector’s stuff spans the cultural heritage of several indigenous peoples from around the globe.  This may be the best opportunity some may have to getting their hands on them.
>> Fade

>> How do you know so much about what’s being shipped?
>> Fellows

>> I’m a thief.  It’s my business.  Of course, if I know about it, you know others do too.
>> Fade

~ by 1nsomniac on July 13, 2012.

4 Responses to “Defending the Arts (Shadowrun)”

  1. Good, clean outline with lots of room to grow: nice!

    Did you see SR4 2050 has gone to the printers?

    • Yeah, my group is eagerly anticipating the SR 2050 book. Many of them have been playing since 1st/2nd Edition and being able to revisit those glory days with a more stable dice mechanic appeals to us greatly. 🙂

  2. >> Sweeper, no sweeping ! Sweeper, no sweeping ! Sweeper, no sweeping !
    Not my kind of job. I mean, I’m usually on the ‘taking’ part of the con. But I’m surprised Burn and Wraith haven’t heard about that one yet. Aren’t they the ones all over ancient artifacts and waddayaknow ?
    >> Sweeper

    • >> Can’t vouch for Burn, but I did hear about this one. There might have been an interested client looking for a team to take a stab at the transport. I have it on good authority that there’s nothing in that safe I want to die for, so I gave the whole thing a pass.
      >> Wraith

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